On Wednesdays I’ve been posting a roundup of content related to D&D and other roleplaying games. It’s on Wednesday anymore, and that’s because I’m finding my Wednesdays a bit too busy. I’m going to have a go at posting on Thursdays instead.
This week I thought I’d focus specifically on Out of the Abyss, and adventure that was published about two years ago, which I’m going to start running for my group next week. I’ll probably keep adding to this as I find more content on nthe Underdark, demon lords, madness, the drow, mindflayers. I can guarantee that this will contain spoilers, so if you’re looking forward to playing Out of the Abyss, you have been warned!
- ‘Unearthed Arcana: Light, Dark, Underdark!’ Wizards of the Coast – this playtest package includes some class options that may be useful when adventuring in the Underdark
- ‘Unearthed Arcana: That Old Black Magic’ Wizards of the Coast – more playtest options that allow characters to summon demons
For players and dunegon masters:
- Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass by Lewis Carroll Project Gutenberg – Out of the Abyss is based on these classic novels. If you read these as you go, you might notice some connections…
- ‘Alice in Wonderland = Trippin’ Balls Through Self Discovery?’ Thug Notes – if you don’t have time to read Alice in Wonderland this five minute video gives a short summary and analysis
- ‘Over Hill and Underdark’ Wizards of the Coast – this article gives an overview of the history of the Underdark in D&D
- ‘The Safety of a Shattered Mind’ D&D Adventurers League – this article gives an overview of how madness works in D&D
- ‘Madness, Insanity, Derangement: Mental Illness in RPGs’ Gaming as Women – this article encourages us to remember that the odds are that someone at our table will have been impacted by mental illness. We need to keep that in mind if we’re exploring themes of madness, as Out of the Abyss does.
- ‘Out of the Abyss Walkthrough Poster’ Wizards of the Coast – Jason Thompson has illustrated a party of adventurers playing through Out of the Abyss. There are quite a few ideas here that could help you inject some humour into what could be a rather grim adventure.
- ‘The Insanity of the N.P.C.’ Dragon+ – some crowd-sourced nonplayer characters to incorporate into your Out of the Abyss adventure, with illustrations by Richard Whitters
- ‘Unearthed Arcana: Fiendish Options’ Wizards of the Coast – this playtest package includes lists of spells that different kinds of demon cultists would be likely to have
- Tribality’s Out of the Abyss review – this review gives a pretty thorough overview of what’s in the adventure, as well as some thoughts about who this book is for and who should avoid it
- Power Score’s Out of the Abyss review – the assessment here is that the book provides a lot of interesting NPCs and dungeons, but also requires a lot of planning and note-taking for the dunegon master
- Power Score’s guide to Out of the Abyss – since Out of the Abyss requires a lot of notes to run, why not take advantage of these notes from Power Score?
- Elven Tower’s guide to Out of the Abyss – more notes for dungeon masters
- ‘A Guide to the Drow’ Power Score – more from Power Score? This blog just happens to publish a lot of great content, from across different editions of D&D. This article pulls together content about the dark elves of the Underdark.
- ‘Out of the Abyss Needs More Mind Flayers!’ reddit/DnDBehindTheScreen – a lot of folks (myself included) were surprised at how little mind flayers feature in the books, especially since they were used to promote the story! This thread has some suggestions about how to involve them more in your own adventure.
- ‘Mind Flayers Revisited’ The Monsters Know What They’re Doing – this post suggests that mind flayers as they are presented in 5th edition D&D don’t have the kind of stats and abilities that would allow them to achieve any of their schemes. It suggests some simple modifications that should make them a greater challenge.
- ‘Survival Days’ Charm Person – Out of the Abyss involves a lot of walking through tunnels, often for weeks at a time. The published adventure presumes that characters will be foraging for food each day, which sounds tedious. This article looks at an alternative from the Dark Sun campaign setting.
- ‘More Fungi for the Underdark’ Charm Person
- ‘The Mock Dragon Turtle’, ‘Virnig the Dracopillar’, ‘The Similodon Cat’, Charm Person – here we have some encounters based on scenes and characters from Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, which could be added to your Out of the Abyss adventure
- ‘The Duchess’ Charm Person – another encounter based on Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, which allows you to incorporate Malcanthet, the demon lord of succubi, into your Out of the Abyss adventure
- ‘Alternative Indefinite Madness Table’ reddit/DnDBehindTheScreen – here’s a madness table that will give your players some serious drawbacks
- ‘NPC Companion System Idea’ Giant in the Playground – this forum post is about a system for simplifying NPC party members – because you’ll probably have a lot of them to manage if you run this adventure
Here are some creatures I’ve drawn recently, which you might expect to find in the Under dark – a quaggoth, a kuo-toa, a myconid, a rust monster and a grick: