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.
After failing to persuade the Medusa of Nangalore to allow them to take their statuesque friends with them, the diminished party slunk back to its camp site in the jungle. “Where did everybody go? Got bored and went home?” guffawed one-armed Hew Hackabogan, underpaid and underworked guide.
Miraculously, at that very moment, three new adventurers were making their way through the humid, sweaty and rain-soaked jungle. They arrived (again, miraculously) at the camp site and the party, immediately suspicious, eyed them warily.
“How about something to eat, and maybe some mosquito repellent?” said Hew HackaLugie. And so, Mark’s Kenku Monk, Jake’s Aasimar Warlock and Dan’s Halfling Warlock (two at once – what are the odds?!), and Gareth (a newbie!) with a human Druid, joined Davor’s Ranger, Daniel’s Bard, Steve’s Rogue (No Chloe Cleric this week—must be sleeping it off somewhere) and Morgan’s Tabaxi Ranger—hold it! After a sudden race and class change, the ranger was now Morgan’s Dwarven Barbarian. Possibly due to some magical Chultan jungle virus – I think it’s called the ‘wishful thinking’ disease. But was it due to a disease, or was it the fact that his archer/ranger was down to six arrows…
Hew HacksaGob delightfully declared it would take seven days of grinding—um, walking—to get to the next stop, the Akaaz Wykhsljsdfatfdihjtfnsbusatyti, the fabled entrance to the Valley of Lost Honour. “You don’t mean the ‘Valley of Lost Arm’,” said one card, pointing to Hew’s missing appendage.
“That’s incredibly insensitive,” replied Hew HacksComputersRegularly. “But ‘armless’!” After rolling around the ‘Chultan jungle amongst ancient ruins and deadly monsters’ floor laughing (that’s the fantasy version of ROFL), the party was on its way.
A few days in, two undead Tyrannosaurs vomiting zombies. Yawn, said the party. One zombie, Grom the magnificent (third of his line) showed you can’t keep a good zombie down by making his undead fortitude save FIVE times! Keep on keeping on, Grom.
After fighting some mantrap plants and lots of giant spiders (ho-hum), the party arrived at the black basalt canyon of Akaaz Wyklkijuihfrbeygedijwwdij. Davor’s Ranger elected to chat with the Fire Newt warriors camped there, revealing himself as a Dragon Slayer supreme, on the lookout for Tzindelore, the red dragon occupying these parts. Dan’s Bard played a merry tune and helped out. The Fire Newts revealed they hated the dragon, and would assist the party to defeat it.
“Actually, we want to ride it to Omu,” said Hew HackandCough.
“What was that?” said Fire Newt Warrior Number Three.
“I said ‘send it back to the fires of Hell’.”
Morgan’s Barbarian decided to check out a forty-foot basalt pillar. On top, a rock. “I’m gonna kick me that rock,” said the barbarian. Suddenly, a trapdoor opened and a voracious Sand Spider dragged him down thirty feet into the spider’s tight-fitting lair, where the barbarian was knocked unconscious. Meanwhile, Mark’s Kenku came to the rescue.
“Mind if I drop in,” said the Kenku in blinkety-blink-this-is-the-closest-I-get-to-speech.
Soon, everyone was helping out, with the warlocks blowing a hole in the basalt column to expose the battle raging within and Gareth’s druid summoning two giant eagles to get in everyone’s way. Steve’s Rogue did some very nasty damage as he leapt down to backstab the beast.
After the battle, negotiations for food and mounts were on, ending with the purchase of Giant Striders. After a nice long rest, the party departed for Wyrmheart Mine, which they got to in a day (saving lots of time). That night, Mark’s Kenku did some scouting, revealing an old office, supply hut and mine cart in need of repair at the entrance. Very exciting.
The party agreed to rest for the night, so they might assault the mine in the daylight.
Next Week: Wyrmheart Mine! But wait, there’s more!
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