The Cursed Tomb: Chapter 3 – Undeath? Redeath?

So Adam and Ian don’t feel like they play enough D&D. To rectify this, they started playing a text-based adventure with a couple of friends, still using the 5th edition framework. We thought it would be fun to clean up the transcripts of this adventure and start publishing it in weekly chapters here on the site. Let us know what you think, and please share around! If you missed Chapter 1, check it out here!

Disclaimer: This is the transcript of a text-based D&D game played over a period of 6 months. Bad language included. Picture based dice rolls/media omitted. Names changed to preserve anonymity. Goblin based violence frequent. You have been warned.

Bronan: I belt it after him “Constance, you need your dinner or you’ll be hungry later”

DM: Constance, your forehead feels cold

Faustus: I shake my head and follow.

Faustus: But with more caution and less running.

DM: Oh and hey Constance…

DM: Wisdom saving throw

Constance: Oh no.

Constance: Nat. Fucking. One.

DM: Wow

DM: As you start running towards the tomb, you start uncontrollably laughing in a Hyena like manner, constantly, barely able to draw breath (disadvantage on stealth buddy)

Constance: Hahahahhahahahahahheeeeeehhheeeee

Bronan: Constance, it’s OK Bro, let’s hug it out! I yell

Constance: Am I still able to control everything else?

DM: Yup, but you can’t speak or stop laughing like that

DM: As you climb the steps, ahead of you is a stone arch, and then nothing but darkness

Constance: I pause momentarily, fearful of the darkness. Pull out my tinderbox and a torch and light it.

Faustus: I also light a torch

‪Bronan: If Bronan has caught up, he enfolds Constance in a bear hug

‪Bronan: It’s OK Little man, the dogmen won’t hurt you know

‪Bronan: Now*

DM: Your torches illuminate a square room. In the centre, a staircase descends at the back wall is some sort of shrine, and below it a pile of…something. the walls reflect back your torchlight, they appear to be bronze, and covered in intricate carvings

Constance: I hold my torch up to the carvings, trying to make them out.

DM: Investigation please

DM: As you do this the sound of your incessant, hysterical laughter echoes

DM: There are also torches on each wall

Constance: 6

DM: Laughing so hard you can barely focus your eyes. Some sort of hunt? Some sort of dogman?

‪Bronan: Can I see what the pool of something is?

‪Bronan: /Pile

DM: As you move towards it you can see it is a pile of bones and rags beneath the shrine

DM: The shrine appears to have some sort go small statue in it

‪Bronan: I light a torch and peer closer at the statue

‪Bronan: Hey guys, there is some sort of statue here

DM: It appears to be some sort of uber-gnoll, holding a flail. It looks muscular and its face is more savage than the gnolls you have seen. You can roll religion for me if you like

‪Bronan: I’ll give it a shot

‪Bronan: 16-1, 15

DM: This was in a comic you read once Bronan! The Demon Yeenoghu, mightiest of hunters!

‪Bronan: Was it Grognak and the cave of the gnoll demon?

DM: It was

DM: And above the shrine, another ankh, very large

Bronan: Hey, boys, I’ve read about this, if you pick it up, then millions of gnolls appear and kidnap your lady friend

‪Bronan: Constance, isn’t that like your necklace?

Constance: It is. This fucking hahahahhahaha thing seems to be fucking everywhere.

DM: You just about manage to get the words out, laughing so hard the amulet bounces around on your chest

‪Bronan: You seem to be taking this grief thing hard, did you see what was on the walls?

Constance: A hunt or some shit. I can’t see. It’s dark as shit in here.

DM: There are some torches in sconces along each wall

DM: Unlit

Constance: Oh yeah. Bunch of torches and shit too.

‪Bronan: So, we have a God of the hunt, hunting pictures and a pile of rags… Let me get some light in here for you my friend*lights unlight torches*

DM: As you light the torches the tableau unfolds across the walls. Gnolls, following a robed man with an Ankh atop his staff

DM: All of these bowing to Yeenoghu, as he hunts men and mighty beasts

DM: A stone slab by the staircase  says “seekers of the hunt, Ptolnus awaits”

Constance: Let’s head in deeper gents. I’ve got a hankering for some vengeance. Grab that statue Bronan. It might be worth something.

DM: All of this is punctuated by manic laughter

DM: And whenever Constance is not talking, he is laughing

Faustus: And also Faustus was there. He’s just been on the phone for the last hour and is about to be again.

DM: Faustus doing anything in his phone break? Aracana check on the amulet, religion on the idol, history on Ptolnos, perceptions on the tunnel?

Faustus: Let’s go with arcana on the amulet. Is it doing anything new?

DM: Just making Constance laugh constantly in a debilitating and irritating way, and now glowing very very faintly

Faustus: Ok. And do we know if the extra laughs are echos or others? What happens if I cover her mouth?

DM: He keeps laughing, but it is muffled. It is coming from his mouth but sounds slightly strange, higher pitched than it was

Faustus: Weird

Constance: Dude! Not ok!

DM: It sounds as if Constance is trying his very best to imitate the laugh of Jamsi and the other gnolls

Constance: Consent. Learn about it.

Faustus: I can’t hear her over the laughing

DM: So faustus are you rolling arcana?

DM: Or are you guys descending the stairs

Faustus: 8

DM: Laughing amulet? Who knows. Not something you’ve encountered

DM: Probably the laughing is a curse, rather than its main purpose

Constance: I try to take it off

Constance: My jaw is starting to hurt

Bronan: Hey, before I lift the statue Faustus, could you check it? That comicbook makes me edgy

Faustus: Check it for history?

