Out of the Abyss

It was October, 2015. We started playing Out of the Abyss in our weekly D&D game. On April 5th, 2020, we finally finished it. Granted, we took a 13 month hiatus at the midpoint of the campaign where I traded off DM duties and we played a variety of other games including The Sprawl, Pete’s home brew, and possibly something Mike ran. Nevertheless, we played Out of the Abyss over the course of four and a half years and about 75-80 sessions, from cover to cover.

I didn’t do the greatest job DMing it, nor was I quite up to the task of running such a sandboxy campaign properly. I liked the story; it was very ambitious. I do wish more was explicitly revealed to the characters through the written adventure, as I did not fully portray the extent of corruption and madness that had pervaded the Underdark. Nevertheless, it was relatively enjoyable and reasonable well written .1

There were quite a few memorable moments, but the top one for me was probably the spider drop.

Onwards and upwards. Mike is going to run the Goodman Games rewrite of Expedition to the Barrier Peaks next. After that, who knows. Pete or Brian might want to run something short2, and then I’m planning on running Descent into Avernus.


  1. I will say I did not understand the ordering of the final few chapters. Menzoberranzan was a chapter too early in my opinion, and frankly could have been cut out completely. It’s way to rich of a setting for a chapter to do it proper justice, and by the time it shows up in the adventure, it’s time to fight demon lords, not mess around with Underdark city intrigue. 

  2. Pete should do some edition of Gamma World

1 thought on “Out of the Abyss

  1. Great time. I’m just ecstatic that we actually made it all the way to level 12, after never going past 7 or 8 in OG D&D.

    I liked the sandbox-ness of the campaign a lot, but it had the usual constraints of fantasy societies (there’s a gnome town, a dwarf town, a mushroom town, a Drow city, etc.), where alliances/rivalries aren’t in any way fluid and you don’t feel free to visit some places. Dealing with the BBEGs in the campaign was very fun.

    I was thinking about some stuff that I would like to run, but nothing is bite-sized. Most would need more effort than I’m prepared to spend.

    Descent into Avernus looks cool from what I can tell.

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