WIR S1 Tomb of Horrors [SPOILERS!! SPOILERS EVERYWHERE!!]‏ - Page 8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stoat
    Pro Tip: You do not want to go to The Forsaken Prison
    I'm curious how all this character separation was handled in a tournament situation. In a home game, DMs could send a Player from the room and handle things secretly. But in a tournament environment . . . how?

    Bullgrit

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bullgrit View Post
    I'm curious how all this character separation was handled in a tournament situation. In a home game, DMs could send a Player from the room and handle things secretly. But in a tournament environment . . . how?
    I almost never separate the players when I'm the DM. For one, even when I'm playing in a home game I usually don't have a good place to put the split group. I've also found that splitting up the players is a guaranteed way to have one or more of them lose interest and drift away into videogames, the internet, etc. etc. I also like the dramatic tension that can show up when half the group knows what's going on and can't help.

    I think I'd handle this by making everybody decide what they want to do first. I'd keep everybody at the table, and I'dd make the folks who stayed behind decide what to do. Then, I'd go back and deal with the folks who teleported.

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    A poster at Dragonsfoot found a report on Tomb of Horrors from the Origins I tournament in Alarums and Excursions, and retyped the text: Dragonsfoot • View topic - Tomb of Horrors Origins 1 Review from Alarums & Excursions 4

    Interesting as a primary account of the original tournment!

    My favorite line: We found ourselves inside a 10' square, 30' high room, without doors and possessed of 3 levers. At this point I announced that we were all driving spikes into the walls and standing on them.

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    Thanks for the link Gentlegamer. It's great to have an early first-hand account of the module.

    Some little differences between the convention report and the module as published.

    1. The mist in Area 5 is described is blue in the con report. As far as I can tell, the module does not give a color for the mist.

    2. The ring from Area 13 is poisoned in the con report.

    3. In the con report, there are two "super gargoyles" in Area 9.

    I also note that Gygax won't let elves detect doors hidden behind plaster. The 1E DMG seems to indicate that such doors are simply "concealed", which doesn't feel right to me.

  6. #76
    Quote Originally Posted by Stoat View Post
    Thanks for the link Gentlegamer. It's great to have an early first-hand account of the module.

    Some little differences between the convention report and the module as published.

    1. The mist in Area 5 is described is blue in the con report. As far as I can tell, the module does not give a color for the mist.

    2. The ring from Area 13 is poisoned in the con report.

    3. In the con report, there are two "super gargoyles" in Area 9.
    I think these are explainable as being differences in the earlier, pre-published version of the dungeon.
    I also note that Gygax won't let elves detect doors hidden behind plaster. The 1E DMG seems to indicate that such doors are simply "concealed", which doesn't feel right to me.
    The original incarnation of ToH was for OD&D, and the tournament was in 1975, before AD&D 'existed.' Also, the Gygax refereeing the adventure in the report was a son of Gary, most likely Ernie.

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    Drum roll please . . .

    Area 6. The Face of the Great Green Devil

    The other fork of the red path leads right up to an evil-looking devil face set into the back wall of the corridor. The face has a "huge O of a mouth" that is dead black. The mouth is about three feet wide. If you check, you find that the whole area radiates evil and magic.

    http://www.wizards.com/dnd/images/To...oHGraphic6.jpg

    At last! A real live death trap, and probably one of the most famous death traps in D&D. There's a Sphere of Annihilation or at least something "similar" inside the Devil's mouth. Anybody or anything that enters the mouth is forever destroyed.

    IMO: The general consensus seems to be that the Great Green Devil is what Acererak's riddle is warning you about when it says to "Shun green." As clues go, that seems a little opaque to me, but it is a clue. Also, look at the illustration. GGD doesn't look like a door. It looks like a monster. And anybody who pokes around with a pole or an arm (or a polearm!) should learn pretty quickly that the GGD means business. Given the choice, I'd play around the arch in Area 5 for hours before I'd climb into the GGD's gaping maw.

    In a lot of ways, this is Area 4 all over again. "Why are you hitting yourself? Stop hitting yourself!" The trap won't hurt you if you leave it alone. As we'll see, that's Acererak's favorite trick -- using your curiosity to lure you to your doom.

    So I've heard stories about whole parties feeding themselves to the GGD, but I have a hard time believing it happened that often. For those of y'all who have run/played the module, how did this encounter play out?

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    Shun green if you can, but night's good color
    is for those of great valor.
    Quote Originally Posted by Stoat
    The general consensus seems to be that the Great Green Devil is what Acererak's riddle is warning you about when it says to "Shun green." As clues go, that seems a little opaque to me, but it is a clue.
    Ive heard people say this, too. But if that line is taken as a warning against the green face, how about the immediately following words, nights good color is for those of great valor? Does this suggest brave explores should go into the black mouth, (carefully not touching the green face around it)?

    Quote Originally Posted by Stoat
    So I've heard stories about whole parties feeding themselves to the GGD, but I have a hard time believing it happened that often.
    Well, now, keep in mind how sometimes blind persistence is rewarded in this tomb. For instance, say the party properly activates the arch, (right beside the GGD), and someone goes through it properly. That first PC disappears with no clue or evidence for what happened to him. He could be destroyed forever, no save, and none of his compatriots would know it. But in order to proceed further into the tomb, the other PCs should follow the first through the arch.

    So is it a faulty thought process that the PCs might take the same follow-through action with the black hole? This archway and GGD pair seems like another set of reward/punishment for blind persistence in this tomb.

    On one side, the party needs to go through the arch with blind faith in exactly the right way in order to advance. On the other side, the party seems to have a clue that it is to go through the gaping mouth with blind faith in exactly the right way, but this one is a TPK.

    Im not saying this all is impossible to figure out one way or another, Im just saying that things are not nearly as clear cut and apparent to a party taking in all the clues available. And its worse if the party doesnt find the one clue that is incredibly easy to miss. I would not laugh at a party who TPKed on the GGD, but I also wouldnt throw out accusations of brilliance on a party who made it through the arch safely.

    Bullgrit

  10. #80
    After the arch had hooped my party, the GGD was pretty much met with a UXB-level of caution.

    The riddle was not much help, (Theres both green and black: what does that mean?) so we quickly developed a pattern of dealing with the Tomb. Touch nothing.

    A copper piece was thrown at the GGD from far away. (What else were you going to do with all those things? Buy a mug of watery ale? Please.) Then another was thrown into the mouth. When we didnt hear the copper coin strike ground in the mouth, we guessed BAD stuff was involved. A lit torch tossed into the mouth (which immediately vanished) confirmed that.

    What followed was us going back outside and scouring the region for any kind of stout branches we could find. Everything else in the Tomb got poked and prodded from a good distance away. We set off a number of traps this way, but mostly we survived.



    Aside: reading the Tomb afterwards reminded me about one of the Fighting Fantasy books I had read before(?)/after(?) I ran the Tomb. In it, youre searching for the pieces of the Macguffin, but someone had spread a curse in the places youd search. If you found all the letters D, E, A, T, H, scattered around the place, you died.

    However, if you reached the final battle without the Macguffin, you failed. So you had to search, lest you miss the Macguffin parts. But too thorough searching would end with you finding all the letters of DEATH and dying.

    The Tomb feels similar. You search, or interact with the environment: you probably die. You dont search: you miss treasure or cant advance and fail. Knowing when each is the correct choice seems somewhat arbitrary from the wrong side of the DMs screen. There are ways around it (poking from long distances, roped/flying thieves, unseen servants on scouting duties, etc), but you really have to be in the right mood for that kind of challenge.

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