DM: The amulet easily slips off your neck and you stop laughing. Your forehead no longer feels cold, and the amulet stops glowing

Constance: That’s better.

DM: Statue looks like a hench gnoll holding a flail, made of copper

Faustus: Shizzle

Constance: Well shit boys. This looks terrifying.

DM: About 12 inches tall

Faustus: 15 on a history check

Constance: Can I do a religion check to see if any of this shit points to something I know about?

DM: Yes

Constance: Religion is wis right?

Constance: If so. 5.

DM: Faustus- historically, Yeenoghu has never been worshipped much in this land. Gnolls normally stick to the deep desert where few people tread. Yeenoghu has never been a particular power here. But Ptonos’ ascension to infamy was shrouded in rumours of extreme violence- a gnoll demon patron would explain some of the stories about Ptonus and the cannibalism, torture, people hunting etc

DM: But this was all hundreds of years ago…

DM: Constance, you aren’t sure about this. The ankh was the symbol of Ptonos, but it isn’t the symbol of any God you know…

DM: Back to the east, in the great city of Cormyr, many gods are worshipped. But nobody worships demons, at least not openly!

Bronan: Ok guys, I’m gonna lift the statue, if I don’t make it, make sure sir dribbles is looked after, he really likes cheese, beer and belly rubs

Constance: Well balls. I repeat myself. Grab that statue and let’s head below. I’m pretty sure demons aren’t real.

‪Bronan: I take sir dribbles out of my loincloth, do that weird dog kiss thing that people do, and put him down

‪Bronan: And I lift the statue

DM: As soon as it raises off the shrine, the torches gutter and then flare up but then return to normal

Bronan: Huh, must’ve been some wind, let’s go ey? I draw my axe

Constance: Onward.

Bronan: I scoop up sir dribbles after he finishes his business and put him in his home, then walk onward

‪Bronan: Hey, guys did I ever tell you about this tribe game we used to play? Ring of fire, we should do that after we finish this up, all we need is a barrel of pitch, some dancing girls and three barrels of ale

DM: The stairs are steep and continue down a long way, but eventually open into a single chamber. With your torches you can see the whole room

DM: Thus walls and ceiling are black stone slabs, and the floor is white marble. A sarcophagus stands in the centre of the room

DM: Embedded in its chest, a ruby the size of a fist- the stone of Ptonos

Constance: Is this what we came here for guys?

DM: It is, this is what the robed man asked you to fetch him

Constance: I feel like I’ve had enough cursed magical shit for one day. And Bronan risked himself by picking up that statue. Faustus you’re up.

DM: You are to retrieve the stone and return it to Al’Shash

Bronan: It’s OK, I don’t want him to get hurt

‪Bronan: I’ll tip open the chest using my axe

DM: Bad description on my part sorry it is a sarcophagus in the shape of a man, in whose chest a ruby is embedded

Bronan: Ah no problem, in that case, I take the sarcophagus lid off so we can see inside and take the ruby off without standing over it

Faustus: Arcana check on the sarcophagus and stone?

DM: Faustus, roll check please

Faustus: 15

DM: Bronan, you strain to pull free the heavy sarcophagus lid and lay it down

‪Bronan: Athletics?

DM: Ruby is clearly magically hewn, and has an internal slight light to is but the sarcophagus looks like regular stone

DM: Nah bronan, so strong! It is an effort but you manage

DM: As bronan pulls the lid away and lays it down, you see the interior of the sarcophagus-

Bronan: He does a reverse deadlift with perfect form to lower it

DM: Hahaha

Bronan: Before I try to pry off the ruby, is there anything in the casket?

DM: Yes

DM: It is vertical so you can all see

DM: There is a mummified corpse in immaculate gold robes, a oak staff with an ankh of ivory on its end, two red vials, two scrolls, and a leather pouch full of coins

DM: A voice emanates from the ether around you- “Ptonos will teach the hunt”

Bronan: Always with the scary voice, why wizards have to do this? Are they afraid Bronan will turn them into squishy jelly?

‪Bronan: Bronan grumbles as he prises off the ruby (or try to)

DM: Strength check for that

DM: The ruby pops out of its socket after you judiciously apply your beefy muscle, and you catch it Bronan

DM: At which point the back wall explodes and four gnoll mummies stagger out!

DM: The ethereal voice says “Ptonos will show you the hunt”

Bronan: Which one is nearest one of my companions?

DM: They are all equidistant in a line. Faustus and Constance are just behind you

DM: They start to shambles forward, all of them laughing a rattling, dry, wheezing laugh

Bronan: Ok cool,I throw my torch at the one in front of me and if that’s not my full turn, attack

‪Bronan: Or did I put the torch down?

‪Bronan: Gonna scroll up a sec

DM: Um, depends. You can just chuck it vaguely at it as a bonus action, but if you want to Aragorn vs ringwraiths try and flame the dude that’s an attack

‪Bronan: I figured Bronan probably wouldn’t know mummies before so would throw it vaguely at them as a distraction so they can hit the beers

Constance: I throw the amulet back on and shout “Ptonus Ptonus vesi vesi” and all the words that I remember in gnoll.

Constance: Completely nonsensical.

DM: Okay, Bronan you start the combat, make your attack

DM: Constance the gnolls seem unaffected by your words

Bronan: I got a 7, goddamn you wizards

DM: Bronan’s axe descends, but the faltering shuffle of the half mummified half skeletonised gnoll is not so easy to predict!

DM: Constance?

DM: Or Faustus, we won’t proceed with the gnoll skeletons until you have both gone so no worries

Faustus: Ok I’ll go. I break to the right and sweep at the leg on the far right gnoll in the line with my sword…

Faustus: 18 to hit

DM: Hits!

