Conversion Notes - Sunless Citadel for D&D5


Sunless Citadel (D&D5 Conversion Notes)

I am working on a conversion for Sunken Citadel and beyond. These notes are mostly for my own benefit (my laptop is unreliable and I'm worried I might lose the stuff saved to the hard drive, so I wanted to put a copy online for reference if it does break), but others should feel free to refer/alter my notes if they like. :D


Lord Byron Brafford (a powerfully built man in his 50’s) is suffering from an ailment that leaves him weka and bedridden. His son, the young knight Sir Benten Brafford has left to pursue rumours of a magical fruit growing near Oakhurst that heals any ailment. He has not returned and Lord Brafford grows worried, he hires the PCs to;
a: find his missing son
b: recover the magical fruit, if it exists

The PCs should travel to Oakhurst. The major NPCs in town include;
Mayor Vurnor Leng (male human)
Kerowyn Hucrele (female, human) - merchant, owns store, largest house in town
Corkie Nackle (gnome, female) - healer, missing brother
Felosial (female, half-elf) - town sheriff
Rurik Lutgehr (male, dwarf) - blacksmith
Garon (human, male) - bartender at the Old Boar Inn.

Under duress, the villagers (Kerowyn Hucrele specifically) will reveal that they buy the magical fruit once a year off a goblin that visit’s the town. The goblins are known to lair to the south, this is the direction that Sir Brafford headed off in, to find the goblins.

If the PCs camp between Oakhurst and the ravine, they are attacked during the night by two Needle Blights (page 32, MM).

AREA 0 : DARK RAVINE - A ravine split’s the earth, descending 50ft to Area 1. The rope left by Sir Brafford’s party has been anchored to a dwarves pillar (DC.5 Str/Athletics).

AREA 1: SANDY LEDGE - The area is dimly illuminated (disadvantage on Wis/Perception) if the sun is overhead, otherwise it is dark (blinded condition). Three giant rats (p.327, MM) try to sneak up on (d20+2 vs. passive wisdom) the first PC to reach the ledge. Wis/Survival (DC.10) to find tracks left by Sir Brafford leading down to Area 2 > 3.

AREA 2: SWITCHBACK STAIRS - Rough steps lead deeper into the ravine. Illumination becomes dark, even if the sun is overhead. Pcs (with dark vision) get their first look at the Sunken Citadel below them.

AREA 3: CRUMBLED COURTYARD - Steps end in what would once have been the battlements of the citadel. A door leads into a tower. There is a hidden pit trap in front of the door (DC.15 Wis/Perception to notice, or 15 against passive Perception - DC.10 Dex/Acrobatics to avoid taking 1d6 [bludgeoning] damage - can be spiked to disable). Jumping over DC.15 Str/Athletics or Dex/Acrobatics (advantage with a run up). Pit contains two dead (and partially eaten) goblins and one giant rat (pp.327, MM).
Loot: 16 silver pieces between the two goblins.

AREA 4: TOWER SHELL - Four dead, looted goblins lie sprawled around the room, one of which is pinned to a wooden door with a spear. Four short swords lie discarded.

AREA 5 - Not used in conversion.

AREA 6: OLD APPROACH - Stone door carved to resemble dragon. Sealed by Arcane Lock spell (door’s AC increases from 17 > 27, HP 18 > 28). Cannot pick lock. Can be opened by the key in Area 21.

AREA 7: GALLERY OF FORLORN NOTES - Glowing orb makes tinkling noises, anyone approaching within 5ft causes sinister music (the Jaws theme) to swell. Anyone within a 30ft radius of the orb must make a DC.15 Wisdom save or be effected by the Fear spell (p.239, PH). PCs can re-roll save once they are out of earshot. Destroying the orb (AC.13, HP. 3) causes the music to stop.

AREA 8: PRESSURE PLATE - Hidden pressure plate in the floor causes an arrow to be fired at the victim (DC. 15 Wisdom/Perception to notice trap or 15 against passive Perception - trap attack d20+5 to inflict 1d6 [piercing] damage - DC.10 Dexterity roll with thieves tools to disarm trap, or you could just step over it).
AREA 9: DRAGON’S RIDDLE - Answering the riddle causes secret door to open. There is no other way to open it, although once open it can be spiked.

