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Review of Halls of Undermountain by Wizards of the Coast. Thread starter TarionzCousin Start date Apr 26, And to date, there have been six supplements and modules featuring various parts of this massive delve, starting with The Ruins of Undermountain boxed set in , another boxed set called The Ruins of Undermountain II: The Deep Levels in , three modules in the Dungeon Crawl Series in , and a hardcover book, Expedition to Undermountain , published in But how does this new version of the massive dungeon crawl stand up to its predecessors in its long product history?
The book contains details about the history of Undermountain, and three adventures set in the first level of this massive super-dungeon, along with two poster maps of the dungeon and encounter areas.
There are also nearly four-scores of encounters, ranging from traps to combats to exploration of areas, eight new magic items unique to the setting, and three new monsters known to haunt the hallways of the Undermountain ruins. Production Quality The production quality of Halls of Undermountain is excellent, with an engaging writing style and plenty of details, as well as a logical presentation of materials for ease of use of the product.
The artwork is incredibly well-done and appears to be many new illustrations specifically designed for the adventure setting. The cover art which depicts a battle between heroes on ropes and goblins in a pit — which I took to be the entrance from the Yawning Portal — is both dramatic and eye-catching, and a good inspiration for an adventure setting of this type.
The cartography is also quite good, with two poster maps provided in the inner covers, held there by microperf until they are removed for play. The size and thickness of the folded maps did give me a bit of trepidation as I slowly tore them out of the covers, being concerned that the thickness of that many layers might make them prone to tearing. However, I got them out without issue.
The first map details the entire first layer of Undermountain, with what I estimate is about a couple hundred rooms and corridors, although only about ninety-ish of the areas are detailed in the book. On the flip side is a fully detailed map of the Yawning Portal, the famed tavern with an entrance into the Undermountain. The second map details three encounter areas which appear in three adventures of Halls of Undermountain. There is a smaller one page map in the book with the numbers on it for reference, but I would have assumed that the large map would be numbered as well, unless it was planned to be used for the players.
The Content Halls of Undermountain is structured more like a super-big game module, and less like a sourcebook, in that it does not have chapters but instead is divided up into big sections detailing the important information for running the adventure. The first section of the book details the history of the Halls of Undermountain, of the Wizard Halaster, and how the Spellplague affected the region. Following this section is a listing of the various ways into the Undermountain, with such as the Long Dark Stair and the Grim Passage.
The Yawning Portal is given the most attention here, with details about the tavern, as well as how it can be used to enter the Undermountain. The next section is an overview of the nature of the dungeon itself, with rules about the strength of walls and doors, and what to expect when characters take short and extended rests in the Undermountain. Given the size of the first level alone which not covered by this sourcebook, there is plenty of places to create additional plots and adventures within the Undermountain.
Without going into full details about the adventures, and to avoid any chance of spoilers, what I can say is that the three adventures are fairly comprehensive crawls, with a mixture of combat encounters, exploration of areas, obstacles and traps to overcome, and mysterious magical phenomena to puzzle out.
The adventures are mainly aimed at low Heroic Tier characters, and offer a wide range of experiences for new and seasoned players. The authors provide each area a number and the type of encounter that takes place here combat, exploration, trap, etc. The authors also offer a meta-adventure which links the three adventure together, although they can be run separately as stand-alone pieces.
There are several new magic items introduced in the adventures as well, some of which have specific functions that only work within the Undermountain itself. Overall Score : 3. The material is well-presented and offers not only options for stand-alone play, but for making the three adventures in the setting into its own mini-campaign. Further, the authors provide the options for DMs to expand on the listed material, and make up Undermountain adventures of their own devising.
Where I feel the product was wanting was in the price point, and the contents. The original boxed product contained three adventures, plus pages more material and maps of not just one, but four levels of the Undermountain. The product offered nearly pages of contents, and was far more comprehensive in its coverage of the area than the 4E version.
Considering the price, I would have hoped for a page book or at least a boxed set for a product with a pedigree as long as the Undermountain series has had, but lamentably, we end up a product with the smallest page length of any of the series — except the three mini-modules of pages each.
So until next review… I wish you Happy Gaming! Grade Card Ratings 1 to 5 Presentation : 4. Value : 2. Last edited by a moderator: Jun 8, How useful is this as a resource for people who already have the older Undermountain material? McTreble First Post. This is the first book in a long time where I look at it and regret buying it at full price, but only because of how sparce it is in size.
Part of me is kicking myself for going full retail, but the other voice is saying "what's done is done. I have no plans of running it in the Realms fortunately I have a large cosmopolitan jonce that I've been itching to delve under but it's still useful. Best part: General edition neutrality.
While magic items specifically have detailed 4e stats, most monsters are not statted out, but referenced by book.
When DDN gets released, I can see myself going back to this book and previous Undermountain stuff and use it well. I assume this was a deliberate choice informed by the looming DDN push. Neuroglyph First Post. TarionzCousin said:. Saracenus Adventurer. Its not readily available but I figured I would point out one more source of 4e Undermountain goodness Sebastianelgar First Post.
So how close is the first floor map in this product to the old first floor map from the 2E box set? Zaukrie Adventurer.
I'd say if you like the earlier versions, you'll like this one. It's more pricey, but it fits the classic to a tee I'll have to check the maps and let you know, if I remember TerraDave 5ever. This sounds like a great product Thanks for the review, in any case. MerricB Eternal Optimist.
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Halls of Undermountain
Beneath the streets of Waterdeep, a sinister dungeon awaits adventurers brave enough to face its perils. Created ages ago by the wizard Halaster, the sprawling dungeon is a lair for terrible monsters and ruthless villains. In the dark chambers, they hunger for victims and plot the downfall of those who dwell on the streets above. Halls of Undermountain is a page book that presents a ready-to use dungeon detailing over eighty locations. In addition, this book provides all the ingredients to run a classic dungeon delve, including enticing treasures, deadly traps, a wide assortment of monsters, and two full-color maps. It was released in April The Final 4e Adventure Sort of.
Review of Halls of Undermountain by Wizards of the Coast
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Halls of Undermountain: A 4th Edition Dungeons & Dragons Supplement
Halls of Undermountain details the mega-dungeon of Undermountain that lies beneath the city of Waterdeep which is the lair of the insane wizard Halaster Blackcloak. Previously, they'd all been focused on two-page encounter spreads that presented combat encounters in high fidelity. Beyond that it provides extensive detail on the Yawning Portal one of the most famous entries to the dungeon as well as level 1 of the dungeon. In all, about 80 areas in the dungeon are detailed". It was originally released in April as a page hardcover book with two poster maps and then later released as a PDF. Appelcline wrote " Halls of Undermountain was supposed to be a boxed release like its immediate predecessor, Madness at Gardmore Abbey ,.