Register a SA Forums Account here!
JOINING THE SA FORUMS WILL REMOVE THIS BIG AD, THE ANNOYING UNDERLINED ADS, AND STUPID INTERSTITIAL ADS!!!

You can: log in, read the tech support FAQ, or request your lost password. This dumb message (and those ads) will appear on every screen until you register! Get rid of this crap by registering your own SA Forums Account and joining roughly 150,000 Goons, for the one-time price of $9.95! We charge money because it costs us money per month for bills, and since we don't believe in showing ads to our users, we try to make the money back through forum registrations.
 
  • Locked thread
Count Chocula
Dec 25, 2011

WE HAVE TO CONTROL OUR ENVIRONMENT
IF YOU SEE ME POSTING OUTSIDE OF THE AUSPOL THREAD PLEASE TELL ME THAT I'M MISSED AND TO START POSTING AGAIN


ThisIsNoZaku posted:

Anyone else have some example characters they'd like to see done?

I'd like to see a eunuch.

Adbot
ADBOT LOVES YOU

DAD LOST MY IPOD
Feb 3, 2012

Fats Dominar is on the case





Return to the TOMB OF HORRORS part 6: TPK'o'clock

Welcome back! I had the New England Team Tournament for Warmachine yesterday and couldn't update. So here I am! We'll pick up where we left off in the TOMB OF HORRORS itself. For a refresher, here's the map again:


When last we left our heroes, they were poisoned, stabbed, gassed, crushed, trapped, annihilated, and teleported nude. We left off at Area 11. Where to next?

The marking 12 on the west wall (and elsewhere in the TOMB OF HORRORS, as you can see) indicates a trapped false door. The door opens into a wall, and opening it causes a spear to be launched. The target is randomly determined, and must save vs. magic or take 2d8 points of damage. Closing and re-opening the door produces another spear. This is one of the least lethal traps in here, but it makes up for it by being annoying and pointless!

The red sphere, as marked above, is an illusion covering a crawlspace. This crawlspace, unfortunately, dead ends. If the PCs poke around a bit they can (4 in 6 chance) discover a secret door. Hooray! Anyone opening this door will be dropped onto his rear end by a tilting stone into the next room for 1d6 damage (Gygax notes "a mere annoyance, but it erodes the strength of the party." Also, I think it is a special mark of Acererak's unbelievable rear end in a top hat nature that he interspersed his insanely deadly save-or-die traps with a bunch of really minor irritating ones.

Anyways, the PCs will find themselves in Room 13, a room with three chests. Could this be Acererak's secret treasure hoard? Are we finally, finally going to get some reward out of the TOMB OF HORRORS?

Haha, nope!

Joe Rogue is called to the forefront. The PCs, having suffered losses to unforeseen hazards so far, wisely tell Joe to check for traps before they open any of the chests. Poor Joe, who is strongly reconsidering his choice of career after his time in the TOMB OF HORRORS, does so. He checks the first chest carefully, detecting no traps. Opening it reveals...

OH poo poo SNAKES!
12 Asps, each of which can bite for 1hp of damage and a save vs. poison at -2 or... something, I'm not sure (I don't own the AD&D 1st ed monster manual) but presumably you die.

So poor Joe, his ophidiophobia now straddling the line between "latent" and "incipient," checks the second chest. Once again, he is relieved to find it trapless. Opening it reveals no nasty surprises-- in fact, the chest's only contents are a small crystal box inside which is a ring. Lifting this box triggers the chest to...

SHOOT DARTS AT YOU OH NOOOOOO
These can hit up to two characters, there are 8 total darts, and each deals 1d6 damage with no save. Thankfully they are not poisoned. The box actually does contain a normal, not cursed ring of protection +1 which, while pretty meager as a reward for the level of hardship suffered, doesn't suck. The box is worth something too!

So Joe's nerves are shot, but he figures he's had the bad luck to find the two trapped chests first. He checks the third and finds no traps. Well, fool me once etc. So he's real careful with this one. He opens it with the tip of his dagger to reveal...

loving COME ON

Yup. The box can't even contain the skeleton, it is teleported it when the lid opens. It will ALWAYS strike first and wields two scimitars, attacking 2x per round for 2d6 damage per hit. It's a lot beefier than a normal skeleton and shares its near-immunity to edged weapons, plus complete magic and turning immunity. At least the fighters get to do something. Also, there's nothing else in the chest.

Back to the sphere room, the black sphere is an illusion covering another crawlspace. This one also dead ends, and this time the secret door is a 1 in 6 chance to find, with no magic useful except for the gem of seeing from earlier. It leads to a mysterious chapel area. The walls are covered in scenes of normal people doing normal people things, except they are rotting and decomposing, being eaten by worms etc. But it also has holy symbols of good gods and a faint aura of good! Is there more to Acererak than meets the eye, or is he just loving with people? yeah he is

There's a mosaic up the center of the floor to the altar, and rows of pews. Each pew is hinged and opens. The back two each hide 4000 silver pieces! The next two each hide 3000 electrum pieces! The next two each hide 2000 gold pieces! The last two each hide gas traps! This gas fills up the chapel in two rounds and causes everyone inside to lose 2d4 points of Strength for 48 hours. There's some candelabras and other religious trappings, and stoppered white pottery urns in the corners. Area A is the altar, which is made of opalescent blue material and glows with inner light. It detects faintly as evil. Touching it causes a bolt of lightning to shoot up the aisle for 40 points of damage, save vs. magic for half. After it blows its wad it starts to glow blue-red, and touching it causes it to EXPLODE for another 60 points of damage within 30', save for half.

A human skeleton in rusted black chainmail points to Area B, an archway full of glowing orange vapor, with no stones that light up. Of course it is impossible to see through the mists with magic. Passing through the archway leads to a 10x10 room and reverses both your sex and your alignment (haha!). If you back out and go back in your alignment goes back, but you take 1d6 damage. A third time will fix your sex back to normal but teleport you nude to the entrance and all of your poo poo to the end room, as before. Only wish or alter reality can fix you without the arch's "help." But if you restore your own alignment with it, remove curse can restore your sex.

In Area C, careful inspection can notice (4 in 6) a small slot with a faint O above it. It cannot be magically detected. This marks the stone gate, area 15, a stone plug 2'x4'x10', which is heavily antimagiced so you cannot move, open or transmute it by magic. The slot will accept a coin or flat gem-- or a magic ring. Putting anything but a ring into it does nothing but lose you the item forever. Putting a ring in makes the block sink into the floor so you can proceed. From the other side, at least, it opens easily.

The following hallway has, as you can see, a series of three doors, each with a pit beyond it. In fact, the doors open so easily, that a roll of 1 or 2 on a d6 opening it indicates that the opener falls into the pit beyond. Even if they don't they're likely to step on it. Anyways, by the third pit the PCs expect and likely avoid it, which is awesome because the only way to proceed is through the floor of that pit. Assuming for now they bypass it, there's a long hallway leading north, with a locked oaken door at the end of it. Listening to the door reveals the faint sound of music and happy singing! Unfortunately the door is super-locked and can't be opened, even by knock or similar, instead requiring the party to disintegrate it or physically chop it to bits. Doing so causes the sounds to change to confusion and fleeing, and the party sees a faint glow northward. The tunnel floor from here is a carefully balanced beam. When someone steps on the point three squares from the door, the floor starts to tilt downward in that direction. DM starts counting to 5 as before-- anyone north of the door at 5 will start to fall at 10'/round northward. When they're 40' north of the door they take 1d6 heat damage per round, 50' it becomes 2d6, and after that they fall in lava and die with no save. Fun!

So, let's assume they backtrack. If they think to check on the floor of the third pit trap (as seen above) they have a 5 in 6 chance of spotting a wooden door painted to look like stone. Feeling up the walls also instantly discovers it. Proceeding through here takes us to Area 17, another magical secret door. This can be found in any way magical secret doors are found, but to open it requires 1) detect magic or 2) the use of the gem of seeing to pinpoint the door's magical aura, followed by dispel magic or remove curse to remove it. Once this is accomplished you can proceed to Area 18.

This begins with a tunnel filled with fear gas, which makes you save vs. poison or run at top speed for 2d4 turns (you can announce you are holding your breath though). It also blocks vision, so it's only 3 in 6 to notice the south door, though opening the door gets rid of the gas. This leads to a crypt full of magical webs that can only be removed by magical fire. Any other method simply tangles you unless you are burned or wished out. The bottom of the staircase has a silver-inlaid mace which glows brightly golden when a PC picks it up. The crypt itself is full of moldy old furniture and stuff, plus a SOLID GOLD COUCH upon which rests a lich with a crown on its head. A booming voice declares "WHO DARES TO DISTURB THE REST OF ACERERAK? IT IS YOUR DEATH WHICH YOU HAVE FOUND," and the lich attacks them. Actually, it's just a magically prepared zombie, so it's not super dangerous, though it does have magic resistance. It will pretend to cast spells by gesturing with its hands between attacks. If you hit it with the mace it will let out a roaring bellow (a magic mouth prepared by Acererak[/i] and the weapon staggers it (the DM is instructed to "roll dice and shake [his] head." Three hits makes the zombie poof into dust, shatters the mace, and makes the room shake and start to collapse. DM is instructed to take his time describing it. PCs who search can find a jade coffer, the crown, and a fine leather bag nearby. Now you count slowly to ten (and watch them run! The TOMB OF HORRORS is Pavlovian PC-training at its finest) as dust and stones fall from the ceiling. You're also now instructed to ask the PCs if they thought it was too hard.

Anyways, the treasure is real, but not super awesome; for instance, there's a scroll with only 1st level spells (though you are supposed to pretend to roll) and a fake treasure map to a distant treasure. The collapse was a programmed illusion, though, and the "lich" was a nothing zombie. Entertainingly enough, this encounter is depicted on the cover of the module, so PCs who saw it in the store are likely to think this was the climax. This is a hilarious little piece of metagame on Gary's part. Any magical means will reveal that wasn't really Acererak, though. So it's back to the stairs and secret door above, and on to Room 19.

This is a massively cluttered magical laboratory; tons of shelves, jars, dust etc. There's a couple of tables used to prepare mummies, and urns that used to contain herbs, oils, unguents etc. Mummy wrappings all over the place! The south end of the room has three big vats full of murky liquid. The first? Gross stinky water. The second is full of a slow acting acid that does 1d4+1 damage per round of substantial exposure to flesh (not just a tiny sprinkling). At the bottom of this vat is half of a golden key. The third vat has a giant grey ochre jelly with the other half of the key underneath it. The vats can't be moved, and the key parts are indestructible; if joined they snap together to form one real key. Killing the ooze is annoying but not super difficult, but getting the key out of the acid is difficult since it can eat through even magical weapons and reaching in to grope for it has a cumulative 1% chance per round of success (while it eats away at your flesh). This gold key is useful, though.

The corridor in Area 20 contains a HUGE PIT FULL OF 200 SPIKES. It's 10' deep, open, and completely fills the passageway. Walking along the bottom is safe until the final 3', when suddenly all of the spikes launch upwards and automatically hit each person in the pit or leaning over its edge 1d4+1 times for 1d6 points of damage each hit, no save allowed. It also regrows its spikes when this happens.

Room 21 is interesting. There's a normal secret door leading in, nothing special about it. It's full of furniture and funereal goods, but the stuff is scattered all over the floor, among 6 locked trunks and 24 locked coffers. There's also broken chairs, sofas, urns etc all over the place. It looks pretty thoroughly looted, except for the tapestries on the east and west walls. The trunks are all empty, but the coffers each contain either 1d3 asps, or some gems and money. There's two traps here. The first (and less deadly) is the rolling floor; each round PCs are in here roll a d6, and on an odd number next round the room is subject to a tiny earthquake as the floor jumps and bucks. Each PC has a 2 in 6 chance of falling and taking one damage in bruises from this happening.

The tapestries are trap #2. They depict undersea life-- weedy rocks and so on. If they are torn they instantly turn into green slime and cover a 20' long by 10' deep section of floor, including any PCs in that space. A PC covered in green slime instantly turns into green slime and is gone forever; of course, no save allowed. You can touch them, but don't tear them; but if you're holding one when the floor bucks, you have a 75% chance of tearing it. Burning them turns them to brown mold which drains 4d8 damage worth of heat from PCs near it each round. Of course the exit is a secret door behind one of the tapestries.

As you can see from the map, the next corridor has a couple of pits and another sex/alignment reversing arch. At the end is a grotto full of silvery mists shot through with golden streamers. These limit sight to 6'. It dimly radiates good. Inside the mists is a cursed siren. She's good-aligned, but you can't see her in the mist, and the only way to let her out is to ask her to come out-- and of course she can't tell the PCs this. Anyone stepping into the mist must save vs. poison or "become idiots until they can breathe the clean air above ground under the warm sun."

The siren's a pretty cool lady, and if the PCs free her she will be appropriately grateful and be their friend and adventuring buddy for life. She doesn't fight all that well but has a bunch of useful spell-like abilities, including charm person, suggestion, polymorph self, invisiblity, and the ability to heal "idiocy." She comes with two sacks, one large and one small. The big one is a bag of holding fulla cash, the small one has randomly determined contents that could be anything from wool to useful magic items. There's a catch, though. Asking the siren to accompany the party causes the sacks to disappear forever; touching either sack causes the other sack and the siren to disappear forever. You cannot touch them both simultaneously. The siren doesn't really know anything about the TOMB OF HORRORS (she was just abducted and placed here).

And with that, we're 2/3 of the way done! Hopefully the PCs didn't lose more than 1 or 2 more people this segment to slime, fire or poisoned spikes (save or die!).

Coming up next time: THE THRILLING CONCLUSION (of this one small part of the adventure).

Glazius
Jul 22, 2007

Hail all those who are able,
any mouse can,
any mouse will,
but the Guard prevail.



Clapping Larry

I like how most of the treasure in the Tomb of Horrors is just a key to a different part of the Tomb of Horrors.

ThisIsNoZaku
Apr 22, 2013

Pew Pew Pew!


Glazius posted:

I like how most of the treasure in the Tomb of Horrors is just a key to a different part of the Tomb of Horrors.

Rube Goldberg Dungeon.

Lemon-Lime
Aug 6, 2009


Between the asps and the secret door hidden in a pit, I can't help but think that the local law is taking the wrong approach by sending in adventurers. They should be sending in a full work crew following union safety regs and just dismantle the dungeon.

SpiritOfLenin
Apr 29, 2013

be happy :3




Lemon Curdistan posted:

Between the asps and the secret door hidden in a pit, I can't help but think that the local law is taking the wrong approach by sending in adventurers. They should be sending in a full work crew following union safety regs and just dismantle the dungeon.

The thing is adventurers are cheaper and also you don't have to pay them in advance.

DAD LOST MY IPOD
Feb 3, 2012

Fats Dominar is on the case




Lemon Curdistan posted:

Between the asps and the secret door hidden in a pit, I can't help but think that the local law is taking the wrong approach by sending in adventurers. They should be sending in a full work crew following union safety regs and just dismantle the dungeon.

Acererak has a whole bunch of demons under his control to restore damage to the TOMB OF HORRORS and they're all union. You don't want to scab on demons (at least according to D. Vincent Baker).

Lemon-Lime
Aug 6, 2009


DAD LOST MY IPOD posted:

Acererak has a whole bunch of demons under his control to restore damage to the TOMB OF HORRORS and they're all union. You don't want to scab on demons (at least according to D. Vincent Baker).

But how can they be union if the building they maintain doesn't have zoning permissions? I bet these demons cross picket lines.

Tasoth
Dec 12, 2011


After reading the TOMB to this point, I have come to the conclusion that Robilar and Chris Gygax's character were wrapped in Abrams MBTs or Marauder armor.

Comrade Koba
Jul 2, 2007





Lemon Curdistan posted:

Between the asps and the secret door hidden in a pit, I can't help but think that the local law is taking the wrong approach by sending in adventurers. They should be sending in a full work crew following union safety regs and just dismantle the dungeon.

Summon Lesser Wobblies
(Wizard 1)

Conjuration (Summoning)
Components: V, S, M
Casting time: 1 round
Range: Close
Duration: 2 rounds/level
Saving Throw: None

This spell summons 2d4 union activists (0-level humanoids). They will heap verbal abuse and scorn on any opponents designated by the caster. The summoned wobblies refuse to serve anyone above 3rd level, and will physically attack any higher-level wizard foolish enough to summon them. At the end of the spell duration, any wobblies still alive will demand honest pay for services rendered (usually 1sp/creature). If denied, they will attack the caster.

Material components: A small carboard sign

Domus
May 7, 2007

Kidney Buddies


Tasoth posted:

After reading the TOMB to this point, I have come to the conclusion that Robilar and Chris Gygax's character were wrapped in Abrams MBTs or Marauder armor.

Yeah, how did they get out with one hundred percent of the treasure given all these stupid setups? It's full of poo poo like "Three boxes, two contain treasure, the other one contains an insta-kill trap you can't detect." Did they just bring in enough hirelings to set off all the traps for them?

secretly best girl
Mar 27, 2007

I see you choosing that other route. How dare you.

Random note for those of you who were reading the Wheel of Time RPG writeup: I'll try and get the next post together in the next couple of days. After researching it spoiled some rather large plot twists for me, I figured I should finish the novels themselves before the posts. As of 5:30 AM, that's finally finished.

Not an actual spoiler: holy poo poo that ending was good.

potatocubed
Jul 26, 2012

*rathian noises*


Domus posted:

Yeah, how did they get out with one hundred percent of the treasure given all these stupid setups? It's full of poo poo like "Three boxes, two contain treasure, the other one contains an insta-kill trap you can't detect." Did they just bring in enough hirelings to set off all the traps for them?

According to Gygax's foreword to Return to the Tomb of Horrors, yes, that's exactly what one of them did. He herded a tribe of orcs ahead of him into the tomb and just sort of scooped up the treasure in their wake.

Selachian
Oct 9, 2012



From what I've heard, that's the reason why AD&D imposed a Charisma-based limit on the number of henchmen you could have: Rob Kuntz was an expert practitioner of the "bring an army of disposable mooks into the dungeon with you" strategy.

Cardiovorax
Jun 5, 2011

I mean, if you're a successful actress and you go out of the house in a skirt and without underwear, knowing that paparazzi are just waiting for opportunities like this and that it has happened many times before, then there's really nobody you can blame for it but yourself.

I'm starting to think that the primary reason D&D can be so weird at times must be the absolutely insane amount of retarded poo poo Gygax had seen his players attempt over the decades.

Mark Blockhead
Nov 7, 2012


Cardiovorax posted:

I'm starting to think that the primary reason D&D can be so weird at times must be the absolutely insane amount of retarded poo poo Gygax had seen his players attempt over the decades.

ToH really illustrates this, especially with the amount of ten foot pole shenanigans players got up to. That's why some pit traps are specifically not detectable with poles, and using them on the ceiling of one of the entrances collapses it. Gary (and thus Acererak) was very aware of how PCs thought and behaved, and the traps reflect that (witness: three successive pit traps, so the PCs expect and skip the third, which happens to contain the only way foreward).

Midjack
Dec 24, 2007





DAD LOST MY IPOD posted:

Inside the mists is a cursed siren. She's good-aligned, but you can't see her in the mist, and the only way to let her out is to ask her to come out-- and of course she can't tell the PCs this. Anyone stepping into the mist must save vs. poison or "become idiots until they can breathe the clean air above ground under the warm sun."

The siren's a pretty cool lady, and if the PCs free her she will be appropriately grateful and be their friend and adventuring buddy for life. She doesn't fight all that well but has a bunch of useful spell-like abilities, including charm person, suggestion, polymorph self, invisiblity, and the ability to heal "idiocy." She comes with two sacks, one large and one small. The big one is a bag of holding fulla cash, the small one has randomly determined contents that could be anything from wool to useful magic items. There's a catch, though. Asking the siren to accompany the party causes the sacks to disappear forever; touching either sack causes the other sack and the siren to disappear forever. You cannot touch them both simultaneously. The siren doesn't really know anything about the TOMB OF HORRORS (she was just abducted and placed here).

For some reason this makes me sad. She's just stuck in there for who knows how long, and then some rescuers show up, check out her stuff, and POOF! she's dead.

Tasoth
Dec 12, 2011


Midjack posted:

For some reason this makes me sad. She's just stuck in there for who knows how long, and then some rescuers show up, check out her stuff, and POOF! she's dead.

I actually like this part. This is most likely Gygax screwing with his players as they probably loot first, ask questions later. And as can be seen from your response, and how I felt when I read that part, make the Siren vanish is going to screw with people's empathy.

Bieeanshee
Aug 21, 2000

Not keen on keening.




Grimey Drawer

I thought the same thing. "Congratulations, players. This time your greed has incontrovertibly caused the destruction of an innocent NPC."

PleasingFungus
Oct 10, 2012

in my pope game,


Hey, "vanished" doesn't mean "dead"! I choose to believe that the siren goes to a better place when she vanishes; a happy farm filled with lots of pools and other good-aligned creatures.

DAD LOST MY IPOD
Feb 3, 2012

Fats Dominar is on the case




What worries me more is what happens afterwards. After all, the demons under Acererak's control are assigned to reset the whole TOMB OF HORRORS. Do they fly out to abduct the Siren and put her back in the cave? "Oh Adventurers, ever since you freed me from that awful place my life has been so-" GANK'D

Next update to come. Warning: The third and final part of the TOMB OF HORRORS is by far the most dangerous and unfair. I'm not joking, it makes Parts I and II look like a complete cakewalk. I think every single room has either 1) a deathtrap with no save or 2) a puzzle with absolutely no clues as to how to solve it.

Special preview image:

What could it be?!

Bieeanshee
Aug 21, 2000

Not keen on keening.




Grimey Drawer

It's a Cabochon of Cleanliness, which the demons tossed into the dead adventurer storage room to keep it from smelling too bad. Its aura is powerful, but not powerful enough to overpower the sheer number of deaders that have ended up in there over the years.

Mr. Maltose
Feb 16, 2011

The Guffless Girlverine


It can't be a cabochon, it's faceted. It's obviously a Sapphire of Scents.

