Table of Contents - A handy way to check out my articles by topic
Follow me on Twitter
Check out the Power Score RPG Youtube Channel here.
You can reach me at

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Tomb of Annihilation Episode 2 - Grand Prize of the Oracle

My Tomb of Annihilation Episode 2 show is right here.
The TLDW version is right here.

Thanks to everyone who checked out episode 1! The response far exceeded my expectations!

Online Players: I am planning on running side games online (1 or 2 sessions, not an ongoing campaign) fairly regularly with different players.

These will go on youtube. Ideally, I'd like each group to have 2 males and 2 females, something like that. I am planning on running some of the Guild Adept adventures for Tomb of Annihilation, Shadowrun, and a special Halloween zombie game (using the All Flesh Must be Eaten rules, probably). If you're interested in any of this, first look over this list:
  • Check out my show! I run goofy games. Most people like it, but if you are into the numbers and stats side of the game, you might not enjoy yourself. I always choose pacing over rules accuracy. 
  • I love new players! I don't care if you've ever played before.
  • You must be considerate of others. Be polite, pleasant and accommodating.
  • Know your character! If you are running a spellcaster, make sure you know your spell attack bonus, your DC, and what your spells do!
  • You have to pay attention, you can't be doing other things or leaving for 5-10 minutes. I try very hard to keep things moving and I run short games (an hour an a half, usually). I'm somewhat obsessed with getting stuff done.
  • I'll likely run these on Thursdays from 7-8:30 PM EST, or Saturdays from 6:30-8:30 PM EST.
  • I might run special games on Thanksgiving day and/or Christmas day, so if you don't celebrate those holidays we might be able to do something.

If this sound like something you're interested in, email me at

Session 2: I tape these online shows so that I can avoid live technical glitches. I ran this almost two weeks ago. Going into this one, I really wanted to dive into those Adventurer League scenarios that I liked so much.

I ran a mission from City on the Edge that has dinosaur racing and an arena fight. I generally don't like arena fights. Kind of boring! But this one had some cool gimmicks and I thought it was pretty good.

Running Games Online: Someone in real life asked me if I was nervous about this whole "putting myself on youtube" thing. It's funny, I get nervous over all sorts of things in real life. I used to joke with my friend about the "diarrhea feeling" I got every time there was an inspection at the movie theater (which always went fine, despite the mice).

When it comes to D&D, I am never nervous. D&D is a huge part of my life! I have been running games weekly, bi-weekly or tri-weekly for about 10 years straight, now. When it comes to running a game, I feel very at at ease.

I always think about Christopher Hitchens when this topic comes up. When he would come on a show or take part in a debate, he knew so much about the middle east in particular that people couldn't get away with half-truths or bogus claims. To me, he was living proof of the phrase "knowledge is power".

I have made every mistake you can think of when running D&D games. Through years of trial and error, I was able to overcome my own faults, deficiencies and personality flaws enough to keep campaigns running all the way to the end. This is probably the one area in life where I am completely comfortable in my own skin.

So.. no! I don't get nervous!

The Party

(Ryan) Mistletoe - Human Druid
(Garrett) Ramrod - Goliath Barbarian
(Annalise) Val - Tiefling Sorcerer
(Joe) Zavagor - Half-orc Warlock

The heroes were trying to get the four pieces of the dreamer's amulet. With it, the believed they could find the location of the Lost City of Omu.

My dino race tracking chart

They entered into a dinosaur race to win the prize, which included a piece of the amulet. We stopped last time in mid-race.

Val rolled incredibly well, and left everyone in her dust. Her final animal handling check was a natural 20!

Dinosaur Racing Rules Issues: These racing rules were pretty good, but the race was too short. It might just have been because of good die rolls, but I feel like it need some tweaking.

I am very leery of the dinosaur racing rules in the book, which is very abstract to the point that it's hard to figure out how to depict it. The first person to get to 300 feet wins. The whole thing is described in about 5 paragraphs and one chart.

I sat down a few days ago to try to figure out how I could run these things better. Here's my idea:
  • Look at the map of Port Nyanzaru and plot the race course.
  • Break it up into sections and create an "event" for each. Each round, everyone enters the new section.
  • The riders are in a clump, rolling for "feet" like in the Tomb book. Whoever has the mot feet is in the lead.
  • The winner isn't the first person to get to 300. It is whoever has the most points at the end of initiative in the final section.
So I am going to start my city race at area 4 on the map (pg 19). See the elevated bridge that leads to area 7? Section 1 of my race will give people the opportunity to bump riders over the side of the bridge.

I made up events based on the places they are passing. The church of Gond has clockwork water contraptions, old city has executioner's run, etc.

I think that is a way to make the race easier to imagine, and it gives you tools to create exciting or dramatic moments.

Hopefully we'll get to that on episode 5, which we're taping this weekend.

Val won the race and so the group defeated the NPC adventurers known as... the Green Vipers. Now they had to fight in the arena against a kenku named slicer, and his two velociraptors.

Slicer: Before the event, Ramrod walked up to Slicer and intimidated him. The roll: Natural 20! Slicer gave him the finger and then fled the scene.

That's when Val blew our minds with wordplay. I don't want to spoil it, but man... how did she come up with that so fast? It belongs in the dad joke hall of fame. On top of that, she actually came up with a better one on episode 3!

The arena fight is right out of City on the Edge. The iron bars have these vines wrapped around them. At the end of each round, the vines lash out and strike a random person, possibly poisoning them.

The arena map
Zavagor riled up the crowd, which worked out very well for the group by the end. Mistletoe bludgeoned Slicer into unconsciousness but got his throat slit in the process. He was up, but just barely.

Val kicked a dinosaur into the vines and then Ramrod hit it with his maul, ending it flying through the bars into the dirt of the arena.

After the fight, the group headed to the locker room to clean up. There was a bath tub. Mistletoe got in. Ramrod joined him. Then Hoppy, the froghemoth, decided to try to get in, too. The heroes made their saving throws and the tub was ruined.

Then they went to get their prizes! They met Kwayothe. My version of Kwayothe is a bit different from the book. She's very fire-demon-oriented. Here's the art I got:
My Kwayothe

She came down the step with her many beautiful concubines and gave the group their rewards:
  • A leather thong full of gold.
  • A piece of the dreamer's amulet (an orange gem)
  • Passes to a private bath house - their appointment was in two days' time.
Bath house, you say? Yes, that's right. I'm using the bath house thing from Encounters in Port Nyanzaru ASAP.

Zavagor noticed that she was wearing a ring that bore the symbol of the demon lord he was enslaved to - Eman, demon queen of fire.

That's where we stopped!

Was a great game! I love Port Nyanzaru and I have figured out a way to keep the group coming back there during the adventure. Right now the problem I have is that there's too much good material to fit into one campaign!

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Dice, Camera, Action: Episode 61 - Tomb of Annihilation

Episode 61: End of the World
Season three is about to begin! The show has been on a break for a month, and during that time, Strix had a couple adventures with the Acquisitions, Inc. group. She was on a podcast and then she did a live show. Both of them were fantastic and, in my opinion, hilarious.

The Waffle Crew

(Anna) Evelyn - Human Paladin of Lathander
(ProJared) Diath - Human Rogue
(Nathan) Paultin - Human Bard
(Holly) Strix - Tiefling Sorcerer
(Dani Hartel) Captain Xandalla - Elf Sorcerer

Non-Robot Evelyn

At the start, the group is on an airship. Strix is gone. She had vanished (summoned by Omin Dran) but the group has no idea what happened. They are on an airship captained by Captain Xandala. Godfrey the undead knight is with them, as is Waffles the owlbear and Simon, the demented, sinister golem-boy. Artus Cimber is here, too! He's got the ridiculously powerful ring of winter.

The airship is lifting off. The crew is dead - they were agents of the red dragon, Klauth. The waffle crew is trying to run the ship on their own under the tutelage of Captain Xandala.

Diath wants to know what happened to Strix, so he busts out his sword, Gutter, and summons Shemeshka. She is wearing a ball gown, crimson and gold. This is apparently based off of a piece of fan art right here, which is awesome. She's wearing her "crown", which is a wreath of razorvine. She's got a cigarette in a cigarette holder. Evelyn likes her clothes.

From this point on, Shemeshka is referred to as Diath's girlfriend, which he really doesn't like. Very amusing!

Diath... blushing

Shemeshka checks out Jared's pendant. It's not magical. She drops it. Diath asks about Strix and she says that she did a little research. She says that Strix was summoned via infernal contract by Omin Dran.

He messes up his other two questions. "Can I take a raincheck on that?" Shemeshka says a bunch of things, suggesting that the group doesn't need Strix because Xandala is a suitable replacement.

She also says, "The Skizzixes are coming for you." That's Strix's family. Hmm... who are these people? Are they after Diath?

She also again drops the name "Locatha" or "Lorcatha". Who or what is that?

Xandala wants the ring of winter from Artus. Artus says she isn't who she says she is. Paultin wants the ring, too.

Paultin makes a high persuasion roll. Artus wants to accommodate him.. he says that he will travel with them and decide whether Paultin is worthy to wear the ring. Yikes, that will be awesome and terrifying.

After lots of talking, the group knows that Strix is in Chult and they want to go there ASAP. Xandala is worried that Klauth will find them. She chucks the sending stone that her former crew used to communicate with Klauth over the side.

Some rolls are made and Xandala "made a 1", becoming the first member of the waffle crew to roll a 1. There was a poll on twitter where people could vote on who would do so. Strix got the most votes (fun fact: Strix wins every twitter poll).

Evelyn realizes that he mouse, Juniper, is freezing. Since Evelyn is  construct, she has no way to warm up Juniper.She hand Juniper to Xandala and suddenly, her pseudodragon eats Juniper! Xandala rolls a 20 to persuade Summerwise to spit the mouse out. Evelyn resuscitates Juniper with a lay on hands. The look on everyone's faces when that happened.. good gawd.

The group notices that Paultin is sick. He says he has motion sickness/allergies. It's the death curse!

Xandala notices that Artus is not wearing the ring of winter. She points it out to everyone.

Over the course of a few days, Paultin loses some  max hp and gets sicker and sicker. Artus says Paultin will be dead by the time they get to Chult.


Strix appears!  She declares that she won the dinosaur race. She says Omin is nice and that Jim is an asshole.

Strix tells the group about Acererak and the Soulmonger. Xandala wants to find a quicker way to Chult.

After much debate.. they summon Shemeshka again. They are thinking about jumping through her portal which makes my eyes explode. I would love that so much.

Would Chris use post-Faction War Sigil? I guess he would. Would the crew have a run-in with the Lady of Pain?

Shemeshka has a vial and a scroll for them. They can use this stuff to summon the Sewn Sisters. The affected heroes will need to suffer through three things in order for the sisters to stave off the death curse.

They ask Shemeshka, "Where can we find the Soulmonger?" It's hidden under the city of Omu. Strix points out that she was just in Omu, so she knows where it is.

Shemeshka agrees to teleport the group to Chult if Diath does something for her. She casts a geas spell (this spell forces a quest on you - you take a pile of damage every time you defy it). She wants Diath to find a person named "Mr. Fox". She wants his spectacles and the spellbook that he took from her library.

They have to pick people. They exclude Godfrey and Xandala. Xandala decides to cast dominate person on Artus. Xandala gives a great monologue, talking about how the Harpers are ineffective and that she's going to take care of things herself. She has "plans for this world."

Strix tries to stop her. Roll initiative! And... here come Klauth the red dragon. That's where we stop!


I'm going to talk about the show and then march into spoiler territory, so beware!

Great show! A little too much debating in the middle, but they are all fun to watch so it was fine. The show is really good and it makes me very happy to see it get bigger and bigger. I should note they have a new intro, and it is really great. It feature all of the heroes getting trapped in the Soulmonger.

As far as I'm concerned, Dani is the "fifth waffle". She should be on the show as often as possible. Maybe they could put her on a new show or something. Let's imagine a super group:
  • DM: Mike Mearls (I'd like to see him running something, at least on occasion!)
  • Dani Hartel
  • Trump from Missclicks
  • Milynn Sarley from Maze Arcana
  • Taliesin Jaffe from Critical Role
I'd watch the crap out of that show!

Xandala: If you want to know what the deal with Xandala is, check out pages 58 and 236 in Tomb of Annihilation.

The Sewn Sisters: They are on page 180 of Tomb of Annihilation. The people who make D&D seem to really like hags! I think there's at least one hag in every adventure so far.

The sisters are Widow Groat, Peggy Deadbells and Baggy Nana. They're probably going to want the hair or blood of the heroes, which will lead to some hilarious, insane stuff.

What's weird here is, as far as I can tell, these ladies guard the Soulmonger. They are not going to be inclined to help the heroes.

Also interesting is that the Acq Inc group has also been pointed in the direction of the Sewn Sisters. Maybe we'll get some kind of taped Christmas show where the waffle crew and Acq Inc have a crossover.

"Mr. Fox": This person is on page 188 of Tomb of Annihilation. Shemeshka wants two things of his:
  • His Spectacles: They're not magical but acts as a portal key in the city of Sigil.
  • Shemeshka's Book: This place is full of spellbooks. One must be hers. Maybe Chris will make it a Demonomicon of Iggwilv or something. There is one named book: "X the Mystic's Arcane Grimoire." 
X the Mystic has a bunch of quotes about "dungeon survival" in the 5e MM. X was originally a pre-made character from the classic 1e module, Dwellers of the Forbidden City. Chapter 3 of Tomb of Annihilation is actually named "Dwellers of the Forbidden City", so you got yourself an easter egg here. I wrote about all this weird stuff in this article right here.

I'm glad the show is back!

Sunday, September 17, 2017

Dungeons & Dragons - Cellar of Death (Tomb of Annihilation DMs Guild Adept tie-in)

You can buy Cellar of Death right here.

Howsabout we look at one of the DMs Guild Adept Tomb of Annihilation tie-ins? This one is called Cellar of Death, created by James Introcaso.

This adventure is for level one characters (!) and it actually takes place in the Cloakwood over on the Sword Coast. This adventure explains who the lich was that told the Harpers about the Soulmonger at the start of the Tomb of Annihilation book. 

