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Night Below: An Underdark Campaign (2e)
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Night Below: An Underdark Campaign (2e)

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A missing mage...

A ruthless band of kidnappers...

A sinister conspiracy...

Night Below, the first epic campaign adventure for the AD&D game, is designed to take the player characters from 1st level to 10th level and beyond. The PCs start as beginning adventures on a routine courier mission who soon become drawn into combating a sinister plot that menaces the pleasant land of Haranshire.

By the end of Book I, The Evils of Haranshire, the player characters should have worked their way up to 5th level. Book II, Perils of the Underdark, shifts the scene underground as the characters search the seemingly endless realm of the underdark to discover the fate of the kidnappers' victims. By the time they reach the dark cavern of The Sunless Sea in Book III, they should each be 10th level or above, ready at last to confront the ultimate evil behind the far-reaching conspiracy.

Inside this box are

  • Three 64-page books compromising a single grand-scale adventure, which can be placed in any AD&D world.
  • 16 Player Handout sheets featuring art, maps, charts, and letters.
  • 8 two-sided DUNGEON MASTER Reference Cards providing cutouts, monster rosters, and two new evil deities.
  • An eight-page booklet of new MONSTROUS COMPENDIUM entries, detailing three new races and two new monsters.
  • 6 full-color poster maps detailing all the important locations in the entire campaign setting.
Note on the print edition: All booklets, handouts, and maps have been merged into a single collected book (the maps have been split into individual pages). If you intend to use the handouts and maps at your table it is recommended that you purchase the PDF+Print combo deal and print those out using the PDF.

Product History

Night Below: An Underdark Campaign (1995), by Carl Sargent, is a standalone Underdark campaign. It was published in November 1995.

Origins (I): A Boxed Campaign. By the mid '90s, TSR was producing generic campaigns as boxed sets. Some were one-off campaign worlds, like Council of Wyrms (1994) while others were really big adventures like Dragon Mountain (1993) and now Night Below: An Underdark Campaign (1995).

Origins (II): The Return of D. Night Below: An Underdark Campaign (1995) is clearly intended as a reinvention of Gary Gygax's original series of "D" adventures. Like that primordial campaign, Night Below is set in a peopled underdark with monstrous cities and entire civilizations beneath the earth.

Night Below even includes an Underdark ocean called "The Sunless Sea", which is an obvious homage to the otherwise unexplored locale mentioned in D2: "Shrine of the Kuo-Toa" (1978) and D3: "Vault of the Drow" (1978). Given Carl Sargent's past work as the main architect of Greyhawk, this has led some to speculate that Night Below was originally intended as a Greyhawk campaign — or perhaps as a trilogy of adventures, for its clearly broken up into three equal parts. Unfortunately, author Carl Sargent would not be able to speak to this speculation.

Origins (III): The Mysterious Disappearance of Carl Sargent. Night Below was Carl Sargent's last work for TSR. Around the same time he was hired by FASA to become the new line developer for their Shadowrun game. He left Nottingham, to catch a plane to Chicago to accept the job … and was never heard from again.

Various reports have speculated that he was in a car accident, that he suffered some other "medical problem", or that he purposefully disappeared. None of this has been confirmed. Some reports suggest that even his family doesn't know what happened to him. In any case, since 1995, Sargent has been gone from the industry (and from his professional career). Paizo editor Erik Mona made a new attempt to track down Sargent in the early '10s and had one of "Sargent's most frequent collaborators," tell him: "I've always thought that if people want to disappear, they should be allowed."

Adventures Styles: An Adventure Path. Night Below follows in the footsteps of the "D" adventures in another way: it's early adventure path, meant to bring players from first level to somewhere in excess of tenth. However unlike modern adventure paths, Night Below doesn't really contain enough challenges to level the characters up. Night Below alludes to this by suggesting that players use "side-plots" and "mini-adventures" to flesh out the campaign and give it more verisimilitude. Online, Dragon editor Dave Gross was more adamant, saying, "Don't forget that it's highly recommended, even necessary that you expand the Night Below campaign with short adventures". Of course, he suggested Dungeon Adventures as a great place to find those mini-adventures.

Adventure Styles: Locale-Based. Night Below is largely a locale-based adventure. There's a sandbox of a town for the first section, then a ruins crawl, a mine crawl, and lots of underdark crawls.

