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 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.
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.