FORBES: Out of the Abyss preview
  • FORBES: Out of the Abyss preview


    Forbes has covered the upcoming 256-page Out of the Abyss with a look at some of the whimsical Alice-in-Wonderland inspired NPCs from the adventure. Characters like Rumpadump & Stool (a myconid and his companion), The Pudding King, the Svirfneblin twins Topsy & Turvy, Prince Derendil the elf prince polymorphed into a quaggoth, Buppido the insane derro, and the ragtag group of Underdark misfits known as The Society of Brilliance (which includes a mindflayer with a missing tentacle, a mute troglodyte scout, and a kuo-toa cleric) all feature.

    You can find the full article, along with art and descriptions, here.



    Post promoted to article. Original post:
    Quote Originally Posted by Sacrosanct
    Article here. Mostly just covers NPCs in the campaign and that's it, along with respective portraits. Have to say, so far it seems like I was watching a Saturday morning cartoon reading about them all
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    Comments 77 Comments
    1. Morrus's Avatar
      Morrus -
      I love it. The Wonderland-inspired whimsy is really engaging for me, and contrasting all that with that epic demony badness. Of the three major adventures so far, this is the one which excites me the most.
    1. JeffB's Avatar
      JeffB -
      What is a Juo-toa?

      The art reminds me of Urban Arcana
    1. Mistwell's Avatar
      Mistwell -
      I love this...great read, memorable NPCs that I think my players will really enjoy.
    1. Steven Winter's Avatar
      Steven Winter -
      A caution to readers -- the article contains at least one spoiler for anyone who's planning to be a player in this adventure. Read at your own risk.

      Steve
    1. pukunui's Avatar
      pukunui -
      @Morrus: Your article link gives me a "page not found" error. Sacrosanct's original link works for me, though. Just FYI.

      Quote Originally Posted by Corpsetaker View Post
      You're right but in a very silly and childish way.

      Not the direction I want D&D to go.
      The Underdark is not a happy place. Most of its inhabitants are dour, depressed, depraved, or some combination thereof. You can feel the weight of all that earth and rock above you. It can be quite claustrophobic. It's grim and dark, both literally and figuratively. And then there are all the demons lords ... Having read a draft version of this adventure, I can tell you that the whimsical characters and situations help add some much-needed levity to what would otherwise be a real downer of a campaign.
    1. Sacrosanct's Avatar
      Sacrosanct -
      Quote Originally Posted by pukunui View Post
      @Morrus: Your article link gives me a "page not found" error. Sacrosanct's original link works for me, though. Just FYI.

      The Underdark is not a happy place. Most of its inhabitants are dour, depressed, depraved, or some combination thereof. You can feel the weight of all that earth and rock above you. It can be quite claustrophobic. It's grim and dark, both literally and figuratively. And then there are all the demons lords ... Having read a draft version of this adventure, I can tell you that the whimsical characters and situations help add some much-needed levity to what would otherwise be a real downer of a campaign.

      "Why did you add whimsical NPCs to your Underdark adventure?"
      "Because we didn't want to put a suicide watch on our players."

    1. BrockBallingdark -
      Now this adventure is the most I've been excited for in a long time, sounds awesome and waiting for the Pre-order with Amazon to kick in next month.
    1. pukunui's Avatar
      pukunui -
      Quote Originally Posted by Sacrosanct View Post
      "Why did you add whimsical NPCs to your Underdark adventure?"
      "Because we didn't want to put a suicide watch on our players."

      Exactly! LOL. I actually said in my feedback that they should include *more* silly things like Glabbagool and the like because without them it's just a little too grimdark in an unfun way. By the sounds of it, they may have done just that.
    1. hawkeyefan's Avatar
      hawkeyefan -
      This collection of NPCs seems great. I am psyched for this adventure. It seems to have the right mix of darkness, madness, and absurdity to create a memorable campaign.
    1. Corpsetaker's Avatar
      Corpsetaker -
      Quote Originally Posted by pukunui View Post

      The Underdark is not a happy place. Most of its inhabitants are dour, depressed, depraved, or some combination thereof. You can feel the weight of all that earth and rock above you. It can be quite claustrophobic. It's grim and dark, both literally and figuratively. And then there are all the demons lords ... Having read a draft version of this adventure, I can tell you that the whimsical characters and situations help add some much-needed levity to what would otherwise be a real downer of a campaign.
      You know you're not really in the Underdark right? This is just a fantasy game so if playing in these kinds of conditions make you think certain things then maybe you need to take a break from the game for a while.