AREA 10: HONOUR GUARD - Obvious spike pit obstructs progress to Area 12. Falling in causes 1d6 [bludgeoning] plus 1d4 [piercing] damage. Climbing out DC. 10 Str/Athletics. Jumping over DC.15 Str/Athletics or Dex/Acrobatics (advantage with a run up). Secret door in southern alcove (DC.15 Wis/Perception to locate) leads into Area 11.

AREA 11: SECRET ROOM - Dusty room contains inscription about the Wight in Area 12. A secret trapdoor (DC.15 Wis/Perception to locate) leads into a crawlspace to Area 12.

AREA 12: TOMB OF A FAILED DRAGONPRIST - Room guarded by a quasit called Jot (p.63, MM) who lurks invisibly near the pit. The first person to cross is targeted with its Scare ability. After taking 4 damage, it turns into a bat and tries to escape. The room is illuminated by an ever burning torch with a green flame, this can be taken as treasure. The room contains a sarcophagus sealed with six metal clasps, removing one requires a DC.20 Strength roll (or they can be broken, AC. 19, HP. 5). Breaking the sarcophagus is marginally easier (AC. 17, HP. 18). Opening the sarcophagus releases the Wight within (p.300, MM), this is the cursed dragon priest. It is wielding a mace (1d6 bludgeoning) instead of a long sword (1d8 slashing). AC reduced to 12 as it is wearing tattered vestments instead of studded leather.
Loot: A +1 dagger is sheathed on the Wight’s belt, it also wears jewellery (ring worth 5g, amulet worth 10g, two silver bracelets resembling stylised dragons worth 15g each). The sarcophagus contains 1700 copper, 1200 silver, 60 gold and four Cleric spell scrolls: Cure Wounds, Inflict Wounds, Guiding Bolt & Command.

AREA 13 - Not used in conversion.

AREA 14 - Not used in conversion.

AREA 15: FLEW THE COOP - Kobold Meepo (p. 195, MM) is unhappy that goblins have abducted kobold tribe’s pet/mascot, the white dragon wyrmling Calcyrx. He can be persuaded to take the PCs to meet the kobold leader Yusdrayl.
Loot: 4 small jade figurines of dragons on bench, the fifth is in the fire pit (15g each).

AREA 16: KOBOLD BOUNDERS - Each of these rooms is a guard post occupied by four kobolds (p. 195, MM). If Meepo is with the party, they gain advantage on Cha/Persuasion rolls to avoid combat.

AREA 17: DRAGON CHOW - Unlocked wooden door to small room where Meepo keeps the rats that are fed to Calcyrx. Opening the door causes the swarm of rats (p. 339, MM) to attack.

AREA 18: PRISONERS OF WAR - Locked room (DC. 15 Dex/Thieves Tools to unlock, DC.15 to break down - or AC. 15, HP. 12 to destroy) contains three goblin prisoners chained to the floor. Yusdrayl holds the key, breaking chains DC. 20 Strength (or AC. 19, HP. 5 to destroy). The goblins promise to escort the PCs to meet Chief Durrn but do not plan to honour this promise. Helping the goblins makes the kobolds hostile.

AREA 19: HALL OF DRAGONS - Patrolled by a group of four kobolds (p. 195, MM).

AREA 20 - KOBOLD COLONY - Entrance to colony obstructed by locked/guarded wooden door (DC. 15 Dex/Thieves Tools to unlock, DC.15 to break down - or AC. 15, HP. 12 to destroy). Password “ticklecorn” (spoken in Draconic) or Cha/Deception DC.20 to get guard to open the door. Colony occupied by 24 non-combatant kobolds (old, young, female) and three kobold guards (p.195, MM).

