Crafting Annihilation 09/20

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 – Storm King’s Barrows: Tombs and Crypts of the North

A massive collection of ten dungeons designed to slot into Storm King’s Thunder.

A review copy of “Storm King’s Barrows: Tombs and Crypts of the North” was provided by the publisher. Find more DMs Guild Reviews on my website and YouTube channel. Support my work via Patreon.

dms guild reviewArranged by: Christian Eichhorn

One-shot dungeon designs are some of my favorite content to consume on the DMs Guild, and “Storm King’s Barrows: Tombs and Crypts of the North” is one of the biggest dungeon packs I’ve seen.

Taking its cues from the far-reaching Storm King’s Thunder campaign from Wizards of the Coast, “Storm King’s Barrows” includes over 130 pages featuring 10 mini-dungeons from 4th to around 10th level that all share a theme of exploring the dangerous caverns and crypts of the frozen north.

Continue reading “DMs Guild Review – Storm King’s Barrows: Tombs and Crypts of the North”

Goodreads Review: Red Seas Under Red Skies (Gentleman Bastard #2)

Book 2 of the Gentleman Bastard is a fun sequel that tries to do a bit too much.

Red Seas Under Red Skies (Gentleman Bastard, #2)Red Seas Under Red Skies by Scott Lynch
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I still enjoy Scott Lynch’s writing style and characters, but this follow-up to The Lies of Locke Lamora is a bit too bloated, resulting in some odd pacing issues.

We don’t get to the pirate stuff (as evidenced on the cover) until much later in the book; until then it’s a casino heist that only circles back around at the very, very end. The casino heist peters out but the entire pirate plot line is absolutely fantastic, with a rich cast of characters and some much deeper emotional stakes.

Red Seas Under Red Skies thus ends up too long and too grandiose for its own good. A few chapters early on even add an additional timeline of events that happened after LoLL but before this one. They’re not bad at all, and I continue to enjoy learning more about this relatable fantasy world, but it makes getting through the first half of the book much more of a slog than it should have been. Thankfully the ending climax ramps up very nicely – I devoured the last 100+ pages in about a day.

Overall a worthy sequel but I wish it had done a bit less and focused entirely on the pirate plot line of the latter half.

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Tomb of Annihilation Session 3 Recap

In the city we learn about the guides, obtain a racing dinosaur, visit the Temple of Savras, and save an innocent man from Executioner’s Run.

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

Support my channel via Patreon!

Previously on Tomb of Annihilation

Starring:
Mannix, level 2 Human Rogue
Khaless, level 2 Half-Drow Rogue
Therin, level 2 Hill Dwarf Druid

As the only major city in the entire campaign, Port Nyanzaru has a lot to offer. Shopping, hiring guides, racing dinosaurs, and lots of interesting quest hooks. I’ve read and seen many reports of players getting out of Port Nyanzaru as fast as possible to begin their jungle excursion, but I was ready to relish this unique city by throwing several major events and quest chains for my PCs.

In this week’s session we learned about the various guides the PCs can hire, teased the upcoming dinosaur race, and visited the Temple of Savras, which lead to multiple quest chains – including a rather thrilling rescue mission around Executioner’s Run.
Continue reading “Tomb of Annihilation Session 3 Recap”

DMs Guild Review – Drop-in Dungeons Tier 1

A collection of five dungeons designed to drop into an existing campaign.

A review copy of “Drop-in Dungeons Tier 1” was provided by the publisher. Find more DMs Guild Reviews on my website and YouTube channel. Support my reviews via Patreon.

dms guild reviewDesigned by: Beatriz T. Dias

Some of my favorite supplemental material for Dungeons & Dragons (and tabletop RPGs in general) are one-shot dungeons. I’ve used a dungeon from Kobold Press’ Book of Lairs for our Princes of the Apocalypse campaign, and plan on including one from Prepared 2 in Tomb of Annihilation.

Drop-in Dungeons Tier 1” provides the same concept on a much cheaper level. Five fairly generic dungeons are included, using material from the Monster Manual and Dungeon Master’s Guide. The dungeons aren’t particularly unique or memorable (save one), however, and I strongly dislike the black and white graph paper art style for the maps. Continue reading “DMs Guild Review – Drop-in Dungeons Tier 1”

Roll20 Review – Waterdeep: Dragon Heist

The urban adventure takes place entirely within Waterdeep, and features four different villainous paths and a disappointing new map style.

A press review copy of the module was provided. Find more Roll20 Reviews on my website and YouTube channel. Support my reviews via Patreon.

roll20 reviewIt’s been a full year since the last Dungeons & Dragons Fifth Edition campaign book. I had high praise for Tomb of Annihilation, and it’s been a long time since D&D fans have had any official new content to savor.

The urban adventure of Waterdeep: Dragon Heist is far removed from the more exotic locales of Ravenloft, Chult, and the Underdark. Waterdeep is the largest city on the Sword Coast with plenty of content to offer, but it’s more about warehouses and gang wars than, well, dungeons and dragons.

Unfortunately the minimalist blank ink on graph paper map style is exacerbated in a digital format like Roll20. Combined with the fact that it’s solely a Tier 1 adventure for levels 1-5 with the price tag of a full campaign book and Waterdeep: Dragon Heist has the dubious honor of being one of the weakest – if not the weakest – fifth edition adventure yet.

MAJOR SPOILERS – DM’s only!

Continue reading “Roll20 Review – Waterdeep: Dragon Heist”

Tomb of Annihilation Session 2 Recap

The Brazen Pegasus endures pirates, a dragon turtle, and a half-dragon harbormaster to finally reach Port Nyanzaru.

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

Support my channel via Patreon!

Previously on Tomb of Annihilation

Starring:
Mannix, level 1 Human Rogue
Khaless, level 1 Half-Drow Rogue
Gillian, level 1 Triton Bard
George, level 1 Tortle Fighter
Therin, level 1 Hill Dwarf Druid

To conclude our mini-Odyssey journey to Chult, I had two more scripted events planned. Both of them went off according to plan, establishing more of Chult’s dangerous flavor, introducing some interesting NPCs, and getting our level 1 heroes into Port Nyanzaru with a healthy bit of wear and tear.  Continue reading “Tomb of Annihilation Session 2 Recap”