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Friday, June 2, 2017

Stream of Annihilation Day Two

It is day two of the D&D super-stream where we get a look at a lot of different groups. Day one was ridiculously good, I don't know if they can top it.

You can watch this right here: Stream of Annihilation Youtube Day 2 Playlist

Here's today's lineup:

That's 10 AM PST, 1 PM EST. I'll be covering it all day and blabbing away on my twitter.

I think we'll be starting off with Matt Mercer DMng a game for the Girls, Guts, Glory group, a nice way to kick it off!

Maze Arcana kicked ass on day one and I am definitely pumped to see what they do on day two.

We start off with Chris Perkins and Mike Mearls.

Tomb of Annihilation is a story about death. Lots of humor. The main thrust is "Can you survive?"

There are people suffering under a curse and you need to save them. The further you get into the adventure, the more you realize how deep this thing is. You realize how deadly the Tomb of Annihilation is.

This adventure gives the DM a lot of tools to use as they like:
  • Pterafolk
  • Red wizards
  • Flying things that you can explore
We get a recap of the Dice, Camera, Action game.

Cool skeleton horde! Chris says when he runs live Acq Inc games, in the beginning he is very aware the crowd is full of DMs and feels pressure, but it goes away after a few minutes.

Recaps of the other games. They need to do this meatgrinder thing more. Not every week, but at least a few times a year.

Xanathar's Guide to Everything

November Product: Xanathar's Guide to Everything
  • New rules, new toys for dungeon masters.
  • New subclasses that were playtested this year. The ones that tested the best are in the book.
  • Every class has new options.
  • New rules for downtime.
  • New trap system that can handle complicated traps like stuff from Indiana Jones. Gives you tools to create your own.
  • Hydro74 did the cover.
Mike mentions that the traps in tomb are more puzzle-based, and the new trap rules are meant to cover this.

Xanathar is an old D&D NPC. He's a beholder crime lord who lives in Waterdeep. He has a pet goldfish. If it dies, the whole organization will be in upheaval. Derek Myers wrote some great Xanathar stuff a few years back.
Girls, Guts, Glory

We see a clip of one of the Girls, Guts, Glory games. Their DM, Kim Hidalgo, cracks me up. Their site is right here.

(Kim Hidalgo) Kava Dragonnes - Brass Dragonborn Monk
(Alice Greczyn) Wren - Gnome Druid
(Erika) Lala - Pixie Ranger
(Rachel Seeley) Moira Mirren - Paladin
(Allie Gonino) Lilith - Tiefling Bard
(Sujata Day) Ichabod - Mountain Dwarf

Matt Mercer is the DM. The group has been searching for a lost city in the jungles of Chult. The heroes are out of provisions, and need to go back to town. To start with, Kava has not met the group and is not with them.

Lizardfolk lead them to a small fishing village. The group signs on to a fishing boat. It is operated by Captain Logan, a half-orc with a sly grin and his 17-year old sidekick, the first mate Finny.

There are dragon turtles about. Dragon turtles must be in Tomb of Annihilation, big time.

A storm hits. Ichabod barfs. He befriends another dwarf and they share a vomit bucket. Water breathing spell is cast.

The group goes overboard! They're in the water. Wren blacks out and wakes up on a beach. The sky has cleared up somewhat. Kava Dragonnes approaches and greets the dwarf. They gather up the group, who have also washed up on shore.

The group finds Finny, the 1st mate. He wants to find the captain. Kava mentions the Soulmonger.

The dwarf is the only male. The player does an accent that really cracks me up. This whole group is definitely on the role-playing end of the spectrum, and IMO they're really good - each is funny and distinct.

Rowan finds a mask and she puts it on. She feels like a god, and then has the urge to burn things. She takes it off.

The group will have to go through the jungle, which is apparently crawling with undead. She spots a plume of smoke about 4-5 miles ahead. No clear path.

The heroes are ambushed by some creatures - not sure what they are. Dinosaur-type things? Kava fights them with "martial arts," and karate chops the crap out of one.