AREA 21: THE DRAGON THRONE - Here waits Yusdrayl, leader of the kobold tribe (custom monster - Winged Kobold with three Sorcerer levels, see below). She is attended by her 4 kobold bodyguards (p.195, MM). She can be negotiated with if the PC’s agree to attack the goblins/rescue Calcyrx. Charisma rolls have advantage if Meepo is with the party. She sends Meepo with the group as an NPC.
Loot: On top of the altar behind Yusdrayl’s throne are: a Qualls Feather Token [Tree], two Wizard spell scrolls [Mage Armour & Spider Climb] and one Cleric spell scroll [Faerie Fire] and three vials of antitoxin (PH). The key can be used to open the door in Area 6.

AREA 22: LARDER - Kobolds store/prepare their food in this room.

AREA 23: UNDERDARK ACCESS - Tunnel leading to the Underdark guarded by three kobolds (p.195, MM).

24: TRAPPED ACCESS - Short passage leads into goblin-hel part of the dungeon. The passage is trapped with a hidden pit trap (DC.15 Wis/Perception to notice, or 15 against passive Perception - DC.10 Dex/Acrobatics to avoid taking 1d6 [bludgeoning] damage - can be spiked to disable). Jumping over DC.15 Str/Athletics or Dex/Acrobatics (advantage with a run up).

25: DESOLATE - Evidence of a camp fire left by Sir Brafford and company. DC.10 Wis/Survial to follow tracks leading north to Area 26 > 28 > 29 (then back again).

26: DRY FOUNTAIN - Reading inscription in Draconic causes red liquid to trickle from fountain. Bottled, this liquid acts like Alchemist’s Fire (PH).

27: SANCTUARY - No obvious means of opening door, opened by casting a Cleric spell on it (clue in inscription). Any other attempt causes statue to animate and attack with scythe (attack +5, 1d8 [slashing] damage). Five sarcophagi contain five skeletons (p272, MM) that attack anyone disturbing the sarcophagi or the loot.
Loot: A small chest contains six peridot gems carrced to resemble dragons (10g each) and a magic item called “Night Caller”. A whistle made of transparent iron (nihilism). Three charges, whistle recovers 1d3 charges at midnight. Acts as per the Animate Dead spell.

28: INFESTED CELLS - The cellblock is now occupied by three giant rats (p.327, MM).

29: OLD TRAPS - Two pit traps have been spiked open (by Sir Brafford’s group). Another dry fountain with another inscription in Draconic. This one triggers a trap, as per the Stinking Cloud spell (p278,PH).

30: MAMA RAT - Mama Guthash (use stats for Brown Bear, p. 319, MM) and three giant rats (p.327, MM) occupy this chamber. The body of Karavak (one of Sir Brafford’s companions) can be found here.
Loot: Searching the refuse gathered here yields 300 silver, 68 gold, three gems worth 20 gold each. Karavak’s loot includes: five daggers, studded leather armour, explorer’s pack, potion of healing, pouch containing 17 gold and his ring (inscribed with his name) worth 10 gold.
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continued... (I've made a few changes to the stuff I posted last night, will maybe post the finalised document after I've play tested it). :D

31: CALTROP HALL - The southern door into the passage is rigged with a bell that alerts the goblins in Area 32 if it is not disabled. DC.10 Wis/Perception to notice (or 10 against passive Perception if door is opened carefully), DC.5 Dexterity/Thieves Tools to disable. The room beyond is littered with iron caltrops. Moving through at half-speed avoids harm, normal movement (or dashing) causes a d20+0 attack roll (no bonus to AC for armour, shield or deflection - but +2 AC if wearing boots, so 10 + Dex mod + 2 if wearing boots), 1 damage [piercing] per 5ft travelled. Players can collect the (eight) caltrops.

32: DURBULUK GOBLIN GATE - Two goblins (p.166, MM) lurk beyond a 3” tall barricade (gaining ¾ cover, +5 AC and Dexterity saving throws), they pop up an throw javelins at the PCs if they are detected in Area 31. After first round, one goblin tries to escape to Area 33 and alert the four goblins there. PCs can vault the barricade with a DC.10 Strength/Athletics or Dexterity/Acrobatics roll, otherwise it takes half their movement.

