Errata, Typos, and Weirdness in Undermountain: Stardock
Undermountain: Stardock (TSR 9538)
author: Steven Schend
editor: Bill Olmesdahl
Regardless of how negative I may sound below, I actually do like this module!
Unfortunately, it really jolts me out of the mood to enjoy reading something
when I hit several errors on the same page; and I'd much rather spend DM
prep time adapting this to my own campaign world than cleaning up after the
creators, something this module unfortunately requires quite a bit of due
to the number of typos, errata, and general weirdnesses.
These were found while reading the module like I would any other; I almost
don't want to know what sort of things I'd turn up if I were a professional
proofreader going over this with a fine-toothed comb. This list is slightly
altered from an e-mail to TSR, so yes they do already know about the
editing problems of this module.
Inside cover maps:
1) It is next-to-impossible to see the marks on the map for the Gelatinous
Cubes--using blue (with no outline, even!) on a map whose background is
teal with blue streaks was a *really* bad choice. The "water" area in
Area #7 has a similar problem, but is a bit easier to pick out due to the
size of the area. I'd say the same for the green-on-blue of the Gate and
Teleport areas, but the large T's and gaps in the outer wall help to mark
2) The T's are not directly explained in the map key, and I didn't see any
mention of "The T's on the map stand for..." in the text. I managed to
deduce from the map key and the "left, right, and ahead" comment from the
read-aloud description of Area #0 that those are the "gate doors", the only
places new monsters will appear, and the similarly colored (but not marked
with a T) spots along the outer walls are "teleport areas" of some sort
(whatever that means). It seems odd to mark Gates with a T and Teleports
3) The map has the comment that "internal details are included within the
text." However, for Area #8 the five pedestals (definitely "internal
details") are marked on the map, but the Rift (possibly the most vital
"internal detail" in the module) is not--but it *is* marked on the Stardock
map, however. Odd that it is marked in one place but not the other.
This means that the references to "The Rift that cuts across this portion
of Undermountain..." are a bit nebulous at best--it's hard to tell exactly
which sections of this portion of Undermountain the Rift cuts across
(which implies massive disruption, a la a gorge), as it's not depicted at
4) The designation for Area #0 is somewhat misplaced, compared to the text
description. The area's description is that the characters appear in a 20'
across chamber of not-quickly-determinable length. Area #0, as marked, is
a 10' wide hallway; the "0" should have been placed about an inch to the
1) Everything is too muddy and dark. It is *very* difficult to make out
details & read Area #'s. Specifically, the grid is too dark/heavy (which
in and of itself makes reading the map difficult); and the tan, red, and
dark brown are too dark and too close in hue & value--there is not nearly
enough contrast on this map. Coincidentally, this the opposite of a
similar situation in one of the maps of Undermountain: Maddgoth's Castle--
there the colors chosen were all too light and too close to each other to
make out [m]any details.
(both upper & lower)
2) The ladder leading from Area #8 to Area #9 not only changes gravity
planes halfway down, it also manages to twist, changing orientation
by 90 degrees.
1) p. 2 (very minor quibble)--I would have preferred to see the
pronunciation for Aqitiocrun *before* hitting the word in a read-aloud
text box. I know this shouldn't make a difference to someone who's gotten
themselves thoroughly aquainted with the module in order to run it, but it
still slightly irks me--I personally prefer to see difficult to pronounce
words like that (especially one so central to the plot of the module)
used & explained in the DM's introductory text, rather than where it was.
2) p. 5, L col., 3rd P. from the bottom:
"The Rift that cuts across this portion of Undermountain..." Except it
doesn't "cut across" Undermountain, or even just the Labyrinth--It is
completely contained in a single chamber, and is only (from what I can tell
from the Stardock map, as the text never mentions this important detail)
10-20' across with little or no apparent thickness.
3) p. 8, L col., bottom P. ("Suzail's peace is interrupted...")
"Lastly, four trolls flow into the Courts of Suzail, causing much mayhem."
When last I checked, trolls aren't liquid beings; they might "shamble," but
never "flow." A *stream* of trolls could flow, but four hardly constitutes
enough trolls for that. (Style weirdness rather than outright error.)