Kava is hit with a critical and she's down. Ichabod tries to avenge Kava, openly speculating that she might fall in love with him.

The heroes defeat the creatures, heal Kava, and continue on.

They come upon a village frog-people. I think they are grung. A horde of grung encircle the heroes. They bring the heroes to their elder.

The heroes tell the elder that they are here to end the curse. The elder wants to trade, wants shiny things, in exchange for their lives, or trinkets. They have chests of seashells, pearls, broken stuff. The group needs food. The grung have delicious spiced fish. This is the source of the smoke they saw earlier - cooking the fish.

The group want to trade the mask to them. As soon as they pull out the mask. The grung start screaming and squealing. They hear a menacing voice that says, "You've brought me back."

A spectral entity forms in front of them. We roll initiative. Wren turns into a giant eagle and attacks it. The entity possesses Lilith.

The pixie tries to pull the mask off. Not successful. The group has to attack their friend, and the entity leaves her body.

Kava breathes fire on it. Wren casts protection from evil on herself, nice!

There's a pillar with a bowl or seat on it. The thing is trying to get up there. The pixie unloads on the entity and does a pile of damage. It keeps trying to possess/influence the group, but they are rolling incredibly high on their saving throws.

Moira pulls he mask off of the thing and stomps on it. She destroyed it! The heroes are rewarded with food and we are done. I really like this group. If you're more into the actor/roleplaying side of D&D, you should check them out.

Betrayal at Baldur's Gate

Interview with Mike Mearls and Shelly Mazzanoble. Shelly is here representing Avalon Hill, Mike Mearls has designed a boardgame - Betrayal at Baldur's Gate.

Interview with Mike Mearls and Shelly Mazzanoble. Shelly is here representing Avalon Hill
  • There are 50 adventures in this, called "haunts." 10-20% of the adventures are cooperative.
  • Monsters include: Minotaurs, vampires, dopplegangers
  • Magic items include the sphere of annihilation.
  • You can move between buildings and streets. The catacombs are a separate set of tiles. 
Comes out October 6th.

Interview With Girls, Guts, Glory

They have known each other a long time. They pre-tape the show. Live games are a lot of pressure, because some of them are very new to the game. Pre-taping lets them edit out looking up rules. Their episodes are 14-15 minutes, very short.

The 12-year-old that Kim played in Tower of the Curator last night is an NPC on their show... and now he's dead. That's pretty awesome.

High Rollers

The DM is Mark Hulmes. There is a dude at a keyboard who will play background music.

(Katie Morrison) Fia - Half-Elf Thief
(Chris Trott) Six Frisky Flames - Tabaxi Sorcerer
(Dylan Sprouse) Laskilar Flisk - Human Fighter, he owns a ship
(Kim Richards) Kalar Rageiron - Half-orc Barbarian

We jump right into the game. The group enters a dungeon. There's a glowing sphere in the ceiling, an inert skeleton holding a gold staff in a sarcophagus, and green devil faces in the wall. Undead dwarves are in here. The floor is slowly moving upward, toward this incredibly hot sun-thing in the ceiling.

Fia tries to swing on a grappling hook, but the sun-thing burns the rope. She ends up crashing into a dwarf. Laskilar tries to loot the stuff in the sarcophagus. The skeletal thing in the sarcophagus grabs his hand. There's cubes and a scroll inside the sarcophagus.

So the group is trying to deal with this very complex trap room, and then we have a flashback. Mark is playing around with time, very interesting. He has handouts ready and he has a hand-drawn map. IMO Mark Hulmes is a top notch DM. He's hardcore and I really appreciate that.

The group does some research at the behest of a scholar dude. They go through some texts and are able to piece together the clues to find the dungeon that they end up in. Mark explains that if they had failed this (skill challenge), it would have given them penalties in this encounter due to all of the wandering in the jungle that would have resulted.

Kalar tries to whip an undead thing but rolls a natural one. She is hitting on Fia non-stop. Six falls into a chute. Fia shoots her grappling hook/crossbow down there into the wall so that the tabaxi can climb out.

We have another flashback. We're on Flisk's ship, sailing to Calimshan.

