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Vlad
Acolyte

14 Posts

Posted - 22 Sep 2022 :  22:54:23  Show Profile  Visit Vlad's Homepage Send Vlad a Private Message  Reply with Quote  Delete Topic
Hi, I almost have all FR products there are, incl all Undermountain related ones. Luxury of course, but also a problem: when my PCs would enter Undermountain, which version do I use?
1) Ruins of Undermountain 1
2) Expedition to Undermountain
3) Halls of Undermountain
4) Dungeon of the Mad Mage

Personally I liked the descriptions in RoU the most, I think. HoU did a nice job of concencrating everything in 3 (?) separate parts, to avoid a serie of random rooms without any link between them.

EtO and DotMM only cover part of level 1, so are the least Imho. But when my PCs enter certain areas (like the enrtry well), which version do you use? Or do you combine everything (if possible).

For lower levels, this problem is less so, although DotMM really changed some parts completely (like the lost level, I think?).

Steven Schend
Forgotten Realms Designer & Author

USA
1691 Posts

Posted - 23 Sep 2022 :  01:59:45  Show Profile  Visit Steven Schend's Homepage Send Steven Schend a Private Message  Reply with Quote
https://annarchive.com/files/Drmg172.pdf

That'll provide you with what Ed & I did for Skullport just after the Ruins boxed set. That'll help, I hope.

Steven Schend

For current projects and general natter, see www.steveneschend.com
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Wooly Rupert
Master of Mischief
Moderator

USA
36258 Posts

Posted - 23 Sep 2022 :  03:30:52  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Ruins of Undermountain is far and away the best of the lot.

I'd mine the others for ideas and such, but I've never consider running them -- especially Dungeon of the Mad Mage, which shrinks the place down to a fraction of its size.

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The Masked Mage
Great Reader

USA
2396 Posts

Posted - 24 Sep 2022 :  01:27:33  Show Profile Send The Masked Mage a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Wooly Rupert

Ruins of Undermountain is far and away the best of the lot.

I'd mine the others for ideas and such, but I've never consider running them -- especially Dungeon of the Mad Mage, which shrinks the place down to a fraction of its size.



This is the most true thing ever.

RoU is a masterpiece. Everything else failed to capture it. The maps were great, and gave literally hundreds of areas to build campaigns out of. The room descriptions were even better. The mini adventures built on both an gave ways to incorporate Undermountain into other campaigns. It was perfect.

The later products describing the lower levels largely felt too gimmicky to me. The layout of Trobriand's graveyard being like a scorpion I hated, for example.

I think the biggest thing that every other product kind of did wrong was that they took the most important part of Undermountain, Halaster, and made him unimportant. The thing about Undermountain is you are contending with a mad man. He's totally out of your league, and is just as happy to see you win as loose as long as you are jumping through his hoops. He stacks the deck and plays with wildcards you never knew existed.

I strongly recommend you include him, no matter what WotC has to say about his survival. He is the key element to a terrifying campaign that no player can possibly predict.

Not to advertise for any specific products, but there have been a couple "home brew" maps done out there, OBVIOUSLY based on Undermountain - one is actually called Under the Mountain if I recall. You can easily use these as substitutes or additions to the existing material.

Edited by - The Masked Mage on 24 Sep 2022 01:38:02
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The Masked Mage
Great Reader

USA
2396 Posts

Posted - 24 Sep 2022 :  01:34:53  Show Profile Send The Masked Mage a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Also, 2 old Greyhawk Products I recommend are Castle Greyhawk and Greyhawk Ruins. Both amount to Greyhawk's version of Undermountain.

Castle Greyhawk had Voyeux The Whimsical (the Halaster-type character) and the Random Monster Generator (providing the endless stream of monsters to fight). Part of me always thought Ed based at least some parts of Undermountain on this slightly older adventure. There are just too many paralells.
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Vlad
Acolyte

14 Posts

Posted - 24 Sep 2022 :  09:05:47  Show Profile  Visit Vlad's Homepage Send Vlad a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Thanks for all the help. I'll use RoU1 as a base, perhaps I'll create an overview to take this one and put the best of the rest in it. Saves me some time (and annoyed players) during the game.

The note about Halaster I'll take as well, good to have such a menace lurking around, not knowing if he helps you or the opposite..
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