Add-In #5: The Dwarven Metallurgy

Dwarven Metallurgy: Fine Crafter of Armor, Weaponsmithing, & General.

Sharp swords, and Chainmail that the owner can trust to stand up to the challenge are not things that one wants to buy cheaply, especially when it comes to using these items to defend one’s life! For centuries, Dwarven Steal has maintained the highest standard of hardness, durability, and beauty. With artists such as Belim, Norana, and Bolvi, this proud tradition will continue for hundreds of years to come.

The Metallurgy, as it is called by locals, is a tall triangular building crafted of rock and thick timbers. It at one time was the lodge of the great hero Nero, however upon his death, it was willed to Nero’s closest friend Belim, a Dwarf from the mountains whose abilities with handling and managing humans has made him the perfect spokesman for the race.

Two different signs hang above two separate doors, one marking the Metallurgy, and the other marking the storefront itself, however both doors give access to the showroom.

The Metallurgy: Belim’s employee, Adam Berney mans the Metallurgy counter. Here is where people can sell their scrap metal. Adam normally pays 1 gold piece per pound, however he also buys used armor and weapons. Broken armor and weapons will be purchased per pound. Adam will haggle the price of each piece of reusable weapons and armor, always starting at half the value of what they are worth, but never higher then 75%. If a special piece is commissioned from specific items (for example: gemstones, or gold metal) then Adam will take the items here and store them until the metal workers are ready to begin construction.

The Storefront: Belim’s can make up to Plate Armor, but he also sells used items. New items are hand made, Belim’s wife Norana will measure the buyer to insure a perfect fit, half of the amount is due before construction, and the rest is due when it can be picked up. Armor takes the standard amount of time to complete as listed in the PHB. Weapons are constructed daily, Belim makes shields, swords, axes, spear heads, arrow tips, as well as small things such as knives, jewelry, goblets, or practically anything that a buyer wishes to contract him to make. Belim does not make pole-arms as there isn’t a big market for these items, however he can if specifically requested to. Weapons are also constructed per the directions in the Players Handbook. Small tools such as nails, shovels, horseshoes, and such are offered outside, in the back of the building, as well as sharpening and shoe fitting and basic repair work.


The Metallurgy contains a front yard which purchasers may test their wares before purchasing, as well as providing a place for demonstrations. During summer festivals many contests are held in the yard, contests of skill and strength being the most popular, the winner earns himself a special weapon which was crafted especially for this purpose. There is an entry fee involved to compete, which makes the Metallurgy some extra income. In the backyard is a fenced area for mounts to be measured, and shoed, as well as a small shop for locals who have no desire to enter the store itself.

1. Storefront (12’x14’)

Wooden weapon stands hold swords, spears, axes, and other weapons crafted of metal, a small area is designated as used weapons, these items are slightly cheaper but still of good quality. All items of shabby craftsmanship is melted down. Shields line the walls, most hanging above the weapon racks. Shields are made of either wood or metal, the wooden shields are always recycled, but sometimes they are reinforced with steel. They come in many sizes and styles. Different types and styles of armor is also displayed, these models are not for sale, as all armor is constructed individually, and only of the metal variety. If leather is requested Belim has a contract with a local leather worker who supplies him with scabbards and other small items he needs, he will send customers to them, Belim will, however, gladly stud a leather armor and have it back to the customer usually by the next day. The storefront is manned by either Belim (01-45), his wife Norana (46-90), or (in a pinch) Nynwin (91-00). The storefront attendants job is to guide the buyer to find exactly what they want, and what they can afford, he also watches out for thieves. Besides arms, other equipment is sold here as well, fine jewelry, beautiful goblets, fine tableware, and other objects of art which the DM can think of.

2. Metallurgy (4’x8’)

A sign directs all sellers to enter through this door. It contains only a counter manned by Belim’s human friend Adam. He will inspect all items, he will buy all metals, gems and precious stones, plus any wooden items as long as they are still in good shape. If an item is too large to get through the door, he will go outside with the seller and inspect it there.

3. Sales Counter (4’x8’)

A sign directs all buyers to this room, it contains a small counter and manned by Belim’s friend Finkin the gnome. He takes care of all of the money coming in. He also functions as the stores accountant.

4. Treasury (6’x8’)

This room is filled with chests and contain all money earned, as well as personal items from more adventurous days of Belim and his party. DM’s can put whatever they want in this room, however security is very tight, the locks are all of expert quality and the dwarves don’t think very highly of being robbed and will spare no expense to get this money back. A wooden staircase goes up to the second floor.

5. Armor Room (6’x9’)

Completed armor is kept in this room, it is also protected with expert quality locks.

