Does 5e need its own, original TOMB OF HORRORS? - Page 2

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. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by lowkey13 View Post
    reading, but it does help channel the discussion more productively!

    Does it? Is that what is happening?
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  2. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by TerraDave View Post
    Does it? Is that what is happening?
    *sigh* Apparently ... no.

  3. #13
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    Considering TOH was more designed to challenge the player rather than the character sheet how would they go about it in the age of "well I'll make a skill check"? It wasn't a hack and slash module due to there being not many monsters in it. Due to 1e rules it required the player to listen to what the DM described or showed him in the handouts, then go and describe specific actions based on that rather than saying "well I'll search the room and I rolled a....16!" I'd love it but I'm not sure a module that is aimed at the players noggin rather than their PC stats is all that stylish anymore, not so say that nothing makes a player think anymore but ToH almost demands the now dreaded "metagaming". Or is there a way to make it viable in that way under 5e? Not much in the way of save or die anymore.
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  4. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Flexor the Mighty! View Post
    Considering TOH was more designed to challenge the player rather than the character sheet how would they go about it in the age of "well I'll make a skill check"? It wasn't a hack and slash module due to there being not many monsters in it. Due to 1e rules it required the player to listen to what the DM described or showed him in the handouts, then go and describe specific actions based on that rather than saying "well I'll search the room and I rolled a....16!" I'd love it but I'm not sure a module that is aimed at the players noggin rather than their PC stats is all that stylish anymore, not so say that nothing makes a player think anymore but ToH almost demands the now dreaded "metagaming". Or is there a way to make it viable in that way under 5e? Not much in the way of save or die anymore.
    Those are all good observations and questions, to which I don't have the answer.

    Maybe that should really be the topic of discussion. Given the rule changes (esp. wrt. traps, save or die, skills, etc.) what would a truly challenging Carolina Reaper/Tomb of Horror module look like for 5e?

  5. #15
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    Hiya!

    I voted "No".

    But what about the concept? What made TOH so special, so memorable?
    It was designed to test PLAYER skill and PLAYER knowledge as well as PLAYER patience and caution. It wasn't designed to "challenge PC's" as the primary concern. If it was to be done today, for 5e, it would get lambasted and roasted six ways from Sunday about how "horribly unfair it is" and that it "breaks all the rules" and that the PC's are basically "unable to use their skills, spells and abilities" to overcome the challenges.

    ***Shouldn't have to but.... !! SPOILERS !! ***








    An example would be the first few feet into the actual tomb (assuming PC's aren't dead from the two false entrances). Players will likely think "Oh, I get it! A path! This is easy!", then the first (and maybe second) PC's in front fall into a pit trap with poisoned spikes and need to make saves vs Poison, at some ridiculous penalty, or die instantly. Equate that penalty to 5e and we are looking at, oh, DC 25 or there about? Maybe one or two points more? That's potentially two dead PC's in the first 10' or 20' of the adventure! Heaven help any who get farther in! I mean, can you imagine the rage leveled at the DM who says "Ok, Lord Balken steps through the misty doorway...and.... What's everyone else doing?". Players would (if my experience is anything to go by) sit expectedly waiting for the DM to describe what happens to Lord Balken. When this doesn't happen, they would be...uncomfortable. At this point many groups I DM'ed this module for do the same freaking thing; everyone goes in through the misty door. Every. Single. One. Nobody tries to use Telepathy, or Contact Higher Plane, or Commune, or a Crystal Ball, nothing. Just "Well, I guess we all go in then". The ONLY group to do this was my original group. Everyone else who thought they were "expert players" because they had high-level PC's? Nope. And then the kick to the nutz: "Right. You all step in, one by one. You are all in the same dusty room...buck naked. Now what?". The cries of anguish and mutterings of "unfair adventure" or "cheating" were hard to ignore.

    Thing is, attitudes and expectation of play was a LOT different back when I ran this (the mid/late 80's). Back then, there were players with high level characters, and there were players with high level characters they didn't earn (re: "Monty Haul" campaigns). Thing was...it was pretty easy to determine where someone was on the Monty Haul Scale of things.

    But today's games are focused more on "sharing a story" in order to have fun as opposed to "overcoming challenges" to have fun. Tomb of Horrors for 1e was most definitely designed for the later. It simply wouldn't work for a modern day audience. IMNSHO, of course.

    ^_^

    Paul L. Ming
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  6. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by pming View Post
    But today's games are focused more on "sharing a story" in order to have fun as opposed to "overcoming challenges" to have fun. Tomb of Horrors for 1e was most definitely designed for the later. It simply wouldn't work for a modern day audience. IMNSHO, of course.
    I don't know. I think today's players could do it, and it might go over well. I mean ... it's not like everyone in the 70s and 80s was all like, "Woo hoo, my character died in tomb of Horrors!" Yes, the stories are great in retrospect, but they were often painful at the time.

    That's why I think players today should be able to enjoy a good challenge. Sure, some wouldn't like it- but hey, there were a lot of people who didn't like ToH, either!

  7. #17
    I've never played ToH, but after reading all the comments I would be really interested doing something like this. But maybe I am an outlier.

    PS I have only played D&D since 4e
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  8. #18
    Tomb of Annihilation is basically this. You play with your beloved characters through a fun exploration adventure and grow attached to them, and then you get to the titular dungeon where you are unceremoniously teleported into a lightless room without oxygen. RIP.
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  9. #19
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    Thanks for spoiling a module I'm playing through!

  10. #20
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    Gygax's people had settled into a particular playstyle, and were bragging about their ability. Gygax decided to "show them a thing or two", and gave them an atypical experience - a thing that looked like the typical dungeon crawl, but wasn't. It was tough, in large part, because it defied the playstyle many had become accustomed to.

    The thing is, we are not many, many years later. We have explored many playstyles. You can't stack together a bunch of clever traps, and *surprise* the players with that, because they've already seen that in ToH (and any number of videogames). There's a major creativity barrier in just finding a valid style that is outside the various common playstyles, but it still comprehensible, and provides the proper sort of challenge for the players of today.

    And, I think there's a major argument to be had around the question of whether the original ToH is "fair" in anything other than the karmic sense of it being okay to stick it to those who have become arrogant.
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