Monday, September 11, 2017

Tomb of Annihilation Accessories Unboxing

The early release of the new Dungeons & Dragons hardcover campaign Tomb of Annihilation had an early release date of September 8th for brick and mortar stores. I headed down to our local gamestore Adventure Games and Hobby where I not only picked up the hardcover, but the Tomb and Traps Set, a brick of the Icon of the Realms: Tomb of Annihilation miniatures, the revised Dungeon Master Screen and the Tomb of Annihilation dice. Let me take you through this unboxing and share some of my thoughts on the haul I pulled in.

Tomb and Traps Set

The Tomb and Traps set is intended to be an incentive for those that purchase a brick of miniatures. It cost $49.99 + the purchase of the brick of miniatures. A quick check on eBay seems to suggest that people are flipping this starting at around $70. The notable contents are the iconic demon faced statue from Tomb of Horrors, a swirling portal archway that also seems iconic to Tomb of Horrors, a sarcophagus, Acererak's demilich skull, 4 fire jet tiles, 4 blade trap tiles, 4 magic glyph trap tiles, 4 pit trap tiles, 4 boulder piles, a sword, a shield, 4 piles of gold, 4 potions, and 4 scrolls.

Most of what we get here is novelty. I can't really imagine pulling out the trap tiles and using them as a prop in game often as they would really just clash with any of the other dungeon terrain items that I have. A lot of good looking stuff that will be perfect for behind a display case.

The iconic demon-head statue from Tomb of Horrors is the crown jewel of the set. It is a very well done mold. The perfect detail on the eyes really makes it stand out as a horrifying marker that the corridors beyond are full of traps designed by a sadomasochist.

This one triggers minor PTSD symptoms for me. This mini looks very similar to a certain portal from Tomb of Horrors. After my character passed through this wispy gate at Gary Con, I lasted about another 2 minutes before I met an unfortunate fate. The purple translucence does a great job creating the misty haze and the rune carvings on the outside look great.

I am pretty happy with the sarcophagus as well. Any good dungeon delve will typically turn up a buried tomb full of treasure and/or undead, so I suspect this will get some practical use on more than an occasion.

The tiles that are included in the set are kind of weak in my opinion. The fire trap is a single little column of fire in the center of the piece. The blade trap looks to be about dagger sized where I would have preferred something more akin to spears set into the floor. The color scheme on the pit trap falls flat and doesn't really convey the idea of depth. The color scheme on the rubble piles are too similar to the floor tile to really distinguish. Definitely my least favorite thing that came with this set.

The treasure pieces are super tiny and definitely destined for vacuum cleaner purgatory if they are to be used as an in-game prop. The gold piles are really just mono-color piles of gold. Sparkling some other currency into the color scheme or gems would have made it a more visually interesting piece. The rest of the lot is cool, but really tiny. Picking up the potions and getting them to stand upright takes a successful DC 15 Dexterity skill check to accomplish.

Icon of the Realms: Tomb of Annihilation Miniatures

Seeing as the new adventure is taking us into the jungle island of Chult, it seemed fair that I would need to update my miniature collection to make sure I had representations for the many exotic creatures that could be encountered. As I was ripping off the shrink wrap on the boxes, I had a prayer in my heart that I would find for myself an Acererak (the lich villain of Tomb of Annihilation) figure in the mix.

Its a juggernaut! I'm really hoping there is an actual use for this in the campaign. The detail on the carvings is awesome. Even the steamrolling apparatus on the front wheels has demonic skulls imprinted upon them.

Within the wild jungles of Chult, one might encounter this houseplant known as the Mantrap. I can only assume that a party of all female or gender ambiguous characters will be safe from this monstrosity.

Crab people. Crab people. Look like crabs. Talk like people. Well, I guess they are more like lobsters and they are called Aldani. But they are still going to try to turn the party into metrosexuals.

A druid and a vegepygmy. There is actually an NPC druid in Tomb of Annihilation that has a vegepygmy friend, so I was pretty happy to find this pairing in my haul. Unfortunately, my players will certainly find a way to avoid ever meeting them.

Ah. Both a visible and an invisible version of the legendary warrior Minsc and his miniature giant space hamster, Boo. I'm sure I will probably use this figure all the time.

Onto NPC figures of characters that will actually get used. Both of these are fairly important characters in the Tomb of Annihilation book. I am pretty happy with the version of the guy on the right. I have seen pictures of some where his arrow is no where close to being lined up with his bow.

Chultan goblins. I appreciate that they have different versions of what is essentially the same mold. I think they started doing this with the Storm King's Thunder minis. Gives some visual variety to the baddies to help them stand out a bit.

I don't know what the hell a 'Zorbo' is, but it looks like a little crazy teddy bear and I want one. I'm sure its entirely safe and easily domesticated.

Take a look at the rest of the haul. Overall I am quite pleased, even though Acererak was nowhere to be found. I think the quality on these official miniatures has really improved over time. The little details that have been put into many of them are pretty impressive. I'll definitely be picking up more with time.

Tomb of Annihilation Dice

The Tomb of Annihilation Dice come in a pretty wicked tin that has the Tomb of Horrors demon statue face on it. The dice themselves are a dark olive green. You get 4 d6's, 1 d4, 1 d8, 1d10, 1d12, 1 d20 and a percentile die (a full set). The dice are nice enough, but there isn't anything altogether spectacular about them. The collector novelty of this item is probably the primary motivation to pick it up.

The Reincarnated Dungeon Master's Screen

The art on the front side of the screen depicts a red dragon soaring across the sky with evidence of its presence at the burning city behind it. In its right claw one can see it has collected a hostage. I like the contrast of hues of the red over the blue sea and clear sky. This scene is a lot less busy than the original, and I think I prefer this scene overall.

The new DM screen takes the some material from the original base DM screen, but removes some of the useless tables like the NPC name generator and the "something happens" table that no one ever used in favor of some more relevant info. One thing I don't care for is that they replaced one of the panels with an overview of actions in combat. This isn't information I ever have a need to refer to, and I would have much preferred they had included tables for generating weather or other travel related material (especially given their relevance in Chult). 

The other inclusions are indeed useful, and they include object hit points and AC, encounter distance, prices for services and food, drink and lodging. I am very thankful that they have included the rules for short jumping, long jumping, and suffocating. Every once in a while these things come up but they aren't used enough that I have them memorized. They included the rules on concentration, which isn't one I figure many DM's are going to need. 

The conditions panels are still here, unchanged. Would have been nice if they found a way to make this information more compact to fit some other information in, but these are the most utilized panels for me to reference so I am thankful that they retained this information.

Overall, its an improvement. If you are a DM I would definitely recommend picking it up.

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