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T O P I C    R E V I E W
farinal Posted - 03 Jun 2017 : 14:21:35
Tomb of Annihilation takes place in the Forgotten Realms in the lost Land of Chult. There players will trudge through dense jungle and encounter dinosaurs, undead, and the snake-like Yuan-Ti. Acererak, the demi-lich from Tomb of Horrors, will make a comeback and appear stronger than ever.

http://geekandsundry.com/wizards-of-the-coast-announce-new-storyline-tomb-of-annihilation/

What do you guys think?
25   L A T E S T    R E P L I E S    (Newest First)
TomCosta Posted - 02 Dec 2017 : 17:52:35
Hard to say if they are canon or not. I'd say sorta. They are somewhere between WotC product, Adventurer's League (which is generally canon), and something else. That said, the reality is that based on the probably lack of future development, they are probably as canon as its going to get.
Markustay Posted - 02 Dec 2017 : 02:37:32
Well, if they bring it back (via an AP), then I'll be a LOT less annoyed by this weird "its back, but its not" scenario.

I should probably look into that. My 15 year old is now playing D&D with his own group of friends, and he tells me they are 'having trouble' (the DMs not so good - the kid never even played, so ho can he run a game? And they don't know the rules, at all), and he wants me to 'help out' (and by that he wants me to take over the group... but I'm not sure I should). I've been going through some of the old Paizo AP's (back when they were still doing Dragon FOR WotC), and both the Savage Tide and Shackled City AP's are perfect for Chult (there are even conversion notes precisely for that by Eric Boyd), and the two are semi-connected already to each other (The City of Cauldron is just south of Sesserine on their maps). And, of course, we have this ToA AP as well. I believe Ed is also working on something nearby (the other end of the Chultan 'arm', in Sheirtalar). So it sounds like 'dinosaurs & pirates' in a jungle might be just the thing for a group adolescents.

I'm working on amalgam map combining elements from all of these... plus I shoe-horned Returned Abeir into the region. Its getting very crowded.

Plus, Tasloi are one of my favorite, non-OP monsters, and I never, ever get to use them. Screw Batiri, MY Chult is going Tasloi.
Zeromaru X Posted - 02 Dec 2017 : 02:29:10
Are those storylines canon?
TomCosta Posted - 02 Dec 2017 : 01:56:54
The Artus-Mezro story line is being played out (in some fashion) in the DM's Guild Adept program adventures Ruins of Mezro, Heart of the Wild, Risen Mists, and one more not yet released. Without seeing where the last storyline goes, it's hard to say what exactly will happen, but so far it looks solid.
Wooly Rupert Posted - 01 Dec 2017 : 20:18:33
quote:
Originally posted by dazzlerdal

quote:
Originally posted by Wooly Rupert

quote:
Originally posted by dazzlerdal

Fake ruins. Fake loot. Fake setting.



Just once, I'd like to see if you could pass up the opportunity to randomly bash the setting. Just once.




Forgotten Realms is the best roleplaying setting i have ever read about, DM'd, or played in. I sincerely mean that.



Truly, I'm glad to see you say that... I just wish you didn't indicate otherwise so much. Given your continuous negativity, your blind hatred of its gods, and your desire to re-write everything, one could easily assume you strongly dislike just about every aspect of the setting.
Wooly Rupert Posted - 01 Dec 2017 : 20:10:49
quote:
Originally posted by Markustay

Sorry Wooly, but today I'm leaning toward's Dazzler. So much of this half-arsed "not a retcon" retcon. Its annoying as hell. I didn't know about Mezro's 'return' until today, and this whole "it didn't get destroyed but we aren't letting it back in" thing really sticks in my craw.



Hey, I'll be the first to agree that WotC has done some really questionable stuff, and while I can understand their reasoning, I wish they'd done a grand reset rather than retconning the retcons.

My issue was not with Dazz's opinion. My issue was that I'm sick of seeing his random negativity expressed at every conceivable opportunity. It's like when we had the Edition Wars going on, and people went out of their way looking for chances to say how much they hated the thing being discussed. It got painfully old a few years ago, and it's no less annoying now.

I've actually been avoiding some discussions, just because of his rampant and unceasing negativity. And I've been asking for a while -- obviously in vain -- for it to be toned down.
Zeromaru X Posted - 01 Dec 2017 : 20:02:14
quote:
Originally posted by Wooly Rupert

If they left behind ruins, it seems to me that the city was "copied" elsewhere, and thus the ruins would be legitimate ruins. At least, that's how I'd spin it, because otherwise you've got a whole lot of people somehow oblivious to having fake loot in a fake city.



