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.
OMU! (Exclamation mark is mandatory.) City of vines, ruins, trickster gods, Yuan Ti, feathered dinosaurs and eerie trapped shrines!
The party stopped off at a smoking compound, where Mark’s Kenku Monk discovered Orvex Occramas, convenient translating dude and plot device—I mean, guide— under some rubble. He was saved just in time to tell the party they needed nine trickster god puzzle cubes to access the mysterious tomb (possibly of annihilation, but the local real estate agents really dislike that name as it puts potential buyers off…).
After being ambushed at night by Yuan Ti (in which Davor’s Ranger realized he had yet another class feature he’d forgotten about that he could use in melee – these things keep popping up), the party backtracked to the YT’s cliffside cave, which turned out to be less interesting than they thought. Meanwhile, Jake’s Aasimar Warlock and Daniel’s Human Bard decided to investigate a nearby shrine by themselves (so, what’s new), where they encountered a dreaded Frogemoth. The party eventually caught up, and helped the huge beastie bite the dust.
Into the shrine, Morgan’s Halfling Rogue spectacularly fell after two crit fails in a row (so much for halfling luck); Dan’s Halfling Warlock decided to finish the job and recover the first puzzle cube. A really bad forgery attempt by Mark’s Monk to create a fake puzzle cube (which looked more like a ball with makeup on it—”WILSON!!”), later…
Onto another shrine, where the party headed downstairs into a gladiatorial pit to face off against some animated clay statues (looks worse than it sounds…)!
OMU! (Use that exclamation mark, baby!) City of dead stuff! And snakes. And green stuff.
A vicious fight with a bunch of animated clay statues in the gladiator pit in Shagambi’s shrine was going pretty badly for the party, until Davor’s Ranger and Morgan’s Rogue both woke up (read: arrived late at the store where we play our games) and helped save the day with archery. Taking the leftover spears and placing them in the statues’ hands up top—voila! Shagambi’s puzzle cube. Two down, seven to go (did that sound as tedious as it read? Possibly).
After a much-needed long rest, the party investigated a bridge to a plateau in the lava rift, where a number of tiny Vegepygmies were about to sacrifice a little Grung! In stepped the Reservoir Dogs and slaughtered them (the vegies, not the grung, although you’d be forgiven for assuming so). Unfortunately, the Grung couldn’t speak Common, but he seemed to indicate a home and a possible new shrine across the city. So, off the party went on escort duty.
While crossing an innocent looking tree, collapsed over an innocent looking river – an arrow from nowhere! Mark’s Kenku monk responded and confronted an old Tabaxi native (“whose name was Bag of Nails,” said DM Steve, pre-empting) who surrendered. Jake’s Aasimar Warlock sneakily followed…
Suddenly, the King of Feathers, a humongous Misty Stepping Tyrannosaurus Rex decided to duel with the party in the street (“This town ain’t big enough for the eight of us, pardners,” roared the King). While Mark’s Monk leapt to the attack, pecking ferociously, Jake’s Warlock, channeling a certain petrified Aarokocra Sorcerer, decided to Hold Person and kill the Tabaxi. So much for his life story. It seems Jake was still upset about losing his Aarokocra—no more negotiating with non-terrorists.
Meanwhile, the party made short shrift of the King, proving that safety in numbers is always a good strategy.
Next week: Nang Nang’s shrine! More puzzle cubes! More killing! Probably very little negotiating!
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