Does 5e need its own, original TOMB OF HORRORS?

Poll: Should 5e have its own "Tomb of Horrors" type module?

This poll will close on Thursday, 22nd November, 2018 at 06:57 PM

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  1. #1
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    Does 5e need its own, original TOMB OF HORRORS?

    So I was doing some research on another thread regarding Tomb of Horrors,* and while I was reading I began to think of the place of Tomb of Horrors in the D&D Canon. Because it's there.

    If you're of a certain age, you know Tomb of Horrors. Heck, you probably have a Tomb of Horrors story. I would go so far as to say that there is no single person from the 70s/80s era who DOESN'T have Tomb of Horrors story (or, perhaps, they just never played it). It's like that scene in Alien ... it's part of the cultural DNA.**

    So Tomb of Horrors has been updated, most recently to 5e (Yawning Portal!), but I would argue that it is now mostly a nostalgia and period piece. You can't go in to it fresh. I mean, sure, there are probably some complete newbies that haven't heard of it. But TOH is such a part of D&D, and nerd culture in general, and such a relic of a particular time and place and style, it is hard to come in fresh.

    But what about the concept? What made TOH so special, so memorable? I would argue that what made it so amazing is that it was .... atypical. It was the antidote to most adventuring of the time. You had people clamoring for stats on deities so that they could whomp them? Well, let's give 'em a challenge! And that's what it was- the consummate challenge. It wasn't just tough; it was too tough. It was absurdly insanely tough, of a variety different than the usual toughness. It was saying, "You like them jalapenos? Well, how about this Carolina Reaper? LET'S KICK THINGS UP A NOTCH!" It wasn't unfair, but it was insanely challenging.

    So my question is ... why don't we have that for 5e? I would argue (and I will!) that 5e has already successfully created their own B2 in Phandelver; a pitch-perfect starter module that most people will encounter at some point. Why can't 5e have its own Tomb of Horrors? Something to create those memories, that sense of community, that Tomb of Horrors engendered?

    Now, don't get me wrong. We live in a happier time with fewer TPKs. So maybe this could be a standalone "challenge module" with some sort of deus ex machina to ensure the players don't really die. Sort of like how, in X2 (Castle Amber) a protective mist came down while the party rested? Instead, maybe the party would be raised when they failed? Whatever. Maybe that wouldn't raise the stakes enough. THAT'S FOR EVERYONE ELSE TO DISCUSS IN THE COMMENTS.

    What I want to know, and the question for the poll, is this-

    Should 5e have its own Tomb of Horrors? What do you think?





    *For the curious, it had to do with claims and a response regarding John Wick (not the movie) and Tomb of Horrors. See claim:
    http://johnwickpresents.com/updates/...-of-all-times/

    Response:
    https://thealexandrian.net/wordpress...omb-of-horrors


    **You don't even have to ask what scene, do you? You probably heard about it before you ever saw it. "He was just eating spaghetti, and then ..."
    Last edited by lowkey13; Thursday, 8th November, 2018 at 07:02 PM.

  2. #2
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    "Should" might be too strong of a word here, but- I'd buy a good ultra-deadly adventure for 5e in a red-hot second.

  3. #3
    Well, we do have Dungeon of the Mad Mage coming out tomorrow: I personally doubt many of us will ever see the end of it, but it might generate some share experiences and fun stories.

    That has actually been the adventure design philosophy throughout 5E: try to provide springboards for shared experiences and stories. Adventure Zone started their major arc in the Lost Mines, for instance.

  4. #4
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    I might suggest that they've already tried to accomplish it with Chris Perkins & Scott Kurtz's adventure 'The Mines of Madness' that was produced for PAX East 2013 during D&D Next. It is very much a Tomb of Horrors type of bonegrinder dungeon crawl.

    You could also suggest that the final site in Tomb of Annihilation is also a spiritual sequel to ToH, although because it is only one part of a much larger campaign path, the site itself won't take on the same legacy as ToH. Which is why I think Mines of Madness might be a better equivalent.
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  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by DEFCON 1 View Post
    I might suggest that they've already tried to accomplish it with Chris Perkins & Scott Kurtz's adventure 'The Mines of Madness' that was produced for PAX East 2013 during D&D Next. It is very much a Tomb of Horrors type of bonegrinder dungeon crawl.

