DM Diary: ToA. Sessions 3 & 4.

Our Player Characters so far:

  • Loot, the Batiri Goblin Ranger
  • Stom Nimmo, the Human Rogue
  • Honeygraham Timbers, the Forest Gnome Bard
  • Mikael Delmirev, the Blue Dragonborn Paladin


After learning of Ras Nsi and the lost city of Omu from Saja N’baza in Orolunga, our intrepid heroes returned to Camp Vengeance only to set right back with Azaka Stormfang, the priest Undril, Artus Cimber, Dragonbait, and beloved knight-errant of The Order of the Blue Rose, Fatie. We ended Session Four atop Firefinger where Azaka, Loot, Strom, and Mikael will face off against the vicious pterafolk in hopes to obtain Azaka’s heirloom mask. The others guard the entrance to the massive carved-out spire from way down below.

But, that’s not what I want to talk about today. Today I want to talk about something new to me that I’ve been trying out. Cinematic Cut Scenes!

I’ve employed two in these last couple of sessions, and am writing another one or two for tonight’s game. One took a bit more thought and planning into the future, and the other was fairly simple but I think had a larger impact on the current game.

The first, which I read to them before we started, was about a mysterious assassin getting hired to somehow be involved in the assassination of the high wizard in New Pelroy. This assassin is secretly, and unbeknownst to the party and himself, Strom Nimmo!

I haven’t decided exactly why Strom doesn’t remember being involved in the assassination. Either he had the memories stolen from him as a safeguard type thing, of he’s actually just one of a bunch of assassin clones. I’m leaning toward the second.

The other cut scene I used was after the game. We saw a group of Fire Ant Tribe Batiri Goblins lead a goblin named Yokka. Theses gobs seem to have been tracking the party for a while now. Yokka was approached by an old woman resembled a certain witch from Mbala. She informs that they have been following some certain friends of hers, and the scene ends.

An immediate threat to the party that only their players know about. I’m liking it so far.

Cutting away from isn’t exactly a new innovation, but it’s been fun to play around with. I think it’s going to be a good way to up the stakes and increase the drama of the campaign. I think I’m going to try to have immediate threat ones fairly regularly, and ones pointed to the adventure after Chult after every level.

Maybe next time I’ll talk about seeding hints of what is to come, foreshadowing, in your campaign. It can be a gamble sometimes, and tricky to keep track of. But it can also be a lot of fun for you and your players.


In case you don’t follow my Twitter or my Instagram, I have good news! At the beginning of this month I got a short story of mine, “Out of Dijau,” published in Swords and Socery Magazine! You can check it out here, completely free to read! If you like it please share it, and if you have any thoughts (good or bad) I would (probably) love to hear it! You can always contact me here, or on my Twitter or Instagram.

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