      I can tell you that my group have playing in Underdark campaigns for years and not all creatures are depressed or are in bad moods. I don't need Wizards adding unwanted silliness to a world that is dark, alien, and at the same time full of life, death, and lot's of other wonders.
    1. Wik's Avatar
      Wik -
      Quote Originally Posted by Corpsetaker View Post
      You know you're not really in the Underdark right? This is just a fantasy game so if playing in these kinds of conditions make you think certain things then maybe you need to take a break from the game for a while.

      I can tell you that my group have playing in Underdark campaigns for years and not all creatures are depressed or are in bad moods. I don't need Wizards adding unwanted silliness to a world that is dark, alien, and at the same time full of life, death, and lot's of other wonders.
      Geez, you're just a barrel of fun-loving monkeys, aren't you? I mean, it's not like TSR never released funny underdark adventures. Or Alice in Wonderland takes. Wait a second...

      Also, have you seen a movie called "Saving Private Ryan"? It's quite a downer of a movie. And yet, it has moments of levity. Same with a downer movie called "Life is Beautiful" about the Holocaust - had some REAL funny bits. Or Charlie Chaplin in "The Dictator" (or was it "The Great Dictator"? I cannot recall).

      Point is, by adding a bit of levity, you can reinforce the main themes of the story you're trying to tell. It why horror movies often have comic relief.
    1. Corpsetaker's Avatar
      Corpsetaker -
      Quote Originally Posted by Wik View Post
      Geez, you're just a barrel of fun-loving monkeys, aren't you? I mean, it's not like TSR never released funny underdark adventures. Or Alice in Wonderland takes. Wait a second...

      Also, have you seen a movie called "Saving Private Ryan"? It's quite a downer of a movie. And yet, it has moments of levity. Same with a downer movie called "Life is Beautiful" about the Holocaust - had some REAL funny bits. Or Charlie Chaplin in "The Dictator" (or was it "The Great Dictator"? I cannot recall).

      Point is, by adding a bit of levity, you can reinforce the main themes of the story you're trying to tell. It why horror movies often have comic relief.
      But this isn't anywhere near good comic relief, it's rather appalling actually.

      Also, enough comic relief comes from the group itself, we don't need a product based around it, especially coming from Chris Perkins.

      If they were doing loads of products then sure throw one in there, I just won't buy it and gladly buy something else. Unfortunately they aren't doing that this time around and so I am forced to wait, yet again, for an actual good product.
    1. pukunui's Avatar
      pukunui -
      Quote Originally Posted by Corpsetaker View Post
      I don't need Wizards adding unwanted silliness to a world that is dark, alien, and at the same time full of life, death, and lot's of other wonders.
      I think the point I am trying to make is that the silliness might not seem all that undesirable once you see it in context.
    1. I'm A Banana's Avatar
      I'm A Banana -
      This stuff passes my sniff test.

      My sniff test, for the record, is "does this look like it'll be fun to use at the table."

      These NPC's totally sound like they'll be fun to use at the table, and it's a big improvement from the fairly generic NPC's I had in Lost Mine of Phandelver.
    1. hawkeyefan's Avatar
      hawkeyefan -
      Quote Originally Posted by Corpsetaker View Post
      But this isn't anywhere near good comic relief, it's rather appalling actually.

      Also, enough comic relief comes from the group itself, we don't need a product based around it, especially coming from Chris Perkins.

