Undersea adventures


First Post
I'm doing a series of vignettes for a 5E Mystara campaign, and one of the locations I'd like to feature are the Undersea Kingdoms. These were sort of described in PC3: The Sea People, but like the other Creature Crucible books most of the space is dedicated to new races/classes, and like most of the 90s Mystara products it isn't altogether a serious treatment.

I've never run an underwater campaign before but it's something I've fantasized about and I'd like to get the feeling and the important details right. In addition to Sea Peoples I've dogeared from my gaming library 2E's Monstrous Arcana: The Sea Devils, 3.5's Stormwrack, and the third party books Depths of Despair (describing a city at the bottom of a maelstrom) and Monsters of the Boundless Blue.

Somewhere around here I think I have the Fantasy Flight Games Blue Planet books, but I don't remember those being super helpful the last time I had an idea like this, so I haven't pulled them out.

Is there anything you can recommend, especially in old Dragon articles or 2/3E products that might already be collecting dust in my library? What would you advise when it comes to a deep sea adventure, and playing it on a grid?


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Staff member
Glad to help.

[MENTION=2072]Aeolius[/MENTION] may have more to contribute if he shows- he runs a lot of stuff like this. More than I do, for sure!


I designed an undersea city map intended to be published for use with my Kaidan setting of Japanese horror (PFRPG) called Ryukyo - which literally means "sea dragon city" in Japanese - I don't know if it can help you being one of the undersea kingdoms of your Mystara game, but you're free to use it for personal use.



That's probably the most gorgeous underwater fantasy map I've ever seen. You bet I can use it! Thank you!

If you liked that, then here's an encounter scale map, I call Sea River Village. Imagine this being about 100 feet beneath the waves. A surface river emptying into the sea flows into a current that passes diagonally from the top right to the bottom left cutting a channel in the sea floor below with erosion. Some undersea folk, scavenger types, have tied reinforced nets across the path of the river current, in order to catch manufactured debris from the towns along that river, that have fallen into the river and eventually reaching this point under the sea. Probably much of the goods are just garbage and not practical for undersea use, like wood. However, periodic catches of gold and other metals unaffected by salt water, glass objects, and other manufactured goods that can be used or repurposed and sold to other undersea folk. There's a small den for the scavengers adjacent to the current on either side. The top left features recovered debris from the nets, including a full carriage and even small ballista they've repurposed for their defenses.

If you're using a VT app, or have access to a reliable graphics program to create your own encounter scale maps, I offer a set of 50 Undersea Plants and Creatures as a map pack available at DTRPG. The set comes at 72 dpi, 100 dpi, and 300 dpi (the latter for use in printing your maps) for $4.99



Remember that your grid is really a cube, not a square, because things can happen at multiple depths. Study that z-axis on your map, it starts at the sea bottom and goes up into the sky. There are mountains, valleys, cliffs, and chasms under the sea, each with different amounts of water pressure and different temperatures and visibility ranges...

Voidrunner's Codex

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