4) p. 11 "X-Marks the Spot"
(Putting aside the fact that there is no way on Toril a party will figure
out this gimmick from the one extremely vague off-hand remark of a clue
"See 'Halaster's Actions & Reactions for more details on the use of this
special gate." Halaster's Actions & Reactions (on p. 31) doesn't directly
(or even indirectly?) mention this gate at all. It does mention creating
a "controllable gate," but that's as "detailed" as it gets--it doesn't
actually mention whether it's of the exact same variety as the X-gate (It
more possibly *isn't* the same, as the X-gate can start anywhere, and the
"controllable gate" is set up specifically between the Lupincopse estate &
5) p. 14, R col. (at top, under "Special Abilities")
"Each tentacle delivers 1d4 points of damage per attack and it takes 1d4
rounds for a tentacle to burrow into a victim's head with the tentacles and
consume its brain." Too many tentacles! Should read "...takes 1d4 rounds
for AN ALHOON to burrow into a head with ITS tentacles..." or "...burrow
into a victims head AND FOR THE ALHOON TO consume THE VICTIM'S brain."
6) p. 18, R col., end of 2nd P. ("Also note that...")
"Depending on the characters' viewpoints...Aqitiocrun seal far across the
labyrinth at Encounter Area #10..." There is no #10 on the map, and no
Area #10 described in the book. I'd love to know what the "potentially
lethal" encounter at "Encounter Area #10" is!
7) p. 18, R col., under Encounter #1
"The crimson death will feed first on wandering creatures or those at
Encounters #3, #4, and #9 while avoiding the PC's" There is no #9 on the
map, and no Area #9 described in the book.
8) p. 24, R col., 3rd P. from the bottom ("The scrolls each contain...")
"Each scrolls simply has one word printed on it..." Singular/plural error.
Should read "Each SCROLL simply has..."
9) p. 25, last P.
"All PC's but the halflings gain a..." This sounds like the author expects
that every group will include a couple halflings. Should read "All PC's
but ANY halflings". (Style weirdness rather than outright error, I think.)
10) p. 28, L col., 1st P.
"Characters with infravision can easily spot which entrances are open
(Area #2), and which are closed." Singular/plural error. The open
entrances are those leading to Areas #2 & #7.
11) p. 28, L col., 2nd P.
"The magic mouth is triggered... It has a wand of frost (39) set within
the keystone of the cavern entry arch." Where is the magic mouth? Is it
over the same arch (there are 6 "cavern entry" arches, BTW) as the wand of
frost? If so, is the wand in the mouth ("It [the mouth] has a wand set
within...")? What does that cryptic "(39)" mean (other modules add the
word "charges" to similar parenthetical comments)?
12) p. 28, L col., 2nd P.
"...dealing 6d6...points of cold damage to anyone within the marked area
of the map" There is no area marked on the map, and since even the very
placement of the wand of frost is in question (see above), figuring out
whether or not a character is affected can be very tricky indeed.
13) p. 28 R col., under Area #2B ("This room is the liches'...")
"In fact, much of the bookshelves still contain maps and starcharts and
tomes written in Common...and the illithid racial language on the planets
within Realmspace." Should probably read "...MOST of the bookshelves..."
or "...much of THE SPACE ON the bookshelves..."
Also, the phrase "on the planets within Realmspace" fits in awkwardly
with the rest of the sentence. "FEATURING the planets" helps a bit, as
do "REGARDING the planets" and "ABOUT the planets," but it still is *very*
awkward to read and difficult to comprehend, especially coming right after
those long strings of material types & language names. Perhaps it's the
juxtaposition of planetary maps & solar system starcharts being referred to
simultaneously as "on the planets" that's creating the awkwardness; perhaps
it's just the wacky list of languages.
15) p. 29, Area #2C, read-aloud, 1st P.
"The old mage hangs in mid-air spread-eagle, seemingly insensate, and his
hands..." Should read "The old mage hangs SPREAD-EAGLED in mid-air,
seemingly..." or "The old mage hangs in mid-air*,* spread-eagleD" (AFAICT,
the ED ending is the appropriate one for this instance. I could be wrong,
but that's what I managed to puzzle out from a dictionary and remembering
how I've seen the term used in the past. In any case, the module as is is
still wrong. :) )
14) p. 29, read-aloud, 2nd P.
"It is a pattern of a giant illithid head..., and the Halaster hangs at
its center." I realize Halaster has simulcrums galore, but there really is
only ONE of him; should read "and Halaster hangs at its center." (I'm
guessing this originally read "and the old mage hangs at its center" and
was changed to avoid repeating the 1st P's "The old mage hands in mid-air")
16) p. 29, 3rd P. from bottom ("Unknown to the PCs...")
"However, the only illusory thing in the room are the single seated
figure..." Singular/plural error. Should read "...in the room IS the
17) p. 30, R col, 1st P.
"If not disable, the trap sends..." Should read "If not DISABLED..."
18) p. 31, L. col., Area #8
"This cavern has a metal-gate for a door" Should not be hyphenated.
Aardy R. DeVarque
Feudalism: Serf & Turf
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