D&D 5E Out of the Abyss- Post your pre-set encounters *Spoilers*


In this thread http://www.enworld.org/forum/showthread.php?469005-DMing-quot-Out-of-the-Abyss-quot there was much discussion about the random encounters and sandbox nature of the adventure.

I would love to see what other GMs have come up with for their campaigns to put in those open areas. Mainly so I can use the ones I like in my own game. My plan is steal some of the set encounters from Night Below to use in this campaign. Like the Grell, Hook Horror, and Grimlock areas and possibly the Behir/Shadow Dragon.

What ideas do you have for the random areas until the party hits 7th?

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Here's what I generated using the automated tool posted on these forums (an OGRE?). Then I tweaked them to add more terrain and other ideas and stuff from the donjon generators. They walked right by the Temple of Ooze so I have been using the rescued halfling to encourage them to return for treasure.

Day 1:
Travel: Dark, narrow tunnel, Walk past Temple of Ooze, a shimmering within
Rest: Ochre Jelly
Day 2:
Travel: Dim light, Wide tunnel, Warning Sign “Demons Ahead!” in Duergar Runes: a non-dwarf touching it must SaveWis10 or gain 1 Madness. A pile of rocks and boulders litter the passage, a Quaggoth yeti is squashed still holding his greatsword, and a severed demon horn
Rest: An invisible Barlugura demon attacks.
Day 3:
Travel: Dim light, Boneyard, a great cavern, phosphorescent light, floor a pit filled with bones, 3 large horn headed skeletons attack.
Rest: Dim light, Webs amongst 14 torchstalks, An obsidian egg smeared with webs and spider blood. When thrown at a target, the egg explodes into a 20'r burst of spiderwebs (DexSave11).
Day 4:
Travel: Dim light, Single-file, long ladder above, 1 chuul lurking in a pool of water, a patch of 4 “barrelstalk” mushrooms, good for storing water and eating. A large pearl (300gp) in the pool.
Rest: Dark, Traders with 2 drow, 1 drow elite of House Xorlarr (Zool, Imi and Noor), 5 quaggoths with greatswords, 1 giant lizard with 300gp, explorers packs, 6 days of food, a cask of wine, 6 daggers, 3 crossbows, 40 darts, 3 vials of poison, 4 silver swords, chainmail, 1 Elven Cloak, 2 potions of healing, Carved Wooden Staff studded with Silver (500 gp), Ceramic Urn (80 gp), Electrum Amphora set with Fiery Yellow Corundum (4000 gp), Silk Robe threaded with Bronze (200 gp), Silver Cloth Gown (1600 gp)
Day 5:
Travel: Crystal clusters glowing pale purple 10’. Smashing crystals causes an intense burst of light. (12)
Rest: Dim light, Giant “rocktopus” slithers in.
Day 6:
Travel: Dim light, narrow tunnel filled with a massive carrion grub. The grub is feeding on something. If attacked, it defends itself with noxious gases.
Rest: No encounter
Day 7:
Travel: Dark, Shelter, Ambushers with 1 umber hulk bursting out of a nearby wall, A humanoid skeleton or corpse wearing a salvageable suit of plate armor (your choice)
Rest: No encounter
Day 8:
Travel: Dim light, Boneyard with No encounter, recent deaths, blood and stench
Rest: Dim light, Escaped slaves, 2 moon elf commoners desperately searching for a way out. Brinnie and Mac, amazing athletes and sort of cocky.
Day 9:
Travel: Edible Fungus Cavern: Barrel stalk, blue caps, ripple bark, water orb, tongue of madness. (50 person days of food!)
Rest: No encounter
Day 10:
Travel: Gorge 300ft deep, 120ft wide: Find a way across, go down and back up or find another path.
Rest: No encounter
Day 11:
Travel: High ledge: 18inches wide above a ravine. Miles of this.
Rest: No encounter
Day 12:
Travel: Dim light, Sinkhole
Rest: Dark, Giant “rocktopus”
Day 13:
Travel: Dark, Cliff and ladder (60 feet high), 4 Spore Drow Servants
Rest: No encounter
Day 14:
Travel: Dim light from 3 torchstalks, Webs with 1 giant spider, Society of Brilliance: Grazillex the MindFlayer is caught in the web, asks for help, offers a Traveling Scroll: “Expeditious Retreat, Longstrider, and Pass without Trace”. He is investigating the sudden influx of demons in the underdark and his own sudden change of perspective, shows his Purple Society Gem indicating his membership. They all have one.
Rest: No encounter
Day 15:
Travel: Horrid Sounds of gibbering screaming, moaning in a twisting maze of tunnels that glow a hellish pink with Fire Lichen: Intelligence20 to escape. Madness Wisdom Save11 for each failed check. (Madness +1)
Rest: No encounter
Day 16:
Travel: Rope Bridge
Rest: no encounter
Day 17:
Travel: Dark, Gorge (600 feet deep)
Rest: No encounter
Day 18:
Travel: Dark, Single-file, Ambushers with 8 giant spiders clinging to the walls or ceiling, None
Rest: No encounter
Day 19:
Travel: Ruins of ancient city. Each character finds each hour: A bronze gauntlet torn from a clockwork suit of armor, An oil lamp of dark iron, set with constellations of tiny gemstones, A wooden walking stick carved with five draconic heads, An ivory pawn carved in the form of a vampire, A wooden walking stick inscribed with an impossible prophecy, A leaden merchant's weight which weighs less than it should, A quill pen crafted from the feather of a pegasus, A pewter pyramid inscribed with “What it is”, A small leaden box which contains a shard of glowing spellcrystal, A silver collar crafted in the form of a winged serpent.
Rest: No encounter
Day 20:
Travel: Dim light, medium tunnel fits Two-abreast, Mad stone giant ("I can't take anything seriously. The more serious the situation, the funnier I find it") blocks the path, laughing. He's stuck. He is talking to an obsidian statuette of Lolth 5ft tall worth 1000 gp
Rest: Dark, Giant “rocktopus”


