The Sunless Citadel was the first adventure for D&D Third Edition published by Wizards of the Coast.
If some players ever demand that I run 3.0/3.5e for them again, this would be one of my go-to modules for low-level characters. (The other being The Crucible of Freya, which I’ll take a look at later this month).
Why? Because it’s an enjoyable adventure.
There’s quite a few memorable encounters here. You’ve got a castle sunk into a ravine with an interesting history the characters can learn about. There’s a room with a strange globe that plays haunting music. And a cavern with a weird tree.
Among the standard fare of goblins and kobolds, the twig blight made its first appearance. (Though my players made plenty of Monty Python jokes about being attacked by a shrubbery).
You’ve also got a white dragon. (Okay, it’s a wyrmling, but up until Third Edition dragons often didn’t make an appearances in low-level adventures because they were too powerful).
And then there’s Meepo the Kobold.
Ah… Meepo, you were supposed to bring comic relief to the game.
But when my character, a ranger, played through the Sunless Citadel, kobolds weren’t his hated enemy, but he didn’t like them either. So your pleas for help went unheeded, and later the group found you nailed upside down to a wooden post by your enemies.
And when I ran the module, my players killed you outright. I think you reminded them too much of Jar Jar Binks–or maybe I intentionally role-played you that way because I didn’t like a lot of humor in my games.
Was this cruel? Yes.
In other worlds you’d go on to become a champion among your kind. You’d also have your skin ripped from your body and become a weird form of lycanthrope.
Aside from Meepo, there’s a lot of mystery, tone, and other interesting things the players should enjoy. There’s even some clues and rumor of things to come if the players want to continue with the other modules in this series.
The Sunless Citadel can, however, be a hard module if the players are careless or don’t understand their characters’ new-found abilities in Third Edition. At least, that was the experience I had.
It’s also DM-friendly. You have a lot of advice and rules clarifications for Third Edition throughout the module, which is something I might need if I run it again since it’s been sometime since I’ve DMed Third Edition.
Do you ever play or run The Sunless Citadel? What were your experiences? Did Meepo die in your games, too?