Mystara's Underdark?

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Mystara's Underdark?

Post by Knightfall » Sun Mar 10, 2013 8:08 pm

While I'm very familiar with Mystara's Hollow World, I don't know as much about Mystera's Underdark. I know that shadow elves originate from underground, but I don't know much more than that fact. Which Mystara products go into the underground settings that isn't about the Hollow World. And has anyone created an expanded Underdark for Mystara that replaces the Hollow World?
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Re: Mystara's Underdark?

Post by Boneguard » Sun Mar 10, 2013 8:16 pm

Ork of Thar also has an underground element.
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Re: Mystara's Underdark?

Post by Ashtagon » Sun Mar 10, 2013 8:46 pm

Areas that officially have some kind of "underdark" include:
  • Ylaruam (Cynidicea, Barimoor)
  • Rockhome (most dwarf cities have tunnels leading to unexplored caverns)
  • Soderfjord (Falun caverns)
  • Shires (deep caves under the mountains, where the Gentle Folk eventually went)
  • Broken Lands (numerous expansive caverns, plus the Shadow Elf caves)
  • Atruaghin (caves rumoured to exist under the mesa)
  • Graakhalia (gnoll-elf alliance under Sind desert)
Plus various cave areas under Alphatia, as detailed by Bruce Heard on his blog.
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Re: Mystara's Underdark?

Post by Spellweaver » Sun Mar 10, 2013 8:57 pm

The shadow elves did not originate from below - they went there long ago from the surface and then later resurfaced ;)

Some people invented something called Shadowdeep, which I believe was meant to be the Mystara-equivalent of Underdark in the Forgotten Realms?

http://pandius.com/shaddeep.html
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Re: Mystara's Underdark?

Post by Culture20 » Mon Mar 11, 2013 1:26 am


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Re: Mystara's Underdark?

Post by Knightfall » Mon Mar 11, 2013 1:52 am

Spellweaver wrote:The shadow elves did not originate from below - they went there long ago from the surface and then later resurfaced ;)

Some people invented something called Shadowdeep, which I believe was meant to be the Mystara-equivalent of Underdark in the Forgotten Realms?

http://pandius.com/shaddeep.html
Okay, so what you're telling me is that there isn't an official unified underdark for Mystara. It's a piece-mail of different underground locales. Hmm... I wonder what Bruce's opinion is on the Shadowdeep?
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Re: Mystara's Underdark?

Post by Knightfall » Mon Mar 11, 2013 2:46 am

Another question: which of these 'Underground' races/creatures (from the D&D Monster Manual v.3.5) should be included in a Mystaran underdark? (I didn't list drow because I already know they don't have a place in a Mystaran campaign.)

Aboleth
Carrion Crawler
Choker
Cloaker
Darkmantle
Delver
Drider (without drow connection)
Dwarf, Deep
Dwarf, Duergar
Dwarf, Mountain
Ethereal Filcher
Fungus (both)
Gibbering Mouther
Gnome, Svirfneblin
Grick
Grimlock
Halfling, Deep
Mimic
Mind Flayer
Minotaur
Ooze, Black Pudding
Ooze, Gelatinous Cube
Otyugh
Phantom Fungus
Phasm
Purple Worm
Roper
Rust Monster
Skum
Swarm, Centipede
Troglodyte
Umber Hulk
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Re: Mystara's Underdark?

Post by NPCDave » Mon Mar 11, 2013 3:44 am

Knightfall wrote:Another question: which of these 'Underground' races/creatures (from the D&D Monster Manual v.3.5) should be included in a Mystaran underdark? (I didn't list drow because I already know they don't have a place in a Mystaran campaign.)

Carrion Crawler
Choker
Minotaur
Ooze, Black Pudding
Ooze, Gelatinous Cube
Otyugh
Purple Worm
Roper
Rust Monster
Swarm, Centipede
Troglodyte
Umber Hulk
All of these are well established in Mystara or BECMI modules. The otyugh is the only possible exception, but if not he can go in the second category.

Second category is all the rest, they can certainly fit though they haven't been established as Mystaran in prior products, although mind flayers did appear in the 2E AD&D Mystara products and may or may not be visitors or native to Mystara.

An underused Underdark Mystaran native is the Deep Glaraunt from the Halfling Shire gazeteer.

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Re: Mystara's Underdark?

