June 28, 2020 0 Comments

As its name suggests, Dungeons & Dragons began its life belowground, with adventurers delving deep beneath iconic castles such as. In Faerun basically the canon setting for D&D 5e The Underdark is described as was the vast network of underground caverns and tunnels. Rise of the Underdark will impact D&D RPG books, organized play, novels, a new miniatures game and even D&D Online, the free-to-play.

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Be civil to one another – Unacceptable behavior includes name calling, taunting, baiting, flaming, etc. The intent is for everyone to act as civil adults. Respect the opinions of others – Each table is unique, just because someone plays differently to you it does not make them wrong.

You don’t have to agree with them, but you also don’t have to argue or harass them about it. Do not suggest ways for such material to be obtained. Use clear, concise title names – Titles must be clear, concise, and not worded in a misleading fashion. Do not post memes – Memes should not be posted unless used to contribute to a preexisting discussion. Limit external links – Links to external sites such as blogs, storefronts, or Kickstarters should be limited to one per two weeks.

This limit is a limit on a per-site basis, not a per user basis. Memes and images in their respective weekly threads are exempt from this rule as well. Homebrew must be tagged – Homebrew submissions should begin with the [Homebrew] tag or contain the [Homebrew] flair, and you may only post one new homebrew thread per day. I’ll be honest, I only have a vague understanding of what the Underdark actually is. I want to take it as a favored terrain for my ranger, but in order to do that, I need to actually be able know what it is.

Massive underground cave system that is home to entire civilizations of mostly evil creatures. The deeper you go, the scarier things are. It’s even so large as to have its own oceans in some spots. But that may depend on which campaign setting you’re in.

It’s basically Australia in the sense that everything that lives there wants to kill you in horrible horrible ways. Ever heard of the Piercer?

It’s literally a living stalactite that drops on it’s prey and impales it. Lives in the underdark. It’s still not a koala, but it is close to a drop bear, I’ll grant that. Something I’m not quite clear on – where does The World Above end and the Underdark begin on average? That wiki page says that the Upperdark is the first three miles below the surface. Their Upperdark page says that it is a realm 3 miles below the surface – implying it starts 3 miles down.

I’ve been ruling that the Underdark doesn’t start until roughly 3 miles below the surface, and that a surface cave must connect to, or have once relatively recently connected to, a cave system of significant size at that depth for it to ever eventually be considered part of the Underdark.

I have two players with Underdark links, and I’m writing a campaign specifically for them to ensure that they get to go. The Upperdark extends from the surface to a depth of about 3 miles.

Varied races inhabit this region, including chitines, drow, dwarves, giants, and all manner of goblinoids, orcs, svirfneglin, and wererats. Scouts from deeper races often venture into the Upperdark in order to trade with or prey on the races native to this area. The Upperdark’s main import from the surface is slaves. Slavers from evil-aligned cities in the Upperdark make frequent forays into the light to capture new slaves for use as either labor or food.


They also trade for textiles, grains, fur, and weapons. Their exports include raw ore, refined metals, gems, and native Underdark plants. Travel in the Upperdark is relatively easy. Multiple paths to a single point usually exist, thanks to millennia of natural processes, volcanic activity, burrowing creatures, and various races cutting trails through the rock.

In most places the surrounding earth is composed of rock, but near the surface, tunnels can be hewn out of tightly packed dirt, allowing creatures with burrow speeds that can’t cut through rock to blaze their own trails in a pinch.

Most larger cities of drow and duergar are in the Middledark. Other inhabitants include lone aboleths, cloakers, derro, grimlocks, and kuo-toas. A few mind flayer outposts are scattered throughout this level as well.

Settled communities in the Middledark commonly send trade caravans and raiding parties to the surface, or at least up to Upperdark’s trading centers such as Menzoberranzan and Ooltul.

Visitors from the surface are rare and tend to be viewed as potential slaves or food. Caravan travel brings mostly luxuries; staples must be grown locally. Travel in the Middledark can be difficult. In many cases, it’s simply not possible to go from one place to another because no caves or tunnels lead in the right direction. To overcome this drawback, many of the races that dwell at this depth are prolific portal builders and tunnelers.

No place on Toril is as strange and dangerous as the Lowerdark. This level of the Underdark extends from 10 miles below the surface to unfathomable depths and features a degree of strangeness that would drive some surface dwellers insane. Few upper-worlders ever descend to the Lowerdark, and few of the Lowerdark’s denizens want anything to do with the surface world. Some of the creatures in the Lowerdark—intelligent or otherwise—aren’t even aware of a surface world; others have heard of it but consider it a mythical place.

