Thursday, June 4, 2009

Gendar the Drow

Gendar is the Seven-Pillared Hall's resident information broker. He's a dark elf, but, as is the fashion among drow these days, he's abandoned the Lolth-worshipping ways of his people in order to live a solitary existence as an exile.

Characters who took the "Trade Mission" fetch quest prior to coming to Thunderspire will find that Gendar is their quest destination; he'll take their delivery off their hands and introduce himself as a dealer in "old treasures from the Labyrinth". It's unclear whether that's code for "magic items", but it probably is, as there isn't otherwise an item-seller in the Hall.

Gendar's also got a side-quest for the PCs. It's entitled "Treasure Seeker", and it has Gendar tasking players to "recover" an ancient skull scepter from a Duergar in the Horned Hold. It's one of Thunderspire's better side-quests, because (a) it occurs somewhere that the players were going anyway, and (b) "skull scepters" are an item thematically linked to Orcus, which again ties players to what will eventually be the overaching plot of the module series.

I'm actually more than a little frustrated that my players missed Gendar entirely, and never picked up this quest.

The Forgotten Realms conversion for Thunderspire in Dungeon #156 fleshes out Gendar some more and gives him a handful of extra treasure-seeking sidequests. To be honest, Thunderspire didn't need more quest hooks - it's already got way more than the players can meaningfully interact with, given the pacing and XP budget - and these ones are particularly unhelpful, as they send the players to places that aren't detailed in either the module proper or the supplementary Dungeon Magazine material.

Finally, Gendar sells information. In return for big wads of money, or as payment for quests completed, Gendar will hand out information about the Labyrinth and its denizens. Exactly what information he might give out isn't detailed, but you can imagine it might include the back route through the Horned Hold, the location of the Court of Bone, the solution to the Proving Grounds, and maybe even Paldemar's surprising secret master.

Players who decide not to fight at the Trading Post, or who forget to leave some Duergar alive for interrogation, can pay Gendar in order to get set back on track towards the Horned Hold. Sacrificing money in order to not have to fight is the closest Thunderspire gets to a non-combat problem resolution, so anyone who goes this route should take a bit of time to bask in it before moving on into the next round of Duergar-killing.


nowiwantmydmg said...

His name is Gendar? Really? Wow, my group would have had some fun with that. I really wish they would use more serious sounding names for NPCs though stuff like that and "Random" as one of the sample names in the PHB are ludicrous.

Oscar said...

Not just a drow, but a drow rogue with an eyepatch. My entire party wondered if he was wearing a broad rimmed hat with a giant feather in it with a mercenary company tucked away in the storeroom.

And paying Gendar for info on the Horned Hold isn't really necessary, when the players accept the sidequest to recover the scepter. One Diplomacy check away from being in Gendar's best interest to tell the PCs where those pesky duegar like to hole up.

My party is having a lot of fun roleplaying with Gendar. They sold their platinum Bahamut figurines to him from KotS, which he promised not to melt down for raw materials. Then he couldn't find a place on his shelves for a Bahamut display that worked with all his demon god relics and decided to melt them down for platinum anyways. In my campaign he stocks anything the players may need as far as capes, belts, boots, gloves, and misc. magic items go, or at least can get it by next session.

By The Sword said...

I just found your blog a few days ago and I am finally caught up. I left a few comments in some of the earlier entries, I know you don't read them, but I couldn't resist.

So anyway, great blog. I hope to be running a 4e game sometime and I will probably use some of the published adventures, although heavily modified. I appreciate you taking the time to review them.

Greg Tannahill said...

Thanks all.

ByTheSword - I look back over previous posts occasionally but I don't promise to spot your comments on any sort of timely basis. I'll look forward to them as a surprise though when I next review the archives!

By The Sword said...


I meant; Thank you for reviewing the 4e modules, not my comments.

Unknown said...

30 years of gaming and I'm now confronted with a party that's tempted to do over the Magic Item Shop. :-P

But this is the second introductory module for the 'whole new game' of D&D 4e! So while aged hacks like me and my group can be left to cope with our own dysfunctionalities, surely newbie GMs should be given some hint on how to handle this.

On the one hand, not publishing stats or 'adventurous' details of Gendar and his premises avoids making it easy for a group to try and tangle with him. On the other hand, if they do want to do it, what's to stop them?

Someone out there has said Gendar is a 12th level Rogue. This is a reasonable starting point, but if anyone has any other ideas...

(One of my players said "No doubt he doesn't keep all the loot in his house, but goes to fetch it from wherever it's safely stashed on request. That's another good starting point...)