Post by Knightfall » Mon Mar 11, 2013 4:44 am

NPCDave wrote:
Knightfall wrote:Another question: which of these 'Underground' races/creatures (from the D&D Monster Manual v.3.5) should be included in a Mystaran underdark? (I didn't list drow because I already know they don't have a place in a Mystaran campaign.)

Carrion Crawler
Choker
Minotaur
Ooze, Black Pudding
Ooze, Gelatinous Cube
Otyugh
Purple Worm
Roper
Rust Monster
Swarm, Centipede
Troglodyte
Umber Hulk
All of these are well established in Mystara or BECMI modules. The otyugh is the only possible exception, but if not he can go in the second category.
Wow. I'm surprised that list is so small. I would have thought a few more would have been considered canonical for Mystara, especially the Grick and the Mimic.
NPCDave wrote:Second category is all the rest, they can certainly fit though they haven't been established as Mystaran in prior products, although mind flayers did appear in the 2E AD&D Mystara products and may or may not be visitors or native to Mystara.
Interesting note about the mind flayers. I hadn't realized they'd appeared in the 2E products. I would have have considered them to be like the drow... not truly Mystaran. Of course, the designers might have been told to include illithids since they are an iconic D&D monster.
NPCDave wrote:An underused Underdark Mystaran native is the Deep Glaraunt from the Halfling Shire gazeteer.
That creature is in the AD&D 2E MYSTARA Monstrous Compendium too, if I remember correctly.
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Re: Mystara's Underdark?

Post by agathokles » Mon Mar 11, 2013 4:10 pm

I think the Mind Flayer was used in Castle Amber to replace the Brain Collector, perhaps to reuse existing monsters instead of a "new" one.

Some notes I wrote on converting The Night Below to a more recognizable version of Mystara could help in identifying alternatives to some races. For example, Svirfneblin are relatively similar to Mystaran "Rock" (or land-bound) Gnome, and can be replaced with them, while Duergar can be replaced with Modrigswerg. Also, Mountain Dwarves and Deep Dwarves are only relevant in AD&D, whereas in BECMI they are not necessary (cultural differences between the various clans and groups are sufficient, and divide the dwarves along different lines).

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Re: Mystara's Underdark?

Post by Culture20 » Mon Mar 11, 2013 7:52 pm

In case you missed it, these are two very important links for Mystara's "Underdark"

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Re: Mystara's Underdark?

Post by hyrieus » Tue Mar 12, 2013 12:28 pm

As a thought, a look through the Creature Catalogue should greatly expand the list of underdark inhabitants. You could also add Annwyn from PC1 the underworld Fairy kingdom and maybe the Kingdom of the Ghouls from mentioned in Castle Amber.

I like the Deep Glaurant too, I think you could make a case for them being the Mystaran equivalent of the original Balrogs from Blackmoor.

Fanon has some really good ideas in the Blue Moon articles on the Vaults of Pandius.

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Re: Mystara's Underdark?

Post by Knightfall » Tue Mar 12, 2013 7:52 pm

agathokles wrote:I think the Mind Flayer was used in Castle Amber to replace the Brain Collector, perhaps to reuse existing monsters instead of a "new" one.

Some notes I wrote on converting The Night Below to a more recognizable version of Mystara could help in identifying alternatives to some races. For example, Svirfneblin are relatively similar to Mystaran "Rock" (or land-bound) Gnome, and can be replaced with them, while Duergar can be replaced with Modrigswerg. Also, Mountain Dwarves and Deep Dwarves are only relevant in AD&D, whereas in BECMI they are not necessary (cultural differences between the various clans and groups are sufficient, and divide the dwarves along different lines).

GP
Thanks for the link. I'll take a look at it. I assume that the Rock Gnome and Modrigswerg are detailed in the Creature Catalogue, correct? Or are they in another sourcebook? I have a lot of BECMI references, but I haven't had a chance to read them all in depth.

And I sort of had a 'gut feeling' that the Deep and Mountain Dwarves wouldn't be in Mystara as written in AD&D. I just wondering if there was a replacement race like your other suggestions. Which existing dwarf clans on Mystara would best represent them?
hyrieus wrote:As a thought, a look through the Creature Catalogue should greatly expand the list of underdark inhabitants. You could also add Annwyn from PC1 the underworld Fairy kingdom and maybe the Kingdom of the Ghouls from mentioned in Castle Amber.

I like the Deep Glaurant too, I think you could make a case for them being the Mystaran equivalent of the original Balrogs from Blackmoor.

