A group of intrepid adventurers wander through a dense jungle. The gnome in the party falls into a large ditch and an earthshattering roar echoes through the jungle. The party inspects the hole and recognize it as a large foot print. The ground shakes as a large Tyrannosaurus stomps from the forest, one of its eyes missing and chunks of flesh fall from its open ribcage. The creature roars once more and as it does it spews reanimated corpses from its undead maw. The party flees in terror.
Dungeons & Dragons is a game that promotes storytelling, teamwork, and challenging its players. However, as a gamemaster it can often be hard to continuously challenge players. Fortunately, Wizards of the Coast recently released a new adventure entitled Tomb of Annihilation which helps to solve those very problems. The new adventure features several new rules, monsters, and an exotic new continent to explore.
The most notable of the new rules is the Death Curse, which effectively changes the way the game is played. Anyone who has played D&D long enough will know that death is not always the end, due to resurrection magic. However, the Death Curse completely negates any resurrection spell. If a player character or NPC die they stay dead. This might seem cruel but it will add a little more depth to the game and will make players think and prepare before they rush into a fight. Additionally, any characters who were resurrected prior to the start of the curse grow closer to death by permanently losing one hit point each day the curse is active.
In order to stop the curse, the players must travel to Chult, a treacherous continent with sprawling jungles and long abandoned ruins. Almost everything in the environment of the new land is meant to kill players: dinosaurs, zombies, dinosaur zombies; the occasional killer plant and even plants that turn things into zombies (sensing a theme here). Essentially, all the nastiest creatures live in the jungles of Chult, zombified t-rexes that cough up zombies for example. The continent is also incredibly difficult to navigate and requires skill checks from the players to prevent getting lost. There is also the possibility of player characters to contract all sorts of nasty diseases from bug bites or infected wounds and Mad Monkey Fever is nothing to scoff at.
Exotic diseases aside, Tomb of Annihilation is clearly meant to offer a new and more difficult way for players to enjoy the game and all of the things covered here are just the basics for the adventure. There are still many ruins, traps, and tombs buried in Chult for players to discover, as well as; mysterious NPCs and side-quests to encounter. For game-masters looking to run a game focused on survival, horror, or mystery for their players this is the adventure you need!
I hope to have a full review when I finish running for my players so stay tuned.