D&D Diary – Tomb of Annihilation – Session 1

We embark on a grand expedition into uncharted territory. An exploration of life and death in the primordial Land of Chult!

Tomb of Annihilation thumb
Come into my parlor said the spider to the fly.

This is it! My biggest adventure yet. Since I’ve begun doing these D&D Resource Pages and Diary recaps, all of the adventures have been on the smaller side; Starter Sets such as Lost Mine of Phandelver and Dragon of Icespire Peak, module anthologies as in Tales From The Yawning Portal, and shorter campaigns like Waterdeep: Dragon Heist that officially ends at 5th level. And of all of these, only Phandelver has actually been played to completion. Sadly, Icespire gets played but sporadically, and the Waterdeep / Yawning Portal campaign has fizzled out and is on hiatus. The only other “full” campaign that I’ve written about is Wild Beyond the Witchlight and I’ve been uninspired to finish up my diary obligations. I will, I promise, I just don’t know when.

Adventures completed 4pk
Too many adventures! Can’t play them all.

But my hunger to be a god among imaginary mortal men gnaws at my soul. I long for the ecstatic agony of being a DM once more. And this time it will be different. A campaign rich in lore, with players who appreciate my encyclopedic knowledge of the Forgotten Realms wiki and won’t murder every NPC I throw at them. This time, I’m gonna do the murdering! But what campaign is filled with copious lore, plus rich, detailed NPCs, and lots of acceptable character death? Curse of Strahd? No, not that one.

Tomb of Annihilation! Loosely based on the deadliest dungeon of all time, the Tomb of Horrors, this new campaign includes a deadly jungle infested with undead while the party tries to reverse the effect of a world-wide death curse. Everybody dies. Plus, the Land of Chult has lots of history hidden beneath its overgrown canopy and some really interesting NPCs to interact with. You just have to find it/them before the jungle swallows you whole.

ToA Jungle Dino Riding
And I mean swallow you whole literally. Dinosaurs gotta eat.

There are several reasons that make Tomb of Annihilation so deadly and thus more fun and rewarding to play. Of course, there is the obvious death trap dungeon at the end with an infamous villain, Acererak, whose main bag is about collecting the souls of dumb players. But there is a bigger philosophy at play that has to do with the land itself, Chult, and more importantly, its distance from the mainland of The Forgotten Realms.

Now I love The Forgotten Realms but it has one huge problem. It is too safe. There is no real danger in the Realms. Sure, there might be dragons or giants or elemental lords mucking about and even a few dungeons to clear, but the safety of town is always just one random encounter away. There is no strife, or war, or any real fear that you won’t make it back to the nice, warm fire at your favorite inn and a good, long rest.

Adventures foreign lands 4pk
What do these awesome adventures have in common? No inns, no safety nets. No mercy.

But in Chult, there is no such guarantee. The wilderness is the dungeon. And each “room” (i.e. every hex on the map) restocks with new monsters as soon as you leave. Going back the way you came is still just as dangerous. There is just one safe harbor and getting back to it is an adventure unto itself. The land itself is the strife and is constantly at war with the players. Speaking of players, I need to find a new group of fools to kill, I mean, new collaborators with which to enjoy a rewarding and enriching RPG experience.

With Andrew and his friends off creating their own Hellfire Club, as it should be, James and I are cast away on the Island of Abandoned Players. I looked to my local hobby store, Battlegrounds, to round out the party. I asked a few players there that I thought might enjoy a lore-heavy exploration adventure and put out an open call on the store’s Discord for more. This gave me three players I knew, Raven, Theo, and James, plus two I did not, Ian, and Wes. I had asked my Witchlight DM, Aidan, if he wanted to join, but he didn’t commit to an answer. I want to keep the party maximum at 5, in case Andrew’s group implodes and he could join mine. Okay enough preamble, onto my prep work. The DM’s Session 0.

Jungle Chult 2e cover
Which mostly involved reading this terrific 2nd edition supplement.

