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Tomb of Annihilation: Running as Hex Crawler w/ Additional Quests
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Tomb of Annihilation: Running as Hex Crawler w/ Additional Quests

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When I got Tomb of Annihilation (ToA), something didn’t quite click for me. Here was this beautiful map, exotic and unexplored.  The theme of ToA evoked thoughts of Indiana Jones meets Jurassic Park meets Pirates of the Caribbean (hopefully with people of color taking more central roles). I want my players to explore their player map, fill in hexes, and drain all the succulent juices from this non-linear, exploration-heavy adventure.

But the soul-threatening death curse came off as pesky and distracting. How could my players possibly choose to explore Chult when everyone meaningful was wilting away? The opening to the adventure immediately pits them against time, leaving them thinking about the primary quest (and a looming sense of perma-death) and not exploring.  Get to Omu as fast as you can, lest you or someone you care about (which is probably not Syndra Silvane) suffer the horrors of the death curse.

I’m choosing to ignore the main plot for the beginning of the adventure. Instead, I hope to indulge my players’ sense of exploration, challenging them with the notion that Chult cannot be known, cannot be conquered. I’ll dare them to go to each hex, and threaten them with potential death that awaits there.  But how do I keep this from being a slog?

Disclaimer: I have not completed my Tomb of Annihilation campaign. At time of writing, I am only 2 sessions in.  This could turn out poorly J.

Also, this document may not be complete, and much of it is not intended to be complete so you can fill in your own ideas.

This document makes references to material found in Wizards of the Coast’s titles, including: Tomb of Annihilation, Storm King’s Thunder, Princes of the Apocalypse, Tales from the Yawning Portal, and Volo’s Guide to Monsters. End Disclaimer.

 
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File Last Updated:
December 06, 2017
This title was added to our catalog on December 06, 2017.