Bieeanshee
Aug 21, 2000

Not keen on keening.




Grimey Drawer

Oh, that's right. The cabochon is what's left over after all the sapphire's enchanted facets have worn out and vanished.

Kai Tave
Jul 2, 2012


Fallen Rib

My guess is it's a gem-shaped subcritical mass of plutonium enchanted to go supercritical in the presence of anyone of non-Evil alignment.

Zereth
Jul 8, 2003




It's surrounded by corpses that clearly died trying to get at it.

Given that the demons keep resetting the tomb, the corpses must be part of the decor. It's clearly something intended to look incredibly lethal that you want to ignore, but is actually a mandatory thing to progress.

Kai Tave
Jul 2, 2012


Fallen Rib

Or it's something incredibly lethal you want to ignore and it's mandatory to progress. That seems about the Tomb of Horrors' speed, really. "The cursed gemstone zaps you for 2d4 points of Strength damage. By the way you need it to unlock the door in order to get into Acererak's Forbidden Ball-Pit of Doom. Have fun with that."

Majuju
Dec 30, 2006

I had a beer with Stephen Miller once and now I like him.

It's a Tomb-specific version of that loving stump monster with the rabbit-appendage tentacle. Each of those skeletons contains a voracious biting mouth. The gem is the monster's cloaca.

WaywardWoodwose
May 19, 2008

The woods are lovely, dark, and deep,
But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep,
And miles to go before I sleep.

it's clearly a gem so valuable even dead people want it.

grassy gnoll
Aug 27, 2006

The pawsting business is tough work.

That does sound pretty valuable...

theironjef
Aug 11, 2009

The archmage of unexpected stinks.



Majuju posted:

It's a Tomb-specific version of that loving stump monster with the rabbit-appendage tentacle. Each of those skeletons contains a voracious biting mouth. The gem is the monster's cloaca.

The "Wolf in Sheep's Clothing." Best name ever for a stump with a rabbit on it.

Tasoth
Dec 12, 2011


It's clearly just a hunk of glass with a Light spell permanently affixed to it. That or Dwarf Fortress managed to send a masterwork item back in time.

It is a masterwork Moonstone. Each facet bears an image of dwarfs eating cheese...

Glazius
Jul 22, 2007

Hail all those who are able,
any mouse can,
any mouse will,
but the Guard prevail.



Clapping Larry

It's a gem of wishes that operates on Huffman coding principles. So if you start out a wish by saying "I wish I were", then presto, just like that -- you were.

Ratpick
Oct 9, 2012

And no one ate dinner that night.

At this point I don't even care what it actually is, because all of the above ideas are now planted in my head for me to throw at my gaming buddies.

Bieeanshee
Aug 21, 2000

Not keen on keening.




Grimey Drawer

Tasoth posted:

It's clearly just a hunk of glass with a Light spell permanently affixed to it. That or Dwarf Fortress managed to send a masterwork item back in time.

It is a masterwork Moonstone. Each facet bears an image of dwarfs eating cheese...

It menaces with spikes of corpses.

DAD LOST MY IPOD
Feb 3, 2012

Fats Dominar is on the case





Return to the TOMB OF HORRORS part 7: Roll to see if you cry, and if so, how hard.

Sorry about the lateness folks! In my defense, my pet ferret has cancer .

So as a refresher, here's the map:


Hopefully no adventurer tore, cut, or firmly held any of the tapestries in room 21, instantly turning into an unrecoverable pile of green slime with no save or magic defense of any kind possible. Also hopefully nobody touched any of the treasure with the Siren, dooming her to an ambiguous fate. Today: THE MYSTERY OF THE GEM, REVEALED! it is awful, don't touch it

It's a little hard to tell from the map, but our adventurers should be a bit stymied now. After freeing the siren, they head north, the last unexplored direction, at the four-way intersection, and reach Area 23. There is a perfectly ordinary door here, which opens into a perfectly ordinary solid blank wall of stone. This wall contains a secret door; this is almost needlessly petty and juvenile, which means it's perfect for the TOMB OF HORRORS.

The party continues to the north in this corridor, likely missing the secret door in the floor. As you can see, there's a door on the east wall to leads into a little side corridor. This passage goes east a little ways and then turns north. Opening this door to the north releases sleep gas which causes everyone to fall asleep with no save. This sleep lasts for 2d4 turns. Every turn that everyone is asleep, roll a d4. On a 4, a STONE JUGGERNAUT is released from that little square room. It travels 1d6 squares per turn, first south, then turning west. Everyone squished by it is instantly killed with no save of any kind allowed. In the words of Gary Gygax, "Everything it rolls over is squashed to a pulp. There is no appeal." It also provides this lovely picture, which you are instructed to show the PCs in case they are destroyed this way, I guess as a sort of triumphant little dance on their pulpy remains.

a heffalump!!!

Anyways, assuming the PCs don't all loving INSTANTLY DIE WITH NO SAVE DUE TO OPENING THE ONLY OBVIOUS DOOR, they can find the secret door (marked "s"). This opens into a narrow little passage towards Area 24. That's just an adamantite door that's totally impervious to everything, being heavily antimagiced. There are three slots on the door at waist height; shoving a sword blade in each at once opens it (for 5 rounds only, and it's a one way door). At least nothing in here kills you.

