D&D 5E Out of the Abyss: Gracklestugh, Whorlstone Caverns and getting lost in that book during play



I've been running the module for a couple months in a combination of play by post and occasional Google Hangout sessions. We are having a ton of fun. Demogorgon is loose and the group has only just gotten a bit of standard gear upon their arrival to the Dark Dwarf city.
I was drunk when I DM'd the first session in Gracklestugh (last minute, unexpected game session, how could i say no?) so I think I made some mistakes.
They shopped, they fought a two headed giant, they saw a fat dragon, then they were more or less ordered to tale a renegade derro. I replaced "Blue Dwarf with a hat" with "Blue Dwarf who escaped from the drow with you", Buppido. They followed their erstwhile companion to the Whorlstone Tunnels. I don't remember too much of it, but they ended at the mushroom patch. Not to much talk of traveling in the Derro ghetto.
We played via Google Hangouts again on Sunday. The characters followed the trail until they found the duergar alchemists. They snuck through and found the ladder and long exit out of the tunnels, arriving back in the dock section.
Now they've decided to make their way back to the original entrance and stake it out to wait for the fugitive dwarf to come by again...

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What a great idea, swapping Buppido in there! Whatever you were drinking must have been inspiring.

As far as their plan to stake out the entrance, I say, let it work. Which would be more exciting, them sitting around and nothing happening, or them having them encounter him and try to catch him? Now, because they didn't catch him the first time, maybe there is some sort of complication...


What would be a good complication? Like, what would be a totally interesting interaction with a bunch of sketchy blue ghetto dwarves look like? Seem like it should be some kind of fantasy New Jack City scene.

As insanity is running rampant, there's lots that you could do. From an antagonistic combat encounter, to the silly with someone convinced that one of the PCs is their aunt. Or maybe the guards investigate them for behaving suspiciously. The city is supposed to be filled with paranoia.


Well, the group wandered back in after an onslaught of menacing flavor text emails. Ingesting a passel of shrinking shrooms, they investigated the "Mesa of Sound" again, but didn't risk anything. Then they meandered off into a spider lair. The two-headed spider muttered a bit and backed away from the diminutive menaces. But the sounds of battlefield negotiations were heard in further caverns and the tiny wanderers found themselves ambushed by toxic fertilizer spray and ogre sized dwarves in the greenhouse of the Gray Ghosts. Although the bard was knocked out and horribly scarred by a blow from a pick, the group prevailed and captured the Alchemist Lothro. After some persuading, the mixologist bargained for his life and told them all he knew about the thieves guild called the Grey Ghosts, how they were clanless, nameless renegades who existed by stealing and destroying rather than creating lasting works (although Lothro was proud indeed of his own creations of philters that dissolved metal, burst into flame, healed wounds and ended life). Further he retold the rumour that the Grey Ghosts were responsible for the theft of the Red Dragon Egg, guarded by the priesthood, the Keepers of the Flame to be the eventual successor to Themberchaud, the Fat Dragon who is the secret to Duergar Steel. "They've been after us for weeks but I'm not a thief. I know nothing about it." Lothro acknowledged that a Blue Dwarf had stopped by to make a trade the day before: A Mithral Amulet for a Lump Of Black Metal.
The heroes heard out the chemist and decided to spare his life only if he served as their guide to the "Pit of the Blue Dwarf" where they have heard the viscous midget tosses the useless limbs of his various victims.
We left off there. Coming up next: Random Encounter DEMON ATTACK!

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