Six gets sea-sick (say that 5 times fast). Six decides to go hide in a barrel. It turns out there is an old guy on the ship who does the same thing, and somehow they end up in a barrel together. Die rolls are made and the tabaxi's tail ends up somewhere unintentional.

The others are trying to sail through the storm. Flisk and are both working the main wheel in a most flirtatious manner. The ship is hit with lightning but the group survives the storm.

Back in the tomb, they are still trying to get Six out of the pit. The one old mummy guy begs the group not to proceed, says something about Omu. It doesn't want them messing with the golden staff.

Flisk grabs one of the cubes and bails on the group. He has the staff, too. The door he escaped through is closing.

Six got chucked back into the pit. He climbs out and casts crown of madness on Flisk to stop him! He fails his save!

Kalar uses her whip. She tries to use it to drag him by the leg back into the room. Flisk parries it away.

She has a second attack. She reaches through and grabs him. The doorway she's reaching in is closing - her arm is about to be crushed. Flisk breaks free of her grip and the crown of madness. The scroll falls and rolls into the room where the heroes are.

Flisk runs over a seal with the staff, which is what the mummy didn't want to happen.

The heroes escape and make their way outside. They see Flisk's ship sailing away. They read the scroll. It says that the walls of Omu is not save. The lich has created something horrible - filled the tomb with treasures. If you are intent on madness, the staff will lead you to the Shrine of the Nine, the Tomb of Annihilation.

Dragon Talk

Greg Tito and Shelly Mazzanoble of Dragon Talk are here. Shelly does her C-3P0 impression. Then we go to Roll20 stuff.


Roll20Con is in June. During it, they will be letting users try plus features for free. The proceeds go to Cybersmile. Last year they had the waffle crew play through an adventure. They say that some of the people at the Stream of Annihilation will be involved running games at this online con.

Misscliks D&D: Risen

The DM is Nadja Otikor

(Steven Lumpkin) Jorm - Human Paladin of Tyr
(Kelly Link) Yori - Halfling Rogue
(Neal Erickson) Langus
(Brit Weisman) Lalu - Tiefling Druid

The group has just killed a troll. They are trapped in a dungeon - a collapse has blocked the exit.

They come to a hallway... there's a chasm that needs to be crossed. The group ties a rope to Yori and chucks her across the chasm. The rest is able to cross.

They keep going and they smell something. Langus and Lalu fall asleep.The others pull them back away from the gas. They wake them up and the paladin casts bless on the group to give them advantage on their saves. The heroes sprint down the hallway and move on.

The adventurers come to a room where there is an axe being held by a gauntlet sticking out of the rubble. Both Lalu and Lingus pick it up. It is a sentient weapon named Gorim the Great. It's cursed... they can't put it down. This is definitely a predicament.

They destroy the wooden haft, which ends the curse. They keep the axe-head.

There's a hole in the ceiling. They chuck a rope up there and climb

The heroes make their way up and eventually makes their way to a room half-full of water. Lalu dives down.. a seaweed/vine thing lashes out and tries to grab her. She evades it and swims back up.

She decides to dive down and grab a vine. She actually succeeds and pulls it up with her. It is not happy. Yori climbs back up from whence they came.

Langus pulls out the axe-head - Gorim. He's cursed again. He swims down and hacks apart all the vines. No rolls, this is a very loose, adventure-style game. They make their way out and come to a hallway. A voice calls out from around the corner.

The group decides to just go ahead and walk around the corner. They do, and see a bedragged old man chained to a wall.

The group goes back and forth and somehow comes to the conclusion that to rid Langus of the cursed axehead Gorim, they need to cut his hand off. They are thinking lesser restoration will grow the hand back. One player is trying to argue it could work. Regenerate is a 7th level spell, buddy.

They free the old guy, who is named Stanley. They head to a room full of troll junk. There's a book in there that Stanlee snatches up and begins reading.

The wizard actually ends the curse, and Langus is able to release to axe. The wizard starts leading them to the exit. There's a troll? Multiple trolls? The group runs.

They escape the dungeon and there you go. That's where we stop.

