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Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Tomb of Annihilation 7 - The Dinosaur Race Unchained

Episode 7 is up! You can check it out right here:

Lots of stuff going on in Power Score Land (Note: I find it very amusing when people refer to me as "Power" on twitter, and am hoping someday, somebody says to me, "Pardon me, Mr. Score....").

I am about to roll out the other shows/campaigns which I've been taping over the last month. This is the group from Ruins of Mezro:

We've taped to episodes and we're taping episode 3 tomorrow. We have been playing through a modified version of the Ruins of Mezro adventure and I think we'll jump into Heart of the Wild next.

I have most of the art for Revenge of the Lizard King. We taped episode 1 of that a few weeks ago and it was tremendous! Different art style for this one. At first, I was a little leery, but I'm climbing on board now that I see them all together:

The art of the 4th character, a triton, is still in revisions.

On top of all that, I got to be a guest on Encounter Roleplay, which was a lot of fun. Hopefully I can beebop around and appear on many a cyberspace D&D game so I can see how other people do it.

The Party

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

For this episode of Tomb of Annihilation, I tested out some material I made. I'm about to put out a book on the DM's Guild called the Tomb of Annihilation Companion. It's going to have 30 days of travel in the jungle all plotted out for you, special "hag visit" encounters, and a new way to run dinosaur races, and other stuff.

I feel like the dinosaur racing rules in the Tomb book are too vague and don't give DMs enough tools to give it the "Return of the Jedi speeder chase" feeling it should have (or the "Phantom Menace Pod Racing" feeling, for you Jar-Jar fans). I tested them out and by gawd, it went great.

We had left off with the group getting mauled by a horde of 30 zombies. As I had feared, Ramrod dove right into them and heroes started dropping like flies. Thanks to some cool ideas, the group had been able to survive a few rounds.

Hoppy the froghemoth was stuck in the horde. He took a pile of hits, but he was able to wade through and escape. Ramrod was carrying Pearl and Val, both of whom were making death saves. He was running from the horde.

Val rolled a 20 on a death save! She woke up and reached over to Pearl to stabilize her. She rolled a POWER SCORE, and we learned that Val's signature move involves hugging.

The heroes fled to the pirate ship and sailed back to Port Nyanzaru.
Hew Hackinstone
They went to the Thundering lizard and met Hew Hackinstone, one of the NPC guides from the Tomb adventure. I gave him my bad Sean Connery voice. Surely the group would choose this guy, right? Surely! At this point, they indicated that they were definitely leaning toward having Hew among their ranks when it came time to go into the jungle.

Then they met with my red wizard replacements - agents of the nation of Cheliax (A Castlevania-style kingdom of devil worshipers from the Pathfinder setting). The Cheliax representative was Heinrich Von Pummel and his two hell hounds. The hounds didn't like Zavagor (they could smell the Abyss on him) and loved Val (they seemed to catch a whiff of brimstone, indicating she could be somehow linked to devils).

I got to do my terrible nazi voice and say one of my favorite NPC names: Paralictor Valeria Asperixus. She's a hell knight from the Skull and Shackles path. She survived that campaign that I ran in 2013, but the heroes did kill Admiral Thrune, who Valeria was obsessed with. She actually knows and hates Captain Isabella "Inkskin" Locke, but the two did not cross paths tonight.

The heroes turned down an offer to team up with Von Pummel's force of soldiers.

Then, the group went to the arena and met with Kwayothe, who let them pick out any type of dinosaur. It went like this:

  • Zavagor: Young Tyrannosaurus Rex.
  • Val: Her "pretty pink" allosaurus from the last race.
  • Ramrod: Triceratops
  • Mistletoe: Triceratops

Kwayothe told Zavagor that she had seen to it that he would win the race.

Here's how the race worked:
  • I made a racing route on the Port Nyanzaru map, and broke it up into seven "stages".
  • Every round, the racers entered the next stage.
  • Every stage had a special element/obstacle.
  • We used the idea of tracking total "feet" of movement from the book. The winner of the race is whoever had the most "feet" at the end of the last stage.
  • The whole thing is a bit abstract. The racers are considered to be in a clump and they can more or less interact freely.

It was tremendous. There were 8 NPC racers, 4 of which were the green vipers. The others were a tortle NPC from the Tortle Package, the son of Ekene-Afa, PARALICTOR VALERIA ASPERIXUS, and a worshiper of Gwynharwyf (which surprised Mistletoe, as he is an agent of Gwynharwyf as well).

There were a lot of highlights. Jim Crank and Ramrod had an epic battle while riding the same dinosaur. The little boy from episode 1 sent his new flying monkey pet after Ramrod. Mistletoe blinded people, Val was way ahead jut like the first race, and Zavagor had two invisible succubi cheating on his behalf.

I couldn't have had a better end to the Port Nyanzaru section of the adventure!

From here, we're going into the jungle. I'll be testing out my jungle encounter days from the Tomb of Annihilation Companion. It seems like a lot of people are glossing over these travel days when they run Tomb, so I wanted to run them to show new DMs how you can do the days without bogging down the game too much. After all of the effort put into the travel section of the book, it feels like a waste to just hand wave the journey.


Silver Hood said...

Can't wait to watch this later! I want to see how this race played out, since you tweaked the mechanics from the book a little bit.

As for Return of the Lizard King, the artwork is looking great! I guess we'll have to wait to see our fish friend until next time.

Peter V. Dell'Orto said...

May I be the first, then, to refer to you as "Mr. Score."

Fyrex said...

I really can't wait for this companion to come out, I hope it does before Wednesday so that I can use some of the material for my session!