I love much of Tomb of Annihilation, but it still needs some work. The first issue is the very beginning; the story hook. As written, the players are hired before the adventure by Syndra Silvane of Baldur’s Gate. The Death Curse has been active for 20 days and the players are tasked with stopping it. The group is instantly teleported over a thousand miles to Chult and the adventure begins.

This is weak for so many reasons. First, you should never assume the players will accept any mission, even if it is vital to the campaign. At the very least you should roleplay the initial encounter with Syndra. Second, with the Death Curse already in effect, this puts a huge countdown clock on the adventure, preventing the players from wanting to explore the jungle. They feel compelled to run directly to the final dungeon, even though this is foolishly lethal for the party and undermines the entire theme of the adventure.

There are numerous other weaknesses to this opening as well. If the mission to cure this Death Curse is so dangerous, then why are novice adventurers hired to stop it? Is there no one more capable available? The use of teleportation ruins the sense of isolation and danger inherent in the land. And since the patron, Syndra, is affiliated with Baldur’s Gate, the players will have an unconscious predisposition toward anyone from that area when they encounter them in Fort Belaurian later. Lastly, by having her accompany the party to Chult, she provides a link (and instant teleportation) to civilization, further ruining the isolation and the belief that the party is “on their own”.

ToA Realms travel map
The Forgotten Realms is huge! But the adventure just ignores the fact that Baldur’s Gate (green arrow) is over 1000 miles away from Chult (red arrow). 

To fix this, don’t introduce the Death Curse just yet. Acererak has not activated the device that steals souls. For now, the world is “normal”. Syndra is not the patron that sends the players to Chult. She will arrive later. The players are hired by a different NPC with a different mission that journeys to Chult. It is important to play out the session that sends them to Chult, including the distance traveled, the long amount of time it takes to get there, and to encounter some increasing difficulties along the way. This will showcase the isolation and the danger, and get the players up to 2nd level before they arrive.

The key is the adventure hook that sends them to Chult. Perhaps they have been hired by the guildmaster of the Surveyors’, Map and Chart Makers Guild out of Waterdeep to provide an accurate map of the Chultan interior. Maybe they have been introduced to a mysterious collector of antiquities who seeks to discover a lost ancient temple and the treasures held within. They may be mercenaries in the employ of the Cult of Frost, tasked with finding the Ring of Winter rumored to have resurfaced in Chult.

Ring of Winter cover
I also read this book that is the first introduction to Chult. And yes, I stole stuff from it as well.

For my campaign, I used bits from all of these and added another. The party is hired by powerful member of the Waterdeep elite who happens to run a museum of natural history, ancient cultures and a zoo dedicated to cryptozoological monsters. After gaining his favor, they are asked to travel to Chult to collect any artifacts and capture as many live specimens as they can. They will be paid handsomely for any creatures caught and treasures recovered. They will be paid addition rewards if they can provide an accurate map of the interior of Chult. This will give the players ample opportunity to explore to their hearts’ content and entice them to travel into uncharted territory.

In addition to this expanded exploration of the Land, I want to delve into the lore and history of this unique environment. To that end, I created the Explorer’s Guide to Chult. This Guide gives greater depth to the unique flavor of Chult that is only hinted at in the adventure book. There are full articles on the Religion, Calendar, Holidays, History, and Languages of Chult to give you inspiration to further expand your adventures in Chult.

Explorers Guide to Chult ToAAll that stuff I read and stole, I condensed into this Guide to help you save time and still run the best version of Tomb of Annihilation ever. You’re welcome. Click on the link: Explorer’s Guide to Chult.

There are a few more details that I worked on before the first session, including a huge handout, but I’ll reveal them in time. Onto the Player’s Session 0. I actually don’t like an official Session 0; I’d rather jump right into the action. I prefer to work out the details of each new character personally with the players in the days leading up to the First Session. This isn’t always practical and this time, I don’t really know many of these players outside of the hobby store.

