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Out of the Abyss – Extra encounters No. 2

Make sure you visit my Guide to Out of the Abyss. Although teleportation is an option, if you’re following my advice on chapter 9, the second part of the adventure from level 8 through 15 still involves lots of traveling and wilderness encounters. Unfortunately, the book is not very clear in the options available. And when you find what’s available, it’s surprising how “not cool” the experience is. In chapter 9 the book tells us to use the encounter tables in chapter 2. You know where I’m going. Those battle are way to easy for a level 8+ party. Then we find another encounter table in the Wormwrithings chapter, a little better but it’s not enough, and then you have to use it again in the labyrinth. After that there is an encounter table to be used in the fetid wedding, while traversing Araumycos, that’s the worst one. The purpose…

Out of the Abyss guide – Chapter 4 – Gracklstugh

The GUIDE index is here ! Gracklstugh This is by far the worst chapter in the book, in terms of how badly written and organized it is. It is not clear, and all the things that go down in Gracklstugh are so many, and there are so many quests that it is easy to get lost in a  circle of possible options and missions that seem to go nowhere. This will be a long article so grab a cup of coffee or tea. Table of contents Getting to Gracklstugh General info of the city and duergar The plot Power figures of the city Plot flowchart and suggestions The Whorlstone Tunnels End and consequences Getting to Gracklstugh Getting to Gracklstugh is not particularly difficult, if PC’s follow along the Darklake borders they will find the city. There are two ways to get inside the city, the frontal approach through one of…

Out of the Abyss guide – Chapter 3 – The Darklake

The GUIDE index is here ! The Darklake This chapter is divided into two parts. The first one is about traveling through the lake (but this only happens until after Sloobludop) and the second part is about everything that is going to go down in the Kuo-Toa town Sloobludop. The first part about traveling through the lake is an option to get to the other Underdark settlements, or it can be used combined with just walking around it. It must be said and constantly reminded to the players that the “Darklake” is not really a lake, but a gigantic area of the underdark filled with lakes, some small and some kilometers wide, and an un-mappable network of underground rivers and grottos that connect all the lakes. Some of these lakes and rivers are completely submerged and are only accesible diving.   Now really, after Demogorgon’s number in Sloobludop, with his…

Out of the Abyss guide – Chapter 2 – Traveling the dark

The GUIDE index is here ! General Traveling Chapter 2 of the book deals with traveling. And there is A LOT of traveling involved. You can potentially spend real-time days getting from one place to another because of the way the book suggests to handle traveling encounters. Some travel times go up to 15-30 days and you could have en encounter or two each day if you roll them randomly. That’s 20+ encounters in between cities. It will slow the game down. My recommendation is: calculate the travel time with the table in the book (page 18), and then decide how many encounters will happen in that time. I recommend 5 to 10. Not all encounters should be about combat. Here are some ideas of non-combat things that might arise: Foraging skill challenge (ala fourth ed). Encountering escaped slaves from a drow or duergar camp. Food reserves spoiled or tainted. Encountering a…

Out of the abyss GUIDE – Chapter 1 – Velkynvelve

The GUIDE index is here ! This is the first chapter of a very long guide for DM’s to run Out of the Abyss. The OoTA book is a great resource and campaign, unfortunately some things are left unexplained or simply badly arranged in the book; this guide’s aim is to provide rookie and veteran DM’s alike with extra information and clarifications for the campaign. Some of the stuff in this guide are as they are in the book, only better explained. Some other stuff are just my suggestions to achieve the most fun. There is also some homebrew content like graphs, maps or side-quests.  In this chapter I recommend the survival of certain key NPC’s that have some encounters or things tied to them in later chapters. Although it is advisable plot-wise. You’re free to kill them all in the first chapter if you want. The adventure begins, and…

Can I repeat my save?

Last Sunday we were playing an Out of the abyss campaign. The PC’s are about to finish the campaign, they are level 14 and pretty maxed-out. During the rage of demons, prior to the fight with Demogorgon, they fought a Balor. My players are somewhat new to the game, except for one of them. They were scared because of the picture but knew little else about the monster’s abilities. During all this battle sequence there had been several occasions in which an explosion caused debris to fall on them, forcing a DEX save to avoid half the damage. It was very little damage (3d6), it served more for the ambient and general tone and setting. It was an immersion touch. Back to the battle, at the end of it, two players were inside the death-throes range of the Balor when it was killed, but they did not know about this.…