This one actually begins with the group creating an NPC that everyone is linked to. Then we get to the intro boxed text and that NPC is dead! Killed by the death curse! Cracked me up.

I think some groups will love this. Each character gives a eulogy. Very funny idea!

The group gets involved in a raid on a lich's tower. The Harpers (a band of heroic adventurers) will attack it while the heroes slip inside and steal the lich's phylactery.

It talks about taking rests. The Harper assault is over an hour? If I was playing through this, I'd assume we've got 15 minutes, tops.

I really like the lich. Her name is Zaldara Cordress, the Duchess of Rot.
  • Her face is half-beautiful, half-skull
  • Her presence lowers the temperature of the room she's in.
There's a fun skull-face trap and another sea-monster-themed door trap that I really like.

There is a gem chamber that has an effect that I love! This dungeon feels just a little Dungeon Crawl Classic-y, which I like a lot. 

Here's a tremendous quote for you: "The ghouls take baths in the blood fountain."

There is a note saying that if the heroes try to go out and help the Harpers, a monster forces the adventurers back down into the cellar. I think it would be better to just have the Harpers yell at them: "What the hell are you doing?!" If the adventurers stay out there, the lich annihilates them.

There is a room with a water trap that I really like, but I don't quite understand where the trapdoor is. It sounds like it is set into the floor. The author has great rules for getting the doors open. He made sure to make it take more than a single die roll to open the sealed doors.

In the treasury, an iron chest sits between two humming pillars. I can just picture players going "uh oh" when they hear that description.

Once the phylactery is obtained, the group will have to contend with a severely injured lich! She only has 1st and 2nd level spells left. Her casting a Melf's acid arrow might off a character.

I like this one a lot! I can just picture myself running this for new players. I think it would go very well.

This is an adventure that you can drop into any campaign. It is not jungle-themed and it can be used in many different ways.

I really appreciate that the author kept it so short. It's 10 pages, plus a map and monster stats. In those 10 pages is a dungeon with 13 rooms, and more. Each room has its own fresh gimmick, described incredibly succinctly. That makes this adventure ideal for DMs, because it is so easy to prepare.

I personally love that you actually rub elbows with a powerful monster in this. Some players might expect her lair to have higher DCs and effects, which could cause some meta-gamey problems.

I notice that, as far as I can tell, it is possible to get the phylactery after passing through just two rooms. At first I balked at this, but then I saw that the heroes have to make their way through the prison, which is potentially five rooms in one.

I would say that the title kind of undersells the content. I'd prefer something like "The Duchess of Rot", as it has a little more spice.

People praise Phandelver often, but I'd run this adventure over the Cragmaw Hideout any day. This dungeon has a heck of a lot of ideas packed into it, it's really easy to prepare, and it seems like it would be a lot of fun to play through.

Friday, September 15, 2017

The Tortle Package - D&D Tomb of Annihilation Supplement

You can buy this on the DMs Guild. Profits go to charity!

I don't want to spoil too much about this, but I want to give you an idea of what's in it. It's by Chris Perkins and ties in to the Tomb of Annihilation.

The Tortle Race

So, you can make a tortle character, eh? Let's see what that is like:
  • Their speed is 30. I figured it would be slower. 
  • They can hold their breath for up to an hour.
  • They have a natural AC of 17!
  • They can withdraw into their shell, gaining a +4 to AC.
That seems really fun!

Tortle Guides

We get three new tortle NPC guides who can help the heroes make their way through the jungle of Chult:
  • Eeyal: She's trusty, smart and wear goggles.
  • Kwilgok: Great name! He travels on an ankylosaurus named Deadly Treasure. He is Jobal-sanctioned. I love this guy.
  • Mudgraw: He has a tragic secret that he tries to keep to himself.
There are a bunch of maps in here by Will Doyle, who writes a lot of quality D&D stuff. His maps are really good, too! What a talented guy. Check it out:

We get details of Fort Ahoyhoy, home of the tortles. They sell some really cool stuff there, such as:
  • 80 pounds of coconuts
  • A pteranodon egg!
  • An axe beak on a leash
  • A 500 gp diamond (costs 500 gp, har har)
Dangwaru (The Typhoon Palace)

This is an abandoned temple of Umberlee. Chris Perkins writes about Umberlee a lot, doesn't he?

Dungwaru is a large location that would definitely take a session to fully explore. Parts that stick out to me:
  • There's a very cool part where you might be able to turn into a crab.
  • Sitting on a throne has a couple of really fun effects.
  • The classic deadly gazebo!
  • The group might find "booty ransacked from shipwrecks" including Zakharan perfume. (Zakhara = Al Qadim), a Quaal's feather token and 40 gallons of wine!
  • There's a really cool room where seawater might drag heroes a great distance.
  • The final encounter is pretty unique. The bad guy can do some cool stuff with a statue.
High Horn: This is my favorite part of this whole document. High Horn is an area where there are 6 shipwrecks in the water. At low tide, they are all visible to the naked eye.

A few of the ships could use some spicing up, but I think this will make for a really fun session of D&D. Without getting too spoiler-y, I think that you could use Myldryd Urchinspine to feed the group info relevant to the search for Omu and the nature of the Soulmonger.

Mud Pits of Florrb: Home to a mud mephit. There is a portal to the Elemental Plane of Earth here! I wrote a whole guide about that place.

There are new monsters:
  • Decapus: A tentacle-thing with really awesome art (and I usually hate tentacle-things).
  • Geonids: Rock-people.
  • Topi: Creepy 2-foot-tall undead.
  • Tortles: Full of Tortly goodness.
We get handouts for each guide and 3 more maps.


I was wondering how joke-y this would be. It isn't really a joke at all. It is all usable stuff.

I think the tortle race will be popular. Some people will want to make a tortle just for the 17 AC, others because it sounds hilarious to retreat into your shell.

The island is very cool. The temple is a very fun location and I love the shipwrecks.

Tomb of Annihilation is already overloaded with stuff to use. When you factor in the guild adept products, there is way, way too much material to fit in your game.

That said, I like this location and I think I'm going to use it. If you do the same, you might want to change it a bit to make it more relevant to the plot, but that is easily done.

This is definitely worth taking a look at!

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Tomb of Annihilation Episode 1 - City on the Edge

You can watch this session on youtube here.
The 10-minute highlight version is here.

For a long time, I ran games in a game store. This blog started off mostly so I could write about what that's like.

Things I liked about it:
  • You meet tons of players to put in your home games.
  • Running unique "official" stuff.
  • Getting special free products: Dice, adventures, poster maps, etc.
Things I didn't like:
  • Playing in a public space.
  • Getting stuck with unpleasant players.
  • Game store "politics".
It's been a year or two since I stopped and almost as soon as I did, I missed running for my group of kids. They were really awesome. I wrote a lot about Dark the Dragon Sorceress, played by a 9 year old girl. I still say that out of the hundreds of players that I have run for, she was one of the best. I can only think of one player better.

I don't want to go back to running D&D adventures in a game store, so I figure I'll try to replace that with online games. My "kids" are now my online players.

Earlier this year, I ran a bunch of online test games to get the hang of it and learn how the whole thing works.

I am using xSplit to set up the overlay and we are using Skype to connect with each other. So far, it has worked great. I had to get a new computer to handle all of this.

I don't think I'll be doing live Twitch shows. For now, I'll stick with posting recordings on youtube. That allows me time to order art, to edit, and to make graphics.

The first episode is 90 minutes long. The rest will be 45 minutes to an hour and shows will be posted every Wednesday. I'll also include a super-short version so you can keep up without sinking hours of your life into it.

As of this writing, episodes 1-3 are recorded and episode 1 is posted.

The Party

(Ryan) Mistletoe - Human Druid
(Garrett) Ramrod - Goliath Barbarian
(Annalise) Val - Tiefling Sorcerer
(Joe) Zavagor - Half-orc Warlock

When I started this session, the tomb book wasn't out yet! The first three episodes use material from City on the Edge and Over the Edge. I set this on the world that I ran the Savage Tide campaign (from 2010) and my Skull and Shackles campaign (from 2013) on.

I love pirates, so I worked those in. There is an AWESOME NPC from Skull & Shackles that I decided to use. She is Isabella "Inkskin" Locke, a pirate captain who has a treasure map tattoo and wields a magic cutlass known as Brine's Sting. I used her in Skull & Shackles, but there was so much going on that she didn't get to do much. Now I can dangle her in front of a new group of heroes.

In order to have something of a clean slate, I used events from my Planescape campaign to combine some realities that caused little changes that will help make this campaign more accessible to new viewers.

At the start, the heroes are 1st level. Thanks in part to the reality "revision", the heroes are in the Hall of Final Fate in the Shadowfell - lost souls collected by Vorkhesis, son of the Raven Queen.

Tomb of Annihilation is all about the death curse. Souls are being destroyed. This does not sit well with the Raven Queen, so Vorkhesis sends our lost souls to go take care of it.

The heroes have their albino froghemoth with them. He is a "runt" and is supremely uncoordinated. I use him for comedy and as a tool to help the group along if they get stuck. He's also there to help them form an emotional connection with the world.

This is the overlay I made

Technical Stuff: I was very worried that I was going to mess up the recording, but thanks to all of my preparation, it went quite well! I recorded at lower settings just to make sure my computer could handle it. I'll be using higher settings next time, so the video quality will be sharper.

On this first episode, I used a snowball microphone. I love this thing, but it picked up my air conditioner a little bit. I bought and used a headset for episodes 2 and 3.

Using Port Nyanzaru: One of my strengths as a DM is running city adventures. Like in so many other paths, Tomb of Annihilation starts off in an awesome city, and then the group leaves it behind for good. After a lot of thought, I think I figured out a way to get the group back to the city periodically throughout the campaign.

Recurring Jokes: Because my games are stupid, one of the first things I did in this was to have an NPC look at the group and their froghemoth, pause, and say.. "That's a big frog you got there!"

My goal is to have people say this to them over and over, in many different voices, and then have it said in unexpected situations. I want to see how many ways I can work it in. I've hit them with it three times so far and they haven't noticed.

The heroes riding in the cart
Exploring the City: The group hitched a ride on a cart pulled by a stegosaurus and helped a guy deliver laundry to some pirates. Along the way, I had a jerk kid harass the group. Ramrod got out and actually threw the kid. The kid was very well-received, so I have some plans for this little feller.

The heroes couldn't help but notice that super-fast Tomb of Annihilation zombies were eating a sleeping pirate, so they jumped in to help. The heroes were victorious and befriended the pirates, including mighty Captain Inkskin.

As I had hoped, the heroes asked how the heck the zombies got on there. I set up this really stupid story and got to pull the trigger on it. The zombies were stowaways! The pirates had gone to Zombie Island and wouldn't you know it, there were zombie on the island! They snuck on board while the pirates were drunk.

The fact that I got to roll this dumbass story out and see the reactions of the players just killed me. It's my way of saying: Yes, this is what you signed up for. It will only get stupider from here
Mistletoe on his dinosaur

Then we jumped into one of my favorite scenarios from City on the Edge - Dinosaur racing! Weirdly, the racing rules in it are completely different than the ones in the Tomb of Annihilation book. Honestly, I like the City on the Edge version better.

In this scenario, the heroes race against another group of adventurers known as... the Green Vipers, who I fleshed out. I always love the "other adventuring party" trope. They are:
  • Nara, the smart lady.
  • Ladarius, the handsome dude.
  • JIM CRANK, an angry dwarf who doesn't take any crap.
  • Deidre the Slinker, a stealthy tabaxi.
Each racer rode an allosaurus, and a number of memorable moments were had. Mistletoe cast shilleleigh on his staff so that it left a trail of light. Val just took off right from the start and didn't look back. Poor Jim Crank, my badass NPC, couldn't roll above a 10.

We stopped halfway through the race and I was very, very pleased with how it went.

In Tomb of Annihilation, there are 9 trickster gods. Towards the end of the adventure, a trickster god enters the body of each of the heroes and gives them a special boon (such as the ability to turn invisible at will, or a 23 Strength!!) and also a flaw (such as selfishness or paranoia).

I was sitting here thinking about how to tie in the backstories of the heroes to all of this. I realized that each hero has a major entity tied to them:
  • Mistletoe: The Queen of Air and Darkness (from the Feywild)
  • Ramrod: A phoenix (!)
  • Val: (A miysterious entity yet to be revealed)
  • Zavagor: Eman, the home-brewed demon queen.
So here's what I'm thinking. The GREEN VIPERS will be possessed by the tricksters. The heroes will be possessed by their backstory entities!

I think that will work out really well.

This could all change as we see what works and what doesn't, but I've got a nice little roadmap to work with.

Next week, I'll write about episode 2, where Val absolutely KILLS IT with her quick wit. I was floored. She did it again on episode 3, as well.

The group also meets Kwayothe, a merchant prince who I think might become a major part of this campaign.

Sunday, September 10, 2017

Dungeons & Dragons - A Guide to Tomb of Annihilation

For the next few weeks, I'll be adding to this guide. Hopefully, this will help you plan and prepare Tomb of Annihilation.

I am running an online Tomb of Annihilation campaign on youtube. You can check it out here. The first few episodes use the dinosaur racing rules from City on the Edge. I'll be testing out some new ideas for dinosaur racing in episode 5.

DMs Guild Adept Tie-ins
Adventurers League
I'm going to start off by listing groups of NPCs in clumps. I'll try to put all of their info right here.

