Michaeldgriffiths's Blog
One's man Chaos is another person's Entertainment

Out of the Abyss

I received Out of the Abyss as a gift from my lovely new wife. She thought it was more of a manual and less of a Dungeons and Dragons adventure scenario, but upon it being placed in my hands, you know I read it. Let me back up, I usually do not read campaign modules. There is a simple reason for this; I have not used a module since I was in high school, but most Game Masters I am lucky enough to have a Player Character with almost exclusively use premade scenarios. So, since I will not use it, but it will ruin it for me if one of them uses it, I steer clear. Still… the tome was completely exciting and useful for me to read.

Genre:  Fantasy/Gaming

Publisher: Wizards of the Coast

Released:  2021

Stars:  5 Stars

Reviewer: Michael D. Griffiths

I have to say I enjoyed it from cover to cover and was certainly the best gaming scenario I have ever read. This is saying a bit because, although I almost exclusively use my own concepts when running gaming scenarios, I have read more than a hundred modules over the years.

It would not be an overstatement to say I was amazed by the complexity and thoroughness of this book. In most respects it is a sandbox campaign with a driving focus. The authors anticipated possible story arcs and players making odd choices very well. “Your group ignores the obvious and most valuable manner to proceed and does something chaotic, no worries we have a random monsters table for that option.”

The intention of the writers is for the players to start with first level characters and finish as fifteenth. The focus of this campaign is surviving in the Underdark. After escaping from the Drow, which held them prisoner, the group realizes this is just the start of their problems for the Demon Lords themselves have been summoned to the Underdark. Their presence is beginning to drive the Underdark into madness and the players are right in the middle of it with no way out. There is a second half to the book, but I do not wish to give too much away.

I think this scenario is about as close to perfect as things can get. I guess my only gripe would be the reprinting of the Demon lords which I already had in Mordenkainen’s Tome of Foes. Also, some part of me cannot help but wonder with so many random tables if a lucky group might have an easier time than another party which rolled the maximum number of some rough monster on one of the random encounter tables. Especially at lower levels, this could make a huge difference.

If you are the type of 5E Game Master who uses modules and your characters like fighting the terror of the Demon world, then this is a must. If you are a player, what can I say, it would be a dream to have your Game Master run your group through this.

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