WIR S1 Tomb of Horrors [SPOILERS!! SPOILERS EVERYWHERE!!]‏ - Page 2
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  1. #11
    I'm not sure I understand how a thief on a rope would solve room #21 any better. Could you elaborate?

  2. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by PapersAndPaychecks View Post
    I'm not sure I understand how a thief on a rope would solve room #21 any better. Could you elaborate?
    The thief enters the room flying. There is no weight on the floor so the agitation isn't set off. The thief can scout the stuff in the room and move those things of interest to the doorway for later investigation. This would also include the Thief unhooking the tapestries at the ceiling and not yanking on them. Should the Thief resort to cutting the tapestries loose, he'll almost certainly be flying above the resulting sea of slime as opposed to in it. Even if the ruling is he is attacked by the slime, it'd likely be a normal attack that allows the Thief and party to respond.

  3. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by PapersAndPaychecks View Post
    5) From a safe distance, watch how they die.
    6) Have your cleric or mage reanimate the summoned monsters. (You may need to sew them back together with a needle and thread before they make good scouts.)
    7) Watch them die again.
    As a DM, I would certainly be a hard-ass on this approach. Some things are obvious (failing into a pit), but do you know how they really died (spikes, poison, etc?). I would also be biased by D&D 3.5 in which summoned creatures return to their home plane upon being killed (so you cannot study the body, revive, etc). The 1e version of the spell does not say it explicitly, but then again neither does the 3e version - it is in the write-up of Summoning spells in the 3.x PHB.

    I never understood allowing the PCs to drive a herd of animals into the Tomb. It's traditional (and later official) place is in the Vast Swamp. A barge of cattle would not make it - it would be a nice snack for some of the swamp denizens served up on its own platter. Plus, that place is so evil I doubt they would even go in without expending magical resources. The description of the tomb's exterior indicates that nature does not take a strong hold there - the animals would sense that. It would take a lot of magic and resources to get them there and get them in - resources that just could be spent on the exploration itself (kinda like Hannibal and his elephants).

  4. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nagol View Post
    The thief enters the room flying. There is no weight on the floor so the agitation isn't set off. The thief can scout the stuff in the room and move those things of interest to the doorway for later investigation.
    This far is correct.

    If floating, whether by levitation or excellent flight, the thief can hold aside the curtain and open the secret door without risk of tearing the curtain if he's not touching the agitated floor (asuming his flight manueverability is good enough to hover with). This allows everyone else to cross the room in safety, at most taking 1 hit point of damage from the agitated floor.

    This would also include the Thief unhooking the tapestries at the ceiling and not yanking on them.
    IMO, the phrase, 'firmly affixed' indicates the tapestries cannot be simply unhooked. They are apparantly attached either by solid rings or magically nailed into the wall. Knowing Gygax, he would simply rule that any attempt to remove the tapestries tore them, or else that removing the tapestries from their bindings broke the spell that kept them in tapestry form.

    Should the Thief resort to cutting the tapestries loose, he'll almost certainly be flying above the resulting sea of slime as opposed to in it. Even if the ruling is he is attacked by the slime, it'd likely be a normal attack that allows the Thief and party to respond.
    This is generous, and we must assume that the DM is not going to be generous in his rulings in ToH.

  5. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by PapersAndPaychecks View Post
    I'm not sure I understand how a thief on a rope would solve room #21 any better. Could you elaborate?
    It's rope + flight. Flight solves most of the problems, but a) flight in 1e had a random duration. The purpose of the rope was primarily to belay me in the event that flight failed unexpectedly. Also b), having a rope around me allowed me to be pulled out of situations where the trap was not triggered by pressure plates and the like. In particular, a rope around the scout is essential for surviving the trap in area #23.

  6. #16
    Quote Originally Posted by Celebrim View Post
    It's rope + flight. Flight solves most of the problems, but a) flight in 1e had a random duration.
    Flight in 1e still does have a random duration. I've never understood why so many ENWorlders discuss 1e in the past tense, it's bizarre.

  7. #17
    Quote Originally Posted by amerigoV View Post
    As a DM, I would certainly be a hard-ass on this approach. Some things are obvious (failing into a pit), but do you know how they really died (spikes, poison, etc?). I would also be biased by D&D 3.5 in which summoned creatures return to their home plane upon being killed (so you cannot study the body, revive, etc). The 1e version of the spell does not say it explicitly, but then again neither does the 3e version - it is in the write-up of Summoning spells in the 3.x PHB.
    There are places where you'd need to use clairvoyance or a crystal ball. Not really an obstacle for the presumed party.

  8. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by PapersAndPaychecks View Post
    Flight in 1e still does have a random duration. I've never understood why so many ENWorlders discuss 1e in the past tense, it's bizarre.
    It's an older edition. Past tense is normal. If you can't understand it, I'd recommend at least not worrying about it!

  9. #19
    Quote Originally Posted by PapersAndPaychecks View Post
    A lot of the module can be completed by a simple, almost algorithmic procedure. I call it the "Penal battalion mine clearance technique".
    Excellent!

    This showcases why I never liked the module: It's an exercise in tediousness. Playing through the module 'effectively' is about as exciting as reading a manual on 'safety procedures'.

    And as the OP already correctly cited: It's terrible adventure design: There's a single vital clue and if that is missed by the party they're as good as dead. And even if they find the clue, the riddle-rhyme is pretty obscure. Usually, you realize what the clue was supposed to be about only after the fact (if at all).

    The module also includes a lot of 'encounters' that require pure trial and error. Aside from the things mentioned in the clue, it's a guessing game. Since one of the 'merits' of the old D&D rules was the lack of character skills, you were also expected to describe every action in excruciating detail.

    So: What does it take to make it through the module?
    Dogged determination, a very high degree of resistance to tediousness, and a dislike of 'modern' adventure design methods (or to put it positively: a preference for 'old-school' adventure design).

    Alternatively, it requires one-off pregen characters and lots of beer or other intoxicants.

  10. #20
    Re: the entrances:

    What clues are there to tell the party that there are, in fact, multiple entrances, rather than just fiendishly hard-to-open doors?

    Let's say the party finds the closing-rock-wall one first, and escape before it closes off. The party then spends a long time hacking their way with their standard mining equipment* and makes it to the doors.

    What happens then?

    * Was this really a thing?

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