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wwanno
Acolyte

11 Posts

Posted - 15 May 2014 :  13:19:23  Show Profile Send wwanno a Private Message  Reply with Quote  Delete Topic
Hello there boys and girls!

I want to run an Undermountain campaign, character will start at 1st level (so they will have 20+ levels to spend exploring).

I want ideas, villains (with their reasons, motivations and interactions between power groups), I want Skullport, I want lore and maybe a little plane-walking. . . I want it epic!

More than anything else I want your help flashing out this huge dungeon, and I will be very grateful to anyone willing to help.

Let's start!

I read here & there and I found that the House Anteos of Waterdeep is involved in slave business, Hletvagi Anteos (unknown to most people) is a cleric of Loviatar (7th level on the 2E book "Ruins of Undermountain", 10th level on the 3E book "Expedition to Undermountain". I own both books). The Anteos business in Undermountain and Skullport allow them to obtain "exotic" merchandise in abundance to sell at lower prices in their Waterdeep storehouses. This could be a nice reason to get the player involved in Undermountain. Representative of the others mercant noble houses (whose business is ruined becouse of Anteos lower prices) hire them to track down the source of those items. The PCs have to find their way to skullport, where they uncover the source of the exotic items and the involvment of house Anteos with slavers. But things are never easy, and Hletvagi Anteos is member of a noble house, and spend most of his time in the city above (using spells and an orc shaman to rule in the north-east portion of the 1st level of the dungeon complex). PCs have to find proofs in order to accuse him in public (or they may kill him, breaking the law in the process)

So this first part of the plot let the players explore the first 3 levels of Undermountain.
First great problem. I wil have to map the dungeon's levels, but I am unable to find on the net maps of levels 2 & 3 (and I WILL NEVER WRITE numbers on the original ones of the boxed set). I found a great map of level 1 on WotC website.

So, who is going to help me?

Edited by - wwanno on 15 May 2014 13:20:14

dazzlerdal
Great Reader

United Kingdom
3177 Posts

Posted - 15 May 2014 :  13:57:19  Show Profile Send dazzlerdal a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Well you have a tough job there.

I have only just started cataloguing the lore from the sourcebooks on Waterdeep and its massive already (i've only done the 3rd edition and 2nd edition waterdeep sourcebook so far).

From there i was going to do skullport next using the info in the waterdeep sourcebooks and the skullport 2nd edition sourcebook.

And finally Undermountain with its 2 boxed sets, one 3rd edition book and 3 2nd edition adventures, and the 3rd edition web enhancement to champions of ruin. Plus Undermountain is referenced in just about every sourcebook west of Ravensbluff with stray bits of lore.

Its a massive task you have ahead of you and unfortunately all i can offer is goodwill.

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Fendrikor
Learned Scribe

Australia
181 Posts

Posted - 15 May 2014 :  14:50:40  Show Profile Send Fendrikor a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I once had a party head to undermountain (for only a quick sidequest) by using Harper contacts to figure out where the Shadiest Slavers meet with representatives from the Xanthars guild to smuggle slaves and contraband 'down river'.

This ofcourse was referencing the River Sargauth.

The players met a Captain named Sven who charged 100 gp a head to get a ride, and their fair share of the Crane whinching costs to get lowered into the Sargauth.

When in the Sargauth, the magic of the keepers shrunk the ship to a 7th of its size, encapsuled it in a bubble of water and shot it at breakneck speed down the underground river for the 30 minute journey to Skullport.

On the trip, the Slaving skum turned on them (as expected) while they were trapped with no where to go. An epic battle ensued on the ship deck as the Ships Cleric of umberlee (who had a shield golem) turned layed into them from oneside, while the slavers bubbled up from the ships bolt holes and down from the rigging. As the slavers got more desperate, the Shield golem began smashing up the ship deck before eventually falling into the slave decks bellow... at which point it began punching 'up' through the deck.

In the end they killed the Cleric, and butchered all the pirates. Freed the Slaves and gave them the Ship. The shield golem was more or less intact, so they took the control amulate for it and now it serves the party bard rather well as a bodyguard :)(( That and the party troll got a write out in Skullport, given he had so much trouble finding acceptance in surface cities. He finally found a place where he could hold a steady job! in this case - as a bouncer at the 'Black Tankard')

All this i just kinda threw together from a Dungeon magazine mission (Twisted night), the 2nd edition skullport source book and the current City of Splendors book.

As for undermountain itself, ive never run it... but a good place to start is that Tavern that has the Well in the middle of it. Have a Raucious feast thrown for the heroes who declare they are headed down. Have bets placed on 'who will come back and in what shape' then cast them into the unknown.

