The Sunless Citadel


The Sunless Citadel

Author: Bruce R. Cordell
Publisher: Wizards of the Coast
Level: 4 1st level PCs
ISBN: 0-7869-1640-0
Pages: 32
Rating: 8 out of 10
Retail Price: $14.95


The Sunless Citadel is the first in a series of adventures designed to take an average party from 1st level to 20th level. It was released almost simultaneously with the release of 3.0 D&D. As such, it’s written for version 3.0, and requires a few minor changes to make it compatible with version 3.5. The adventure is suitable for four characters of 1st level, and should advance such a party to 2nd or even 3rd level before the adventure’s end.

The rundown is that the town of Oakhurst lies within a short distance of an old castle. This castle used to be home to an ancient dragon cult, but sank into a ravine that opened in the earth beneath it. Goblin banditry in the area has grown so bad that the old road that used to pass by the castle has fallen into disuse. A number of plot hooks are offered, but the one most likely to used for parties not native to Oakhurst is that two teenage children from an important merchant family decided to try their hand at adventuring and took off for the citadel. They have not returned, and their mother offers the PCs a reward for finding them (or bringing back their rings so she has the peace of mind to know they’re dead). The search is complicated due to the fact that a tribe of kobolds has made the citadel their residence, resulting in a guerrilla war between the kobold tribe and a tribe of goblins. To make matters worse, an evil druid inhabits a cavern beneath the citadel, breeding strange plant creatures. If things go smoothly, the PCs ally with the kobold tribe and receive information and a measure of assistance to help them defeat or bypass the goblin tribe. After this, they confront the druid and destroy his local power source.

I have participated in The Sunless Citadel both as a player and as a DM. It’s an extremely easy adventure to run as a DM because it was designed to aid a new DM and help teach him the rules of the game. As a player, it can be somewhat of a challenge, if not handled with the utmost care, but there is plenty of reward to justify the challenge.

I’d definitely recommend The Sunless Citadel to any DM, especially one new to the game. It requires a little bit of updating to make it compatible with version 3.5, but such work is worth it for the adventure that would result. Players new to the game should also get a real benefit from the adventure, since it provides a good mix of challenges that compliment the abilities of just about every character class. Additionally, if they look closely, the PCs might find a built-in lead to the next adventure in the series, The Forge of Fury.