Can the PCs get hold of a Piwafwi or a Piwafwi of Fire Resistance in Out of the Abyss?

In Out of the Abyss, Appendix B: Magic Items, two magic items are listed (p. 222); the Piwafwi (which is basically just a drow made Cloak of Elvenkind) and the Piwafwi of Fire Resistance (the same but with fire resistance while attuned).

However, I cannot find these items anywhere in the adventure available for the characters to take for themselves. On p. 149, there is an NPC who has one:

That is the only reference to a Piwafwi of any kind being present in the adventure. So unless the party wants to mug this NPC (or if they die and the party loot the body), there are no piwafwi available for the PCs.

Am I missing something, or are there really no Piwafwi (besides the one belonging to that NPC) or Piwafwi of Fire Resistance available throughout that adventure?

In Out of the Abyss, characters are supposed to be level 15 by the last chapter; how can I get them there via milestone levelling?

I’m still running Out of the Abyss, and we’re currently half way through Chapter 9: Mantol-Derith. The party is level 9 now (awarded as we transitioned between Chapter 8 and Chapter 9).

As we started Chapter 6: Blingdenstone, we decided to start using milestone levelling rather than tracking XP as we had been doing up until that point (DMG, pg. 261):

Level Advancement without XP

You can do away with experience points entirely and control the rate of character advancement. Advance characters based on how many sessions they play, or when they accomplish significant story goals in the campaign. In either case, you tell the players when their characters gain a level.

This method of level advancement can be particularly helpful if your campaign doesn’t include much combat, or includes so much combat that tracking XP becomes tiresome.

This last point about tracking XP becoming tiresome is pretty much why I suggested the switch to this method. It’s worked well so far, since interesting significant story moments have made it feel well paced, and there have been enough random encounters as we travel between locations in the Underdark (in addition to the “story combat”) that the levels feel earned.

However, planning ahead, I want to make sure that the levels are awarded at the right pace so that it doesn’t feel rushed, but at the same time making sure that enough has happened so that it continues to feel earned. Personally, I don’t feel like enough is happening in Mantol-Derith to justify jumping up to level 10 at the end of that chapter, for example.

Also, although the players like roleplaying and love meeting the various characters of this adventure, they’re not too interested in the factions like the Harpers and all that, so they were kinda glossed over during Chapter 8, so although roleplaying experience can still contribute to these levels feeling earned, I can’t just have huge lengthy faction arguments to justify it because my players won’t really engage with that.

The PCs should be level 15 for the last chapter of the adventure, as suggested by OotA, pg. 217, which implies such by saying:

As well as being more explicit about it on pg. 143:

So, level 15 by Chapter 17, and before that, level 14 by Chapter 16. However, I can’t find anything more explicit about the levels in between, which means it’s up to me to judge that.

So, currently they are level 9 as we play Chapter 9, and they’ve got to reach level 14 by Chapter 16. There are more remaining chapters here than levels, so simply handing out a level at the end of each chapter won’t work.

I am hoping that this will still fall under the heading of “Good Subjective” if I word it in this way: For those who have experience running/playing in OotA, what levels were the party during each chapter or significant story moment during these chapters (10-15)?

How does this magic item’s effect interact with itself? (Out of the Abyss)

In Out of the Abyss, the Maze Engine has a random chance of

The book includes a specific duration for this effect (until the end of the Engine’s next turn).

However, from the previous page:

How do these two rules interact? My first thought is that it would shut down immediately, but that would mean the listed duration can never be relevant.

In out of the Abyss, one of my characters requires an item yet you start with confiscated items. What should I do?

I am running Out of the Abyss, and there is a cleric in my campaign. This cleric requires his holy symbol to really do anything. However, you do not start with any items in this. I don’t know what I should do about this. Should I give him the holy symbol? Should he find it in a shop? Please help me out.

Transitioning from Lost Mine of Phandelver to Out of the Abyss with level 5 characters

My party of 5 just finished LMoP and we’ve bought OotA.

The beginning of the book is important to the whole story, as is the feeling of desperation as they run low on resources, chased by a powerful enemy they can’t hope to match at this stage.

I’ve spoken to the players, and they’d like to continue playing their characters they’ve grown attached to, so I’ve told them I’ll need to temporarily depower them, if they want to get the most out of the book. This’ll mean taking some of the magic items they have (they found most of the stuff from LMoP, plus a few extras I threw in) and restricting access to spells/extra attacks.

I’m going to have them jumped by the drow in the middle of the night in a very one sided ambush, just to really push home the threat of the drow, but make it clear they’re trying to capture, so no one gets killed.