List of NPC Guides
  • (pg 33) Guides must register and serve the merchant prince Jobal.
  • Those who don't are "beaten, blinded, or beheaded."
  • Guides charge 5 gp per day, 30 day up front (150 gp).
  • Page 244 has "handouts" that explain what each guide can offer. Hopefully these are available in pdf form somewhere.
(pg 33) Azaka Stormfang: Weretiger (MM pg 210)
  • She hides her lycanthropy as best she can.
  • Will guide group for free if they'll retrieve an item from firefinger (page 52). It's a mask of the beast (page 207).
  • Afraid of heights.
(pg 34) Eku: Couatl (MM pg 43)
  • Wow. She's a couatl polymorphed into the form of a Chultan woman!
  • She knows where Omu is! She's looking for heroes to go there.
  • Eku hates Nanny Pu'pu.
(pg 34) Faroul and Gondolo: Human and halfling scouts (MM pg 349)
  • Two rich dandies who gambled away the money their parents gave them.
  • Own a "flatulent triceratops" named Zongo.
  • Faroul is a human who rarely ues his weapon.
  • Gondolo is a halfling who considers himelf to be a poet/philosopher.
(pg 35) Flask of Wine and River Mist: Tabaxi hunters (page 232)
  • Siblings, members of the Zhentarim.
  • Pay no fees to Jobal.
  • River is female, has an eye patch, prefers jungle to civilization.
  • Flask is male, quiet, defers to sister.
  • The Zhentarim wants them to look for Artus Cimber.
(pg 34) Hew Hackenstone: Dwarf
  • Berserker (MM pg 344)
  • Hew had his arm bit off by a red dragon named Tinder.
  • He wants to go kill the dragon at Wyrmheart Mine (pg 85).
Hew Hackinstone (Chaotic neutral dwarf) AC 13 HP 67 Spd 30 +5 to hit, 7 (d8+3) slashing dmg.
  • Reckless. Has adv to hit, creatures have advantage to hit him.
  • Adv on saves vs. poison.
  • Resistant to poison dmg.
  • Darkvision 60 ft.
(pg 34) Musharib: Albino dwarf spirit warrior (page 210).
  • Wants to reclaim Hrakhamar.
  • Armor made from dinosaur bones.
  • Skullbash: His wooden maul.
(pg 35) Qawasha and Kupalue: Druid (MM pg 346) vegepygmy (page 235)
  • They communicate through unique sign language.
  • Qawasha hates the undead and is a chwinga magnet.
(pg 35) Salida: Yuan-ti pureblood (page 310)
  • Poses as a human guide.
  • Secretly works for Ras Nsi.
  • She communicates with Ras via a sending stone.
  • Good liar, an insult artist. 
(pg 35) Shago: Gladiator (MM pg 346)
  • Son of merchant prince Zhanthi.
  • Works at Fort Beluarian, in league with Flaming Fist.
  • Wants to be proactive about the undead threat.
  • Hopes to move up the ranks by impressing Liara Porter.
Pirate Captains

(pg 67) Elok Jaharwon: Wereboar, captain of the Dragon Fang.
  • They recently threw Zilla Atazi overboard for insubordination. They don't know that she is alive and imprisoned by the yuan-ti (area 8, pg 118).

(pg 67) Laskilar: Human, captain of the Stirge

(pg 21) Ortimay: Female gnome, captain of the Brazen Pegasus.
  • (info from pg 21-22) You can find this ship in the harbor ward (pg 21).
  • You can book passage for 10 gp/day (for the whole group).
  • Co-Captain Dark: gnome bandit captain (MM pg 344), clever and calm.
  • 1st mate Greg Ruddell: male human veteran (MM pg 350), big guy with a heavy greyish beard.
  • Crew: 6 sailors aka bandits (MM pg 343)
  • (pg 67) Zaroum Al-aryak: Human, captain of the Emerald Eye
Merchant Princes: Stuff to know:
  • The 7 richest people in the city.
  • Each has an equal vote in matters of the state.
  • They conduct business at Goldenthrone (page 20).
  • Each has a monopoly on the sale of certain items in the city.
(pg 25) Ekene-Afa: Weapons, shields, traveling gear, canoes etc.
  • She is a famous former gladiator (see "Grand Coliseum" on pg 22).
  • A gladiator (MM pg 346).
  • Her husband is Kura, a painter.
  • She has two twin sons, Sohen (city guard) and Tiryk (dinosaur racer).
  • She sells some magic shields and weapons (list on pg 25).
  • Villa: Has weapon/shields/painting on display. Lots of caged parrots.
(pg 25) Ifan Tal'roa: Beasts
  • A noble (MM pg 348).
  • Sells animals (list on page 26).
  • Trusts no one, has no family.
  • Jealous of Wakanga and Ekene-Afa.
  • Secretly informs the yuan-ti when adventurers are heading their way. 
  • Uses flying snakes as messengers.
  • Only sells flying snakes to the Zhentarim. 
  • Villa: Relics on display. Flying snakes (MM pg 322) flying around.
(pg 26) Jessamine: Plants, poisons, assassinations.
  • Assassin (MM pg 343).
  • Sells all poisons in the DMG (DMG pg 257).
  • Has the death curse.
  • Quiet, usually casts the deciding vote.
  • Has a monopoly on sanctions - legal murder.
  • Villa: Lots of snake decorations/carvings.
(pg 26) Jobal: Guides and mercenaries.
  • Scout (MM pg 349).
  • In charge of the guides (listed on pg 33). 
  • Chief spy/consort is Aazon Talieri (Spy MM pg 349). 
  • Wants Syndra Silvane's map real bad. 
  • Villa: Mounted heads of beasts on display.
(pg 26) Kwayothe: Fruit, wine, perfume, tej, insect repellent.
  • Priest (MM pg 348).
  • Wears a ring of resistance (fire) (DMG pg 192).
  • Worships Kossuth.
  • Enjoys torturing people with hot coals.
  • Consorts include Ixis (succubus MM pg 285) and Indar (incubus pg 285) 
  • Despises Zhanthi.
  • Employs traders who sell tej and insect repellent (pg 31). 
  • Villa: Strong smell of perfume. Braziers always burning.
(pg 27) Wakanga O'tamu: Magic and lore
  • Mage (MM pg 347).
  • Friend of Syndra Silvane.
  • Secret ally of the Harpers.
  • Sells potions and scrolls.
  • Has a journal that can lead to the shield guardian, Vorn.
  • If the group gives Wakanga Vorn's amulet, he will give them a spellbook with 15 random spells in it.
  • Villa: Soft music plays throughout. Flying swords (MM pg 20) and rugs of smothering (MM pg 20).
(pg 27) Zhanthi: Gems, jewelry, cloth, armor.
  • Noble (MM pg 348).
  • Secret member of the Ytepka Society.
  • Her son is Shago, who is at Fort Beluarian. He send her reports on what is happening there.
  • Knows about Liara Porter's deal with the pirates. She has Zindar looking for people to take care of it. 
  • Villa: Suits of gold-plated armor. Bejeweled skulls of ancestors. 
The Death Curse
  • Was activated 20 days ago.
  • Anyone who has previously been brought back from the dead begins to waste away.
  • Their hit point max is reduced by 20, and decreases by 1 every midnight. Once at 0 hit points, they die.
  • The soul of anyone who dies is trapped in the Soulmonger. An atropal eats the souls. Once it ha enough, it will become an evil god.
  • Liches can't trap souls in their phylacteries.
  • The spells revivify, raise dead, resurrection, and true resurrection do not work.
  • The Soulmonger does not affect pre-existing ghosts and spirits. Speak with dead and other spells like it still work normally.
  • When a soul is trapped in the Soulmonger, roll a d20 each day. On a roll of 1, the soul is destroyed.
  • Spells like commune and divination can determine if a soul ha been destroyed yet.
  • The DM decides when the atropal has enough souls to become a guide. It could be months or years.
The Plot
  • The group is in Baldur's Gate. Their friend, Syndra Silvane, has the death curse. She asks the group to go to Chult to find the Soulmonger.
  • Syndra will be dead in 79 days. That's how long the group has to get this done.
  • The Soulmonger is in the Tomb of the Nine Gods, which is located in Omu.
  • Ras Nsi and the yuan-ti are in Omu, trying to end the world.
  • Also in Omu are the trickster gods and their shrines. Each shrine holds a puzzle box that is a key to getting into the Tomb of the Nine Gods.
  • The Soulmonger is feeding soul to an atropal. Once it has enough, it will transform into an evil god.
  • If the heroes destroy the Soulmonger, the death curse is ended.
  • Acererak will attack the heroes. The trickster gods will aid the adventurers in their battle against him
Summary and Leveling Guide
  • (level 1) The heroes explore Port Nyanzaru.
  • (levels 1-6) They explore the jungles of Chult.
  • (levels 5-8) They find the ruins of Omu.
  • (levels 7-9) In Omu, they will battle the yuan-ti.
  • (level 9) Then they will make their way through the Tomb of the Nine Gods.
  • The book says the group will be around 11th level at the end. The tomb is very big.
Meatgrinder Mode: If you want, you can say that the Soulmonger make it so that you only pass a death save on a roll of 15+ instead of 10+.

If a Character Dies: They can't be raised. They need to use a new character.

What's the Seal With Artus Cimber? He is waiting for the city of Mezro to return from a demiplane (he doesn't know that it won't come back until Ra Nsi is slain). His girlfriend, Alisanda, is there. In the meantime, he's searching for the ruins of Orolunga to get advice from the naga there. The frost giants are looking for Artus because they want his ring of winter. This is explained on page 74.

Who is Ubtao?
  • Ubtao was a god who lived among the people of Chult.
  • The constant warring between tribes eventually led to Ubtao deserting them in disgust.
  • The Chultans have made peace in the 100 years since, but Ubtao has not returned.
  • Dinosaurs are revered as Ubtao's sacred children.
Chapter 1: Port Nyanzaru

When the group arrives, Syndra Silvermane will be staying at Wakanga's place. The two main choices for the group are the Thundering Lizard or Kaya's House of Repose.

Encounters: It's easy to overlook page 193, which has a bunch of fun encounters you can use in Port Nyanzaru. Make sure to check it out!

Side Quests: Here's a super-short version of all this stuff:
  1. Collect a Debt: Beat up a gladiator
  2. Create a Distraction: Escort a spy to a jungle fort and create a distraction while the spy steals information.
  3. Escort a Priest: Escort a priest to Camp Vengeance.
  4. Explore the Aldani Basin: Go see if there is a base full of wizards here.
  5. Find Artus Cimber: The daughter of Artus wants the group to find Artus, but there's more to this than it seems.
  6. Help a Dyeing Man: The group has 10 days to kill a certain dude.
  7. Help the Lords' Alliance: If the group can make an accurate map of the locations of two ruins, they get a sailing ship.
  8. Hunt Pirates: Take out 3 pirate ships and capture the captains.
  9. Save an Innocent Man: Help a guy survive a public fight with 2 velociraptors without being noticed by the crowd.
  10. Seek Wisdom at Orolunga: The group is mysteriously directed to speak to a seer who lives south of Mbala.
The Locations in Port Nyanzaru

The city is divided into sections, some of which are outside the city walls.

Old City: This area has 3 ruined ziggurats and people living in bamboo huts.

1. Beggars' Palace (pg 18): There are shops and bamboo tenements on the two larger ziggurats.

2. Executioner's Run (pg 18): Criminals are thrown in this dinosaur pit. Those who escape win their freedom. Crowds gather and bet on these events.

In Encounters in Port Nyanzaru, there is a scenario where a dude falls in and the group has to save him.

3. Refuse Pit (pg 20): People throw their garbage in here. There are otyughs (MM pg 248) at the bottom.

In Encounters in Port Nyanzaru, there's a scenario set here involving an otyugh that is tricking people into coming into the pit.

Merchants' Ward (pg 20): Upper class area full of shops.

4. Goldenthrone (pg 20): Guarded by 8 gladiators (MM pg 345). The Merchant Princes run Port Nyanzaru from this place. If you show up to meet with a prince, there is a 1 in 6 chance they are there. If they are, you'll have to wait d3 hours to meet them.

5. Merchant Prince's Villa (pg 20): There are details on each individual villa on pg 27. Here they are:
  • Ekene-Afa: Lots of caged squawking parrots. Paintings, shields and weapon hanging on the walls.
  • Ifan Talro'a: Flying snakes swoop around freely.  Displays of relics obtained from ruins.
  • Jessamine: Walls and pillars painted with colorful serpents, decorative serpent-themed fountains.
  • Jobal: Silk draperies, mounted heads of beasts.
  • Kwayothe: Reeks of perfume. There are bowls of fruit for you. Oil lamps and braziers are always lit.
  • Wakanga: Lit with continual flame spells. Magic music plays throughout (easy listening?). Doors are arcane locked (PH pg 215. Flying swords (MM pg 20) and rugs of smothering (MM pg 20) abound.
  • Zhanthi: Standing suit of gold-plated armor, bejeweled skulls of Zhanthi's ancestors. 
6. Grand Souk (pg 20): You can buy almost anything in the PH here. No elephants. Heavy armor is rare. Check out page 31, "Buying Special Items". Heavy armor costs 3x the normal price. If the character makes a DC 15 persuasion check, it's 2x. Armor prices are on PH pg 145.

7. Temple of Savras (pg 20): Savras is a god of wizards/fortune tellers.

Head Priest: Grandfather Zitembe (priest MM pg 348)

When the group first meets Zitembe, he is arguing with three members of the Zhentarim (assassins MM pg 343). Zitembe shoos them away. Zitembe can use his magic to locate Omu.

8. Temple of Gond (pg 21): Popular among crafters. There is a huge fountain here that has water jets that create amazing shapes.

9. Temple of Sune (pg 21): Accessible by boat or causeway, an illusion make it look like the roof hovers in the air. When you first go there and meet the clergy, make a Cha check DC 15. Success: You're accepted. Fail: You get pity for being unattractive.

10. Jewel Market: Sells jewels and luxury items. Lots of guards (MM pg 347) and spies (MM pg 349).

Harbor Ward: You can book passage on the Brazen Pegasus for 10 gp/day (for the whole group).

11. Royal Docks (pg 22): Exclusively used by the rich and fabulous.

12. Statue (pg 22): This is Na N'buso, an "ancient king". The statue was made 5 years ago and it is meant to impress outsiders.

13. Harbormaster's Office (pg 22): Outside of this building is a bulletin board that lists the available guides (see pg 33). Zindar is a half-gold dragon who watches over the harbor. His stats are on page 239.

14. Lighthouse (pg 22): It can make colored smoke that can be seen from far away.

15. Fort Nyanzaru (pg 22): It has a chain that can block the harbor. It's got stuff:
  • 2 ballistas: Ballista: +6 to hit, 16 (3d10) damage. It takes an action to load, an action to aim, and an action to fire.
  • 1 noble (MM pg 348).
  • 4 veterans (MM pg 350).
  • 40 guards (MM pg 347).
16. Warehouse District (pg 22): Ships are towed by dinosaurs.

17. Dry Dock (pg 22): Ships get repaired here. Dinosaurs pull ships out of the water.

Market Ward: Middle class area with shops and tradesfolk.

