Dungeons and Dragons Summer 2023 - Saturdays 5:00 PM with Oliver - $5/session with FREE character build Session 0 Saturday May 20

The Exile of Grindalin Farhammer

Grindalin’s Map: Grindalin has been able to compose a map of her newly discovered continent, and has made this available to the adventurers. One of the first orders of business is going to be to decide where the expedition will arrive. The Frostgate is capable of landing the expedition anywhere within 100 kilometers of a large mountain, 50 kilometers of a medium mountain, or 25 kilometers of a hill. The first scene in the game will be of Grindalin holding a council to receive input from the adventurers (except for stow-aways) so as to decide a landing location. For this reason, players are advised to study the map so they can participate in the council. 

Grindalin Farhammer is the daughter of the late Dwarf King, Grindal Farhammer, who was slain under mysterious circumstances forty years ago while on campaign in the Great Goblin War of 1235. He was succeeded by his crafty brother, Gralfo Farhammer, who took over as steward of the throne when Grindalin was too little to become queen of the Dwarfs.

Over the last forty years, Thane Gralfo has had his own family, and has refused to yield the throne to Grindalin. He has used the recent ore shortages in the Dwarven kingdom to great political advantage, gaining the support of the other Thanes and Yarls, who have become convinced that the only way forward is with Gralfo.

Ancient Runelord Runk Anvilbeard has been the leading expert in the art of Divinaton in the kingdom for the last five centuries, and has known since before Grindalin was born that her treacherous uncle would make an attempt on her life in order to further his own ambitions. But rather than divulge this information to her, Runk has made it his sworn duty to train Grindalin in the ways of Anvil Magic and Divination.

Grindalin Farhammer has been an apt pupil in the Dwarven magical arts, and has seen the same visions as Runk. She knows that Gralfo is determined to take her life. A year ago, Gindalin began having visions of a far-away land, a continent of mountains and ice, ripe with mineral wealth. Research indicates that this land is completely unknown to any cartographer, Dwarf, Goblin, Human or Elf. With much hard work and dedication, she has assembled a rough map of this place.

Delving into lost magical arts of Translocation, she devised a potent magical device of precious metal and gemstones called the “Frostgate”, the purpose of which is to instantly transport an entire expedition of settlers to the new land, and thereby escape whatever grisly fate her uncle has planned for her.

To this end, she has put a call out to all loyal Dwarves, Elves, Humans and Halflings to join her. She is seeking experts an any field of adventuring that might improve the chances of survival for the expedition. Each adventurer that joins her cause is granted any sort of gear, supplies, or livestock they deem necessary, so long as said items can fit within a 4x4 meter cube (13.12 feet).

It is now the eve of the expedition, with final preparations being made at a frantic pace. Will the magic of the Frostgate work? Where will the members of the expedition find themselves if it does? Will Gralfo try and sabotage Grindalin’s plans at the last moment? Play this campaign to find out!

Character Creation Method: 

The point buy system outlined in the Player’s Hand Book is what we are going to be using to generate stats for characters. A useful took for this method of stat

generation can be found at www.omnicalculator.com. Playable Character Races: Players wishing to play in this campaign are encouraged to create characters of any class they choose. The following races exist in this campaign world: Dwarves, Elves (except for Drow), Humans, Half-Elves, Halflings, Half-Orcs, and Dragonborn. The vast majority of NPCs in the game are going to be Dwarves, and the player’s choice of character race will have an impact on how that character socializes with NPCs. The Dwarves have the following attitudes toward the races of the game world:

Dwarves: toward their own kin, the Dwarves are trusting, open, and communally minded. They have great loyalty and empathy for their kin, often expressing these values through selflessness and devotion. Dwarves love their own kind.

Humans: humans are considered dependable trade partners due to their significant influence on the surface world. They are seen as worthy equals and trusted collaborators in general. Humans are liked and trusted by Dwarves.

