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 party was joined this week by Aron, playing a human wizard with a penchant for charm and magic missile spells.
Underneath the dark, humid streets of Port Nyanzaru, the party faced off against the deinonychus that sliced up their companion last week, and killed it. They then charmed two thieves, who led them straight to their den and boss. After some amazing performances by Daniel’s female Bard and Dan’s halfling Paladin from an improvised stage above crates of stolen goods, the thieves were dispatched (Steve K’s Rogue decided to burn the head of one in a brazier, just because). All the goody two shoes decided to return the stolen goods (but got some rations and a discount at the markets for their trouble). Taking the thieves’ leader to the local coppers didn’t help as they were apparently corrupt, releasing the leader not long afterwards. Doh!
The next day, the party slept in until 11:00, and was up just in time for the weekly dinosaur races. Dan’s Paladin rode an immature Tyrannosaurus to victory (for piddling returns – it was the favourite), and Mark’s Cleric managed to gamble all of his GPs away (very much in character). Stocking up on supplies, the party headed off into the jungle the next day with their guide Hew Hackinstone in the lead.
Rain is a regular thing in Chult, as was diarrhoea and vomiting for Davor’s Ranger, who had gone swimming in sewer crap a few days before. He slowed the party down to a crawl for two days as he recovered. On the way the party escaped a herd of fleeing hadrosaurs and fought pursuing velociraptors, and later came across two plesiosaurs which caused much angst as PCs were knocked unconscious left and right. No fear, dried plesiosaur jerky all round!
The party was captured by Batiri Goblins during the night, and marched for several days to Yellyark, their camp, which was hooked up to a big net and a bent tree so that it could be flung away from the site in times of trouble. Davor’s Ranger, who hated Goblins but bit his tongue while translating, spoke to the Queen of the tribe. Queen Grabstab made them an offer they couldn’t refuse: travel to the Grung village of Dunggrunglunglunglunglunglunglung and assassinate the Grung King Groak, and she would provide guides to lost Orolunga, where a Guardian Naga would “help you find what you seek”.
Hew Hackinstone knew where the Grung village was located and led the party back across the river, where the party battled Jaculi (jumping snakes), Mantraps (large venus flytrap-like plants) and some hungry Allosaurs, before arriving at Camp Righteous, a deserted Order of the Gauntlet camp near a temple called the House of Man and Crocodile. Hew explained the legend of the man and the crocodile, which might impart some clues as to how to deal with the death traps within. The party promptly ignored this, of course.
Inside the temple, Steve K’s Rogue decided to do his Rogue thing of checking for traps, then almost fell into a pit trap. Further inside: deadly swinging blades. Daniel’s Bard went out by herself, ripped up massive supporting tent poles and brought them back to chock up some of the blades, while the rest of the part stood around watching. William’s Lizardman Druid shape-changed into a giant owl and flew past the top of the blades, over a magically trapped floor, got zapped by a magically-trapped door, found his way in, flew to the top of a column with magically trapped stairs, grabbed the jug of alchemy resting there, dodged the falling roof and flew out. Meanwhile Dan’s halfling Paladin made it through the blades to the edge of the trapped floor, just in time for the giant owl to grab him and return to the party.
Next Week: (And, yes, later on I realized William’s Druid should not have been able to change to a flying beast at that level – I guess the gods smiled on him. Doh!). The rest of the trip to Dungrunglung-lung-lunglung-lung-lung, deep in the territory of the undead…
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