D&D 5E Wild Beyond the Witchlight + Out of the Abyss

pukunui

Legend
I recently got The Wild Beyond the Witchlight and have just finished reading through it. I love it! Can’t wait to run it.

Did anyone else notice all the multiversal cameos? There are NPCs from Toril, Krynn, Oerth, the Known World, and even Tal’dorei!

Anyway, I’ve had a bit of a crazy idea for following it up with the second half of Out of the Abyss. A huge tonal shift, I know, but hear me out:

First, a frequent complaint people have had with OotA is that the first half is all about escaping the demonic madness unleashed in the Underdark, so why would anyone want to turn around and go right back in? By skipping the first half, we can nip that complaint in the bud!

Second, PCs are expected to be 8th level at the midway point of OotA, when they’re expected to return to the Underdark. Since WBtW finishes at 8th level, the segue is seamless!

Third, the central figure in WBtW has been known to consort with demons. It shouldn’t be that hard to set up OotA Part 2 as a consequence / follow-up to that reveal.

Thoughts? Ideas? Suggestions?
 
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FitzTheRuke

Legend
I feel like this is obvious, so you've probably already thought of it, but I do think that you should make sure to establish a few NPCs in the carnival that are from the underdark! Some potential guides, or side-quest-givers, or at least people that can help them feel connected to the place.
 

pukunui

Legend
I feel like this is obvious, so you've probably already thought of it, but I do think that you should make sure to establish a few NPCs in the carnival that are from the underdark! Some potential guides, or side-quest-givers, or at least people that can help them feel connected to the place.
I hadn't actually. That's a great suggestion. Thanks! :)

Maybe swap out the drow with elves from the unseelie court (or is it the seelie court?) and use the same premise but in the fey wild?

I think there is an interesting idea here.
That is a cool idea! Could make it the Feydark. (I've always kinda liked the idea that the Underdark and the Feydark are the same thing anyway.)
 


pukunui

Legend
One of the reasons I got the idea is that there are several spies in Zybilna's palace sent by Graz'zt, and some of them are very close to figuring things out. Perhaps the demon lords and their minions are coming for Zybilna and she needs the PCs' help to stop them. (Rather than it being the case of a drow mage casting a spell to break Lolth's hold on the Underdark and having it go awry.)
 




Personally I thought that the second half of OotA was by far the weaker part. There is just not much to it for an arc that is supposed to take characters from 8th to 15th level. I thought it had a couple of great scenes, but just didn't have enough actual material to support what was trying to do. Obviously if you are familiar with the adventure and think it is great, go for it! But if you are just reading the overview and noticing the levels match up, I would recommend taking a closer look and figuring out if the actual adventure is going to work for your group.
 

pukunui

Legend
Personally I thought that the second half of OotA was by far the weaker part. There is just not much to it for an arc that is supposed to take characters from 8th to 15th level. I thought it had a couple of great scenes, but just didn't have enough actual material to support what was trying to do. Obviously if you are familiar with the adventure and think it is great, go for it! But if you are just reading the overview and noticing the levels match up, I would recommend taking a closer look and figuring out if the actual adventure is going to work for your group.
I have read all of Out of the Abyss and am familiar with the second half in broad strokes. Yes, I know it's a bit sparse, but I love the idea of letting the players take control of the various demon lords and letting them duke it out kaiju style. And there are some fun bits leading up to that part.
 

robus

Lowcountry Low Roller
Supporter
I tried using the 2nd half of OotA in my campaign and for my players it was too monotonous in environment and theme: Oh, another location where the leaders have gone mad and are doing crazy things? In the end the wizard helped me blow it up with a well timed wish spell.

In the hands of a cleverer DM (and perhaps a different set of players) it might have worked well, but we certainly got exhausted by it. There's not much opportunity for light relief.
 

pukunui

Legend
@robus: Fair enough! Obviously a lot of work would need to be put into it to make it more fun. There are definitely some bits that maybe read better than they play. I don't know. The only parts of OotA that I have actually used in a game before are Neverlight Grove (which I used as a trippy Halloween night special for an episodic campaign I ran some years ago) and the library of Gravenhollow (to which I sent my Storm King's Thunder PCs when the wanted to track down another of the scepters that can be used with the Wyrmskull Throne). Both were a lot of fun as standalone pieces.
 


FitzTheRuke

Legend
I loved Gracklestugh both times I ran it!

I ran it for very different groups of players - one group was very experienced, the other was new players who didn't even know each other. I probably invented every single encounter I ran, though, in one way or another. OotA has an interesting plot, and an interesting setting, but it has very VERY little information for a DM on what to do THIS SESSION. It is probably the worst 5e adventure I can imagine for a new DM. I wouldn't recommend it to one. But someone with experience could make some really fun stuff with it. (Both my groups loved it).

I ran it pretty "fast" too. I don't remember how long it took, but I certainly did not to all the "grind" for level-ups. I used story-based levelling and I think they (both groups) were only level 11 at the end of it. It was a just-the-fun-bits kind of game.
 

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