Fanon has some really good ideas in the Blue Moon articles on the Vaults of Pandius.
Unfortunately, I don't have a copy of either of the Creature Catalogs, but I do have a copy of the AD&D 2E MYSTARA Monstrous Compendium.
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Re: Mystara's Underdark?

Post by Knightfall » Tue Mar 12, 2013 7:58 pm

Culture20 wrote:In case you missed it, these are two very important links for Mystara's "Underdark"
The links to the PDFs either don't work or hang once loaded. Regardless, I think I might have both of those PDF replicas downloaded onto my computer. I'll have to check.
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Re: Mystara's Underdark?

Post by Knightfall » Tue Mar 12, 2013 8:06 pm

Regarding the minotaur and the troglodyte, how would they be described for a Mystara campaign? How would they be different from an ecological and societal point of view?

Since they are the only 'races' from the list I posted that made the cut, I'd like to find out how Mystaran minotaurs and Mystaran troglodytes should be approached for the world. Origins? Immortal worship? Etc.
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Re: Mystara's Underdark?

Post by agathokles » Tue Mar 12, 2013 8:17 pm

Knightfall wrote: I assume that the Rock Gnome and Modrigswerg are detailed in the Creature Catalogue, correct? Or are they in another sourcebook? I have a lot of BECMI references, but I haven't had a chance to read them all in depth.
No. The Modrigswerg are from the Northern Reaches GAZ, while Rock Gnomes are described a bit everywhere, but primary references are Top Ballista (for the "land-bound gnome" race/class) and the Northern Reaches GAZ (for the Falun gnome caves).
And I sort of had a 'gut feeling' that the Deep and Mountain Dwarves wouldn't be in Mystara as written in AD&D. I just wondering if there was a replacement race like your other suggestions. Which existing dwarf clans on Mystara would best represent them?
Dwarf clans in Mystara tend to be more political parties than ethnic groups, which in a sense fits better the concepts embodied by Deep Dwarves or Mountain Dwarves. The militaristic Torkrest and bureaucratic Everast better fit the Mountain Dwarf type, while the isolationist Hurwarf might resemble the Deep Dwarves.
Modrigswerg are somewhat in between the Duergar and the Derro, but not as necessarily evil -- though some are definitely demon-worshippers.
Unfortunately, I don't have a copy of either of the Creature Catalogs, but I do have a copy of the AD&D 2E MYSTARA Monstrous Compendium.
The MCA is a good product, but covers only a few monsters. You'll have to wait for the CC to come up on dndclassics.com.

GP

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Re: Mystara's Underdark?

Post by agathokles » Tue Mar 12, 2013 8:19 pm

Knightfall wrote:Regarding the minotaur and the troglodyte, how would they be described for a Mystara campaign? How would they be different from an ecological and societal point of view?

Since they are the only 'races' from the list I posted that made the cut, I'd like to find out how Mystaran minotaurs and Mystaran troglodytes should be approached for the world. Origins? Immortal worship? Etc.
Minotaurs are very different from the standard. You'd want to read the Savage Coast books, for an history of Minotaurs (and Enduks, their parent race).

Troglodytes don't have an official place, but have been long considered (in fanon) a servant race of the Carnifex.

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Re: Mystara's Underdark?

Post by Knightfall » Tue Mar 12, 2013 8:44 pm

agathokles wrote:
Knightfall wrote:Regarding the minotaur and the troglodyte, how would they be described for a Mystara campaign? How would they be different from an ecological and societal point of view?

Since they are the only 'races' from the list I posted that made the cut, I'd like to find out how Mystaran minotaurs and Mystaran troglodytes should be approached for the world. Origins? Immortal worship? Etc.
Minotaurs are very different from the standard. You'd want to read the Savage Coast books, for an history of Minotaurs (and Enduks, their parent race).

Troglodytes don't have an official place, but have been long considered (in fanon) a servant race of the Carnifex.

GP
The enduks! Of course, I forgot about that from the Savage Coast. Man, I really have to reread the Red Steel boxed set I recently reacquired. :facepalm:

Okay, so trogs aren't official canon for Mystara. I'll look on VoP for some fanon material on them.
Last edited by Knightfall on Tue Mar 12, 2013 9:05 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Mystara's Underdark?