33: THE PRACTISE RANGE - Four goblins (p.166, MM) - or five if they were joined by one from Area 34 - occupy this area, either throwing javelins at humanoid target dummies or indulging in foul goblin moonshine. Another low wall obstructs part of the room and the goblins will be behind this if alerted (see Area 32 for effects of the wall in combat). If half the goblins are killed, the rest retreat to Area 39.
Loot: One of the goblins carries a dwarves flask (half full of nasty goblin booze) worth 50 gold and the key to the cage containing Erky Timbers in Area 34.

AREA 34: GOBLIN STOCKADE - The goblins hold four prisoners here, three kobolds (p. 195, MM) chained to the floor (DC. 20 Strength to break with brute strength or AC. 19, HP. 5 to destroy) and a gnome (fighter 1/cleric 1) called Erky Timbers in a small, steel cage (DC.15 Dex/Thieves Tools to pick the lock, AC. 19, HP. 5 to break the lock). One of the goblins in Area 33 has the key. The kobolds just want to go home (but could maybe be convinced to fight if Meepo is with the party, DC. 20 Cha/Persuasion). If the PCs are defeated by the goblins, they are locked up here. Stats for Erky Timbers if he joins the party as an NPC are below.

AREA 35: TRAPPED CORRIDOOR - Passage is trapped with a hidden pit trap (DC.15 Wis/Perception to notice, or 15 against passive Perception - DC.10 Dex/Acrobatics to avoid taking 1d6 [bludgeoning] damage - can be spiked to disable). Jumping over DC.15 Str/Athletics or Dex/Acrobatics (advantage with a run up). Searching the pit turns up a gold ring with an insert sapphire worth 25 gold. Making a lot of noise alerts the goblins stationed in Area 36.

AREA 36: GOBLIN BANDITS - Each of these rooms is a guard post occupied by six goblins (p. 166, MM).

AREA 37: TROPHY ROOM - Locked double wooden doors (DC. 15 Dex/Thieves Tools to unlock, DC.15 to break down - or AC. 15, HP. 12 to destroy). Floor of the trophy room is patchy with ice, moving at normal speed or higher requires Dexterity/Acrobatics to avoid falling prone on slippery surface. The goblins chained the white dragon wyrmling Calyrx (p.102, MM) here, but it has broken its bonds and trashed the place. The goblins are too scared to enter and subdue it. It does not want to be rescued and any attempt at diplomacy is at disadvantage if Meepo is with the group.
Loot: The wyrmling has made a nest in one corner of the room, containing a jade dragon figurine worth 20 gold, a crystal goblet worth 5 gold, 24 pieces of fine silverware worth 1 gold each (24 gold total) and a chain mail shirt. Finally, a bone scroll case contains a partially ruined map labelled Khundrukar (dwarves translation: Glitterhame) indicating a secret dwarves stronghold built by Durgeddin the Black. DC. 15 (or DC.5 for dwarves PCs) to know that Durgedin the Black was a legendary dwarves blacksmith who forged many magical weapons. An expedition to his forges would be very profitable (foreshadowing next adventure “Forge of Fury“). The scroll is worth 100 gold if sold to a dwarves community, this community may then hire then PCs to go to Glitterhame on their behalf.

38: GOBLIN THRU-WAY - Storeroom for goblin junk. Not much going on here.

39: DRAGON HAZE - Smoky torches create dim illumination throughout this chamber. Unless the goblins from Area 33 retreated here and alerted the guards in the adjacent guard room (Area 36), this area is unoccupied.

40: GOBLINVILLE - This is the living area for the Durbuluk goblin tribe. Noisy and smelly area, crude huts. There are almost 50 goblinoids living here, although only four goblins (p.166, MM) and three hobgoblins (p186, MM) are combatants. If an alert is raised, reinforcements are summoned from the adjacent guard room (Area 36). The area is pretty chaotic and sneaky groups should be able to get through the area undetected.