My question is, how much should I take off the players, and how should I do it?

Does this paragraph about the Wand of Orcus in Out of the Abyss add to or replace this part of its DMG description? [Major Spoilers]

This question contains spoilers for Out of the Abyss, hence why this question’s title is quite ambiguous as well. If you do not want this adventure spoiled, avoid this question.

So, the Wand of Orcus has this to say about attuning to it (DMG, pg. 227):

Any creature besides Orcus that tries to attune to the wand must make a DC 17 Constitution saving throw. On a successful save, the creature takes 10d6 necrotic damage. On a failed save, the creature dies and rises as a zombie.

And in Out of the Abyss, it says this about the Wand of Orcus (pg. 219):

My question is this:

Would the quote from the DMG still apply? If the Wand of Orcus wants to be attuned to someone (because it wants to aid whoever is going to fight Demogorgon), would it still try to kill whoever it attempts to attune to?

Or at the very least would the person attuning to it automatically succeed the Constitution saving throw so that they just take some damage rather than being killed outright, since “the Wand of Orcus tries to attune itself”, implying it doesn’t try to resist, which is presumably what the failed save represents?

I know it doesn’t explicitly say this anywhere, but it seem against the intention of the plot that the wand is trying to attune to someone to help them in the fight if it just kills them and thus aids Demogorgon by doing so…

Or is this simply one of those cases where, as the DM, I could choose to just waive the negative effects of attuning to the wand or have the PC succeed the saving throw automatically or whatever else I choose?

Voicemail stuck in the network provider abyss

Context (we’re UK based): My wife had an iPhone using the SIM card of one network provider. She then switched networks (same iPhone, new SIM card). During the porting of her number to the new network, she must have received a voicemail. Once the new network had ported her number, checking the voicemail inbox of the new network yielded zero voicemails. The notification on the Phone app still said (1) voicemail (the new network doesn’t support Visual Voicemail, so it simply says “Call Voicemail” in the UI). She receives a SMS every week or so to alert her to this phantom voicemail. And toggling the iPhone’s Airplane mode yields the same immediate voicemail notification.

Steps taken:

Phone the old network? They can’t help her because she’s no longer a customer.

Phone the new network? They can’t help because her voicemail inbox is empty.

Get a new iPhone? She recently upgraded iPhone’s, popped the old SIM card into her new phone and instantly received a notification for the phantom voicemail.

Leave a new voicemail and delete that one, hoping it’ll clear all voicemail notifications? Yep, no difference.

Turn Phone badge notifications off, restart the iPhone, then turn Phone notifications back on? Tried it, no difference.

Switch SIM cards into a different iPhone? We swapped SIM cards into each other’s iPhones. I received no voicemail notification on her iPhone, but she received a notification as soon as she put her SIM card into my iPhone.

So the voicemail seems to live with the number itself…somehow.

Now, my question is: Is the only course of action to change numbers entirely and just order a new SIM? Has anyone faced this exact issue and resolved it somehow?

RAW is the Giant Rocktopus from Out of the Abyss unable to live out of water?

This creature is a giant octopus that has evolved to live and thrive on land. It can alter its coloration to appear as a rock formation, and it tends to lurk in crevices and fissures, attacking smaller creatures that wander near. It has a walking speed of 20 feet and a climbing speed of 10 feet, loses its Hold Breath feature, and replaces its Underwater Camouflage feature with the following feature:

Camouflage. The octopus has advantage on Dexterity (Stealth) checks. (OotA pg. 28)

The giant octopus, Mm pg. 326, has a trait called water breathing, below

“Water Breathing. The octopus can breathe only underwater.”

The giant rocktopus entry makes no mention of alterations to the water breathing feature, only to the hold breath feature. Does this creature still require an aquatic environment to survive according to RAW?

How do you obtain a petrified eye of newt in the Out of the Abyss campaign?

In the Dungeons & Dragons Out of the Abyss campaign, players start off with no equipment at all. How would a player obtain a petrified eye of newt logically within the game context?

Background: my friend and I are players in this campaign and he is playing a monk with the Magic Initiate feat. He took the Hex spell (from the list of Warlock spells) but it requires a material component which is a petrified eye of newt. We’re level 2 and we just escaped from the initial prison and are on our way to the nearest village/town.

So we’re wondering how he could obtain this material component. Can a live newt be petrified through magical means (basilisk, spell) and satisfy the Hex spell condition? Or is it something like finding a newt fossilized in some tree sap (Jurassic Park concept)?

No spoilers would be preferable but it’s fine if there are few other choices.