• Justin Handlin

Live to Tell the Tale w/Keith Ammann

Updated: Jul 25, 2020

Join us Live 7pm Est 7/19/20

Crit Academy is joined by special guest Keith Ammann to discuss his newest book. Live to Tell the Tale: An Introduction to Combat Tactics for Dungeons and Dragons Players. A 77-page book that examines combat roles, class features, party composition, positioning, debilitating conditions, attacking combinations, action economy, and the ever-important consideration of the best ways to run away. If you’re a beginning D&D player unsure what to do when you get into a fight, this book will point you in the right direction; if you’re an intermediate player, it will help you win more and die less. If you’re a dungeon master with a group of new players, buy a copy and share it with them.

Segment: Crit Nation Feedback: Let’s talk about Blank!

The Monsters Know What They’re Doing Blog!

Keith, can you tell us and Crit Nation a little bit about yourself?

What is your most memorable D&D moment?

Do you have any moment where you failed as a DM/Player?

Before we get into Live to Tell the Tale, can you tell us a bit about themonstersknow.com blog?

Give Away: Loresmyth: Modular Dungeon Tiles - Arcania

Modular dungeon tiles are an easy way to create your own beautiful digital maps. The Arcania lets you make dark, shadowy dungeon map, rich with the fumes of arcane secrets.

Winner: mauri.squad

Didn’t win? Np, head to www.critacademy.com/loresmyth a free set of digital terrain and much more.

Segment: Main Topic: Live to Tell the Tale!

Can you tell us about Live to Tell the Tale and how it came to be?

Do you have a favorite resource that you use when it came to building Live to Tell the Tale?

In Part 1 you discuss ability contours and identifying combat roles, can you tell us about those?

You refer to “Plan B” when it comes to actions such as dodge, dash and disengage. Can you tell us a little bit about that?

Our favorite section of the book is dedicated to Class Tactics. The classes and their mechanics, especially with multiclassing can get pretty complex and challenging. Did you run into any challenges defining class tactics? How did you overcome those challenges?

What is your favorite piece of advice from Live to Tell the Tale?

Any secret projects you’re working on that you can give Crit Nation a little taste of?

Give Away: Jeff Stevens Games: Scourge of the Nightingale: Part 1 A Song of Love

A masked menace terrifies the region, raiding villages to fund her devious plan. Unknowingly, the adventurers stumble into her most recent evil scheme: the kidnapping of a famous performer known as Devon Artis. Their mission is to deliver a ransom and collect Devon. Though, as in most cases, not all goes as planned.

Winner: sgtlarz13

Didn’t win? Np, head to www.critacademy.com/jeffstevens to get Villains and Lairs III and Encounters on the Savage Seas III Free

Segment: Unearthed Tips and Tricks! (We give you creative content for your next adventure)

Character Concept:

Unwilling Prophesied One You don't even want to be here. Though you have some skills you never considered yourself an adventurer. And then one day you were in a room when a cry for help was given and those in a room consulted one who can read the future and gave advice including how many heroes are needed and makes a statement in regards to the requirements of one who must go. Sadly, you fit that description and you happened to be in the room

Monster Variant:

Hellstinger Scorpion

These monstrous beasts are a result of powerful arcane power that’s created when a rift opens to the elemental chaos. Scorpions that were caught in fire planes' torrent of power evolved to a more dangerous threat. These creatures find comfort in conditions of extreme heat, making their home in and around volcanoes, deserts, the nine hells and the elemental plane of fire.

Their claws radiate searing heat, but the burn of its claws are nothing compared to the searing pain caused by its fiery stinger. The poison injected burns from the inside and even makes the target more vulnerable to fire.

Origin Statblock: Wyvern

Lost/Altered Features: Remove Flight, Bite

Alter Multiattack to claw and spitfire.

Alter stinger to add poison condition on failure.

Fire Resistance

Hellish Poison. A creature poisoned by the scorpion gains vulnerability to fire. Creatures immune to fire are immune to this effect.

Point Blank. The scorpion does not have disadvantage on ranged attacks against creatures in melee range grappled by it.

Spitfire. Ranged Spell Attack: +7 to hit, range 120 ft., one target. Hit: 14 (4d6) fire damage.

Legendary Actions

The Hellstinger Scorpion can take 3 Legendary actions, choosing from the options below. Only one legendary action option can be used at a time and only at the end of another creature’s turn. The Scorpion regains spent legendary actions at the start of its turn.

Armored Exoskeleton. The scorpion braces itself until the start of its next turn. The first attack roll against it during this time has disadvantage.

Squeeze. The scorpion deals bludgeoning damage equal to its Strength modifier to one creature it is grappling.


Slave Abuse

While part of a caravan between major cities, one of the travelers, a noble is regularly seen mistreating her palanquin slaves. She allows the metal chain manacles to chafe their neck and legs, she throws their bowls of gruull at them, wasting it, and whips them when they stop to attempt to tend their wounds. She treats the slave commoners as if they are less than animals. She has a servant spy travel from group to group offering to buy one or more people to replace the “useless wretches” she is stuck with. Eventually, one of her slaves collapses, nearly causing the palanquin to topple. She either beats the slave to death, or chains the slave to a rock or tree to leave them to die, unless one or more characters intervenes. She has a veteran and 2d4 thugs as guards.

Magic Item:

Potion of Lifeshield

Potion, Uncommon

This yellow mixture shields you from danger, but at the cost of your life force, with a sweet taste of lemon. When you drink this potion, you gain the power to bend your life energy into a protective magical barrier for 1 minute. When you take damage, you can use your reaction to expend a number of Hit Dice equal up to half your level. Add your constitution modifier to the total number rolled, and reduce the damage by that total.

Dungeon Master Tip:

Broken Blade of Heroes: Use magical weapon crafting and questing as powerful campaign hooks.

  • A mystical weapon destroyed that must be reforged to defeat or weaken a BBEG.

  • A special ritual and items required to return lost magic to an item.

Player Tip: Don’t be a Dick

Co-Co-Co Concentration Breaker (Live to Tell the Tale)

“Flurry of Blows should be your finishing move against the toughest enemy on the field. As you gain more ki points to use in each combat encounter, you can apply it to other situations, such as forcing a caster who’s sustaining a spell to make multiple concentration checks.”

Closing: Please join us on our next episode we will discuss Unearthed Arcana’s New Feats!

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