WIR S1 Tomb of Horrors [SPOILERS!! SPOILERS EVERYWHERE!!]‏ - Page 14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stoat View Post
    Area 9. Complex of Secret Doors

    This is a complex of small, square rooms connected to each other by secret doors. The module provides no description of the rooms, and it does not mention any furniture or decoration in the complex. Every round that the PC's spend here, a number of bolts will be fired into the area "from hidden devices in the walls and ceilings." One PC must save vs. magic or take 1d6 points of damage.

    Each of the 7 secret doors opens a different way. One pulls down. One pivots cenrally. On slides up. Etc. Etc. The players have to negotiate all of the doors to get to Area 10.

    IMO: Meh. This area reminds me of the Bard's Tale (and I mean the original from 1985). A bunch of tiny, empty rooms full of random damage. There are no hints or clues to figure out. The random damage is trivial for PC's at this level. Plus, the module doesn't provide any flavor text or description to flesh out the secret doors.

    I've got every sympathy for the folks who just busted through the walls.
    Hehe

    Now through a maze of 10' square rooms with walls that pivoted vertically, horizontally, slid up,down,and sideways. Each direction had to be individually specified. The party agreed and our 18 (80%) fighter started making holes in the wall instead.

    -tournament report from Origins I

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gentlegamer View Post
    Hehe

    Now through a maze of 10' square rooms with walls that pivoted vertically, horizontally, slid up,down,and sideways. Each direction had to be individually specified. The party agreed and our 18 (80%) fighter started making holes in the wall instead.

    -tournament report from Origins I
    Exactly what I was thing of. I'd take a sledgehammer to those walls after about 5 minutes.

    Also: The PC's in my PBP game are busy wandering around on top of Acererak's burial mound. They think there's a secret entrance up there, hidden in black stones of the skull face.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Stoat View Post
    Exactly what I was thing of. I'd take a sledgehammer to those walls after about 5 minutes.

    Also: The PC's in my PBP game are busy wandering around on top of Acererak's burial mound. They think there's a secret entrance up there, hidden in black stones of the skull face.
    Hmm, sounds like a good place to put a chute to the back side of the Devil's Mouth. "Wheeeeeee! Pffft!"

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    Quote Originally Posted by amerigoV View Post
    Hmm, sounds like a good place to put a chute to the back side of the Devil's Mouth. "Wheeeeeee! Pffft!"
    Grimtooth would approve. Not really sure if Acererak would.

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    We're less than 10 areas into the Tomb. I just went back and read this thread from the beginning, and I wonder if Stoat's original post/question needs to be repeated:
    Quote Originally Posted by Stoat View Post
    I've been intrigued with S1 Tomb of Horrors for a long time, and this thread: http://www.enworld.org/forum/general...-one-kind.html has me thinking about it again.

    In particular, this line of posts caught my attention:
    Quote Originally Posted by Raven Crowking
    The module gives you clues in the form of riddles, and those riddles are, essentially, a "walk through" for the entire module (if you can parse them out carefully). On the other hand, if you fail to notice the first riddle, or if you ignore the clues provided, well, the module can kill you pretty quickly.
    Quote Originally Posted by the Jester
    I recall one post about a newbie gamer who had never played an rpg before with a first level pc making it to the end, grabbing some loot and fleeing for his life.
    Quote Originally Posted by WizarDru
    Unlike some modules, with traps that have no possible way of being decoded short of painful experience (iirc, Tsocjanth has several of these...there is no clue that one color is good and another bad, that one face on a pedestal is a boon and the other a curse, etc.), ToH presents players with a chance to figure things out.
    I've heard this about the ToH before, (particularly the story about the 1st level thief who makes it through) but I've always been a little skeptical. Acererak's clues are pretty opaque, and the consequences for screwing up are permanent. I've tried to unravel the module before, but I couldn't do it by myself. So here we are.

    I'm not interested in whether or not the module is "well-designed" "good" or even "fun." Some people love it, some people hate it, and that's fine. I don't want to talk about whether or not folks enjoy whatever playstyle is necessary to survive the ToH. I'm not interested in a long debate about challenging the player vs. challenging the character. I definitely don't want to start a discussion about the merits of old-school play in general. If you want to talk about that stuff, please do so in another thread.

    I'm interested in this: What does it take to survive the ToH? Does the module provide enough clues to allow the players to navigate the Tomb safely? How much guesswork, dumb luck or divination magic is necessary to get through the Tomb? How much can be accomplished with caution and reason alone?

    My plan is to go through the module room-by-room. I'll post a description of the room and any hints/clues it contains for the PC's. Then I'll give my thoughts about how a group of players might interpret those clues and apply them to Tomb.

    There's no way to do this without spoiling the module. I don't plan on using spoiler tags, and I'd rather y'all not use them either. So consider yourself warned.
    I'd like to throw in some quotes that struck me, from that mentioned other thread:
    Tomb of Horrors is fair. Acererak plays fair. He's so uncannily and unusually fair given his apparant goal (killing adventurers)...
    ...
    Acererak follows a pattern and sticks to it, so that with care you really don't have to guess after you successfully enter the tomb.
    ...
    The module has a totally unfair reputation for unfairness, not because it is unfair but because it is utterly unmerciful and unforgiving.
    ...
    But the tomb is very fair because the tomb is never really arbitrary. Arbitrary is usually a synonym for random, and the tomb is rarely random.
    ...
    If the tomb warns you against doing something, then its a fair warning and the consequences of ignoring it will be bad. If the tomb provides you a clue, it's a fair clue that isn't meant to mislead you.
    ...
    Acererak doesn't build a maze. He doesn't make you guess which way to go. It's not a sprawling labrinth filled with a lot of arbitrary choices between left and right with no way of knowing which leads to certain doom and which to a reward. You aren't arbitrarily picking your way through it, and if you paid attention he'll give you very specific directions through the tomb. False leads look like false leads once you have the real one to compare them too, so just look around before you decide to follow the first thing you find and you'll be alright.
    ...
    Acerak doesn't rely on attrition. He's not trying to wear you down. He's not going to force everyone to make a saving throw just to go foward and turn the whole affair into a test of whether you can roll high on 4 or 5 unavoidable rolls in a row. The dungeon doesn't amount to whether you can win initiative enough times, or whether you roll high on your damage dice, or whether the monster makes his saving throw, or whether you can avoid a streak of 1's. If you play by his rules, you'll probably never have to make a saving throw, and if you screw up and get reckless you'll probably never have a chance to. There is almost no combat; there is almost no luck, good or bad
    ...
    ToH is fair with Acererak being predictable and clues for the right decision being available.
    So, in the spirit of Stoat starting this thread: From what we're seeing so far, (again, we're not 10 areas in, yet), are the above quotes about ToH accurate?

    Bullgrit

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    My PC's just set fire to the hill over the Tomb. The blasted it with Fireballs until the briars and thorns burst into flames.

    It's burning out of control now.

    Which is why I play D&D.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Stoat View Post
    My PC's just set fire to the hill over the Tomb. The blasted it with Fireballs until the briars and thorns burst into flames.

    It's burning out of control now.

    Which is why I play D&D.
    Stuff like that always bring me back to this strip from DM of the Rings
    DM of the Rings XV:Riddle me This - Twenty Sided

    Its funny because it is true.

  8. #138
    Quote Originally Posted by Stoat View Post
    My PC's just set fire to the hill over the Tomb. The blasted it with Fireballs until the briars and thorns burst into flames.

    It's burning out of control now.

    Which is why I play D&D.
    For those about to rock.

    FIRE.

    We salute you.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Stoat
    My PC's just set fire to the hill over the Tomb. The blasted it with Fireballs until the briars and thorns burst into flames.
    Points for thoroughness. But they're not even in the Tomb, yet.

    Bullgrit

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    As I recall, a group I went into the ToH with basically got out butts kicked by the entrances and so, after more resting, just went 20 feet or so to one side of the entrances and started blasting our way in/through with Passwall spells.
    .

    How well things went inside...I don't really recall, it was some time ago. But Area 9 sounds like the kind of place we would have been doing that again.

    --SD

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