This post will have spoilers for the first level of Sunless Citadel. If you don’t want that for any reason, then don’t read. I strongly urge anyone planning to play in this adventure to avoid spoilers. Preserve the fun for yourself! But if you have already played it or otherwise don’t mind, this session included some of the most fun I’ve had at the table. To use a phrase from Jim Davis of WebDM, this felt like mainlining Dungeons and Dragons directly into my eyeball.
As I recently launched a Tales from the Yawning Portal campaign, I thought I’d evaluate the Sunless Citadel encounters according to the difficulty guidelines in the Dungeon Masters Guide page 82. My encounter difficulty analysis for Lost Mine of Phandelver did basically the same thing.
In this case, I work from the assumption that the group starts out with 4 level 1 characters, progressing to level 2 when they go to the second level If you have more or higher-level characters, then obviously the encounters get a little easier. You may wish to add additional combatants or other complications to compensate in that case, obviously.
((WARNING: POTENTIAL SPOILERS AFTER THE JUMP))