Faustus: 9 slashing

DM: You slice it’s femur in two and it slams to the ground, then turns at you from the marble floor and laughs with its dead voice

DM: Constance?

DM: Oh by the way Constance you need to make wisdom save as you put that amulet back on. Your forehead feels cold again and the ankh has started to glow ever so slightly

Constance: Wisdom save is 6 + 2

DM: You start laughing, your voice joining in dissonant chorus with the unread gnolls

Constance: Constance begins visibly shaking and screams “FUCKING MAGIC CUNTS IVE HAHAHAHHAHAAAAADD ENOUGH OF YOUR SHIIIIIIIIT”. And dives at the one Bronan missed slamming her fists into into rib cage relentlessly.

Constance: So two unarmed strikes cause I’m a monk and shit

DM: Nice

DM: Roll for each?

Constance: 14 + 5 = 19. 7 + 5 = 12

DM: Both fists hit

DM: Roll damage and tell me damage type please

Constance: 12 bludgeoning total.

DM: The gnolls ribcage implodes with the first hit, it’s skull with the second, and it drops to the dust

DM: With that, it’s the gnolls turn…

DM: The gnoll skeleton on the ground with one leg tries to bite Faustus but he nimbly steps aside

DM: The other two gnoll skeletons attacks Constance and Bronan, with a 15 and a 18 to hit respectively

DM: You each take 3 piercing damage from their bites!

Constance: Accursed wizardry!

‪Bronan: Ow

‪Bronan: Next turn, Bronan flies into a rage and attacks the mummy that hit Constance

DM: Superb, roll for attack and damage

‪Bronan: I rolled a 10 to hit, I’d it hits, 13 slashing damage

DM: It does. You cut down the skeleton currently gnawing on Constance

DM: it’s bones come apart and it loses all semblance of movement and false life

DM: Constance, your turn

Faustus: I think I was 2nd?

DM: Cool, Faustus go!

Faustus: I bring my sword down on the head of the gnoll I cut down before. 20 to hit, 10 damage.

Faustus: Slashing

DM: Oh wow

DM: Yeah it’s skull crumples and the eerie blue light in its eyes sputters out

DM: Constance? One gnoll skeleton left

Constance: With my shortsword in my left hand I swipe at the remaining gnolls legs (first).

Constance: 11 to hit

Constance: 6 piercing if it does.

DM: Yup, the previously uninjured  gnoll takes a slash to the thigh and staggers, thick concealed blood and dust spewing out

Constance: Constance spins and uppercuts him in the face.

Constance: Ugh. 8 to hit.

DM: The gnoll bats aside Constance’s arm and lunges for her face, snapping its jaws

DM: And gets a 7. Damn.

DM: Brona

Bronan: Bronan is yelling “bad dogmen, no hurt friends” and swings at the gnoll attacking constance

‪Bronan: 18 to hit, 17 slashing

DM: 17 slashing?! Yeah bronan bisects the final gnoll

Faustus: Oof that’s a hefty fucking hit! Love me some rage damage.

Bronan: Yeah, when I’m raging I get plus 5 to dam, using a d12 for the great axe 🙂

Constance: Damnit Bronan I wanted to punch him to death!

Constance: Undeath?

Constance: Redeath?

Bronan: Bronan is bleeding a bit now, he slowly regains his composure and turns to constance, “I am sorry Constance, do you want me to hold one while you hit it?”

Faustus: How are you both doing for health?

DM: The final gnoll is dust and you are now alone in the silent tomb. The ethereal voice of Ptonos speaks no more, and you get a feeling of power fading at the edge of your perception. In the sarcophagus, the mummified Ptonos withers


Come back next Monday for Chapter 4 of The Cursed Tomb!


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The Cursed Tomb: Chapter 2 – Bad Bad Dogman

So Adam and Ian don’t feel like they play enough D&D. To rectify this, they started playing a text-based adventure with a couple of friends, still using the 5th edition framework. We thought it would be fun to clean up the transcripts of this adventure and start publishing it in weekly chapters here on the site. Let us know what you think, and please share around! If you missed Chapter 1, check it out here!

Disclaimer: This is the transcript of a text-based D&D game played over a period of 6 months. Bad language included. Picture based dice rolls/media omitted. Names changed to preserve anonymity. Goblin based violence frequent. You have been warned.

Bronan: Bronan yawns, puts his loincloth on. Searches for Sir dribbles, who is cooking a leg on the gnoll

Faustus: Wait, isn’t sir dribbles the pug? He can cook?

DM: Cocking a leg? Hahaha

‪Bronan: Sorry, cocking

DM: Ha

‪Bronan: Though he does have a chef hat that he wears when it’s chow time

DM: It doesn’t take you long to break your fast and strike camp. It’s clear that Jamsi can’t walk far, if at all

Constance: Can we construct a rudimentary sledge or something? Take him with us. He could be a useful guide / bait

‪Bronan: I can drag?

DM: You have rope, and can easily make a stretcher like structure to be dragged. Where do you go? Constance, you have the amulet?

Constance: I do. In my pouch.

DM: Okay, let me know where you guys are headed/what’s up

Faustus: Up the dune for a better look around?

DM: Perception please

Faustus: 14

DM: The sand appears clear, it’s about 300ft until the shadowy entry to the gulch, which looks to be 10ft wide

DM: Jamsi is muttering in gnoll trying to hide his face from the sun as he is dragged along

Bronan: As we’re going I offer Constance and Faustus my spare loincloth as a sun hat “come on bros, sunstroke isn’t a laughing matter”

Faustus: My lizard skin is unaffected by the sun and I’m assuming my resistance to fire can extend to general heat?

