Out of the Abyss

(Jeff_L) #1
complications for the adventurers. For example. if the
Random Events table indic-ates that one member of the
expanded party suffers long-term madness. )OU mi~ht
decide to bestow extreme paranoia on that i\PC.ln
addition to the effect of Wisdom and Charisma checks.
that charnrter might believe that the advenrurers are
actua Jly agents of the demon lords. and are intent on
leading the NPCs to their doom.

Having the adventurers leading an expanded party
aives you the opportunity to use the optional loyalty
rules in chapter 4. ··creating onplayer Characters:· of
the Dungeon Master's Guide. You can track the loyalty
c;cores of groups of NPCs. such as those belonging
to each faction. rather than having to track PCs
individually. The characters must balance the goals
and bonds of their followers in order to maintain and
improve their loyalty.

The factions in Gauntlgrym see to it that the
expeditionary force is well provisioned with whatever
the characters' e xpeditionary force can carry. Food
and water aren't easy to come by in the Underdark. as
the characters know all too well, and supplies must bt>
managed and safeguarded.
If th e expeditionary force needs to supplement or
replace supplies while traveling. the amounts that
characters are able to find become mort> important with
a larger group to support. See .. Foraging" in chaptt>r 5 of
the DunRcon Master's Guide, as well as the J:(uidelines in
c-hapter 2 of this adventure.


just as they must ensure sufficient s upplies for all the
~PCs, the characters need to think about how best to
share the spoils of encounters and adventures with
their followen;. Although the PCs all accompany
the <~dventurers out of loyalty to their factions-and
on orders from their superiors in Gauntlgrym- the
characters' treatment of the NPCs influences the
loyalty of those followers durin~ the mission into the
The chMacters should come up with some means for
dividing any treasure taken on the expedition bt'tween
the PCs. As long as thf' division is reasonably fair.
most of the followers will be contt-nt. However. the
:"'PCs will complain if all the chokf' pieces of treasure
go to the adventurers.
The characters might also need to contend with the
problem of theft, whet her PCs stealing from spoils not
yet dividt>d, stealing from the adventurers, or stealing
from each other. Such theft might be driven by sheer
g;reed. or it could be a manifestation of madness. A bout
of long-term madness could e.asily lead to obsession
with particular items of treasure- especially magic
ttems-with an obsessed NPC willing to steal or even
kill to obtain them.

The adventurers art> in command of their NPC
follower ... and that means they are responsible for
welding together dic;paratc forrf'<; and maintaining
discipline. The characters have a bit of an advantage
in th•s re~tard, in that the NPCc; placed undf'r their
command are all well-trained faction operatives. not
raw recruits or mercenaries. However. some of these
seasoned personnel might quec;tion the right of a ragtag
band of ad\·cnturers to command them. even if their
superiors seem to trust the player characters. Likewi<>e.
though the individual factions are typically disciplined
within their own rank<>. members of any faction might
bristle at having to work alongside (much les · takt>
orders from) memb<'r<; of other factions.

In addition to deciding how the expeditionary force is
organi1.cci and distributed (see "Marching Orders"). the
players must also in s til ute a clear chain of command.
One or mort> of the advt-nt urers might be the field
commanders of the expanded party, while others serve
as lieutrnants. Likewise, the adventurers might appoint
some oft hr NPCs to command positions. Without a
clear chain of command. information might not go to
the right people. and decisions might not get made
quickly t>nough-or at all. Add in~ to the chnllf'nge of
maintaining discipline is the rwr-present threat of
demonic madness growing among the ranks, rreating
problems e\·en for seasoned and professional troops
(see "Hrart of Darkness").
Tf the expeditionary force is mncte up of divt>rse
factions. the players also need to decide how much
latitude to ~ive those factions. For example. Zhentarim
mercenaries might be eager to torture prisoners for
information unless the charactPrs put a stop to it. and
members of the Emer~tld Enclave might place a higher
priority on maintaining the balance of nature in the
lJnderdark than on political strugales.

The adventurers mu<;t contend with a variety of events
as they lead their forces throuah the Undcrdark. Every
other day of travel or camping in the Underdark. an
event automatically occurs. Roll a d20 and ronsult the
Random Evt>nts table, or chooc;e a suitable event.
For the rules on madness. see chapt<'r 2 of this
adventure and chapter 8. "Running the Game:· in the
Dunt<eon Masrer's Guide.

You can change up the feel of these later chapters of Out
of the Abyss by a11owing the players to take on the roles
of their faction allies as well as their regular characters.
This can range from letting each player control the overall
actions of the NPCs in a single factton, to creating multiple
subgroups so that characters can split off and have their
own adventures. Whtle this involves a good deal more
coordination among the game group, it can add a tot of
detail, intrigue, and interaction to the campaign

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