Area 25 is one of the more infamous areas of the TOMB OF HORRORS. It's a throne room full of pillars. There's lots to digest in here, so I'll take it one thing at a time.
The pillars radiate magic; touching one makes you float uncontrollably, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory-style, towards the ceiling. Dispel Magic or Remove Curse will prevent this. While annoying, this is hardly life-threatening. However, there is a gentle breeze in the room at ceiling level. It will gradually push PCs either to the northeast or northwest. In the northwest, at area A, there's a mosaic of a green devil face-- just like the one at the entrance! This one doesn't annihilate you on contact; but if you get within 3' of it, you are forcibly sucked in and spat out of the other green face's mouth, way back at the entrance. (Note that PCs who have not yet discovered the TERRIBLE SECRET of this face may assume it's a two-way portal and jump back in to try to get back to the pillared room, tee hee). And of course, to add insult to injury all of your gear, clothing and equipment doesn't come with you, instead being teleported to Area 33.
If the wind takes you to the northeast, to Area B, it's a blue-tinged devil face. This one sucks you in the same way but spits you out in Room 27A (to be detailed later)

I'm a little confused, since areas C and D are detailed as being in this room, but don't appear on the map. In any case, C is familiar!

This gigantic, glowing orange gem is surrounded by corpses and menaces with spikes of EVIL and MAGIC if detected for. It's so powerful that you get the impression it's wish magic. And it is! It grants a wish to anyone touching it. Anyone taking such an incredibly obvious trap this deep into the TOMB OF HORRORS deserves everything they get: the reverse (or a perversion) of what they wanted happens, that brings doom to them and anyone named in the wish. This is basically handing a blank check to the DM, so for Gygax's sake, take it! The gem begins to pulse with light after casting the wish, count to ten as normal. At 10 it explodes, utterly annihilating anyone within 15' with no save of any kind, leaving behind only a puddle of stinking, purple mold which "bubbles and chuckles." It reforms as a gem in one week.

Area D is the south end of the room, a massive ebony dais on which sits a silver throne, on which sit a crown and scepter (both of which emanate magic).

The crown is gold and negates the floaty effect of the pillars. It's also cursed; outside of the pillared hall you are blind, and putting it on grants the knowledge that the only way to remove it is by touching it with the scepter. The scepter is electrum, with a gold ball on one end and a silver ball on the other. If the silver end ever touches the crown, the wearer is instantly turned into a fetid powder and cannot ever come back, not even with a wish. The gold knob lets you remove the crown. There's a small crown replica inlaid in silver on the front of the throne; touching that with the silver end causes the throne to sink into the ground, revealing a passage beyond. These are both exceptionally valuable items, but taking either from the TOMB OF HORRORS summons vrocks to take them back, so probably don't do that.

Because the PCs won't assume that fooling around with the scepter is the way forward, they're likely to go north first, into room 26 or 27. Room 26 has a shimmering, electric blue door (both Room 26s); touching the door makes it glow, but there's no effect. The western room is empty. The eastern room contains a wooden sarcophagus, looted funereal goods etc. Inside the sarcophagus is a mummy (just a mummified human) with tattered remains and a huge amethyst poking out of its forehead wrappings. Taking the gem animates the remains a mummy (the monster) with haste, permanent resist flames cast on its wrappings, and wearing a ring of fire resistance to boot.

The door to room 27 is scintillating violet. Also glows when touched. Entering it reveals a room with a door to the north and crossed pairs of swords hung on the wall. There are 8 pairs and each comes with a shield. Crossing the threshold makes one fly off and attack! Each has 11 hp and AC 3, and you must kill the shield first (it interposes itself) and attacks as a +1/+1 sword wielded by a 1st level fighter. They can ONLY be affected by magic in the following ways:
-Repulsion puts them back on the wall
-Heat metal or a rod of cancellation destroys one item
-Transmute metal to wood turns two items to inert wood
-Disintegrate destroys a set
-Enchant weapon turns one item into a normal iron weapon

Recrossing the threshold causes another set to animate and attack; this set has 12 hp each, AC 2, and attacks as +2/+2 swords wielded by a second level fighter. And so on. There are 8 of these sets. You will notice that the only area beyond this chamber is 27A, the place the blue face teleported you. This is a horrible little chamber, aptly called the "Chamber of Hopelessness." It contains a little fountain (so you won't die of thirst) and the following magically etched on the north wall: "YOU WHO DARED TO VlOLATE MY TOMB NOW PAY THE PRICE. STAY HERE AND DIE SLOWLY OF STARVATION. OR OPEN AND ENTER THE DOOR TO YOUR SOUTH WHERE CERTAIN BUT QUICK DEATH AWAITS - WHICHEVER YOU CHOOSE, KNOW THAT I, ACERERAK THE ETERNAL, WATCH AND SCOFF AT YOUR PUNY EFFORTS AND ENJOY YOUR DEATH THROES." Entering the south door before the swords and shields have been destroyed causes them ALL to attack you at once (and, I imagine, all get their respective bonuses). There are adventurer corpses here, plus some phat loot and minor magic item treasure.

So, we go south past the dais to area 28. There are some super fancy steps made of exotic materials and the walls are made of copper, ivory and rare wood. On the fourth step there's a big bronze key! However, it has a permanent antipathy spell cast on it, and anyone who touches it must save vs. magic at -2; failure means you will NEVER willingly touch the key or allow it within 2' of your presence. This is silly but not terrible. At the top of the stairs there's a pair of mithril doors with a keyhole!

These "valves of mithril" are 14'x28' wide/tall and 3' thick. They are heavily antimagiced because of course they are. There's a little hemispherical depression in them with a keyhole in it. Inserting the bronze key does nothing but shock the inserter for 1d10 points of electricity (no save) while using the gold key does 2d10 points (also no save). Touching the scepter to the depression is the key, but make sure you use the right end; the silver end spits you out nude from the Devourer face, as before, with all of your poo poo going to Area 33. The gold end, of course, opens the doors.

