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.
The Tomb of the Nine Gods – Level 3!
The wet corridor, a crawlspace leading to a dead end, a magic curtain of water that exploded like a tidal wave if you walked through without a trident, and two more eyeball things on pedestals.
Another crawlspace to a dusty room and then a huge area with floating platforms, a skeleton with a pentagonal head (William’s Druid recovered that one), a demonic statue clutching two more eyeballs, a lever that made huge winds and drove William’s druid and Daniel’s bard temporarily crazy (although the bard managed to swipe the eyes and get away, while William’s druid fell off the balcony – doh!)
Splitting the party is always such fun! A fight with a Tomb Guardian, a plaque with hints about the current level (it’s so nice when nasty wizardy bad guys leave hints lying around), another crawlspace with a steel trapdoor, a revolving room that ended up killing Clinton’s Fighter/Rogue, with Dan’s Warlock and Morgan’s Rogue (cool wall running, man!) escaping to the next room.
A big pit with a statue, a treasure chest and a silver key in the bottom, shielded by a wall of force, two statues up top and an empty plinth. No one could work out what to do with this one (more party member heads required). A corridor leading to a mirrored disco door that gradually turns your reflection undead when you load eyeballs in the slots.
Daniel’s bard saved William’s druid by skewering him with roped crossbow bolts and dragging his sore carcass out of the crazy, windy room. William’s druid drank his healing potion and found out it was poison – aghhhh! The party joined up again and are now facing two tomb guardians previously attached at the neck by a chain (no longer, thanks to Daniel’s Bard’s judicious use of a heat metal spell at 4th level).
Next week: Finishing that battle! Finding five more eyes! What lies beyond the mirror door?
The Tomb of the Nine Gods – Level 3!
The party finished off the Tomb Guardians in the corridor. Clinton’s new fighter appeared, keen for a fight and genuinely Lawful Evil. Welcome back Clinton!
Into the tomb of spirit guardian Kubazan, where Daniel’s Bard (possessed by I’Jin), tucked one of the special masks into her pack, lit the candle on the shrine and raised four Wraiths. One big fight later, Mark’s Cleric and William’s Druid turned into frogs. Mark’s frog decided to eat the ceremonial cockroaches and four wraiths appeared again. Everybody had to change their pants, the big Dao the party befriended previously decided to intervene and the wraiths were eventually vanquished, but not before a few party members almost died. “That’s two times I’ve assisted you,” the Dao said to Mark’s Cleric. “One left.” During the battle, Dan’s Warlock decided to Thunderstep, which teleported her to the refuse room and an Otyugh! Just escaping with the Otyugh in tow, Dan’s warlock leapt through a grate into the river below, swam to safety and long rested on a ledge.
A long rest for the rest of the party later, they returned to the tomb, worked out the correct sequence and Mark’s Cleric got himself some nice Bracers of Archery (and held off a possession by Kubazan).
William’s druid found a secret door, picked up a hitchhiking golden skull called Yaka who used to be the court fool to the royal family of Omu and is now cursed to follow and insult William’s druid (and everyone around him). Another tomb guardian killed by Daniel’s bard and Dan’s warlock (who found the party again) was lost in a crawlspace.
A spiral staircase and the party headed up to level 2, where they found a room full of ghoulish equipment and a bunch of Tomb Dwarves in the process of creating something. Yaka lived up to his name—it looks like surprise is forever off the table. That’s one loud skull. “Hey,” said Yaka. “I’ve had no one to talk to for hundreds of years, gimme a break.”
Next week: The secrets of the tomb revealed!! Or not.
At the tomb lab, the party defeated a bunch of tomb dwarves and a hot-off-the-presses just-created tomb guardian. Mark’s Cleric turned some of the tomb dwarves and ended up getting a ghost lantern. Dan’s Warlock pursued the tomb dwarves up the staircase and through the secret door to level 1, where he ran into the lovely Otyugh he let lose from the waste room. Then the tomb dwarves showed up, and the fight was on in a tight corridor. Davor’s ranger proved he could do the splits Jean-Claude Van Damme style, Morgan’s rogue got killed (much to Morgan’s delight as he can now use a new character) and Clinton’s fighter got mashed by the Otyugh but also managed to kill it when it ran in fear from Daniel’s bard’s fear spell.
While they were resting Daniel’s bard went to the alternate tomb in search of easy experience points and ended up (just) besting a wraith, with a good use of the curse spell and some decent rolls!
Down to Withers’ office, where the party fought some wraiths and crawling claws, but Withers escaped (gasp!). William’s druid got his hands on the manual of golems (“thanks bard, for loaning me that, it’s mine now—bwah ha ha!”) and Davor’s ranger received the bracers of archery (and fended off the spirit).
Off to the leftover rooms to find more eye keys. A room of yucky veils and a big nasty, chomping boar head. Dan’s warlock got scared and ran away. Mark’s cleric almost lost a few fingers…
Off to the rotating corridor, where another eye was recovered from the body of a dead adventurer.
Then back to the room with the golem in the pit!
Next week: The golem in the pit! More eyes! The big room with the mirror ball disco door!
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