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I've been running a new group the past several weeks. We are all 40+ yr old dudes who have just recently come back to D&D after 20 year layoffs.... So my lore/background was that the group all grew up orphans on the 'mean streets' of Neverwinter... eventually taken in by Gundren Rockseeker and his three brothers (Lost Mine of Phandelver).

I'm now trying to give them more backstory and am trying to figure out where the poorest would probably live in Neverwinter but not having luck so far, can anyone give me some good locations?

ALSO - if the good-hearted Rockseeker brothers were in a faction there in Neverwinter, which one would you choose? (The adventure has Gundren setting off with Sildar Hallwinter who is part of the Lord's Alliance, so maybe that's a good one to choose.)

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Depending on how much of a back story you want:

Beggar's Nest was the poor district:

The Beggar's Nest is a district of destitution where most of the poor inhabitants live and work. To the north is a great graveyard, and there has been several records of undead attacks in this district. Under this graveyard there are unexplored tombs and crypts from deceased men. Packed with narrow streets and slum houses, this district is the most exploited of the five.

And The Dock's was the seat of most crime:

The Docks is the district most prone to criminality. It is ruled mostly by organized criminal leaders and thugs, often leading to black auctions and markets. With the main harbour to the west, many illegal wares are easily smuggled into the district, much because authorities do not have a very strong grip on the contemporal events. The district founds The Golden Apple, an inn, and Twenty in a Quiver, a local warbrand shop.

The City's Destruction:

However; much of the city was destroyed by the spellplague and the eruption of Mount Houtenow and has been rebuilt. Only three districts are available: Blacklake, which has been rebuilt in the area near Castle Never, the Docks, which remain largely unchanged, and the Merchant Quarter, which may be the remnant of the City Core.

I believe much of the poor have moved into the Southeastern quarter of the city core, or the ruined center of Blacklake District.It is conceivable that the characters have been recruited into any faction or guild in the city, or none at all.

Reference:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Neverwinter
http://forgottenrealms.wikia.com/wiki/Neverwinter
https://neverwinter13.obsidianportal.com/wiki_pages/factions
https://neverwinter.gamepedia.com/Lore:Blacklake_District

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    \$\begingroup\$ Im going with a group of orphaned friends who spent most of their time in Beggar's nest until adolescence... and then spent times at The Docks starting fights and getting trouble until the kindly Rockseeker brothers took them in \$\endgroup\$ – Todd Vance Apr 30 '18 at 22:17
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If it has been 20 years since your last visit to the Forgotten Realms, much has changed. I'd recommend visiting the Forgotten Realms Wiki to start, and also checking out the Sword Coast Adventurer's Guide to get an idea of what 5th edition Faerun looks like.

For a quick answer, though: those who are hardest on their luck tend to congregate in the southeastern quarter of Neverwinter, where scars from the eruption of Mount Hotenow still linger and many buildings still lie in ruin.

As for the Rockseekers, as freelance miners they probably wouldn't belong to a particular faction, although it would make sense that they'd have connections to the Lord's Alliance (obviously) and perhaps the Harpers.

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    \$\begingroup\$ Storm King's Thunder is also a valuable resource as it details several communities along the Sword Coast, and Lords of the Apocalypse at least mentions many more. \$\endgroup\$ – TheVagrantDog Apr 29 '18 at 1:58
  • \$\begingroup\$ I just bought Storm King for when we are done... thank you I will check that and thanks a bunch for your suggestion! \$\endgroup\$ – Todd Vance Apr 29 '18 at 14:36
  • \$\begingroup\$ I'm going with the Harper's based on your recommendation...thanks! \$\endgroup\$ – Todd Vance Apr 30 '18 at 22:17
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    \$\begingroup\$ @ToddVance Glad I could help. If you want to find NPC Harpers that the Rockseekers could know, you could check out the various Adventurers League modules (of which I'm afraid I have little knowledge) or Rise of Tiamat, which features a council of the various factions. You may want to check out the latter anyway, as it serves as a sort of prequel to the events of Storm King's Thunder. \$\endgroup\$ – TheVagrantDog Apr 30 '18 at 22:24

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