White Plume Mountain is a fantastic short campaign coming from the 5th editions Dungeons and Dragons book “Tales from the Yawning Portal. The campaign was originally released in 1979. It’s a dungeon crawler where the players hunt for magic items and loot while exploring the mysterious dungeons of the White Plume Mountain.
The campaign is fairly short running my group around 8 sessions at 2 hours each. The whole adventure is not necessary on rails but as it’s a dungeon there are only so many directions that players can go. The dungeon runs best for characters at an 8th level but I found that if you are running a larger group that level 6 or 7 would probably be better.
I played the campaign as a player character this time around and really enjoyed myself. I have been removed from a lot of dungeon crawling adventures for many years so this was a breath of fresh air for me. The monsters were themed pretty well and presented a challenge at times for my character but started to sway the other direction as we began obtaining the loot in the dungeon itself.
This campaign provides the chance for many funny moments depending on the way the dungeon master wants to play it. Ours did add humor to the dungeon that made it pretty fun to play. Especially since we had just completed the Curse of Strahd campaign that I ran.
One thing that I really enjoy about the Yawning Portal book in general is the ability to add these dungeons in to any story. For instance, our group was able to roll right into this campaign after finishing the Curse of Strahd making the story feel like a continuation or even a victory lap for that campaign. With all the other available dungeons in the Yawning Portal book, they all would work to slide into an existing campaign with very little effort.
The images in this section of the book for White Plume Mountain are really well done. There was only one section that was a little hard to decipher and that was the Aquarium Prison. This section requires some depth and the images and map in the book didn’t really help to explain how the scene actually looked for the levels inside the prison. But even still, this ended up being one of the most fun parts of the entire dungeon.
The loot feels rewarding in this campaign as well. They really give the sense of power in the dungeon that are also well themed to the overall dungeon itself.
The traps in the dungeon are also really well done. They are themed well and pretty easy to understand. There is one creature that is fought for an item that I personally felt didn’t fit all that well and lead to a difficult fight in darkness leading to many disadvantaged rolls and and overall longer combat time. But in the end, combat does not overstay its welcome in this campaign and there are a good variety of themed creatures to fight in this dungeon without an overbearing random encounters table.
Is Tales From the Yawning Portal Worth it?
One thing that is really nice about this campaign is that it’s an easy way to take a break from a larger campaign without really committing to some larger story. I am glad that Wizards of the Coast decided to add this campaign into the Yawning Portal book and I would for sure try out the others in there as well.