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Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Dice, Camera, Action: Episode 90 - Tomb of Annihilation



Episode 90 - Vicious Mockeries
Final episode of the season! Special Guest: Jerry from Acquisitions, Inc.!

Chris is using his phone, He's in Burbank, California.

 The Party

(Anna) Evelyn - Human Paladin of Lathander
(ProJared) Diath - Human Rogue
(Holly) Strix - Tiefling Sorcerer
(Nathan) Paultin - Human Bard
(Jerry) Omin Dran - Half-Elf Cleric


Chris recaps the last episode, which includes the whole "womb for the box" thing.Jerry wonders aloud what they're doing on this show. The group points out that Jerry's group gets treated nicely by Chris. The waffle crew are the "whipping boys".

The group is in Port Nyanzaru, where their evil clones are wandering around.

Evelyn is in heaven.

A little girl had purloined the magical spectacles and took off, running. Diath chases after her. He catches up and grabs her.

She starts making a scene in the street, and a crowd is forming. He tries to grab the glasses: Sleight of Hand check: 32. A big tortle tells Diath that what he's doing isn't very nice.

The girl is demanding payment. The group catches up to them, and Paultin casts suggestion on her. It works. The group has the spectacles again.

Now that the group once again has all of the things they need, Diath asks Strix to read X the Mystic's Arcane Grimoire. Once she has, then they'll hand it over to Shemeshka.

It begins to rain. People dart for awnings. Raincatchers start collecting water. The group ducks into "Sebata's Snake Pies", a little establishment that sells meat pits.

Strix finds a paper with the Acquisitions Inc. letterhead on it. It appeared in her hat. It's correspondence from Omin Dran. She wants Omin to come and raise Evelyn and Simon from the dead.

She receives a magical sending from Omin: "Strix, where are you? I don't want to teleport into a hole."

Her response: "I'm at Sebata's Snake Pies."

Omin appears in neatly polished armor. He sees Strix, standing in the rain.

He is with a 30ish something woman named Vajra. She is black, slight and has a noble bearing. In her hand is an obsidian black staff.

Diath drops his pie and steps between Omin and Strix, fuming with rage. Omin has used the infernal contract to summon Strix away from the group before, and he doesn't like it.

Paultin draws his sword, confused. Vajra uses her staff to magically make the sword rusty and useless.

Diath goes off on him. Omin says, "You're acting like this is your girlfriend or something. What?" The other heroes stifle laughter.

Omin: "Listen, Dorth. I owe her. Let me do my work."

Omin says the price has already been paid.

The group rolls out the remains of Evelyn and Simon right on the street .Omin kneels down and examines them.

Port Nyanzaru guards are approaching the group. Paultin casts invisibility on himself.

An armored guard calls out, "Stop! Put your weapons down on the ground."

The guards think the group are the evil doubles. Citizens begin to gather. Some of them recognize the group.

The guards try to forcibly arrest everyone, including Omin. They hold Waffles at spear point. Strix casts gaseous form on her.

Paultin tells a guard he slept with his wife last night. Paultin rolls a 24, but it doesn't work out. The guard is gay. "I don't have a wife. Stop lying."

Omin demands to be allowed to collect the bodies before being taken away. The guards agree to it. The guards then march the group through the city.

They pass under a bridge. The heroes spot the evil clones looking down at them from atop the bridge.

Diath curses when he spots them and points them out to the guards.

Time to roll initiative!


The players actually play both their regular characters and their evil counterparts.

Anna is playing Evil Evelyn (her name is pronounced "Eh-velyn"). Evil Evelyn spots Omin's symbol of Tymora and dry heaves.

Evil Diath touches evil Evelyn on the small of her back and says, "This one's for you." He kisses her and swings on a rope down toward the group.

Paultin is thrilled with this new Diath. He says aloud, "One's my friend but one's... hotter."

Omin casts hold person on Evil Strix. She is held.

Evil Paultin casts crown of madness on Strix. Holly rolls her saving throw.. 15. She made it. That would have been bad!