But all my chosen players are experienced role players, and I trust them to honest with their character creation. I don’t care which method they use to roll stats, or even if they fudge one or two. I still got plenty of ways to challenge an OP character with all 18’s across the board. It’s called a villain with all 20’s. My biggest concern is that almost every player has already played Tomb of Annihilation. Fortunately, none of them ever finished it. Every campaign either died after a TPK or it veered off into some random homebrewed content than abandoned Chult entirely. Hopefully, I’ll be able to have enough unique material to keep these players surprised and challenged.

ToA Dendar
I got a couple of things up my sleeve.

My only rule is that no character has any real experience in Chult. No native guides who already know every inch of the jungle. No sages who know every minutia of the lore. Chult is a strange, new world full of unexpected surprises and I don’t want that ruined my some know-it-all Mary-Sue. This forced one player to modify her back story, but we worked it out to a good compromise. As an added surprise for the first session, Aidan decided he wanted to play. I’m thrilled, and he is welcome to join, but this did raise the roster to an unexpected six. Without further ado, here is the current party. I’ve listed them clockwise as they sit from me at the table.

First is Wes, the new player I’ve never met, playing Thames, a silver dragonborn Artificier. Next is Ian, a fellow DM at the hobby store, playing Gwen, a female human Cleric. Raven, a Witchlight player, DM, and lore-enthusiast, is playing Scáth, a Pantheran (as in panther, similar to but not a tabaxi!) Darkness Warlock whose character build comes from the Tome of Heroes, a 3rd-party D&D supplement published by Kobold Press (#openrpg). Theo, the Witchlight player who always kept the story on track, is playing Roland, a half-elf Paladin. Aidan, my Witchlight DM and surprise player, is playing Miche, a tiefling Rogue. Finally, my son, James is playing Martic Ascendor, a half-elven Ranger with a secret criminal past and a penchant for hanging out in swamps. Taking another cue from “The Ring of Winter”, allow me to introduce the new Society of Stalwart Adventurers.

ToA Party Roster thumb
The new Society of Stalwart Adventurers. I’m always amazed at what you can find on the web. Even a silver dragonborn artificer. Thanks to Deviant Art and Pinterest.

James is nervous about playing with this new group of people. He is shy and introverted and is convinced that the other players will all be “better” than him. Being an ex-introvert myself, I know that no amount of cajoling or convincing will settle his fears. So, I just asked him to trust me and see where it goes. He’ll be fine… I hope.

The session got off to a late start, and then we had the obligatory, “Hi, my name is Rich,” conversations. Wes asked what my thoughts on player versus player combat were. I told him I hate it and don’t allow it at my table. He let out a sigh of relief; I’m guessing this was a big problem with his last group. Mine too, happy to oblige. For this campaign, I only have one house rule that I want to use. It regards resting. Due to the dangerousness of the jungle, a 1-hour short rest only heals ½ of the rolled Hit Dice. An 8-hour long rest only heals ½ your max hit points and ½ your total spell slots. Only if the rest occurs at a DM designated “safe” space (an inn, village, or fortified area), then each rest acts normally. Okay, Game On!

Sword Coast Campaign Map
 Don’t bother getting attached to this map. We won’t be here long.

“You are all travelling along the High Road to Waterdeep along the Sword Coast. It is the middle of Winter. You have all joined a caravan that began its journey in Daggerford 10 days south, although you may have joined anywhere along the road. It is the last night of the journey and you all sit around a campfire. Having travelled together for several days, it might be a good time to finally introduce yourselves.”

Ian – “I am Gwen de Berdusk, cleric of Kelemvor. I’m travelling to Waterdeep to find how I might best serve the god of the dead, preparing people for the natural conclusion of all life.”

Theo – “Um okay, I’m Roland. Paladin. I’m just following my parents last wishes by seeking my fortune in the world.”

Aidan – “And I’m Miche, short for Michelin. I once read a book by this hack named Volo that was supposed to be a travel guide to the Realms but was really just a list of pubs to get drunk in. I thought, I can do better than that. So, I want to travel the world and write a proper food and travel guide.”