41: HALL OF THE GOBLIN CHIEF - Chief Durrn (a hobgoblin with fighter levels., see below) and his retainers lounge in this circular room. A hole in the floor descends 80ft to the grove level of the dungeon, thick vines climbs the sides of the pit, DC.5 Strength/Athletics to descend safely. The chief is accompanied by four goblins (p.166, MM), three hobgoblins (p.186, MM) and his advisor Grenl (a goblin with 1 cleric level, see below). If compelled, Durrn can reveal that Sir Brafford and Sharwyn were captured and sent down to Belak the Outcast in the grove level below, Talgen was killed here and his body is on the compost pile below (Area 42). The iron chest is not locked but is trapped with poison needles (DC.15 Wis/Perception to detect trap, DC. 15 Dex/Thieves Tools to disable - victim takes 1 damage [piercing] and 2d10 [poison] damage, then must roll DC.15 Constitution save or be poisoned [disadvantage on attack/ability rolls] for one hour).
Loot: Chief Durrn is wearing Talgen’s ring (worth 10 gold) and scale mail. The iron chest he was using as a footrest contains 230 gold, two onyx gems worth 30 gold each, two vials of antitoxin, Wizard spell scroll [Knock] and a Potion of Cat’s Grace (any non-combat Dexterity based roll has advantage for one hour, the drinker grows whiskers and has the strange urge to lick his/her own unmentionables).


AREA 42: COMPOST HEAP - Cavern at the bottom of the shaft dimly illuminated by prosperous fungi growing on walls, this is true of the whole level. A large compost heap breaks the fall of anyone falling down the shaft (no damage). Two robed figures are turning the compost with pitchforks, these turn out to be skeletons (p.272, MM).

AREA 43: THE GREAT HUNTER - This is the lair of Balsag the Hunter (bugbear, p. 33, MM) and his two “hounds” (giant rats, p.327, MM) called Grip and Fang.
Loot: Weapons on the rack include two spears, six javelins, one longsword, one battleaxe. Searching the rat’s nest uncovers 29 silver & 27 gold among the droppings.

AREA 44: RIFT - Earth tremors have collapsed this tunnel and left a narrow rift to Area 47 [f]. It is pretty narrow in place and requires a Dex/Acrobatics check to get through (advantage with light armour or disadvantage with heavy armour) without getting stuck and having to turn back.

AREA 45 - Not used in this conversion.

AREA 46 - Not used in this conversion.

AREA 47: BELAK’S GOBLIN COMMON - The main thru-way is empty, but making lots of noise will draw the goblins (p.166, MM) from areas a-f from their respective chores. Tables in the thr-way are covered with fungi/herbs, mortars and pestles, etc. DC.15 Int/Nature identifies some of the herbs as having curative properties (2d4+2 HP when applied to a wound). All of the plants look pale and sun-starved. There are six rooms leading off the thru-way, labelled a - f.
A - Pallets for sixteen goblins, two are occupied by sleeping goblins.
B - Two barefooted goblins are stomping roots into pulp to make nasty goblin moonshine. Two gallon casks of the loathsome stuff are stacked nearby.
C - Two goblins repairing dirty goblin armour as best they can.
D - Two goblin (doctors?) monitor the health of a giant rat strapped to a table. The rat is afflicted with weird, fruit-like tumours and barky skin. The elixir that caused this is nearby, drinking it requires a DC.15 Constitution save or the victim is effected in the same way (Charisma score drops by 1, disadvantage on Charisma rolls (except Intimidate) unless growths are hidden, permanently effected by Barkskin spell [AC cannot be lower than 16] - Charisma drops by a further 1 point every month/adventure, if reduced to Charisma 0, the victim turns into a Vine Blight (p.32, MM).
E - Extra weapon storage contains 5 short swords and thirty javelins
F - Empty room, earth tremors have opened a rift into Area 44. It is pretty narrow in place and requires a Dex/Acrobatics check to get through (advantage with light armour or disadvantage with heavy armour) without getting stuck and having to turn back.