The underside of the bridge has stone carvings of monkeys hanging from it. Strix casts animate object on a pair of them. Two stone monkeys break away and claw their way up to the top.

Paultin attacks evil Diath and drops him with the sunsword. This enrages Evil Evelyn, who shouts "Cower before Evelyn of Shar!"

Evil casts phantasmal force.. everyone but Omin fails. They drop their weapons and run! It appears that Evil Evelyn is higher level than the clones, who are 3rd level.

Phantasmal force manifests their deepest fears. What's their fear?
  • Strix: Everyone's dead.
  • Diath: His mirrored self. He hates the idea that everyone sees him as that guy. Also, Strix collared, shackled, enslaved and near death.
  • Paultin:Wearing the ring of winter and being alone in a frozen realm.
Strix casts magic weapon on her hands. She has claws. She kills Evil Strix.

Omin wants to casts stone shape on the bridge. Evil Evelyn fails her save. The ground under her feet softens and she falls through the bridge and lands on the ground below. Evil Paultin remains on the bridge, battling a stone monkey.

Evil Evelyn lays on hands with evil Diath by making out with him. He regains 20 hit points. Gutter is right near him. Evil Evelyn grabs the sunsword. Evil Diath grabs Gutter. This is bad!

Diath finally snaps out of it. He sprints back and throws a dagger at Evil Diath. He hits and is most pleased.

Evil Paultin thunderwaves the other monkey and destroys it.

Strix doesn't like Evil Evelyn and drops a 5th level fireball on both her and Evil Diath. 40 damage. Evil Diath is burned to a crisp.

Evil Evelyn lets out a shriek of rage.

Paultin casts dissonant whispers on Evil Evelyn, which causes her to malfunction and collapse. She's dropped to exactly 0 hit points.

Evil Paultin sees his whole team is fallen and flees.

The total live viewer count hits 2,432 at 8:58.

Omin says, "This was way harder than I expected. What if I need more than you, next time?"

Strix offers that the waffle crew could help the AI group if they need it. The group is brought to a guard quarter.

Evil Paultin makes a stealth check. He evades and escapes the guards. End of session.

It sounds like Jerry will be back in two weeks on the season premiere. Chris shows us a dicebag Anna made for Chris out of DCA costume pieces.

Overall

I love the idea of the evil clones, and I liked this. I expected some kind of twist, cliffhanger, or clue as to what season 4 will hold, but nothing stuck out to me.

While I was mortified at the idea of Evil Diath wielding Gutter, I really like Evil Diath and Evil Evelyn and I hope we see them again somehow.

I am enjoying the show, and I'm hoping they go all the way to 20th level.

Friday, April 13, 2018

Dungeons & Dragons - What is a Good Dungeon Master in 2018?

I have been busy working on a couple projects, one of which is a secret thing that I am very excited about.

This blog has opened up many opportunities for me in the D&D realm. Thank you for reading my stuff and buying my DMs Guild products!

Running the Tomb: I've been running games online and it has been going tremendously well. We have played through almost all of the Tomb of Annihilation. I'm starting to look at the final encounter and really study the bad guys. I want make sure I don't mess anything up!

So far, the tomb has not been as deadly as I thought it would be. I think part of that is due to me being a bit of a softie.

My other group, the Dungeon Academy, has started playing through the Chris Perkins/Jon Leiheusser Temple of Elemental Evil prequel, the Battle of Emridy Meadows. That group is fantastic! The last episode was really awesome, total chaos.

The Greyhawk Channel: I am playing in a campaign on the Greyhawk Channel. It's called Mordenkainen's Path of the Planes.

I made a githzerai, basically so I could use all the lore I dug up in my guide to the githzerai.

Being a part of this game has taught me quite a bit about where D&D is at in 2018, and it made me think about whether or not I need to adjust my style.

I run my games in a goofy sort of manner. I keep it moving, I joke around, there's not many in-depth scenes. I keep dialogue short.

