Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Tales from the Yawning Portal Part 2

Hey Game fans, we’re back with another look at the brand new hardcover adventure compilation Tales from the Yawning Portal.  We’re going to break down each one of these adventures and take a look at the adventure as it’s presented and compare it to its original presentation from a previous version of dungeons and Dragons.  Our quest continues with The Forge of Fury.

The Forge of Fury

In brief, The Forge of Fury was originally written by Richard Baker and released in 2000 as part of the first wave of releases for the brand new 3rd edition Dungeons and Dragons line.  It’s an introductory adventure that features exploration and dungeon crawling, two of the hallmarks of the fantasy RPG genre.  The artwork by Todd Lockwood and Dennis Cramer helped establish the look and the feel of what adventures would look like in this era, and helped define the art style that would dominate the 3rd edition of this game.  Richard’s work as an author creates an interesting dungeon complex that is filled with secrets and monsters.  The original version of The Forge of Fury is a 32 page, soft cover adventure, and is part of a larger linked campaign of modules that starts with The Sunless Citadel and concludes with Bastion of Broken Souls.  

Those of you interested in picking this one up can pick it up at DM’s Guild for about $4.99 in its

Tales of The Forge of Fury
This iteration of The Forge of Fury is the second adventure in the Tales from the Yawning Portal.  Like it’s previous incarnation, this version is the follow up to The Sunless Citadel and is intended for 3rd level characters.  This adventure begins with a few potential adventuring hooks and starts in the town of Blasingdell.  


The ancient Dwarven hold of Khundrukar lays in ruins.  The centuries have not been kind to it, and orcs, troglodytes and worse have taken this proud dwarven hold as their own.  Hidden within its shattered walls are secrets and treasures, if you can brave the monsters.  Rumors even speculate about a hidden cache of weapons forged by the Dwarven master smith Durgeddin.  Perhaps it’s time this hold needs to be cleared by an adventurous lot of heroes?  


This is an adventure for 3rd level characters, and will take them to 5th level upon its completion.  This adventure is a long dungeon crawl, and is going to take multiple sessions to get through.  With that in mind, take your time and enjoy the adventure.  This adventure focuses on exploring the environment and confronting challenges.  Take these as they come along.  This adventure also gives a new DM the opportunity to tinker with rules they haven’t encountered before, and play with some of the optional ideas (like wilderness encounters) in the DMG.  

Adventure Breakdown

The Forge of Fury is broken up into five key areas, one of which is the starting location of Blasingdell.  I’m going to briefly go over each location and how they fit into the greater story narrative.


Blasingdell is the home base for the adventurers in this chapter of the book.  It’s a safe place to rest and rearm between forays into the Mountain.,The primary issue is that Blasingdell is a fair distance from the mountain itself, and the adventurers have a bit of a trek to get from the town to the Mountain.  Blasingdell, like Oakhurst in the previous chapter is a small town that can do a lot of work for a low level party of adventurers, but eventually, the party is going to need resources that you can’t find in Blasingdell, if you’re considering it for a home base for a larger campaign..  One of the adventure hooks offered by the book revolves around the Orcs in the region, and characters can make a decent living for a while hunting down Orcs.  The adventurers have an overland journey to make to get to the mountain itself, and there are a variety of ways in and out of the dungeon, so look around, and see what you can find. I would caution against entrances that seem extremely hard for the characters, because they may end up costing a lot of resources and lives.  

The Mountain Door

The Mountain Door is one of the original entrances to the Dwarven hold of Khundrukar, and at its height was guarded by Dwarves and routinely maintained.  Time has not been kind to this area since the hold was sacked by Orcs, and though the defenses are not as impregnable as they were under Dwarven management, this area is still dangerous.  A tribe of Orcs makes this region their home, and adventurers seeking a bounty can certainly get their fill clearing this area out.  Once this area has been cleared of hostiles, the adventurers can push deeper into the Mountain.  

The Glitterhame

The Glitterhame is the largest level of the Mountain and is a series of natural caverns connected by water and home to a variety of interesting (and mostly hostile) lifeforms. This area is massive in scale, and these are probably the largest encounter areas a low level party has experienced to date.  Big rooms in the dark have a marked tendency to have things hiding in them, and most sources of light/vision don’t cover an entire room.  This area has its own tribe of hostile humanoids and they are a perfect fit for the environment.   

Note: The next two areas are not sequential, and can be explored in either order.

The Sinkhole

The Glitterhame’s natural caverns give way to water, and the water has eroded a portion of the mountain out.  The Dwarves used these area as a store room for the majority of its functional life, but the structure’s been damaged and part of the area is partially submerged.  This area is less infested with monsters (though there’s a doozy of a troublemaker hiding in the area) and more with hazards and crises.  

The Foundry

The water that flows across the dungeon leads into the Foundry level.  This is a rich dungeon environment filled with things to explore and interact with.  This level, surprisingly enough, is inhabited.  The new residents are not friendly towards interlopers and are very intelligent in how they respond to intrusion.  This is a big level, and you should take your time exploring it.  

The Black Lake

The final portion of this adventure takes place in the underground caverns that collect all of the water that’s been encountered previously.  The natural caverns have created a deep underground lake.  Within the lake is one of the most troubling encounters a party of low level adventurers can encounter.  If they can overcome the challenges, the rewards are certainly worth the time and energy.  


This is a middle ground dungeon that works because it’s inhabited on multiple levels which means it can’t go full death trap.  The inhabitants have to be able to move back and forth through their areas which means that there are traps in this area, but they’re thing that are likely to be found in reasonably isolated areas or in specific, intentional areas.  This is not a dungeon full of traps that are there just because.  This adventure does require some leaps of intuition, and there are some monsters in this dungeon that will require serious thinking to manage.  


This adventure doesn’t have a lot of pacing clues, and characters who rush headlong from area to area are likely going to be killed out of hand.  Some of the encounter areas are significantly harder than areas around them.  This can be an interesting learning opportunity for new players to keep their heads on straight and pay attention to what’s going on around them.  New Players can also get easily frustrated by the lack of situational clues as to what’s going on where, and can stumble into trouble very easily.  

Thoughts and Conclusions

I like this version of the Forge of Fury.  Unlike it’s predecessor, The Sunless Citadel, i didn’t actually get the opportunity to play though this adventure in 3rd edition.  I’ve since picked up a copy, and i like this modernization.  It’s a fun adventure, and it pairs very well as the follow up to Chapter 1, (It should, they were written with each other in mind).    

This is an excellent re-imaging of a 3rd edition adventure (and i sincerely hope that should Wizards do a follow up to Tales from the Yawning Portal, they include a few more portions of the campaign that starts with The Sunless Citadel and The Forge of Fury.  Next week we’ll take a look at an older adventure, The Hidden Shrine of Tamoachan Grab your Copy of Tales from the Yawning Portal, and your friends.  There’s a pile of dungeons to explore.

Game On, Game Fans

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