D&D Campaign Ideas Set in the Underdark

The Underdark could be the perfect place for a Dungeons & Dragons countryside, as it is home to untold riches, mighty monsters, and mysteries of the ancient world. The Underdark is also one of the most dangerous places in the J&D multiverse, thanks to a lack of resources, few allies, incredibly dangerous J&D creatures, and the fact that he is protected by the faerzress, which is a magical form of radiation that interferes with teleportation and divination magick. These challenges are those that the bravest and most daring J&D players are looking for, which is why it’s worth setting up a campaign in the Underdark.

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The average J&D The game takes place on the surface world, with some races (like dwarves and gnomes) residing underground. The Underdark is a massive ecosystem in its own right, as it’s a subterranean realm that exists several miles below the surface. One of the more unusual things about the Underdark is that versions of it exist in several campaign worlds, including Oerth from Greyhawk, Abeir-Toril from J&Dthe default setting of , the Forgotten Realms and Eberron. The Underdark is home to subterranean races, such as drow and duergar, who rarely interact with the surface world except as part of evil plans.


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The Underdark is incredibly dangerous, but that’s what makes it so exciting. It’s a vast uncharted realm, with treasures waiting perhaps in every shadow, lost settlements waiting to be explored, and enemies waiting to be fought. The J&D groups that prefer combat and dungeon crawling will love an Underdark campaign, as the locals aren’t very talkative, so the role-playing aspect of the game will be light. Here are some campaign ideas for DMs who want to create a J&D campaign set in the Underdark.

The party are prisoners fleeing captivity in the Underdark


Underdark Neverwinter Campaign Art

Many Underdark campaigns begin on the surface world, with players having a reason to enter the incredibly dangerous realm below their own. This will give players the chance to prepare for the journey ahead, as they will need persistent light sources, food, and water. The environment of the Underdark is not hostile in the same way as a place like Icewind Dale in Rime of the Frostmaiden, so players don’t have to worry about what equipment they need to survive the harsh weather. There are plenty of other dangers waiting in the Underdark that are just as deadly as raging blizzards, and there is little the party can do to prepare for any eventuality.


A campaign that begins with players as prisoners of the Underdark denizens negates all preparation. There are Underdark races that will raid the surface in search of slaves, including drow, derro, and mind flayers. The campaign would begin with the party escaping from their captors, now trapped in the Underdark, possibly hundreds of miles from home, low on resources and surrounded by enemies. An Underdark campaign that begins with characters fleeing is ideal for players who enjoy exploration and survival mechanics, as the need for food and water is paramount. This may be a case where the DM might consider disallowing the use of the spell good berryor at least limit its use, as this ensures that the party will not need food, as this can make the campaign more or less frustrating, depending on the deputy’s plans.


One of the first drow cities discovered


Dungeons & Dragons Drow Wizard War of Everlasting Darkness Cover

The representation of drow culture in J&D is best known by The Legend of Drizzt series of novels, which showed the experiences of Drizzt Do’Urden growing up in the city of Menzoberranzan, and his rejection of society which had been tainted by the Doctrine of Lolth. A lot of J&D fans will also experience Ust Natha, the drow city of Baldur’s Gate 2, where the group must go undercover and deal with the townspeople, in search of stolen Silver Dragon Eggs. Drow society in the modern era is fascinating, especially with drow becoming more common in the surface world and abandoning the teachings of Lolth.


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The new and updated tradition for J&DDrow society has grown over the last few centuries in the game (at least in the Forgotten Realms), but what about the original drow? Little is known about the original drow, especially since worshipers of Lolth often twisted facts and lied about history, for their own nefarious ends. A campaign where one of the first drow cities was discovered offers DMs the chance to create their own unique version of the city of Myth Drannor, with a lost city full of treasures and knowledge waiting to be found. Such a discovery will not long remain a secret, as the drow seek to reclaim what is rightfully theirs, and the duergar and mind flayers come in search of ancient magic. There is also the question of why the city was abandoned in the first place, which could lead to a the Lord of the Rings‘ Balrog in J&D situation, where an ancient evil is awakened from its slumber, and it now has a path to the surface world.


The Underwater Campaign Underdark Dungeons & Dragons


Dungeons & Dragons Underwater Cover

The Underdark is home to some incredibly popular locations J&D monsters, as fans love to see beholders, drow, and mind flayers in games, except when facing them in battle, as they are also notoriously deadly in battle. There are some Underdark races that don’t spawn as often, simply because they’re aquatic creatures, and their towns and settlements are harder to flesh out than other races. These include aboleth, kuo-toa, and ixzan, all of which are fearsome in their own right and just as alien in thought as creatures like the beholders.

You can run underwater J&D 5th campaign, as there are several races that can breathe underwater, such as sea elves and merman, as well as magic items that could provide other humanoids with the ability to survive in the depths. The Underdark is a great place to conduct a hybrid underwater/surface campaign, as there are bodies of water in the Underdark, such as Glimmersea in the Forgotten Realms. This campaign is the perfect place to incorporate Lovecraftian ideas into J&D, with players exploring a dead R’leyh-style metropolis and the depths that reside therein. The aboleth make excellent campaign villains in an underwater game in the Underdark, as they are immortal telepaths with connections to the Far Realm, with plans that unfold across millennia, while the world of surface remains blissfully unaware of what is going on. This kind of Dungeons & Dragons The campaign is ideal for players who want to try something new and want to inject some Cthulhu mythos into the multiverse.


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