Volo Tavern full
It’ll be real interesting when Miche bumps into the real Volo, who’s in Chult to promote his new book.

Wes – “So you’re a chef?”

Aidan – “As far as you know. I made this stew you’re eating.”

Wes, to me – “Can I roll an insight check to see if I trust this soup?” <rolls abysmally>

Me – “You notice nothing strange.”

Wes – “I take a sip.”

Me – “Terrific. You do not die.” See, No player versus player here. You are safe. For now.

Wes – “Okay. I am Thames. I am searching for any items of power that might help my family back home…” There were no follow-up questions, which I found odd since I had a bunch. But we’ll see how this develops.

Me – “Raven? How about you?”

Raven – “No, I don’t say anything. I don’t trust anyone yet, except Miche since he’s kept me fed. But you do know that my name is Scáth.”

ToA Ubtao creates Mezro
The rest of the group doesn’t know this yet, but Scath is more entwined with Chult than they expect.

Wes – “Are you a fighter?”

Raven – “You can see I carry weapons.”

Wes – “And, you’re a cat?”

Raven – “A Panthera.”

Wes – “Oh, okay…” I liked how Wes needed to learn the classes of the two who didn’t reveal them. So, he hates PvP and secretive players; Who hurt you, Wes?

Me – “James. Do you want to introduce yourself?”

James – “Um, I’m Martic Ascendor. Half-elf ranger.” Short and sweet; he’ll be fine. Probably.

What follows is the boxed text that I wrote out to read to my players, establishing the time and setting of the campaign. When I wrote it I knew it was too long. Descriptions should also be short and sweet to get the players right into the action and decision making. But sometimes I can’t help myself and find myself writing a novel. A long, tedious novel. Fortunately, my players interjected themselves into my monologue, breaking it up and making it less boring.

ToA Session 1 Box Text 1
Monologue 1 – The Phantom Lore

This began a lively discussion between Ian and me (as the wagon drivers) about the meaning of several other years, especially 1358 The Year of Shadows. This was the year that Gwen’s god, Kelemvor, came into existence and is a very important year from a lore sense. This is the first time ever that I’ve played with anyone who knew anything at all about the history of the Forgotten Realms. Man, I love DM-ing for other DMs. I have high hopes for this campaign. I hope I didn’t just jinx this.

ToA Session 1 Box Text 2
Monologue 2 – Attack of the Signpost

At this point, Theo went up to the signpost and begin to roleplay with it, asking it for directions to an inn and a place to eat. I had made no plans on how to roleplay a “sign”, but with over 100 locations in Waterdeep that fit this vague description, I decided to play The Waymoot like an annoyed robot. “Too. Vague. More. Info. Needed.” Theo asked for the “best” inn in town. “Fifty-seven. Inns. Label. Themselves. The. Best. More. Specific. Please.”

I asked where everyone else was standing during this conversation, which is DM-speak for “Shit’s about to happen.” Everyone abandoned Theo and moved away from the sign. Maybe they thought it was about to get angry and attack the annoying tourist. James and Raven moved to a shadowy alcove. Ian and Aidan moved to the nearby tavern with some outdoor tables. Wes moved to the far side of the square away from everyone. Don’t read too much into this, his backstory explains his mistrust and occasional hatred of humans and “civilization”.

ToA Session 1 Box Text 3
Monologue 3 – Revenge of the Umber Hulk

Yep, for these 1st level characters I hit them with a CR5 level monster! In part, I did this because I had recently finished painting its mini and I was really happy with it. The main reason is that I wanted the players to know that this was not going to be an adventure that played fair. As a DM, I will play fair, but the monsters will not. This world, especially Chult, is very dangerous and it does not care if you are too weak to survive. Only the strong survive and the smart, run! I wanted to see what the group’s reaction will be. Will they fight, run, play defensive, or attempt to rescue the trapped civilians? In the end, they did all of these things.

Umber Hulk mini
Do you know these guys have their own language too? 200 sounds that translate to “Feed Me!”

