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Cellar of Death
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Cellar of Death

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This product is Adventurers League legal! Code: DDHC-TOA-4

Something evil is devouring the souls of the living in Chult, but before the characters take on the horrors in Tomb of Annihilation, they must first uncover the death curse’s origin by braving a lich’s tower in the Cloakwood. This introductory adventure is designed for a party of four to six 1st-level characters, who should advance to 2nd level by the adventurer’s conclusion. It is a prelude to Tomb of Annihilation that should take about 2 to 3 hours.

This product includes Fantasy Grounds files for the adventure.

What Inspired Cellar of Death?

The introduction of Tomb of Annihilation states Syndra Silvane learned about the Soulmonger from the Harpers, who “received their intelligence from a lich.” This adventure is the story of how the Harpers gathered that information.

Cellar of Death has a second purpose: to give characters a greater stake in the outcome of Tomb of Annihilation by creating an NPC they love. The death curse kills this NPC, giving the characters a personal reason to go to Chult.


For more free game resources check out worldbuilderblog.me or view my other DMs Guild products.

 
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Reviews (16)
Discussions (17)
Customer avatar
Chris V November 27, 2017 6:11 pm UTC
PURCHASER
How do i get the mod into fantasy grounds ?
Customer avatar
Chris V November 27, 2017 6:33 pm UTC
PURCHASER
alright my apologies for a little bit of research and I figured it out myself.
Customer avatar
Chandler S November 26, 2017 6:26 am UTC
PURCHASER
how long should I expect the part 3 & 4 to take play wise?
Customer avatar
James I November 26, 2017 12:58 pm UTC
CREATOR
I'd say at least two hours, though every group is different.
Customer avatar
Eli G October 26, 2017 1:56 am UTC
PURCHASER
Typo: "If a character moves passed the column..." (p. 5)

Should be "If a character moves *past* the column..."

This comment refers to the Version 3 release of the adventure.
Customer avatar
Steve B October 23, 2017 12:16 pm UTC
PURCHASER
Quick additional map I made for Part 4 https://i.redd.it/7vmf2b6sdgtz.jpg
Customer avatar
James I October 23, 2017 2:41 pm UTC
CREATOR
Love this!!!
Customer avatar
October 19, 2017 1:06 am UTC
PURCHASER
Just to clarify - in AL, is this is locked to level 1 PC's only? in AL guidance for hardcovers there's a phrase that says higher levels can participate, as long as it matches the level guidance. This says "designed for level 1 characters" versus the APL language of 1st level. I say this because plussing up the encounters for a tier 1 level 1-4 party isn't super hard, but it changes the difficulty of the final fight if players have magic.
Customer avatar
Rowan M October 13, 2017 9:40 am UTC
PURCHASER
With "Cursed blood", in area Z6 how long does the imposed disadvantage last? An hour? Until they are not touching the floor? Until they are not touching the blood? Until they leave the room? The rest of the adventure?
Customer avatar
James I October 13, 2017 11:35 am UTC
CREATOR
Just until they are no longer touching the blood. I'll clear that up in the next update. Thanks!
Customer avatar
Rowan M October 14, 2017 5:34 am UTC
PURCHASER
Thanks! Looking forward to running this! ^^
Customer avatar
Jasmine L October 12, 2017 11:55 pm UTC
PURCHASER
Would it be possible to add bookmarks to the PDF?
Customer avatar
Jeffrey M October 09, 2017 6:33 pm UTC
PURCHASER
"If the characters run, Zaldara does not use her lair actions until the second round of combat"

You didn't include the lair actions anywhere in the PDF (unless I'm blind). I'm assuming they're the standard Lich lair actions?
Customer avatar
James I October 11, 2017 11:43 am UTC
CREATOR
Added these to the adventure. Thanks for pointing that out. They are the standard lich lair actions.
Customer avatar
David S October 08, 2017 9:26 pm UTC
PURCHASER
I know this wasn't originally created as Adventurer's League, but it would be helpful if it listed a minimum and maximum XP for the adventure as well as the XP for completing any specific tasks or defeating specific encounters.
Customer avatar
Mark E October 07, 2017 3:25 pm UTC
PURCHASER
1. What is a code for recording this on the AL log sheet?