Adventure Tropes: Bringing Down the House. The players must invade a few different cities. The attack on the kuo-toan City of the Glass Pool is a pure hack-and-slash. There's even a "Social Collapse Point system" that describes what happens as the players murder-hobo their way through the city.

The invasion of the Great City of the Aboleth could be equally violent, but there are also suggestions for quieter infiltrations, which is more in tune with how players were expected to interact with the great underground cities of the original "D" adventures.

Adventure Tropes: Let's Negotiate. In fact, there are lots of options for negotiation in Night Below, trading in simple hack-and-slash for more meaningful interactions with these Underdark cultures. But it'll all depend on the players …

Not Necessarily The Miniatures Tie-In. Wizards of the Coast apparently liked the name "Night Below" because years later they released Night Below (2007) as an expansion for the D&D Miniatures game. It has nothing to do with Sargent's adventure of a decade earlier.

Exploring Greyhawk. Though Night Below is a generic adventure, the presence of a Sunless Sea has led many to place it in Greyhawk, beginning on the opposite shore from the "D" adventures.

Monsters of Note. So who are the newest monsters filling the Underdark? Sargent begins with some classics like illithids, kuo-tuo, and svirfneblin. He also highlights the derro, who were mentioned in early sources like the Dungeoneer's Survival Guide (1986), but who had been most prominently featured in Greyhawk adventures. The drow are largely missing, but have been replaced by the new rockseer elf race.

However, the aboleth are the most important monster to rise to newfound Underdark prominence. Like the derro, they were mentioned in the Dungeoneer's Survival Guide, but this was their first notable Underdark appearance. It would turn them into one of the major races of the under realms.

Monsters of Note: A History of Aboleth. The aboleth were created by David "Zeb" Cook for I1: "Dwellers of the Forbidden City" (1981), where they're described as "an amphibious, fishlike abomination." They quickly became associated with Lovecraftian monstrosities, but fans have suggested that their inspiration could just as easily have been any number of weird fish, including agnathans or hagfish.

They were soon reprinted in the Monster Manual II (1983), then received a complete "Ecology of the Aboleth" in Dragon #131 (March 1988), the "Descent into Deepearth" issue. There, Brandon Grist introduced even more powerful variants: the greater aboleth, the noble aboleth, the ruler aboleth, and the grand aboleth. Their only other starring adventure role was in "Intrigue in the Depths" in Dungeon #12 (July/August 1988), which also introduced the saltwater aboleth.

The aboleth returned for AD&D 2e (1989) in MC2: Monstrous Compendium Volume Two (1989), but only in its original form. That was it until the release of Night Below (1995), the most aboleth-y adventure ever, and also the one that introduced yet another variant: the aboleth savant.

About the Creators. Sargent was the master of Greyhawk throughout the From the Ashes era, but this was his final release for TSR.

About the Product Historian

The history of this product was researched and written by Shannon Appelcline, the editor-in-chief of RPGnet and the author of Designers & Dragons - a history of the roleplaying industry told one company at a time. Please feel free to mail corrections, comments, and additions to

We (Wizards) recognize that some of the legacy content available on this website does not reflect the values of the Dungeons & Dragons franchise today. Some older content may reflect ethnic, racial, and gender prejudice that were commonplace in American society at that time. These depictions were wrong then and are wrong today. This content is presented as it was originally created, because to do otherwise would be the same as claiming these prejudices never existed. Dungeons & Dragons teaches that diversity is a strength, and we strive to make our D&D products as welcoming and inclusive as possible. This part of our work will never end.

