(This is a log of my players run through the Out of the Abyss campaign (After a brief dabble with Harried at Hillsfar first. Spoilers abound, though it’s likely the team won’t play the module in the way you, the writers or sanity intended).
Their escape plan had been crashed by user error. Now was the time for inspired tactics improvisation.
Rushing to the edge of the platform, the heroes arrived just in time to see Whitey’s struggling body pitched off the edge of platform into the inky blackness below accompanied by the cheers and laughter of the Drow.
Drow #1: “Ha! Another feast for the spiders!”
Drow #2: “They’ll eat better than the slaves tonight!”
Drow #3: “Gah. Spider’s are icky.”
The other two drow looked at the third cooly.
Drow #3: “I mean, Praise Lolth! BWHAHAHAHAHAHAH!”
Soon after, all the slaves were dragged back to their cells after listening to a hair-raising description of what would happen to them if they step out of line again. Sargen filled the rest of the team in with what had happened and they were deeply moved with concern about their friend.
Zook: “What the bloody hell was that muppet thinking? Is he soft in the head?”
Aiyu: “Was. WAS that muppet soft in the head. Though he’s probably going to soft and squishy throughout when those spiders get him.”
Anastasia: “Not much we can do about it now, is there?”
But as they sat in the dark they heard the tell-tale “click” of the lock releasing as their cell-door swung slightly ajar.
Targen: “Sounds like the tell-tale ‘click’ of fortuitous timing. Jorlan came through for us.”
Just opposite their cell door one of the platforms which housed the guards lay empty.
Aiyu: “Let’s hunt for some gear and look for a way out of here.”
Anastasia: “We saw a winch with a platform earlier; it’ll be the quickest way down.”
Targen: “The second quickest way down. Baring your arse at the priestess and getting thrown over the edge is still probably the quickest.”
Cautiously the party snuck into guard room and started ran-sacking the place.
Aiyu: “Doesn’t it strike you as odd that there’s no guards here?”
Zook: “I’m not going to look a gift horse in the mouth. Chalk it up to ‘The Drow are Chaotic and Evil’ and let’s get moving.”
At that moment, a group of Drow burst in and after a few seconds stunned silence the room degenerated into a melee.
Aiyu: “Everyone stick together! We need to keep a low profile or we’re all f…. Anastasia! What are you doing?!”
“Don’t worry! I’ll be right back” and with that she leapt out of the window.
Zook ran to the window and saw Anastasia standing in the middle of old, huge, dusty, dry spiderweb. Lying there beside her was Whitey; still living but unconcious. Unfortunately, bearing down on the two of them from all sides was a group of enormous spiders.
Anastasia couldn’t believe Whitey was still alive. Whatever higher power was looking out for him must have been particular attentive that day. Attentive, and very, very patient.
She leapt to the attack, dancing across the dusty, dry spiderweb as she fended off the spiders. The fight in the guardroom was going well and Sargen had knocked most of the Drow out without raising the alarm but Zook was the only one in a position to help the two below. As a wizard he had a multitude of spells at his beck and call and years of training in the arcane arts. What could he do to assist Anastasia, who was desperately fighting giant spiders on huge, dry, dusty, spider-webs that stretched across the slaver’s base? She had driven off one spider with some flamboyant acrobatics and swordplay but the rest were wearing her down.
Clearly there was only one low-risk option that could save Anastasia while keeping a low profile. His aim had to be perfect but the spiders weren’t far away and they were the size of bulbous horses.
“Well at least things can’t get any worse”, Anastasia gasped weakly as spider venom coursed through her veins.
Screaming out the magic incantations, Zook sent a firebolt arcing towards the spiders, missing them completely and promptly setting the whole place ablaze.
Anastasia sighed. “Of course they can get worse”.
Zook cringed and turned to the rest of the party.
“Bad news everyone. It looks like the Drow have set fire to all the webs between their buildings.”
Aiyu looked out the window with a puzzled look on his face. “Why the hell would they do tha…”
“CHAOTIC AND EVIL.”
DM Notes: Re: WhiteEagle. I'm clearly a soft-touch The players now had another chance to save him and it gave Anastasia the opportunity for some derring-do. Re: Pyromaniac Gnome Another of those "RP vs Player Choice things". Zook, who had genius intelligence probably _wouldn't_ have set the entire place on fire. But after laying it on pretty thick about the flammability of the webs Zook's player still wanted to help Anastasia. So in the end three things mattered; 1) Zook wanted to take a risk shooting at the spiders from range. 2) He had rolled a 1. 3) What happened was hysterically funny.