2. There isn't a scale on the map in the mod. Are these 5' or 10' squares?
Customer avatar
James I October 11, 2017 11:43 am UTC
CREATOR
Hey thanks for this! I added both to the latest adventure update. The Code is DDHC-TOA-4. The scale is 5 feet.
Customer avatar
Cameron R October 06, 2017 7:23 am UTC
PURCHASER
How are people's Level 1s doing getting through this? The final encounter is fairly serious, especially after crawling through the cellar.
Customer avatar
James I October 06, 2017 1:31 pm UTC
CREATOR
The group I playtested did well, though I'd be interested to hear other people's responses. It's definitely supposed to be difficult.
Customer avatar
Tomas M October 07, 2017 12:42 am UTC
PURCHASER
I just ran the module "as a player" we are starting the tomb of annihilation campaign after this. Two of us have never played dnd before, I've played for years. The final encounter was tough, the dm admitted to fudging the rolls so we could live, the average damage of a specter is enough to one shot any of us to unconscious, plus the roll to insta-die. For fun afterwards I had a group I play on roll20 make 4 lvl 1 characters and I had them fight 2 specters, I gave them 2 attempts, the second time they did better killing one and getting the other to 1hp before all dying.(I did not tell them they would be fighting 2 specters when they made the characters) It is off the dmg encounter chart in terms of difficulty for 4 lvl 1 chars.

The starting was interesting, with the npc creation, one of the players who had never played dnd said "I bet he's going to die as soon as we finish making him" I bet him he would go on the adventure with us before dying at least, I lost. The side bet may...See more
Customer avatar
David S October 08, 2017 9:24 pm UTC
PURCHASER
Agreed, 2 specters is really dangerous for levels 1 as they can 1 shot kill (not knock out) a player. We had a group of 5 and just had to flee the spectres and were fortunate enough to get the objective completed, but realistically only one person would have survived.

Really could use some guidance to drop to 1 specter if they don't have a very large party.
Customer avatar
James I October 11, 2017 11:46 am UTC
CREATOR
I hear you. I wanted that last encounter to be tough, but not impossible. I have reduced the number of specters down to 1 in the latest update.
Customer avatar
Gail D October 06, 2017 3:31 am UTC
PURCHASER
Can't wait to run this but had a few questions:

- the only door to z13 is from z8, is this correct? Are the other two hallways from z11 and z12 dead ends?

- is the map accurate re:doors? The descriptions do not point out any doors in Z9 for instance.

- does the fountain in z7 cover the whole room? Is z6's cursed blood self contained within that other room or flow from the fountain?

- does the trap in z4 really teleport the character to cell A with its 10 crawling hands? That seems like instant death.

- any three spells for the scrolls could mean 3 wish scrolls for tier 1/lvl 1 characters...
Customer avatar
James I October 06, 2017 1:30 pm UTC
CREATOR
Hey thanks!

-Z11 and Z12 are connected by a hall UNDER area Z13 (dotted line). Z8 is the only entrance to Z13.

-Map is accurate re: doors.

-Fountain does not cover the whole room. It is in the room's center.

-It does.

-It does, though they'd have a hard time using them. If you're running this for AL, the DMAL Guide has rules for random treasure re: hardcovers that apply to Adept adventures. If you're running it for your home campaign, feel free to adjust as you wish.
Customer avatar
Christopher B October 03, 2017 5:51 pm UTC
PURCHASER
I love almost everything about this module. A few small nitpicks.