Now I’m not a complete jerk. This Umber Hulk is in rough shape and I knocked him down to a CR3 monster. Plus, I didn’t want to give them too much XP. I lowered its AC to 17 and its hit points to 85. It only gets one attack because of the missing limb and its blind eye means he attacks at disadvantage. He might get a few hits, but his flat damage of 8 means he can’t kill any player with a single hit. Any civilians would be killed outright though. The one power I left intact was his Confusion Gaze. This could have and very nearly killed several characters.

Since the monster scanned the entire area, and no one had the chance to avert their gaze, everyone, including the crowd, had to roll a save or be confused. Several civilians were confounded, leading some to stand around cluelessly and others to wander aimlessly around the battlefield. Every player on the outskirts succeeded, but everyone on the front line failed and stood there like a donkey right next to the rampaging monster.

ToA Waymoot Battle start
I brought unpainted minis for the players, but Raven already had her own (front & center). Love it!

Except Gwen the cleric who wasted a turn tying to cast Spare the Dying on the more than mostly dead dancer in the hole. Miche and Roland were stunned. Martic bounced an arrow off the monster’s shell. Thames ran over to some incoming guards, borrowed an arrow, and hit the beast with a Catapult for some okay damage. Scáth cast some Kobold Press spell that is like a shadow version of Firebolt for minor damage but had the adding bonus of robbing the Hulk of reactions and thus no opportunity attacks. This was vital to the group’s survival.

This went on for a few rounds. Miche and Roland repeatedly failed their saving throw. Roland was wandering toward the edge of the gaping hole and poor Gwen had to waste another action running over and pulling him back. She was rewarded with Roland randomly attacking her. Gwen knocked the sword out of Roland’s hand which fell into the pit and impaled itself into the poor dancer’s corpse, to the chagrin of the player and the laughter of everyone else. Scáth and Martic continued to pepper the creature with black bolts and arrows. Then Thames, with the noblest of intentions, committed the funniest moment of the night and made the fight monumentally harder.

ToA Waymoot battlemap
The Waymoot Battle Map. Lots of choke points and blocked egresses.

As part of the environmental hazard of the encounter (as every good battle should have), I had several wagons crash when the monster attacked. One of them spilled a bunch of barrels, blocking one of the avenues of escape. Thames decided to use his breath weapon attack to clear the area. This worked great on the barrels, clearing the debris. Except…

One of the barrels was a Mimic that was slowly trying to sneak away in the confusion. Previously, on each round, whenever I moved NPCs on the board, from advancing guards to fleeing citizens and wandering victims, I would slyly move one of the barrels just a little bit; to see if anyone would notice. It was intended to be a way to earn some extra XP at the end of the encounter. But getting wounded enraged the passive shapeshifter who charged and attacked the one who ruined his getaway. Oops.

ToA Waymoot Battle barrles
One of these things is not like the others.

Thames was immediately hit, took nearly fatal damage, but fortunately escaped the Mimic’s grapple and instant death the next round. This effectively split the party when Martic ran over to help his cornered comrade. Martic’s reward for helping his friend? His “friend” retreated, leaving Martic to be his shield. Meanwhile, Miche had been severely wounded by the Umber Hulk. Poor Gwen had to waste another turn Commanding the resident chef to “Run!” Miche ran in a random direction directly into a market stall selling cutlery and cookware, which he pocketed. Even in his stupor, Miche is still a rogue.

Roland finally snapped out of his confusion. Having lost his sword, he grabbed a javelin and let it fly. He rolled a “1”. The javelin fell out of his hand, into the pit, and into the pincushion corpse of the pitiful dancer still at the bottom. If this keeps up, I might have to charge this “good” paladin with desecration of the deceased.

I swear to gods, she was already dead when I stabbed her! Twice.

The whole battle was filled with these ups and downs like this. Next, the party finally gets back up to full strength when Miche wakes up from his trance to find himself in a store holding a clay jug for some reason. He drops the jug with a clatter and throws two paring knives at the hulking monstrosity. Both blades find chinks in the beast’s armor and score hits.

