House Rules

Short Rests

For Out of the Abyss, a short rest is 10 minutes rather than 1 hour.


The Out of the Abyss campaign uses the Feats optional rule from the PHB.


Characters can use the Crafting option from Downtime Activities on page 187 of the PHB to create gear from available materials if they have appropriate tools.

Travel Pace

Travel pace in the Underdark is significantly slower than for overland travel. Not only are the tunnels and passages often difficult terrain with uneven surfaces, but routes in the Underdark are rarely direct, and the characters must follow available passages and their various twists and turns, climbs and descents. Creatures that can burrow through solid rock (such as purple worms) move at their normal burrowing speed, but this isn’t likely an option for the party.

Underdark Travel Pace
Pace Miles Per Day Effect
Fast 8 -5 penalty to passive Wisdom (Perception) scores; no foraging
Normal 6
Slow 4 Improved foraging, or able to use Stealth

A fast pace makes it harder to spot ambushes or items of interest and prevents the characters from foraging, while a slow pace allows the characters to travel steatlthily enough to surprise or sneak past creatures they encounter, and improves their chances or successful foraging for food and water.


Becoming lost is a serious risk in the twisting tunnels of the Underdark, and travelers can wander in circles without knowing it. Creatures unfamiliar with a given region of the Underdark are automatically lost, wandering in a random direction for every 4 hours of travel until they encounter an area they are familiar with (which could be a very long time).
Even creatures that know the routes of the Underdark aren’t immune. For each day of travel, and any time the characters set out again after finishing a short or long rest, the party’s navigator makes a DC 10 Wisdom (Survival) check. If the party is moving at a slow pace, the navigator gains a +5 bonus to the check, while a fast pace imposes a —5 penalty. A failed check result means the characters become lost. wandering in a random direction for 1d6 hours before the navigator can make a new check to lind the right path.
A character not focused on any other task—including watching for danger while traveling—can record the groups progress through the Underdark and create a map of the route. Such a map can be a useful resource when the characters retrace their steps. Having a map allows the party to navigate that area without any chance of becoming lost.


Unless they obtain a supply of food and water, the adventurers must forage to survive on their journey. Finding sustenance in the Underdark is difficult but not impossible. Characters can gather food and water if the party travels at a normal or slow pace. A foraging character makes a Wisdom (Survival) check. The DC is typically 15, but might be as high as 20 in some parts of the Underdark.
In addition to foraging, spells such as create food and water and goodberry can help provision the party, and there’s always a chance for the characters to encounter others from whom they can buy or steal provisions.
Additionally, many creatures the adventurers might meet and kill can be butchered. but the meat they yield spoils after a single day if uneaten.

Creature Food Yield
Creature Size Food Gained
Tiny 1 lb.
Small 4 lb.
Medium 16 lb.
Large 32 lb.

The characters’ need to forage and acquire supplies serves as a motivator to drive them to explore and visit different parts of the Underdark. The more desperate their need becomes—as levels of exhaustion rack up—the more risk players will likely be willing to take.


An unusual magical energy the drow call faerzress pervades much of the Underdark. The origin of this mysterious arcane power is unknown. Legend claims it is an ancient elven magic dating hark to the time when the dark elves were first exiled from the world above. The drow and other Underdark creatures use the properties of areas suffused with faerzress to protect their settlements.
Areas suffused with faerzress can range in size from a few dozen feet across to several miles in diameter, and feature the following effects:

  • Areas suffused with faerzress are always filled with dim light. A creature with darkvision can see in faerzress as though it were normal light, regardless of their darkvision’s usual range.
  • A creature in an area suffused with faerzress has advantage on saving throws against any divination spells. If a divination spell doesn’t allow a saving throw, the caster must succeed on a DC 15 Constitution saving throw in cast the spell. Failing this save means the spell is wasted and has no effect.
  • Any creature attempting to teleport into, within, or out
    of a faerzress-suffused area must succeed on a DC l5 Constitution saving throw. On a failed save, the creature takes ld10 force damage and the teleportation attempt fails. Even if the save succeeds, the teleportation attempt can suffer a mishap as if the destination was known only by description, regardless of how familiar the destination actually is.
    Though faerzress can’t be dispelled. its effects are temporarily suppressed in the area of an antimagic field.

Main Page

House Rules

Out of the Abyss blackwingedheaven blackwingedheaven