    You could also suggest that the final site in Tomb of Annihilation is also a spiritual sequel to ToH, although because it is only one part of a much larger campaign path, the site itself won't take on the same legacy as ToH. Which is why I think Mines of Madness might be a better equivalent.
    Interesting! I am not familiar with Mines of Madness; I would think that to really hit the sweetspot, it would have to be re-released in official form for sale. Or even as part of a "all new" anthology (like Yawning Portal, but with all new material for 5e).

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by lowkey13 View Post
    Interesting! I am not familiar with Mines of Madness; I would think that to really hit the sweetspot, it would have to be re-released in official form for sale. Or even as part of a "all new" anthology (like Yawning Portal, but with all new material for 5e).
    It had been free on DMsGuild, but they took it down some time ago. Given that it was well received (it was fuuuun), and that they used Dead in Thay in TftYP, AND that Mearls admitted as recently as Tuesday that they are "looking into" doing a similar book because TFtYP was successful...I could see it making a comeback.

    It was a low-ish level Dungeon, though, not Tomb of Horrors league, just bonkers like ToH.
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  7. #7
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    Huh?

    If you want to say "have an original, innovative, and dangerous adventure" don't use the name of another adventure! ToH is ToH, and each edition has had some version or versions of it. Been there done that, the very connotation is the opposite of new or original.
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  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by TerraDave View Post
    Huh?

    If you want to say "have an original, innovative, and dangerous adventure" don't use the name of another adventure! ToH is ToH, and each edition has had some version or versions of it. Been there done that, the very connotation is the opposite of new or original.
    ?

    "Should 5e have its own "Tomb of Horrors" type module?"


    "So Tomb of Horrors has been updated, most recently to 5e (Yawning Portal!), but I would argue that it is now mostly a nostalgia and period piece. You can't go in to it fresh. I mean, sure, there are probably some complete newbies that haven't heard of it. But TOH is such a part of D&D, and nerd culture in general, and such a relic of a particular time and place and style, it is hard to come in fresh.

    But what about the concept? What made TOH so special, so memorable? I would argue that what made it so amazing is that it was .... atypical. It was the antidote to most adventuring of the time. You had people clamoring for stats on deities so that they could whomp them? Well, let's give 'em a challenge! And that's what it was- the consummate challenge. It wasn't just tough; it was too tough. It was absurdly insanely tough, of a variety different than the usual toughness. It was saying, "You like them jalapenos? Well, how about this Carolina Reaper? LET'S KICK THINGS UP A NOTCH!" It wasn't unfair, but it was insanely challenging.

    So my question is ... why don't we have that for 5e? I would argue (and I will!) that 5e has already successfully created their own B2 in Phandelver; a pitch-perfect starter module that most people will encounter at some point. Why can't 5e have its own Tomb of Horrors? Something to create those memories, that sense of community, that Tomb of Horrors engendered?"

    Not sure how much more clear I could have been?
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  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by lowkey13 View Post
    ?


    Not sure how much more clear I could have been?
    As more of a general comment, not just for this, clarity usually comes from using fewer words, more directly.

    But I guess not if those few words are "ToH type module".
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  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by TerraDave View Post
    As more of a general comment, not just for this, clarity usually comes from using fewer words, more directly.

    But I guess not if those few words are "ToH type module".
    Um .... a ToH type module would mean a module, similar in concept (incredibly challenging) that is not either NAMED Tomb of Horrors, or is not just a rehash.

    I appreciate that it is more fun to answer polls and discuss without reading, but it does help channel the discussion more productively!


    (EDIT- I don't mean to beat a dead horse, humorously or not, but at a certain point I'm like ... if on the very first page someone is writing that it is just CRAZY TALK TO KEEP USING THE NAME TOMB OF HORRORS, I begin to question not just my own sanity, but the entire purpose of explaining things or even communication in general. )
    Last edited by lowkey13; Thursday, 8th November, 2018 at 07:54 PM.
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