D&D 5E Starting Out of the Abyss at 5th Level


First Post
At the end of last session my 6 level 5 PCs were ambushed by Drow after defeating a Young Black Dragon. They ended the session unconscious but knowing who attacked them.

My plan is to have them wake up in the cell in just simple clothing, all their possessions taken away and stashed at various places in the Drow compound. What I'm struggling with is how easy or hard I want to make it for them to get their stuff back. I'm less concerned about money and trinkets and more concerned about weapons, armor, spell components, spell books, etc.

Any thoughts on it? I see it as some combination of trying to steal things back as they work around the compound and making some decisions on priorities as they escape.

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As written, valuable items are stashed in the leader's chest; everything else is just gone. The search for gear and spell components (not to mention food, water, and shelter) drives a lot of the first half of the adventure. Maybe they can find out their gear was sold to a trader heading to X, where X is the place you want the characters to go next.


I think you will need to heavily modify the adventure.

6 level 5 PCs are at the power level of a typical party at the end of Chapter 7 (or half way through the adventure).

I would either just start at the 2nd half or start as level 1.


I started DMing it with characters averaging around 3rd level. They never got their stuff back and it's been great. They have a little more durability for the wilderness journey and I don't have to be too careful about wandering monsters but they still feel very vulnerable. I haven't changed much at all. They are now in Gracklestugh Whorlstone caverns, mostly 5th level now and they finally have basic equipment (plus one magic sword).


First Post
I'm thinking I can manage it at 5th if i just set itt up the right way. Add a bit to the encounters, combine difficult terrain with the monster encounter. Need to make sure the Drow feel like an ongoing threat just behind their shoulder.

We're not using XP to level, I just do it every few sessions so I think I can hasten the push to 7 if I can't challenge them enough. I just want them to feel the naked vulnerability and then push them hard.


First Post
I intend to go hard mode. All the players start at 1st level and their stuff has been transported away. They have to scavenge for whatever they can find as described in the module. A single drow warrior would likely be too much for them in a straight fight so they will have to be clever unless they think they can saw him down with a herring!

The players won't be able to get better gear unless they're willing to take undue risks to fight for it or steal it, or until they arrive at the fist settlement and perhaps barter for equipment. Perhaps if they show up at the Kuo toa settlement, they managed in their scavenging to find stuff of no value to themselves, but may be useful in barter to these alien creatures, though the Kuo Toa don't wear armor and their weapons are rather limited to what can be used underwater, such as a spear or net...so equipment availability will prove scarce.

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