Posted by : David Guyll April 10, 2012

Halls of Undermountain is a hardcover supplement that presents just under a hundred pages of pre-made dungeon, and oddly still sets you back just under thirty bucks.

For those not in the know Undermountain is a dungeon built underneath Waterdeep, which is a city in Forgotten Realms. It originally started a dwarven mine before an insane wizard moved in and stockpiled the place with monsters and straps...kind of like a meta-Dungeon Master. While personally not a fan of Forgotten Realms (though a huge fan of Neverwinter Campaign Setting), the dungeon is exceedingly easy to drag and drop basically anywhere.

The first 13 pages are dedicated to the dungeon's history and various entrances that include the Yawning Portal, an inn built on top of a well that leads directly into the dungeon. Again even if you do not run in the Realms you can use or lose the inn backdrop, NPCs and all. The rest of the book features three adventures, but there are also tips on running, pacing, and making your own adventures, as well as tables for random room generation/encounters.

Given enough time and/or players I would not mind running my players through this. While on the surface you can run it simply as a theoretically never-ending dungeon crawl, the DM advice and adventures make it clear that there is room for an overarching story and social interaction. I consider it a good buy despite the page-count to price tag ratio. If nothing else in the interim I am sooo going to use the random tables.

{ 7 comments... read them below or Comment }

  1. The Wizards site indicates that this is for characters from level 1 - 5. Do you think it will still be interesting and challenging to players near the high end of that level range, including some PCs that are rather aggressively optimized (but do not have very powerful gear)?

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  2. The encounters from the last adventure range from 1-5, with most being 2-3 and only one being 5. I think the idea was for characters to be able to handle prolonged forays, get lost, explore off the rails, etc without being accidentally killed. So I think that "aggressive optimization" would make a good portion of the adventure pretty damned easy.

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  3. That's too bad. Oh well. I'll probably browse a copy in the FLGS and see if it seems like it might be easy to scale up a bit. It looks like it might otherwise be a pretty good fit for my game.

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  4. Any comments on the included Monsters [any surprises or old favorites updated to 4E] or the Magic Items that are included?

    Also, how are the maps?

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  5. There are two poster maps, one showing the first level of Undermountain, and the other a tactical map for some of the adventure encounters. The monsters are those featured in the adventure, but not included in Monster Vault (ie, crawling claw, dwarf bolter, jackalwere deceiver, etc).

    All the items I saw were rares, and ranged from levels 3-8; the coin of good luck always lands tails up when flipped (property), and as a consumable you gain gain a bonus to a d20 roll, while Halaster's vision (legendary boon) lets you use a daily power that causes an attack against you or an ally to automatically miss.

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  6. What about any other content? What comes with the book?

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  7. Its just the book and two poster maps. There was a Design & Development article on all the stuff that they cut out. I guess it was originally going to be a boxed set with minis/tokens and some other stuff. Kind of a shame, really.

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