* I think "Duchess of Rot" would've been a more evocative name; I think some people are ignoring this module because the name feels a little generic right now, and they're missing out.
* The file size was a little large for 16 pages - I normally e-mail PDFs to myself once I download them on mobile, and in this case I wasn't able to.
* The tunnel that passes below one room on the map was a little difficult to follow at first, and for a little bit I thought the jail room connected to the pillar/chest room.

But overall, I love the module! Absolutely excellent beginning and end, and the dungeon itself is just so thematically appropriate for Tomb of Annihilation.
Customer avatar
Jerome M September 12, 2017 3:15 pm UTC
PURCHASER
Regarding Cellar of Death: "This introductory adventure is designed for a party of four to six 1st-level characters, who should advance to 2nd level by the adventurer’s conclusion. It is a prelude to Tomb of Annihilation that should take about 2 to 3 hours. The introduction of Tomb of Annihilation states Syndra Silvane learned about the Soulmonger from the Harpers, who “received their intelligence from a lich.” This adventure is the story of how the Harpers gathered that information."
Does it mean it's an adventure that can be played by the same PCs that will start TOA?
Customer avatar
James I September 12, 2017 6:29 pm UTC
CREATOR
That is correct! Though ToA also begins at level 1, you should be able to put this adventure before it and have the story workout quite seamlessly.
Customer avatar
Jerome M September 12, 2017 6:42 pm UTC
PURCHASER
In the Fantasy Grounds file, are the maps VTT friendly (players/DM)?
Customer avatar
James I September 12, 2017 7:58 pm UTC
CREATOR
Hmmm. I am not sure. It should, but if not, you can down load the map used in the adventure for free here from the amazing Dyson Logos and upload it to any VTT like Roll20:
https://rpgcharacters.files.wordpress.com/2015/04/chainspire-dungeons-grid.jpg
Customer avatar
Mark E October 05, 2017 8:19 pm UTC
PURCHASER
There isn't a scale on the map in the mod. Are these 5' or 10' squares?
Customer avatar
James I October 11, 2017 11:44 am UTC
CREATOR
5 foot. I added a scale in the latest update! Thanks!
Customer avatar
Benjamin L September 08, 2017 11:20 pm UTC
PURCHASER
Just picked this up to take a look. Thanks so much for keeping it close to AL format! Makes it easy and familiar.
Customer avatar
James I September 09, 2017 12:12 am UTC
CREATOR
Thanks! That was the goal, glad it is appreciated!
Customer avatar
STEVEN R September 08, 2017 6:56 pm UTC
PURCHASER
General question (if you know). Why weren't these materials released before ToA came out, so folks could get rolling on them? That way, when actual book came out groups could start playing it right away.
Thinking of Death House for CoS, unless I'm mistaken that came out well before the actual CoS hardcover.
Great adventure, really like the fast pace needed to pull it off without disaster!
Customer avatar
Alex C September 08, 2017 7:48 pm UTC
Technically, only game stores have ToA today--sites like Amazon and the 'wider' market don't have copies until the 18th.

Wizards probably wanted to match the Adept releases with the game store ToA release to both avoid Adept title spoilers (there are some references to specific areas, content, characters in the Adept titles), and to give a lengthy period before the 'full' release of ToA. Some DMs are probably already halfway through reading ToA as I type this, but I'd bet a good number will carefully parse through it and then decide what, if any, Adept content will fit their specific group's needs.
Customer avatar
James I September 08, 2017 8:31 pm UTC
CREATOR
Alex C nailed it. A lot of the products contain many spoilers for the adventure, so that's why these couldn't come out before the book was released. Also this adventure was written after the full adventure was published whereas Death House is included in CoS. I didn't even put the finishing touches on this until last week, so it would've been hard to get out before then.

Thank you so, so, so much for the kind words about the adventure. Hopefully it sets the tome for the rest of a ToA campaign!
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File Last Updated:
October 11, 2017
This title was added to our catalog on September 08, 2017.