Area Threat Levels

Areas settled by humans and their demi-human allies (halflings, dwarves, elves) that also enjoy the strong protection of a local kingdom or empire are fairly easy places to live. Monsters are rare, bandits are held in check and peace rules the land.

However, as travelers move further away into the borderlands of such realms, further into the wilderness and beyond to savage primal lands and extraplanar realms, danger grows.

Based on Dungeons & Dragons 4th Edition: As a rule of thumb, figure creatures encountered in these areas will have Hit Dice equal to the area’s Level, and local hazard DCs for moderate threats will equal 8 + the area’s level.

Other editions of D&D: follow that version’s DMG guidelines for setting difficulty numbers.


Level 1: farms within protected lands of the Mortal World (aka the Known World or Prime Material Plane)
Level 2: settlements within protected lands of the Mortal World
Level 3: cities within settled lands of the Mortal World; orc, goblin and wood elven realms
Level 4: benign areas of the Feywild or Shadowfell; grey elven (eladrin) realms


Level 5: patrolled trade routes between settlements in the Mortal World
Level 6: remote borderlands and barbarian/nomad realms in the Mortal World; gnoll realms
Level 7: remote borderlands in the Feywild or Shadowfell; coastal waters in the Mortal World
Level 8: benign undersea realms in the Mortal World; duergar realms in the shallow Underdark
Level 9: wilderness in the Mortal World (survival skills needed); deep ocean waters in the Mortal World
Level 10: wilderness in the Feywild or Shadowfell; vampire realms in the Shadowfell


Level 11: shallows of the Underdark; hostile undersea realms; troll or drow realms
Level 12: heavily patrolled wards in Sigil (Lady’s Ward, Market Ward); githyanki astral realms
Level 13: gate-towns, settlements in the astral Outlands and satellite realms in the astral plane; kuo-toa realms
Level 14: Archfeys’ courts in the Feywild; moderately patrolled Sigil wards (Clerk’s Ward, Guildhall Ward)
Level 15: savage wilderness in Mortal, Feywild or Shadowfell realms (home to dragons, dinosaurs and worst monsters)
Level 16: wilderness in the astral Outlands; poorly patrolled Sigil wards (The Lower Ward, The Hive)


Level 17: fomorian realms in the Feydark; aboleth realms of the deep Underdark
Level 18: unpatrolled wards in Sigil (The Slags, UnderSigil); illithid realms in the Underdark
Level 19: wilderness in the deep Underdark (home to beholders and mutant horrors)
Level 20: mostly stable elemental realms (City of Brass, Court of the Four Winds)


Level 21: benign or lawful astral outer planes (Mechanus, Arvandor, Celestia)
Level 23: trade cities within the Abyss (Zelatar); places corrupted by the Far Realm’s influence
Level 25: unstable etheral elemental planes; chaotic astral planes (Olympus, Asgard, Limbo)
Level 27: uncharted areas of the astral outer planes
Level 30: barren astral realms (Carceri, Pandemonium, Pluton), hostile astral planes (Jotunheim)
Level 35: most realms within the Abyss


Level 40: hostile astral realms of the lower planes (Baator, Hades)
Level 50: lesser immortals’ native homes in the astral outer planes
Level 60: astral borderlands near fissures into the Far Realm
Level 70: courts of demon princes in the Abyss or archdevils’ prisons in Baator
Level 80: greater immortals’ native homes in the astral outer planes
Level 90: alien wilderness within the Far Realm (outside the multiverse)
Level 100+: alien strongholds within the Far Realm (outside the multiverse)