"This powerfully built dwarf is a few inches shy of five feet but walks and talks with the clamor and subtlety of a hill giant. A shield dwarf of the Ironfist clan, Khelgar is a talented fighter who delights in the intimacy of a tavern brawl. Smiling when threatened and downright ecstatic when punched, Khelgar is most at home in a storm of fists and insults. Khelgar’s weathered face, long dark beard and massive upper body would give would likely give him muscular good looks had he not built a collection of cuts, bruises and missing teeth on his face from countless brawls."
Khelgar is the first NPC who will join your party. The earliest he can be recruited is level 3. His default feats are Power Attack and Toughness (at level 1), Cleave (at level 2) and Knockdown (at level 3). His very high Strength and Constitution stats make him an ideal frontline fighter, though arguably less so for a monk.
As a fighter, Khelgar can be buffed and equipped to an AC in the mid 40's and used as a tactical anvil to block doorways or narrows and along with summons and companions creates a frontline to enemy attacks. He then becomes the protector of the spellcasters and missile users. He can make excellent use of the Expert Tactician feat in this manner when Qara or Bishop deal out enough damage to draw opponents towards them Khelgar gets the attacks of opportunity and gives the rest of the party +2 attack. This role also gives the best use of the Great Cleave feat, should you choose to select it. It may also be advisable to give Khelgar the Improved Knockdown feat, especially if you manage to increase his strength to any appreciable degree.
A minimum influence of 10 is required for the option to have Khelgar change classes to a monk. With less influence, even if Khelgar completes the Vision Quest Trials of Tyr he will say, "need to think about it - I still have some things I need to work out in my head, get straight." If you choose to allow Khelgar to become a monk you will get a chance to "re-level" him from level 1 back to the current level your main PC's experience total affords - with the same starting stats of (Str 17, Dex 13, Con 18, Int 10, Wis 10, Cha 7; point-buy 33). Note he will automatically choose Martial Weapon Proficiency as his first feat in the process (presumably to be able to wield the Hammer of Ironfist, should he become a Monk prior to acquiring this weapon) and his deity will change from Clangeddin Silverbeard to Tyr. There is some debate about the effectiveness of strength and constitution-focused monk builds.
The PC runs into Khelgar right outside of the Weeping Willow Inn where he is just about to get into a fight with local thugs trying to rob him. With or without the PC's help, he makes short work of them and invites the PC for a couple of drinks inside the inn. He tells the PC that he was on his way to Neverwinter to find a monastery so he could learn to fight like monks. It turns out that Khelgar takes great pleasure in tavern brawls and during one such brawl, he was given a sound beating by a bunch of "skinny robed humans" who turned out to be monks. Impressed by their fighting prowess, he decided to go to the Temple of Tyr in Neverwinter to learn how to fight like them.
Khelgar starts out to be rather prejudiced especially towards tieflings (excepting a PC tiefling) and elves. Upon reaching the Temple of Tyr, he is given three trials before he can be accepted as a student, which includes overcoming prejudice (Trial of the Even-handed), making amends with kin he has hurt (Trial of the Maimed) and finding a higher purpose for fighting (Trial of Justice). Depending on the PC's influence with Khelgar and actions taken, he will eventually overcome his prejudices towards Neeshka and Elanee. Khelgar later runs into a fellow clan member named Khulmar who was within the area looking for the lost Ironfist Clanhold. Apparently Khelgar left his clan and duties to pursue his own ambition of perfecting his fighting style. This did not sit well with the rest of his clan and his initial meeting with Khulmar was less than warm. Upon helping Khulmar rediscover the Clanhold and the Gauntlets of Ironfist, he was able to mend his relationship with Khulmar and thus passing the Trial of the Maimed. When the PC is put on trial for the massacre of Ember, which he/she did not commit, and forced to fight for his/her life, Khelgar is the first to speak out against the injustice and volunteer to fight in the PC's stead, thus passing the Trial of Justice. Upon becoming a monk, he changes his alignment to Lawful Good and switches his patron deity to Tyr.
Later on when Crossroad Keep was searching for allies against the King of Shadows, Khelgar suggested seeking out Clan Ironfist. However the current head of the clan, Keros, still held a grudge against Khelgar for leaving the clan and refused to ally with Neverwinter. Khulmar told him that they had uncovered the Hammer of Ironfist which could only be wielded by one who possessed the Belt and Gauntlets of Ironfist. Khulmar suggested that Khelgar go find the Belt of Ironfist if he wanted to get back into the good graces of the clan. The belt was lost long ago due to a traitor who delivered it to the fire giants up on Mount Galardrym. For ages, the Ironfist have tried to reclaim the belt, but to no avail. Khelgar and the PC managed to recover the belt and Khelgar momentarily gained leadership of the clan and convinced them to ally with Neverwinter.
Khelgar's fate is determined by the PC actions at the end of the quest. If the PC chooses to fight against the King of Shadows, Khelgar stick by his/her side and goes MIA after the King of Shadows defeat. If the PC decides to join the King of Shadows, he is killed by the PC and then corrupted by the King of Shadows into servitude.
Mask of the Betrayer
In the Mask of the Betrayer campaign, it is revealed that Khelgar is alive and well. When the gargoyles sent by Lienna abducted the PC as the Vale collapsed, Khelgar tried to give chase but was outwitted. However, Ammon was not so easily tricked and pursued them into the Plane of Shadow. During the ending of the campaign, if the player was freed of the curse, it is revealed that he/she would eventually be reunited with Khelgar, who was disappointed to have missed out on the PC's adventure in Rashemen.
Note: The campaign assumes the player did not join the King of Shadows at Merdelain.
Storm of Zehir
In the Storm of Zehir campaign, Khelgar took on the role of Knight-Captain of Crossroad Keep. He was described by others as a 'surly dwarf.' He was often harassed by other dignitaries, some who were affronted that he would not accept their bribes. During the campaign, it is also revealed that Khelgar was immensely traumatized by his failure in the Meredelain and just didn't have the will to pursue fighting/adventuring anymore. He was given a set of Neverwinter Nine robes by Lord Nasher to 'make people listen to him.' Crossroad Keep began to expand under his direction.
- Khelgar was voiced by Adam Sietz.
Extra party member bug
As long as Khelgar is included, it is possible to have four companions in the active party roster during ACT I (and five companions during ACT II) of the Original Campaign.
To get a fourth or fifth companion, the player must first speak with Khulmar at the Dwarven Scouts module location (predicated by at least one visit to to Old Owl Well) and accept his quest to clear out the old Dwarven Stronghold located there. If the player then returns to the Sunken Flagon, swaps Khelgar out of the party and makes to return to the Dwarven Scouts location, the party selection menu will automatically clear the roster of non-obligatory companions (if any), add Khelgar back to the party (but not in the party selection menu) and allow the player to add up to three more companions.
The capacity for five (or six, in ACT II) total party members will be removed when the player (or the game) further modifies the active roster, such as when the PC is first introduced to Casavir or Bishop. However, the player may again add an extra companion to the party by repeating the above steps in returning to the Dwarven Scouts location. This can be done as often as desired, as long as the PC has not completed the Dwarven Scouts quest (by speaking with Khulmar after retrieving the Gauntlets of Ironfist) or moved to ACT III, whichever comes first.