Tomb of Annihilation Session 1 Recap

Our new heroes learn about the Death Curse and the Soulmonger, secure passage on a ship to Chult, and explore a dangerous shipwreck.


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Previously on Tomb of Annihilation

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

With our new characters ready to go from last week’s Session 0, we officially kicked off our Tomb of Annihilation campaign this week. We learn about our PCs’ backstories and the hows and whys they’re connected to Chult, while they learn about the death curse. They secure passage on a ship, meet with the crew (and each other), and explore a dangerous shipwreck. Continue reading “Tomb of Annihilation Session 1 Recap”

Crafting Annihilation 08/30

Crafting Annihilation is streamed live at 7pm Pacific/12pm Eastern every Thursday.

The very first ‘episode’ of Crafting Annihilation aired this morning on my YouTube Channel. It’s a brand new, live streamed series where I take a behind-the-scenes, DM-only tour through building and preparing for our weekly D&D Roll20 adventures.

I had an absolute blast answering questions and bouncing ideas with the live chat while revealing story ideas and maps for the campaign.

The series airs every Thursday morning. Give it a watch to see the ‘under construction’ side of crafting an ongoing D&D campaign – unless you’re my players in which case stay away until Friday night!

Crafting Annihilation is streamed live at 7pm Pacific/12pm Eastern every Thursday.

Tomb of Annihilation Session 0 Recap

Meet our new cast of characters who will be entering the Tomb of Annihilation.

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!

It’s my first ever recap for our new Tomb of Annihilation campaign! But what is a Session 0 and how do I recap it?

A Session 0 serves two purposes. First it allows me, the DM, to introduce the campaign outside of the story. In other words, talk about new house rules, themes and setting, and what my players want out of it.

We’ve been playing together for enough years that I don’t really need to ask my players what they want from the campaign. I have a pretty good handle on the ratio of role-playing to combat to puzzles that each player is looking for.

The other purpose is it allows us to create our characters together. This is obviously a huge step in any adventure and it helps promote synergy between player characters, both mechanically and story-wise.

For Roll20, it also helps to get familiar with the new character sheets we’re using and how they work, making sure we don’t run into any technical difficulties when we kick off the campaign proper next week (which will also include character backstories and prologues).

It was a much shorter session, and thus will be a shorter recap! I will introduce our new player characters below, and we’ll see everyone next week when we officially start the campaign with session 1!

Note: For character creation I required everyone come up with Five Personality Traits to summarize their character, as well a single Quirk from a d100 list of Quirks I wrote. For stats we used the Roll Method, with the option to take the Standard Array if you were dissatisfied with the results.

tomb of annihilationMannix (played by Chris)
Human Rogue
True Neutral
Private Investigator (Urban Bounty Hunter)
STR: 10
DEX: 12
CON: 11
INT: 16
WIS: 14
CHA: 13
Traits: Disillusioned, Curious, Confident, Judgmental, Suspicious
Quirk: Trust issues; suspicious of everyone.
Concept: A noir detective who uses his wits and investigative skills to track people and solve problems.

DM Notes: I was impressed that Chris stuck to his guns with creating a character who was pretty bad at combat but really good at lots of skills, creating a more cerebral rogue with the highest INT score of the group. Have a feeling he’ll be getting a lot of use out the rogue Cunning Action to disengage from fights!

tomb of annihilationKhaless (played by Heather)
Half-drow Rogue
Chaotic Neutral
Criminal (Hired Killer)
STR: 12
DEX: 19
CON: 17
INT: 5
WIS: 12
CHA: 10
Traits: Invisible, Proud, Predatory, Obedient, Discrete
Quirk: Mispronounces words in trying to seem smart.
Concept: Enslaved by Red Wizards as a killer-on-a-leash, she escaped bondage and now swears vengeance on her handlers.

DM Notes: We’ve never had such a crazy roll on ability stats: as high as an 18 and as low as a 5! Heather rolled with it, creating a glaring dump stat (though INT is kinda crap in D&D 5E, but still, a -3!) but creating a rogue with a damn 19 in DEX at level 1. Despite both being rogues at level 1, Khaless and Mannix couldn’t be more different.

tomb of annihilationGillian Flounderson (played by Rachelle)
Triton Bard
Lawful Good
STR: 12
DEX: 14
CON: 14
INT: 8
WIS: 10
CHA: 16
Spells: Friends, Light, Thunderwave, Healing Word, Fog Cloud
Traits: Pompous, Kind-hearted, Philosophical, Tenacious, Socialite
Quirk: Dramatically swears vengeance on every foe.
Concept: A pampered debutante from a noble house expects everyone to treat her like a queen, and with her social skills and grace, most do.

DM Notes: A socialite triton in Chult will be a real fish out of water! With no Sorcerers or Warlocks in this party, Gillian is the only PC with a focus on CHA. I can see her doing much of the talking in the party, and given her personality and background should make for some interesting results.

tomb of annihilationGiorgiano “George” (played by Raymond)
Tortle Fighter
Lawful Good
Outlander (Bounty Hunter)
STR: 16
DEX: 14
CON: 14
INT: 13
WIS: 15
CHA: 8
Traits: Clumsy, C0nfident, Naive, Kind-hearted, Loyal
Quirk: Clean freak, hates being dirty or gross.
Concept: A warrior in training who was sent from his homeland to expand his worldview (and find monsters to slay).