Post by Knightfall » Tue Mar 12, 2013 8:54 pm

agathokles wrote:
Knightfall wrote: I assume that the Rock Gnome and Modrigswerg are detailed in the Creature Catalogue, correct? Or are they in another sourcebook? I have a lot of BECMI references, but I haven't had a chance to read them all in depth.
No. The Modrigswerg are from the Northern Reaches GAZ, while Rock Gnomes are described a bit everywhere, but primary references are Top Ballista (for the "land-bound gnome" race/class) and the Northern Reaches GAZ (for the Falun gnome caves).
And I sort of had a 'gut feeling' that the Deep and Mountain Dwarves wouldn't be in Mystara as written in AD&D. I just wondering if there was a replacement race like your other suggestions. Which existing dwarf clans on Mystara would best represent them?
Dwarf clans in Mystara tend to be more political parties than ethnic groups, which in a sense fits better the concepts embodied by Deep Dwarves or Mountain Dwarves. The militaristic Torkrest and bureaucratic Everast better fit the Mountain Dwarf type, while the isolationist Hurwarf might resemble the Deep Dwarves.
Modrigswerg are somewhat in between the Duergar and the Derro, but not as necessarily evil -- though some are definitely demon-worshippers.
Hmm, I don't have Northern Reaches, but I do have a copy of Top Ballista packed away in one of my RPG storage bins. Thanks for the info on the dwarf clans. Useful.

So, the Modrigswerg are more like traditional Norse dwarves?
agathokles wrote:
Unfortunately, I don't have a copy of either of the Creature Catalogs, but I do have a copy of the AD&D 2E MYSTARA Monstrous Compendium.
The MCA is a good product, but covers only a few monsters. You'll have to wait for the CC to come up on dndclassics.com.

GP
I 'could' get the original version from a local used RPG store (for roughly CAN $30 to $40), but I've been hoping to get the version that goes with the RC. I've always assumed that the second one is an updated/corrected version of the first one.
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Re: Mystara's Underdark?

Post by hyrieus » Wed Mar 13, 2013 1:34 am

When it comes to references to underdarks there's also the wererats under Thyatis from PC4

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Re: Mystara's Underdark?

Post by Cthulhudrew » Wed Mar 13, 2013 1:40 am

hyrieus wrote:When it comes to references to underdarks there's also the wererats under Thyatis from PC4
On that note, the Coliseum in Thyatis sits atop a deep cavern entrance that reportedly leads all the way to the Hollow World. The Gladiators (at least one order of them) have long considered themselves protectors of the city from the Things That Lay Beneath.

The wererat caverns would presumably link to those same tunnel systems. I wouldn't be surprised- given the proximity- if there were some tunnel connections to Barimoor's caves under Ylaruam- either natural or man made.
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Re: Mystara's Underdark?

Post by Culture20 » Wed Mar 13, 2013 5:14 am

Knightfall wrote:
Culture20 wrote:In case you missed it, these are two very important links for Mystara's "Underdark"
The links to the PDFs either don't work or hang once loaded. Regardless, I think I might have both of those PDF replicas downloaded onto my computer. I'll have to check.
You have to look a little further down on the page for Gazetteer 13. Thorf removed the "Player's Handbook" version, but didn't clean up his top post.

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Re: Mystara's Underdark?

Post by Knightfall » Wed Mar 13, 2013 5:27 am

Culture20 wrote:
Knightfall wrote:
Culture20 wrote:In case you missed it, these are two very important links for Mystara's "Underdark"
The links to the PDFs either don't work or hang once loaded. Regardless, I think I might have both of those PDF replicas downloaded onto my computer. I'll have to check.
You have to look a little further down on the page for Gazetteer 13. Thorf removed the "Player's Handbook" version, but didn't clean up his top post.
Thanks. And I do have it already.
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Re: Mystara's Underdark?

Post by agathokles » Wed Mar 13, 2013 4:36 pm

Knightfall wrote: So, the Modrigswerg are more like traditional Norse dwarves?
Indeed.

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Re: Mystara's Underdark?

Post by Gecko » Wed Mar 13, 2013 10:38 pm

I'm not sure if it was completely destroyed or not in the dragons attack, but there's also the former gnomish caverns in extreme NE glantri from the dragonlord chronicles.

For Troglodytes, wasn't there a thread on here hinting about a Troglodyte kingdom underneath Glantri, where trogs are being mutated into something more inteligence by the Radiance? Edit: It wasn't here but on the old Wizards board, here posts 13 through 16.

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