Hammerfast: A Dwarven Outpost Adventure Site

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Hammerfast: A Dwarven Outpost Adventure Site

Postby Big Mac » Sun Sep 25, 2016 10:32 am

I've been making a list of dwarven sourcebooks and Tim Baker mentioned Hammerfast: A Dwarven Outpost Adventure Site.

I don't see a topic for this book on The Piazza yet. (There isn't even a page in The Book-House on The Piazza yet. I'll have to fix that later. EDIT: I've just added a Hammerfast: A Dwarven Outpost Adventure Site page to the Book-House on The Piazza and added three reviews to it.) I see this description on the Amazon page for Hammerfast: A Dwarven Outpost Adventure Site:
Hammerfast: A Dwarven Outpost Adventure Site (4th Edition D&D) Paperback – March 16, 2010
by Mike Mearls
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A ready-to-use adventure location for any D&D® campaign...

Need an exciting adventure location for your heroes to explore? Look no further.

Hammerfast presents a fully detailed, ready-to-use dwarven town, complete with secret locations, maps, adventure hooks, monster and NPC statistics, ready-to-play encounters, and a full-color, double-sided battle map. The book is perfect for Dungeon Masters looking for an intrigue-laden adventure location that fits instantly and easily into their existing D&D campaigns.

The dwarven outpost of Hammerfast is described in the Dungeon Master’s Guide® core rulebook and gets mentioned often in D&D published adventures. However, this is the first time the town has been fully detailed. In addition to an adventure location, Hammerfast can serve as the base of operations for characters exploring Nentir Vale.


Does anyone have this book? How much detail does it give on Hammerfast? How much extra information does it give over and above the DMG? (Is there anything in the DMG that isn't mentioned in this book?) Is there a lot of information about how Hammerfast fits into the Nentir Vale setting? Does it provide a lot of information that makes it good as a generic dwarven book for 4th Edition?

Is there anything different about the dwarves of Hammerfast and dwarves in other D&D products?

How easy would it be to raid from this book and to use Hammerfast to help provide inspiration for other dwarven settlements (both inside and outside the Nentir Vale setting)?

How many other Nentir Vale/4e products have links to Hammerfast?
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Re: Hammerfast: A Dwarven Outpost Adventure Site

Postby Havard » Sun Sep 25, 2016 12:00 pm

I always wondered if this location was inspired by the Norwegian town of Hammerfest? :P

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Re: Hammerfast: A Dwarven Outpost Adventure Site

Postby Zeromaru X » Sun Sep 25, 2016 12:17 pm

Big Mac wrote:Does anyone have this book? How much detail does it give on Hammerfast? How much extra information does it give over and above the DMG? (Is there anything in the DMG that isn't mentioned in this book?) Is there a lot of information about how Hammerfast fits into the Nentir Vale setting? Does it provide a lot of information that makes it good as a generic dwarven book for 4th Edition?

How easy would it be to raid from this book and to use Hammerfast to help provide inspiration for other dwarven settlements (both inside and outside the Nentir Vale setting)?


I have the book, and is really good. Very detailed, with stuff like festive days, local heroes, the history of the town and nearby locations, and some customs of the people living there. The history section fits perfectly with the Nentir Vale story, dating the creation of Hammerfast after the Bloodspear War, althought the Monster Vault: Threats to the Nentir Vale say Hammerfast is older than that (is was created as a fortress to quell dragon attacks when Nerath was creating its first outpost in the Vale).

Is easily raideable, you just only need a mountain range to put the town, some orcs to live alongside the dwarves, and voila, Hammerfast fits your setting, homebrew or official.

The DMG only mentions the town, and gives nothing new. The DM's Book (DMG Essentials version) however, have some details of the town, but not as explained as in this book. It helps to complement this book, though.

Big Mac wrote:Is there anything different about the dwarves of Hammerfast and dwarves in other D&D products?


Mmm... I guess the fact that is not technically a dwarven town. Is a dwarven and orc town. During the Bloodspear War so many orcs died trying to conquer Hammerfast, that Gruumsh made Hammerfast a holy site of his faith. When the dwarves returned to Hammerfast to reconstruct the town, some orcs shamans reclaimed part of the town for their rites and religious practices. The dwarves, insecure of what to do, asked to Moradin, and he compacted with Gruumsh to share the town with the orcs in exchange that the orcs compromised themselves to protect the town and respect the dwarves. Gruumsh accepted, and Hammerfast was reconstructed and became the most rich and important settlement in the current Nentir Vale.

Big Mac wrote:How many other Nentir Vale/4e products have links to Hammerfast?


IIRC, the later half of the Encounters adventure "March of the Phantom Brigade" happens in Hammerfast. Beyond that, is mentioned in the DMG, DM's Book, the Threats to the Nentir Vale book, in some adventures set in the Nentir Vale, and in the novels, although it was never visited those products.
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Re: Hammerfast: A Dwarven Outpost Adventure Site

Postby Big Mac » Sun Sep 25, 2016 12:57 pm

Havard wrote:I always wondered if this location was inspired by the Norwegian town of Hammerfest? :P


That's an interesting question. I wonder if Mike Mearls would have the time to answer it.

Either way, it might be possible to tweak the names of some of the locations in Hammerfest to give us names for places in Hammerfast.

A lot of the roads I see on Google Maps have "gata" at the end. I assume that means something like "road", "street" or that sort of thing. So we could easily grab "*gata" names to get "Strand Street", "Mellom Street", "Skipper Street", "Sals Street" and so on.

There is a Thom Hotel Sentrum, which could become "Thom Inn".