6. Weapons Room (6’x5’ respectfully)

Completed weapons which were specially ordered are kept here, as well as any overflow since Belim likes to keep the storeroom as full as possible. This door is protected with an expert quality lock.

7. Metal Room (6’x8’)

Metal is kept here, most will be melted down, if it is exceptional quality it will be resold. The metalworker is a slob, this room is cluttered with materials waiting to be smelted, as well as raw metals ready to be crafted into usable items.

8. Smelting Room (5’x6’)

Bolvi the dwarf works in this room. A large hot smelting oven dominates the area, as well as a small area for blacksmithing small metal items such as nails and horseshoes. A double door is normally kept open to give some air into the room, this leads to a yard where horses can be fitted for new shoes, as well as a small goods counter were locals can buy nails and such without having to go into the store itself.

9. Material Room (11’x9’)

Raw materials are kept here, as well as supplies and items that can‘t be constructed by the dwarves themselves. Large armor is constructed here, two large doors provide access to measuring mounts for armor. Exceptional metals are always kept in this area, versus the metal room.

10. Armor & Weapons Crafting Room (11’x21’)

A convenient smelting oven sits against the north wall, and two forges are on either side, as well as two tanks. Belim and Norana share this workspace to construct there wares.

11. Hall

This hall is narrow and can be lit by gas lamps hung from the ceiling, however it rarely is.

12. Kitchen & Dining Room (4’x12’)

Nynwin normally spends all of her time here, preparing meals. All meals are served in this area, except lunch which Nynwin brings to each worker. A wood burning stove sits against the wall, as well as several counters and cupboards which hold dishes and dry goods. Nynwin goes to the market daily to buy fresh produce, she is paid for this job.

13. Privy (4’x2’)

Small room with a drop stool. It is kept dark at all times.

14. Bedroom #1 (12’x6’)

Belim, Norana, and Bolvi share this room equally. Their beds are all lined up against the west wall. Personal items and clothing are all kept in separate wardrobes.

14. Bedroom #2 (12’x6’)

Finkin, Nynwin, and Adam Berney share this room. Two tiny beds are on the south wall, and a large bed is on the east wall. Each occupant has their own wardrobe. A small desk is next to the door which Finkin uses to do his billing and accounting paperwork. All keys are kept locked up in this desk as well.


Belim Smithy (6th level Mountain Dwarf Fighter): AC 4 (10); HD 6+1; hp 41
SA as mountain dwarf; SD as mountain dwarf; MR as mountain dwarf; #AT 3/2;
THAC0 15; dmg 1d8 battle axe (or by weapon); SX M; INT 11; AL LN

Balim is a moody little man with a long grey beard, he almost always wears his armor, unless he is crafting, then he works bare-chested. He is solidly built with well defined muscles. He prefers dark blue clothing, and can be rather immoral when dealing with customers. He loves money, but his real weakness is jewels. He has been known to take jewels and trim them a bit before embedding them into weapons, or giving them to his wife to decorate armor, most of the time the client is so impressed with his handiwork that they forget all about the missing pieces, which he keeps. There is always a chance of him minding the storefront. He will attempt to sell items which are expensive, if not push for custom-made items whenever he can. Balim also knows everything that is going on in the town or wherever the DM wishes to place his shop. If there is adventure to be found, chances are Balim knows where to go . . . For a price of course.

Norana Smithy (0th level Mountain Dwarf): AC 4 (10); HD 1+1; hp 7
#AT 1; THAC0 19; dmg 1d8 battle axe (or by weapon); SX F; INT 12; AL LN

Norana is just as moody as her husband, most of the time the two can be found squabbling while they work in back. She has a well trimmed black beard which she keeps in dwarven locks (much like dreadlocks), her hair she ties back into tails. She prefers dark reds in her dress, and detests human-life. She has no taste for the local foods, and always goes out of her way to help her race out. There is always a chance that she will be minding the storefront. She will try and push the used goods, because she doesn’t like them there and detests it when Balim keeps buying more. She doesn’t hate humans, but she does distrust them. Most folks assume that she is a male, and she won’t correct them on this because she feels that humans are all sexist pigs. It is her job to construct armor, which she is well known and famous for. Her trademark is a small dragon head which discretely decorates either the left or right breast.