Faustus: I can’t remember if I said. I’m a red dragonborn.

Constance: I pull the hood of my robes up to protect me from the harsh rays of the sun and take a swig from my water skin. Before we head on, I pull out the amulet and inspect it further

DM: Faustus, yes.

DM: Constance, roll investigation or religion or arcana, depending on what you are trying to discern. If General, investigation

‪Bronan: Ok bros, stay hydrated 🙂 I feed sir dribbles some water, it goes everywhere

Constance: (Investigation is int right?)

Constance: If so 13.

DM: It is some sort of talisman, you think symbolizing life. Not normally associated with gnolls

DM: What are you guys doing

Faustus: Light a torch at the entrance

DM: You can see about 30ft down. It is dimly lit by refracted sunlight

DM: And your torch

DM: The ground is rockier here, and a few tiny plants creep from the rock walls

DM: Ahead the pass curves left

Faustus: Do I recognise any of the plants?

Constance: I’m very tempted to put the talisman on. But think better of it and stick it in my pocket

DM: Faustus, nature check

Faustus: 18

‪Bronan: Can I survival roll to see if I recognise the plants?

‪Bronan: I got a 15

DM: You both recognise this as stripweed, a resilient plant that is a good source of water. There aren’t too many of them around in this canyon

DM: But a few

DM: Are you moving forward?

Faustus: I think so? I can take point if we are in agreement?

Constance: Onward!

Faustus: Ok I move cautiously forward. Torch in front in my left, sword drawn in right.

Constance: I follow behind with weapon sheathed but ready to spring into action.

‪Bronan: Bronan draws his axe

DM: As you proceed, the gulch narrows and widens and twists and turns.It is never constant for long, but is blessedly cool compared to the scorching dune. Jamsi murmurs and mutters. After several hours, the rock plinths and walls surrounding you start to grow smaller until you are facing a vast plain of dark red grass and undulating hills. It feels cooler here, and a breeze blows across your faces from the west

Constance: I gesture across the plain and look at Jamsi

DM: He is feverish and uncooperative

DM: He keeps muttering “Ptonos”

Constance: Can I do a medicine check to see if his wounds are infected?

DM: Sure

Constance: 3 + 4. 7.

DM: He has lost a lot of blood

DM: Not looking good

Constance: Well shit. I have a herbalism kit and a healers kit. Anything I can do with those?

DM: Yup medicine check to see how it goes

Constance: Ok. So my medicine kit has bandages salves and splints. I’m going to change his bandages on his leg and put some “ye olde Sudocreme” on his wound. 9 + 4 = 13

DM: Okay his leg wounds are firmly clean and bound now. He indicates he would rather walk than be dragged

DM: Aside from the red grass, nothing seems alive this side of the obsidian shards. If you head directly west, you should arrive near the temple around nightfall. What do you do? (if heading west, someone roll a d6)

DM: And if anyone wants to make a history, nature, or general perception check feel free

DM: “Ptolnos pelastaa minut” says Jamsi. He keeps staring at Sir Dribbles and licking his lips

Faustus: I give him another lunchable, look at Sir Dribbles then back at him and shake my head. I tap my sword so he gets the idea.

Faustus: Also yeah we head West?

DM: Cool, roll a d6

Faustus: 3

DM: As the day passes, almost at the limit of your vision two birds circle high above you. After a few hours they fly away north

DM: As night falls you see a structure rise ahead of you

Constance: I point at the structure and turn to Jamsi and say “Ptolnus?”

DM: Jamsi smiles a toothy smile

Constance: Does Jamsi seem to be starting to warm to us? Or does he seem biding his time till he can murder is in our sleep?

DM: Perception roll please

Constance: Not insight?

DM: Sure, insight

DM: The red tiered temple rises from the dust- no grass seems to grow here. Above the entrance, an ankh like the one on the gnoll locket

Constance: 17 + 4 = 21

DM: He looks like he is about to make a run for it

‪Bronan: Shit, missed a lot, can I roll perception? Seems weird as shit there is grass here, I want to take a closer look

‪Bronan: Got a 16 total

‪Bronan: I turn to Jamsi and say “come with me if you want to live”

DM: Bronan, the grass is very strange and brittle. It seems very dry

DM: But not even the strange red desert grass grows around this structure. If your bearings were right, this should be the tomb of Ptonos

Bronan: “be careful with the torch boys, one wrong move and we could go up in flahmes!”

DM: Jamsi looks confused and impatient and starts gesturing to the temple

‪Bronan: Would I know if gnolls are normally evil, peaceful or whatever?

DM: History check please

‪Bronan: Awww shit, ok

Constance: I pull out the amulet (out of reach of Jamsi) to see if being near where it came from has any effect.

Bronan: 17-1, 16

DM: Gnolls are desert scavengers

DM: Prone to violence, but normally cowards really

DM: The amulet Ankh is identical in shape to the Ankh above the tomb entrance

Constance: “Well boys, let’s skirt around, chef for surprised eh?”

Bronan: “Bronan does not fully trust dogman, Bronan say we make him go first, none of Bronans friends will get hurt because of sneaky dogman”

Constance: He’s wounded and restrained. What could he possibly do?

Bronan: Don’t know, that’s why dogmen are sneaky! But ok, I’ll get ready to give him some beer if he tries anything

DM: So you are circling the tomb entrance looking for…traps etc? Gnolls? Roll investigation or perception depending that you want to look at

‪Bronan: Bronan is looking for gnoll or gnoll traps, perception?

DM: Sure

Faustus: I’m going to look out for tracks.