If only we had someone around who could speak Norwegian, we could actually look at the names of the places in Hammerfest properly and see how they would translate correctly into English. ;)

Perhaps we need a "Raiding Hammerfest names for Hammerfast" topic. :)
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Re: Hammerfast: A Dwarven Outpost Adventure Site

Postby Big Mac » Sun Sep 25, 2016 2:06 pm

Zeromaru X wrote:
Big Mac wrote:Does anyone have this book? How much detail does it give on Hammerfast? How much extra information does it give over and above the DMG? (Is there anything in the DMG that isn't mentioned in this book?) Is there a lot of information about how Hammerfast fits into the Nentir Vale setting? Does it provide a lot of information that makes it good as a generic dwarven book for 4th Edition?

How easy would it be to raid from this book and to use Hammerfast to help provide inspiration for other dwarven settlements (both inside and outside the Nentir Vale setting)?


I have the book, and is really good. Very detailed, with stuff like festive days, local heroes, the history of the town and nearby locations, and some customs of the people living there. The history section fits perfectly with the Nentir Vale story, dating the creation of Hammerfast after the Bloodspear War, althought the Monster Vault: Threats to the Nentir Vale say Hammerfast is older than that (is was created as a fortress to quell dragon attacks when Nerath was creating its first outpost in the Vale).


Thanks. I was concerned about the fairly low page count, but it does sound like there is useful content there. :)

I know that Ghostwalk has a background of the city of Manifest being built two or three times (leaving older cities partially buried in Manifest's Underdark). I wonder if the same sort of idea could work for Hammerfast. Perhaps there could have been an earlier town, built on the same site as Hammerfast, to work with the Monster Vault: Threats to the Nentir Vale story without invalidating the Hammerfast: A Dwarven Outpost Adventure Site version of the story. :?

Zeromaru X wrote:Is easily raideable, you just only need a mountain range to put the town, some orcs to live alongside the dwarves, and voila, Hammerfast fits your setting, homebrew or official.

The DMG only mentions the town, and gives nothing new. The DM's Book (DMG Essentials version) however, have some details of the town, but not as explained as in this book. It helps to complement this book, though.


I don't quite understand the Essentials line. (And the Book-House on The Piazza hasn't got Essentials stuff separated yet.) I think I need to start a topic about this, to figure out what books are 4e and what are Essentials (unless there is already a topic for it).

Zeromaru X wrote:
Big Mac wrote:Is there anything different about the dwarves of Hammerfast and dwarves in other D&D products?


Mmm... I guess the fact that is not technically a dwarven town. Is a dwarven and orc town. During the Bloodspear War so many orcs died trying to conquer Hammerfast, that Gruumsh made Hammerfast a holy site of his faith. When the dwarves returned to Hammerfast to reconstruct the town, some orcs shamans reclaimed part of the town for their rites and religious practices. The dwarves, insecure of what to do, asked to Moradin, and he compacted with Gruumsh to share the town with the orcs in exchange that the orcs compromised themselves to protect the town and respect the dwarves. Gruumsh accepted, and Hammerfast was reconstructed and became the most rich and important settlement in the current Nentir Vale.


Nice. That's definitely a unique selling point! :cool:

Zeromaru X wrote:
Big Mac wrote:How many other Nentir Vale/4e products have links to Hammerfast?


IIRC, the later half of the Encounters adventure "March of the Phantom Brigade" happens in Hammerfast. Beyond that, is mentioned in the DMG, DM's Book, the Threats to the Nentir Vale book, in some adventures set in the Nentir Vale, and in the novels, although it was never visited those products.


So plenty of namechecks, but not actual content. Thanks.

I guess I'll go looking to see if anyone has any Hammerfast fanon, to boost what is in the book.
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Re: Hammerfast: A Dwarven Outpost Adventure Site

Postby Zeromaru X » Sun Sep 25, 2016 2:37 pm

Big Mac wrote:I know that Ghostwalk has a background of the city of Manifest being built two or three times (leaving older cities partially buried in Manifest's Underdark). I wonder if the same sort of idea could work for Hammerfast. Perhaps there could have been an earlier town, built on the same site as Hammerfast, to work with the Monster Vault: Threats to the Nentir Vale story without invalidating the Hammerfast: A Dwarven Outpost Adventure Site version of the story. :?


Reading the book, the current town of Hammerfast is half-town, half-mausoleum. It seems Hammerfast became a dwarven mausouleum after Nerath settled the Nentir Vale and dragon attacks became less common. There was a military outpost and an order of priests of Moradin still headquartered there, the ones who posed such a defense against the orc horde in the Bloodspear War. In the current Hammerfast, the living live near tombs and that stuff, and in fact some houses are former tombs destroyed during the war and re-purposed for living people. At night ghosts wander the town. Some are friendly, others less so. Orc ghosts often re-enact their failed attempt to conquer the town. One of the clausules of the compact with Gruumsh compel the orcs to respect the dead, and don't harm the ghosts or plunder the remaining tombs.
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Re: Hammerfast: A Dwarven Outpost Adventure Site

Postby Tim Baker » Sun Sep 25, 2016 11:44 pm

Big Mac wrote:
Zeromaru X wrote:The DM's Book (DMG Essentials version) however, have some details of the town, but not as explained as in this book. It helps to complement this book, though.


I don't quite understand the Essentials line. (And the Book-House on The Piazza hasn't got Essentials stuff separated yet.) I think I need to start a topic about this, to figure out what books are 4e and what are Essentials (unless there is already a topic for it).

In case anyone else is interested, Big Mac created a thread to discuss this very topic.
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