Advanced Search

Undermountain I: The Lost Level (2e)Click to magnify
Quick Preview
Full‑size Preview

Undermountain I: The Lost Level (2e)

Watermarked PDF

"Far be it from me to impugn the mettle of adventurers such as yourselves, but daring the depths of Undermountain merely for fortune's sake is more absurd than kicking a sleeping dragon in the nose for sport. Even so, you've returned for another trip to the Underhalls, so be prepared. You stand to enter the Lost Level this time: Gird yourselves for diplomacy as well as destruction. You'll find the last stronghold of an extinct dwarven clan: Do be good enough to extend the greetings of the Blackstaff to Bandaerl. There's also a dark vampiress who enjoys a good hunt, and be sure to mind the beholders: They're trained to keep you from escaping.

"Enjoy, and don't say Khelben didn't warn thee."

This DUNGEON CRAWL adventure includes 32 pages of combat and roleplaying, hearkening back to classic AD&D dungeons of old. This is a stand-alone module and does not require additional support materials. It can easily be inserted into a campaign on any world, but best fits an Undermountain or Waterdeep campaign within the Realms.


Product History

"Undermountain: The Lost Level," by Steven Schend, is the first adventure in a series of three focusing on Undermountain Dungeon Crawls. It was published in June 1996.

A New Forgotten Realms Trilogy. Starting in 1994, TSR began releasing their Forgotten Realms adventures as linked trilogies, something they'd previously experimented with in 1989-90. The first two trilogies of this new era were the "Marco Volo" adventures (1994) and the "Sword of the Dales" adventures (1995).

The "Undermountain" trilogy was the next (and last) Forgotten Realms adventure trilogy, and it was a bit different from those that preceded it. The previous trilogies were all tightly connected, while the three "Undermountain" adventures depict mostly unlinked areas that all can be used within the great dungeon of Undermountain (or elsewhere, as we'll see).

TSR planned to return to standalone Realms adventures in 1997, beginning with Four from Cormyr (1997), Castle Spulzeer (1997), and Hellgate Keep (1998); of course those adventures were instead published by Wizards of the Coast, and all a bit later than TSR had planned.

Introducing the Dungeon Crawls. "The Lost Level" was the first in TSR's short series of "Dungeon Crawl" adventures. They were intended to be "stand-alone quests... [that could] easily be adapted to existing campaigns." To ensure that they were properly standalone, each Dungeon Crawl has specific entrances and exits, intended to make it easy to insert the area into any campaign.

The Dungeon Crawls were each intended to include not only dungeon levels, but also encounters and rumor tables. TSR planned to release them mainly for mid-level adventurers (5th-9th) with average party sizes (i.e., assuming 5 PCs). The Dungeon Crawls also weren't intended to be connected (though the first three Dungeon Crawls were each set in Undermountain of the Forgotten Realms).

In all, six Dungeon Crawls were released: "Undermountain I: The Lost Level," "Undermountain II: Maddgoth's Castle" (1996), "Undermountain III: Stardock" (1996), Hellgate Keep (1998), The Lost Shrine of Bundushatur (1998), and The Dungeon of Death (2000).

The Monster Protocol. Schend felt that too many designers were introducing new monsters to AD&D, rather than using some of the old classics. So, in stocking "The Lost Level," he decided to fill it with traditional D&D monsters that hadn't recently been used: This included behirs, carrion crawlers, ettins, hill giants, iron golems, manticores, rust monsters, and will o' wisps.

Adventure Tropes. Schend puts effort into explaining how this dungeon level came to be, but overall it's a 70s style adventure at its best, full of dangerous NPCs, nasty monsters, and tricky puzzles (like a room of mirrors).

Expanding Undermountain. Ed Greenwood began running players through his own dungeon, "Undermountain," in 1975. In time, it would come to include nine levels and fourteen sublevels, all beneath the city of Waterdeep. He detailed the first three levels in Ruins of Undermountain (1991), and then Jean Rabe, Norm Ritchie, and Donald Bingle revealed two of the Deep Levels and one sublevel in Ruins of Undermountain II (1994).

The "Lost Level" was mentioned in Ruins of Undermountain in a section detailing how to expand Undermountain. There, it's listed as one of "The Dark Levels":

One such level is entombed in solid rock, and can be reached only a gate guarded by The Ring of Death, a waiting ring of gauth and death kiss beholder-kin. This almost inaccessible level is known as The Lost Level. It is a dark, spider-infested place of old, treasure-laden tombs; in its halls roam some horrific monsters. It is reputedly inhabited by a lonely, friendly Archlich (a special type of lich, detailed in the SPELLJAMMER accessory SJR1: Lost Ships).

This was the starting point for Steven Schend's own description of the area.

About the Creators. Schend was a long-time editor at TSR, whose notable editing work includes the original Ruins of Undermountain box and the D&D Rules Cyclopedia (1991). In 1996, he busily authored the entire Undermountain trilogy, which would lead to work on a full dozen Forgotten Realms supplements during the waning days of AD&D second edition.

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 (1)
Discussions (3)
Customer avatar
Matt H July 18, 2021 2:15 pm UTC
POD please
Customer avatar
charles W March 26, 2021 2:28 am UTC
POD Please
Customer avatar
Zachary B February 26, 2020 4:23 pm UTC
would really love a PoD option for this one, as securing a used copy in decent condition at a decent price is a daunting task.
Browse Categories
 Follow Your Favorites!
NotificationsSign in to get custom notifications of new products!

Product Information
Electrum seller
Rules Edition(s)
Publisher Stock #
TSR 9519
File Size:
18.05 MB
Scanned image
Scanned image
These products were created by scanning an original printed edition. Most older books are in scanned image format because original digital layout files never existed or were no longer available from the publisher.

For PDF download editions, each page has been run through Optical Character Recognition (OCR) software to attempt to decipher the printed text. The result of this OCR process is placed invisibly behind the picture of each scanned page, to allow for text searching. However, any text in a given book set on a graphical background or in handwritten fonts would most likely not be picked up by the OCR software, and is therefore not searchable. Also, a few larger books may be resampled to fit into the system, and may not have this searchable text background.

For printed books, we have performed high-resolution scans of an original hardcopy of the book. We essentially digitally re-master the book. Unfortunately, the resulting quality of these books is not as high. It's the problem of making a copy of a copy. The text is fine for reading, but illustration work starts to run dark, pixellating and/or losing shades of grey. Moiré patterns may develop in photos. We mark clearly which print titles come from scanned image books so that you can make an informed purchase decision about the quality of what you will receive.
Original electronic format
These ebooks were created from the original electronic layout files, and therefore are fully text searchable. Also, their file size tends to be smaller than scanned image books. Most newer books are in the original electronic format. Both download and print editions of such books should be high quality.
File Information
Watermarked PDF
Watermarked PDF

These PDF files are digitally watermarked to signify that you are the owner. A small message is added to the bottom of each page of the PDF containing your name and the order number of your purchase.

Warning: If any files bearing your information are found being distributed illegally, then your account will be suspended and legal action may be taken against you.

Here is a sample of a page from a watermarked title:

File Last Updated:
November 03, 2013
This title was added to our catalog on October 15, 2013.