Crafting Annihilation 11/15

Behind-the-scenes DM-only live stream of building and preparing our ongoing Tomb of Annihilation series.

Streamed live every Thursday.

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DMs Guild Review – Grimm Encounters

A dozen brief and twisted encounters drawn from classic fairy tale stories, such as Snow White and the Three Little Pigs.

A review copy of “Grimm Encounters” was provided by the publisher. Find more DMs Guild Reviews on my website and YouTube channel.

Support my work via Patreon.

Designed by: JVC Parry & Jeff C. Stevens (+ Ken Carcas, Jean Lorber, Patrick E. Pullen, Phil Beckwith, Tony Petrecca)

dms guild reviewWhen I reviewed “Grimm Encounters II” I wondered where the more obvious fairy tale stories were. Turns out they were here in the first installment!

Within “Grimm Encounters” you’ll find a dozen fairy tale-inspired encounters (CR 1-7), including the much more recognizable tales of Hansel and Gretel, the Three Little Pigs, and the Pied Piper. The encounters are much shorter and simpler than the sequel, but still successfully apply classic grimdark fairly tale characters and themes to Dungeons & Dragons. Continue reading “DMs Guild Review – Grimm Encounters”

Let’s Play – Darkest Dungeon Field Report 8a

Tackle some easy level 1 missions in the Ruins, though the Prophet is not to be underestimated.

I’ll be peppering my live Let’s Plays with some offline gameplay. To help remember what happened, and to regale you of any drama, I’ll be writing these Field Reports between Episodes.

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Darkest Dungeon Episode 09 will air Monday, Nov. 12 at 9:30p Central US.

Since reaching my Patreon goal of two Let’s Play live streams per week, I haven’t had time to fit any offline sessions in between. But my Roll20 Review of Dungeon of the Mad Mage took much longer than expected, and I was unable to stream last Friday.

So I made some time this weekend to play a bit offline in preparation for Monday’s stream.

Week 23

Everyone’s looking good going into Week 23. I did finally see a Hound Master in the Recruitment Camp and brought him on board. Unfortunately he’s level 0, and my next missions would involve the Ruins, where bleed-focused heroes fare poorly.

I decided to tackle a level 1 mission in the Ruins, and the first that had an actual objective other than killing a boss or just exploring every room. I had to find three specific curios and purify them, which meant three of my precious few inventory slots were taken up by special potions, ugh.

let's play

I wanted to include some level 1 heroes since this was a relatively easy mission. At this point half of my team are lvl 4 or 5!

Mission: Ruins, Purify the Altars, Level 1, Medium

Squad:

  • Tabraham, lvl 1 Vestel
  • Chatwood, lvl 1 Plague Doctor
  • Fitzherbert, lvl 4 Grave Robber
  • Lynom, lvl 4 Leper

I knew that bleeding is no good in the ruins so I went with a blight team. Plague Doctor grenades plus Fitz’s poison needles stacked blight beautifully.

The mission was a breeze, though I realized that Scouting is even more important here as finding where the curios are (whether in a room or hallway) can complete it that much quicker.

let's play

Week 24

Completing the previous mission gave me a nifty week event: Silence in the Crypts, bolstering my XP gain by 33% and damage by 15% for my next mission – provided it’s in the Ruins. What better time to take on the next Ruins boss?

I’ve ran into a tricky conundrum, however. Level 5 heroes will refuse to go on level 1 missions! And the Sonorous Prophet is the first form of the second boss of the Ruins, a level 1 mission.

let's play

While I’ve done a decent job leveling a bunch of heroes up, I need to make sure I’m spreading the XP out even more. My only worry at this point is if the first two bosses of the Cove are also level 1 (I assume so), which could be very tricky to handle by the time I unlock them, as most of my veterans are either level 5 or at the top end of level 4.

On the other hand, the overall goal is to simply get a level 6 squad together to tackle the final Darkest Dungeon. Does that mean actually beating all the bosses in each other location is simply optional?

With a huge payout of deeds and crests I was able to snag the level 4 weaponsmithing upgrade at the blacksmith. I’ve been prioritizing these upgrades over any others and they seem to pay off quite well.

For my squad I tried to once again use a balance of lower level heroes, yet also make sure I was strong enough for a boss I hadn’t fought before.

Mission: Ruins, Kill the Sonorous Prophet, level 1, Medium

Squad:

  • Vane, lvl 4 Arbalest
  • Chatwood, lvl 1 Plague Doctor
  • Paris, lvl 2 Abomination
  • Briqueville, lvl 3 Man at Arms

The map required me to loop around a bit. None of the fights were particularly difficult thanks to the buff from the weekly event. Vane in particular does extra damage against unholy, so she was one-shotting everything on her turn. I never even had to transform my Abomination, as his 2-hit Bile was doing fine work.

let's play

I did have to manage a bit of stress upon camping. I got unlucky and the boss was in the last possible room furthest from the starting point. Everyone was decently healthy though hovering around 30-40% stress.

The Prophet didn’t so much as cause stress as just tear me up.

There’s only one of him and he’s in the back slot behind some study walls. Thankfully most of my damage, Vane’s attacks and the blights from Chatwood, could hit him (Paris was useless, though). I had to use the Man at Arms to Guard my backline as both Chatwood and Vane came dangerously close to death, near about 20% health!

let's play

Thankfully the boss didn’t have any real defenses and had 0% resistance to blight and bleed, so he only lasted a few rounds.

Everyone survived and I got a huge payout of nearly 50 Crests! Can’t quite get the next level of armor upgrades but with almost everyone in fighting shape I’m feeling pretty good about going into my first level 3 boss fight, the Swing King, for Monday night’s stream.

Darkest Dungeon Episode 09 will air Monday, Nov. 12 at 9:30p Central US.

Look for more Field Reports throughout the week. Watch my Let’s Play live streams every Monday.

Tomb of Annihilation Session 11 Recap

Weretigers, Flying Monkeys, and Mad Mist, oh my! The party continues their travels up river, finally arriving in Camp Righteous.

Streamed, recorded and uploaded every week. Subscribe for our weekly adventures. Join us live on Fridays at 7pm Pacific/10pm Eastern!

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Previously on Tomb of Annihilation

Starring:
Mannix, level 3 Human Inquisitive Rogue
Khaless, level 3 Half-Drow Assassin Rogue
Gillian, level 3 Triton Bard of Whispers
George, level 3 Tortle Battle Master Fighter
Therin, level 3 Hill Dwarf Druid of the Moon

Travel along the River Soshenstar toward Camp Righteous continued. Where last week was mostly a series of standard combat encounters, this time I unleashed several encounters that weren’t directly hostile.

Well, except for the weretiger. Continue reading “Tomb of Annihilation Session 11 Recap”

Roll20 Review – Waterdeep: Dungeon of the Mad Mage

Undermountain features an absolutely gigantic mega-dungeon and some of the best dungeon designs I’ve ever seen.

A press review copy of the module was provided. Read more Roll20 Reviews and watch the video reviews on my YouTube channel.

Support my video work via Patreon.

It wouldn’t be a proper Dungeons & Dragons adventure without at least one dungeon crawl. Different published adventures have leaned more heavily into the dungeon theme than others, but Waterdeep: Dungeon of the Mad Mage definitely wins the Most Dungeon award I just made up.

Welcome to Undermountain, the 23-level mega-dungeon!

MAJOR SPOILERS – DM’s only!

Continue reading “Roll20 Review – Waterdeep: Dungeon of the Mad Mage”