The adventure isn't clear about this. In fact, Mezro only got a paragraph, half of it what I've writen here. So, there is not much to work with.

But, if I got to DM this adventure, I will do something like you suggest. Otherwise, the treasure hunters and the Flaming Fist guys will look too way stupid...


quote:
Originally posted by Markustay

So, like... whats the whole point of even saving Mezro in 5e, if it can't be 'accessed'?


I was asking myself the same.

Although, there is the wife of Artus, and this naga NPC. Both say that while Ras Nsi is alive, Mezro will never return to Toril, so, it seems that sending Mezro to a demiplane was done not only to save the city from the Spellplague, but also from Ras Nsi. And this gives a way for DMs who want to "retrieve" Mezro to do it, provide their adventurers can kill old Ras.
dazzlerdal Posted - 01 Dec 2017 : 19:41:37
quote:
Originally posted by Wooly Rupert

quote:
Originally posted by dazzlerdal

Fake ruins. Fake loot. Fake setting.



Just once, I'd like to see if you could pass up the opportunity to randomly bash the setting. Just once.




Forgotten Realms is the best roleplaying setting i have ever read about, DM'd, or played in. I sincerely mean that.
Markustay Posted - 01 Dec 2017 : 19:39:41
quote:
Originally posted by Zeromaru X

Yeah, that is what the AP says. Better still, the Flaming guys are so protective of their "ruins", they even hand't realized they got fake stuff, but will not allow you to steal their fake stuff.

If you need the actual text from the adventure:

quote:
By all accounts, Mezro was destroyed by the Spellplague, and its ruins indicate as much. In truth, the city's immortal defenders -the barae- used their god-given magic to transport the entire city to a paradise (a magically constructed demiplane, far from prying eyes). Empty ruins were left behind to create the impression that Mezro had been destroyed.

The ruins have been thoroughly ransacked by the Flaming Fist in the name of Baldur's Gate, and Flaming Fist patrols still visit the site regularly -partly as training for new recruits, partly to make sure nothing was missed. Neither treasure nor clues remain for the player characters to find here.

So, like... whats the whole point of even saving Mezro in 5e, if it can't be 'accessed'?

They should have at least put something in there that the 'treasure' removed from Mezro reverts to just leaves and other natural debris, and the Flaming Fist have just been too obstinate (stupid?) to figure it out - they seem to think there is some sort of curse or something that keeps replacing their 'real' treasure with junk. Now they are scared to remove anymore, and thats why they are all paranoid about guarding the ruins. At least it would have made the whole thing amusing, if nothing else.

I actually got banned from the WotC because of this topic. After they destroyed Mezro and said the Chultan tribes "had reverted back to barbarism" (that was OFFICIAL at the time), I made the comment, "So they took an advanced culture of BLACK people and turned them all into savage spear-chuckers?"

The reason they gave for my banning is that I had made a 'racist comment'... while point out THEIR racism. LMAO

I guess they took it to heart, and didn't want to get called out again, so they 'saved it'. Of course, they still didn't bring it back into the Realms. Heaven forbid those Dar... errrr... Chultans get too close to our good neighborhoods.

And, of course, at the same time, they did away with ALL the powerful female characters in the Realms. Agenda, much? Sorry Wooly, but today I'm leaning toward's Dazzler. So much of this half-arsed "not a retcon" retcon. Its annoying as hell. I didn't know about Mezro's 'return' until today, and this whole "it didn't get destroyed but we aren't letting it back in" thing really sticks in my craw.

On the other hand, I managed to repurpose the Samarach Tomfoolery into something palatable.
And weirdly, I think its going to be the 'Maztica Alive!' people who are going to cry the loudest - I just did away with any need whatsoever with Maztica proper. Why go to Maztica, when neo-Maztica is right around the corner?
Wooly Rupert Posted - 01 Dec 2017 : 19:24:45
quote:
Originally posted by Zeromaru X

Yeah, that is what the AP says. Better still, the Flaming guys are so protective of their "ruins", they even hand't realized they got fake stuff, but will not allow you to steal their fake stuff.