Good initiative!

I'm especially interested in handcrafted encounters that aren't just rolls on the tables.

In fact, I'm interested in having a discussion "rolling only twice per day makes for a very strange experience". But I'll start a new thread for that.


Guest 6801328

Yeah, I'd also love to see some hand-crafted encounters. Even "if you get X on the random tables, here are some ideas..."


I like to use the tables to kickstart it, then "hand hew" the results!

Other useful resources include the Dungeon Alphabet, and the Dungeon Dozen (which is also in blog form)


I did some random generation of encounters today and came up with following encounters that I liked. I've been using a result of 1 on the light rolls to determine if the encounter area is within the Faerzress.

Day 7 Narrow sized area, Dark
Patch of Green slime in area. A rocktopus that is immune to green slime is hiding camouflaged in the slime. It is covered in the slime and inflicts damage per the hazard if a creature is grappled by the rocktopus.

Day 8
During a rest period, a mad Stone Giant named Grondurr wanders into camp. His madness is "Being drunk is the only way I stay sane" He has an Alchemy Jug in his possession, which he is drinking beer from. If the Alchemy Jug is stolen or taken from him, he will attack to get it back because he knows that when he becomes sober, he will go insane.

Day 20
During travel, party comes across a wide area, lit by Faerzress. An 18 inch ledge skirts one side of 80' deep ravine, party's speed slowed by half for the day DC 10 Dex save to avoid a fall. Precautions allow characters to make save with advantage. Increase pursuit by one. 4 orogs use this area for ambushes and are hiding on the other side of the ravine. They will attack as the party moves along ledge. The orogs are roped to stalactites for swinging across the ravine and will attempt a shove action to push a party member into the ravine if they are not roped together. The next round the orog will swing back and then try again on another target the following round. Attacking an orog's rope is AC 11 but at disadvantage if the rope is moving. The rope has 5 hps. If the rope is cut while an orog is in mid-swing (requiring a ready action), the orog will fall into the ravine, taking full damage. If the rope is cut while they are on the other side of the ravine, the orog has a stable side to stand on and will begin throwing javelins. If the rope is cut on the party side, the orog will have to make a DC 10 Dex Save or fall. All party members fighting on the ledge side have to make a dex save 10 if fighting or fall. Alternatively, they can choose to use their action to make a Str (Athletics) or Dex (Acrobatics) check to stay on the ledge.