As I played this session, it dawned on me that many players on this show and on others are expecting something different. Players are watching Critical Role and Dice, Camera, Action, and it seems like a lot of them are expecting and looking forward to the emotional, dramatic side of the game.

People want to invest in the game in ways that, frankly, I have never been comfortable with. I'm not saying that I can't or won't do it, I'm just saying I've never fully committed to it and that it's new territory for me.

The session we just did in Mordenkainen's Path of the Planes was really awesome. The production on this show is great. Shane, the DM, has background music, he uses roll20, he's got maps and tokens for everything, and we use zoom and discord.

On top of that, he's got all of these twitch gadget things running that keeps the chat engaged. It's amazing to watch the channel grow so quickly and it is very clear to me that the greyhawk channel is going to be huge very soon. All three of the other players he got for this game are awesome.

So as I'm playing, I'm sitting there thinking about which of these things that he's doing might fit into my online games. I'm not a technical guy, but I understand that production values matter. What should I use? What can my computer handle? How simple is too simple when it comes to running an online game?

As the session cam to an end, we had a scene where we'd survived a cataclysmic occurrence and were in the ruins of Mordenkainen's tower. My character is a drunken master monk, and so he went looking for booze.

Since I'm a githzerai, I hate slavers. One of the characters was a reformed slaver, or something to that effect. My character hated her. The other heroes encouraged me to let it go. She made an impassioned plea. So, my character paused for a moment, and then slid her a drink. My character hasn't accepted this person, but he's open enough to see what she does next.

When the session was over, I turned the whole thing over in my head. Should I be making space for these kinds of scenes in my games? We only have two hours per session. They eat up a lot of time.

I'm coming to the conclusion that many.. most.. of my players are looking for this kind of thing, and I probably have not been accommodating them.


Spotlighting Backstory: I've never been good at blending backstories with published adventures. Going over the Dice, Camera, Action summaries, I noticed how the show pretty much revolves around the group's backstories.
  • Strix: The Izek, Lady Wachter, and Skizzies.
  • Diath: The hanging, Gutter and Lorcatha.
  • Evelyn: The Lathander stuff with the constructs and the saints.
  • Paultin: The Strahd/Dark lord run and the ring of winter.
Chris jumps around, focusing on one or two characters each session. It seems to be working both for the players and the viewers. People like it.

One thing I don't like on DCA is how Chris splits the group up a lot. There are plenty of times where a player will sit there for 30 minutes, doing nothing while two other characters are off adventuring.

I don't like that, I don't want players to come to the table and just sit there and watch. If I was going to split them up, I'd try to cut between them every 5 minutes or so.

But, again, nobody seems to mind.


Going Forward: I think what I am going to do is just take little baby steps and see what happens. I'll make some space here and there - probably during rests - and throw in story-type stuff that feeds the feels, so to speak.

I think the point of all entertainment is to make you feel something, right? I've probably not put enough effort into that in my games. In think that gives my games a somewhat shallow quality, sort of like rocks skipping on the surface of a lake.

We'll see. I'll mess around with it and let you know how it goes.

I should be able to talk about my secret project soon. Maybe a few weeks? I hope people like it, I'm really breaking my back over this thing.

I'll be running:
Tomb of Annihilation tomorrow at 6:30 PM EST
Dungeons Academy 7 on Sunday at 6:30 PM EST

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Dice, Camera, Action Episode 89 - Tomb of Annihilation


Episode 89: Double, Double, Toil and Trouble
I really liked this one! A little awful crew, Sewn Sisters, crazy deals....

 The Party

(Anna) Evelyn - Human Paladin of Lathander
(ProJared) Diath - Human Rogue
(Holly) Strix - Tiefling Sorcerer
(Nathan) Paultin - Human Bard
(Chris) Umpox - Imp

Last time, the awful crew (evil clones of the waffle crew) got into a fight with dinosaur trainers. Strix rode an allosaurus and started lighting things on fire. She got knocked out and is bleeding to death. Two successes, one failure.

Like last week, Anna is the DM!