Elves: it is only recently that Dwarves and Elves have become allies, due to both peoples suffering under the threat of Goblins. Culturally, Elves are thought of as emotional, flighty and arrogant, although they are treated with formal respect in society. Elves are considered unreliable and temperamental by Dwarves, who are too polite to say anything about it to their faces.

Halflings: halflings are always welcome at Dwarven gatherings and homes, but are sometimes treated a bit like children. Halflings are especially welcome at Dwarven festivities and food-related gatherings. Dwarves are very fond of Halfling culinary arts. Well liked by Dwarves, Halflings are often not taken very seriously.

Half-Elves: Dwarves are confused by Half-Elves, and are curious about them. After getting to know the Half-Elf a little, a Dwarf will usually make up their mind about whether to treat the Half-Elf more as a Human, or more as an Elf. Dwarves are curious about Half-Elves, but tend to categorize them as either Human or Elven.

Half-Orcs: Orcs and goblins are the ancestral enemies of the Dwarves. Although the sight of a Half-Orc doesn’t always trigger immediate violence from Dwarves, Half-Orcs must continually prove their loyalty and trustworthiness if they are to be tolerated in Dwarven society. Dwarves consider Orcs their ancestral enemies, and are strongly prejudiced against Half-Orcs.

Dragonborn: Dragons are the natural enemies of the Dwarves, as both species lead partially subterranean lives in pursuit of mineral wealth. Many a Dwarf hold has fallen prey to a Dragon and been plundered. Dwarves are highly suspicious and fearful of the Dragonborn, believing them to be spies for their murderous and thieving Dragon overlords, who are immensely powerful. Dwarves see Dragonborn as an existential threat that must be handled very carefully.

Players who make a Half-Orc or Dragonborn character cannot officially join the expedition as invited adventurers. This means that they are not entitled to their four cubic meters of supplies and gear, and must secretly stow away in the luggage to go through the Frostgate. If discovered, the Dwarves will be unhappy to see them.

Starting Gear: Characters start with any standard starting gear as per the character creation protocol in the Player’s Hand Book (PHB). In addition, unless they are playing a Half-Orc or Dragonborn, they start with 4 cubic meters of luggage they can bring. What they choose to bring is a huge part of their support to the expedition, and their choices should reflect the expertise of their race and class choices. The player does not have to worry about the cost of these supplies and gear, Grindalin will pay for it out of her own funds. That being said, magic items are not allowed, as these are too expensive given the volume of the extra luggage. Players are encouraged to think about what might be needed to survive on a strange new continent without the comforts of civilization. Players are not limited to gear and supplies listed in the PHB, for example, if they want to include a team of oxen in their luggage, or unspecified medical supplies, they can certainly do that.

Stow-aways: Half-orc and Dragonborn characters are at a significant disadvantage in this game in three major ways – a) they do not get the extra luggage, b) they cannot participate in the debate about where to go (see below), and c) they are at a social disadvantage to the point that Dwarves could be a threat to them due to cultural tensions. To balance this out, players that choose to run a stow-away character can begin play with a magic item – the GM will provide a choice of three items that the player can select from. In addition, the player can describe, in a paragraph or so, a specific goal, quest, or service that when completed, will put the stow-away in the good graces of the Dwarven NPCs. This goal/ques/service can be rooted in either the situation the party is leaving (the Dwarven Kingdom) or the new land they are arriving in, but either way it has to relate to why the character chose to stow-away in the first place. The GM will provide opportunities each session for the stow-away to make progress on their goal/quest/service project, with the goal of completing it in two or three sessions.

Character Advancement: Experience points will not be tracked or awarded after specific actions or encounters. Rather, characters will level-up every other session that the player attends. The pattern will go like this:

1. Session 1 – nothing happens.

2. Session 2 – at the end of the session, the character levels up.

3. Session 3 – nothing happens.

4. Session 4 – at the end of the session, the character levels up.

The key take-away here is that there is no pressure to slay monsters to level up, and a session of mostly role-play is just as valid as a session of mostly combat with regard to character progression. Further, attendance and participation are the main drivers behind character advancement. If you miss a session, you will fall behind.