Remember, Summons are summoned from within undermountain. When the summons end, they will just become unbound creatures. Halasters Teleport Cage is in effect.. make sure you are familiar with it, and the other magical properties of undermountain.

Beyond that, if you can get you hands on the 3.0 Book of Challenges, that is choc-a-block full of room content ideas for any level! even if you just need something to fill a random chamber your unsure on.

Complex Traps are just as good as monsters. Monsters who live in the region are savvy on how capable and where the Traps are. These Trap rooms may seperate major dungeon factions who use the area as barriers.

Orcs stuck in undermountain may be fighting for survival against other organised bands, or even just Dangerous roaming monsters (such as a basilisk or Cockatrices).

What i would do is do a whole pile of random rolls without assigning them to any room specific, then have a look at the 'pattern' that forms to draw inspiration from.

I recommend using a good old fashion pencil and paper for this kind of dungeon crafting.

If your looking for inspiration on low level dungeon occupants, why not look at other dungeon modules in the same range that you have no intention on using? for example, Sunless citidel has a good 'living dungeon' with factions lay out for inspiration, along with its otherwise untouched regions.

Also think that other adventuring parties will more than likely be in undermountain aswell. Perhaps the people in the Tavern say 'The Red Sun Reavers went down a week ago, havent come back since. Won me a HarborMoon for that prediction, prolly all dead now ehy! har har! *drunkenly pats player on the back*' to add a subplot, or otherwise mangle their bodies up into the traps, make graves, or put their gear and remains in monster lairs to add a sense of mortality.


'Do not meddle in the affairs of dragons, for you are crunchy and taste good with ketchup'

Edited by - Fendrikor on 15 May 2014 14:56:05
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Wooly Rupert
Master of Mischief
Moderator

USA
29653 Posts

Posted - 15 May 2014 :  15:38:13  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Get a clear plastic overlay, and write on that.

Or, if the pdfs are legally available again, print off the pages of the maps, and write on those.

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Kris the Grey
Senior Scribe

USA
422 Posts

Posted - 15 May 2014 :  22:43:41  Show Profile Send Kris the Grey a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Wwanno,

Small world! My players are presently involved in a dust up with the Cult of Loviatar/House of Pain/Anteos Family. They heard about the temple in Undermountain (after once before getting caught up in Cult activity in the city) and decided to 'raid' it. They ended up in a full fledged war with the Cult (and its leader) who they are now embroiled in above ground cut and thrust underground warfare (and political backbiting) with.

Funny coincidence that. I'd be happy to share my take on the Cult's reach and organization via PM if you like. I'll note that an old Dragon Magazine (around #220?) has an excellent article on the layout of the defenses (and personnel) for the Cult in Undermountain. There is also information on Cult members/allies in the 2nd Edition 'Complete Necromancer's Handbook'. Also of note is the presence of a fairly powerful priestess of Loviatar in Skullport in service to the Iron Ring. Finally, there is an excellent gaming group campaign website (http://oakthorne.net/wiki/index.php?title=Blackstaff_Tower) which has some useful information on the Cult, the Anteos family, and their allies the Husteem family.

Kris the Grey - Member in Good Standing of the Watchful Order of Magists and Protectors, the Arcane Guild of Silverymoon, and the Connecticut Bar Association
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Cards77
Senior Scribe

USA
525 Posts

Posted - 16 May 2014 :  01:22:35  Show Profile Send Cards77 a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I'm working Undermountain into my campaign too soon. I thought the 3.0 book "expedition to undermountain" HAD maps in it. You're saying it doesn't? Where can we get the full maps? I thought this was the biggest dungeon in the world. It's not fleshed out? It's just a big map with empty rooms?
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Wooly Rupert
Master of Mischief
Moderator

USA
29653 Posts

Posted - 16 May 2014 :  05:08:41  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Cards77

I'm working Undermountain into my campaign too soon. I thought the 3.0 book "expedition to undermountain" HAD maps in it. You're saying it doesn't? Where can we get the full maps? I thought this was the biggest dungeon in the world. It's not fleshed out? It's just a big map with empty rooms?



Where can you get the maps? From the Ruins of Undermountain boxed sets and from the trilogy of modules set in Undermountain.

And yet, even with all of those, there are still unmapped levels and sublevels... The sheer size of the place makes mapping it a rather daunting task.

Candlekeep Forums Moderator

Candlekeep - The Library of Forgotten Realms Lore
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wwanno
Acolyte

11 Posts

Posted - 16 May 2014 :  10:25:34  Show Profile Send wwanno a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I am currently working on the maps (I am making my own since I don't want to write on the ones of the boxed sets). Yesterday evening I completed 1/3 of the first level, it was not hard (they are all square rooms and corridors) and it took not much time. The hard part will come with the south portion of the first level (with caves) and the third level (Sargauth and caves).
I hope to finish in 3 weeks.