‪Bronan: 11+3, 14

Faustus: 19

DM: Bronan, you can’t see any gnolls or gnoll traps, but you do spot some rising smoke (a gnoll fire?!) A few miles away to the north

DM: Faustus, you can see tracks going into the tomb entrance. Gnolls. At least 3, maybe 5? The tracks leave the tomb, straight across the empty ground to the grass, then circle north.

DM: Looks like they were moving quickly on that non-grass area

‪Bronan: I point it out to Constance and Faustus, “it’s either a gnoll fire or someone is having a hell of a smoking party”

Constance: I turn to Jamsi and in a very mumsy voice say his name. Pointing around at the things what we done just noticed.

DM: Jamai shrugs

DM: Then spits at your feet

DM: “Ptonos ja veljeni syö sydämesi , pakana”

‪Bronan: Do you think he is asking for some beer?

Faustus: I spit at his feet too

‪Bronan: *brandishes axe*

‪Bronan: I pick him up by the throat with one hand (or try to)

DM: He is scrawny and malnourished, you can easily lift him.

Constance: Calm down Bronan! He’s rude but no threat to us.

DM: As you speak he goes into a frenzy, snapping his jaws at bronan and kicking his feet!

Constance: You’re scaring him my dude!

‪Bronan: I bring him in close “listen dogman, you will show my friends respect, or I’ll make you half a dogman” push him at arm’s length and say “Constance, it’s OK, this is how I trained sir dribbles, now he only nibbles my leg when he needs to do his business”

DM: his attack is unsuccessful

‪Bronan: We need to find his business and rub his nose in it, that’ll make him learn

DM: He starts to laugh in a manic way, very very loud

Bronan: Still holding him, I turn to Constance, “my Bro, you want me to put him down?”

DM: “Vejet , Ptonos, pelasta minut ! Murskaa nämä kirottu vaaleanpunainen nahat!”

Constance: Well he’s getting out of hand now. Let’s tie him to a nearby tree or something

DM: No trees

DM: Red grass, dust, tomb

‪Bronan: I gesture around the place, dogman still in hand, which trees?

DM: He attacks you again

‪Bronan: I can try to stop him Barking if it’s annoying you guys?

‪Bronan: Ok cool, my ac is 14

DM: But shackled as he is and wounded as he is and being held by his throat, all he can do is kick ineffectualt

DM: “Veljet, Ptonos! VELJET!”

Faustus: If i walk towards the tomb does he do anything?

Constance: Damnit Jamsi I’m trying to help you!

DM: Nah he keeps thashimg and yelling

Constance: Can we hogtie him on the floor Bronan?

Bronan: Put my greataxe in its backsheath, pull Jamsi closer and wag a finger in his face “no, bad dogman, keep Barking and I’ll swop your nose”

‪Bronan: Swot*

‪Bronan: We could, but that is cruelty to animals

‪Bronan: Sir dribbles pikes his head from my loincloth and snot/barks in agreement

‪Bronan: Pokes* goddamn autocorrect

DM: He bites your face

DM: 2 damage

DM: And then laughs manically again and yelling Ptonos. He is frothing at the mouth now

Constance: Damnit Jamsi! Don’t make me do this!

DM: He continues, the only sound in this arid wasteland is him thrashing and biting his jaws and yelling and laughing

DM: Bronan, you are still holding him? Presumably at arm’s length now. He tries to escape your grapple, make a strength check for me please

Faustus: I walk up and pierce his side with my sword

Faustus: 19 to hit

DM: Faustus’s blade slips up into the gnoll’s hide, and in moments he is still, dangling from the arm of Bronan

DM: The land falls still, silent as bone

Bronan: Ok, shit missed all the action again!

‪Bronan: Damn laundry

‪Bronan: “don’t worry my bros, I didn’t get my blood on your clothes did I? If so, give to Bronan, he will clean”

‪Bronan: I drop the dead dogman

‪Bronan: Well, he was a bad dog, do we explore temple now? Bad dogman can’t hurt you guys now

Constance: Nooooooooooooooooooo

Constance: I weep silently.

‪Bronan: Oh constance, buddy, what’s wrong, did you get dirt in your eye? Let me get that for you, I pull the spare loincloth and start dabbing away his tears

Constance: I bat his hand away.

Constance: He didn’t have to die, JAMSI YOU FOOL


‪Bronan: It’s OK Constance he is chasing rabbits in doggyman heaven now, no more hunger there, no leg wounds from javelins

‪Bronan: Snuggle with Sir dribbles, he is a good listener #snortbark#

Faustus: I clean my blade and say “there Constance. Now you didn’t have to do something you didn’t want to do”

DM: The sun is almost fully set, the tomb outlined in the last vestiges of Amber light

‪Bronan: Hey, maybe we make camp, hey? Or go inside? Constance having something to do helps a Bro grieve

Faustus: Well we’ve been travelling all day. Equally, if no one is tired, it’s unlikely to be awash with sunlight in there during the day anyway.

Bronan: I’m pretty ok, I mean the dogman scratches me, but it’s cool *uncorked, swig, recork the axe ale* sir dribbles did me worse when I tried to make him wear his chef hat the first time, now he loves it!

‪Bronan: Shall we go in?

Faustus: Sure. Though, the amulet. It’s definitely linked to the tomb in some way. Is it protective? Do we need 3?

Bronan: We get some more necklaces from the dogmen?

Faustus: That’s what I was thinking.

‪Bronan: Ok with me, pappa always told me hair of the dog cures all wounds

Faustus: Exactly

Bronan: Constance, you OK Bro? We need to get necklaces, we go get some?