(pages 31-32) Special Items:
  • Canoe 50 gp
  • Insect Repellent 1 gp for 20 doses
  • Rain Catcher 1gp
  • Tej (fermented honey) A mug costs 4 cp, 1 gallon cask is 2 sp.
  • Ylkwa (a type of spear that does d8 dmg) 1 gp
18. Red Bazaar (pg 23): You can buy dinosaur meat (!), vegetables, fruit, tej (fermented honey), insect repellent, rain catchers, etc.

  • The Thundering Lizard: 5 sp/night, raucous clientele. You might want to have someone mention that a tabaxi minstrel disappeared fairly recently. His name is Pottery Shard. He is a prisoner of the yuan-ti (pg 118).
  • Kaya's House of Repose: 1 gp/night, nice place, quiet.
19. Fish Market (pg 23): Prices are higher in the morning.

20. Grand Coliseum (pg 23): Statues of legendary gladiators line tops of the walls. There are events every day. There are some awesome events detailed in City on the Edge.

21. Hall of Gold (pg 23): Temple to Waukeen, goddess of trade and wealth. It is also a major bank. Run by Sibonseni, Mother of Prosperity (priest MM pg 348) she is very popular. When she travels in the streets, she's carried in a sedan chair and accompanied by drummers and dancers.

22. Public Bathhouse (pg 24): Run by priests of Sune. There is no charge, but a donation is requested. A masseuse costs 2d10 sp.

Malar's Throat: Buildings on either side of a ravine, connected by rope bridges.

24. Temple of Tymora (pg 24): This is where the people of Malar's Throat flee to when zombies attack.

Tiryiki Anchorage: Home to animal trainers, river folk and unsavory types. This is where most dinosaurs are trained.

25. Dinosaur Pens: Dinosaurs trained for street racing are stabled here.


(pg 27) 1. Entryway: d4+1 gladiators (MM pg 346).

(pg 28) 5. Garden: Has rare plants (see pg 205).

(pg 28) 7. Sauna: fire elemental (MM pg 125)

(pg 28) 8. Bath: They hold meetings in the bath. You should probably squeeze that in if you can (bring a squeegee).

(pg 29) 10. Library: Full of books on mythical romance. Let's whip some up:
  • Death Betrayed: The Raven Queen and Nerull story.
  • The Brimstone Angel: Faridah and Lorcan.
  • From the Moathouse With Love: Rufus and Burne (from the Village of Hommlet).
  • I, Strahd: Strahd, Tatyana and Sergei.
  • Abyssal Passions: Grazz't and Iggwilv.
  • Crustaceans of Love: The many suitors of Blipdoolpoolp.
  • Hell's Fury: The story of the love triangle between Glasya, Levistus, and Naome (Glasya's mother).
  • Dark Deeds: Lolth and Corellon.
  • Caged Yearning: Shemeshka the Marauder and A'kin the Friendly Fiend.
  • I Love You, Me: The tale of one ettin's erotic awakening.
DC 15 Investigation Check reveals books on Chultan lore, which can be used to help direct players.

12. Master Suite: Treasure chart is on DMG page 136. You might want to roll this ahead of time to keep thing moving.

If there's jewelry, it's in a lockbox that requires a DC 15 thievery check to open.

13. Guard Room: d4+1 gladiators (MM pg 346).

(pg 29) Laws and Punishments
  • The court is not corrupt
  • Slavery is frowned upon
  • Murder is illegal, but you can purchase a "sanction" for 150 gp+ that allows you to whack someone.
(pg 29) Factions
  • Emerald Enclave: They focus on handling the hordes of undead in the jungle.
  • Flaming Fist: A mercenary company from Baldur's Gate. Looking to plunder Omu. Highest ranking member is Liara Portyr (pg 227)
  • (pg 29) Harpers: Secret organization of heroes. Artus Cimber (pg 212) is a former member of the Harpers. He is somewhere in Chult. The Harpers are looking for him. One agent of theirs, Lomar Dral, went missing searching for Artus. Lomar is imprisoned in area 8, pg 118.
  • (pg 29) Lords' Alliance: Sort of lumped in with the Flaming Fist.
  • (pg 29) Order of the Gauntlet: Battling the undead menace. Their camp, Fort Righteous (pg ), was overrun by undead. They set up Camp Vengeance, run by the inept Niles Breakbone.
  • (pg 29) Red Wizards of Thay: They want to steal the Soulmonger. They're at the heart of Ubtao with Xandala (pg 58).
  • (pg 30) Ytepka Society: Protector of the city. Working to track down and eliminate the pirates that are causing problems. They warn people by anonymously delivering an iron token bearing the likeness of a triceratops.
  • (pg 30) Zhentarim: Shady people. The merchant princes use them as guards and hunters. They are looking for Artus Cimber. They want to steal the Ring of Winter from him.
(pg 31) Things to Do in Port Nyanzaru

Buying a Special Item: You can get pretty much everything in the PH. Heavy armor cost 2-3 times more than normal.

Black Market: Using the black market in Tiryiki Anchorage or Malar's Throat requires as DC 15 Deception check. Black Market prices are d4+2 times more expensive!
  • (pg 31)Canoe 50 gp Max speed of 2 mph. Stats of a rowboat (DMG pg 119).
  • (pg 32) Insect Repellent 1 gp for 20 Lasts for 8 hours, 20-foot radius. Vial of salve is 1 gp, lasts for 24 hours.
  • (pg 32) Rain Catcher 1 gp Tarp and frame that can catch and hold up to 8 gallons of water.
  • (pg 32) Tej 2 sp for a 1 gallon cask Fermented drink made from honey. Kwayothe sells this stuff.
  • (pg 32) Yklwa 1 gp a spear that does d8
(pg 32) Dinosaur Racing

A race day has three races:
  • Race for four-legged beasts, muzzled. Ankylosaurs, triceratopses and dimetrodons.
  • Race for two-legged beasts, muzzled. Mostly hadrosauruses and Deinonychuses.
  • "Unchained": All dinosaurs that run. No muzzles. These races are where you are most likely to see young allosauruses and tyrannosauruses. Dinosaurs within 50 feet can attack each other.
  • Ranges from 1 cp to 500 gp
  • If you're not playing out the races, roll on the chart on page 32.
  • Losers who don't pay up are tracked down by d4+1 thugs or gladiators.
(pg 33) Racing

The book talks about heroes who don't race. I would guess most characters will want to take part. It seems tricky to effectively cut from the race to the heroes watching the race. The book suggests letting those players control NPC racers.

Here's how dinosaur racing works:
  • This is abstract. The first racer to get 300 feet (points) wins.
  • Riders can't attack or be attacked. 
  • No initiative rolls?! There are still rounds, though. 
  • Each round, every rider makes an Animal Handling check.
  • Look at the chart on page 32. Each dinosaur has a different DC. If you succeed, you gain its speed (the first number) in points.
  • So, for an allosaurus, you need to roll a 16. If you do, you gain 50 points. Once you have 300, you win.
  • Lashing Your Dinosaur: If you "lash" or whip your dinosaur, you make your animal handling check with advantage. If you succeed, you use the second speed number. If you fail by 5 or more, the dinosaur goes berserk and is out of the race. The dinosaur must make a DC 10 Con check. If it fails, it is at half speed for the rest of the race.
Chapter 2: The Land of Chult

Where's Omu? Check out the map on page 39. Port Nyanzaru is up near the top. Omu is pretty much straight down near the southern coast, next to the Peaks of Flame.

If the group decides to travel by ship, they can hit coastal landing sites like:
  • Jahaka Bay
  • Kitcher's Inlet
  • Refuge Bay
  • Shilku Bay
  • Snapping Turtle Bay
Running the Journey: Here's how it works.

1. Bust out the player's hex map on page 243.
2. Let the group pick their path.
3. One character is the navigator. They must make a survival check. The DC depends on where you are.
  • Coast/Lake is a DC 10.
  • Jungle/mountain/river/swamp/wasteland is a DC 15. Fail: The party is lost. They end up in one of the 6 hexes around them.
4. Generally, the group will travel 1 hex per day.
  • Travel via Canoe: 2 hexes per day.
  • Walk at a Regular Pace: 1 hex per day.
  • Hustle: Roll a d4. Result of 3 or 4 means they travel 2 hexes per day. -5 to perception checks and roll
5. As the heroes travel, they can forage. They make a survival check, DC 10 (the jungle is abundant with food). Success: The forager finds d6 + their Wisdom modifier in pounds of food. Repeat the roll for gallons of water.

(page 38) Dehydration: The group might need some rain catchers for this to be doable.
  • River water is not fit for drinking unless boiled.
  • If a character doesn't drink 2 gallons of water, make a DC 15 con save or suffer 1 lvl of exhaustion (PH pg 291). Those in medium or heavy armor make this check at disadvantage.
  • Check out DMG page 111 for food and water. Each beast of burden is going to require probably 4 pounds of food and 4 gallons of water!
This is a bit of book keeping, but I think you can keep it manageable. It seems like this is meant to be a significant part of the adventure.

(pg 40) Diseases

Mad Monkey Fever: A blue mist rolls around the jungle, covering up to 2,400 square feet. Contact with it: DC 13 Con save. Fail: After d6 hours, you get long term madness (pg 260, lasts d10x10 hours). Once the madness is gone, you save again. Fail means you get long term madness again.

Shivering Sickness: You get this from insects. It kicks in after the next long rest. DC 11 Con save (adv on the roll if you have natural armor). Fail: You regain only 1/2 normal hit points when you spend a hit die, and gain no hit points from a long rest. You also have disadvantage on skill checks and attack rolls. After the next long rest, you can repeat the save.

Throat Leeches: Sweet fancy Moses! If you swallow tainted water, make a DC 12 Con save. Fail: After d6 hours, you gain 1 lvl of exhaustion (PH pg 291). On the next long rest, save again. Fail means you gain another level of exhaustion. Success mean your exhaustion decreases by 1 level.

(pg 40) Random Encounters

On the map, a black skull and bones symbol means an encounter with undead is likely. A red skull and crossbones mean there's even more of a chance.

Starting on page 195 is a massive list of jungle encounters. My favorites:

  • The group finds an abandoned (?) camp with supplies.
  • Artus Cimber shows up to help the heroes when they're in danger or the group coming up a "winterscape" created by the ring of winter (described on page 203).
  • Finding "Treasure drops".
  • A wild boar runs toward the group. It is being chased by deinonychuses.
  • A random chart of dead explorers!!! That's on page 198. I think it would fun to find someone tied to a post covered in honey, soon to be devoured by giant insects if the group doesn't help.
  • A t. rex fighting a horde of zombies or ghouls.
  • Batiri goblins attacking the group's camp at night.
  • One of the sewn sisters steals some hair from a PC at night.
  • A statue of Ubtao that can bless heroes who can solve the maze inscribed upon it.
  • Tri-flower fronds try to infiltrate the group's camp.
  • The group is attacked by a zombie t. rex
  • A wereboar guarding a shrine to Ubtao.
  • Zorbos in wukka trees.

(pg 41) Locations in Chult

Aldani Basin: Named after lobsterfolk (see page 210). They hide in the lakes. When the sky is clear, you can see the Heart of Ubtao (page 58) floating from up to 50 miles away.

Ataaz Kahakla
: The gorge of death! The walls are lined with coral, making a rainbow-colored seascape. There's skeletons of dinosaurs and sharks mixed in, too.

Ataaz Muhahah: A bridge where monkeys hang out. The bridge has maze designs linked to Ubtao. Sometimes the laughter of the monkeys echo and sound like haughty, gloating laughter. This makes the monkeys go silent. There are three special things on this bridge, a shrine, a gap, and hanging vines...
  • (pg 42) Shrine of Ubtao: This statue has gem eyes (worthless gems). The statue is an iron golem. Touch it and you're in for a world of hurt. It will try to push you off of the bridge! It has advantage on athletics checks to do so! Iron Golem is on MM pg 170. It has +7 to athletics checks! That's a 100 foot drop, aka 10d6 damage.
  • Bridge Gap: Jumping rules are on PH pg 182. You can jump your strength score in feet. Remember that the crumbly stone causes a DC 13 Acrobatics check or else you fall.
  • Hanging Vines: Swinging on them is a DC 10 acro/athletics check. Making the monkeys accept you is a DC 10 animal handling. Fail and you are rumbling with d4 baboons! MM pg 318
(pg 42) Ataaz Yklwazi: This gorge is full of sharp stones. The group might encounter:
  • 4 firenewt warriors (volo's pg 142) on giant striders (volo's page 143).
  • Tinder the red dragon (MM pg 98)
(pg 42) Bay of Chult: You have to pay Aremag, the dragon turtle (MM pg 119) to get by! Aremag won't say how much he wants. Roll 2d6x50 gp. That's the minimum he'll take.

He might blow steam at the group. DC 15 Str or Dex save. Fail means you fall overboard where d4 reef sharks (MM pg 336) are hanging out.

(pg 43) Camp Righteous: This camp was overrun by zombies. There's a shrine here. Goblins are hiding, watching. They want the group to deal with the shrine, and then the goblins will steal whatever the group found in there.
Boiling it down, this is a long, trapped hallway with a ruined camp around it.

  • Goblin (MM pg 166)
  • Goblin Boss (MM pg 166)
  • Zombie (MM pg 316)
  • Skeleton (MM pg 272)
  • Allosaurus (MM pg 79)
  • Axe beak (MM pg 317)
  • Poisonous snake (MM pg 334)
6. House of the Man and Crocodile: There's a statue of a man carrying a crocodile on his shoulders, a reference to a Chultan myth where a crocodile tricked a dude into carrying him around for years. Anyone carrying someone on their shoulders won't trigger any trap in here.