Bolvi (4th level Mountain Dwarf Fighter): AC 4 (10); HD 4+1; hp 30;
SA STR of 18; #AT 3/2; THACO 17; dmg 1d4+1 war hammer (or by weapon)

Bolvi is young compaired to his companions, and the least suited for being there, he lives like a pig and is very sloppy in his work, however he is loyal and always makes the best of any situation. While he is very dumb, he will do exactly as he is told. He is often sent out and hired as a henchman for a few weeks at a time, as Norana doesn’t like him and is always threatening to kick him out, on any given day he can be fired by her at least 10 times, but he does know enough not to hang up his apron and go wandering the streets, well, not anymore but he used to. Belim will hire him out to adventurers for 5sp a month, of course Belim keeps his wages for him. Bolvi may be a dwarf, but he is a hulk of one! Normally he wears no shirt, as he spends his days tending the hot smelting oven, he is an excellent blacksmith, but not a very good craftsman. He can make simple tools and small items, which he enjoys greatly. Bolvi is a very sociable man who will talk friendly with anyone and laugh at everything that he doesn’t understand, which is most of the stuff that other people are talking about. If hired he will do every task given to him to the best of his ability.

Adam Berney (5th level human warrior): AC 4 (10); HD 5; hp 35
#AT 3/2; THAC0 16; dmg 2d4 broadsword; SX M; INT 12; AL LN

Adam Berney is a tall stout man whose taste of dress is always on the darker shades of black. He wears a mustache that he waxes to make handsome handlbars. He works two functions at the shop, first he operates the metallurgy, he’s got a keen eye for such things. Secondly, it is he that goes out and gets payment from customers who are late . . . Be this break their legs or just threaten to means little to him. He also handles theft, if you steal from the shop, expect a knock on the door from this man! He is loyal to Belim, and has adventured with him in the past.

Finkin (3rd level rock gnome, thief): AC 6; HD 3; hp 18
SD per gnome; MR +5 to saving throws against magic; #AT 1;
THAC0 19; dmg 1d4 dirk; SX M; INT 13; AL NG

Finkin is a small, fat little rock gnome. His occupation is a thief, however he never steals. His craft is sharpened more towards the lock department, which he tinkers at while he mans the sales counter. It takes him quit a while to construct his locks, which are of expert quality and cost 200gp, but impose a -80% penalty on all picking attempts. Finkin also manages all of the monies and earnings, as well as keeping the treasure room organized. He knows were all items are, and if anything needs to be ordered, he’ll handle this as well. Finkin is very opinionated about anything and everything, but at the same time, he is also practical which helps Belim put up with him.

Nynwin (0th level rock gnome): AC 6; HD 0; hp 5
SD per gnome; #AT 1; THAC0 19; dmg 1d3 or by weapon;

Nynwin is Finkin’s wife, most of her time is spent in the kitchen or cleaning the place up. She doesn’t mind doing this, however she is outwardly a sever pessimist. Everything is terrible, or carries some curse with it. She knows millions of old wives tales (and even invented a few). Most of the time, customers won’t ever see her, except if they encounter her at the market or about town, however there is a chance that she’ll be minding the storefront. She has no idea about such things, and will ask lots of questions but be of little actual help unless you already know what you are looking for. She’ll also try to spend this time passively visiting, asking questions that become tiresome quickly, or pointing out all social misgivings that the adventures may be performing at any time.


Scenario #1. An adventure buys a used sword and finds a secret treasure map hidden in the hilt. Once Belime finds out, he may demand his cut.

Scenario #2. Bolvi has accidentally been hired out to an evil party who is using him for no good, Belime may hire the adventurers to return him unharmed, in exchange for an enchanted sword.

Scenario #3. Bolvi had melted down a cursed weapon, and the metal went into 6 or 7 different swords, that are now cursed as well. Adventurers discover a murder weapon (which has killed it’s own owner) and track it back to Belime’s forge. Horrified by what has happened, he requires help collecting the rest of the cursed weapons before they kill those whom purchased them as well. Anyone who holds them may be attacked as they have a 25% chance of animating and attacking all people around them 4 times per day. They must also discover who sold the cursed item to them, for he is the one behind this evil.

Armor and weapons are essential in almost any fantasy game, and The Dwarven Metallurgy gives characters a chance to buy good quality merchandise that they can count on. (Naturally, it will take a good deal of time and money, but this prevents adventurers from misusing the establishment.)

Since armor is custom-made, the DM can allow characters to ask for virtually any reasonable gimmick they like (lighter-weight plate, hooks for special throwing knives, etc.) The key word, of course, is reasonable. Light-weight plate will allow a wearer more freedom of movement, but the protection would be less. However, if the DM wishes, Belime could create special alloys that will give both lighter weight and greater protection, depending on your own campaign.


Unknown said...

Thanks ! Great article, i'll be using it in my 4e campaign for my son (which now bugs me all the time to play !)

Scenario #3 is ninja'd. The goal is something they can't use ! perfect!

Noumenon said...

Scenario 3 grabbed me as well, it's a great setup for a quest.

Post a Comment


Contact me at

Search This Blog

Blog Archive