The orogs have a small cave on the other side of the ravine that contains the following: 1900 cp, 900 sp, 100 gp, Bloodstone (50 gp), Chalcedony (50 gp), 3 x Chrysoprase (50 gp), Jasper (50 gp), 2 x Onyx (50 gp), Potion of Clairvoyance, Potion of Superior Healing, Potion of Invulnerability, Elixir of Health. The orogs have no idea what the potions are, one of their number drank a poison potion and died so now they are too scared to test the others.


Does anyone have good ideas for Darklake encounters?
I ran one with a whirlpool created by 3 merrow. It was a tough encounter and reinforced the "creatures corrupted by Demogorgon" theme, as the party is heading from the Kuo-Tua village to Gracklestugh by boat.
Next I'm thinking of a "run aground" with a green hag encounter... could use some ideas.


Encounter 1: Whirlpool and 3 Merrow attack
Encounter 2: Run Aground on Hag Island, Old Nanny, who lurks about in a the hulk of a long ship wreckage. She is vexed at the Water Weird in the hull of the ship who guards a treasure. The Weird warns of the consequences of the treasure: A golden coffin housing a Mummy Lord with a sable fur cloak(400gp), a Leather Belt set with a jewelled buckle(400 gp) and the +1 Bastard Sword of the Undertaker (A finely crafted longsword that has a blade of steel with a hilt wrapped in shiny brown deer leather. The blade is inscribed with the name Undertaker. A rounded obsidian pommel provides balance. The round quillions are unremarkable, but the crossbar is stamped with the image of a skull within a eight-pointed star. There is a scabbard of black horse hide with platinum accents. This may well have been the legendary blade of Erliam of Fairridingstone, a specialist in the "Scorpions of Kelemvor's justice" Light Militia Platoon. He secured his place in history when he pitilessly protected against Marshal Evantor Covan, who led the "Dragons of the Night" Militia Formation, until the remaining enemies scattered and fled.) Provides Darkvision and Critical Hits on 19-20 against Undead. Ruined barrels of ale, a coffer with 500gp infected with Gas Spores, a scroll of Enlarge, and Heroes Feast. Surrounded by the skeletons of viking warriors all somehow transported from the surface. Nanny will trade knowledge of the Dark for the Scroll.
Encounter 3: Rockfall caused by a Grell, who attempts to fly off with a smaller character.
Encounter 4: A narrow canal, Duergar Keelboat carrying a ton of unrefined iron ore. 6 Invisible except for the captain who parlays with the group and attempts to trick them into slavery in Grackestugh. The grey dwarves have 30gp each, a cask of mushroom porter, fungus chips for 12 days, a fishing net, leather armor, shortswords, hammers and picks. 3 Potions of Growth.
Encounter 5: Purple Worm carcass, fed upon by 18 stirges, who attack only if disturbed.
Encounter 6: Collision with unseen rocks and 6 Darkmantles.

I have a question. I haven't bought this adventure module yet, but this sounds as if the adventure module just tells the DM to do some random encounter without telling anything about what to encounter, etc.
Is that true?
I'd hope that an adventure module at least offers some kind of random encounter table. =/


No, the adventure gives different encounter tables based on location. They have a general one that covers the broad expanses of the underdark, including a chance for both terrain and creature encounters. And then have tables for specific areas, like settlements and unique areas of the Underdark. It also includes many pre-planned encounters and quests.


