WIR S1 Tomb of Horrors [SPOILERS!! SPOILERS EVERYWHERE!!]‏ - Page 21
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    @grodog, I always assumed it was -(X) per die of damage, assuming +X armour. And I don't think I just made that up - I think there is another rule in the book that implies it (but don't ask me where that would be - rings or cloaks of protection, perhaps, or is their effect on falling discussed only in the much later Wilderness Survival Guide?)

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    Let's not get sidetracked into a discussion on the DMG. I realize I participated in the redirection, (I may even be the culprit who started it) -- sorry. I'm off the subject of the DMG in this thread.

    On to more ToH discussion!

    Bullgrit

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    Area 15. Stone Gate

    The title of this section is a little misleading. The text description includes both the Stone Gate and a series of pit traps beyond.

    The Gate itself is a stone wedge, 4 feet high, ten feet thick, two feet wide at the narrow western end and ten feet wide at the eastern end. "It is impregnated with strong anti-magics which prevent its detection or removal or change to another form or substance." The text from Area 14(c) emphasizes this point, "It cannot be magically detected, nor will it open by physical or magical means . . ."

    As noted in Area 14, there's a slot in the Stone Gate that's just big enough to fit a coin, a flat gem or a magic ring. If you put a magic ring in the slot two things happen (1) the Stone Gate sinks into the ground, allowing entrance to the areas beyond, and (2) your magic ring gets crushed to bits and is lost forever.

    The module tells us that the Stone Gate opens easily from the other side, but it does not say if the Gate rises back up into place after the PC's pass through it.

    Beyond the gate is a stairway down, and a hallway that runs to the west. The hallway is blocked with three doors, one after another. On the other side of each door is a 10' deep pit, just like the ones back in Area 3. The module suggests that anyone using force to open a door has a 1 in 3 chance of falling into the pit beyond.

    There's a concealed door hidden at the bottom of the third pit. It's easy to find if you look for it, but the module assumes that the PC's will be expecting the third pit and won't look to closely at it.

    IMO: The Stone Gate is where you "sacrifice aught but a loop of magical metal." The riddle wouldn't be hard to figure out if it was written somewhere in Area 14, but I think the distance between Area 3 and here makes it harder. My first instinct if I was faced with the Stone Gate would be to put coins in the slot. And if I'd managed to figure out the deal with the 3-armed Gargoyle back in Area 11, I'd be prepared to dump a lot of coins down there.

    "Two pits along the way will be found to lead to a fortuitous fall, so check the wall." That's the second part of Area 15. Pass two pits and then check the wall at the bottom of the third. Again, the tricky part is making the connection between Acererak's riddle and this part of the Tomb.

    Note that the pit traps are dangerous. Each pit is full of poison spikes. Anybody who falls in has a 50% chance of being hit by 1 to 3 spikes, and each spike requires a save versus poison.

    Another gag here is the idea that the players will think the doors are stuck and use lots of shoving and force to open them, when really the doors open easily, dumping the PC's into the pit traps like Moe in a Three Stooges bit. But how likely is it that the players won't check to see if the door is stuck first? My players check every damn thing in the world before they open a door. If they ever make it this far, they won't fall for this one.

    Also, there are only a handful of normal doors in the module so far, and the text doesn't say if they are stuck or not. Is there a default expectation that any dungeon door would be stuck?

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    I have never seen anyone fall for the pit traps in the games I've played in or DM'd. Maybe we were lucky, maybe we were careful, or maybe it just looks more dangerous on paper than it is.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Stoat View Post
    "Two pits along the way will be found to lead to a fortuitous fall, so check the wall." That's the second part of Area 15. Pass two pits and then check the wall at the bottom of the third. Again, the tricky part is making the connection between Acererak's riddle and this part of the Tomb.
    I meant to mention this back in the discussion of area 10 but...
    When my PCs found the riddle in area 3 they didn't assume any kind of order to its "warnings", thinking (oddly I thought) that any part of it was equally valid anywhere. They took the "two pits" part to mean there were two pits with something in them and made a point to thoroughly check the walls of all of them. They found the one-way secret door in the southernmost pit of area 3 using detect secret doors and then manage to open it with knock (I allowed both these spells to work because the module gives no reason why they wouldn't). So they managed to find a fourth way to reach the Hall of Spheres.