 Customers Who Bought this Title also Purchased
Reviews (17)
Discussions (12)
Customer avatar
Mark S July 02, 2021 6:45 pm UTC
A full conversion for D&D 5e is now available. Full of tips, converted rules, over 90 custom NPCs, new spells and magic items, tactics, and advice, this 96 page conversion has everything you need to run Night Below using the 5e ruleset.
Customer avatar
Robert M November 12, 2020 1:06 am UTC
Just don't expect them to provide the hard copy. Two previous messages to "contact us" on status of order with no reply of any kind. They still can't provide actual shipment number used for tracking.
Customer avatar
Shane B August 06, 2020 1:43 am UTC
Pdf's are great, the HC is good but in my opinion the scans need to be redone/remastered the maps in the hardcover are mostly useless, sadly. I'm gonna look into finding a local print shop that can reprint the maps full size from the pdfs. The book itself is well done on plain paper, I give the Hard cover print a 3 out of 5, over all worth the price. The campaign itself is 5/5 stars, they should have redone this one for 5th edition, hands down one of the best adventures I ever ran as a 2nd edition DM.
Customer avatar
Renee A B January 17, 2020 5:32 pm UTC
Hi, can it be shipped to Brazil, the hardcover version?
Customer avatar
Geoffrey F January 13, 2020 6:11 pm UTC
So this is just a grainy scan of an old hardcopy of the product with some OCR?
Customer avatar
Joseph R November 14, 2019 6:16 pm UTC
Im really interested in this product. I had it and DM'ed the first portion in my youth. Looking to get it again, but confused and looking for help with my options. If I pick softcover, am I purchasing the entire boxed set reprinted in softcover? If I pick pdf am I getting the entire thing in pdf? I recall it being 3 books and handouts. I just want to make sure I get the full purchase.
Customer avatar
Zachary B January 03, 2020 2:32 pm UTC
yes, as far as i know, any box sets that are offered in Print-on-Demand will have "scans" of maps and handouts that were included in those sets. of course, having a map broken up into pages of A4 size very much limits their usefulness. if you want a PoD copy, you're basically just getting the text, and everything else is "scanned" and included, but not in a format you can really take advantage of. if you want a PoD copy to actually use, i suggest also getting a .pdf and getting the maps printed out at a specialist shop or something.
Customer avatar
Matt B May 24, 2019 7:22 pm UTC
Great POD copy. Hardcover is awesome. I'll keep my old fold out maps and sell the rest of my original copy now.
Customer avatar
Darren C February 28, 2019 10:39 pm UTC
Handouts pdf for this is mostly blank pages, and unusable. Reported but not fixed.
Customer avatar
joshua E March 04, 2019 11:18 pm UTC
Try downloading again. All PDFs are working good for me in Foxit Reader.
Customer avatar
Kevin W October 30, 2018 12:03 am UTC
What are the odds of this being reprinted?
Customer avatar
Matt M February 05, 2019 4:15 pm UTC
I have just activated the print version for sale in hardcover and softcover editions.
Customer avatar
Amanda R March 01, 2020 3:59 am UTC
My hero!! Now if you can just flick the hardcover option switch for the AD&D2 Player's Handbook, Revised (2e) & Dungeon Master Guide, Revised (2e) ;)
Customer avatar
Kyle M April 23, 2020 5:50 pm UTC
Customer avatar
Patrick D June 01, 2018 2:51 pm UTC
Night Below was one of my favorite campaigns in my youth and I'm happy to see if brought back to life with a great transfer and price!
Customer avatar
Wanderers . July 17, 2017 2:54 am UTC
I did not purchase the product here but have the box set at home and must say it is a great adventure. Combat, subterfuge, diplomacy, etc are all necessary and make it a well rounded adventure that allows players to use their skills and truly role play. You can also take parts you want and incorporate them into your current campaign. Highly recommend it, though I am not certain what condition the PDF is.

Would love it if WoTC converted it into 5e
Customer avatar
Mona N August 06, 2021 10:32 pm UTC
Oh, you're a perfect person to ask, then -- is this a module that does okay by today's standards regarding sexism, racism, homophobia, etc.? I totally don't mind re-writing part of purchased adventures that aren't good enough from a narrative point of view, or that lack cohesive characterization, but I find derogatory views too tiring to deal with.
Customer avatar
Carson S May 28, 2022 5:52 pm UTC
The overall arc is about a powerful being deep underground trying to control the world. There are several encounters that include slavery. I didn't read any sexism or homophobia in the printed book. To a degree, a lot of campaigns have some base level of racism in them. Mind flayers are in the book and they believe everyone is subservient to them. They largely control a race of dwarves and Koa-Toa. But freeing those and dismantling the oppression are fairly big elements in the campaign.
Customer avatar
James B July 12, 2017 4:09 am UTC
Why do they keep releasing scanned products with missing parts?
Customer avatar
July 16, 2017 1:19 am UTC
It looks like the warnings about maps are about a previous version of this title. I didn't find any issues yet with the maps in this new July 2017 release.
Customer avatar
James B July 19, 2017 4:52 am UTC
That's a relief!
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This title was added to our catalog on July 11, 2017.