Maze Arcana Interview

Fury's Reach is two shows, one run by Satine the other by Ruty. Both of the parties are actually going after the same thing.

Dragon Friends

David Harmon is the DM

(Edan Lacey) Baston - Fighter
(Ben Jenkins) Juma
(Michael Hing) Freezo - Wizard
(Alex Lee) Philge - Half-Orc Barbarian
(Simon Grenier) Bobby Pancakes 

The group is in a cage. They are sweaty and decide to show off their abs and midriffs. There is a crowd here. Looks like they are being lowered into a pit.

They are at a place called "Executioner's Row."

They have all committed crimes They decide to say their crime out loud at the same time. One dude's crime is "light genocide."

The criminals are released down below, and there's a bunch of dinosaurs standing among dead bodies. They're chained to the wall.. wait.. the chains are released. Here come the dinosaurs. Velociraptors and a deinonychus.

Philge puts a skull on each hand and punches a raptor to death. Bobby casts a spell to disguise himself as a little raptor baby. DM doesn't like it and it doesn't work out. This group is going very fast, I heartily approve.

Dinosaurs are defeated. A ladder is lowered. Only one character climbs while the rest go off on selling the dinosaurs on joining a union. The ladder gets pulled up.

The heroes are suddenly alarmed. The DM tells them there are consequences for their actions.

Mysterious people put their heads in sacks.. the group thinks he means a "sax" and does that sax solo.

They are brought to Janos Mere, the Beggar King, their former employer who they skipped out on.

The group talks about how hard it is to play without swearing all the time.

Janos says that there is a shortage of a certain dye useful to wizards. It can be found in Chult.

This dye is extracted from turtle eggs, so the group will need to find them. Hmm. Dragon turtle eggs, maybe?

Their guide is Grimsley Davenport, a sweaty fellow. The group sails down a river on a small boat. Looks like someone has launched balled-up centipedes at the group and we have ourselves an encounter. The group starts chucking them overboard and hitting them like a tennis player.

The group sails down a river on a small boat. Looks like someone has launched balled-up centipedes at the group. The centipedes start biting into the group.

The adventurers come upon masks hanging from trees on the shore. They are made by goblins who follow Maglubiyet. Philge straps small boats to his body and runs around looking for relics.

Four goblinoid creatures wearing wooden masks that look like fire ants. Looks like they've been using the dye. The goblins peacefully approach. The group goes along with it. The goblin leader is Boss Yakka.

The group is invited to a feast with the goblins. The group agrees, and go with them. The heroes are led to a clearing. Uh Oh.

Boss Yakka lets out a bird call. Ropes descend from above. In the trees is an "ewok village." Ah, the group thought they were led to an ambush. This village is where the goblins live.

The group is led to a throne of spears with tabaxi skulls on it. This is Bubba Striggy, Queen of the fire ant tribe. There's a goblin chained to the side of her chair who translates for her.

Looks like this goblin is a character from a previous season. Freezo is looking sick. He was bitten by a centipede, looks like he was poisoned. The goblins begin rubbing talc into the wound. They heal it.

The group sleeps in a tent.. and that's where we stop.

Gale Force Nine Interview

Gale Force Nine makes all sorts of D&D stuff. They're making a Tomb of Annihilation DM Screen, minis and other things they can't talk about.

Maze Arcana

DM is Ruty. I have never seen a DM chew scenery before, but that's exactly what he does at the beginning.

(Lauren) Doraxa - Engineer
(Mark Hulmes) Vog - Master at Arms
(Brie) Redoss - Navigator
(Matthew Lillard) Brax Gist - Wizard
(Satine Phoenix) Bellasandra - The Captain
(Nathan Stewart) Veliod aka "Preacher Bob"
(Abe Benrubi) Dr. Na

These characters have just returned to the world of Toril. During the 4e Spellplague, they were sucked into Abeir, the sort-of shadow world that crossed over with the Realms for a time.

The group is camped in the jungles of Chult. The captain calls a meeting. The group has just looted a bunch of eggs.. looks like the cook accidentally cooked them.

