Sunday, November 5, 2017
Tomb of Annihilation 8 - The Jungle of Chult
You can watch this episode right here:
Basically what happened here was that we started out fine, but by the second hour I felt the need to hand the group a substantial encounter. Unfortunately, when I tried to do so, they went around it. This session ended up having too many mini-events and no major developments.
(Ryan) Mistletoe - Human Druid
(Garrett) Ramrod - Goliath Barbarian
(Joe) Zavagor - Half-orc Warlock
This is a recurring thing in my games. I get so obsessed with getting things done, that nothing has time to sink in. I really should be following the Perkins model and running one set piece encounter or event per session, but I have a hard time committing to it. If that one set piece ends up sucking, then the whole session sucks!
By running lots of little things, you can mine for material. There's many opportunities for something to click and before you know it, there's a fun explosion.
Val couldn't make it this week. She ended up going to PAX Australia, where she actually got to spend time with Holly from Dice Camera Action! She also met Ryan, who plays Mistletoe. I live in New York, and two of my players are in Australia. That's pretty awesome, right?
In this session, I playtested some stuff that ended up in the Tomb of Annihilation Companion, which I just put on the DMs Guild.
In that book, I made 30 days of travel, including foraging events and night time encounters when the group is camped. I picked and chose from it for this session, and they all ran pretty well.
Foraging: If you want to actually say what the heroes find when they forage, you'll need to google jungle fruits. The Tomb book doesn't have enough unique ones to fill a month. I used a combination of googled fruits and fruit that I just made up (I've always loved the idea of big blue fruit).
As we rolled along, Mistletoe (a druid) began cataloguing his new discoveries. He decided to make Mistletoe's Guide to Fruits and Vegetables, which I thought was a hilarious idea.
The heroes had selected Azaka Stormfang as their guide, much to my dismay. I wanted to do a terrible Sean Connery for Hew Hackinstone! She has a secret, so I played that up as much as I could.
As far as finding water, it seems like the best way to handle it is to just say that however much water they got from foraging, that's how much they got from the rainfall in their raincatchers that night.
I had set up that Azaka wanted to go to Firefinger, which is a fairly prominent section of the Chult chapter. We ended with the heroes arriving at Ataaz Muhahaha, one of my favorite jungle locales.
Good show! These long journeys are always tricky. There is a lot of feeling out and sometimes you don't realize you need to fine tune until you're deeply in the middle of an event that is hard to resolve quickly..