DM: Can roll arcana to see if you think the necklace is magical?

Bronan: Me?

DM: Faustus was the one positing some protective role for it

Faustus: I got a 14

DM: Right

DM: It is magical, but very very weakly

Bronan: Ah ok

‪Bronan: I got an 8 anyway

DM: Some sort of evocation magic

Constance: I yell JAMSI!!!!!! And throwing the amulet on I charge toward the entrance.


Come back next Monday for Chapter 3 of The Cursed Tomb!


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Player’s Handbook

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Volo’s Guide to Monsters

Sword Coast Adventurer’s Guide

Starter Set


The Cursed Tomb: Chapter 1 – Long Distance Javelin Surgery

So Adam and Ian don’t feel like they play enough D&D. To rectify this, they started playing a text-based adventure with a couple of friends, still using the 5th edition framework. We thought it would be fun to clean up the transcripts of this adventure and start publishing it in weekly chapters here on the site. Let us know what you think, and please share around!

Disclaimer: This is the transcript of a text-based D&D game played over a period of 6 months. Bad language included. Picture based dice rolls/media omitted. Names changed to preserve anonymity. Goblin based violence frequent. You have been warned.

DM: Hi!

DM: So guys, the concept was a play by text d&d game. I’ll DM, and we can play by post- as in once we get going, wait til all three have responded before moving on

DM: Which means it might be a bit start and stop, but low effort and ongoing

DM: Setting wise, pretty similar to forgotten realms, high magic. Start with level 1 characters? More of a focus on RP and exploration etc than combat

Faustus: Yo

Faustus: All sounds good. Will probably get to it tomorrow. Can also chat to you when I see you in a bit DM.

‪Bronan‬: Alright? Sounds good, I’ll figure out how to best send a character sheet and flesh out a character after work‬‬‬
Bronan‬: I’m thinking maybe a barbarian, basically like the pregren but with some changes to the personality traits (over protective, wants to make people happy, has awful vision of disaster and enamoured with ale)and a great axe (the blade is shaped like a squashed beer keg) and a pet pug, his name, Bronan‬‬‬

DM: Sounds good to me. Let’s hope the pug survives

Constance: I’m thinking halfling monk.

DM: Human barbarian, halfling monk, and…?

Faustus: Erm…

Faustus: Dragonborn paladin. Named Faustus.

Constance: Wow. Very meat-Shieldy group

Faustus: Spells are for nerds

Constance: I think my monk is called Constance.

DM: Faustus the dragonborn paladin, Constance the halfling monk, and Bronan the barbarian?

‪Bronan‬: Yup :)‬‬‬
‪Bronan‬: Normally I’d go halforc cause of the sweet critical bonus and darkvision but based Bronan on the human template so it’s easier‬‬‬

DM: A halfling clad in simple robes, a human rippling with muscle, and a dragonborn in shining armour stand on the crest of a sand dune. Before you, Rib Gulch cuts through the needles, a seemingly endless wall of razor sharp obsidian shards 300ft tall. Rib Gulch is the only passage through to the west, and your goal- the cursed tomb of the Sorceror King Ptolnos

DM: The sun is setting behind you to the east, and for miles with exception of the needles, you see nothing but dunes. What do you do?

‪Bronan‬: In a raspy schwazeneger voice Bronan says”hey Bros, it’s getting dark out here hey? Maybe we should look at setting up a camp and I can go hunting for some little fluffbros for us to have for dinner”‬‬‬

DM: Unless there are objections, you hunker down to camp for the night. High above, three moons wane. As your fire dies and you all contemplate who will take first watch, you hear the intermittent pad of something creeping behind the next dune… What do you do? (feel free to roll)

Faustus: I make sure everyone is aware of it and I draw my longsword

‪Bronan‬: Can I roll nature to see if I have any idea what could be creeping around in the Rib Gulch?‬‬‬

DM: (meta stuff, I’m going to only reply after all three players have replied from now on. And if you want to roll for something, go right ahead-don’t wait for me to confirm, I will let you know what happens as a result. Sending through character sheets as images or screenshots or whatever would be cool also!)

Constance: I pull out one of my torches and light it from my tinder box, looking around for higher ground.

DM: Constance lights her torch and illuminates the area. You are in a depression between three dunes of equal height, 300yards west of Rib Gulch. Bronan, roll a nature check for me please. Faustus, as you stand ready sword drawn the light of the torch reflects back six eyes on top of the ridge

Constance: Her!?

DM: Sorry dude, only know the name Constance as a Victorian era virtue name given to Bronte style ladies

DM: But hey. What do you do, Constance the totally male monk?

Constance: Nah I just never even thought about it. She can be a she

DM: Your move boys (Bronan, rolling that check counts as resolving your last thing so separate from whatever else you want to do)

Faustus: Can we hear any other sounds?

DM: Roll perception

Faustus: Urgh. 8.

DM: The padding has stopped. All you can hear is the breathing of your comrades and the trickling sands beneath your own feet

Faustus: The eyes still there? Just in front of us? I look around to see if we are surrounded.

DM: The eyes only appear to be between you and Rib Gulch, to the West. In every other direction, darkness. They are not moving

Faustus: I also light a torch, holding it in my other hand. I cautiously move a few feet forward. Does the closer light of my torch do anything to the eyes?

DM: You illuminate sharp teeth, rounded ears, muzzled, and below, patched and mismatched leather armour. Indistinct weapons linger at their sides

DM: Bronan now has advantage on his nature check

DM: Bronan thinks these may be…noles? Moles? Gnolls? Doggy men things.

