So the Tomb of Annihilation is finally out (Has been for a couple of weeks now), I’ve only just bought a copy, and given it a brief read, so here are my initial thoughts…The Tomb of Annihilation might just be my favourite 5e D&D Adventure yet.
Okay, let me explain why. 5e got off to a pretty good start, I think all the published adventures have their highlights, and they’re definitely all runable, but ultimately, it’s all the same D&D we know- Dragons, knights, giants, demons, elementals, vampires- it all has a pretty general European High Fantasy feel to it, which isn’t a bad thing, however Tomb of Annihilation stands out because it breaks that rule- It takes us to Chult, an exotic island full of strange and wonderful creatures, characters, and treasures.
When I judge a campaign, I judge it on two fronts- The first is its ability to function on its own, as an adventure, and Tomb of Annihilation certainly does that- It doesn’t require a huge amount of work on the DMs part if they choose to run it as is, which I’d highly recommend. More importantly however, I judge it by its ability to inspire, and provide me with tools to write my own adventures, which, in this case, Tomb of Annihilation also succeeds. It includes a thorough amount of information about the setting Chult, as well as some interesting new creatures, characters, places, and items, some of which I could easily extract and write a whole campaign around- I think based on that alone, it’s got enough content to make it my favourite adventure, as a DM.
Much like Tales from the Yawning Portal, the bestiary includes creatures from Volo’s guide to monsters (Which also appears as an in game book, sold by Volo himself), which I’ve grown to have mixed feelings about- On one hand, it means you don’t have to go out and buy Volo’s Guide just to run Tomb of Annihilation as intended, however, at the same time, as someone who does own a copy of Volo’s guide, if feels a bit redundant, that said, given that’s my only actual complaint about Tomb of Annihilation thus far, and a pretty petty one at that, Wizards of the Coast have clearly done something right.
So that’s my initial opinion of Tomb of Annihilation. I intend to start running it with a group in a couple of weeks time, when our collective timetables allow it- I may write another article then, comparing my initial thoughts to how it actually runs. Until next time, happy gaming.
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