Halls of Undermountain

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Hello,

I have heard the book Halls of Undermountain is known to have little to none monster stat blocks, as well as traps etc.
I'm interested to know does the adventure, Halls of Undermountain, require the Monster Vault book? Could it be played with the Monster Manual 1 book?
Which do you all prefer and why?

Thanks.
You dont need any of those books really, the book does, in fact, have monster stat blocks. But regardless, yeah you can use monster manual 1 or 2 or whatever, and the monster vault thingy if you want to, but they're not absolutely needed to play.
MV1 can be very helpful for running Undermountain if you don't have a lot of tokens or minis already.  Do you need it?  You shouldn't.  But the MV comes with a huge number of tokens to use in game and a lot of the creatures you will encounter in Undermountain will be represented in those tokens.
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MV1 can be very helpful for running Undermountain if you don't have a lot of tokens or minis already.  Do you need it?  You shouldn't.  But the MV comes with a huge number of tokens to use in game and a lot of the creatures you will encounter in Undermountain will be represented in those tokens.

I have a few tokens from the red box, is that enough? 
I have ordered the Monster Manual but not the Monster Vault.
As you can probably tell I'm new to D&D and was told the adventure needed the MV.
Doesn't need it, but the MV contains... like 200 tokens.

Honestly I would invest in a DDI subscription before I got anything else.  The character builder is really nice for new players and having access to the compendium (which contains everything in the game) and the monster tool (which can give you all the stat blocks for every monster in the game) is just too useful. 
Currently working on making a Dex based defender. Check it out here
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Need a few pre-generated characters for a one-shot you are running? Want to get a baseline for what an effective build for a class you aren't familiar with? Check out the Pregen thread here If ever you are interested what it sounds like to be at my table check out my blog and podcast here Also, I've recently done an episode on "Refluffing". You can check that out here
Ok thank you. I'll look into it.
HoU actually DOES require the Monster Vault or equivalent (access to the Compendium would also work). It has stat blocks for creatures that are first introduced or republished within it, but you don't get stat blocks for common types of kobolds/goblins/zombies/etc; it gives you a MV page reference for those.
Doombringer and matyr are completely wrong, this book absolutely requires the monster vault (or the compendium) to run. The monster stats in the back are for creatures not appearing in the mv. No offense, but some people shouldn't give advice about products they clearly know nothing (or next to nothing) about. Hopefully the op sees this before they follow yalls terrible "advice".
Doombringer and matyr are completely wrong, this book absolutely requires the monster vault (or the compendium) to run. The monster stats in the back are for creatures not appearing in the mv. No offense, but some people shouldn't give advice about products they clearly no nothing or next to nothing about. Hopefully the op sees this before they follow yalls terrible "advice".



You are correct that I wasn't right about not needing the stat blocks.  But getting the MV was still recommended, and if you get the compendium you don't even need that.
Currently working on making a Dex based defender. Check it out here
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Need a few pre-generated characters for a one-shot you are running? Want to get a baseline for what an effective build for a class you aren't familiar with? Check out the Pregen thread here If ever you are interested what it sounds like to be at my table check out my blog and podcast here Also, I've recently done an episode on "Refluffing". You can check that out here
Doombringer and matyr are completely wrong, this book absolutely requires the monster vault (or the compendium) to run. The monster stats in the back are for creatures not appearing in the mv. No offense, but some people shouldn't give advice about products they clearly no nothing or next to nothing about. Hopefully the op sees this before they follow yalls terrible "advice".



You are correct that I wasn't right about not needing the stat blocks.  But getting the MV was still recommended, and if you get the compendium you don't even need that.



i think that you typically give good advice
Why MV and not MM1? I know the book only gives page references to the MV, but is MV really that much better than MM1?
Why MV and not MM1? I know the book only gives page references to the MV, but is MV really that much better than MM1?



