If you have any links pertaining to this book like DMs Guild products - maps for white plume, etc, feel free to send them to me and I'll add them to the list.
Buy Tales From the Yawning Portal here.
The 4e Against the Giants has really great Mike Schley maps.
Steading of the Hill Giant Chief
Warrens of the Stone Giant Thane - A new adventure in the series by Chris Perkins!
Glacial Rift of the Frost Giant Jarl
Hall of the Fire Giant King
Expedition to Undermountain
Halaster's Lost Apprentice
The Halls of Undermountain
List of Adventures by Level
This is the level each character should be when they start the adventure.
- (lvl 1) The Sunless Citadel
- (lvl 3) Forge of Fury
- (lvl 5) Hidden Shrine of Tamoachan
- (lvl 8) White Plume Mountain
- (lvl 9) Dead in Thay
- (lvl 11) Against the Giants
- ("high level") Tomb of Horrors
Unlike the other adventure books, this one doesn't have a single, long story line. This is a collection of classic D&D adventures updated to 5th edition rules.
You could link them together. It might take a bit of work, but we can make that happen.
Undermountain: It might be fun to try to place these adventures in Undermountain, the mega-dungeon connected to the Yawning Portal. That way, your group can stay at the Yawning Portal and we can make a whole campaign out of this.
Dungeon Crawl-y: Just keep in mind that most of these adventures are dungeon crawls. There's not a lot of roleplaying and social interaction. They’re pretty linear. There is a lot of wackiness and puzzle-solving, which is a lot of fun.
Linking characters to things in the adventures can get the players more into it. I’ll add to this list as we go through the book.
Downshadow: The character lived or grew up in the poverty-stricken shanty town of Downshadow, a community of vagabonds actually located in Undermountain.
(page 5) Chapter 1 - The Yawning Portal
The book starts off with a few pages about the tavern known as The Yawning Portal.
There is a great, detailed Yawning Portal page from 3rd edition right here.
And then there's really great, official flavor for going down the well and graffiti you might find down there right here.
The Forgotten Realms Wiki has a very nice summary of the details in the Yawning Portal. It looks like they haven't updated it to the newer editions, but it gives you a nice starting point.
Essential Information: There's a few main details to know:
- Dungeon Entrance: This inn contains a 40-foot wide well with a low wall inside the main tavern. The well leads to the legendary dungeon of Undermountain.
- Immortal Owner: The bartender/owner is a retired adventurer named Durnan who has lived for hundreds of years. He was one of the first people to explore Undermountain and survive.
- Entrance Fee: The heroes will be charged 1 gp each to be lowered into the well. They will also be charged 1 gp each to come out. Durnan will not let people up if they don't pay.
Getting Lowered Down: There is a large winch-and-pulley contraption that controls a thick rope with stirrups. The adventurers put their feet in the stirrups and are lowered down.
Getting Out: A bucket will be lowered down. The heroes must put their gold in it before they will be let up.
Patrons Gamble on You: The people in the bar like to bet on whether or not adventurers will survive. When someone pays to enter the well, the patrons cheer, share rounds of drinks and give the adventurers a going-away party.
Secret Entrance: There's actually another means of entry into Undermountain in the cellar of the Yawning Portal. It is a steeply-sloping hallway that leads to a cistern, a staircase, and a well shaft that has its own bucket, winch and rope. Durnan himself doesn't know it is there.
Map: There is a sweet poster map of the Yawning Portal that comes with the 4e Halls of Undermountain book. It’s on amazon now for $15. I think it is worth it if you’re going to use the inn a lot.
“The warm atmosphere of the Yawning Portal tavern offers a blessed relief from the bitter winter chill outside. Here, pipesmoke and the scent of spiced wine mingle with dozens of dialogues bleeding into one, while the snowy world lies trapped outside the heavily fogged glass.
In the midst of the folk talking and dancing is a wide circular well lit by everburning torches: the eponymous Yawning Portal, which, the legend holds, is an entrance to Undermountain, the legendary dungeon.
Intent on adventure—whether for sheer thrills or for matters material and financial—you settle into the smoky common room, looking about for a wealthy patron or a rumor of treasure to be found.”
There is also flavor text for being lowered down into the well:
“The staff of the Yawning Portal straps you one-by-one into a harness attached to a winch and pulley, then lowers you through the great well into the gloom of Downshadow, the shallowest depth of Undermountain. You journey down, trying hard not to think too much about the creaking old leather or the straining ropes.
Finally, it is over and your feet touch cool, wet stone. Before nerves can get the better of you, you wrench the harnesses free and tug on the ropes to signal them to be raised.
NPCs: I dug up some NPCs from old products you can use to flesh out the tavern.
Durnan the Sixth: Descendant of Durnan. He is practical and doesn't tolerate violence.
Kelsie: Durnan the Sixth's wife. She is a "pleasant-faced woman" whose mother was a cook at the Yawning Protal.
Kids: They have 9 kids, the oldest of which is Durnan the Seventh.
Endroth Knag: Member of the city watch being pressured to retire. He ponders unresolved cases as he sips ale.
The White Lady: An elderly elf wearing plain white robes. She comes in every night and whispers cryptic statements over and over.
Brother Sepulcher: A bald priest who wears grey robes and long, white gloves who likes to stare at a skull he keeps with him. He worships Jergal, the exarch of proper burial. Brother Sepulcher likes to record the name and description of each person who enters Undermountain.
Old Stannoc: An elderly halfling who is a gambler and odds maker. He tries to evaluate each adventurer before they go down so he can set proper odds.
Downshadow: There is actually a community of people who live in Undermountain. They are "coin-shy" and down on their luck. They have a shanty town of about 200 people.
There are some shady people down there, including a doppleganger and thugs who keep a pet giant scorpion on a chain.
(page 9) Chapter 1 - The Sunless Citadel
The story goes like this:
- The Gulthias Tree creates two apples per year: One heals, and one kills.
- The tree is in a ruined place called The Sunless Citadel.
- To get to it, the group has to pass through an area where kobolds and goblins are at war.
- The heroes find the hidden grove and must deal with the Gulthias Tree, which is evil and producing evil creatures..
It slows the game down in a big way and it is very hard to describe certain areas. It can be frustrating if the player gets confused and the map gets all messed up.
You might want to pre-make a player's map that doesn't show secret doors or anything like that. You can cut it up into pieces or cover it with something and reveal it to the players as they explore.
Origin of Gulthias: Gulthias was a vampire. There's a nice summation of his backstory on page 31 of the monster manual.
(50 gp) The Magic Apple: A red apple of perfect hue. It heals those who suffer from any disease or other ailment.
Resting: If the heroes rest in the citadel, the monsters move around and reinforce cleared rooms. You might want to note the important rooms that they'd want guarded ahead of time.
Treasure: Each kobold and goblin has 2d10 silver. You could just say it's 10 silver to speed things up.
Ambush at Night: On their way to the citadel, if the heroes rest for the night, they'll be attacked by twig blights (MM page 32).
Dwarven Graffiti: You might want to come up with some amusing dwarven graffiti. This page has some awesome dwarven sayings.
You could probably use:
- "Evil breeds in the guts of the lazy."
- "It is easy to fool a goblin, but even easier to kill one."
1. Ledge (page 12): This is all the way at the top of the map on page 13. Giant Rats: MM page 327.
That’s it for today. Thanks!