It is the second work in a series of eight linked modules unofficially referred to as the Sunless Citadel adventure path. It consists of The Sunless Citadel (2000), The Forge of Fury (2000), The Speaker in Dreams (2001), The Standing Stone (2001), Heart of Nightfang Spire (2001), Deep Horizon (2001), Lord of the Iron Fortress (2002), and Bastion of Broken Souls (2002).
- Spoiler alert: The following article contains spoilers for a Dungeons & Dragons product.
Around a hundred years ago, a powerful tribe of orcs interrogated a captured dwarf of Durgeddin's clan, and discovered the location of their stronghold. After a lengthy siege, the orcs overwhelmed the mountain settlement and wiped out the tribe. Today, its ruins are inhabited by orcs and other more terrible creatures.
The player characters explore the forgotten stronghold of Khundrukar in the hopes of finding the rumoured ancient blades of Durgeddin.
Development and release
A preview appeared in Dragon #277 (Nov 2000), p.28, originally under the name "Forge of Fury" (no "The") and depicting a pre-release version of the book's cover using a slightly different version of the Dungeons & Dragons logo. It listed the book under the product code TSR11644, although Wizards of the Coast's website would list the item code 865750000. The finished version of the book changed the title to "The Forge of Fury" and moved the title name to the side to avoid obscuring the excellent art of the black dragon Nightscale.
It was released as a 32-page paperback in November 2000, for the price of US$9.95 or $15.99 Canadian. On January 22, 2013, it was given a digital re-release at DriveThruRPG, and in November 2020 was rated a platinum best seller at the site.
Reception and influence
Influence on other works
The Speaker in Dreams was the third in a series of eight adventure modules: The Sunless Citadel (2000), The Forge of Fury (2000), The Speaker in Dreams (2001), The Standing Stone (2001), Heart of Nightfang Spire (2001), Deep Horizon (2001), Lord of the Iron Fortress (2002), and Bastion of Broken Souls (2002). The concept of a series of linked adventure modules taking a character from level 1 to 20 would be come to be known as an "adventure path", a term first used by James Wyatt to describe this series in an interview in Dragon #281 (Mar 2001). Dungeon Magazine went on to publish its own adventure paths beginning in Dungeon #97 (Mar/Apr 2003). Following Dungeon's closure in 2007, adventure paths formed a core feature of Paizo Publishing's Pathfinder product line, which at one point surpassed Dungeons & Dragons in sales.
In 2008, RPG blog The Alexandrian posited that this adventure module had a negative effect on D&D 3rd edition. According to this hypothesis, the inclusion of the unusually deadly challenge rating 10 roper in a low-level module led to complaints from many players, who expected all encounters to be level-appropriate. While the Dungeon Master's Guide (3.0) (2000) recommended a range of encounter difficulties, Wizards of the Coast complied with player expectations in future adventure modules, standardizing the D&D experience around longer, riskier and more resource-intensive combat encounters, which in turn encouraged the 15-minute adventuring day problem.
Durgeddin the Black from this adventure module was named in Draconomicon (3e) (2003), p.286 as the creator of two fine mithral helms of exceptional value.
The Forge of Fury was one of the dungeons mentioned in the Dungeon Survival Guide (2007).
In The 30 Greatest D&D Adventures of All Time, Dungeon #116 (Nov 2004), p.76, The Forge of Fury was rated as #12. Christopher Perkins noted its use of intelligent opponents who use their lairs creatively, and that the module required teamwork. It was the second highest rated D&D third edition adventure after Return to the Temple of Elemental Evil (2001), and the only adventure module in the Sunless Citadel series to be honored in this list. This article also retraoctively defined the series as an "adventure path", a term which was not coined until after its release.
Kevin Kulp described it as a fun, solid old-school adventure, heavy on combat. He suspected that it was also highly lethal, particularly for the roper encounter, which reflects an old-school sense that not every encounter will be fair.
|Sunless Citadel series|
|The Sunless Citadel • The Forge of Fury • The Speaker in Dreams • The Standing Stone • Heart of Nightfang Spire • Deep Horizon • Lord of the Iron Fortress • Bastion of Broken Souls|
|Dungeons & Dragons 3.0|
|Player's Handbook • Dungeon Master's Guide • Monster Manual • Dungeons & Dragons Adventure Game|
|Arms and Equipment Guide • Book of Challenges • Book of Vile Darkness • Defenders of the Faith • Deities and Demigods • Enemies and Allies • Epic Level Handbook • Fiend Folio • Ghostwalk • Hero Builder's Guidebook • Living Greyhawk Gazetteer (Dungeons & Dragons Gazetteer) • Manual of the Planes • Masters of the Wild • Monster Manual II • Oriental Adventures • Psionics Handbook • Savage Species • Song and Silence • Stronghold Builder's Guidebook • Sword and Fist • Tome and Blood|
|The Sunless Citadel • The Forge of Fury • The Fright at Tristor • The Speaker in Dreams • The Standing Stone • Return to the Temple of Elemental Evil • Heart of Nightfang Spire • Deep Horizon • Lord of the Iron Fortress • Bastion of Broken Souls • City of the Spider Queen|