The Speaker in Dreams
This primer is intended to be a guide to The Speaker of Dreams, a D&D 3.5 adventure adapted for 5th edition. In it, you'll find details that will give you more information about the adventure, including details that will help you to better develop your character, their backstory, and prepare accordingly for the adventure ahead.
Though this primer was written as a resource to help prepare you for this adventure, it is by no means comprehensive. If you find that you have any questions about the material written here, please drop me a line and I'll be happy to provide you with further information.
Brindinford is a large town and a trade center on a major river, and its food comes from small farming villages scattered in the nearby countryside; no fields are in the immediate vicinity. Forestation has been cleared out in a radius of about a mile outside the town on the east side of the river, but much of the west bank is still heavily wooded.
What your character knows about Brindinford will depend entirely upon your character background. Veteran adventurers may have passed through the town many times before, while new heroes might have never heard of the town until they stumbled into it at the start of this adventure.
In every way, Brindinford appears to be your average provincial town -- save for when it hosts its annual street fair.
Brindinford is famous for its annual street fair. The fair originated when a large clan of nomadic halflings made the town a regular stop in their travels. Now, halflings are settled around the town, but the fair offers a healthy dose of halfling culture, including storytelling, music, plays, games, and general merrymaking.
This event draws many people to Brindinford: merchants and vendors looking to make a fast buck; residents of nearby villages and towns; pickpockets hoping to loosen a few pursestrings; charlatans and con artists looking for easy targets; and adventurers looking for some much needed rest and relaxation.
A Quick Note
Use your discretion to determine how much, or how little your character knows about the Brindinford and its annual street fair. If your character has some reason to know more about Brindinford than what's written here, please email me and we can discuss what else your character might know about the town based on their backstory.
All characters will begin play at level 3. I will be permitting most races and classes (including those listed in Unearthed Arcana). If you're not sure if your desired race or class falls under this list, please reach out and I'll be happy to let you know. Please note: homebrew is not allowed.
All characters start with standard starting equipment, 200 gold, and one uncommon magic item (subject to approval).
All good and neutral alignments are allowed for this game; no evil characters, please!
There are a number of different reasons why your characters might be in Brindinford. Feel free to use the hooks listed below, or come up with one of your own:
- Brindinford is famous for its annual street fair. While this draws its fair share of halflings, characters of any race might be drawn to Brindinford for the revelry.
- Your character is originally from Brindinford and has friends or relatives there. You could be returning home to rest, bringing companions along, ro coming for the funeral of a relative. Perhaps a young sibling has gotten involved with shady characters and needs help.
- A mentor of one of the characters lives in Brindinford, but has not been heard from in an unusually long time.
- Your character is passing through the area and stopped in Brindinford to resupply and spend the night; they were unaware of the street fair until they arrived.
- Your character is a performer, merchant, con artist, or thief hoping to profit from the fair or its many attendees.
Once you've decided on a hook, let the rest of the players know; we don't want several people all using the same character hook!
A Quick Note
It will be up to you and the rest of the players to decide whether or not you are already an established party. I urge you to talk amongst yourselves for your individual or group reasoning for being in Brindinford.
Who is your character, exactly? I have a few sample questions below that may help you to further flesh out your character before play.
- What propelled your character into the deadly career of an adventurer?
- How did they acquire the skills they have now?
- What does your character hate? What do they love?
- What does your character fear?
- What is your character's family situation?
Please feel free to send your answers to me. If there are any other important character details you think I should know, please let me know.
Or should I say "Rule"? There's only one House Rule to speak of:
Assist attempts must be declared in advance.
You can't decide to aid a character after their player has rolled. If you believe you might need help passing a particular skill check, please ask for help before rolling. Please note that in some cases, the assisting character will need a relevant skill in order to aid you with a particular check. If one character is tracking, for instance, I will allow someone with the Nature skill to assist. However, I wouldn't allow someone without Lockpicking to assist in opening a locked chest.
One last note
This is my first game, and chances are, I'm going to mess up many, many times. I appreciate your patience as I get into the jive of DMing. Likewise, I welcome your open and candid feedback after each session. I want to know what you liked, what you didn't like, what you'd like to see more of, and what you'd like to see less of.
Your feedback not only helps me to become a better DM, but also allows me to tailer the adventure to the tastes and desires of the players.
If there's anything you have questions about that wasn't covered here, or anything in this primer that you require clarification on, please drop me a line and I'll be happy to assist.
I look forward to DMing for all of you!
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