D&D 5E Bayonets OoTA Campaign Log


First Post
I've had a lot of fun reading campaign logs/session recaps over the years, and I figured it'd be fun for me to share my own. I've just started Out of The Abyss with a gang of friends, and I'll endeavor to keep updating this for the entertainment of all and sundry (okay, me and maybe one bored guy).

Mods; If this isn't the place for a campaign log thread, or if there's some reason you don't want this type of thread clogging up the board, just let me know and I'll happily remove it. On to the show.

After asking around about any interest in a published campaign, I ended up with 7 friends who wanted to get in on the game. That's a hefty load, but I don't like turning anyone away from the table. Most likely, we won't have every player at every session, so in that event, I plan on having their characters in the background for those sessions. No one dies unless they can be culpable in their own death.

Session 1; Straight Outta Velkynvelve!

After being told to roll up some characters we ended up with Bodhi Utah (a beach bum Bugbear Monk), Paddy Druken ( a ruthless half-elf pirate Rogue) The Wraith (a half-elf crimeland assassin) Babu (a tabaxi ranger) Yildirim (a dragonborn folk hero Druid) Silverleaf (a wood elf outlander ranger) and Fredee Jerq-Yuri (a Half-orc soldier Ranger) Nearly all the players settled on the "I got whacked in the head and woke up as a prisoner" style of backstory, with various embellishments.

Using the 'Scavenged Possessions' table on pg. 5, I determined that the players had managed to scrounge a few gemstones, a couple live snakes (reflavoured spiders) and a sharp flake of obsidian in their previous force march to Velkynvelve. I also decided, for the hell of it, that they were each shackled to one of the Prisoner NPC's by a length of 5' chain. (disadvantage on stealth, movement rate is that of slower character, contested/shared skill checks when relevant). The player rolled for their chain-buddies, ending up with Bodhi+Sarith, Paddy+Eldeth (immediately nicknamed 'Strongjaw'), The Wraith + Derendil, Babu+Ront, Yil+Shuushar, Silverleaf+JimJar, and Fredee + Stool. Buppido and Topsy/Turvy were shackled together in a weird three-way tangle.

I let the characters chat with the NPC's for a bit for development, then had Ilvara and her flunkies toss a conveniently invented Halfling into the webs beneath the outpost, where the Drow used him for target practice until the Spiders came. Current mood thus established, I sent the groups out on various drudgery tasks, and let them roll to attempt whatever they wanted. Some chose to memorize the layout, some chose to steal food, some listened to rumours. They found that Ilvara had called a sudden halt to the slave caravan at this outpost without explanation, and that the local drow apprentice mage told rumours of 'trouble around Menzo'.

After the chores, they were dumped back into the cell to plot an escape and sleep. Yildirim discovered the anti-magic zone while trying to win a bet with Jimjar, Babu flexed some claws to intimidate Ront into good behavior, and the party fell in love with Stool, naturally.

The next morning, I had the Chasme and Vrock demons attack while the PC's were being fed. They took the opportunity to jump the 3 drow guards and 1 Drow apprentice mage on hand, and all rolled high enough to get their attacks in before the dark elves did. After a couple tackles, a vicious obsidian flake throat slash from The Wraith, and head-pulping punches from Bodhi, the party settled into a groundstomping of their captors, with some damage being taken from attacks by pinned, sword flailing drow. Bodhi immediately knocked Sarith unconscious after the fight, in case he tried to betray the party for his own freedom, and commenced carrying him over his shoulder. I rolled for the demons actions during the assault, and the dice decided that one of the Vrocks attacked the watchtower nearby while Drow tried to drive it off with crossbow fire. I had the PC's roll DEX saves vs. flying debris while arguing about what to do to (which sped them up admirably). They stripped the bodies of weapons, armor and a component pouch, and after Eldeth reminded them of the need for food out in the Underdark, several party members (Bodhi, Fredee and Paddy) cited practicality over delicacy and chopped off four Drow legs for rations. They also quickly twisted up two pairs of pants as field-expedient sacks to carry the meat. I didn't think that newer players would resort to quasi cannibalism that quickly, but it seems the Murderhoboes are born, not made.

They booked it north, past the Quaggoth den, and took a swipe at one of the surviving guards at the Northern Guard post (lighting a bonfire directly in front of him to discourage pursuit.) As they reached an overlook and peered down at the pool, another round of flying debris landed around them, knocking Yildiril unconscious. Ront broke free of his shackles and ditched the party at this point, diving headlong into the pool. The party immediately followed suit, landing in the pool just as the screaming telepathic ooze was attacking the half-orc. The party sacrificed a pair of drow-meat filled pants to the Ooze, rescued Ront, and ran out of the pool, Yildiril and Sarith being carried like sacks. As the session ended, they were hastily discussing which direction to flee, with the NPC's providing advice.

Thoughts, Plans and Lessons Learned

1). While I love all the gritty 'extras' that OoTA emphasizes, I anticipate having to streamline as much as possible in order to get this campaign to work smoothly. To that end, I roughed out a rudimentary tracking sheet to keep tabs on players, exhaustion levels, food and water supplies, drow pursuit levels, and scavenged equipment. I also sat down and randomly generated a couple weeks worth of travel days in advance.

2) 7 PC's and 10 NPC's make for a lot of moving parts. I do plan on developing and the NPC's as much as possible, but they'll get no plot armor from me. Not even Stool!

3) I really need to recalibrate my mental CR to 8 players from 4 for upcoming fights. Even giving the players as lucky a break as I did, I expected there to be more damage to them or the NPC's during the escape. Luckily, they rolled well and chose 'Run to Survive Now!' over "Scrounge to Survive Later!"

4) In keeping with the 'Outsiders in a harsh land' feel of OoTA, I'm disallowing a the background features for the classes, even for Outlander. I want to get across the feeling that this is WILDLY alien and hostile terrain. To make up for this neutering and the loss of equipment, though, I plan on letting each player take a feat from the Unearthed Arcana Feats for Skills and Feats for Races documents.

That's it for now. If anyone reading this has any questions, comments or suggestions, I'd love to hear them.

log in or register to remove this ad

Epic Threats

An Advertisement