Feb 18 2016

DwD&D#37 – Papercraft with the Old School DM and OotA Chapter 9: Mantol-Derith

itunesDownwithDDGet down. Get down. Get down with us. It’s time for D&D and gettin’ down with some old school papercraft, or maybe it’s new school and all that’s old found here is the Old School DM, Randy Farmer. He’s in the house to drop paper knowledge on all of us 2d gamers to bring us fully into the realm of terrain on the game table. Then we go back into the underdark to chat about Fraz Urb’luu and the havoc a little black gem can cause. Are you ready? I know I am. See below for copious amounts of show notes.

Links for Part 1


Notes For Chapter 9 of Out of the Abyss: Mantol-Derith


  • Fraz-Urb’luu is the demon lord influencer.
  • Overcome the madness of the trading outpost’s factions.
  • Find Ghazrim DuLoc, Zhentarim contact, to figure out how to get to Gravenhollow.

The Gem

  • Fraz-Urb’luu is stuck in the gem.
  • This one’s convoluted
  • The Gem needs a magical weapon to destroy it.
  • Indefinite Madness of Fraz-Urb’luu table in appendix D. pg 239

Reaching Mantol-Derith

  • How do we handle NPCs, figure it out yourself and role play them if there’s no encounter results rolled on the random encounter rolls.
  • Pg 18 has the travel rates. Good time to review chapter 2. Normal is 6 per day so that’s roughly 63 day of travel or two months to be with these NPCs in the Underdark. The game says to check for random encounters twice per day so they might have messed up a little here since that’s 126 random encounter checks.
  • Here’s the important part. It’s a two month trip to Mantol-Derith. You need to figure out how you want to make that feel like a two month trip. Figure out how many encounters/scenes you might want and jot down what you think would be cool to have. Since this is a way the Zentarhim know well you can assume they won’t take people through exceptionally danergous area and then again they are the Zentahrim. I’d also picking 1 or 2 NPCs to develop and then start killing of the rest during the random encounters to show the dangers of the underdark and thin out the ranks. This could be a fun little hex crawl underdark session, throw down 10 hexes and let them explore them.


This scenario is about getting the ring from Ghazrim DuLoc but has the secondary quest of learning about, tracking down, and dealing with the Gem of Fraz Urb’luu. Four factions and four warehouses.

Factions in Manto-Derith

  • Duergar at war with Svirfneblin- Ghuldur Flagonfist is Duergar leader
  • Svirfneblin at war with Duergar: Gabble Dripskillet is Svirfneblin leader
  • Drow poised to eliminated Svirfneblin and Duergar and keep alliance with Zhentarim: Sirak Mazelor.
  • Zhentarim have delusional drow assassin poised to turn Zhentarim against drow –  Ghazrim Duloc.

Mantol-Derith Encounters

Everyone is itching for a fight here at least to begin with. Approaching an enclave seems to be rolling for initiative.

  1. Secret entrances have disintegration traps on them. Love it.
    1. Cannibal druid, Sladir Vadris. Related to one of the NPCs they can meet in Gauntlygrym. At NE entrance.
    2. Paranoid Rystia Zav. Outside south entrance by the shore
  2. The trench. I like how you need to go via the Trench to get into Mantol-Derith and you can have some of the NPCs say how it’ll be nice to get back to the relaxing situation to then find the place going insane.
  3. There be war between the Duergar and Deep Gnomes. This can point to the deep gnome enclave and the Duergar attacking or the Duergar Enclave and Yantha. Plus Peebles who is interesting. Surgeon and servant of another Beholder, Xazax the Eyemonger. Decent guide but quite evil.
  4. Drow area – Flink is the event that needs to happen in the Drow area. Flink can inform about the Yanth-Krimgol situation and point to the Gargoyle taking the gem.
  5. Duergar area – Yantha Coaxrock is here and being interrogated over a Xorn by Ghuldur and Krimgol. She points towards Fink Thunderbonk who’s at the Drow Enclave.
  6. Deep Gnome area – They point toward the Duergar and Yantha Coaxrock.
  7. Zhentarim area – The Gargoyle that took the gem is here. The Drow who has the Gem is here too, the assassin Kinyel Druu’giir.
    1. Crazy situation. Everyone dies or the PCs intervene and maybe only the Drow die?
    2. Ghazrim DuLoc has a ring that can get the characters to Gravenhollow?

1 comment

1 ping

  1. Brendan

    Really appreciate you recapping the locations and NPCs.

    When I ran this chapter, my players decided that they’d refuse the help of the Zhentarim in Gauntlgrym (they basically told Davra Jassur they wouldn’t give her information, which is part of her deal). As a result, they had to find their way back into the Underdark by the same way they escaped, which was via Blingdenstone.

    Because they forsake the Zhentarim, refused Davra’s help, and decided to go it alone, they found Mantol Derith but didn’t know the secret words to get through the doors. A disentigration trap killed half the party (55 damage, which if you fail the save results in an insta-death if you’re reduced to 0 HP). The sound of explosion alerted the Zhentarim, who arrested the adventurers for trying to sneak in unaccompanied and locked them up outside Ghazrim’s pavilion.

    As a result, I actually ran the END of the chapter first, with the Drow delegation arriving and attempting to assassinate Lorthuun. Ghazrim was horribly injured in the fight, the adventurers escaped their cell in the chaos, and fled to the Eastern Marketplace to hide out while all four factions reeled from the apparent Drow attempt to wrestle control of Mantol Derith.

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