Hammerfast, Hammerfall, Hammercrest, Hammertime...

Sarah Darkmagic - Posted on 02 April 2010

One of my rewards for DMing some games at PAX East was a copy of the Hammerfast rules supplement. Since it was on my list of things to buy, this was a real win for me. Now that I have some time to relax and am feeling a lot better after my battle with PAX Plague, I've been flipping through it and, I have to admit, I really like it. There is a lot of detail with all sorts of buildings and shops, NPCS, and lots of flavor. To be honest, it feels a bit like the old adventures I've been reading, since the pages are in black and white with line drawings and there is a lot more intrigue and connections. And the included map is great, with the entire town laid out on one side. The scale on that side of the map is a bit smaller, so you might want to use something other than minis to mark your parties' progress through town.

Ways to use Hammerfast:

  • As the home base of a new campaign - There is a lot of detailed information packed into this slim volume, everything from history to buildings to holidays to NPCs. You can easily find an adventure hook to get the thing started and make it come alive with some of the background description. Personally, I would be tempted to start an adventure on the Seige Day holiday. There's just something stunning about the spectacle of a horde of orc ghosts running down the street, reenacting their attack.
  • As the basis of a city in a homebrew - Have a homebrew? Why not steal bits and pieces of the city for your world. Many of the villain groups could exist anywhere or maybe you just want the map. I'm probably going to use the city as a whole as the dwarven city in my campaign.
  • As a learning tool - I'll admit, this is the main reason I wanted to get this book. I really like the similar town treatments given in other books, including the Dungeon Master's Guide, but those were still fairly limited in scope. I'm going to be studying this book along with the DMG suggestions for world building to see what I can do better in the future.

Now I just need to sell my players on the wonders of the dwarven city of Hammerfast, I mean Andernach.


I'm trying to figure out how to use Hammerfast in the Scales of War campaign I'll be running before long. Dunno if I'll manage it, but I did like Hammerfast and want to use it somewhere.

This post has a serious lack of dwarven folk in parachute pants dancing to U Can't Touch This.

On a serious note, all the reviews of Hammerfast make me want it more. I'm not even DMing right now, but I do so love reading the fluffy crunch of good source material.

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