On Thursday nights I’ve been running Out of the Abyss with my Dungeons & Dragons group. Tonight a number of players weren’t able to make it, so I decided to run a little side adventure for the three players who were available, rather than advancing the main plot too much. Only one of the players is an evil character, but I was basically able to get get them all to make deals with a sea hag, Auntie Pong. It was a lot of fun trying to trick the players. One of the players was suggesting that the hag should be giving them cursed items, but my hunch was that she’d be more likely to give them things that she’d find amusing (like the cloak of displacement that looks like a frog onesie) or information that wouldn’t actually be very useful. But who knows, maybe the ‘croak of displacement’ will turn out to be cursed?
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!
For players and dunegon masters:
- ‘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
- ‘Underdark Spell Components’ Dragon+ – player characters might find it hard to find the standard spell components in the Underdark, so here are some crowd-sourced alternatives
- ‘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: