D&D 5E What should I steal from these 5e adventure books? (+)

el-remmen

Moderator Emeritus
So today I took my daughter to the library and while there I noticed they had D&D books!

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While I have no plans to run these, I figured it might be fun to see what these Adventure Paths are like and more importantly to steal whatever seemed good or re-workable for my homebrew games.

So what do you think, if anything, is worth stealing? Locations? NPCs? Magical items? Monsters? Plot elements? Maps? What sections should I spend my time looking at?

If it matters, I tend to run fairly grounded and serious games with a homebrew setting with a moderate degree of magic - though anything that is truly interesting can probably be reworked to fit, if not in my current campaigns, then future ones.

Oh, and notice the "+" in the thread title. If what you think is that there is absolutely nothing in either book that is useful or interesting, I am sure there are other threads to post in.
 

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OotA I've never read.
DoMM has some good dungeon maps. Even the encounters and adversaries can be used well if you think them through and they fit into your campaign. You don't need to use the whole thing. For instance, their is a fairly large mind flayer lair you can use and is easy to fit into a campaign if they are an adversary. You can do similar things with SkullPort and most of the areas. Just read through it and pick and chose the parts that fit.
 

ichabod

Legned
My favorites from DoMM:
  • Sarguath Level (3): Hobgoblins vs. Cultists. Drop the players in the middle and see what happens.
  • Skull Port (Appendix): Underground Port ruled by Thieves' Guild.
  • Dweomercore (9): School for evil wizards.
  • Vanrakdoom (18): Saved the doomed dragon and his human ally.
  • Shadowdusk Hold (22): Ancient family gone mad from dealing with aberrations.
 
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Retreater

Legend
I'm glad your library has D&D books too. :)
I like the opening prison break scene from Out of the Abyss - only I would limit the number of other prisoners joining them (it can get unwieldy).
The locations - such as the Duergar city - can be fun to explore. If I remember there may be a subplot about a svirfneblin insurrection. (Or maybe I added that. In any case, it's fun.)
 

Eyes of Nine

Everything's Fine
So today I took my daughter to the library and while there I noticed they had D&D books!

View attachment 345146

While I have no plans to run these, I figured it might be fun to see what these Adventure Paths are like and more importantly to steal whatever seemed good or re-workable for my homebrew games.

So what do you think, if anything, is worth stealing? Locations? NPCs? Magical items? Monsters? Plot elements? Maps? What sections should I spend my time looking at?

If it matters, I tend to run fairly grounded and serious games with a homebrew setting with a moderate degree of magic - though anything that is truly interesting can probably be reworked to fit, if not in my current campaigns, then future ones.

Oh, and notice the "+" in the thread title. If what you think is that there is absolutely nothing in either book that is useful or interesting, I am sure there are other threads to post in.
It's not called stealing. It's called indefinite not-returning ;)

In seriousness - having played Mad Mage to 14th level (theoretically we are still in that campaign, but the GM said "Squirrel!" to 3 other adventure paths in the meanwhile) and completed Out of the Abyss...

The Underdark info is very good in Out of the Abyss. The Menzoborranzan map our DM showed us was pretty epic. I'm never sure what stuff is actually in the books and what is stuff he gets 3pp, unless he tells us. but anyway, the area around the Dark Lake seems like a cool setting to place any sort of Underdark campaign - Gracklestugh, Menzoborranzon, the smurfneblin community, the Neverlight Grove. Would recommend

Mad Mage - it's interesting - but it's also a mega-dungeon - so it's very big. The thing is, it's not very cohesive; Halaster is bumping around; but there are a lot of "discreet" areas that didn't really interact with the rest of the population down there. I wish they had played up more the faction play, and had factions that crossed more of the levels. Also, it's a huge miss not to have much about Skullport in the actual adventure. My DM said he had to buy a 3pp product to support our jaunt down to Skullport. However, the gate system and how to operate them was cool; the "lost" dwarven level was cool; the goblin market was cool; the wizard school (we were ~10th level or so?) was really fun.
 

Zardnaar

Legend
OotA ended up very underwhelming. Didn't want to run it, didn't enjoy reading it and didn't end up mining it unlike PotA.

Individual section might be useful in underdark games.
 


Voadam

Legend
From what I have heard second hand on out of the Abyss it handles a slave break scenario pretty well. Also fun demon lord information if you do not have either of the Mordenkainen books.

My brother ran a group through Out of the Abyss and they had a blast. An opportunity for an evil group or an inhuman underdark one as well if you want to play say an insane derro or a mushroomfolk type.
 

Quickleaf

Legend
OotA has pretty good resources for Underdark procedural exploration. It's definitely a titrated more convenient approach than the 3e Underdark book (which is also terrific, but more focused on higher concept stuff and not heaps upon heaps of encounter tables like OotA). When I was running Night Below in 5e (alas, we only got a few sessions in), I basically ripped the encounter tables from OotA for the Underdark.
 

Burnside

Space Jam Confirmed
Supporter
Almost any individual level of DoMM will stand alone as a very solid dungeon in and of itself, and will get you a fun 2-4 sessions of play with some decent, if simple, internal story hooks and factions. The maps themselves, however, are not visually impressive (several better versions of the maps are available for free online).

There is a good adventure somewhere inside Out of the Abyss, at least for the first half. The presentation is very cumbersome, though. I do find it useful as a general FR Underdark sourcebook. It has several fun set-pieces and locations. I have used chunks of it, including the Velkynvelve escape, to good effect, and often turn to it for Underdark flora and fauna references.
 

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