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Saturday, August 26, 2017

Dungeons & Dragons: City on the Edge - Life as We Don't Know It

You can buy these adventures here:

DDAL07-01 City on the Edge
DDAL07-02 Over the Edge

You can buy Tomb of Annihilation right here.
You can buy Xanathar's Guide to Everything right here.

Today we're going to check out the third mini-adventure in the first Adventurers League Tomb of Annihilation module. I am guessing this will be up on the DMs Guild soon. It is available to Dungeon Masters who run stuff in game stores.

The previous adventure was ridiculously great. From what I understand, the dinosaur racing rules are actually in the Tomb of Annihilation. I think that most dinosaur races actually occur in the city streets. That sounds like a lot of fun, probably my favorite thing that I've heard about from the adventure so far.

We learn a little bit about an area of Port Nyanzaru called Malar's Throat:
  • Malar's Throat is outside the city walls.
  • Small houses made of wood and patched stonework are on the edge of a ravine.
  • Narrow rope bridges extend to the other side of the ravine, where there are more homes.
  • Several buildings cling to the steep wall of the ravine.
I really like that. Fights on rope bridges are definitely something that should happen in D&D.

And look at that... we kick it off with a battle on a rope bridge. The group meets a tabaxi (cat person) named "Screaming Wind."

The tabaxi names... so many joke opportunities. Let's make some tabaxi names for players to groan at:
  • Packing Heat
  • Looking Fly
  • Passing Wind
  • Pumping Iron
  • Smelling Salt
  • Sharing Stone
  • Crying Wolf
  • Licking Toad
  • Peeping Tomb - I know it doesn't quite fit the theme, but I tried so hard. Tong? Throng?
We meet the group's NPC tabaxi buddy, Screaming Wind. She's got black-spotted fur and green eyes. She keeps quiet and is a skilled hunter. She has a secret, tragic past. She has a VIP membership card to the Emerald Enclave.

We learn that Malar's Throat is getting hit with all sorts of bad stuff:
  • Weird, diseased plants are growing.
  • Undead are wandering into town.
  • Pterafolk have abducted some villagers. A rescue party went to save them and haven't been heard from since.
The heroes are going to handle this. During their investigation, they encounter:
  • Disease-Carrying Insects: The disease effects are very minimal - disadvantage on certain skill things.
  • Okuligbo Weed: When the group runs into a dangerous plant, they need to spot it with a perception check and then make a survival check to identify its properties.This thing is pretty dangerous.
Wow.. then there's an intense scene with a woman who is dragged away. It says: "Sadly, there is nothing the party can do for her." Not in my campaign, pal!

Tomb of Annihilation has a lot of plant-perils. There are matabo vines here given the full trap treatment with a trigger, effects and countermeasures. Seems really cool.
Then we get a final encounter with some grungs (frog-people). There's a chance some party members will get charmed, which is always a tricky thing to handle in a fun way.

There's an aftereffect of the charm. For weeks, you'll have dreams of serpents and a soft voice will whisper to you, urging you to join them in the arm of oblivion. Sounds like some Dendar, the night serpent stuff.

Pterafolk: Pterafolk are mentioned in this adventure, and while you find some pterafolk corpses you don't actually fight any pterafolk and thus we do not have a look at pterafolk stats... yet. Maybe we'll get a gander at them in one of the upcoming mini-adventures.

This adventure feels a little disjointed. A whole lot of different things are mooshed together and it comes off weird. That said, a lot of times when an adventure looks flat on paper, it comes to life when you run it.

I think there should be some more mentions/clues about the grung earlier on. If I was a player in this, I'd perk up at the idea of fighting some pterafolk and then would stifle a groan when we end up fighting grungs. I am not a grung fan! I like Kurt Cobain, though.

I scanned ahead. Each of these adventures only has a couple of monsters. There are pterafolk, but they're all the way at the end.

If you're wondering, they are CR 1 monsters and they have a power called "terror dive", which is like a charge that also give you the frightened condition.

The next one involves undead, looks very cool.

Click here to check it out. It's got zombies that run really fast.

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