Then.. a stampede of triceratopseses explodes out of the jungle and crashes into the camp. It tears through the tents and keep going. In their wake, there are injured NPCs and a baby dinosaur approaches them.

The group discusses what to do with it.. and then a tyrannosaurus rex lunges down and eats it. It barfs up zombies!

A darkness spell is cast on the t. rex, group is scattering. Some of the group starts to fight it, DM seems like he doesn't want them to do it. Matt Lillard in particular is a rebel here.

Eventually the group flees to the boat.

I missed the rest of this, needed a break!

High Rollers Interview

The group talks about their new characters and talks about a character death that happened in their first campaign where, apparently, they cried in real life.

Crawl of Annihilation

The DM is Dylan Sprouse.

(Anna Prosser-Robinson) Lathas - Cleric
(Joe Managiello) Half-Matt - Sorcerer
(Matthew Lillard) Pile - Bard
(Satine Phoenix) Atuntari - Tiefling Wizard
(Liam O'Brien) Moren Tarantel - Halfling Warlock, has a pseudodragon
(Abe Benrubi) Solomon -
(Taliesin) Volkh - Half-Orc Paladin, has a mastiff and a bear

The group is camped in the jungle of Chult. The group spots a kenku.

It seems like it wants the group to follow it. The kenku chucks a pouch to Solomon.

I think Taliesin has become one of my favorite players to watch. He always has a cool character idea and he is focused like a laser.

There's some gold in the pouch. The kenku seemed to be guarding a carriage. An older, white-feather kenku is guarding it. There is a shimmering orb of magic. Pile casts tongues to talk with the kenku. It wants them to go to a shrine, to protect.

The kenku gives them more gold and an ornamental dagger. The dagger is covered in green slime..? The group goes with the kenku. They spot some furred humanoids that walk right through some trees.

A huge hand comes out of the forest. It draws a line in the path behind them with its finger.

A poison cloud wafts out of the jungle, kills a kenku and does 24 points to Pile.

A green dragon head rises out of the jungle. Half-Matt asks it what it wants. It says it wants the group dead. Half-Matt casts a fireball. It doesn't seem to affect the dragon.

The group arrives at an obelisk. Pile casts major image and creates an illusion of black dragon. The green dragon launches up into the sky to speak to the dragon. Pile still has tongues going.

The green dragon realizes it's an illusion.

The kenku unload their package - a baby green dragon. Yikes. Pile tells the dragon he didn't know, and he's on its side. The group is with him. The heroes attack the kenku, who look like they're going to sacrifice this little baby.

A dome appears over the obelisk. Wards glow brightly around it. The group is stumped, but then Anna gets her turn and immediately knows what to do - attack the wards.

Lillard is drunk.

The dome goes down and the group tees off on the kenku. The green dragon flies in to help. Joe Managiello gets the final roll of the Stream of Annihilation, which is incredibly fitting. He does 60 points of fire damage.

The green dragon frees its son. The dragon thanks the heroes and wants to see their weapons. He takes the weapons... and leaves! Ha! Dylan Sprouse, this guy is something else.

That's it! Stream over! Lots of good stuff over the course of these two days. I'll write a follow-up article tomorrow on thoughts and observations. I have a hankering to list my favorite players and sessions, and of course pick an 'all star team'. That's hard because there really were a lot of fun players over these two days.


glados131 said...

You're not alone in liking Taliesin's play style. Do you watch Critical Role? His character on that show, Percy, is probably one of my favorite D&D characters of all time.

Andy E. said...

Nice write up. No Coleville today? Appreciate the summary!

Sean said...

glados131: I only saw the 1st episode of Critical Role. They are really long so I haven't been able to watch much.

Andy E: Thanks! I think Colville had a mix-up with his flight schedule and had to leave a day early. He was quite upset about it on twitter.

glados131 said...

Understandable. It took me several months to fully catch up but I'm so glad I did. The fact that they're all professional voice actors means the roleplaying is on another level.

I do think the show should come with a bit of a disclaimer for new players, though. It can potentially give new players unreasonable expectations for the game.