Interspecies and intraspecies strife is the rule in the Underdark. Resources are minimal, and weakness invites extermination. Most of the Lowerdark’s denizens are chaotic, evil, or both. Even the vermin and animals encountered in this area are rarely ordinary—many have been transfigured by crossbreeding or magical interference. Nothing here is normal or simple.

The Underdark: What is it? : dndnext

Travel in the Underfark is arduous at best. Only about a third of the lowest sections of the Underdark actually connect to each other.

The rest of the Lowerdark consists of isolated pockets of space reachable only from the Middledark, by water, or by transportation magic.

Typically only one route exists to any given point, and that is what must be used unless the traveler plans to dig one. Though time underdqrk and cumbersome, many adventurers find it expedient to do just that, so they keep the necessary magic items and spells handy to make their own tunnels as needed.

Fortunately, realmx is rare at undsrdark depth, so teleportation can be used to travel the Lowerdark with a reasonable hope of success, assuming that the traveler has a good sense of the destination. This is really interesting, so it is anything below the surface, regardless of depth and whether it’s connected to deeper cave systems?

Is that how you’d interpret it? So I guess it just comes down to me as DM deciding if I deem a place to be the Underdark or not based on how much fun I think that’ll add.

Underdark (Dungeons & Dragons d20 Fantasy Roleplaying, Forgotten Realms Accessory)

It sounds like the underdark is literally any cave, considering that there are bits fforgotten underdark isolated from the rest. I think it basically describes the various ecosystems below the surface that survive in an environment devoid of sunlight. Caves and tunnel systems, dwarven underground dwellings, the large cavernous drow territories, subterranean fungus gardens, and those stranger things that lurk below would all seem to qualify. The page also states that Menzoberranzan and Blingdenstone are in the Upperdark, clearly stating that the Upperdark, Middledark and Lowerdark together form the Underdark.


The Underdark being the giant networks of caverns underground. These Caverns are then divided into 3 different layers, the But for rule purposes I’d count everything that is a part of the caverns as favored terrain for said ranger.

The thing that’s craziest about the undrdark in forgotten realms is that you’ll be in some orc tower and in the third basement floor there’s just this hallway that narrows and heads down and suddenly you’re in the underdark.

Or you’re in a tavern in waterdeep and there’s this door in the basement that when you open there’s a natural cave they’re using to store beer, and behind the barrels is a forgotteen space that goes deeper and deeper and gets wider and wider Like some European town built on an old cave system, they use it to store and transport stuff not needed for daylight: Cappadocia for example, and some of those underground warehouses and sewers just lead to a crazy maze built by unrerdark wizard, or a drow city or something.

Doesn it really matter? I mean, those are only lables anyway? The Underdark is the vast network of caves and tunnels below the world. Exactly at what depth it stops being “caves” and starts being “underdark” doesn’t really feel very relevant. It’s more than just labels, there are rules tied to these – one of my players is a Ranger that has the Underdark as their favoured terrain. It does, therefore, matter whether the players are considered in the Underdark or not.

If the Underdark was a single vast network of caves and tunnels below the surface it would be easy to define. But that’s not the case, there are many unconnected cave systems that make up the Underdark.

Geography of the Underdark

When does a grassland stop being grassland and start beloning to Mountain? When does a Grassland turn into a Desert?

When does a Forest turn into a Swamp? When does a Coast turn into Arctic? What about a Mountain sticking up from a glacier – Arctic or Mountain? What about a Coast that’s so moist it’s all just a Swamp? You just gotta wing it a bit as a DM, and not really think about the boundaries too much. The Underdark is the Underdark when it starts getting features of the Underdark.

A regular cave isn’t the Underdark, but a huge cave complex where you might encounter Svirfneblin, Drow or Forgottten, where there are typical Underdark monsters and you could find great underground lakes, forests of great mushrooms and so on Doesn’t really matter if it’s 2 miles below the surface or You just trek through the grassland until the grass stops, and then it’s desert.

Then you walk about a mile in and find a single blade of grass and think “Oh shit, all of my desert-related abilities have stopped” and realize that if you just carry a rolled-up slab of turf grass with you at all times, you can do the same to monsters. This whole thread is asking: What defines the Underdark?

Everyone here has said almost the same thing. The wiki page says much the same thing – it’s all forgottenn depth, so that was my line of inquiry.