That's the hurdle here. I can see some players getting really frustrated with this, because the "get on my shoulders" solution is very "outside the box" and unorthodox. Just be aware of that and drop a clue if you think you have players who might sour the evening over this.
  • 6a. Concealed Pit Trap: Detecting it is a DC 13 Perception with disadvantage. There's a 50% chance each person triggers it. 2d6 falling damage.
  • 6b. Blade Trap: 50% chance that 4 blades slice you: DC 13 Dex save, 18 (4d8) dmg. You can jam the blades.
  • 6c. Puzzle Floor: The floor ha tiles. The door has identical tiles. Looking closely at the door reveals a glowing tile. The door will tell you which tile to step on, one by one. Stepping on a wrong tile is a DC 13 Dex save or 22 fire damage! Yikes.
  • 6d. Puzzle Door: Oof. This one might be a problem. To get through the door in the puzzle room, you need to touch the four glowing squares... while someone is on your shoulders! If the group hasn't figured this out, this might get real frustrating for your players. Touching the wrong squares: DC 13 Con save. Fail: 9 dmg, pushed 10 feet ONTO THE TILES. Success: Half dmg, not pushed.
  • 6e. Treasury: Trapped Steps! Steps 3, 10, 17, and 23... step on one, 20 foot radius ball of lightning! DC 13 Dex save. Fail: 22 damage! Success: Half dmg.
If you grab the jug without someone on your shoulders, bricks fall for three rounds, DC 13 dex save or 10 dmg.

Alchemy Jug (DMG pg 150): You can use this thing to mae 8 gallons of water per day! That's a big deal out in the jungle.

(pg 47) Camp Vengeance: The Order of the Gauntlet is here.
  • Leader: Niles Breakbone. Nice guy, bad leader.
  • Captain Ord Firebeard and Captain Perne Salhana are in charge of 8 veterans and 24 guards.
  • Sister Cyas leads the 6 acolytes.
  • Lorsa Bilwatal and Wulf Rygor lead 15 tribal warriors. 
This scenario involves a sticky predicament:
  • If the group arrives by boat, Commander Breakbones wants the group to bring 7 sick soldiers to Port Nyanzaru.
  • If the group shows up on foot, he wants the group to take 4 guards and 4 tribal warriors on an undead-hunting expedition that will take two weeks.
Getting out of this predicament requires the group being able to win over Ord and Perne.

  • Noble (MM pg 348)
  • Veteran (MM pg 350)
  • Guard (MM pg 347)
  • Acolyte (MM pg 342)
  • Priest (MM pg 348)
  • Tribal Warrior (MM pg 350)
  • Scout (MM pg 349)
  • Goat (MM pg 330)
(pg 49) Dungrunglung: Grung stats are on page 223. This is where the grung live. Getting through the maze that surrounds the settlement could take a session all on its own! You need to make 6 successful DC 15 Survival check to get through. You might want to roll up about 10 maze encounters checks in advance just so you can have it all ready.

Once inside, the group will likely become embroiled in some trickery, teaming up with Krr'ook to trick Groak. Groak wants to make sweet love to the trickster goddess, Nangnang. The group can use Nolzur's pigments to trick him into making it happen.

If things go south, here, the group will be facing 40 grungs and 16 grung elite warriors! You can always have the grung capture rather than kill, chucking the heroes in the pit in area 7.

This might make for a fun chase scene, with the group trying to get out of the maze as the grung chase them.

Maybe.. when the group first gets near Dungrunglung, they see a huge herd of zombies loitering somewhere. That way, if the group ends up being chased by a grung horde, they could lure their grung pursuers into the zombie mob to facilitate their escape!
Stat Stuff:
  • Assassin Vines (pg 213)
  • Ghouls (MM pg 148)
  • Yahcha Beetle (pg 205)
  • Zombies (MM pg 316)
  • Circlet of Blasting (DMG pg 158)
  • Nolzur's Marvelous Pigments (DMG pg 183)
  • Ring of Jumping (DMG pg 191)
(pg 52) Firefinger: This place is home to 10 or more pterafolk. Ascending the pinnacle involves navigating ladders and chimneys. The group will need to pass through a cave with giant spiders, a cave of stirges, a pterafolk lair and another pterafolk lair where the leader, Nrak, lurks.

You can do a lot of fun stuff as the group climbs outside, especially if a member of the group has featherfall. That's kind of a license for you to go nuts, knowing they're OK if they fall.
  • Pterafolk (pg 229)
  • Giant Wolf Spiders (MM pg 330)
  • Stirges (MM pg 284)
  • Aarakocra (MM pg 12)
  • Commune with Nature (PG pg 224)
  • Mask of the Beast (page 207) Lets you cast animal friendship (PH pg 212) 3x per day.
(pg 54) Fort Beluarian: This is where the Flaming Fist hangs out. Their leader, Liara, has a secret deal with the pirates. She has spies in Port Nyanzaru who find out where merchant ships are going and then tell the pirates. Liara gets a cut of the take.

The Flaming Fist expect people to buy a charter from them - a document which "allows" people to explore Chult. If a Fist patrol comes upon people exploring without a charter, they will attack them. A charter is 50 gp, and you can hire up to 6 guards to come with you. You must pay the guards each 1 gp per day.

The bell at 10f. (pg 57) is rung every four hours to signal a change of shift. When used as an alarm, it rings for 30 seconds straight.
NPC List
  • Liara Portyr (stats pg 227) - The evil leader.
  • Gruta Halsottir - Second in command. He does most of the day-to-day work.
  • Korhie Donadrue - Chief armorer.
  • Shilaue K'wenya - Priest of Helm.
  • Thaeven the Bald - Stablemaster.
  • Jaro - A merchant who run the store (area 8, pg 56).
  • Rahl Zuberi - Chultan dinosaur trainer.
  • Sigbeorn Dunebar - Head cook.
  • There are traders here selling stuff for 50% more than prices in the PH.
  • Liara Porter (pg 227)
  • Knight (MM pg 347)
  • Veteran (MM pg 350)
  • Guard (MM pg 347)
  • Spy (MM pg 349)
  • Priest (MM pg 348)
  • Riding Horses (MM pg 336)
  • Warhorse (MM pg 340)
  • Commoner (MM pg 345)
  • Hadrosaurus (page 224)
  • Deinonychus (page 217)
  • Tribal Warrior (MM pg 350)
  • Potion of healing (DMG pg 188)
  • Lesser Restoration (PH pg 255)
  • Purify Food and Drink (PH pg 270)
  • Bowl of Commanding Water elementals (DMG pg 156)
  • Sending Stone (DMG pg 199)
(pg 58) Heart of Ubtao: This is a floating chunk of earth that is shaped like a human heart. This is the home of a villain in disguise. She appears to be an elf, but she is actually Valindra Shadowmantle, a lich and the main villain of the Neverwinter MMO, among other things. She's here to either seize control of the Soulmonger or to destroy it. She probably won't try to kill the heroes and might work with them.
  • Lich (MM pg 202)
  • Swarm of bats (MM pg 337)
  • Zombie (MM pg 316)
  • Girallon Zombie (MM pg 240)
  • Arcane Gate (PH pg 214)
(pg 60) Hisari: These ruins are detailed in the Ruins of Hisari on the DMs Guild.

(pg 60) Hrakhamar: This dwarven forge was taken by firenewts. Albino dwarves want the heroes to take it back. Inside is a treasury with doors that are difficult to open - you need to grab the molds for the keys and actually make the key in the forge.

This place has a 40-foot-long tunnel that connects to Wyrmheart Mine.

The albino dwarves are led by Sithi Vinecutter, who is very blunt. Two of the albinos have been captured. They are in area 9 on page 63. Their names are Laz Drumthunder and Malkar Stonegrist. You might want to somehow work in the story of a firenewt being abducted by yuan-ti. This is Gormax, who is imprisoned on pg 118. Maybe some of the albino dwarves witnessed the abduction.
  • Firenewt warriors (pg 219)
  • Firenewt warlocks of Imix (pg 219)
  • Giant striders (pg 222)
  • Albino dwarf warriors (pg 210)
  • Carrion crawlers (MM pg 37)
  • Giant spiders (MM pg 328)
  • Kobolds (MM pg 195)
I wrote a guide to Imix right here.

(pg 64) Hvalspyd: This ship is 250 feet long and has sails made from white dragon wings. The frost giants sail this thing. They are searching for Artus Cimber and his Ring of Winter. The giants want to use the ring to plunge the world into an ice age.

On the map, they put this ship on the coast. It is to the right of Port Nyanzaru.
  • Frost giants (MM pg 155)
  • Winter wolves (MM pg 340)
(pg 64) Ishau: Sunken ruins teeming with sharks.

(pg 64) Jahaka Anchorage: This is where the pirates lurk.

There is always:
  • One ship at the dock.
  • One ship protecting the area.
  • One ship out plundering and seizing booty.
Finding the Cave:
  • Make a DC 15 perception check
  • Sail through ring of submerged rocks. DC 10 Intelligence check. Fail by 4 or less: ship springs a leak, but no serious dmg. Fail by 5 or more: hip' peed is halved until it is repaired.
6a. Bosco's Bilge: This is a really fun location. It's a tavern for the pirates run by Bosco Daggerhand and his pet deinonychus, Knuckles. Perfect spot for a bar fight!
  • Flying swords (MM pg 20)
  • Bandit (MM pg 343)
  • Thug (MM pg 350)
  • Deinonychus (pg 217)
  • Reef sharks (MM pg 336)
  • Leomund's tiny hut (PH pg 255)
  • Knock (PH pg 254)
  • Ring of animal influence (DMG pg 189)
  • Potion of water breathing (DMG pg 188)
(pg 68) Kir Sabal: This is a safe place for the group. If they go to Nagnalore to get a black orchid, the aarakocra can give them the power of flight!

This monastery is on a high plateau. To get there, you need to spend an hour+ ascending. Make three DC 15 checks:
  • Athletics to climb.
  • Acrobatics to cross gaps in walkway.
  • Perception to avoid parts that won't hold your weight.
Each failure means either you take 10 damage, or gain 1 lvl of exhaustion (PH pg 291). The player chooses which.

This place is home to over 50 aarakocra. They are led by an aarkocra named Asharra, who has special stats:

Asharra: AC 12 HP 31 Spd 20 ft., fly 50 ft.
+4 to hit, 4 dmg
Dive Attack: +3 dmg when I dive 30 feet and hit with melee
Spells: +5 to hit, DC 13
  • Cantrips: Druidcraft, mending, produce flame
  • 1st level: Detect magic, faerie fire, thunderwave
  • 2nd level: Gust of Wind, hold person, lesser restoration
  • 3rd level: Call lightning, wind wall
STR 10 DEX 14 CON 10 INT 14 WIS 17 CHA 11
History +4, Insight +5, Perception +7
Speaks Auran and Common

Princess Mwaxanare: She is the rightful ruler of Omu, and she is your classic stuck up princess type. She asks the group to retrieve the Skull Chalice of Ch'gakare from Omu for her. She will likely develop romantic feelings for one of the heroes. I'm all over this one.

The Dance of the Seven Winds: This will give the group the ability to fly (speed 30) for 3 days! Pretty sweet.
  • Aarakocra (MM pg 12)
  • Princess Mwaxanare (pg 228)
  • Gargoyles (MM pg 140)
  • Potion of poison (DMG pg 188)
(pg 72) Kitcher's Inlet: Provides access to Port Castigliar and Mezro.

(pg 72) Lake Luo: Portions of this lake boil, sending up clouds of steam. There are no fish in here.

(pg 72) Land of Ash and Smoke: Gray, barren valley that has streams of lava. Tzindelor the red dragon lurks here.

(pg 72) Mbala: This ruined village is home to Nanny Pu'pu, a hag who poses as an old crone. She can turn dead heroes into undead adventurers. Before doing so, she'll ask the group to take out a bunch of pterafolk that have been causing her problems.

The Ritual of Stolen Life: This takes an hour. The group will need to provide a few things:
  • A gem worth at least 100 gp.
  • A living humanoid that must be sacrifice.
The Undead Character:
  • Is undead! Doesn't need to sleep/eat/breathe.
  • Hit point max is reduced by d4 every day! They're rotting away.
  • Once their HP max is 0, the gem embedded in their forehead shatters and they are a corpse once more.
You might want to reduce the HP Max by just one point per day. The heroes are traveling at one hex per day, and there's a lot of hexes on that map! Players might not be too thrilled running an undead version of their character that has 15 hit points and goes down with one shot in every encounter.

Nanny Pu'pu: Nanny Pu'pu wants to eat our heroes. She'll try to isolate them. Her monkeys won't help, but she's got a flesh golem buried in the earth ready to give someone a whuppin. Remember.. she's a green hag, so she can turn invisible, make herself look like other people, and even imitate sounds and voices. This makes it very possible for her to get close to an isolated PC and strike them down quietly.
  • Green Hag (MM pg 177)
  • Flying Monkey (pg 220)
  • Flesh Golem (MM pg 169)
  • Comprehend Languages (PH pg 224)
  • Potion of Greater Healing (pg 187) heals 4d4+4
(pg 74) Mezro: The Flaming Fist patrols this place regularly. It is fully detailed in the Ruins of Mezro supplement on the DMs Guild.

(pg 74) Mistcliff: 1,000 foot-high cliffs that are home to aarakocra, pteranadons, and other flying monsters.

(pg 74) Nangalore: You might want to ask in advance which characters, if any, are trained in Medicine. It might come into play in area 8, pg 79.

The group can explore this exotic, ruined garden and learn that Zalkore ruled this place, and mistakenly thought that her husband Thiryu-kaya betrayed her. She realized that he hadn't after he died. Now she does drugs to pretend he is still with her.

She also got turned into a medusa by an erinyes.

The final encounter can go many different ways. She's covered and it is not obvious she is a medusa. She talks as if her husband is there. If the group messes with his ashes or badmouths him, things get ugly quick. She might might try to feed them poison food. If the group is here for the black orchid, she will trade it for valuables or an attractive slave.

Tons of encounters in this place:
  • Have that plant page ready (pg 205).
  • Crocodiles (MM pg 320)
  • Mantrap (pg 227)
  • Yellow musk zombies (pg 237)
  • Yellow musk creeper (pg 237)
  • Almiraj (pg 211)
  • Asassin vine (pg 213)
  • Chwinga (pg 216)
  • Flying monkeys (pg 220)
  • Jaculis (pg 225)
  • Giant Spider (MM pg 328)
  • Swarms of poisonous snakes (MM pg 338)
  • Tri-Flower Fronds (pg 234)
  • Eblis (pg 219)
  • Medusa (MM pg 214)
  • Folding boat! (DMG pg 170)
(pg 80) Needle's Bones: This is a muddy pool with the bones of a dead dragon in it. There is a secret compartment that holds some treasure.
  • Swarm of quippers (MM pg 338)
  • Wand of Fear (DMG pg 210)
(pg 80) Nsi Wastes: This area is where Ras Nsi's old ruined fortress is. The area around it is full of sickly, poisonous plants.