AREA 48: GALLERY - Two long chambers where Belak is trying to grow surface plants under the dim light of the glowing fungus. Both areas are supervised by a single bugbear gardener (p. 33, MM) wielding a scythe (1d10 [slashing] damage, two hands required). Combat could attract the goblins from Area 49, but not the skeletons.

AREA 49: ARBORETUM - There are four of these chambers adjacent to Area 48.
A & C - Four goblins (p.166, MM) harvest glowing fungus to be processed in Area 47.
B & D - Three hooded skeletons (p.272, MM) turn composite with pitchforks.

AREA 50: ASHARDALON’S SHRINE - Chamber dominated by statue of a large dragon. Two Shadows (p.269,m MM) lurks in the statue’s shadow and attacks anyone approaching the statue. Standing in the redstone circle and reading the Draconic runes causes the dragon to bless the person, granting them Draconic Inspiration d6 (as per the Bard ability) to use within the next 24 hours.
Loot: A loose stone in the wall behind the statue (DC.15 Wisdom/Perception to locate) yields 34 gold and two bottles of Alchemist’s Fire.

AREA 51: DRAGON LIBRARY - Searching the ruined library (DC.20 Wisdom/Perception, reduce by 5 for every hour spent searching) yields two Wizard spell scrolls [cantrips Acid Splash & Minor Illusion] and a book of Draconic Lore bound in dragon hide, worth 150 gold. Reading the book grants the reader Favored Enemy [Dragon], as per the Hunter class. This is a one-time bonus and does not increase with level as the class ability does.

AREA 52: UNDERPASS - Steps go down, steps go up.

AREA 53: NATURE’S LORE - Locked room (DC. 15 Dex/Thieves Tools to unlock, DC.15 to break down - or AC. 15, HP. 12 to destroy), Belak has the only key. Lots of assorted druid crap. Besides the actual loot, one book titled “Treasures of the Fire Lords” is trapped (DC.20 Int/Arcana or 20 against passive Perception to notice, opening book causes a jet of flame to shoot out 15ft, 4d6 [fire] damage or half that with a DC.15 Dex save).
Loot: DC.15 Wis/Perception to find two Druid spell scrolls [Entangle & Protection from Poison]. There is also a tome in druidic (Belak’s personal journal) that grants x2 Proficiency bonus on Int/Nature to any druid that reads it.

AREA 54: GROVE GATE - Four goblins (p.166, MM) sort through piles of twigs and sticks. The area opens into a much larger cavern (Area 55).

AREA 55: 10 Twig Blights (p.32, MM) are rooted around this room. The party initially encounter 1d4, 2 more arrive every round thereafter until all 10 are involved.

AREA 56: GULTHIAS TREE - A tree of evil grows amidst crumbling ruins. Encountered here are: Belak the Outcast (use stats for Druid, p.346, MM), his giant frog familiar Kulket (p.325, MM), Sir Brafford (use stats for Knight, p. 347, MM) and Sharwyn (use stats for Acolyte, p.342, MM) - plus any twig blights the PCs did not kill in Area 55.
Both Sir Brafford and Sharwyn have been “accepted” by the Gulthias tree and are permanently effected by the Barkskin spell (C cannot be lower than 16). Initially, only Sir Brafford, Kulket and the Twig Blights attack in melee, Belak and Sharwyn hold back to cast spells unless the Gulthias Tree is targeted, in which case Belak immediately goes on the offensive against the culprit. The Gulthias tree is unable to defend itself (AC. 15, HP. 27) and destroying it destroys Sir Brafford & Sharwyn and causes any remaining Twig Blights to turn on Belak. However, destroying the tree also destroys the magical fruit growing from it (like a tumour), which could be plucked and taken back to Braffburg to heal Lord Byron. The white fruit can be cut into 4 slices, eating it acts like the Heal spell. The black fruit can also be cut into 4 slices, eating one causes 7d6 [poison] damage, or half on DC.15 Constitution roll.

Now I just need to look at statting up the unusual monsters that I cannot replicate using the MM.

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