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Thursday, September 28, 2017

Tomb of Annihilation Episode 3 - Over the Edge

As of this writing, we've taped episodes 4 and 5. I'm a bit worried that we're spending way too much time in Port Nyanzaru. The thing is, I love Port Nyanzaru. I had a million ideas for it and it is going well.

Here is episode 3:

I want to have this thing done by March, which (I assume) is when the next adventure comes out. We tape every other week. So right now, we're looking at 12 sessions (each broken up into two episodes) to finish the whole thing! That's a stretch. I think I am going to see if we can fit in a few mega-sessions in addition to the schedule to make sure we get this done. The tomb is big!

I will be streamlining this adventure as we go. I've picked out the jungle places that I want to use, and I'm clearing out Omu and only keeping the things I like (which is basically, the shrines and the giant dinosaur).

I'm going to pretty much skip the yuan-ti dungeon. It's not bad, but it feels like a slog. Let's just get to the tomb, already!

Obviously plans may change depending on what the group responds to, but that's my general plan.

I am extremely worried about this dungeon. It is really, really deadly. I think I figured out a way to give them a heads up about the most deadly rooms way in advance, but I'm still concerned. I'd hate for my first show to end in a TPK, but I also don't want to nerf the whole dungeon and remove the danger from it.

So basically, you'll see me wincing in terror a lot as we go into it.

The Party

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

We started off in the meeting Kwayothe, one of the rulers of Port Nyanzaru. She handed the group their prizes for winning the dinosaur race:
  • A leather thong full of gold
  • A piece of the dreamer's amulet
  • 4 passes to a bath house. This is to set up the "Spa Day" scenario from Encounters in Port Nyanzaru. I ran that on episode 5, and it was absolutely tremendous.

The group had wanted to go out drinking with the pirates, so I had cooked up a goofy little thing. As they got ready to go, the group asked Zavagor what his story was. He shared that his family is cured to serve Eman, and that she won't say what he needs to do to end the servitude.

Port Nyanzaru

Somehow this morphed into a group hug, which completely took me by surprise. I was just trying to move them along to the next scene, but thankfully I was able to be quiet so they could do their thing.

The heroes and the pirates went to the Thundering Lizard. I had the pirates share their origin stories, which are all pretty goofy.
  • Punching Pearl Smitty: She beat up a 14 year old noble in Cheliax and had to flee to avoid jail time.
  • Facestabbin Isaiah Hawkins: This dagger-crazed fellow just finds sailing on the open sea to be intoxicating.
  • Old Man Gristle: He accidentally chopped his hand off while sawing wood. He had to get a hook and a new job. He realized that since he had a hook hand, he must be a pirate.
  • Captain Isabella "Inkskin" Locke: She's a pathfinder NPC that I love. She was raised by sahuagin and doesn't speak common well. She's a sorcerer and was "deprogrammed" by the Pirate Queen Lana Redwater (a character from my 2013 Skull and Shackles campaign).
In return, the heroes shared their stories:
  • Mistletoe stumbled into the feywild and drank a fey drink that forever changed him.
  • Ramrod's tribe worships a phoenix. The death curse kicked in and the phoenix stopped rising each morning. Ramrod's father went to Chult to investigate and was never heard from again.
  • Val: She was once a human. Her village was attacked and she blacked out. When she awoke, she was a tiefling with sorcerous abilities.
  • Zavagor: He told his story earlier. He's bound to a demon queen of fire.
I had the Green Vipers (NPC adventurers) sneak in and try to steal the piece of the dreamer's amulet. Ladarius insisted on trying to get the group to set up his catchphrase, but they weren't very accommodating.

The heroes spotted Deidre and Val starting ripping on her. I am usually quick with a comeback, but I had absolutely nothing. So, Deidre was standing there getting roasted. Val finally rolled out an epic play on words and Deidre ran out, crying.

The adventurers headed out to a shrine of Nangnang, where they believed another piece of the dreamer's amulet was. I love this place. It's right out of Over the Edge.

The group found an awesome-looking idol. Here's the art I got of it:

What's weird is the Nangnang in this adventure is absolutely nothing like the Nangnang in Tomb of Annihilation. I like this Nangnang better!

The group fought some skeletons and found the entrance to the underground shrine. The walls were made of skulls with glowing eyes.

There's these four altars that you have to mess with to get to the interior rooms. The heroes figured it out. I was wondering if putting a puzzle scenario on a show was a good idea. Would it be boring to watch? I think it went fine. By the end, the group understood they needed to obtain four skull from four secret rooms to get to the central room in the shrine.

Very good show! Episodes 2 and 3 had better video and audio (I got a headset). On episodes 4 and 5 I leveled out my mic better as I'm a pretty loud dude when I get excited. I am thinking of getting another headset. The one I am using seems a little flimsy.

The next episode is one where the group pretty much completely surprised me. I had to scrap my plans and roll with their fun idea.


Zingbob Co said...

Great post Sean! Though did you mean City on the Edge instead of Over the Edge? I'm pretty sure the grung shrine is in the former, but I might be wrong. Either way, it sounds like this campaign is a lot of fun!

Sean said...

I think the arena is in City, and the Nangnang Shrine is in Over the Edge. Thanks! I'll be running some of the DM Guild adept adventures on the side, too. I'm taping those tarting next week. Lots of good stuff happening, thanks for all of your help!