      If they were doing loads of products then sure throw one in there, I just won't buy it and gladly buy something else. Unfortunately they aren't doing that this time around and so I am forced to wait, yet again, for an actual good product.
      Seems it's not your cup of tea, and that's fine. But it also seems that plenty of folks are interested in this adventure, and find the bizarre characters appealing. Whether the adventure is good or not is subjective.

      If your group brings enough silliness to the game, then simply make the collection of NPCs less silly. No need to cry foul about a game while simultaneously telling others that it's just a game.
    1. heptat's Avatar
      heptat -
      On the face of it seems a really lame, unoriginal idea. And for what purpose? I hope it's very easy to ignore.
    1. Wik's Avatar
      Wik -
      Quote Originally Posted by Corpsetaker View Post
      But this isn't anywhere near good comic relief, it's rather appalling actually.
      Appalling? I don't think that word means what you think it means.

      Having an elf in blackface in the art would be appalling. Having it condone racial or sexual violence would be appalling. Having stats for real-world religions, and then attaching alignments to them, would be appalling. But anything else? I'm pretty sure D&D is unable to really be "appalling".

      And the only time comic relief is appalling is when it comes from Dennis Leary channelling Bill Hicks.

      Also, enough comic relief comes from the group itself, we don't need a product based around it, especially coming from Chris Perkins.
      DAMN YOU WRITERS FOR HAVING A WRITING STYLE!

      Seriously, what's wrong with a little bit of humour in the game? If you don't like it, cut it out (as Dave Coulier so eloquently said, like, a bajillion times).

      And, as I've said already, it's not like this is a new development. Remember Ayares the thief from the A series? Or Behind the Magic Mirror/Dungeonland? Geez, the old 1e DMG had comic art in it. And none of that was appalling in the slightest.

      If they were doing loads of products then sure throw one in there, I just won't buy it and gladly buy something else. Unfortunately they aren't doing that this time around and so I am forced to wait, yet again, for an actual good product.
      If you haven't found a wotc product you find "good" yet, then maybe you need to go somewhere else? It seems their products aren't made for you. And that's cool. If you're looking for something dreary with no comic relief, I think the UN has some great fatality records for you, or you can always dredge up growing rates of Gun Violence statistics and dig out your highlighter looking for levity.
    1. Nebulous's Avatar
      Nebulous -
      Quote Originally Posted by Corpsetaker View Post
      You know you're not really in the Underdark right? This is just a fantasy game so if playing in these kinds of conditions make you think certain things then maybe you need to take a break from the game for a while.

      I can tell you that my group have playing in Underdark campaigns for years and not all creatures are depressed or are in bad moods. I don't need Wizards adding unwanted silliness to a world that is dark, alien, and at the same time full of life, death, and lot's of other wonders.
      dude, what are you talking about? Everyone here knows this is just a game. And everyone's Underdark is going to be a little different than someone else's. What is your point? Did WotC just ruin 5e for you?
    1. Nebulous's Avatar
      Nebulous -
      Quote Originally Posted by Corpsetaker View Post
      But this isn't anywhere near good comic relief, it's rather appalling actually.

      Also, enough comic relief comes from the group itself, we don't need a product based around it, especially coming from Chris Perkins.

      If they were doing loads of products then sure throw one in there, I just won't buy it and gladly buy something else. Unfortunately they aren't doing that this time around and so I am forced to wait, yet again, for an actual good product.
      Fine, you don't like the vague "humor" of an adventure you haven't seen yet aside from some portraits and names, that's fine. Don't play it.

      But *waiting* for a good product is ridiculous. 5e is purposely compatible with old editions. I've already run Ravenloft and Saltmarsh with NO PROBLEMS, so why do you need official 5e stat blocks in a shiny new product to run a game? D&D has forty friggin years of stories out there, and all you're swapping out is a couple of statblocks for monsters! What more do you need???
    1. Uller's Avatar
      Uller -
      Quote Originally Posted by Corpsetaker View Post
      You're right but in a very silly and childish way.

      Not the direction I want D&D to go.
      D&D has a long history of humor and childishness and even Through the Looking Glass type adventures. Castle Amber comes to mind.
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