We get descriptions of the evil characters. My favorites:
  • Evil Paultin: Strahd poseur.
  • Evil Strix: Feral trash pile.
Strix rolls a death save. She rolls an 11. She's stable. Umpox is invisible, flying near Paultin.

Someone claps and steps out of the shadows. She's made of wood and metal, colored black and gold.

She looks the group up and down. She touches Diath's face and goes, "Aren't you just a tall drink of something strong?"

She likes their style. She asks them if they're going to finish the waitress off. Diath stabs Martha

She tells the group they can be her followers. Evelyn wants to be the leader. A fight breaks out.

In the chat, glados comes up with a great name for her axe: Nightfall.

Evil Paultin's name might be Nit Luap.

Umpox disengages, flies 80 feet into the air. Diath throws some daggers at him, and he dies. He was holding an eye (a hag eye), which gets squashed.

Evelyn tells Paultin to swear fealty to Shar. He does, obviously lying. So does Paultin.

Evelyn heals Strix. She says, "Let's douse the flame of hope and rule with an iron fist." The awful crew has been assembled.

That's where the Awful Crew stops.

The Sewn Sisters

Chris takes over in the DM seat.

The group had made a deal with the hags.The heroes will give them hair (so they can make more clones). In exchange, the hags will give them:
  • Fox's spectacles
  • Resurrection scroll
  • X the Mystic book that was allegedly stolen from Shemeshka
The hags are about to speak, when something appears in the cauldron. It's the evil little girl that the awful crew put in the bag last session.

The hags want to eat her. The group stops them. The hags put the little girl to sleep a place her in a cage.

There's discussion of further trades.

Strix tries to polymorph Baggy Nana into a chicken. She makes her save.

The adventurers are quietly talking amongst themselves. The hags overhear the group mention Shemeshka. Later, they hear Strix mention Gutter. The hags are very interested. Two of the hags leave to obtain the items. This will take 1 day. The group will have to wait here. The hags split up their tasks:
  • Peggy: Goes to get the spectacles and the book.
  • Baggy Nana: Goes to fetch the scroll.
  • Widow Groat: Stays with the group to keep an eye on them.
She asks Strix asks what her coven is called. Stix blurts out that it is the chicken foot coven from the Feywild.

Groat says, "We are the Sewn Sisters." She pulls out some red thread. "Snip snip." "Stitch stitch."

Something else appears in the cauldron. It's John Cena! The dinosaur trainer from last session. His corpse, anyway.

Widow Groat says to the group, "You've stepped into an arcanaloth rivalry. Mr. Fox vs. Shemeshka. All arcanaloths want is magic and knowledge."

She tells them about the plane of Gehennea. Then she tells them about the Books of Keeping, tomes that contain the truename of every yugoloth in existence. The group has an awesome idea. They want to find the book that has Shemeshka's truename! With it, they can have power over her.

Strix asks Groat if she knows any truenames. The hag offers some for another trade. What can the group offer? They go through their stuff. Some of their ideas:
  • Lightfall's parts
  • Strix's arm
  • Paultin's 4 candles
Groat comes up with a crazy idea. She wants Strix to carry a child for her. Diath hates this idea. Strix seems open to it. Diath begs Strix not to do it.

Strix asks Groat if she could stop Shemeshka. Groat says that she could.

Widow Groat shares a secret. Widow Groat whispers to Diath that when Shemeshkia mediated the deal between the Skizzixes and the Lorcathas, Shemeshka kept a piece of his valuable, ancient soul. It's locked in a box in her house.

"Would you like me to bring you the box?", she asks.."The Box for your womb."

Strix thinks about it for and says yes.

Widow Groat gives them time to discuss it.

Paultin goes over and watches Groat chop up the corpse of John Cena.

Suddenly, the hag reels. When Umpox was slain, the hag eye was destroyed. It is linked to her, and thus she is temporarily blinded. 

Evelyn's Dad

Meanwhile, in "heaven"...

Evelyn's in the domain of Lathander. She asks around, hoping that Simon's soul is here.  His soul must have went somewhere else.

Evelyn says all she ever wanted was to be wanted. She thinks Simon felt the same way, so she's hoping Simon to give Simon that feeling.

Evelyn realizes she can talk to her dad, who passed a way long ago.Evelyn flies to a glittering temple on top of a hill.

There's people cradling spectral babies. A 12 foot tall green angel. A planetar.

The babies transform into young adults. One of them is Evelyn's dad. Evelyn can cry now. She hugs him. She learns that her mother is in one of the great temples of the Morninglord.

Her father tells her, "It doesn't look like you may be here very long. ...you're just here for a short visit."

She flies around with her dad. She asked him why he never came back. She never knew what happened.

He explains that he went into Undermountain, the giant dungeon underneath Waterdeep.There's a family that has fallen into the dark service of Shar. They infiltrated cities.

While in Undermountain trying to bring light to the darkness, Evelyn's father was killed by a vampire named Karesta Delvingstone. It sounds like his body is still down there.

Evelyn's dad wants to go tobogganing (sledding). Evelyn is up for it.

The Deal


Back in the Material Plane, Groat's eyesight is returning.

The group notices a strange, giant door. I'm pretty sure they're in the bottom of the Tomb of Annihilation.

After day, Baggy walks through the wall. She has a blackened scroll tube. "One resurrection scroll, she says.

While the group is in the Waffle Hut, they hear the two hags having an argument about the destruction of the soul bag. They are angry at the awful crew.

The group overhears the hags scheming. They get the sense that all three hags are plotting against one another.

The third hag returns. Widow Groat starts talking about the baby again. Diath takes Strix's hand and tells her not to do this. He says they'll make it through this, like they always do.

Paultin, Diath and Strix hand over their hair. In return, the hags give the group the items. Each hero takes one:
  • Diath: Spectacles. 
  • Paultin: Resurrection scroll. It is very warm. It was stolen from a cleric in the bowels of the Nine Hells.
  • X the Mystic's Spellbook: Strix.
Diath slyly starts talking and pointing out that the hags have been talking about ousting each other. They start fighting.

Taking advantage of the chaos, Diath frees the kid and looks for a secret door. Strength check to open it. Paultin: 17. He makes it.

They appear in the outskirts of Port Nyanzaru, emerging from a ruined ziggurat in the old city section of Port Nyanzaru.

Strix wants to use the bomb to collapse the tunnel and block the exit. She realizes that the blast radius is too big, and backs off the idea.

Strix unpolymorphs Waffles from her hat.

The little girl that they freed thinks the group is the awful crew. She steals the spectacles from Diath and runs into the city!

Overall

I really liked this episode! Tons of stuff happening.

Evil Evelyn: I was hoping to see an evil Evelyn and we got it! She's awesome. I figured she would be a paladin of Dendar, but Shar makes more sense in the big picture.

Diath's Soul: Shemeshka has a piece of Diath's ancient soul in a box?! In her house? That is really crazy. What exactly would happen if Diath's soul became whole again?

The Deal: I was surprised that Strix was up for having a hag baby. How would that work, exactly? What a crazy idea.

Undermountain: I was a little thrown by the mention of Undermountain. Is the group going there? Evelyn's dad mentioned families infiltrating cities. This sort of keys up with what Mike Mearls said on a show a while back - a storyline about the devils infiltrating cities and causing the blood war to spill into Faerun.

Nate has a new D&D show!


It's fun to see the players develop more stuff.

Sunday, April 8, 2018

Dice, Camera, Action Episode 88 - Tomb of Annihilation


Episode 88 - The Awful Crew
Chris actually becomes a player for this episode!

 The Party

(Anna) Evelyn - Human Paladin of Lathander
(ProJared) Diath - Human Rogue
(Holly) Strix - Tiefling Sorcerer
(Nathan) Paultin - Human Bard
(Chris) Umpox - Imp

Last time, the group tricked death and learned how to use a shadow crossing

Strix has polymorphed her friends into mice. They're hiding in her hat as three hags confront her. The hags:

  • One hag has two coins over her eyes and ants crawling over her skin.
  • One wears a string of children's teeth around her neck. Has a peg leg.
  • The third one has a sack on her head. Peeking out of a hole in the bag is a dog and a viper.

The hags want some hair from the heroes. The group decides to do it. Yhey think that maybe the hags can bring Evelyn back.


Meanwhile.. in Port Nyanzaru.. there's another Strix, Paultin an Diath walking around. They're third level.

Chris gives the DM chair over to Anna!

The group describes the Awful Crew:
  • Diath: Less scars, looks 29 years old, wears clothes from Port Nyzanzru. He lets a hair dangle in his face.
  • Strix: Shorter horns, hair is matted, disgusting, and slicked-back. Her tail is out, long black claws, parts of her are rotten.
  • Paultin: Looks like Strahd.
  • Umpox: Chris is playing the hag's assistant imp. He's thin, has bat wings, and a scorpion tail. He holds an eyeball.

Diath has a bodybag - a sack of evil. When you put bodies in it, the bodies are transported to the hags. It only works on evil people.

Umpox is usually invisible. When not, he assumes the form of a rat, a raven, or a spider.

Strix snatches a rat off the street and bites its head off as she scans the area for evil creatures.

They don't spot any evil creatures. Paultin decides to cast crown of madness on a fishmonger and have him start beating people with fish.

They spots a young girl creep up, steal a fish, and flee.

They grab her. Diath asks her, "Hasn't anyone ever told you that stealing is wrong?" He sticks her in the bag. He makes a performance check to make it like a magic trick to throw off bystanders. Rolls a 19!

They're good for the day. They want to go get a drink. Strix wants to burn something.

Three dinosaur riders take offense to this and chase the group.

Diath tries to jump onto a rooftop and do some assassin's creed maneuvers. Doesn't go well.

Paultin checks his pocketwatch and sits down in an alleyway that has a hipster alley bar. He grabs a table.

One of the dinosaur riders is a huge, muscled dude. His name is Shmon Shmeena. He's wearing jorts. He punches the imp.

Evil Strix cuts off Sh'Mina's hand.

Paultin abandons the group and heads over to a back alley bar. Paultin's snapping his fingers, trying to get service.

A remaining bad guy on a dinosaur. Diath gives him an intense eyebrow raise. A dinosaur bites Diath for quite a bit of damage. Not good! Allosaurus is still trying to kill Diath.

Paultin's being a rude customer. Here comes the chef.. It's Shmulk Shmogan! He's holding a plate of spaghetti. "Whatcha gonna do when Shmulkamania runs wild on you?"

A waitress spits in Paultin's glass. Evil? Might have a candidate for a bag.

Umpox  lands on the shoulder of Marsha, the waitress. He tries to pluck her eye out. He does! Then he drops the eye in Paultin's moonshine. Paultin drinks it anyway.

Strix is on a dinosaur. She's hit with three arrows. She's down, making death saves.

Diath chases off the enemies and drags Strix to safety.

Shmulk Shmogan is giving Paultin the dreaded airplane spin. Paultin barfs spaghetti and moonshine.

Paultin unleashes a thunderwave that causes Shmogan to back off. Wait.. no... Shmogan is HULKING UP.

The restaurant's name is Pastamania.

Diath is going to jump off a table and bodybag this dude.

Paultin tries to hit the Shmulkster with moonshine, but rolls bad.

Umpox tries to revive Strix. Rolls a 1.

Overall

I have no idea what that was all about! Amusing. I love the idea of evil duplicates of the adventurers.

We talked all about this show on Waffle Talk:

Dice, Camera, Action Episode 87 - Tomb of Annihilation

Episode 87: Necessary Evelyn
We start off with a song by Anna. Awesome! This group really goes the extra mile.

 The Party

(Anna) Evelyn - Human Paladin of Lathander
(ProJared) Diath - Human Rogue
(Holly) Strix - Tiefling Sorcerer
(Nathan) Paultin - Human Bard


Last time, a balhannoth destroyed Evelyn's construct body. Her spirit was shunted into the soulmonger. Simon was killed, too.

Evelyn's spirit flew up and into the atropal and, through the power of her faith, she unleashed rays of sunshine into the heart of the creature and, apparently, destroyed it.

Back in the Shaowfell, Diath, Strix and Paultin sensed that the death curse was gone.

In the dark tunnel, smoke lingers from the fireball. They can hear the crashing of the waves from outside.

There's a bright amber light out in the Shadowfell that illuminates the beach.

Diath notes that this is twice now that Evelyn has saved them. The heroes take a short rest. Diath now has up to 45 HP.

Strix prays for the Morninglord. Holly wrote up a prayer and everything. Waffles makes sad noises.

There's a creature in these tunnels. It's... death.

Meanwhile... Evelyn is being tossed into the air. It is a bright, sunny morning. She begins to fall. Someone catches her. She looks into the eyes of her father. This is a memory.

Now, her dad is gone. Evelyn looks around and realizes that she's in her human form. Evelyn sees Zaress, the priestess she met in the Soulmonger. She's 40 years younger than she appeared to be in the soulmonger.

Zaress is watching a boy, who is on a swingset. The kid's name is Dortimer Ankathra. Is this an anagram or something?

Evelyn sees that they weren't annihilated. Lathander saved them?

Zaress says that is was Evelyn who saved thousands of souls. She's heard murmurings of sainthood in association with Evelyn's name..

Zaress tell Evelyn that since she did not die a natural death, there's a path back to the natural world.

Evelyn wants to say hello to Lathander.

Zaress and Evelyn talk some more. Zaress points out that the greatest gift is not a soul.. it's love.

"What is a soul without a soul mate?"

Zaress urges Evelyn not to rely entirely on Lathander. "Don't lean too far into your belief in him, as it is more important to believe in yourself."


Back in the Shadowfell, the group starts following "Death". He seems to be leading them in a square path.

Paultin casts Mislead, which allows him to become invisible.

Death says "I'm free" It starts to cast a spell. Paultin casts counterspell and shuts it down.

"Are you Acererak?", the group asks.

"No."

"Are you death?"

"I am Death."

Death was a prisoner of the balhannoth. It explains that this Death is one of many Deaths.

The group wants him to bring back Evelyn. He says he can't do that.

Death has a couple of scrolls. It's his naughty and nice list.

Death tells them how to get out of the tunnels. They've got two choices: Go through the wall or walk around the whole path.

After some searching, Strix falls into a pit full of corpses. From the ceiling, a fresh corpse falls and lands with a splat.

Diath uses the horn of blasting to blow a hole through the wall.

Morning Glory has wings! She's now a pegasus.

Overall

I like the Lathander stuff. I don't get the Death stuff. Death couldn't just kill the balhannoth?

We talked about all this stuff on Waffle Talk:



Dice, Camera, Action Episode 86 - Tomb of Annihilation

Episode 86: Simon Says
 

Strix wlll be in Idle Champions: Heroes of the Forgotten Realms. Holly says that she cries, throws things, and is overall a suboptimal champion

 The Party

(Anna) Evelyn - Human Paladin of Lathander
(ProJared) Diath - Human Rogue
(Holly) Strix - Tiefling Sorcerer
(Nathan) Paultin - Human Bard

Chris kicks this session off with a rundown of things the characters can do.

Paultin
  • Has the canaith mandolin. He can use it to cast levitate, fly, cure wounds, dispel magic, and protection against lightning
  • Eyes of charming
  • Disguise kit with two costumes: Pterodactyl and perkins
Evelyn
  • Broken axe - lightfall
  • Treebane, the magical axe.
  • The Heart of Spinelli, a flaming sword.
  • Holy symbol of ravenkind.
  • She is a construct, has many immunities.
  • She received a boon from Lathander. She has holy oil in her veins, extra constitution.
  • Evelyn's book of etiquette
  • Flying boots
  • Magical steed
Diath
  • Gutter, the short sword of backstabbing.
  • Mysterious key ring - the keys can summon Shemeshka.
  • Gloves of thievery
  • Horn of blasting
  • Padlock from Barovia
  • ring of protection +1
  • Luckstone
Previously, the ring of winter disappeared and Paultin came to his senses. Simon is still a puppet, but now he has an animated mouth. He says: "Oh my stars.. i can tell jokes!"