But now it’s time for another civilian to die. For reasons, I always intended for two NPCs to die. The Umber Hulk has turned its eye on a little boy (Ralf) who has been stunned up to now. The boy’s father (Wymar), whom I’ve had wandering around in a daze, snaps out of it, pushes the son out of the way, and takes the fatal blow, killing the parent instantly. Roland redeems himself by running to the orphaned child and carrying him to safety.

ToA Waymoot Battle end
 Holy crap! I gotta wrap this up before I accidental kill something important. And I don’t mean the players; they’re not important.

I was surprised at how well the party was doing. Sure, I had included several guards and NPC victims to deflect some damage, and I had managed to knock four players down to “one more hit and you’re dead” status, but I didn’t expect the combat to go on this long. I anticipated just a few rounds of combat, before my deus-ex-machina arrived to save the day.

But now it looked like the group might actually kill both creatures and disrupt the next part of my story. The Umber Hulk was down to about 20 hit points and the Mimic only had 6 hp left. As far as I’m concerned, the party has defeated both enemies, so let’s end the encounter here before I accidentally kill one of them.

Mimic mini
I would totally buy a whole series of mimics as different inanimate objects. Doors, tables, thrones. Get on this WizKids!

“After a few rounds of saving citizens (or in this case, kicking ass), a booming voice cries out, “Arretez!” Immediately the Umber Hulk stops what it is doing and stands still. The voice calls out, “Asseyez-vous.” The Umber Hulk sits down the ground, now looking more like a embarrassed pet rather than a rampaging monster. The voice comes from a tall, elven male wizard wearing Magenta robes and carrying a staff made out of pure glass. He calls out across the carnage, “Don’t kill the Mimic!

“Why?” Thames asks.

“I need it for my studies.”

Thames was next in the initiative order. He politely chose to whack the Mimic “Non-lethally”. Very obliging. He hit and rolled exactly 6 for damage, knocking the errant shifter unconscious. With the fighting finished, the mysterious elven wizard took charge of the scene.

Riandon and victims
Today’s special guest star: James’ original Phandelver PC, Riandon Moonwhisper and two random corpses.

“The clearly influential wizard gives several orders to the guards to right the wagons, tend to the wounded, and to place the deceased into an empty wagon. He turns to the orphaned boy. “It’ll be okay child. We’ll take good care of your father.” He says to the wagon driver, “Do you know who I am?” to which the driver nods yes. “Take these two to The Seldarine to be raised. Have them put it on my account. And this is for your trouble,” handing the driver a pouch of gold.”

“The wizard turns his attention to you. “You fought well. I particularly liked how you cared more for the innocents around you and that you didn’t give in to the bloodlust that always ends in needless destruction. Forgive me. We have never met. I am Riandon Moonwhisper and I could use a group with your talents. Please, come to my tower at your earliest convenience and we can discuss the arrangements.””

Dragon Tower ticket
My apologies to Nabisco’s Animal Crackers.

Riandon (via me) presents each player with a heavy paper ticket (a physical prop that I actually made) that seems to be advertising some sort of carnival, circus, or faire. A few of the older players recognized the inspiration for my tickets, which, of course, is gratifying. Roland, still looking for directions, asked about a good inn.

“There are dozens of good inns to choose from. I’ll tell you what. I have interest in three reputable inns, each one can offer a warm, clean bed and some entertaining distractions. There’s The Yawning Portal on Rainrun Street in the Castle Ward. Gondalim’s on the High Road in the Trades Ward, and The Trollskull Tavern on Saerdoun Street in the North Ward. Mention my name at either one and they’ll take good care of you, gratis of course.”

Miche chimes in, “Which one has the best food?”

Waterdeep Accessories
Really getting my value out of these 2nd edition supplements. Still the best era for content, IMHO.

“That would have to be Gondalim’s, though I am partial to the Trollskull. But I really must be going. I have to get these two back to the tower before they come to.” Riandon conjures up a Tenser’s Floating Disk but this one comes complete with a large cage already on it. “Can someone help me push this Mimic into the cage?”