Cave Description
1 Cavern of stalactites stretches out, a small ledge climbing to great heights on the far side.
2 Full of a strange purple fungus growing on the walls and in corners.
3 Great columns of unworked stone show signs of cracking, crumbling, and sabotage.
4 Half-finished frescoes of dwarf warriors are carved into the walls on one side of a cave.
5 Metal rings holding old, thick candles hang above from spiked chains; some are lit.
6 Multiple ledges work around a series of deep chasms, severely limiting the choices of passage.
7 Mushrooms carpet the cavern, with occasional signs of civilization—broken tools and rope bridges.
8 Natural stairwell leads down to a small pool where the back fins of some aquatic creature jut above.
9 On the far shore of an underground lake, a series of stone buildings are worked into the cave walls.
10 Ribcage of some colossal beast rises up from the uneven cavern floor.
11 Series of cramped corridors ahead shows many shadows and ambush points.
12 Series of shafts and pits which drop off into utter darkness; bizarre howling emanating from within.
13 Set of obviously worked doors suddenly appears in the otherwise natural cave wall ahead.
14 Small pockets of bubbling lava light up the room with a crimson glow.
15 Small stream divides the cave room in half; a simple but dangerous wooden bridge is set up.
16 Treacherous ledge winds along a thin section of wall with a gaping gorge on the other side.
17 Tree of stone intersects the passageway ahead, its roots providing a treacherous passage around it.
18 Twinkling purple lights in a gigantic stalactite betray hollow living quarters therein.
19 Underground sea shows a towline of rope leading out to a ship on the far horizon.
20 Utterly smooth walls of this cavern betray water-eroded or worked into shape with magic.

Cave Sounds
1 Birds squawking
2 Ceaseless cackling laughter
3 Claws tap on stone and water
4 Crackle of fire from torches
5 Distant echoes of screams change direction
6 Drums beating
7 Echoes from the world outside
8 Footsteps echo, a door slams, and silence
9 Hushed echoes of voices chanting in time
10 Large, loud splash
11 Metal striking metal in a repeated pattern
12 Muffled voices from up ahead in the dark
13 Rats squeaking
14 Scratching noises behind a wall
15 Shrill from a swarm of bats
16 Silence: complete and total silence
17 Snake rattle
18 Unsettling crunching sound
19 Water dripping slowly into a pool of water
20 Water flowing continuously like a waterfall

Strange Sounds
1 Buzzing of thousands of cicadas threatens to drown out all but the loudest of conversations.
2 Clock ticks far more slowly than normal; each tick is followed by a deep, rumbling moan.
3 Distant tinkling as if from a number of small bells, faint but persistent, is carried on the wind.
4 Dozens of light, pattering footfalls accompanied by giggling childish echo.
5 Far-off echo of an ululating war cry resounds all around.
6 Hysterical, high-pitched laughter rings out, trailing off into quiet sobbing.
7 Jagged screech of sharp metal across hard slate ends with a ringing like the drawing of steel.
8 Jarring, discordant notes of a song played on several musical instruments all out of tune.
9 Long, sustained scraping noise is followed by a heavy, dull thud.
10 Loud slurping noise, like marrow being sucked from a bone, comes from up ahead.
11 Loud squealing is cut off abruptly just as it hits its crescendo.
12 Loud tick-tock of an enormous, unseen clock keeps time with the party’s footsteps.
13 Rhythmic thumping of drums rises from somewhere deep down in a cavern.
14 Sepulchral moan like the lament of a hundred sorrowful dead reverberates, with no clear source.
15 Shrieking laughter of excited children breaks the quiet.
16 Strangled cry of a beast is cut short, followed by a baying howl.
17 Sucking sound of heavy boots walking through clinging mud can be heard off in the darkness.
18 Strangef voices layer upon one another into an indecipherable noise.
19 Sweet song sung by an angelic voice drifts through the air in an otherwise dark, foul place.
20 Trilling whistle cuts through all other sounds, its pitch so high that it is almost painful.


