D&D 5E Improving Neverlight Grove (OotA Spoilers)

Goober4473

Explorer
My players are headed for Neverlight Grove next, and I really like the setup here, but I feel like there could be more for the players to actually do, besides "kill a monster." I'd like to have it take just a little longer for the place to start to feel really dangerous. From there, I love the finale, but in the meantime, I'd like to have some tasks or activities for the party to take part in that feel more natural than a myconid with an exclamation mark over its head.

Perhaps something along the lines of each visitor, given the new rules on communion, must choose a circle to commune and stay with. This could lead to a few different perspectives on the situation in a way that's natural, but if the circles then require their guests to aid them in their daily labors, I wouldn't want said labors to be much more than a single skill check or short roleplaying situation, since the party would be split. Which still leaves me with not much for the players to do here.

Has anyone run this location, and if so, what worked/didn't work well? Did your players go fight the monsters the myconids are having trouble with? Did that feel like it fit the plot, or sort of out of place and video gamey?
 

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CapnZapp

Legend
Sadly my players ignored my hints and bypassed Neverlight Grove.

When I read the chapter I found it fantastically evocative. I will have to reuse it some other time.

I think the "kill a monster" focus is fine. I wouldn't make NG into "yet another village" - since that would lessen the alien vibe of a myconoid dwelling. The players should really feel uneasy, out of place. Like a seventies hallucigenic space movie :)

Especially since the chapter really plays out like a honeytrap: you kill a monster, and feel fine. Then you continue and kill another monster. Feeling flush with success you continue to kill yet another AAARGH MADNESS MY EYES I CANNOT UNSEE

So I wouldn't worry. Run it as written, as a light mystery that turns into... you know what ;)
 

They were perfectly happy to go monster-hunting for the Myconids. In part because they had developed an attachment to Stool. My group seemed to enjoy Neverlight Grove, though once they got past the Garden of Welcome, they ended up attacking the Bridesmaids and Chamberlains, despite being massively outnumbered, and then made a run for it.

I played up the social interaction and exploration aspects, relying on both the alien weirdness of the Myconids and the mystery of just what the heck Sovereign Phylo was up to.
 

I expanded the "kill the grick" quest to be a large grick colony located outside of the grove. While it was still mostly a straight up "go kill stuff" quest, it offered more opportunities for interaction with the myconids e.g., talk to hunters to learn about gricks attacking myconids outside the grove; talk to explorers to learn the location of the grick nest; talk to growers to get some fungal "potions" that could be used in the fight, etc.

I also made the exodus of the uncorrupted myconids a bigger event, having Zuggy send demons and corrupted spore servants to kill Sovereign Basidia (the idea being that Phylo could then control all of the myconids in the grove, giving Zuggy more subjects). The PCs had to protect Basidia as the uncorrupted myconids evacuated. I felt it worked well to follow up the big reveal with some tension trying to get away.

I considered using the melding or hallucinogenic spores to run a dream sequence type scenario. Maybe the PCs have a "spore trip" where they all imagine that they are giant monsters fighting in a strange underground city. Then you give then each a stat block for one of the demon lords (without names) and let them fight each other.....
 


Evhelm

Explorer
Did anyone else find the map weirdly not to scale? The descriptions evoke this gigantic forest of mushrooms, but the actual map is roughly the size of a football field!
 


CapnZapp

Legend
Did anyone else find the map weirdly not to scale? The descriptions evoke this gigantic forest of mushrooms, but the actual map is roughly the size of a football field!
Change 5 ft squares into 15 ft squares to triple the scale?

This Blando guy sure isn't my kind of cartographer. At least on OotA his maps are way too heavy on the decorations/embellishments and not enough specifics on the actual areas themselves!
 

Not really. With most of the maps in Out of the Abyss, the size never really comes up during play, save for a few moments. I just described it as a massive, fungal-covered vault and that was that.

Did anyone else find the map weirdly not to scale? The descriptions evoke this gigantic forest of mushrooms, but the actual map is roughly the size of a football field!
 

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