Resource Review: Treasures of the Underdark (Dungeon Rollers): 4.5 Stars
“Accepting the blessing of the Prince of Demons may seem like the only way out when you are trapped , cold , hungry and alone . But such a gift should be heavily considered before you agree .”
Treasures of the Underdark is a concise compendium of 40 great magical items all based on the terrifying creatures of spiders, drow, duerger, etc. There are items for just about any level and rarity and they look well done and balanced. Nearly all of the are interesting and present unique mechanics or aspects not necessarily seen in common play (like a light source that can only be seen by people the caster chooses). While the items are probably not universally applicable to all campaigns, they provide enough variance to be used by the discerning and creative DM.
Content. I am very excited about these magical items. There is a good variety of rarity, type, power level, and usefulness. There’s even a sentient item, though any such item you find in the underdark should probably be used with caution. Two of my favorite items follow:
Girdle of Mockery is a rare belt that earns charges off of missed attacks. These charges can be used flexibly for anything from temporary hit points, to giving your allies advantage on attacks. From a “flavor” perspective, the belt hurls insults at attackers, providing a nice opportunity for humorous roleplay.
The Dread Icon is a very rare wondrous item. A small spider token, you place it on the forehead of an unconscious person. It will deprive them of the benefits of a long rest, and can later project their worst fears to them, dealing damage. Super creepy and useful on a few different levels.
Layout. The layout and artwork of the piece are near perfect. The artwork is simplistic and not distracting while still aiding the story to be told. The layout flows from page to page, neither feeling overly cramped nor needlessly spacious.
What Didn’t Work
Editing. The editing needs a lot of work–double punctuation, misspellings, jumbled words and syntax. At some points (like within the descriptive text of the Icon of Dread) it not only distracts, be detracts from the ability to fully understand the text. At some points, the stylistic choices are not in accord with industry standard (“a Wisdom check of DC 14”).
Questionable Flexibility. It’s hard to tell just how applicable these magic items could be universally. If you’re running a campaign or string of sessions in the underdark, this supplement is probably a “must have”. Outside that setting, you could probably find reasons to include a couple of them, but they probably are not as applicable as environmentally agnostic items.
This book is filled with amazing magic items, and while they are not broadly applicable, you could still find a lot of use for them. We’re rating this 4.5 Stars and tagging it as Highly Recommended. If you’re running Out of the Abyss or spending time in the underdark, we definitely suggest picking it up. Check out the product by clicking the picture below: