The Hidden Shrine of Tamoachan in Chult
Disclaimer: This play report is my own take on The Hidden Shrine of Tamoachan (the 5e version from TofYP). Lots of spoilers below but it’s not a “standard” playthrough of this classic module by any margin. First of all, I didn’t make them fall into the dungeon as is supposed to happen if you play as intended. And at the end, they meet Zotzilaha, which also isn’t included in the module… That’s the two big things, the remainder of my changes are more esthetic in nature.
- Shin (level 4), Tabaxi Fighter (Arcane Archer), Outlander; big-game hunter, has no patience for weakness
- Phileas (level 4), Half-Elf Bard (College of Swords), Archeologist; “it’s not tomb-robbing if you do it respectfully”
- Flyzus (level 5), Wood Elf Ranger (hunter), Outlander; sole survivor of his tribe after an orc invasion
- Rufb (level 5), Half-Orc Barbarian (berserker), Mercenary Veteran; captured by pterafolks, his fellow mercenaries killed, seeks riches and glory
- Vorn, Shield Guardian, found masterless beside a gaping hole in the ground
Shin, Kalohan, Corpos and Phileas had been at the site for many days, collecting clues while evading Batiri patrols when Flyzus and Rufb unexpectedly joined them for the venture. As for Lucky, he had left, having received a disquieting omen from his goddess Tymora.
Vorn, the Shield Guardian (2)
The Tabaxi had climbed down through the large hole in the ground, next to the Shield Guardian. The automaton’s master, a wizard northerner, had fallen to his death and his body laid broken at the bottom. Fortunately, Shin found the amulet that controlled the construct and it was still intact. He also found the wizard’s spellbook, a decent amount of gold and some exploration gears. A quick inspection of the room below revealed a locked door and many statuettes that evoked meaningful scenes from this lost civilization. The PCs looked for another entry.
Beware Defilers! Your Genitals Will Shrivel and Fall Off
Atop the impressive ziggurat stood a temple dedicated to the cult of a scary demon-bat thing/god/mighty Jungle Spirit: Zotzilaha. Inside the half-collapsed temple, a trapdoor was visible, but glyphs on it indicated that a powerful curse would befall any would-be defilers that entered that way. The PCs also found out a hole inside the mouth of a statue of Zotzilaha. It certainly looked like a trap. They resolved the matter with their first use of the Shield Guardian as Shin ordered it to grab whatever was inside the hole (a lever). The statue’s jaws did close on the construct’s arm but to no great effect (3). This revealed another entry, one apparently safe of curse…
Ziggurat’s Upper Tier (4)
After going down the stairway and taking a few turns and removing a block of basalt (put in a way so it fell on invaders), the PCs, accompanied by Vorn, entered a large room with a fearsome tomb guardian on the central dais: a Crocodile Mummy (5).
The creature proved hard to slay (6) but they eventually prevailed, with the opportune help of the powerful Shield Guardian (7). Flyzus was bitten in the course of the fight and he could feel that something was very wrong with his wound… The PCs looted some urns in the back and found some trinkets.
In the next room, three fountains could be seen, one still had water, one was filled with grime and the other cracked and empty. Rufb took the mummy’s pike to search through the grime and managed to fish out a chain with a platinum key.
Approaching the water-filled fountain incited the resident Water Weird to attack. It pummeled Rufb and tried to pull him under the water but the strong Barbarian resisted the attempt easily. Yet again, the Ranger was inefficient with his (non-magic slashing) attacks but the combined might of the party still proved more than enough, splashing the walls with the Water Weird (8).
The empty fountain could be slid, revealing a vertical shaft going deeper into the ziggurat.
And down they went.
Rufb, descending first (9), put a foot on something sticky: spider webbing. A mere second later, a Giant Spider got out of its lair. It would have attacked Rufb – he would have had a hard time defending in such a narrow space – but for the timely intervention of Shin. Using his Hat of the Spider, the latter convinced the Giant Spider to let them pass and so, they all got on the next tier without further complications.
- I had hoped that most of my players and the archeologists in particular, would be there for the first “true” ruin of my Ruins of Chult Campaign but life got in the way and it was not to be…
- The PCs stumbled into those ruins while searching for the Shield Guardian in the jungle.
- Phileas insisted that they put (animal) blood inside the statue’s mouth as demanded by the proper ritual. Interesting…
- The party, with all the missing players, would have been too weak for this dungeon without some help. They also badly lacked utility spells/abilities…
- Instead of the Centaur mummy, because I had this cool looking mini.
- Félix/Flyzus learned the hard way that he should have spent some of his gold to have at least one magic weapon!
- My 6 y-o son, Isaac, happily rolled the dice for Vorn!
- If I remember correctly, Shin shot an explosive arrow at it too
- Vorn is too large to follow down the hole.