Attacking the doors is a super duper bad idea. Cutting it makes it start to gush forth blood; the blood of the victims of the TOMB OF HORRORS! In 6 rounds, it'll fill the area to the top of the first step; one more step per round, filling the foyer to the ceiling in 20 rounds. You can make the blood stop with cure critical wounds, heal, 2x cure serious wounds, or 4x cure light wounds. A few other spells affect it: cone of cold freezes it for three rounds, stopping the flow; create water turns it to normal water (but it's still flooding); disintegrate destroys it all; levitate causes it all to coagulate and float towards the ceiling, where it becomes a huge red ochre jelly; polymorph creates 3d4 wights which attack immediately; purify water turns it into a gas which reduces the Strength of everyone in it to 3 for one day; and raise dead or resurrection not only destroys all of the blood, it causes a shade to appear on the top step which will bless all party members, healing 10hp each and curing status conditions .

Oh, and any fire at all turns the blood into poison gas which kills you all with no save unless you're in the passageway leading into the foyer, in which case you can save at -4.

Let's assume they make it into Area 30. They won't, but let's assume. This treasure room has a silver ceiling, ivory walls with gold inlay, and two big 9' black iron statues with huge weapons; each has a huge magical aura and radiates evil. Each is also an inert lump that does nothing but troll the players with their existence. The room itself is lead-lined and in a permanent anti-magic bubble of some sort (it just says no spells and no magic items work inside of it except detecting auras). Area A is a bronze urn with gold fill on its stopper, letting out a thin stream of smoke. Prying out the stopper releases an efreet; if the PCs hosed with the urn violently, it's pissed and attacks, otherwise it performs three nebulously defined services and departs.

Area B is a granite sarcophagus with ACERERAK spelled out on it in platinum. There's broken poo poo and a shattered skull in there, nothing else. Area C is two big iron chests. Each is triple-looked with poison needle traps (duh); the eastern one has 10,000 gems of >50gp value each, the western one has 10,000 platinum pieces. Except once you get them 13 miles from the TOMB OF HORRORS you see they're actually 1gp quartz gems and copper pieces, respectively. Wah wah wahhhhh.

Anyways, the statue in area D can be moved by three burly muscular men of STR 16 or higher, revealing a ring pull. Pulling this raises a stone plug and reveals Acererak's secret waterslide! a chute the party can take to Area 32.

The doors marked 31 are actually one way doors that lead back to the corridor outside the grotto. They're phase doors, so they can ONLY be opened from the north; you cannot possible enter from the south, no matter what magic you have, wishes included. Doing so summons a pit trap into the place it appears on the map.

The door marked 32 cannot be discovered by any magic means, but careful inspection reveals a keyhole. Of course the door cannot be penetrated by magic or force. Only the golden key causes it to sink into the ground.

And here we are, at Area 33. This room has an arched ceiling 25' feet high. It's otherwise empty but for a 2" square depression in the floor. Putting the gold key in here causes an explosion that blows you upwards for 5d6 points of damage. The bronze key fits in here but does nothing until you turn in clockwise 3 times. When that happens the room rumbles and the southern end of the floor peaks upwards. DM counts to 5; at the end of that anyone in the bottom 15' of the room (it's 10x20) is "squashed to jelly" against the roof. The southern part of the room is now full of a mithril vault. The door just swings open, no key required. Inside is:
-Everything stolen by teleport traps
-SHITLOADS of gems, including a 50k gp one and a 100k gp one
-12 potions and 6 scrolls (randomly determined)
-1 ring, 1 rod, 1 staff, 3 misc magic items (DM picks)
-a +4 sword of defending
-two cursed swords
-a cursed backbiting speak
-the other half of the amulet of the void
-one (1) Acererak

Because of the metaphysics of Acererak's plan, to be covered in more detail later, this can be his demilich skull and he can be present (the use of the keys magically alerts him, wherever he is, that there's intruders in his base killing his traps). Killing him won't make a difference (but hah, good loving luck!)
All that's left of Acererak is the dust of his corpse and his skull, the eyes and teeth of which are replaced by extraordinarily valuable gems. A minor point: you could update the frankly unfair demilich stats to the ones from the 2nd edition Monster Manual, but that doesn't really make things better; a Demilich is still an absurdly powerful enemy, and you're also giving him all of Acererak's wizard levels (later on it lists which spells he has: it's a FUCKTON, and yes, one of his prepared spells is wish).

So. What happens is this: Nothing. If the treasure is touched, the dust of Acererak's body forms itself into a vaguely humanoid shape and advances threateningly. It can be attacked, and attacks obviously stagger it. If it's ignored, it dissipates in 3 rounds. Attacks, however, grant it "energy levels;" 1 for a physical attack, X for a spell, where X is the spell level. At 50, it forms into a ghost and attacks. Still, not unstoppable.
Touching the skull is bar none the dumbest thing a party can do. If they do, it rises into the air, scans the party, and picks the strongest; magic user -> fighter -> cleric -> thief (yes, I know, but that's Acererak's opinion, not mine). The selected party member simply has their soul sucked out and dies instantly with no save of any kind allowed. Touching it again causes this process to repeat. If the PCs idiots allow this to happen 8 times, it teleports everyone else d6x100 miles randomly and curses them with a horrible curse (such as always being hit by enemies, or never gaining any xp).

The only possible ways to harm it are:
-Forget or Exorcise make it sink down and not steal a soul
-Shatter deals 10hp damage
-Power word: kill if you're astral or ethereal kills it
-To harm it with weapons, you need: a vorpal blade if you're a fighter, a sword of sharpness +5 or vorpal blade if you're a ranger, or those items or a +4 weapon for a paladin
-Dispel evil hits it for 5 hp
-Holy word does 20 hp
-A thief can sling a gem at it, doing 1hp per 10k value of the gem, but the gem is crushed, and even on a miss it must save vs. crushing blow or disintegrate

Skull's AC is -6 and it has 50 hp (!) If it dies, everyone who's trapped in a gem gets to make a saving throw vs. death or disappear entirely forever. Those left alive can be freed into a fresh body by crushing the gem. But guys, just don't touch the goddamn thing. You'll get a shot at it later.

So why are we here again? Joining both halves of the Amulet reveals the rest of its message. It's a simple transformation cipher, with some intentional misspellings. It says, translated: "The face of the fiend does more than devour/with the least of my form, tis the path to power." The secret is some Acererak corpse dust, which can be collected without causing Bad poo poo (as seen above). Having it on your person turns the Great Green Face into a portal (in the mouth, of course) to the City of Moil, where your next step lies. We're out the original TOMB OF HORRORS, but things really do get worse from here. There's nothing quite as "gently caress you" as the original TOMB OF HORRORS, but it's just as deadly coming up.

Next time: Moil!

DAD LOST MY IPOD fucked around with this message at 03:16 on Jul 20, 2013

secretly best girl
Mar 27, 2007

I see you choosing that other route. How dare you.



The Wheel of Time Roleplaying Game

Really nothing more left in the book to work with, consider it killed here.

secretly best girl fucked around with this message at 01:32 on Sep 21, 2013

Bieeanshee
Aug 21, 2000

Not keen on keening.




Grimey Drawer

In honor of Mors Rattus's Xanth thread, I'd like to finally take the opportunity to explore something else from my extended adolescence that was okay at first glance, but is really actually pretty creepy when you get down to it!

In this case we'll be sharing...



What?

Super Babes! The Fem-Force RPG, just like it says on the box. What's Femforce? That's a question that I doubt anyone really wants answered, but gently caress it. I'm going for broke, here.

According to cursory google searches, Femforce is a comic that started in the hoary days of 1985, with a collection of original characters and some from the '40s and '50s that had slipped into the public domain. As the name might suggest, the main team is all women, and the game itself is generally written with the assumption that all of the PCs will be women as well... which, you know, should be fine. Assuming that everyone at the table is a mature adult.

The writing team for the RPG were not mature adults.

To my horrorsurprise, Femforce is still being published... along with creepy live action videos of scantily clad female superheroes fighting, which fortunately isn't germane to the RPG.

Back on topic!

Packaging, because I like to sperg about this kind of thing, is a white cardboard box about 2.5" deep, with graphics pages glued onto the front and back and a weird texture. [Edit: Oh God, I think it's supposed to be imitation alligator skin.] It's about the size and shape of a late TSR boxed set, and could hide safely among them since there's nothing on the side panels. According to the back panel, it was published in 1993 by an outfit name Selex Inc, based out of Eustis, Florida. Google has next to nothing on them, and the whole thing gives me the feeling that it was an amateur sideline by the company's owner or a younger relative... because everything about this screams amateur.

According to the back matter, the box contains one full-colour GM screen, one complete manual, one sheet of full colour cut-out heroines, blank character sheets, and maps of Florida and Orlando. Oh, and a full-colour poster of the Femforce, an issue of the comic, and a special collector's edition mini-comic. Huzzah.

And hey, it's all in there. Good god. But there's already a bit of a disconnect between what's said on the box, and what's in the box...

Super Babes posted:

If you are tired of dark, gritty, reality-based R.P.G.'s and are looking for a superheroic RPG that is fast moving and easy to learn, then this is the game for you. You can play your favorite character from the pages of the Femforce or create your own hero or heroine to battle the forces of evil... With a rule book written in a conversational tone instead of reading like stereo instructions, an easy to use conbat system and a good dose of tongue in cheek humor, this is a game that you will play over and over giving you hours of R.P.G. enjoyment.

The sample comic for this non-dark, non-gritty superheroes RPG shows what appears to be two supervillainesses fighting over the opportunity to torture an unconscious heroine who has been hung upside-down from some kind of nineties cyber-manacles. Nothing dark or gritty about that, no sir.

The conversational tone, 'tongue in cheek humor' and 'easy to learn' rules don't work terribly well either, unless maybe you're at the low end of their recommended 13 and up, in an alternate 1993 where alternatives like GURPS Supers and typically-played Vampire: the Masquerade aren't available. We'll get to those bits soon enough. God help me.

Bieeanshee fucked around with this message at 07:46 on Jul 20, 2013

Asimo
Sep 23, 2007




Whoo, this thread needs more classic RPG reviews. Even if they're horrible games.

Adbot
ADBOT LOVES YOU

Glazius
Jul 22, 2007

Hail all those who are able,
any mouse can,
any mouse will,
but the Guard prevail.



Clapping Larry

DAD LOST MY IPOD posted:

So why are we here again? Joining both halves of the Amulet reveals the rest of its message. It's a simple transformation cipher, with some intentional misspellings. It says, translated: "The face of the fiend does more than devour/with the least of my form, tis the path to power." The secret is some Acererak corpse dust, which can be collected without causing Bad poo poo (as seen above). Having it on your person turns the Great Green Face into a portal (in the mouth, of course) to the City of Moil, where your next step lies. We're out the original TOMB OF HORRORS, but things really do get worse from here. There's nothing quite as "gently caress you" as the original TOMB OF HORRORS, but it's just as deadly coming up.

Next time: Moil!

Does the broken amulet count as a treasure that will cause the skull to animate?

I guess if you just put your piece up to it that doesn't really count as touching it.

Anyhow.

What crazy plan is this guy up to that it needs people who went through the first Tomb of Horrors as fodder?

  • Locked thread