If you need the actual text from the adventure:

quote:
By all accounts, Mezro was destroyed by the Spellplague, and its ruins indicate as much. In truth, the city's immortal defenders -the barae- used their god-given magic to transport the entire city to a paradise (a magically constructed demiplane, far from prying eyes). Empty ruins were left behind to create the impression that Mezro had been destroyed.

The ruins have been thoroughly ransacked by the Flaming Fist in the name of Baldur's Gate, and Flaming Fist patrols still visit the site regularly -partly as training for new recruits, partly to make sure nothing was missed. Neither treasure nor clues remain for the player characters to find here.




If they left behind ruins, it seems to me that the city was "copied" elsewhere, and thus the ruins would be legitimate ruins. At least, that's how I'd spin it, because otherwise you've got a whole lot of people somehow oblivious to having fake loot in a fake city.
Wooly Rupert Posted - 01 Dec 2017 : 19:23:03
quote:
Originally posted by dazzlerdal

Fake ruins. Fake loot. Fake setting.



Just once, I'd like to see if you could pass up the opportunity to randomly bash the setting. Just once.
Zeromaru X Posted - 01 Dec 2017 : 17:22:25
Yeah, that is what the AP says. Better still, the Flaming guys are so protective of their "ruins", they even hand't realized they got fake stuff, but will not allow you to steal their fake stuff.

If you need the actual text from the adventure:

quote:
By all accounts, Mezro was destroyed by the Spellplague, and its ruins indicate as much. In truth, the city's immortal defenders -the barae- used their god-given magic to transport the entire city to a paradise (a magically constructed demiplane, far from prying eyes). Empty ruins were left behind to create the impression that Mezro had been destroyed.

The ruins have been thoroughly ransacked by the Flaming Fist in the name of Baldur's Gate, and Flaming Fist patrols still visit the site regularly -partly as training for new recruits, partly to make sure nothing was missed. Neither treasure nor clues remain for the player characters to find here.
dazzlerdal Posted - 01 Dec 2017 : 17:19:59
Fake ruins. Fake loot. Fake setting.
Markustay Posted - 01 Dec 2017 : 17:06:53
So kingdoms that went completely underwater (or got whisked away to 'somewhere else', which seemed to happen A LOT) are back, but a country that apparently had no ill (geographic) effects visited upon it was 'completely destroyed'. I don't even see how it could have been 'drowned' since ALL the land is still there, unless there was a tidal wave that washed a hundred miles inland.

Sometimes I think FR logic would drive a Vulcan into a savage rage.

I'm just gonna put the settlements back. We can say that Samarach went to the Domains of Dread, but Ravenloft found the place so boring it sent it back ASAP. After all, I just found out Mezro's been hiding in a pocket dimension this whole time.

Which brings me to the whole reason why I am posting right now - the lore about Mezro in the Wiki comes from the ToA AP, and it says that the city left behind 'FAKE ruins' to fool people (seems every place in FR did that... but lets not call it a 'retcon', eh?). Then the entry goes on to say that, "members of the Flaming Fist looted most of the ruins and began to use them as training grounds for their forces in Chult".

They looted 'fake' ruins?
Zeromaru X Posted - 01 Dec 2017 : 01:29:47
The kingdom of Samarach was drowned, that is why there aren't relevant settlements in the area. But most of the land remained. As for Samarach, it doesn't have a role in the adventure.
Markustay Posted - 30 Nov 2017 : 21:36:11
Does any part of this adventure touch upon Samarach? A good chunk of it is on the map, but I don't see any locales there (which is actually kind of odd - there should be at least two settlements on the map there). Was Samarach destroyed during the Spellplague years? (4e)

I don't see how that is possible, since the Neverwinter Nights 2 campaign Storm of Zehir took place there. Just having 'Zehir' in the title means its post-Spellplague.

I was actually hoping it got blowded up (:P), because it would make a great spot for me to shoe-horn in Skelkor.
Markustay Posted - 30 Nov 2017 : 19:37:21
I just did a comparison of the map in ToA with Mike Schley's Sword Coast map. My own continental reference map has incorporated Mike's SC map, so the scales match-up precisely. When I pasted the Chult map into it, I found a discrepancy.

Using the same scale he use in his SC map, it should be closer to 11 miles per hex, not 10. So, for those of you who are sticklers for accuracy (as I am), you may want to incorporate that slight change. It really shouldn't make any difference to the campaign at all. (I just don't like Chult getting any smaller than it already is - its already way smaller than any other settings 'Africa-like' region).