(pg 80) Omu: This is what all of chapter 3 will be about.

(pg 80) Orolunga: This is a ziggurat with rows of magical steps. The only way to ascend is to use the steps, you can't fly, teleport, etc. Each set of steps has a special solution.
  1. First Steps: Has thorns that do damage to you. Hold an orange and a purple orchid.
  2. Second Steps: These will crumble beneath your feet unless you hold the orchids and carry a red parrot feather.
  3. Third Steps: This is where it gets funky. There's all these poisonous snakes on the steps. You have to swallow a poisonous snake. Then you'll be able to slither up the steps!
Past the steps is Saja N'Baza's Shrine. She is a guardian naga who knows a lot:
  • She knows that Mezro won't return until Ras Ni is dead.
  • She knows where Omu is.
  • She knows that Ras Nsi and the yuan-ti are scheming to end the world.
  • She might give the group a supernatural charm (DMG pg 228). It's a bit hard to figure what charm is appropriate. I guess vitality or heroism. (gain 10 temp HP, and add a d4 to attack rolls and saving throws for the next hour).
Stat Stuff:
  • Guardian naga (MM pg 234)
  • Chwinga (MM pg 216)
  • Swarm of poisonous snakes (MM pg 338)
(pg 82) Port Castigliar: Just a stretch of beach. Undead chased people off a long time ago.

(pg 82) Refuge Bay: Safe place to land a ship. There is a sunken village in the water teeming with sharks.

(pg 82) River Olunga: Steaming hot water from Lake Luo flows down rapids. To the west lies dangerous, undead-infested territory.

(pg 82) River Soshenstar: Flows north, lots of waterfalls.

(pg 82) River Tath: River goes from Aldani Basin to Jahaka Bay.

(pg 82) River Tiryiki: Very dangerous river! Lot of waterfalls, lots of predators on the banks.

(pg 82) Shilku: A village destroyed by a volcanic eruption. Flaming Fist thinks there's treasure here. Lots of mephits, firenewts, salamanders, etc.

(pg 83) Shilku Bay: Lava pours into the bay, making the water poisonous.

(pg 83) Snapping Turtle Bay: A beautiful beach that ha dangerous vegetation. There are cyclopes here that aren't necessarily hostile, and a giant snapping turtle named King Toba.
  • Cyclopes (MM pg 45)
  • Giant Snapping Turtle (page 222)
(pg 83) Snout of Omgar: This is the home of the tortles, described in the Tortle Package by Chris Perkins.

(pg 83) Valley of Dread: Home to lots of dinosaur and lizardfolk kingdoms.

(pg 83) Valley of Embers: Land ruined by lava and ash. Marchlands north of the lake are nearly impassable.

(pg 83) Valley of Lost Honor: This is where Wyrmheart Mine (home of Tinder, the Red Dragon) and Hrakhamar (the dwarven forge overtaken by firenewts) are.

(pg 83) Vorn: This statue is actually a shield guardian. The amulet that controls it is in the goblin village of Yellyark.

(pg 84) Wreck of the Narwhal: This ship mysteriously crashed here long ago. Now it is home to a weretiger

(pg 84) Wreck of the Star Goddess: This is a crashed Halruaan flying ship up in the trees. There are 8 ghouls underneath it, and once the group tries a rescue, 3 girallon zombies attack the wreck

The survivors are stuck in the wreck, are hungry and suffering from level 4 exhaustion (PH pg 291). That's disadvantage on ability checks, attack rolls and saves, half speed, half hit point max! They're pretty close to death.

  • Captain Thasselandra Bravewing.
  • Ra-Das - Master-of-Arms.
  • Falx Haranis.
  • Crew: Brax, Nhar and Veliod.
  • One member of the crew, Oloma Authdamar, is alive elsewhere. he is currently a prisoner of the yuan-ti (see pg 118).
  • Ghouls (MM pg 148)
  • Girallon Zombies (page 240)
  • Noble (MM pg 348)
  • Scout (MM pg 349)
  • Veteran (MM pg 350)
  • Guard (MM pg 347)
(pg 85) Wyrmheart Mine: The group might be tempted to ride a mine cart down the slope. If they do, ask if they use the brake or not. Once they roll by area ten, the kobolds will drop a boulder on them and it is easier for them to hit if the group is using the brake.

The rolling boulder will go from 6c onto the tracks and roll on a clockwise path down the track, past 7, 8, 9, 10 and crash into 11.
  • Specters (MM pg 279)
  • Kobold inventor (pg 226)
  • Kobold (MM pg 195)
  • Winged kobold (MM pg 195)
  • Quippers (MM pg 335)
  • Young Red Dragon (MM pg 98)
  • Mithral breastplate (DMG pg 182)
  • Potion of Greater Healing (DMG pg 187) 4d4+4
(pg 85) Yellyark: This is a very amusing place but it might be tricky to describe to the players. They have a helpful diagram on the map. Basically, if the village is in danger, they cut a vine that pulls the village into a giant sack and flings it thousands of feet away.

There's a million fun things that can come out of this, but it will be ruined if they don't have a clear mental picture of what this is. The most confusing part of the description for me was saying that the tree is "bent down like a giant spring," so maybe omit that or alter it.

Queen Grabstab: She is wearing the amulet that controls Vorn, the shield guardian.
  • Goblin boss (MM pg 166)
  • Goblins (MM pg 166)
  • Swarm of insects (MM pg 338)
Chapter 3: Dwellers of the Forbidden City

  • Ubtao left Chult in disgust, and the city fell into chaos.
  • 9 Trickster gods took Ubtao's place.
  • The tricksters built shrines that tested the mettle of their followers.
  • 100 years ago, Acererak showed up and killed the trickster gods.
  • Acererak forced the Omuans to build his dungeon, and then he killed them all.
  • 50 years ago, yuan-ti showed up and built a temple
  • Ras Nsi joined them. They wait for Dendar to come out and end the world.
(pg 93) Factions in the City: You can use these factions in the city as you please:
  • Yuan-ti (MM pg 309): They patrol the city.
  • Grung (pg 223): They live on rooftops around Nangnang's shrine.
  • Vegepygmies (pg 234): The tribes revere the Great Rift.
  • Kobolds (MM pg 195): Acererak ordered them to maintain the shrines.
  • Red Wizards of Thay (mage, MM pg 347): They are searching for the tomb. 
  • 3 Tabaxi hunters (pg 232): Hooded Lantern (he is preparing to die fighting the t. rex), Bag of Nails (she is inquisitive and wry), and Copper Bell (he has gone insane).
(pg 94) Puzzle Cubes: These cubes are needed to get into the Tomb of the Nine Gods.
  • 3 inches to a side, weighs half a pound.
  • Each has the symbol of one of the trickster gods.
  • Can't be destroyed by any means.
  • If taken more than a mile from Omu, they teleport back to their respective shrines. 
  • The group will end up with 5 of them. The Red Wizards have 2 and Ras Nsi has one.
(pg 204) There are a few random encounters set in Omu on pg 204:
  • 2d4 gargoyles with nets (MM pg 140).
  • 1d6 giant spiders (MM pg 328).
  • The King of Feathers, a t. rex (See area 13, pg 106).
  • Kobolds on their way to touch up a shrine (MM pg 195).
  • (pg 95) Exploring the ruins. the group travels 200 feet every 5 minutes due to thick undergrowth 200 feet per minute if they throw caution to the wind. 
(pg 95) Searching Buildings: Bunch of things the group might find:
  • Assassin Vines (pg 213).
  • Collapsing Floor: One random hero must make a Dex save DC 12. Fail: Fall 20 feet and roll on the table again.
  • Mad Monkey Mist (pg 40): DC 13 Con save or gain long-term madness after d6 hours.
  • Nest: Stirges, Swarms of poisonous snakes, giant wasps (anyone who takes dmg from them must make a DC 11 Con save or get shivering sickness, which is described on pg 40).
  • Plant Discovery: These are all described on page 205.
  • Treasure: 1d6 art objects worth 25 gp each.
  • Vegepygmies (pg 234: Not in a fighting mood! Cower and flee if possible. 
(pg 95) 1. City Entrance: 5 yuan-ti malisons will quietly follow the group. When the group takes a rest, they attack.

(pg 96) 2. Walled Compound: A lot of Red Wizards were killed here. One is trapped in rubble, and calls out for help.
  • 3 levels of exhaustion = (PH pg 291) Half speed, disadv on ability checks, attack rolls, and saving throws.
  • Spy (MM pg 349)
  • Jackal (MM pg 331)
(pg 97) 3. Kubazan's Shrine: To get in, you need to find the key (in the mouth of the statue) and avoid or defeat the froghemoth. Inside, you need to platform jump over a spiked pit and grab the cube. When you grab the cube, poison gas does 10 points of dmg per round for 1 minute or until you can get through the sealed exit.
  • Froghemoth (pg 221)
  • Glyph of Warding (PH pg 245)
  • Fear (PH pg 239)
(pg 97) 4. Shagambi's Shrine: Two kamadans guard this place. Inside, the heroes need to obtain 4 spears from clay guardians and lace the spears into the hands of statues.
  • Kamadan (pg 225)
  • Gladiator (MM pg 346)
(pg 100) 5. Great Rift: Hey! Don't fall in. You take 70 bludgeoning from the fall and 55 fire from the lava (per round). When the group comes here, vegepygmies are about to sacrifice a grung.
  • Grung (pg 223)
  • Vegempygmies (pg 234)
  • Vegepygmy chief (pg 235)
  • Thorny (pg 233)
(pg 101) 6. Moa's Shrine: The shrine is guarded by 4 jaculi. Taking a cube causes statues to animate and launch arrows at the group. There's actually 2 fake cubes that vanish once you take them out of the shrine. The real one is in a secret room. On the way out, the pit traps activate - DC 15 Dex save to avoid. Falling in means d6 damage and landing in green slime.

Statues: AC 17 HP 30 +6 to hit, 5 (d8+1) piercing dmg.
  • Immune: Non-magic weapons, poison and psychic dmg.
(pg 102) 7. Fallen Tree: If the group tries to cross the river on this tree, Bag of Nails attacks! He gives up if reduced to half his hp, and takes them to his place where he serves them (poisoned) stew.
  • Jaculi (pg 225)
  • Assassin (MM pg 343)
  • Midnight Tears (DMG pg 258) At the stroke of midnight, make a DC 17 Con save or take 31 poison dmg, half on success!
(pg 102) 8. Unkh's Shrine: The puzzle cube is in a locked pedestal. There is a shed that has hundreds of keys to choose from, and six more are in the shrine. Only one opens it. Using the key puts you in a world of hurt! The six keys in the shrine can combine to show what the real key looks like, which is hanging in the shed with all the other keys in it.
  • Ghouls (MM pg 148)
(pg 103) 9. Adventurers' Camp: This campsite was home to a group of heroes that are now dead. The group can find a parchment (pg 250) which, to me, is kind of hard to read. It talks about how Lord Brixton thinks that the Eye of Zaltec is in the tomb, and that the shrines are the key to opening the doors to the tomb. If the group stay here for an hour or more, a red wizard and 2 mercenaries show up looking for trouble.
  • Mage (MM pg 347)
  • Thug (MM pg 350)
(pg 103) 10. I'jin's Shrine: First the heroes must cross a puzzle floor (you have to step on a different animal tile with each step) and then navigate a trapped maze.
  • Almiraj (pg 211)
(pg 104) 11. Chwinga Wagon: The chwinga (pg 216) here loves hair and might become a buddy to a hairy PC. The group can find a tablet here that will allow them to translate Old Omuan.

Green Slime (DMG page 205): DC 10 DEX save, 5(d10) acid damage. It does 11 acid to wood or metal. It does this damage until scraped off.

(pg 105) 12. Wongo's Shrine: This one is fun. You can look through masks that help you figure out how to get the puzzle cube. You need to pour water into one of 4 cupped hands or feet. Some heroes might get turned into an animal for 24 hours!
  • Zebra (riding horse) (MM pg 336)
  • Su-Monster (pg 232)
  • Lion (MM pg 331)
  • Boar (MM pg 319)
  • Vulture (MM pg 339)
(pg 106) 13. Amphitheater: This is the home to the King of Feathers, a special t. rex! Here's his stats:

King of Feathers: AC 13 HP 200 Spd 50 +10/+10 each 10 ft., 20 bludgeoning/33 piercing dmg. If tgt is medium or smaller, it is grappled (escape DC 17). Until this grapple end, the target is restrained, and the tyrannosaurus can't bite another target.
  • Legendary Resistance (3/Day) If it fails a saving throw, it can choose to succeed instead. 
  • Can see invisible creatures
  • Can cast misty step at will.
  • (rchg 5-6) Summon Swarm: Exhales a Swarm of insects (MM pg 338) that disperses after 1 minute.
  • T. Rex (MM pg 80)
  • Swarm of insects (MM pg 338)
  • Deinonychus (pg 217)
  • Helm of telepathy (DMG pg 174)
(pg 106) 14. Tomb of the Nine Gods: This is what chapter 5 and the rest of the book will be about!

(pg 106) 15. Ruined Bazaar: There's 6 traps in here. Catapults that use a kobold inventor (see pg 226) power. I would go with the green slime pots, as that seems fun. Fire makes no sense because they'd burn their own home down.
  • Kobold (MM pg 195)
  • Kobold scale sorcerer (pg 226)
  • Kobold inventor (pg 226)
  • Potion of greater healing (pg 187) 4d4+4
(pg 107) 16. Papazotl's Shrine: This one might frustrate some groups. First they have to answer a riddle, then they find that they simply can't remove the box. They'll need to find a secret room, solve a puzzle to get a clue that will help them remove the box.
  • Crocodiles (MM pg 320)
(pg 108) 17. Waterfall: A character will have a vision of Acererak and during each long rest, they dreams it again, with Acererak getting closer each time.