In the meantime I am reading everything I can to collect more ideas to use.

Kris the Gray (and anybody else), feel free to write here your ideas (whatever), I will update the first post with them
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dazzlerdal
Great Reader

United Kingdom
3177 Posts

Posted - 16 May 2014 :  10:37:05  Show Profile Send dazzlerdal a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I remember in one of my early adventures i ran a foray into Undermountain.

I believe large portions of the first level map were undetailed.

I figured that the first level would have the most human encounters in it and there are always jerks in any human society trying to leech off of everyone else.

So for any groups that descend using the Inn i had a bunch of murderous scum nearby that watched those entering Undermountain and picked the richest looking or weakest looking groups to follow and butcher so they could steal there gear.

It was essentially an anti-adventuring party consisting of a wizard, rogue, fighter, and any one other class that knew the secret doors and routes of Undermountain well.

Whenever the party rested they would attack and try and kill or wound as many as they could. Then if the party got into a fight with other creatures these guys would show up after and bully them into handy over whatever they found in the room (and then sometimes would attack the party anyway).

In the end the party used some tracking skills to find their secret room hiding place and butchered them while they slept. A very evil act but they had annoyed the party so much that they were in a murderous mood.

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Fendrikor
Learned Scribe

Australia
181 Posts

Posted - 16 May 2014 :  11:00:22  Show Profile Send Fendrikor a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Murderously justified methinks!

'Do not meddle in the affairs of dragons, for you are crunchy and taste good with ketchup'
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dazzlerdal
Great Reader

United Kingdom
3177 Posts

Posted - 16 May 2014 :  11:04:49  Show Profile Send dazzlerdal a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Well murder if defenseless people is evil in my book but i view alignment as a sliding scale so they all got an evil point for doing that.

It was just nice to put the players on the other foot for a change. Instead of them plundering the dungeon of its wealth they were the ones being hounded at every turn.

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wwanno
Acolyte

11 Posts

Posted - 16 May 2014 :  11:11:43  Show Profile Send wwanno a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Dazzlerdal, I like the idea. Those guys will raise in level with the party, and will always find a way to flee (potions of invisibility and the like).
In the end the PCs will have the opportunity to track them down and take revenge. If they don't (PCs never do what we expect them to do), those guys will become their nightmare, untill one day all it's over, and they don't show up anymore. Unknown to the party, they have been cought by slavers, and the party will have the opportunity to rescue them later (earning their gratitude) or let them rot in the dungeons (I like the moral dilemma)
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wwanno
Acolyte

11 Posts

Posted - 16 May 2014 :  18:00:09  Show Profile Send wwanno a Private Message  Reply with Quote
question for the "lorekeepers" of this forum:

In tsr1060-Ruins of Undermountain, the Eye and The Xanathar are two different beholder. The Eye is an elder orb that lost its disintegrate and flesh to stone eye powers, it menages the slavers of Undermountain and dwells in the third level of the complex. The Xanathar is a beholder (described in FR1 and FR7), leading the most important thieves guild of the city.
In every other source I have (tsr11348-Skullport, tsr1109-City of Splendor, City of Splendors Waterdeep and Expedition to Undermountain), the Xanathar and the Eye are the same villain, known as the Xanathar in the city above and th Eye in the city below.

What happened? Did the Xanathar take over the Eye? When did this happen? Or is it a mistake?

Edited by - wwanno on 16 May 2014 18:31:05
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Wooly Rupert
Master of Mischief
Moderator

USA
29653 Posts

Posted - 16 May 2014 :  18:56:11  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
The original Xanathar was killed, and several beholders since him have used his name as a title -- The Xanathar.

Candlekeep Forums Moderator

Candlekeep - The Library of Forgotten Realms Lore
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Aytros
Seeker

USA
33 Posts

Posted - 19 May 2014 :  17:40:57  Show Profile Send Aytros a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I've always wanted to delve the depth of Halastar's madness! I envy your group. I might be able to help with your map problem. I need to check my collection. As for ideas...good luck. If I think of any, I can let you know.
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crazedventurers
Master of Realmslore

United Kingdom
1073 Posts

Posted - 20 May 2014 :  10:11:09  Show Profile  Visit crazedventurers's Homepage Send crazedventurers a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Steve Allen posted lots of custom rooms on the Realms list for many years. any stats on there are 2E but they can be fixed quickly for any version of the game you are playing - its the ideas you need

anyhoo go here

http://oracle.wizards.com/scripts/wa.exe?S1=realms-l

and in the box that says 'the subject is or contains' type RoUM

you should then see lots of hits - you only get 50 at a time so click on 'more hits' (at the top of the page) to see the others

good luck with the campaign

cheers

Damian

So saith Ed. I've never said he was sane, have I?
Gods, all this writing and he's running a constant fantasy version of Coronation Street in his head, too. .
shudder,
love to all,
THO
Candlekeep Forum 7 May 2005
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wwanno
Acolyte

11 Posts

Posted - 20 May 2014 :  12:26:15  Show Profile Send wwanno a Private Message  Reply with Quote
@ crazedventurers

using the link you gave me I find a tool and using it I get random descriptions of rooms in UM.