DM Notes: Raymond tends to play jokey characters, so it should come as no surprise that we have a ninja tortle in the party! He’s the only STR-focused PC of the whole bunch, and his natural tortle AC will helps make him the tank. While he didn’t roll more than 14 on any stat, he still rolled really well with above average stats in almost everything, making one of of the more well-rounded PCs.

tomb of annihilationTherin Bristlebeard (played by Reese)
Hill Dwarf Druid
Neutral Good
STR: 10
DEX: 16
CON: 18
INT: 11
WIS: 18
CHA: 10
Spells: Druidcraft, Poison Spray, Animal Friendship, Cure Wounds, Detect Magic, Entangle, Speak with Animals
Traits: Diligent, Even-tempered, Gruff, Stubborn, Miserly
Quirk: Obsessed with destroying the undead.
Concept: A grumpy but kind druid who helps those who are lost, but harbors a blood-thirsty side (hello wildshape!).

DM Notes: Reese won the stat lottery! Raymond did it in our previous campaign, but this time Reese rolled an incredible array of stats that added up to 80 total points! With the Hill Dwarf bonuses he was able to get two 18’s at level 1, which is nuts. With that CON bonus, Hill Dwarf HP bonus, and a shield Therin can easily be an off-tank, even before he gets wildshape at level 2.

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!

Patreon is live, Tomb of Annihilation begins tonight!

My Patreon page is live! This page will act as a community hub for both our ongoing live play D&D campaign as well as my many video review series on board games and tabletop RPGs.

There you’ll find discussions, polls, anecdotes, and updates. My goal is to never go more than two days without an update post or video!

Every week on Monday (starting Aug. 26) I’ll upload a video for Silver and higher-level patrons discussing what I’m working on.

Tonight will kick off our new D&D 5e campaign, Tomb of Annihilation! This will be our Session 0 where we introduce and create all of our player characters and prepare for Session 1 next week. Start times remain the same: Fridays at 7pm Pacific/10pm Eastern, and my goal is to start the stream on time every week!

Next Thursday will kick off my new behind-the-scenes live series, Crafting Annihilation, which will start around 9am pacific/12pm eastern and run for 30-60 minutes.

Patreon Incoming + New Show Announcement

With our transition to a new campaign next week, I’m using this opportunity to announce another weekly D&D show: Crafting Annihilation! This will be a live streamed behind-the-scenes series where I go through my prep work for that week’s session of Tomb of Annihilation.

Next week is our Session 0 where we’ll introduce and create our new player characters. After that the normal routine will be Crafting Annihilation on Thursday mornings (tentatively) and Tomb of Annihilation on our usual Friday evenings.

I’ll also be launching a Patreon next week to help support all the extra video content I produce on my YouTube channel (and here on my website), including DMs Guild Reviews, Roll20 Reviews, RogueWatson Reviews (board games), and the new Crafting Annihilation series.

With your patronage I can increase my output of videos with a more consistent release schedule (such as a DMs Guild Review every Tuesday).

Leave comments here or on YouTube for suggestions on the kind of reward tiers or special perks you want to see on the Patreon page.

DMs Guild Review: Struggle in Three Horn Valley

A press copy of Struggle in Three Horn Valley was provided for the purposes of this review.

Designed by: Phil Beckwith
Published by: P.B. Publishing

d&dDinosaurs and D&D are all the rage right now thanks to “Tomb of Annihilation,” the current ongoing story-line and campaign adventure for Dungeons & Dragons Fifth Edition. “Struggle in Three Horn Valley” provides even more lost island dino goodness, beginning with a shipwreck and ending in a full-blown Dino-Riders war zone.

“Struggle in Three Horn Valley” is a lost island adventure designed for a party of 3rd to 4th level characters. It’s about 40 pages long with a suggested play time of six hours. It’s set on an uncharted island called Selu, home to tribal warriors, dinosaurs, lizardfolk, and pirates. Continue reading “DMs Guild Review: Struggle in Three Horn Valley”

Roll20 Review: Tomb of Annihilation

Welcome to another Roll20 Review, my written and video series in which I review the paid modules available for sale at Roll20. A review copy of the module was provided.

The Tomb of Horrors is one of the most infamous and difficult dungeons Gary Gygax ever designed. It was famous enough for a major plot point in Ready Player One, easily the best part of a novel I otherwise loathed. It recently appeared with a D&D Fifth Edition conversion in Tales from the Yawning Portal earlier this year (Roll20 Review coming soon!).

I was a bit surprised, though certainly not disappointed, that Acererak’s infamous dungeon would be the inspiration for Dungeon & Dragon‘s next major story campaign, Tomb of Annihilation.

The Roll20 Tomb of Annihilation module is the best work Roll20 has ever done. Tomb of Annihilation is already a very virtual tabletop-friendly campaign, and Roll20 went even further with interactive maps for puzzles and rooms, a token-filled page of random encounters, and all the written and visual content you’ll need to send your players into the dangerous jungles of Chult.

Continue reading “Roll20 Review: Tomb of Annihilation”