D&D Campaigns Revisited #10 – GAZ10: The Orcs of Thar

Gazetteer 10 – The Orcs of Thar

This is the ninth in the series of adventures around the Known World of Mystara where I am converting the setting to 5th Edition as we play based on the choices of the players. As a comical break from the main campaign story line, the players are taking on the role of the bad guys. It ran from the 18th of April 2018 to the 13th of June 2018 over four sessions.

Goblins have been treated as second class citizens in these neck of the woods, and the focus on this part of the story is how the various humanoids (Orcs, Goblins, Hobgoblins, Bugbears, Trolls, Gnolls and Kobolds) are banding together to fight the Human nation to the south (Darokin) the horselords to the east (Ethengar) and the wizards to the north (Glantri). Also there were the threats of the Shadow Elves, these guys are the Drow of the original D&D setting, but they were not Evil, just Lawful. They will be discussed further in GAZ13.

The underground lava floating city uses portals to travel to and from the city, protected by their soldiers and are different from most of the inhabitants of the region as they coexist with other species instead of enslave or murder them. All other nations in the Broken Lands are species specific, partly because races cannot breed with each other. So racial superiority is part of the subtext here.

The players ended the mini-campaign arriving at Darokin City to infiltrate a group of adventures gathering for an unknown purpose as directed by one of the gods of the Broken Lands. They were not invited as part of the campaign story line.

The setup

Six players, each having backgrounds that fitted into the setting or changing the setting slightly to allow for the backgrounds to work. They are all monstrous races having a break from the seriousness of the other campaigns and allowed in this story only to play evil characters.

The Broken Lands of Thar in the Known World

Starting Location

Started in the Broken lands in a city floating on a great lake of magma under the Broken Lands. All races mingle here and are forced to cooperate.

Broken Lands – The Surface World

Monstrous Races

  • Orc – There are Orc’s of different nationalities, beliefs and abilities.
  • Goblin – The Goblins shown here were only demonstrated as the lesser of the known races, under the heal of the other races. Though great cunning was shown, which lead to surviveability.
  • Bugbear – These were the muscle of the region, not the heavy thinkers, but do have their own culture.
Broken Lands – not the surface world

Notable changes to the setting:

  • Reminder that no half-breeds exist without magical intervention and those half-breeds cannot have offspring without the same.
  • Portals are a thing – some area’s may or may not be on the same plane of existence, world or even co-located. A portals start and end point distance is not a limited thing.
  • Dragons have an investment in the area, with some dragonborn and keeping humanity out of the region.

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