    I just think its interesting the way you interpreted the "two pits" section (pass 2 pits and look in the 3rd) and the way my PCs did (2 pits have something "fortuitous" on the wall).


    Oh- one more thing: I always thought it was odd that the magic ring used to trigger the gate gets destroyed rather than teleported into Acererack's treasure room. With so many other stripping teleport traps to collect treasure it seems weird that a similar treasure collector isn't used here.
    Last edited by FoxWander; Sunday, 14th August, 2011 at 09:26 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by FoxWander View Post
    Oh- one more thing: I always thought it was odd that the magic ring used to trigger the gate gets destroyed rather than teleported into Acererack's treasure room. With so many other stripping teleport traps to collect treasure it seems weird that a similar treasure collector isn't used here.
    Well, he is a demi-lich. He's a little short on fingers.

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    Area 15.
    "It is impregnated with strong anti-magics which prevent its detection or removal or change to another form or substance." The text from Area 14(c) emphasizes this point, "It cannot be magically detected, nor will it open by physical or magical means . . ."
    This kind of magic-won't-solve-this-scenario crops up in several classic D&D modules, and it always seems like lazy design, to me. Designing and enforcing one and only one way to solve a challenge is usually considered bad design and poor game mastering.

    There's a concealed door hidden at the bottom of the third pit. It's easy to find if you look for it, but the module assumes that the PC's will be expecting the third pit and won't look to closely at it.
    And here, the flying-thief-on-a-rope trick will prove detrimental to moving forward in this module. Is there any other published module of the time with a concealed/secret door in a pit trap? I don't remember ever seeing one. I would think that unless the party, here, had found the poem in the path, (which we've discussed how unlikely that can be), would anyone think to search the pit traps for a door?

    I find this text from the module, interesting:
    Quote Originally Posted by E. Gary Gygax
    By the time the 3rd door and pit have been reached, they will certainly expect the pit, and will be likely to ignore it. This carelessness will prevent them from examining the pit from within...
    He calls avoiding a pit trap "carelessness" because he placed a secret door in the pit.

    Quote Originally Posted by FoxWander
    They took the "two pits" part to mean there were two pits with something in them and made a point to thoroughly check the walls of all of them.
    Rereading that part of the path-poem, yeah, that actually seems a perfectly reasonable interpretation. And it is correct.

    Bullgrit

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bullgrit View Post
    This kind of magic-won't-solve-this-scenario crops up in several classic D&D modules, and it always seems like lazy design, to me. Designing and enforcing one and only one way to solve a challenge is usually considered bad design and poor game mastering.
    Here's what tickles me. Nothing indicates that the rest of the Tomb is particularly immune to magic. I don't see any reason why the 14th Level pregen Wizard couldn't just Disintegrate the wall next to the invulnerable block and carve out a passage forward. I don't have my books, but if Dimension Door doesn't require line of sight, a gutsy wizard could just zap past the Stone Gate.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bullgrit View Post
    And here, the flying-thief-on-a-rope trick will prove detrimental to moving forward in this module. Is there any other published module of the time with a concealed/secret door in a pit trap? I don't remember ever seeing one. I would think that unless the party, here, had found the poem in the path, (which we've discussed how unlikely that can be), would anyone think to search the pit traps for a door?
    I do not recall a pit trap/secret door combo, but a well/secret door combo from ToEE comes to mind. I used that one to good effect in the Skrimshaw Murders AP.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Stoat View Post
    Here's what tickles me. Nothing indicates that the rest of the Tomb is particularly immune to magic. I don't see any reason why the 14th Level pregen Wizard couldn't just Disintegrate the wall next to the invulnerable block and carve out a passage forward. I don't have my books, but if Dimension Door doesn't require line of sight, a gutsy wizard could just zap past the Stone Gate.
    We played this thing once in 2e. By that time, casters were just getting gross with all the things they could do. We did almost precisely what you suggested for almost all the adventure.

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