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Is The Sunless Citadel a well-designed adventure module?

Is The Sunless Citadel a well-designed adventure module?

  • Yes

    Votes: 119 73.9%
  • No

    Votes: 30 18.6%
  • Other

    Votes: 12 7.5%


First Post
Is the D&D3 adventure module The Sunless Citadel a well-designed adventure module?


I’m not asking if you like it or had fun with it. I’m not asking if it is a great piece of D&D history. Just, is it well designed as a published adventure for general D&D play?

If it is, what could current module designers/authors learn from it? What should current module designers/authors try to emulate about it?


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Moderator Emeritus
I chose "other" - I have never read it, played it or run it.

But I must admit I am prejudiced against both 2E and 3E modules.


I had to change some of the layout of the upper level to get it to make sense. The choke-point of the whole complex -- the one room everyone has to pass through to get in and out -- was "controlled" by Meepo... I thought that was feeble. I added some extra walls/doors and remove some to make it possible for the goblins and the kobolds to move a bit more freely without intruding on each other's territory. And I removed Meepo.


First Post
I'll say yes. My appreciation for this module increased after having played it, I started DM'ing a homebrew. 1st level character are a bit tricky to design for, they are surprisingly and almost randomly fragile. Sunless Citadel is very good at sheparding characters into 2 level, and offering challenging but hopefully not lethal encounters.


First Post
I played through it, never DMed.

I think it is well designed. There are some bad decisions, but it was a good 1st level romp. The backstory is really interesting. What was it, a tree grown from a stake put through a vampire? that's cool.


First Post
I've DM'd it...I thought that it was well-designed. Except for the Meepo subplot with the recapture of the white dragon. A group of 1st level PCs trying to capture a young white dragon? I had a lot of laughs with that at my player's expense.


I've run it and it played reasonably well. There are some things I'd change about it if I ever ran it again but overall I think it was a fine module. It was darned easy to slot into my homebrew setting, provided some good diplomacy and RPing opportunities, and some memorable battles.

The worst design choice in it was the twig blights themselves. They get two attacks for 1d2 damage each and each successful hit requires a saving throw from the PC, who takes 1 more point of damage if he fails. Since these things attack in groups, the rolling wore a little thin after a while, especially in the fight with 10 of the buggers (that's 20 attack rolls per round for them alone, nevermind the potential number of saving throws).

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