Albéric Trancart

Developer, space explorer, dungeon master and more!

#Dungeons & Dragons

The Adventure Review - Out of the Abyss

The Adventure Review - Out of the Abyss

The Adventure Review is a series of blog posts I write mainly for my future self, a summary of the D&D modules I game mastered to put all those great memories into words. However if they can be useful to you too, it’s even better! ⚠️ There are heavy spoilers ahead, you’ve been warned.

The adventuring party:

  • Thalaï Murdefer, a goliath warrior
  • Nausicaa Penhdragon, a half-elf bard
  • Henrick Blanchfumée, a halfing ranger
  • Gotrek, a dwarf barbarian
  • Nezhim, a human warlock (dead)
  • Osvalde, a dragonborn cleric ghost
  • Kyline, a drow rogue

What we loved the most:

  • Glabbagool, the sentient gelatinous cube. It was the favorite NPC, and it was loads of fun to have him around in the Underdark!
  • The crazy town of Sloobludop. Crazyness everywhere!
  • Dawnbringer, the sword of light. This D&D lightsaber was iconic all through our adventure in addition to being quite OP in combat.
  • The Maze Engine encounter was one of the most epic encounters I mastered.
  • The EPIC final fight when I gave my players control of the Daemon Princes in a fight to death to determine which one the PCs would have to face

The moments we'll always remember

  • The warlock of Cthulhu with its octopus familiar becoming mad and turning against the others, only to die from Tasha’s Hideous Laughter
  • When the dragonborn ghost tried to possess the duergar king in Gracklstugh and failed to do so, leading to the city burning and a runaway chase involving a stolen dragon egg and its mother
  • When the PCs unleashed the Medusa on Blingdenstone, turning half the gnomes to stone
  • When the cleric gained the indefinite madness: “everything I touch is mine” and had to touch the dwarf petrified by the Medusa to cast Greater Restoration
  • When the drow PC was introduced, and the party tied her down naked out of mistrust, then Juiblex attacked
  • How the party retrieved the Beholder's treasue without flight spells - using an earth elemental invocation stone and a bag of holding.
  • A hidden shop in Menzoberranzan called "The Lord of the Rings", which business is to sell... rings 😉 (slight addition to the city from me)

What was a bit less fun/didn’t stuck as a vivid memory:

  • All the starting NPCs, it was a bit too much for the PCs and me to handle
  • Gravenhollow, Neverlight Grove and the Labyrinth
  • The villains Ilvara and Vizeran were quickly forgotten
  • The overall fetch quest to craft the McGuffin™ was uninteresting at best

What I learnt as a GM with this module:

  • My first time as a GM with an official module! When I discovered that it was better for me to let the writing process to competent authors and just focus on the mastering aspect of the game.
  • How to handle a lot of NPCs! You start the adventure with 14 NPCs, and that’s a lot.

Will I replay it in the future?

Maybe. It was fun once but in my opinion there are better replayable modules, such as Curse of Strahd or Tomb Of Annhilation. However it is an awesome campaign to discover the eerie setting of the Underdark.

What whould I change?

Keep the first part (escape from the Underdark), cut all the second part. The second half is just a series of fetch quests that don’t offer strong motivations for the PCs appart from just saving the world. However some scenes in the second half are quite epic (the Maze Engine, Menzoberranzan, the final fight) so maybe if I was motivated and had a lot of time I would rework the second part to be shorter and more tied to the PCs motivations.

The resources I used:

All the posts in this series: