I previously posted some warts-and-all email summaries of the Curse of Strahd campaign I ran in 2017. It was the first campaign I sent summaries to players by email after each game (I was a bit lazy prior to that). Here’s the follow up campaign – 2018’s Tomb of Annihilation. We used experience points rather than milestones/level-based progression, which led to some ‘xp grinding’ along the way. Some of the summaries may be amusing; some are written in present tense, some in past tense – these are unedited emails, so please forgive their somewhat chaotic nature and poor sentence structure/grammar. If you’re a D&D fan you may enjoy them. And maybe even if you aren’t.
The new party is all 1st level and consists of D&D Wednesday regulars:
- Mark – with a rotund and boisterous Human Cleric (“Ho ho ho!”)
- Steve – with a devilishly evil Human Rogue (“Come to the dark side, Luke…”)
- William – with a quiet and well-spoken Lizardman Druid with local knowledge of Port Nyanzaru (“That’s Lizard Folk. We’re not sexist or racist here,” I said.)
- Dan – with a good looking, performing, Halfling Paladin (who goes out of his way to try to chat up the ladies. Okay, maybe Dan’s sexist.)
- James – with a vigilante Tiefling Warlock (whose partner was killed only 2 weeks from retirement.)
- Davor – with an outspoken Human Ranger (“I choose the guide that looks like Zoe Saldana!”)
- Daniel – with a female Half-Elven Bard (who prefers females and who’s performance roll beat the halfling paladin at open-mike night at the inn)
- Morgan – with a Dwarven Ranger who mysteriously knows all about jungle terrain (even though he’s never been to Chult before…)
Summoned to the home of archmage Syndra Silvane, the PCs learned that souls are being stolen by a magical device called the Soul Monger, based somewhere in the steaming jungles of Chult. People who had been raised from the dead were dying, and no one who died recently could be revived.
The PCs were teleported to Port Nyanzaru, where they got a taste of the local culture and made some purchases at one of the local bazaars. Dinosaurs were used as pack animals, there were regular weekly Dinosaur races (one due the next day) and the city was a melting pot for trading races from around the world.
The party met a bunch of guides at the inn they were staying at, and after much discussion voted to employ one-armed Dwarven guide Hew Hackinstone. Hew claimed to be the greatest guide ever, so hopefully they would get where they were supposed to go (he was a bit sparing on the details, though…).
That night, as everyone slept at one of the local inn, William’s Druid awoke to find a thief scarpering with Davor’s Ranger’s haversack. The race was on, except for Dan’s halfling, who stayed at the more expensive hotel across the road. He played soothing chase music out the window… Mark’s Cleric decided to stay behind to look after the baggage in the room. Then the door opened, another thief entered, and Mark’s Cleric charmed him.
After a line up at a manhole round the corner, Daniel’s Bard jumped down the 20 feet to land on Steve’s Rogue, still climbing down the ladder. They both fell, with Daniel’s Bard deciding to return to the inn as she was too wounded to continue. Davor’s Ranger leapt into the sewer water to overtake the PCs’ line-up (the perils of a large party in confined spaces) and was immediately swamped with a swarm of rats.
Meanwhile, Mark’s Cleric has been happily chatting with the charmed thief. Daniel’s Bard returned and promptly skewered the thief. Dan’s halfling came across to see what the commotion was all about. Daniel’s Bard realized she had cure light wounds all along, healed herself and everyone headed to the sewers.
Meanwhile, in the sewers, James’ Tiefling scared the crap out of Steve’s rogue (who was pretending to get friendly with the runaway thief so they could take him to their leader. Morgan’s Ranger and Davor’s Ranger finished off the rats, then continued on by jumping the perilous two feet of rat-filled water and running ahead. James’ Warlock faced off against the thieves’ pet Deinonychus and was promptly torn limb from limb (sorry, dude – Raise Dead doesn’t work any more). Davor’s and Morgan’s Rangers peppered the dino with arrows from the other side of the channel, but it headed for Steve’s Rogue who hid around the corner so he could backstab it. Davor’s Ranger fought another thief, the one controlling the dinosaur…
The moral to this story? Don’t split your 1st level party up so soon…
Next: Does Davor’s Ranger get his backpack back? Does Mark’s Cleric chastise Daniel’s Bard for killing his conversational partner in cold blood?
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