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. Each session was 4 hours long. Some of the summaries may be amusing; don’t forget 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.
This week Chloe joined the group with her Drow Cleric! Welcome, Chloe!
On their way to the ruins of the Palace of Nangalore, the party encountered and made short work of three Allosauruses. Steaks all round! “Why did we ever bother buying rations?” said Davor’s Ranger.
At Nangalore, the river had broken its banks and flooded the entrance to the ruins. “Right!” said Dan’s Paladin. “I’ll just get across that river and scale the wall!” Giant Crocodile. “Right!” said Steve K’s Rogue. “I’ll just get across that river and scale the wall!” Giant Crocodiles. “Ouch,” cried Steve K as he lapsed into unconsciousness, painting the river red for good measure. A flurry of fighting in which Davor’s Ranger was knocked unconscious from the tree he was in by a Giant Croc. Guide Hew Hackindumbledore came to the rescue and saved him from lunch. And not the good type of lunch, where someone else pays.
Morgan’s Tabaxi Ranger/Archer proved he knew how to shoot arrows. Chloe’s Cleric was all about saving the cheerleader (Steve K’s Rogue) and the crocs were all about taking names. Dan’s Paladin had the final say there. He shall now be known as ‘giant croc head-splitting headache’.
“Hey everyone, let’s forget about resting and rush into the next encounter,” said Dan’s Paladin and Steve K’s Rogue (they’re almost twins—not), obviously having learned nothing from the last 11 weeks.
Jake’s Aarokocra Sorcerer decided to make friends with the Eblis natives, who liked the fact he could speak Auran—they just didn’t like him. “Here’s two lightning bolts up your ass for your troubles,” said Jake. The Giant Spider harassing Dan’s Paladin didn’t like electricity either. His new name is Smokey the Spider.
Steve K’s Rogue discovered you can’t fight Yellow Musk Zombies when you have no hit points, and realised he was safer hiding behind Chloe’s Cleric. Davor’s Ranger showed Morgan’s Ranger who was archer first by helping to take out some zombies with his arrows. “So how do I go about getting some more arrows?” said Morgan. “I’ll sell them to you for 10 gp each,” said Davor. “Supply and demand, baby…” Then everyone took out the Yellow Musk Creeper, which they all realized is a pretty hopeless plant monster once you resist its musky allure.
“Wow, I’m glad you decided to sneak into this place. Who knows how it would have gone if you’d assaulted it directly,” said guide Hew Hackinwatsit, as he cracked a tinny and reclined in his beach chair, safe on the river’s shore.
The party took a much-needed long rest, then headed back to Steve’s beautifully rendered (in texta), three-colour map of Nangalore, defeating a zombie-vomiting undead Tyrannosaur on the way!
At Nangalore, Daniel’s Bard tried the old ‘pull down the tree and use it like a catapult to send me flying into the ruins’ trick—she plunged straight into the river next to the tree. DOH!
Furious fights between the party, Yellow Musk Zombies, Eblis, and Assassin Vines ensued.
The big dome at the back of the palace contained a mad Medusa, who used to be an Omuan queen and who continually spoke to her long dead lover as if he was still alive (“Who cares,” cried the ever lore-conscious party). Several saving throws were failed – badly. Jake’s Sorcerer was petrified! Mark’s Cleric was petrified! Here was a chance to negotiate. “NEVER!” cried brave and foolhardy Davor’s Ranger (who had finally worked out how to calculate his arrow damage correctly ). Dan’s Paladin was petrified (in Dan’s most vocal and demonstrative tantrum yet – and that’s saying something, considering he once tore up his character sheet after being knocked unconscious)!
“Okay, let’s negotiate,” said Daniel’s Bard very persuasively as Steve K’s Rogue hid behind her (that’s becoming a habit, Steve). Chloe’s Cleric agreed. Daniel’s Bard convinced the Medusa that finding the Soul Monger would raise her long-lost love. She decided to keep the petrified adventurers as hostages, just in case. She refused to offer any further assistance like teleports, food or magic items (nice try, Daniel). Davor’s Ranger was still chomping at the bit to kill her. Party – nil, Medusa – three.
Meanwhile, guide Hew Hackinstab waited patiently for the party in his deckchair by the river, sipping a margarita and blissfully unaware of what had happened.
Next Week: More grand designs with statuary? Post-Nangalorian whatsits and thingies.
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