Tag Archives: Roll20

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

Keep on the Borderlands and eD&D

Some time ago, over a year ago in fact, I wrote a post about how we were going to start playing some RPGs over teh internets. I’m happy to report that we’ve been playing pretty much every week via Roll20 since January 2013. Most of that time we’ve been playing D&D 3.5, but just recently we moved on and Mike is running a Star Frontiers campaign.

KotB post-mortem

Back in that original post, I wrote:

It’s a pretty shitty adventure in many ways since there’s so little in the way of a plot actually in the module. Unfortunately, not only due to my lack of motivation to really make it good, my skills are a wee bit rusty.

So, yeah, that was pretty much spot on. It’s a shitty adventure. You basically hear some rumors about a cave and then you go to the cave and murder all the coexisting monsters that live there in separate cave complexes.

I think it is only a legendary adventure because it’s one of the first many people played. Probably a lot of fun campaigns were launched using the setting as well. It’s suckiness this time around is due in no small part to my shitty DMing. So it goes.

D&D 3.5

It’s a cool system, but it’s just too goddamn complicated, often for no good reason. There is a layer of realism added tactics-wise compared to ‘old school’ D&D, but I don’t really think it’s worth it. After all, most players optimize their characters and/or character play style so that they become pretty one dimensional. Who cares if there are attacks of opportunity if everyone just becomes a statue in order to avoid them. Likewise, characters with sneak attack or skirmish always do the same thing in battle to maximize their special ability. Likewise for most any other character class’s special ability.

I think I’d rather just go back to 1st or 2nd ed., keep most of the ‘options’ rules out of things, and wing it if someone wants to do a special maneuver. So, if Might & Magic ever ships, maybe we’ll play that next. Otherwise it’s vanilla 2nd ed. D&D or something like OSRIC.