DM: They step into the torchlight. They appear to be malnourished, and one is heavily bandaged with rags and limps. The largest raises a knotted club, gestures at your packs, at himself, and utters words in a guttural tongue

DM: He draws a claw across his own throat and growls menacingly

‪Bronan‬: Bronan brandishes his axe and says ‘bros, looks like its time for them to hit the beers’‬‬‬
‪Bronan‬: (his axe looks like a crushed beer keg)‬‬‬

DM: (inspiration for Bronan)

DM: If you are fighting, we will do it as whoever replies first foes first in initiative. If you make an attack include the attack roll and the damage roll please

Faustus: I guess I said I was sword out ready for this so me first?

DM: Yup

DM: Go for it

Faustus: 13 to hit

DM: Which one are you attacking? Left right or middle? Left bandaged, middle biggest

DM: You hit

Faustus: I’ll go middle

DM: Damage amount and type please!

Faustus: 10 damage

Faustus: Slashing

DM: The middle gnoll staggers back, grievously wounded by Faustus’s darting sword

DM: It screams in a guttural tongue and on its forehead, a blue rune glows

‪Bronan‬: Bronan flies into a rage, screaming about how it’s their round, and swings with the beers at the glowing one‬‬‬

DM: As the rune glows and the gnoll brings its hands up, arcane light spilling from its wound, Bronan cleaves it in twain. An amulet falls to the sand from the twitching corpse. The two remaining gnolls scream in rage and leap forward, but not before Constance…

Constance: Constance pulls her short sword from her hip and drives the point and the face of the nearest gnoll

DM: The bandaged gnoll is too slow for clever Constance, whose flickering blade seeks out a weakness. It lurches and yells as hot blood hits cold sand

Constance: Constance shouts her signature catchphrase as her sword point strikes true. “YOU DONE FUCKED UP”

DM: The bandaged gnoll rears back and brings its club crashing down onto Constance (16+3 to hit), and hits for 4 bludgeoning damage

Constance: Gah

DM: The uninjured gnoll takes a bite at Faustus, slavering jaws opening wide, but it’s jaws fail to find purchase through dragonborn’s thick armour

DM: Faustus, you are up

Faustus: Faustus attempts to strike at the gnoll who just licked his armour. How does a 12 to hit do?

DM: The gnoll wriggles past Faustus’s strike and faces back, letting forth a high pitched laugh. Drool drops from its muzzle

DM: Bronan

‪Bronan‬: “no dogmas, we eat your hair” axe smash‬‬‬
‪Bronan‬: Shit boys. It was a good un‬‬‬

DM: Which gnoll were you attacking?

‪Bronan‬: The one attempting to bit Faustus, he’s raging but his jokes are on point‬‬‬

DM: Bronan’s axe bites deeply into the gnolls shoulder and it drops its club to the sand

DM: Constance

Constance: Constance dives to grab the amulet and stuff it in her robes

Constance: Seeing that this is a powerful artefact that should be kept from these violent cunts

DM: Alright

Constance: Then comes up slashing at the one that just dropped its club

DM: Advantage

DM: The wounded gnoll raises its hand instinctively to block Constance’s thrusting sword, but fails. The gnoll is skewered, and slides pitifully to the ground dead

DM: (also I trust you guys, no need to send screenshots of every roll!)


DM: The final gnoll, bandaged and bloodied, gibbers and starts to run. It makes it 40ft away, sprinting on its damaged leg

DM: Faustus, you are up

Faustus: Faustus gives chase for a few feet, pulling out a javelin while he runs. He flings it with all his might (his might being a 20 to hit, not nat) and the javelin thunks into the beast’s good leg for 7 damage.

DM: The javelin pieces flesh and pins the gnoll to the sand, where it struggles to rise. After a few seconds it falls still

DM: You recover your items. The amulet Constance picked up is made of gnarled wood in the shape of an Ankh, similar to the symbol that appeared on the lead gnolls forehead

Constance: Faustus you killed it! We could have asked it where this came from?

Faustus: That’s why I said leg!

DM: It isn’t dead, but it is very badly hurt and unconscious

Constance: What were you trying to do long distance javelin surgery!?

DM: You can stabilise it if you choose

Faustus: Yes. I choose that.

Constance: Can I? I have some sweet healing abilities that I learned in church

Faustus: And long distance javelin surgery is my jam.

Faustus: Yeah that sounds like it should be your bag. I’ll intimidate or something.

Constance: Ok. Constance sashays over to the dying thing and wraps some makeshift bandages around the things leg where it is bleeding from. 16 on medicine

DM: After a few minutes the gnoll’s eyes weakly flutter open. It is too weak to fight, but still struggles slightly

Faustus: Can you understand us?

Faustus: I ask in common and draconic for kicks.

DM: “Ptolnos on Herra elämän”

DM: Do any of you speak gnoll?

Constance: No.

‪Bronan‬: Giant and dwarvish for me‬‬‬

Faustus: Sorry was that what he said, or was that draconic?

DM: That is what he said, he keeps saying it over and over

DM: He draws a shape on his chest, an ankh

Constance: I hold the amulet just out of his reach so he can see it.

‪Bronan‬: Bronan rage has worn off‬‬‬

DM: The gnoll starts thrashing and snapping its jaws at you all

Faustus: Ok so he is saying something about the sorcerer king

DM: Ptolnos syö teidän sielunne , talonpojat

‪Bronan‬: Hey Bro, chill your beans, or I’ll neuter you‬‬‬

DM: Bronan, intimidation roll?

‪Bronan‬: Yup one sex‬‬‬
‪Bronan‬: Or sec, whatever is more intimidating‬‬‬

Constance: One sex please

‪Bronan‬: 18 with his loincloth flapping sir dribbles snorts‬‬‬

DM: The gnoll lowers its gaze, cowed

Constance: I point to myself and say “Constance” and then point to the gnoll.