(pg 108) 18. Nangnang's Shrine: It is guarded by grungs. Once inside, there all of these (illusory) treasure). You must offer a treasure to Nangnang to get the puzzle box.

(pg 109) 19. Obo'Laka's Shrine: Guarded by 4 zorbos. This one is a bit complicated. The group has to deal with some teleporting pools. If they grab the puzzle cube... they might turn to stone! This check must be made every round. They have to figure out how to shut this down (put torches in sconces) and then figure out how to transport the torches without putting out the flames.
  • Zorbo (pg 241)
  • Mage (MM pg 347)
  • Immovable rod (DMG pg 175)
(pg 110) 20. Royal Palace: This place has a secret entrance to the yuan-ti lair.
  • Yuan-ti malison (MM pg 309)
Chapter 4: Fane of the Night Serpent

Ras Nsi has taken the final puzzle cube. The group will have to go into the fane and get it.
Ras Nsi is suffering from the death curse and doesn't know the cause. Yuan-ti rivals are preparing to dispose of him.

  • She wants to overthrow Ras Nsi
  • She wants to find the Black Opal crown, which is in the tomb.
  • She might try to get the group to create a distraction so she and her allies can kill Ras.
Infiltration: Pretending to be a yuan-ti requires a DC 15 Deception check (non-humans have disadvantage)

Alarm: If the gong in room 9 is rung, most creatures stay where they are. Here's the creatures that investigate (they are from rooms 11, 16, 17 and 18):
  • Sekelok (champion variant) (pg 216)
  • 5 type 1 malisons (this includes Yahru from 17) (MM pg 309)
  • 4 type 2 malisons (MM pg 309)
  • 2 type 3 malisons (MM pg 309)
  • 3 yuan-ti broodguards (pg 238)
  • 6 yuan-ti purebloods (pg 310)
  • 2 gladiators (MM pg 346)
Capture: If the group is captured, they are bound and their gear is put in room 13. There is a fair chance that the gas trap in area 3, pg 116 will take out the group.

When captured, the heroes are put in the pit in room 8. After an hour, Yahru (from area 17) will question them. If the group is calm, he brings them to Fenthaza. If they are rude/defiant, he brings them to Ras Nsi.

If Ras finds out the group is trying to end the death curse, not only will he free them, he'll give them the puzzle cube!

If the Group is Brought Before Fenthaza:
  • Fenthaza will force the group to perform slave labor for one day (chart on page 112 how their tasks). If the group does the tasks, she'll tell them to assassinate Ras Nsi.
  • They get the puzzle cube they need.
  • She give them the passphrases to area 4.
  • She will change the group into yuan-ti!! If they want. The transformation ritual is described on page 119.
  • The group must start a slave uprising while Fenthaza goes to kill Ras.
  • She will then try to kill the heroes.
Teleporters (pg 116): Remember that this only transports the person using it, not the whole group! Must be trained in arcana, if they don't have a destination in mind, they appear on a random teleporter elsewhere in the fane.

Teleporter locations:
  • (pg 118) 8. Prisoner Pits
  • (pg 119) 9. The Fane
  • (pg 120) 10. The Harem
  • (pg 121) 11. Throne Room 
(pg 114) 1. Main Gate: Nahth can be bribed with 10 gp or food. Those snake pits are right by the doors! Jumping rules are on PH pgs 182 and 190.
  • Long Jump: Move at least 10 feet before you jump. You cover a number of feet up to your Strength score. If you don't move 10 feet, you can leap only half that distance. Either way, each foot you jump costs a foot of movement.
  • High Jump: Move at least 10 feet first, You leap 3+your STR mod in feet. From a standing position: Half that.
  • Nahth, type 1 malison (MM pg 309)
  • 4 yuan-ti broodguards (pg 238)
  • Swarm of poisonous snakes (MM pg 338)
(pg 116) 2. Hall of War: The basilisks are chained to a wall. If a fight breaks out, one broodguard runs to area 9 to hit the gong, sounding the alarm. That gong is not far at all! It is possible for a yuan-ti to run and hit it in a single round, but maybe give the group a round to try to stop it from happening.
  • Soakosh, yuan-ti pureblood (MM pg 310)
  • 4 yuan-ti broodguard (pg 238)
  • 2 basilisks (MM pg 24)
  • Triceratops (MM pg 80)
(pg 116) 3. Hall of Serpents: Murals of Dendar and Ra Nsi. Hey, there's a button on the wall! Let's press it! DC 13 Con save, fail: You're unconscious! This gas lingers for one minute. Egad! This is where you roll out the captured scenario.

(pg 116) 4. Armory: If you know the passwords to get in the door and pacify the naga, you're good! If not, the door is arcane locked and the naga comes at you. There is a shield in here with the hilarious trait of amplifying everything you say ten times louder.
  • Arcane lock (PH pg 215)
  • Knock (PH pg 254)
  • Bone naga (MM pg 233)
  • 2 minotaur skeletons (MM pg 273)
(pg 117) 5. Fenthaza's Quarters: There's an urn with an air elemental in it. It serves Fenthaza. She has keys to the shackles of the prisoners in room 8.

Looking at the map, this is a tiny room. This fight will spill out into the hallway and possibly room 6, where the chanting skulls can aid the bad guys.
  • Fenthaza, yuan-ti nightmare speaker (pg 239)
  • 2 type two yuan-ti malisons (MM pg 309)
  • Air elemental (MM pg 124)
(pg 117) 6. Sacrificial Chamber: This is very cool. The skulls chant, giving any yuan-ti resistance to non-magic weapons and advantage on saving throws vs. magic/magical effects! Not too shabby!

There's a lever in here that opens the portcullis that blocks area 8.
  • 4 yuan-ti broodguards (pg 238)
(pg 118) 7. Evil Oracle: This pool is super evil:
  • Get in: You take 5 (d10) psychic dmg when you enter/start turn in it
  • Look in: Make a DC 15 Wis save. Fail: Take 5 (d10) psychic dmg and gain a random form of long-term madness (pg 260, lasts d10x10 hours).
  • 3 type three yuan-ti malisons (MM pg 309)
  • Eldritch blast (PH pg 237): +5/+5 to hit (two beams), d10+3 force dmg per beam.
  • Minor Illusion (PH pg 260)
  • Poison Spray (PH pg 266): Rg 10 ft, Con save DC 13 d12 poison dmg. 
(pg 118) 8. Prisoner Pits: There's a winch that will lift the grate off of the pits.There is a teleporter in here.

Escaping Manacles (PH pg 152): Escape is a DC 20 Dex check. Breaking them is a DC 20 Str check.

  • Tahvo: human boy (AC 10 HP 2) wearing a flower garland.
  • Sev: Yuan-ti pureblood (MM pg 310) who had long-term madness.
  • Oloma Authdamar: Scout (MM pg 349) who survived the crash of the Star Goddess (pg 84)
  • Pottery Shard: Tabaxi minstrel (pg 233)
  • Gorvax: Firenewt warrior (pg 219)
  • Lomar Dral: Human mage (MM pg 347). A harper searching for Artus Cimber.
  • Mung: batiri goblin (MM pg 166), suffering from three levels of exhaustion (PH pg 291) Half speed, disadv on ability checks, attack rolls, and saving throws..
  • Kanuh Natombe: Tribal warrior (MM pg 350), malnourished. 4 levels of exhaustion (PH pg 291) That's disadvantage on ability checks, attack rolls and saves, half speed, half hit point max.
  • Zilla Atazi: A pirate (bandit, MM pg 343) of the Dragonfang who was thrown overboard for insubordination.
(pg 119) 9. The Fane: Lots of things in here:

Cauldron: Upturning it is a DC 15 Str check. Each creature in a 15-foot cone must make a DC 12 Dex save. Fail: 4 (1d8) fire dmg, half dmg on success.

Portcullis: Blocks area 10. There's a lever to raise it.

Balcony: Climb up there is a DC 13 Athletics check. It gives half cover vs. ranged (half cover: +2 bonus to AC and Dexterity saving throws)

Yuan-ti Ritual:
  • Once every 10 days. Takes all night. Most of the yuan-ti take part.
  • Sometimes, slaves are eaten. Other times, humans are transformed into yuan-ti.
  • You are drugged. Then you bathe in blood of sacrificial victims.
  • You gain d6 levels of exhaustion (PH pg 291). If you live, you gain indefinite madness (DMG pg 260) and rest in area 18.
  • You gain Darkvision 60 ft.
  • At will: Poison spray (PH pg 266), animal friendship on snakes only PH (pg 212). At lvl 3, you can cast suggestion (PH pg 279).
  • Immune to poison.
  • Advantage on saves vs. spells/magical effects.
  • If you die, you are fed to the hydra in 21.
  • The transformation can only be undone with a wish spell!
(pg 120) 10. The Harem: Home to Ras Nsi's concubines! This is where the magic happens.

Ishmakal: A doppleganger spy allied with the Red Wizards, secretly thinking of defecting to the side of the yuan-ti.

Scandal: Sekelok (from area 11) is secretly engaging in ACTIVITIES OF PASSION with a concubine named Neema. Sekelok is Ra Nsi's personal bodyguard, so if the group finds out about this, they can do some hilarious stuff with it.
  • 11 yuan-ti purebloods (MM pg 310)
  • 1 doppleganger (MM pg 82)
  • 2 yuan-ti broodguards (pg 238)
(pg 120) 11. Throne Room: During the daytime, Ra is in here. At night, he's in area 12.
  • Ras Nsi (pg 230)
  • 2 type one yuan-ti malisons (MM pg 309)
  • Sekelok (altered champion, pg 216)
  • 3 yuan-ti broodguards (pg 238)
  • 4 ghouls (MM pg 148)
Sekelok AC 18 HP 143 +9/+9/+9 12 slashing, plus another 7 if I have more than half my hp left.
  • (2/Day) Indomitable: Reroll a failed save.
  • (Bonus action, 1/Rest) Second Wind: Regain 20 HP
  • Immune: poison
  • Darkvision 60 ft.
  • Adv on saves vs. spells/magical effect
  • At will: Poison spray (PH pg 266), animal friendship (on snakes only) (PH pg 212).
  • 3/day: Suggestion (PH pg 279) DC 13
(pg 121) 12. Ras Nsi's Lair: Ras can tell the group everything about puzzle cubes, Acererak, etc. He doesn't know about the Soulmonger.

(1/Rest) Flying Shields: As a bonus action, Ras can call forth the shields to give himself a +10 to AC! +10! Each time they block an attack that would normally hit, a shield falls to the ground and Ras loses 2 AC.
  • Ras Nsi (pg 230): He's in here at night.
  • Flame Tongue (DMG pg 170)
  • Sending Stone (DMG pg 199)
(pg 121) 13. Storeroom: Azi Mas, an awakened constrictor snake, is lurking in the shadows. He's lonely and somewhat cowardly.

Incense: If you light it, a cloud fills a 20-foot-diameter sphere. All within it must make a DC 16 Con save or fall into a dreamlike stupor that lasts for one hour - once they've been removed from the cloud!
  • Giant constrictor snake (MM pg 324)
(pg 122) 14. Venom Distillery: The door has a whole thing happening:
  • It's locked. Pick It: DC 15 Dex check w/thieves tools.
  • Spot The Trap: DC 20 Perception
  • Disable: DC 12 Dex check.
  • Poison Needle Trap: DC 16 Dex save. Fail: 5 poison dmg, blinded.. permanently! Lesser Restoration will restore your peepers.
Xopal has a Syringe: +3 to hit, 1 piercing dmg and DC 14 Con save or 10 poison dmg (half dmg on success) and poisoned whether or not the save succeeds! They're kicking it up a notch in this dungeon.

Bottle Hazard: Spells like Thunderwave will cause the bottles of poison to shatter. 15-foot-sphere of poisonous vapors, DC 15 Con save. Fail: 18 poison dmg (even if you hold your breath).

Jug: Open this jug? More Gas!! The knock-out gas fills the room! DC 13 Con save, fail: You're unconscious for an hour. This gas lingers for one minute.
  • 1 yuan-ti pureblood (MM pg 310)
  • 5 zombies (MM pg 316)
  • 20 doses of serpent venom DC 11 Con save. Fail 10 poison dmg, half on a successful one.
  • 5 doses of essence of ether (DMG pg 258) Inhaled, DC 15 Con save of be poisoned and unconscious for 8 hours. You can be awakened by dmg/being shook.
  • 5 doses of torpor (DMG pg 258) Ingested, DC 15 Con save or poisoned and incapacitated for 4d6 hours.
(pg 122) 15. Snake Pit: Fall in, 5d6 dmg and snakes!
  • Swarm of Poisonous Snakes (MM pg 338)
(pg 122) 16. Blood Baths: The yuan-ti bathe in blood. laves tend to them.
  • 4 yuan-ti purebloods (MM pg 310)
  • 2 type two yuan-ti malisons (MM pg 309)
  • 5 commoners (MM pg 345) (names on pg 12. Here's some: Olu, Yapa, Fipya, Mainu and Lorit)
(pg 123) 17. Sauna: Yahru is in here shedding his skin with the aid of 2 gladiators rubbing lotion on him. Two lotion men. Have fun!
  • Yahru, type one yuan-ti malison (MM pg 309)
  • 2 gladiators (MM pg 346)
(pg 123) 18. Yuan-ti Nests: Impossible to sneak through without magic.
  • 2 type one yuan-ti malisons (MM pg 309)
  • 2 type two yuan-ti malisons (MM pg 309)
  • 2 type three yuan-ti malisons (MM pg 309)
  • 6 yuan-ti purebloods (MM pg 310)
(pg 123) 19. Slave Grotto: Isaar has a slave boy communicate for him. The will of the slaves has been broken by trauma and drugs. nap them out of it with a DC 17 Persuasion or Intimidation check.
  • Isaar, type three yuan-ti malison (MM pg 309)
  • 2d10 commoners (names on pg 12)
  • 3 yuan-ti broodguards (pg 238)
(pg 124) 20. Underground River: The current is not strong, not a hazard. Ring the cowbell, summon the HYDRA, which shows up in d6 rounds.