It seems important to add treasure and gear to appropriate encounters especially since my group is still more or less naked and scraping by with whatever they can scrounge. They were just able to take a couple harpoons from a fight with some Merrow, which is an upgrade on the shortswords and spears they have been using. Still no armor. Just a couple shields.


My group should be lucky, on my random rolls I got a group of 6 drow traders on day 2. I added two quaggoths for pack mules/bodyguards. That will give the party 6 chain shirts,short swords and hand xbows if they take them, plus trade goods (which i put in the form of explorer packs) and 60 days rations. (we don't start until this sunday)

Just throw a drow trader group in. The party should have no moral compunctions with taking them out considering what the drow did to them at the beginning of the adventure.


First Post
I don't know how to mark spoilers so I am going to be vague in Day 1, but DMs will know what I mean. I have a large party so we aren't using NPCs in combat. Therefore I feel all my encounters should involve an NPC interaction or two. Since I can't know how the dice will fall (who may die) I don't think to far ahead. Certain NPCs (see day 1) I love and I want to keep them alive for their story arc.

Day 1: Drow harry the group. If they wait in ambush the party can, with a 5DC steath check, ambush 2 drow scouts from Velkenvelve. +50 xp each if they interrogate and learn that they are being followed. Party perception DC 10 finds a certain someone extracting drow intestines. DC 15 finds that the intestines are laid our symmetrically.

Day 2: Traveling through a fissure they are at a dead end. DC 5 perception, finds a small urn under a mushroom. DC 10 finds a path up the rocks to climb out of the fissure. Disturbing the urn summons a CR4 banshee 120 ft. (no improved darkvision in group) back in the fissure and it assails them. DC10 insight for anyone assessing the situation notices the Drow NPC peering up the path and he will suggest leaving the banshee for the Drow following. DC 10 athletics check to climb out of the fissure. The banshee does not follow. Leaving the banshee alive reduces chase by 1.

Day 2 or 3: They encounter strange growth. Mushroom-like but luminescent and with colors coursing along it when touched. A DC 10 Arcana check will trap the mind of the wizard who (the group agrees annoyingly) always rolls Arcana on everything. He is incapacitated (surprise round) and suffers 1d10+1 damage per round. The growth is actually a warped/sentient Zurkwood (CR5 Cambion minus fire ray and spores for attack). If the party asks Stool what the growth is they can avoid the surprise round. *note* this encounter is mean't to teach a certain someone a lesson. If the wizard falls unconscious the NPCs will join up and hack the monster to bits in the following round.
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First Post
Day 8
During a rest period, a mad Stone Giant named Grondurr wanders into camp. His madness is "Being drunk is the only way I stay sane" He has an Alchemy Jug in his possession, which he is drinking beer from. If the Alchemy Jug is stolen or taken from him, he will attack to get it back because he knows that when he becomes sober, he will go insane.
I *love* this. I will definitely use this.

Day 20
During travel, party comes across a wide area, lit by Faerzress. An 18 inch ledge skirts one side of 80' deep ravine, party's speed slowed by half for the day DC 10 Dex save to avoid a fall. Precautions allow characters to make save with advantage.
You have inspired me. I will use the same ledge set up, but the 'ambush' is waiting for them as they get off the ledge. The first PC will be outnumbered and unable t move far (assuming tied together), as more PCs come off the ledge the sides will get more even.

If nothing else, OotA and the Underdark are getting me to think of new and creative ways of using terrain.


I *love* this. I will definitely use this.

You have inspired me. I will use the same ledge set up, but the 'ambush' is waiting for them as they get off the ledge. The first PC will be outnumbered and unable t move far (assuming tied together), as more PCs come off the ledge the sides will get more even.

If nothing else, OotA and the Underdark are getting me to think of new and creative ways of using terrain.

I'm glad you like them. I agree about the terrain. I'm thinking about changing the encounters to include both terrain and monster. The two of them together makes for a more memorable scene instead of just "a monster pops out at you"

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