Of course, we should probably include the entirety of the Shining South as our 'Africa', since The Shaar is our Savanna. I also liken Calimshan to Morroco, so the Calimshan-Lake of Steam region is like North Africa/Berbers, and then we have Mulhorand being Egypt, so yeah, I guess maybe our Africa is pretty damn big when I look at it that way.

EDIT:
And for anyone interested in why I was playing with the Chult map - when I was working on my Misbegotten Realms I had incorporated the Razor Coast (Frog God Games) region onto Chult's east coast, and it was an excellent fit. Its an excellent product, and it really 'spruced up' and otherwise boring piece of the Realms. Unfortunately, when I tried to do that again (not as part of any 'canon' project I am working on - just for Shiggles) I found that its a bit too big if I try to keep the scales the same (which I always strive for, so that the maps that come with individual products are still accurate). Thus, I have decided to push that off to the side, as a possibility for the 'right coast' of Laerakond, if and when I ever do that Abeir-near-Chult map I've been toying with on a far back burner.

quote:
Originally posted by shades of eternity

Decided to respond with humor.

http://breadthofpopsanity.blogspot.ca/2017/10/please-find-dragonbait.html

enjoy. :)
So did Dragonbait EAT Alias? Was that your point?

Not that I'm faulting his taste, mind you....
shades of eternity Posted - 10 Oct 2017 : 19:43:49
Decided to respond with humor.

http://breadthofpopsanity.blogspot.ca/2017/10/please-find-dragonbait.html

enjoy. :)
sleyvas Posted - 10 Oct 2017 : 17:01:58
quote:
Originally posted by Markustay

Giff Bacon is delicious.



Hmmmmmm..... as an enemy of the red wizards in one of my Tharchs..... you know, some intelligent humanoids just may be viewed as edible...
moonbeast Posted - 10 Oct 2017 : 05:37:55
quote:
Originally posted by Markustay

Giff Bacon is delicious.



Eat in moderation. It's got too much cholesterol.

shades of eternity Posted - 10 Oct 2017 : 00:02:03
quote:
Originally posted by sleyvas

Hey, speaking of Saurials.... do you think they'd get along with Loxo? They seem kind of similar in culture...

and damn, now there goes my wandering mind picturing Rhinaur, Rhinotaurs, and Giff fighting each other.... with the giff wearing some kind of flame thrower since they don't have smokepowder.



I have no problems what's so ever with the concept of loxo wandering the savannah running into dinosaur people and having complex issues.

In fact, aren't they in the shaar with the Centaur, Thri-kreen and Wemics?

in fact your comments reminded me of the following pic.
https://i.pinimg.com/originals/b4/d2/41/b4d241607029a9ae06303c85fb608eef.jpg

go nuts :)

quote:
Originally posted by Markustay

Giff Bacon is delicious.



Well it is well black smoked :D]
Markustay Posted - 09 Oct 2017 : 20:46:58
Giff Bacon is delicious.
sleyvas Posted - 09 Oct 2017 : 19:52:26
Hey, speaking of Saurials.... do you think they'd get along with Loxo? They seem kind of similar in culture...

and damn, now there goes my wandering mind picturing Rhinaur, Rhinotaurs, and Giff fighting each other.... with the giff wearing some kind of flame thrower since they don't have smokepowder.
Wooly Rupert Posted - 09 Oct 2017 : 17:15:55
quote:
Originally posted by TomCosta

Brian James did say that he threw the line in 4E explicitly to save them, thus the dedication noted above. So, I'm going with they are still alive. Dragonbait always had wanderlust, so maybe he's just wandering. Frankly, the fact that Dragonbait appears in Tomb of Annihilation is evidence that WotC is keeping the saurials.



I can't agree. Just because one named character remains doesn't mean they kept any others. Especially since, as I pointed out, WotC went out of their way to try to remove them. And Dragonbait has been the only saurial in the entire setting before.

When I see something addressing the continued existence of more than one saurial, then I'll believe the race is still present in the Realms.

I'm not trying to be difficult or negative, I just don't see any reason to think Dragonbait is anything more than a one-off, here, as he was originally.
TomCosta Posted - 09 Oct 2017 : 15:58:59
Brian James did say that he threw the line in 4E explicitly to save them, thus the dedication noted above. So, I'm going with they are still alive. Dragonbait always had wanderlust, so maybe he's just wandering. Frankly, the fact that Dragonbait appears in Tomb of Annihilation is evidence that WotC is keeping the saurials.

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