What kind of jokes, you ask? Here they are, right here:

Why was Strix late for the Waffle Crew reunion?
Her broom overswept.

What does a clock do when it's hungry?
It goes back for seconds.

How do you make a clown cry?
You kill his family.

What did the shoe say to the pants?
"Sup, britches?"

Why did the scarecrow win a prize?
Because it was outstanding in its field. 9this one killed me).

Where does Papa Paultin keep his gold?
In snowbanks.

The group is on a beach in the Shadowfell. There's a hole in the cliff wall. Looks like a tunnel.

They sense the presence of the ring of winter.

Paultin's invisible. He uses one of his candles for light and he creeps around in the tunnel. Inside are colored floor tiles that form paths down the corridor like snakes.

Gold tiles.. red.. purple. This is from the Tomb of Annihilation adventure, but altered. There is a gash in the roof of the tunnel.

Why was the zombie upset with his job?
He wanted a raise.

The heroes decide to walk the golden path. Tentacles drop down through the crack and attack.

Diath stabs it and rolls a critical. He does 56 points of damage.

The tentacle thing has legendary actions?! It does piles of damage, but the group is able to wound it.

It has Evelyn! It teleports away into a rough-hewn rocky chimney.It's not far.. Strix flies on her broom up the chimney and hits it with a fireball for 52.

The fire fills the tunnel! It drops Strix. Simon goes down.

This monster is a balhannoth... a magic-eating tentacle monster. It will apparently be in the upcoming Mordenkainen's Tome of Foes.

Pieces of Evelyn come falling out of the crevasse.. there's her head. The head rolls over to Paultin's feet.

Paultin hits the balhannoth with a thunderwave and destroys it.

Evelyn is dead!
Her spirit arrives in a strange realm. There are many towers... and twisters that connect to an amorphous moon with limbs attached to it. It's impossibly huge!

She's not alone. There are other beings. Like her, they are spectral.

The other creatures gathered here:
  • A scrawny tiefling
  • A gnome in a vest
  • An elven woman
  • The ghosts of the acq inc battle balloon crew.
  • An old woman wearing the symbol of Lathander who is comforting a young boy...
The gnome looks at Evelyn and says "I know you! from Omu!"

The old woman introduces herself to Evelyn. Her name is Zaress. She is a champion of the church, and she took the faith to some of the darkest corners of Faerun

The spirit of an orc appears and joins the congregation. There's little for them to do except to wait to be devoured by the massive entity.

The entity extends long tentacles. The tentacles wrap abound the tiefling and pull him into the sky. he yells "I hope you choke on me!"

Zaress looks at Evelyn and says, "I sense something strange about you.. something different than all the other ghosts."

They talk for a bit. Evelyn's the worm in the apple. Zaress thinks that if the atropal tries to devour her, she will destroy it.

Zaress says, "Everything will be alright. You are loved."

Evelyn flies up and tells the atropal to take her instead. Persuasion.. natural 20!

She's drawn up into the vortex. Perception check: natural 20. Seriously.

The towers are shuddering.. one collapses...

Back in the Shdowfell, Paultin calls out, "Lathander you punk bitch, give her back! Hallowed be thy name, gg."

He checks on Simon. Simon is dead - a burnt hunk of metal. Face is burnt off.

The ghost of Simon appears on the tower with the other spirits.

Evelyn is drawn into the vile gullet of the atropal. It is an unborn god...

Evelyn transforms into sunbeams that tear into everything.

Throughout the multiverse, all hit point maximums are restored. The death curse is over!

Overall

Crazy! I was trying to figure out what the city was. Is it Khin Oin? Probably not..

Very good show! We talked about this extensively on Waffle Talk: