Wednesday, April 22, 2009
Revisiting the Tomb of Horrors
Geez, did anyone beat this thing? I was looking Something Awful's very funny article on the Tomb of Horrors, and immediately hearkened back to my own experiences with this module. I've played in it twice, and DM'd it twice. In that time, I've seen two--two--characters make it to Acererak. Both died, near-instantly.
We had one kid who was in our games off-and-on boast that he had beaten it, but he had played with a total Monty Haul DM--the kind that allowed players the power to clean out the Planes on a regular basis for fun. When he ran it with us, his Fighter died along with my Cleric in the initial stone block trap.
As best I can remember, here's the accounting on 4 forays into the Tomb of Horrors. I believe the lowest character level was 8, the highest around 16.
2 Fighters, 1 Wizard, 1 Thief, and a Cleric (me): Total Party Kill
-All within the first few traps, I believe. We had been playing less than an hour when the last of us fell.
1 Cleric (me again), 1 Wizard, 2 Thieves, 1 Fighter, and a Paladin: Total Party Kill
-One of thieves died at the three hidden treasure chests. The remaining Thief and Wizard reached Acererak, but died very quickly. The Thief was higher-level than the Wizard, and so was slain by the right-eye jewel. The Wizard got off a couple of spells that did damage (Shatter?), but met the same fate as the Thief from the left-eye jewel or one of the teeth a few rounds later. My friend Rich had nursed that Wizard over 8 months of continual weekend gameplay up to his lofty perch, and he was pissed.
Session 3 (I DM'd this one)
1 Wizard, 1 Cleric, 1 Thief, 1 Fighter, 1 Anti-Paladin: Wizard alone survives
-Another false-entrance trap slays another Cleric (I was sympathetic). Wizard teleported out, leaving our group's (homebrew) Anti-Paladin to die (pit of 200 spikes). It was a vendetta killing of sorts, the Anti-Paladin having (predictably) angered the group by acting like an, well, Anti-Paladin.
Session 4 (I DM'd this one, same basic group)
1 Wizard, 1 Paladin, 1 Bard, 1 Fighter, 1 Cleric, 1 Thief: Thief alone survives
-The Thief didn't stick around long on this one. I believe he used a magic item to egress after seeing the Fighter go down at the Face of the Great Green Devil.
I've never found a module as lethal as this. I remember I once thought The Doomgrinder had potential by the sound of its name, but that ended up being a bit of a disappointment.
So, did anyone out there actually trash the Tomb of Horrors and give Acererak what he had coming? I want to know if you did, and more importantly, how?