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Heart of Nightfang Spire (3e)
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Heart of Nightfang Spire (3e)

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From Temple to Tomb

Nightfang Spire has long brooded in lonely silence, shadowed within the walls of a steep defile. A tall stone column, it resembles nothing so much as an enormous fang of some vanished, mythical beast. Once, a fervent religious order thrived here - before its god was slain. Embracing that death, Nightfang Spire was transformed into a massive, hollow mortuary filled with the restless dead. 

"Heart of Nightfang Spire" is a stand-alone adventure for the DUNGEONS & DRAGONS® game. This adventure challenges 10th-level heroes who follow the rumor of a dragon’s hoard to the imposing edifice known as Nightfang Spire. When they arrive, the truth about the place is revealed in all its awful clarity.

To use this adventure, a Dungeon Master also needs the Player’s Handbook, the DUNGEON MASTER’S Guide, and the Monster Manual. 

Please note that this product does not include the map insert that came with the original version.

Product History

"Heart of Nightfang Spire" by Bruce R. Cordell was the fifth adventure module published by Wizards of the Coast for 3rd edition Dungeons & Dragons. It follows "The Standing Stone" in a loosely linked eight-adventure series, and the primary villain hearkens back to that of "The Sunless Citadel," the very first adventure in this series. "Nightfang Spire" is an undead-heavy adventure featuring high lethality and absolutely brilliant monster design.

Memorable Encounters. If you're tired of fights in unremarkable 10-ft.-by-10-ft. rooms, you'll enjoy the final confrontation. The lair of the adventure's villain is an appallingly delightful location for a fight.  

More Clerics, Fewer Rogues. The nature of this 3e D&D adventure inherently favors certain classes. Clerics are essential in Nightfang Spire, and it's not an exaggeration to say that a party without one is unlikely to survive. By contrast, rogues are severely diminished in combat effectiveness since their sneak attack ability doesn't work against undead. Consider your party mix, and the adventure is good enough that it's worth tweaking magic items or house rules to help keep the rogues effective. It's also worth noting that as a dungeon crawl, this adventure caters to those who prefer combat over diplomacy.

Not your Standard Monsters. The mooncalf (seen on the adventure's cover) is a well designed and interesting monster with a name that probably results in its getting teased by other monsters when the player characters aren't around. In addition, Bruce Cordell has never found a monster that isn't made better with a clever template. Vampiric gibbering monsters and half-red-dragon flesh golems are bound to make an impression on the players. Many undead NPCs also have class levels that provide unexpected and effective capabilities. Monster design like this, which takes a known quantity and twists it in a clever and unexpected way, is a hallmark of Cordell's designs. It makes for great encounters.

Deadly Progress, Rending Foes. If there's a complaint to make about the adventure, it's that the moderately linear dungeon is full of lots of ways to die. If you're interested in adding "get ripped apart by a rending girallon" or "stumble into a save-or-die trap effect" to your bucket list, you're in luck. This isn't necessarily bad, and it is a staple of traditional old-school dungeon design, but you should make sure your group knows to expect it.

Fifth of Eight.This 10th-level adventure is the fifth in the adventure path:

  1. The Sunless Citadel
  2. The Forge of Fury
  3. The Speaker in Dreams
  4. The Standing Stone
  5. Heart of Nightfang Spire
  6. Deep Horizon
  7. Lord of the Iron Fortress
  8. Bastion of Broken Souls

About the Creators. Bruce R. Cordell initially made his mark with the superb 2nd edition adventure "Gates of Firestorm Peak," and he has remained one of the more talented and prolific designers and adventure writers at Wizards of the Coast. He also wrote "The Sunless Citadel," a previous adventure in this series.

About the Product Historian

History and commentary of this product was written by Kevin Kulp, game designer and admin of the independent D&D fansite ENWorld. Please feel free to mail corrections, comments, and additions to

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Discussions (2)
Customer avatar
Michael M September 02, 2015 5:52 am UTC
Note that as of September 2015, the adventure PDF does include all the maps that are in the paper copy of the adventure. The only thing is that the inside-front-cover map is at the back of the adventure, with the inside-back-cover map (which makes it easier to use when in electronic format anyway). The PDF has everything you need to run it.
Customer avatar
James B February 17, 2015 5:06 pm UTC
I would really like to buy this, but without the maps, I just can't bring myself to do it. If that changes, I'll be back.
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File Last Updated:
January 30, 2013
This title was added to our catalog on January 22, 2013.