Here’s a primer on M16 Undermountain Expeditions. There are two types of Expeditions:

Leveling Expeditions

  • Done during the campaign; used to advance the campaign and open new areas in Undermountain
  • Drop gear associated with leveling (green gear); gear comes from the campaign quests rather than boss drops (which happens in Master Expeditions)

Master Expeditions

  • Done once the Undermountain campaign has completed. You must complete the last task in the campaign tree to participate in Master Expeditions. Obaya Uday (the same NPC in the Yawing Portal that has been giving you the Leveling Expedition quests, gives you a quest called Master the Depths. This is your first Master Expedition. After you complete that quest, you can complete the campaign task and you receive the 3-times-a-day quest for Master Expeditions. You must turn in and renew each of the three Master Expeditions with Obaya Uday.
  • Drop purple gear that you will want to equip. This gear is like the Chultan gear that comes with equipment power like “Gain X Power for each ally in your team” but much, much higher in Item Level (around IL 850 – 909). The Alabaster weapon set comes from turning in the Master Expedition quest, but is gated behind RNG.
  • There’s more about attuning Runic Crystals below, but if you do not attune Runic Crystals in a Master Expedition, the chest at the end cannot be opened.

Common Expedition Elements

  • All Expeditions seek to collect 9 pieces of magic relics in 3 areas
  • Boss fights in Expeditions drop the new Seals, which allow you to buy gear in the Yawning Portal
  • Boss fights can drop gear (including weapons) in Master Expeditions. Leveling Expeditions do not drop gear. Gear comes from turning in quests during Leveling Expeditions
  • You can initiate 3 Master Expeditions a day, but can be in a party supporting a group for more than 3. If you have the Master Expedition quest (one of your three daily quests), you can open the chest at the end. If you are just supporting the Master Expedition, you can still get drops from boss battles.

Expedition Mechanics

Master Expeditions are akin to Hunts in Barovia. You can use Crystallized Resonance (think of those like Tarokka Cards) to attune Runic Crystals (think of the three slots Madam Eva gives you during Barovian Hunts) to increase the difficulty and reward of the expedition.

Resonance

Resonance is the “building block” of attuning crystals for Master Expeditions. Resonance can be obtained running Runic Encounters (RE) (think about these like Heroic Encounters) in Undermountain. Runic Encounters that spawn in Undermountain drop all types of Resonance. In order to collect Resonance for the first time, you must complete the quest from Runemaster Sinye in the Yawning Portal called Boundless Runic Corruption. During that quest, you will collect three types of each Resonance type and an unrestored piece of Artifact gear that you will need to turn back in to Runemaster Sinye to complete the quest after you restore the Artifact gear with the Resonance you just collected.

Resonance is also used in the process to restore Apprentice gear. If you don’t want to grind all the Resonance to restore the Apprentice gear, the gear that drops from the bosses in Master Expeditions (or from an attuned Master Expedition chest) is more than adequate.

If you’re level 80, and you’ve completed the Boundless Runic Corruption quest mentioned above, to acquire Resonance simply enter the Runic Encounter (you will see the area underneath a transparent half circle dome inscribed with Runic symbols) and as you fight and kill enemies, Resonance will drop into your inventory. Resonance comes in five forms: Chaos, Balance, Empowered, Rage, Sacrifice. You need 10 Resonance of the same type to create Crystalized Resonance to attune Runic Crystals in a Master Expedition.

Attuning Runic Crystals is a two step process which can only be done in the first chamber after entering the Master Expedition. First, you sacrifice 10 Resonance to create the Crystalized Resonance (menu item #2), then you use the Crystalized Resonance (menu item #1) to attune up to three Runic Crystals. You must interact with each pedestal in the chamber individually to attune more than one crystal.

When you attune Runic Crystals, which can only be done by the party leader (just like Tarokka cards with Madam Eva), the challenge of all creatures increases on the Expedition (think about the Tarokka cards that increased enemy stats to Epic dungeon stats, like the Donjon High Card) and Runes will appear in the Expedition that have negative effects when any player walks into the space where they are hidden. The effect may give you a damage over time effect, or slow you, etc. but you will see a message on screen that the runic energy has been triggered. Each runic energy cannot be triggered a second time but there are multiple in a Master Expedition run.

When you attune Runic Crystals, you have a chance to gain Rune Etchings (see below) from Master Expeditions in the final chest.

Each of the Crystalized Resonance (as a reminder, that’s 10 Resonance) add the following rewards when used to attune Runic Crystals (just like the bonuses from the Tarokka Cards):

  • Chaos: 3000 Astral Diamonds
  • Balance: 8 Gold
  • Empowered: 1 piece of equipment, not guaranteed to be useable by your class
  • Rage: 1 piece of equipment, guaranteed to be for your class
  • Sacrifice: 4500 Refinement Points

Rune Etchings

After attuning the Runic Crystals and successfully completing the Master Expedition, you have a chance to acquire one of four Rune Etchings from the last chest in Master Expeditions. Dark, Pulsing, Swirling and Glowing Runic Etchings can be used for two things:
1. To buy Rune-Etched Orbs used in restoring the Apprentice gear (IL 965) – this is much like how we restored gear in Mod 10, Storm Kings Thunder, versus using the Ampules from CoDG in Module 12/13 Chult/Omu.
2. To purchase a chest from the vendor in the Yawning Portal with Level 80 Artifact equipment – this is much like the chests you gained from using Tarokka cards in Barovian Hunts that gave gear. These chests can contain the Mod 16 artifacts, vanity pets, AD and potions.

As a final note, restoring gear also requires Runic Energy Sealers, which each cost 100,000 AD. These can be purchased from the same vendor where you purchase Rune-Etched Orbs in the Yawning Portal, Runemaster Sinye.

Good hunting on your Runic Encounters! Hopefully you’ll get great gear and if you’re really lucky, new weapons!

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