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.
Travelling to Dungrunglung took several days, in which Dwarvish NPC guide Hew Hackalot explained that the centre of Chult is filled with the remnants of the evil Ras Nsi’s undead army, which was disbanded after the aforementioned bad guy was soundly defeated after failing to capture the city of Mezro. “Good,” cried Mark’s Cleric. “We won’t have to worry about him, then!” Um—undead army?
The party came across a number of bodies staked out as warnings for anyone entering Grung territory, and a pack of nasty, carnivorous Ghouls feasting on the festering carcass of a stegosaurus. Steve K’s Rogue and Dan’s Halfling Paladin sneaked up on them, but Dan was discovered, attacked and knocked unconscious. Thinking he was about to die, Dan tore up his character sheet in a fit of pique (also known as a tantrum for adults), only to find out the rest of the party caught up and saved him. Time to write out that character sheet again…
The party discovered an improvised ruin (just because), where several characters were overcome with an enticing Yellow Musk Creeper’s scent, and battled the plant and a number of Yellow Musk Zombies. Steve K’s Rogue made the worst series of saving throws in gaming history, leading to him standing around for most of the battle… Downstairs, in the murky darkness of the natural tunnels where jungle roots grew through the ceiling and provided nice monster hiding places, the party was attacked from above by several albino Su Monsters. Afterwards, theyalmost fell in quicksand and found a room where gravity reversed every few rounds. Across the room: a plinth with a mysterious, darkness-enshrouded crystal. Eventually, William’s Lizardborn Druid changed into a Giant Wolf Spider and traversed the walls with Dan’s Halfling Paladin roped to his back. The crystal was taken as Indiana Jones theme music played in the background.
This week Courtney (remember her from a couple of weeks in Curse of Strahd?) returned to the party as a Tiefling Warlock. After her party was wiped out in the steaming jungles of Chult, she stumbled upon the ruin where the party were camping. Having just lost Aron, the Wizard (his wife changed shifts and called him home, so he was teleported out…), they gladly accepted the Warlock replacement, no questions asked (as you do in the steamy jungles of Chult). Davor’s Ranger returned from a long kip, ready for action and experience points.
The mysterious crystal rock was a Reversal Stone from the plane of homebrew, which could be thrown 30 feet to create an area of reverse gravity. But how many times could it be used? “Bwah ha ha,” cackled the DM.
The party set off the next morning for Dungrunglunglunglunglung. On the edge of a valley overlooking the village, they discovered it was surrounded by an everchanging maze. They decided to wait for a hunting party to ambush. Unfortunately, Dan’s halfling paladin proved to be a hopeless shot with the reversal stone, only capturing five of the Grung hunting party in the reverse gravity field. The rest of the party fought another five Grungs, while Daniel’s Bard showed her true colours as a serial killer, eater and destroyer of all things remotely human or unhuman, by eviscerating most of the floating Grungs with several cloud of daggers spells, while performing The First Cut is The Deepest for them (they clapped as they died).
In the meantime, the commotion attracted a number of Zombies, which the party also dispatched. The rest of the Grungs, seeing the gruesome handiwork of the Bard, decided to hightail it to the village, despite the valiant efforts of Mark’s Cleric to attempt to capture the leader using an illusion through which he could cast charm person (fail x 2!).
The party managed to capture one Grung, who revealed good old King Groak was a bit crazy and wanted to get it on with Nang Nang, the Grung’s goddess. There was another Grung called Rhoark who might help them overthrow the king. Meanwhile the Grung’s expletive-filled pleading for his life revealed a tower in the jungle called Firefinger, where a magic item resided that might help the party.
Back to the ruin for a long rest, then back to the overlook at Dungrunglung. The party were attacked by twelve Pteradons, then a huge swarm of Grungs with more trained pteradons. The party surrendered, chatted to Rhoark and persuaded him to help overthrow mad king Groak. The party were taken through the maze into the village, kept in the prisoner’s cage, and then released by the village’s Cleric so they can take on the king and his five bodyguards…
Next week: Role reversal, or floor reversal? I have a feeling the new magic item will be used again…
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