The damages and hit points are updated in MV, they are not in MM.  The monsters are more interesting and less slog-fest.  The MV comes with 200 tokens (I know you don't care because you have lots of minis, but it is designed for new players/dms).  You can effectively get everything you get in MM with a DDI sub and can't do that with MV.  So, in a nutshell, yes it really is better.
Currently working on making a Dex based defender. Check it out here
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Need a few pre-generated characters for a one-shot you are running? Want to get a baseline for what an effective build for a class you aren't familiar with? Check out the Pregen thread here If ever you are interested what it sounds like to be at my table check out my blog and podcast here Also, I've recently done an episode on "Refluffing". You can check that out here
Its much like changes in the rules compendium have superceded things from the original source books, entries in the MV supercede entries in MM1.  Also, while there is /guaranteed/ to be an entry in MV for creatures listed in Halls of Undermountain, it's not necessarily true that there will be an entry for the same monster in MM1.
Well, I'm reading through it now.
Fun stuff, with easy refluff and some bait I can throw into my own style.
Went through the list of printed books--75, counting all the map tiles and essentials(?). And only about 20 are modules. I'm guessing the rest are all DDI?
I might have to get the MV and compare.
Are the monster in the Adventure tools not-on-line monster builder database? Or are those all the pre-MV upgrades?
I believe the on-line compendium /should/ have everything you need.
This is something to note also. At one time it was announced that a future DUNGEON magazine would have a fourth adventure for Halls of Undermountain that would finish the quest that is weaved throughout the three part adventure. Keep an eye out for it.
I missed that, thanks for the heads up.
Oh. great. I'm guessing that will be DDI only?
Thank you all for the great advice, is it possible that the MM contains weaker monsters that I could replace if I cannot find the stat blocks?
I've read a few earlier threads stating its a 'sandbox' adventure? True?
More or less. It is an open setting, with 3 built in adventures. The text specifically says that it is a labyrinth, with lots of side passages and tunnels, and plenty of empty rooms you can put whatever you want into.

One thing I find odd: the first adventure is specifically lvl1. By the last fight, your players might be lvl2, but the last fight is a lvl7 encounter. LVL7! That's level plus 4 or 5. And the next adventure listed seems to be back to lvl1, and seems to be assumed to take place after the first one (though you can easily adjust however you want).
More or less. It is an open setting, with 3 built in adventures. The text specifically says that it is a labyrinth, with lots of side passages and tunnels, and plenty of empty rooms you can put whatever you want into.

One thing I find odd: the first adventure is specifically lvl1. By the last fight, your players might be lvl2, but the last fight is a lvl7 encounter. LVL7! That's level plus 4 or 5. And the next adventure listed seems to be back to lvl1, and seems to be assumed to take place after the first one (though you can easily adjust however you want).

5 levels above? Seems perfect to adjust with my own monsters etc. to gain those missing levels correct? Also plenty of rooms, passages and tunnels sounds great.
This is something to note also. At one time it was announced that a future DUNGEON magazine would have a fourth adventure for Halls of Undermountain that would finish the quest that is weaved throughout the three part adventure. Keep an eye out for it.

There's a strong possibility that this won't happen at all.
Given the length of time that has passed between HoU's release and now, the fourth adventure is probably another victim of the 5E focus-shift.

--

Unfortunately, the "levels 1-5" thing is essentially a fib: the first adventure is balanced for a level 3 party. A 1st level group is pretty much going to be stuck picking away at it one encounter at a time before retreating, which doesn't work very well in terms of presenting a coherent story but presumably was meant to "recapture the old school feel" or whatever the talking point was at the time.
I actually really like that aspect of it. In fact, I think this is a pretty good product, although nowhere near as cool as it could have been had they kept it a boxed set. Best thing about it: 60-plus rooms and not a skill challenge to be found.
I ran it last summer as a 6 session mini-campaign and enjoyed every minute of it. It's a great, old school dungeon crawl. I think it's important to not railroad the party into doing the quests if they don't want to. One of the best parts of Undermountain is its sheer size and complexity. By railroading them you are effectively turn a huge, interesting dungeon into a linear dungeon. Instead I let the party go whereever they want and only payed attention to the quests if they intersected with the rooms that involved the quests.

I don't know how much access to technology you have at your game table, but I ran maptools on a laptop and another laptop to display the player view map. I used a single token to show the party location and then revealed only the part of undermountain that they could see. It worked out great, they loved it.

In fact, my party loved undermountain so much they want another crack at it this summer. 

.... and yes, get the Monster Vault. It'll work with MM1, but the encounters as written are designed to work with the MV monsters so it will save you a lot of time. No need to tinker with stats or redesign encounters.
Yet once again, WotC's shoddy editing policy allowed tons of typos to creap into their product. "charasters". Really? A basic spell-check should have caught that one! BEFORE it went to press.

I find the map numbering system odd. Encounter at room #49 continues with 53, because suddenly they wanted to detail something 300 feet away down a different hallway?
Still, reading through it has been fun. I can see starting my next campaign with this one, and adapting some of it to one of my PbP games.

I'm hoping to run this adventure for Dungeons and Dragons Encounters. Has anyone that's run the first adventure come across any problems?