DM: “Jamsi” the gnoll says, tapping its chest

DM: It points at its mouth and says ‘vesi, vesi’

Constance: I point to the amulet with a questioning look.

DM: “Ptolnos on Herra elämän”

Faustus: I hold out a small amount of food from my rations.

DM: It takes the food and nods at you, then makes a drinking motion and says ‘vesi vesi’

Faustus: Like a double stacked lunchable amount.

Faustus: I pour out a small amount of water from my waterskin into a cup

DM: Jamssi the gnoll gratefully drinks it

DM: High above, the three crescent moons glow benevolently

‪Bronan‬: Bronan unscrews the cap to his axe and takes a swig of warm ale, closes it, and says to constance and Faustus “is he going to lead us to the tomb?”‬‬‬

Faustus: Faustus shrugs “I don’t know. So far I’ve learned the word for water and his name”

DM: At Al’shash, the last trading post, you remember the robed man who gave you this job, his face wrapped, his turban thick with desert sand. “Seek the jewel of Ptolnos, beneath his tomb. 30 leagues straight west of Rib Gulch”

DM: So aye, whatever you fancy doing. It’s now well dark, you can rest til morning and heal back etc if you tie up the gnoll and rotate watches, or proceed as you wish
Faustus: Up to you guys, I didn’t take a hit so I’m all good. But also vision might help for heading to the tomb.

Constance: Travelling by night might not be the best idea comrades.

Faustus: I can take first watch. We tie up Jamsi. I ruffle his head and say “good boy” and give him another lunchable.

DM: He takes the food gratefully, but bristles when you ruffle his head and glowers at you

DM: First watch, roll a d6

Faustus: Well I ruffled then fed, so I think I came out on top.

Faustus: 4

DM: You guys make it through the night, and the punishing Sun rises. The temperature immediately climbs until you are sweltering. Jamsi has buried half his face in sand in an attempt to hide from the rising Sun

DM: The two gnoll corpses lay sprawled where they fell, tracks heading back up the dunes towards the Gulch


Come back next Monday for Chapter 2 of The Cursed Tomb!


Fancy supporting the site? You can pick up all of the 5th edition D&D books from Wizards of the Coast using our Amazon links below, and we’ll get a cut with no extra cost to you!

Dungeon Master’s Guide

Player’s Handbook

Monster Manual

Volo’s Guide to Monsters

Sword Coast Adventurer’s Guide

Starter Set


Comic Review – Kim & Kim #1 (Black Mask Studios)

Adam reads as many comics as he can afford. Then he reviews one every other week.

This week I’m reviewing the first issue of the new Black Mask Studios series Kim & Kim, written by Magdalene Visaggio and illustrated by Eva Cabrera, with colours by Claudia Aguirre and letters from Zakk Saam.

Cover art by Tess Fowler & Kiki Jenkins

Cover art by Tess Fowler & Kiki Jenkins

Kim D & Kim Q are a pair of down on their luck galactic and interdimensional bounty hunters, struggling to get a decent job after their most recent payday fell through. Their target was ‘vacated’ and the bounty rescinded, with the Marshal refusing to even pay their expenses. Some old friends try to lend a hand in the form of teaming up on an exclusive bounty contract, but after she left The Catalans, their organisation run by her father Furious, Kim Q still harbours some resentment towards them. Instead, the girls decide to chase the bounty themselves, heading to the planet Clovis to find the mark, who has been quietly murdering people across the dimensions. With no leads, no real information on the target and The Catalans looking for him too, Kim and Kim may be in over their heads.

There is a definite punk and Riot Grrrl feel to Kim & Kim, both in the characters and plot, and in the book’s aesthetics. Kim Q even uses a bass guitar as a weapon, which is fairly punk rock (seemingly a common choice with a lot of my favourite characters,  looking at you Marceline the Vampire Queen). Black Mask describes the book as a “day-glo action adventure that’s bursting with energy and enthusiasm and puts queer women and trans women front and center.”, which is pretty spot on for a few reasons. Kim Q is a trans woman, and Kim D is bisexual: important facets of their characters that are put front and center in an honest and completely non-cynical manner, with both characters already having rich personalities in just one issue. Magdalene Visaggio deftly creates a warm and believable friendship between the girls that is big part of what makes this book work well and why they feel so fully fleshed out so quickly. Also it is basically a punk rock LGBTQ Cowboy Bebop or Firefly and I really can’t think of a better selling point than that.

Art by Eva Cabrera, & Claudia Aguirre, letters from Zakk Saam

Art by Eva Cabrera, & Claudia Aguirre, letters from Zakk Saam

The art from Cabrera and Aguirre is bright, beautiful and fun. There is an obvious Tank Girl vibe, but also an Adventure Time/Bravest Warriors aesthetic to the art too. The excellent character design of Kim and Kim put them at the center of attention in every scene, while the action feels fast paced but never too busy and the quieter moments of reflection are softer and focused on conveying well the emotion of the scene through body language and facial work. The colours finish off the art strongly with a bright palette in the city scapes at the start of the issue, a warmer glow sunset glow to the scenes on Clovis, and the “day-glo” colours reserved for Kim and Kim themselves.

Kim & Kim is a lot of fun, full of heart and an interesting plot with great art, and is a strong LGBTQ-positive book which is something fiction always needs more of. And as I said: punk rock LGBTQ Cowboy Bebop. Why haven’t you bought it yet? Pick it up at your LCS or digitally now.

Score: 8.5 Tentacles out of 10