5E Enhancing "Waterdeep: Dungeon of the Mad Mage"

jayoungr

Adventurer
With Dungeon of the Mad Mage due for its official release very soon, it's time for the traditional "Enhancing" wiki thread!

This post contains shortcuts to particular posts* that offer suggestions and answer questions raised by the adventure. It is broken down by chapter:

Dungeon Key
Undermountain Overview

  • Resource Management: #10
  • Reviews/Impressions: #8

Level 1: Dungeon Level

  • Traps: #9

Level 2: Arcane Chambers
Level 3: Sargauth Level
Level 4: Twisted Caverns
Level 5: Wyllowwood
Level 6: Lost Level
Level 7: Maddgoth's Castle

  • Wandering Monsters: #6
  • Stone Giants: #7

Level 8: Slitherswamp
Level 9: Dweomercore
Level 10: Muiral's Gauntlet
Level 11: Troglodyte Warrens
Level 12: Maze Level
Level 13: Trobriand's Graveyard
Level 14: Arcturiadoom
Level 15: Obstacle Course
Level 16: Crystal Labyrinth
Level 17: Seadeeps
Level 18: Vanrakdoom
Level 19: Caverns of Ooze
Level 20: Runestone Caverns
Level 21: Terminus Level
Level 22: Shadowdusk Hold
Level 23: Mad Wizard's Lair
Skullport
App. A: Dungeons Denizens
App. B: Elder Runes Deck
App. C: Secrets Deck

[Most recent indexed post:
#10]


*These posts typically start discussions so don't forget to read relevant following posts!
 
Last edited:

robus

Lowcountry Low Roller
[MENTION=6702445]jayoungr[/MENTION] - kindly hit the wiki button on the first post, if you please :)
 

jayoungr

Adventurer
No worries. Have you got your hands on a copy yet?
Nope, not yet. But usually when I wait to make these threads, people who have advance copies start a review thread where all the interesting discussion happens, so I wanted to be ahead of the curve if possible.

(And added to the pinned "best of" thread as I'm sure valuable posts will soon be forthcoming :) )
Thanks!
 

Daern

Explorer
First thing's first, Wandering Monster tables.
I've only done level 7, since that's what I ran last night. It's a mix of what might be encountered on the level and adjacent levels.
1 Umber Hulk (1-6)
2 Cave Bear (1-6)
3 Stone Giants (1-4)
4 Grey Slaad, disguised as a duergar, looking for its mate(1)
5 Duergar Patrol, Clan Iron Eye (3d4)
6 Xorn (1)
7 Bullette (1)
8 Cloakers (1-6)
9 Giant Frogs (2-12)
10 Grimlocks (2-16)
 

Daern

Explorer
Also for Level 7 I decided that the Stone Giants lost their memory because they are eating a "Memory Moss" that trips them out and ruins their long terms recall. Not that the players discovered this but it gave me peace of mind.
 
I have a question, how would you manage the instakill trap in the first floor. It seems to be taylor made to make a character fall on it, disguise it as an magic item, put it in a box protected by a trap... Reads like it's a reward, but the item when attuned just.. instakills the PC. I was thinking of giving a hint in the form of an Illusion on the empty room near the heart where the book tells you to put a regional effect.
Empty Room is the room #13 and the trap is #14.
 

Daern

Explorer
Crossposted from first impressions thread:
This dungeon would benefit from a instituting some resource management rules, as 5e elides much of that. Encumbrance, strict time keeping (turns exploring), rations, light, etc
In my non-5e game I've been using a "Doom Die" to combine most of these together.
I roll d6 each turn
1 Encounter: Roll encounter & distance: melee 1, short 2-3, medium 4-5, long 6 & Surprise (2 in 6)
2 Weariness & Stress: Rest & eat one ration or lose 1 HP
3 Environment: Development or occurrence: noise, temperature, denizens move etc
4 Expiration:Torch burns out; ½ lantern oil burned, spell and potion effects end
5 Discovery: A clue, secret or hint of nearby danger
6 Luck: Free turn of exploration
I'm using a simple, "1 item slot per point of Strength" encumbrance system.
I'm going to make it gold for XP as well, which should encourage more exploration at the expense of fighting, though it mean we have to start adding in treasure.
 

CapnZapp

Hero
I'm going to make it gold for XP as well, which should encourage more exploration at the expense of fighting, though it mean we have to start adding in treasure.
I believe you are already aware of this, but for the benefit of any new viewers:

For each hoard, take the CR of the main monster (or the "effective CR" of a group of monsters, if there aren't a given BBEG).

Generate your hoard per DMG. (Obviously, using an online generator is the quick and easy way.. Especially if you can find one with new items from splatbooks factored in as opposed to the "DMG items only" restriction of most)

Ignore tier IV hoards, they result in ridiculous amounts of wealth. That is, treat a monster CR of 17+ as 16 for purposes of gold. (Of course feel free to make an exception when you no longer feel "reaching level 20 too soon" is a concern)

Now, if the monster CR falls in the upper half of each tier, double the DMG's monetary rewards (that is, 100 GP becomes 200 GP. One +1 dagger still remains one dagger). Tiers are 1-4, 5-10, 11-16 and 17+. So the "upper half" of tier I is CR 3 and CR 4, and so on.

You get treasure that comes close to the XP the regular rules would award.

That is, treasure that enables 1 GP = 1 XP. :)

Source: http://blogofholding.com/?p=6760
 
I got this for xmas and am currently runnign my group through the rise of tiamat.
They did a side quest whereby forces identified (or hinted) rather at a famed cache of magic deep in undermountain that woudl give the heroes a significant boost in the final battle against Tiamat. Ie a dungeon crawl in search of lost treasure.

Something 15-16th level characters may need to fight an 800 hp five headed dragon.
I am thinking I will send them to Terminus - the planetar there - since fallen from grace was supposed to be the guardian of the cache.
If they can turn him back good he will give them the items before returning to the outer planes, having fullfilled his task. If not they can loot the items from him forceably.

Some sort of powerful weapon:
- Dragonslayer of speed?
- +3 shield of energy resistance
- +3 plate mail
 

jayoungr

Adventurer
Some sort of powerful weapon:
- Dragonslayer of speed?
- +3 shield of energy resistance
- +3 plate mail
How many players do you have, and how optimized are they? My group made it to level 20 before fighting Tiamat, and they dispatched her easily without having any items that were that powerful. But they were super-optimized (they killed a CR 22 lich in his lair at level 16).
 
How many players do you have, and how optimized are they? My group made it to level 20 before fighting Tiamat, and they dispatched her easily without having any items that were that powerful. But they were super-optimized (they killed a CR 22 lich in his lair at level 16).
They are pretty buff but while tiamat may be so what weakened through mask deprivation I will add in allies to deplete them on the way in. There is no real optimised warrior in the party.
 

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