Curious, Thames asked what spell was used to stop the Umber Hulk, Riandon’s reply, “You have no idea how difficult collecting some of these specimens have been in the past. Learning Dominate Monster has been a gods send to my business. Again, my thanks and we’ll meet again soon.” Riandon turns to the placated beast. He commands, “Suivez-moi,” and the Umber Hulk follows behind the enigmatic wizard and his floating cage through the city like an obedient puppy. FYI, I use French to translate elven spells to make them more mysterious. In English, his commands were “Stop”, “Sit down”, and “Follow me.” Dwarves get German and dragonborn use Russian; you get the idea.

Waterdeep Map Art
The Waymoot is the three-way intersection in the bottom right corner of the map.

BTW, Riandon Moonwhisper is my son, James’, old character from the Phandelver and Waterdeep campaign. It has been ten years since the events of those adventures and I loved the idea of having him return as the successful and retired quest giver of this adventure. Plus, it plays perfectly into my plans for an alternate start to this adventure. As I said, he wants to hire the group to lead an expedition to the jungle to capture and collect more animals and artifacts for his “Tower”.

The players, mostly Aidan, decided that Gondalim’s was the inn to go to, mostly for the food. “Besides, it’s on that weird wizard’s dime, so we’re having steak tonight!”

I had a ton of content prepared, including any Waterdeep locales the party wanted to visit, a whole encounter and actual mission setup at the wizard’s tower, two waterborne encounters and the frickin’ introduction to the Land of Chult. But it was later than we wanted and one of the players had to leave early, so we had to end here. I teased the rest of the group with the giant player map that I had prepared and the 12-page handout(!) that some players adored and others looked at it like homework.

ToA Bay of Chult
Here’s a little foreshadowing for next week. Hope you brought a life vest.

Next week, hopefully we can do all the things I just mentioned above and we can actually get to the adventure!

Check out my Tomb of Annihilation Resources Page, filled with all the stuff I use to make this epic campaign even more epicier: My full Campaign Diary, plus Handouts, Maps, Charts, PDFs, Images, and more to use, abuse, or ignore at your peril.

And written specifically for this adventure, read my Explorer’s Guide to Chult to delve into all the legands, lore, history, religion, and culture that I used to bring even more life to this adventure.

Explorers Guide to Chult ToA
No need to get your feet wet or your hands dirty, I’ve done all the research for you.

As always, check your inanimate objects before you go blasting them, and Game On!

I am not a Tabaxi! – Scáth, playing a particularly petulant puddy-cat.


26 thoughts on “D&D Diary – Tomb of Annihilation – Session 1

    1. For starters I know nothing about Tomb of Annihilation. So I am interested to know how are you going to handle healing players if they won’t fully heal at rest and won’t get potion. I assume they can’t get potion in the middle of the jungle. Won’t this paralize players and prevent them from taking risks since there is no way to get back from your mistakes. Personally people I play with start to feel at half power after spending their first spells slot.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. I’m very excited to have this campaign to look forward to Rich. I’m still looking forward to reading about the end of your Witchlight campaign, though I understand why you have lost your enthusiasm for it. I can’t blame you for that. I hope this campaign goes better for you.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I hope to get Witchlight done in the next few weeks. I’m actually laid up through March due to a knee surgery for a severed miniscus. Should have plenty of free time to do it. No promises though, I’m quite lazy.


  2. Good thing Umber Hulks got a severe Intelligence downgrade this edition. Now that they’re just fairly cunning animals, this is a lot less skeevy.

    Liked by 1 person

          1. Technically, you get XP for defeating enemies, which includes knocking them unconscious or reducing them to low HP so they run away.

            Which still encourages violent solutions to all your problems, it’s true.

            Liked by 1 person

  3. Sorry about that. I’m having problems with this website in that posts with links won’t go through. Anyways, go to Titancraft.com, click on make character, select monsters, and scroll down.

    Liked by 1 person

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