The rooms are numbered, but I have no map to refer to.
I suppose there was a document those description were taken from. Maybe there was a map too. Do you have a link for that?
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wwanno
Acolyte

11 Posts

Posted - 22 May 2014 :  22:05:58  Show Profile Send wwanno a Private Message  Reply with Quote
In the end I made 4 scans of the four maps, 300 dpi, jpeg. I don't know if I can share it here (and I don't know how). I paid 10 to make them, but now I can number MY rooms as I like :-)

I am scaling down to 1st level the adventure found on Dungeon 206, it could be a great intro.
I will made some changes (maybe I will do more others, always waiting for your imput and ideas):
-the guy who was with the elven lady and get killed before the first encounter, doesn't die, he just got beaten down to unconsciousness. He is Aristed Wavesilver and will be a NPCs in my campaign, the heir of a lesser noble house of merchants, who will introduce the PCs to his father. The Wavesilver family (with some other prominent merchant families) has its business crushed by Anteos competition (in league with the Eye). So I will (I hope) enstablish a triangle, where PCs will have to struggle between the eye, anteos family and Wavesilver family.
-the eye doesn't assign the beholderkin to the PCs and the PCs must find their way to skullport
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Cards77
Senior Scribe

USA
525 Posts

Posted - 22 May 2014 :  22:55:58  Show Profile Send Cards77 a Private Message  Reply with Quote
You can try attaching them to your post or hosting them on site say like Google Drive. I'd be happy to do so. PM me and I can send you my email. I will host them on a google drive link. I would LOVE to use your maps, with your permission. You would be saving me and I know MANY other DM's A LOT of work! PM me if you would like help hosting.

@crazed: thanks for the great information. I'm going to sift through these hits.
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wwanno
Acolyte

11 Posts

Posted - 22 May 2014 :  23:59:00  Show Profile Send wwanno a Private Message  Reply with Quote
those are not my maps are scans of the original maps from WotC, and they are over 90MB. With the connession we have here in Italy (good download / POOOOOR upload)it will take a lot of time. I'll let you know
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wwanno
Acolyte

11 Posts

Posted - 26 May 2014 :  13:25:38  Show Profile Send wwanno a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I'm merging the info found in the books from different edition of D&D, in order to get a single file with the descriptions of all the rooms. After that I will fill the empty rooms. I will update monster stats too (when they are missing in 3rd edition).

Now I have a question. In the original boxed set there is a map, Nimraith's map, I have the picture, but I am unable to understand the location it refers to. The Inscription on the wall (location 10C) makes me think it is somewhere down in the lower levels, but using Ctrl+F to search the whole PDF (I have it too) I was unable to find any other reference to Nimraith. I'm starting to think it is one of the things left to the DM to flash out. . .
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Murmur Maelstrom
Acolyte

7 Posts

Posted - 05 Jun 2014 :  09:01:33  Show Profile  Visit Murmur Maelstrom's Homepage Send Murmur Maelstrom a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I would suggest some searching, Google or whatever, for Undermountain experiences or campaigns. You might be able to find whole dungeon adventures as I did when I searched a few years ago. Take what you like, ditch the rest. Good luck!
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Rivenhelm
Seeker

28 Posts

Posted - 14 Mar 2017 :  07:15:38  Show Profile Send Rivenhelm a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Hi Wwano,

Sorry, just seeing this thread, but I can help with Nimraith's map. This is a map of level one near where the remains are found. Take the stairs marked with a "2" and replace it with dungeon key 8b. North of that stair is room 7 and the room marked "F" next to it. Taking the hall north brings you to the rooms east of the circular room (marked "C" on the keyed map) these are (from west to east) rooms 3, 4, and 1.

Scribes correct me if I'm wrong, but this seems to be the most logical fit. It's possible that Nimraith ran afoul of the fire trap in 8b and retreated to room 3 where his wounds overcame him. But of course that's mere speculation of one addled scribe.

Hope this helps.
R...
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Thoth
Acolyte

Canada
14 Posts

Posted - 14 Mar 2017 :  12:28:33  Show Profile Send Thoth a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Well, it was 2014...I'm kind of curious how it all went. :)
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