Rowboat: (DMG pg 119) AC  11 HP 50 Spd 1.5 mph holds up to 3 passengers.
  • 4 yuan-ti broodguards (pg 238)
  • Hydra (MM pg 190)
(pg 124) 21. Hydra's Lair: It lurks underwater.
  • Hydra (MM pg 190)
(pg 124) 22. Fungi Cavern: There's a dead yuan-ti covered in fungus. He's got a key. To grab the key without getting fungused, make a DC 12 sleight of hand. The key unlocks the door to area 14.
  • Green Slime (DMG pg 105)
  • Yellow Mold (DMG pg 105)
(pg 124) 23. Secret Entrance: This connects to the palace ruins (area 20b, pg 110)

Chapter 5: Tomb of the Nine Gods

(pg 125) It works like this: The traps of the tomb kill people. Their souls are stored in the soulmonger. An atropal (a god-fetus-thing) eats the souls. Once it has had enough, it will become an evil god. Acererak wants it to become a god of death that would kill everyone, so that only undead creatures would be left inhabiting the world.

Three hags created the Soulmonger, inexchange for keeping some of the souls for themselves.

Acererak is not here. He's watching "from afar". The Sewn Sisters are watching over things.

(pg 126) Tomb Inhabitents: Check out this motley crew:

Withers and the Tomb Dwarves: An undead maintenance crew. Located at area 2 (pg 145).

Legendary Monsters: There are two. A beholder guarding a treasure vault in area 44 (pg 156) and an aboleth in an underground lake in area 65 (pg 174).

Skeleton Keys: Little skeletons that wander the dungeon. Seriously! Their heads are in a sort of key shape. When you have all 5, you can open the gate in area 71 (pg 178) Regular skeleton stats are on MM pg 272. You decide where they are located! There's one on each level. I'll try to find a good spot for each.

Skeleton Key AC 13 HP 13 +4/+4 to hit, 4 (1d4+2) piercing dmg Spd 30 ft., climb 30 ft.
  • Vul: Bludgeoning
  • Imm: Poison, exhaustion
  • When reduced to 0 HP they fall apart, though the skull and bones remain intact.
  • Skeleton keys do not trigger any trap placed in a room or on a door of the tomb.
The Sewn Sisters: Discussed in area 71, pg 178

Tomb Guardians: Flesh golems (MM pg 169) with AC 17. You're supposed to use them when it feels right.

Trickster God Spirits: They are detailed on pg 129.

Fabled Treasures: There are many fabulous prizes to be won! Make a DC 20 History check and learn:
  • Black Opal Crown: Created by archmage Sadamor, who made a sphere of annihilation that could swallow the world. The yuan-ti think that this crown can awaken Dendar the Night Serpent.
  • Eye of Zaltec: It has a sharp point and was used in sacrificial rituals. It is in area 62 (pg 172).
  • Navel of the Moon: Supposedly this item let you always find your way home. This is in area 56 (pg 168).
  • Skull Chalice of Ch'gakare: The skull of a king. Located in area 67 (pg 175).
(pg 128) Spell Alterations: Long story short:
  • Magic Travel is Bad: Casting arcane gate, banishing smite, banishment, dimension door, teleport, teleportation circle, transport via plants, tree stride or word of recall sends you to area 57 (pg 168).
  • Dinvine Aid Not Good: Casting augury or commune get you nothing but lies.
  • Out of Order: These spells don't work in the tomb: Astral projection, clairvoyance, etherealness (you can't go through surface/doors), find traps, passwall, stone shape.
  • No Dimensions: Anything dealing with an extradimensioal space (like rope trick) doesn't work.
  • Incommunicado: Magical communication over long distance fails.
  • No Wish! A wish spell can't be used to escape the tomb!
(pg 128) Replacing Dead Characters: It says, basically, just make up a reason that the replacement hero is in there. My favorite is the idea to make the new character a clone of the old one, created by the hags.

(pg 129) Spirits of the Nine Trickster Gods: The spirit of each of the trickster gods is trapped in a magic item. When someone picks it up, they must make a DC 16 Charisma save. Fail: The trickster inhabits them. A very handy handout on page 256, the last page of the book, lays out the effects of each.

Each trickster grants a boon, such as a 23 strength. Each also grants a personality flaw, such as: "I bow before noone and expect others to do as I command."

Leaving a Host: Ways a trickster can be ejected:
  • Dispel good and evil
  • Another trickster god can push them out. All you do is roll a die and randomly decide which trickster wins the struggle.
(pg 130) Roleplaying the Spirits: It talks about encouraging roleplaying flaws by awarding inspiration. It seems like players in a deathtrap dungeon already have the odds stacked against them. I can see plenty of players balking at the idea of hamstringing themselves on purpose.

I think the best approach here is to provide space for them to play out their flaws. Make sure the consequences of roleplaying in good faith make things more interesting rather than more deadly.

I know that's easier said than done. I think (like the book says) in some cases, the best bet is for you to play each trickster like a voice in their head, urging the character to do something but ultimately leaving it up to the player.

Also, if you run the voices in their head, you can actually have those voices help the group find secret doors, give clues to puzzles, and steer them away from fatal mistakes.

Trickster God Rivals: Here is a quick list of the gods and their rivals, alignmentm animal representative, and the magic item their spirit is in.

I'jin (CN Al'Miraj, wand of wonder) vs Obo'laka (LN zorbo, ring of protection)

Kubazan (CG froghemoth, bracers of archery) vs. Papazotl (LE eblis, amulet of health)

Moa (LG jaculi, staff of the python) vs. Wongo (CE flying monkey, mace of terror)

Shagambi (NG kamadan, instrument of the bards) vs. Nangnang (NE grung, pearl of power)

Loner: Unkh (N flail nail, robe of scintillating colors)

In my campaign, I'm going to see if I can work out symbolic encounters between the animals in the jungle to foreshadow the rivalries.

(pg 130) Level 1: Rotten Halls

Walls: The walls are covered in moss and decorated with screaming skulls.

Underground River: difficult terrain, 3 feet deep

1. Acererak's Warning: There are two visible tunnels. In one, you can find a useful amulet. In the other is a nasty trap. The real entrance is a third tunnel, obscured by vegetation. It is spotted with a DC 10 Perception check.

Obelisk: Handout is on page 252. This thing has a riddle that provides clues to a bunch of rooms. Mess with the obelisk.. 3 gargoyles with devil faces swoop down and attack. Break the obelisk: A nalfeshnee appears and thrashes you. It disappears after 1 minute.
  • 3 gargoyles (MM pg 140)
  • Nalfeshnee  (MM pg 62)
(pg 131) 2. Gallery of Tricksters: This has statues of each trickster gog. Bringing the corresponding puzzle cubes into this hall lights the braziers in front of the respective statues. Unkh's statue is behind a hidden door. It has an amulet that tugs you toward area 4 and is useful in area 79 (pg 187).

(pg 131) 3. False Entrance: Wow. There's double doors in here. There's alcoves for you to place the puzzle cubes. If you put them in so that the rivals face one another, a stone block seals the exit and gas that does 10 points of dmg per round fills the room for 6 rounds! Thankfully, the stone block goes back up into the ceiling after that.

What's behind the doors? More gas!!

(pg 131) 4. True Entrance: Puzzle time. You need to put the puzzle cubes into slots in a certain configuration. Each time the group gets it wrong, all within 20 feet take 18 lightning damage!

Success: The wall slides open to reveal the entrance. It shuts after one hour.

(pg 132) 4B. Second Puzzle Door: Get this.. A lever pops out of the wall and an hourglass turns over. The group has ten seconds. Pull the lever? Don't pull the lever?! One choice causes the ENTIRE FLOOR to open up and drop everybody into a pit of poison spikes.

Pit: 1d4 spikes hit each hero. They take 11 (2d10) bludgeoning dmg for the fall. Each spike does 3 (1d6) piercing and 5 (1d10 poison dmg).

(pg 133) 5. Trapped Corridor: A devil face (located at 5b at the intersection)! Its mouth is a well of utter darkness.

5A. Poison Darts: Spotting these is a DC 15 Perception check.

Each time they are triggered, 4 darts shoot out at a random target! +8 (for each dart) to hit, 2 (1d4) dmg and a DC 15 Con save. Fail: 14 (4d6) poison dmg. Success: Half dmg.

5B. Devil Face: Climb in?
  • Silence (PH pgs 275-276)
  • Shadow demon (MM pg 64
5C. Floor Hatch: Lift the grate with a combined Strength of 24 or more. There's a river down there (area 17, pg 139)

(pg 133) 6. Crystal Window: Peer through it, see area 10 (pgs 135-136) See 2 bear statues holding a disc with many eyes. Also see 6 corpses, each wearing a black mask. The heroes can break the window and climb through if they want. When the group enters that room, those eyes see them and here come the undead.

(pg 134) 7. Grand Staircase: Hoo boy. This staircase lets the group go to the other levels of the dungeon! That means you are probably going to need to be familiar with this entire dungeon before the group gets to this point!

They'll see a tomb dwarf for a moment on the flight below. If they go down to level 2, there's a plaque with clues. If they go down to level 4, they'll see another plaque with clues.
  • Wight (MM pg 300)
(pg 134) 8. Magical Attraction: Man! Anyone wearing metal makes a DC 10 Athletics. Fail: Get magnetically pulled into the statue and all your metal is destroyed (except for artifacts).

It says it happens when they enter the room, or start their turn in the room. So I guess that little triangular area by the hallway counts as "room".

(pg 135) 9. Magical Fountain: My favorite! A random chart! Be careful with #3, that might get weird and lead to a social faux pas. If you have players who might get carried away, maybe change this to transforming into another race or something.

(pg 135) 10. Obo'Laka's Tomb: Obaka is the zorbo trickster god. If the eyes on the disk spot you, the undead rise up. If you wear their masks, the eyes can't see you and it is much easier to open the sarcophagus.

In the sarcophagus is a ring. Whoever touches it must make a DC 16 Charisma save. Fail: You're inhabited by Obo'Laka (pg 256). This ring disintegrates once you leave the tomb.

If the group opens the secret door to the south, the gas in 11 ignites! It looks like only the person opening the door will get hit on this side. DC 15 Dex save. 22 (4d10) fire dmg, half dmg on a successful save.

(pg 137) 11. Gas Pocket: Smells rotten! Open the secret door to 10.. kaboom! DC 15 Dex save. 22 (4d10) fire dmg, half dmg on a successful save.

(pg 137) 12. Trapped Chest: This is a really great trap! Chest hanging from chains, locked. Pick the lock is a DC 22! Dex check.  Fail: Your thieves' tools are destroyed. Failed by 5 or more: You are teleported into the chest and the chest drop into the water and sinks to the bottom.

Inside the Chest: The pool is only 5 feet deep, but it is muddy, so you can't really see in it. The character is restrained and after 5 rounds, begins suffocating (PH pg 183): You can hold your breath for your Con mod +1 minutes! Eventually you drop to 0 HP and dying and can't be stabilized until freed.

Chest: AC 13 HP 30 imm: poison, psychic dmg
  • Remove curse (PH pg 271)
(pg 137) 13. Stone Skull: To get to room 14, you need to walk through the mouth of a huge skull with burning eyes! 2 people can go through safely, then the jaw clamps down on hero #3. +10 to hit, 22 (4d10) bludgeoning an is grappled (escape DC 19). Until the person escapes, they take 5 dmg at the start of each of their turns. Then the trap resets and the next 2 people can safely pass through, etc.

(pg 137) 14 Moa's Tomb: Yikes. The skull of a little girl. You have to lie to her and pass three DC 12 deception checks, otherwise she goes full flameskull.

Sarcophagus: This holds the bones of Moa, and a staff of the python. Whoever touches the staff must make a DC 16 Charisma save or be possessed by Moa.

There are these warrens in the wall that small creatures can squeeze in to. Lots of spiders in there! Squeezing (PH pg 192): You have disadvantage on attack rolls and Dex checks, and you move at half speed.
  • Flameskull (MM pg 134)
  • 6 swarms of insects (spiders) (MM pg 338)
  • Staff of the python (DMG pg 204)
(pg 138) 15. Wind Tunnel: When you step in this hallway, you see a "propeller" of blades halfway down. The blades start spinning (for the first round, they're slowly gaining speed). You're going to have to jump through them!
  • Catch them when they're slow: DC 20 Acrobatics check. Fail: 33 (6d10) slashing dmg.
  • When they're spinning fast: DC 20 Acrobatics check. Fail: 66 (12d10)! Holy...
The blades are immune to damage (except for force dmg) and they destroy all nonmagic items jammed in there.

(pg 138) 16. Wongo's Tomb: This one is fun but very, very deadly. There's a good chance frightened heroes are going to have to run through the spinning blades again!

There's three really big, empty chests. Each has a key. You have to climb in and use the key on the lock from the inside. This causes a button to appear on the sarcophagus. When pressed unlocks the chest and a trap goes off! Each chest has a different trap:
  • Onyx: DC 15 Con save or take 75 (10d6+40) force dmg. A character reduced to 0 turns to dust!
  • Rusty Iron: All nonmagical metal turns to dust.
  • Silver: DC 15 Con save. Fail: 45 (10d8) cold dmg, half dmg on a success.
The sarcophagus turns to crystal. Smash it, and a mummy wielding a mace of terror rises up! It unleashes a wave of terror: each creature in a 30 foot radius rolls a DC 15 Wis save. Fail: Frightened (disadvantage on attack rolls/ability checks, can't move closer to source) for one minute and spend your turns trying to move as far away as it can. Can't take reactins, can ony dash.

The Mace of Terror contains the spirit of Wongo. DC 16 Charisma save or Wongo has possessed you.
  • Mummy (MM pg 228)
  • Mace of Terror (DMG pg 180)
(pg 139) 17. Underground Waterfall: Taking damage on the ledge forces a DC 14 Athletics check. Fail: fall 100 feet into area 64 (pg 173). The current might pull you into room 65, where the aboleth is. Yikes, I say.
  • Mimic pg 220
(pg 139) Level 2: Dungeon of Deception

(pg 139) 18. Devil Pit: Pretty simple!
  • Swarm of bats (MM pg 337)
(pg 139) 19. Gravity Ring:

More tomorrow. I really like how the traps use classic tropes and yet they do fresh things with them. I'm starting to wonder if game store DMs are in for a huge headache. In my experience, some players cannot handle this kind of adversity and will get legit angry right there at the table, possibly ruining it for evertyone.