Adventure Notes 5: Tomb of Horror

Another great game yesterday! The prep wasn’t too intense, but I did have to sit on it longer then I really wanted to. My original plan was to run the old dungeon, Tomb of Horrors, but decided against it. The thing was too long and I really don’t like many of the rooms involved with the original. Instead I made my own map, a very small 5 room dungeon with traps, puzzles, and some light combat. My PC’s are 4th level now, so I can abuse them more, plus I gained two new players. Both of them are 2e virgins but adapted well. The first character is an Explorer, however I think that I need to do some tinkering with his character as he isn’t very explorerish, but maybe it’s just me? I think that I’m just going to add Legends and Lore to his NWP list, and take away something else. The other character who is new is a sailor. I had those two be friends, both began play at 4th level.

We started off 2 weeks after our last adventure, Abraham Van Helsing and his crew trained everybody in skills that they could use, Charlotte learned how to battle ghosts, and Kurt was able to learn a thing or two about demolition, and returned them to Bucharest, everybody stocked up on all of the shit that they’d need, and we discovered a rather odd typo in Masque of the Red Death equipment sheets, they have all of this goofy crap like lunchboxes, and harmonicas, but they don’t have any rope listed what so ever. NO ROPE!?!? That is just bizarre!

I had the two new party members meet up with the rest of the troop while they were out shopping for supplies, the Explorer spent all of his money hoping to gain access to a weird archeological dig in the Romanian city, the ruins of what appears to be a definite Arabian temple where it shouldn’t be. He was denied access to it, but when he hears of the parties plans to breach the security and enter the ruins, he’s fair game, so he and his buddy join the party, YEAY!!!

We don’t play with figures, so traversing large distances can be a bit daunting without some kind of game plan. It is winter, but I know that a lot of archeologists use boards as make-shift sidewalks, so that was what I did on my overview map. I made lots of different paths and formed a maze of sorts, however all of the sites of interest are dug deeper into the earth which form pits. The PC’s can only see a few pits at a time, they can hear some excitement coming from one of them, and they chose to avoid that pit . . . It was the Six Fingered Hand, they ambushed the normal guard and were busy trying to control the crowd of workers that they had taken hostage, as well as find a way into the ruins, but they are at the wrong entrance. The entrance that they are trying to breach is nothing but a trap that will kill all who enter it. There is another Trapped fake entrance which the PC’s avoided as well. LUCK always seems to be with them, the did get caught by the villains, but they chose the correct pit, and the correct entrance. Lucky bastards! By the time that my badguy, “The Beetle” got to them, the damned door was shutting, and I was hoping to put him inside of the tomb with them, but they wouldn’t have it. They had him separated from his peers, so they just tied him up and chucked him back outside. (The door opens because of the artifact stone in the mediums cleavage.)


I kept the original Tomb first room. That is one of the best rooms that I’ve ever seen in a module. Of course I redecorated it to suit my story. There isn’t any lich in it, so instead I had pictures depicting the artifact in action, and the fall of Arak. The Artifact is a spirit blade that slays gods, this I revealed on the walls, as well as the fact that the piece that they were looking for wasn’t in the shape of a skull, as the diary that they had found said that it was, but in the shape of a cobra head. I also changed the puzzle to get into the tomb itself and leave the room, all they had to do was turn the gems green, and follow a red path into a misty archway, all of them again lucked out . . . Except for Shannon, he alone found himself back at the beginning over and over again because he failed to pay attention to how the puzzle was initially solved.

Once he finally bungled his way to the other side, none of them could figure out the gargoyle puzzle, but that’s cool, it just supplied some magical items if they put gems into its hands. The next room had a gargoyle as well, but this one was a monster who patiently waited for a good opportunity to strike.

The party only had 1 magical weapon, a Dagger+2, and a plus weapon was needed to do damage to the creature. I went ahead and had all of the soldiers who were specialized in their weapons do exactly 1 point of damage, while the Dagger did full damage. THIS WAS A LONG BATTLE!!! And despite the fact that it was only taking a point or two in damage per round, the favor was all to the PC’s. The corridor that I was fighting them in was so cramped that I couldn’t use my wings, and he was just out numbered 6 to 1. It did teach the new guys how combat is handled in 2nd Edition, both of them are used to playing 3rd.

Of course no dungeon is complete without a sliding wall gag, They find themselves down a corridor and they trigger a trap that seals off their entrance, so they can’t go back, and the wall is quickly moving towards them, at the end of the corridor is two doors, both of them are stuck and requires a STR, Open Doors check to open them, all before they are crushed by the wall.

They get into the door and discover another puzzle which took forever for them to figure out. I had an alter set up with a skeleton on it, in the skeleton was a dagger +1 which was actually being used to keep a vampire (the skeleton) from returning from the dead. On both sides of the alter were two statues of Hobgoblins, that in reality were nothing but giant nutcrackers. The clues given around the room all pointed to sacrifice, and the PC’s tried sacrificing themselves, but the way past this room was to sacrifice magical items by putting them in the nutcrackers mouths and crushing them, which would open the door 1/4th per item.

They knew what they had to do, it was just their own greed that prevented them from doing it.

The boss was a Guardian Naga, and I think that if there was a weak part to the game, it was my final encounter, I should had made it a total free for all between the PC’s fighting the Naga who stayed in the shadows, but instead I made them fight 1-on-1 with the thing. The first person to step forward to accept the challenge was the sailor, he was beaten but allowed to keep his life. The next person up was Shannon’s character Sam, he was killed. Third was the Medium who finally kicked it’s rear end. All they had to do was take away half of it’s hp, and it would surrender, which it did, and it gave up the Serpent head of Nag Shubba. It brought Sam back to life, and healed the party, and it was at this point were everybody decided that they had had enough.

BAD TIMING!!! The Dungeon wasn’t defeated yet, but it was after 1a.m. which was our established time to call it quits, so we disbanded and we’ll just have to pick up where we left off next time. Hopefully nobody does anthing foolish right off of the bat, however, that is up to them!

Over all it was a great game! The characters still show that they can kick ass as well as take a licking themselves, which was something that I was worried about, but my fears are now snuffed out completely. These heroes are just as tough as their fantasy “Sword & Sorcery” counterparts, if not tougher!!! Fun stuff :)


Noumenon said...

they trigger a trap that seals off their entrance, so they can’t go back,

That's a great idea for a trap, since they don't die if they fail, and because you give them a sense that they could have avoided the room by their own actions.

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