Out of the Abyss

Wik

First Post
5 out of 5 rating for Out of the Abyss

I love this module. It's not really linear. It goes in all sorts of different directions, and doesn't "expect" anything. It's strangely whimsical, and has a lot of cool stuff hidden in random encounters - in other words, lots of great stuff that isn't scripted to happen. The way it works out for you is going to be entirely different than how it works out for me, even if both of our GMs play it "straight out of the box". You can get intelligent gelatinous cubes as a friend. Or a flumph. Or a psychotic murderer who picks off your friends as you go along. This all depends on who your group is. Who your GM is. It's a toolbox in module form. And, holy crap, is it FUN.
 

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bragarfull

First Post
3 out of 5 rating for Out of the Abyss

Another nicely produced book but overall not an "adventure" I will ever pursue. Wished there would've been more items, creature stats etc.
 

dave2008

Legend
4 out of 5 rating for Out of the Abyss

I enjoyed the opened nature of the campaign, it is almost a source book more than an adventure. And I am always up for some more demon lord stats as well (though a think they could be more powerful). Lot of interesting characters and locations that I could use in other adventures. I think I will get a lot of use out of this book even if I never run the campaign.
 

Malikai2000

Explorer
4 out of 5 rating for Out of the Abyss

I really enjoy the storyline. The details for the setting are great and will be useful beyond the module. But this is going to be difficult to run from week to week. The steady increase in quality continues. Now I want the next one to be easier to run and reference.
 

Lycanthropos

Explorer
5 out of 5 rating for Out of the Abyss

I'm just delighted. I must say that I love sandbox campaigns. I tinkered a lot to make Kingmaker a great Campaign for my players, but it was a great success. Now, with Out of the Abyss, I think I have work to do (as in every sandbox), but the book gives you half the work done. OotA provides you with interesting locations and dungeons, several interesting, funny or really devious characters, epic scale, several surprising plots... We can be running through the Underdark for several campaigns after this one. I mean that OotA is a Underdark Sourcebook for 5e as much as an Epic Campaign itself. We're around lvl 6 and my players are as delighted as I am. THey have found an intelligent sword afraid of the dark, a fat red dragon ploting to survive, an intelligent gelatinous cube and an interesting system to represent the ever-present chase of vengeful drows. And now they have finally realised that demons are rampaging in the underdark! Best 5e adventure so far.
 

jcrog

First Post
4 out of 5 rating for Out of the Abyss

Out of the Abyss does a great job fleshing out the Underdark for 5e. It adds madness checks and creates a setting flush with horror and fantasy. The adventure is a sandbox for the first half of the book. The second half is a bit more linear but the players can still determine locations and outcomes for events and more. Their actions matter. Newer DMs might find this campaign hard to manage and inexperienced players might not know when to run.
 

delericho

Legend
4 out of 5 rating for Out of the Abyss

This was a tough one to review. The first half of the adventure (an escape from the Underdark) is outstanding - probably the best adventure material WotC have ever put out. Most of the second half is good but not great - lots of good ideas, but they needed fleshed out.

But the climax of the adventure is pretty dire - essentially, the PCs are reduced to spectators as the demon lords fight it out, before the PCs face the eventual winner. (There is an option for the DM to give the demon lords to the players to run the combat, which he absolutely should. But while that's better than just narrating matters, it still leaves the heroes of the campaign on the sidelines for the climax, which isn't good.)

The weaknesses all appear to be a consequence of the book's length and level range - a longer book could have expanded the ideas in the second half and could have run to a higher level (so the PCs could survive against the demon lords). But, alas, it was not to be.

So, it's a tricky one to rate. In the end I've settled on four stars - it's recommended, but with a huge caveat or two. But it's still a step up on the previous adventures, so they're still going in the right direction.
 

patdonaldteng

First Post
5 out of 5 rating for Out of the Abyss

Introduces very new ways to play the game and is a great adventure to pick up after lost mines. Very happy with this product!
 

Chimpy

First Post
5 out of 5 rating for Out of the Abyss

Another beautifully presented book, and interesting adventure and setting. My only criticism really is that, as written, there isn't enough content to level the PCs fast enough to keep up with the story, meaning the DM needs to arrange side-quests and other encounters.The book can also be easily used an Underdark setting guide.
 

Krypter

Explorer
4 out of 5 rating for Out of the Abyss

I've been following events in the Underdark since the Dungeoneer's Survival Guide from AD&D days, and I've been very happily surprised at the quality of writing and detail in this latest version of the Underdark for 5E. The locations are superbly described, with intriguing fungi, tonnes of encounters, clever NPCs and unique adventuring locales that could be plug-and-played in any other underground scenario with ease. The atmosphere of mystery and brooding, unplumbed dangers emanates from every page and underground cities such as Gracklstugh, Neverlight Grove and Blingdenstone come to life like never before. The map of Menzoberranzan is particularly good. The only weakness is the main plot, which is both under-described (no summary, you have to read the whole book several times to get it all) and at the higher levels somewhat vague and sandbox-y. The first 60% of the book is meaty with plenty of detail (sometimes too much) and muscular guidelines for survival, lighting, food, etc.; but the latter 40% becomes too vague for inexperienced GMs, with very thin encounter descriptions and loose anything-goes suggestions for what happens. This is to be expected at higher levels of play, but based on XP I just don't see the PCs advancing to levels 13, 14, or 15 at the rate of progression in the book. The GM will have to spend a LOT of time padding encounters, pulling all the tiny plot threads from 8 chapters back into a coherent whole, or the adventure will quickly go off on a wild tangent. This is not a campaign for beginner GMs. The demon lords are also under-used. Once again, to be expected given their challenge ratings, but still, I wish they could have played a more pivotal role in each location rather than just being scary backdrops menacing the NPCs in the background. That said, it's still one of my favorite Underdark books, something I will refer to for years if not decades to come, even if I never run this particular adventure. It's a fantastic underground resource full of faerzress-lit wonders.
 

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