View Full Version : Tomb of Horrors [3.5]

2010-01-07, 12:07 AM
I'm running it with my group and I've read over the manual for it a few times, I'm fairly comfortable with all of the material and I have my hopes up for a very fun night of adventure with my friends. I thought I'd check with the playground and see if anybody could share any tips to help add to some of the fun.

Are there any times that you've run through the Tomb of Horrors where the DM did something in particular that you liked? That you didn't?

Any tips to make it more exciting?

Also does anybody know of any online expansions for it? I know about Return to Horrors but I mean where theres added rooms or puzzles and stuff to the Tomb rather than a continuation of the adventure.

Any help is greatly appreciated and thank you before hand :-)

Gan The Grey
2010-01-07, 12:18 AM
2 things.

1. If you want the dungeon to be challenging, something your players OVERCOME, then start it at 8 or 9 level, and encourage them NOT to heavily optimize. If you want the dungeon to be a fun joke, have them OVER optimize.

2. Treat the dungeon more as a roleplaying experience than a roll-playing experience. All the search for traps rolls can quickly bog down an otherwise frightening and interesting experience. Instead, have your characters search for traps like they would really do so in real life. Poke at the floor for pit traps and such, no search for traps rolls required. This won't work for everything, but it will make the dungeon more alive for your players.

My 2 cents.

2010-01-07, 12:23 AM
Word to the wise: if the characters have access to flying items--heck, even Slippers of Spider Climbing--many of the traps become immediately less lethal/easier to avoid.

2010-01-07, 01:09 AM
how would you suggest keeping them from just flying around and avoiding all of the pits and stuff?

I already know that its something to focus on the mental rather than on the dice rolling and stuff.

As for optimizing, my group was never really good at it. They used to think that melee was better than casters until I played a druid and then a wizard.

2010-01-07, 02:07 AM
When I played, my DM pre-generated 26 characters, but let us pick our own gear. Even with all the flying stuff, and the Warlock's at-will Spider Climb, we needed 10 of those sheets. I reccomend you do the same, but make sure to pre-equip them, too. It's won't break the flow, and prevents them from having access to too many instant-bypasses.

2010-01-18, 04:33 PM
Recently my players accused me of being... too merciful (I am LE DM, not CE and I am ready to admit being outsmarted by players). So I decided that after our exams, in February, I will save them Tomb of Horrors. Hear, in Poland it was never published and is not really (in)famous, so I briefed them to expect challenging dungecrawal instead our usual intrigue (we play mostly 7th sea and CoC). They took it very enthusiastic, but knowing that most of my players are pretty smart and they know D&D well enough Im considered with few possible exploits. They are not munchikins but they two of them are fully capable of being one and I would not really blame them for being in this module. So I decided to share with you some of my concerns (If any of YOU are reading this stop now I will know if you wont).
They can make as many characters as they wish. I came up with the story big camp o adventures and soldiers waiting in the desert for order of the king to use nearby secret portal to invade another country. But invasion havent started yet and after a few weeks of waiting most adventures will gladly accept the call of the good cleric to destroy evil plotting unread wizard. Tomb will be located about 3 days of walk through the desert. When any character will die they can always return to camp to hire additional member and resupply (of course random encounters on the way will be norm). The cleric will also give rod with 4 resurrections (there will be 5 players). Im using 3.5 versions.
Possible problems include:
1. Im not sure whether 9th level is not to high I now some monsters are nasty but some 5th level spells can be too powerful for that dungeon
2. Spider Climb, Gaseous Form, Fly, Overland Flight, Air Walk will make most of traps useless (and there is no problem with casting them on the whole team). Especially the second one is dangerous they can scout, pass doors and traps and are immune to poison.
3. Using summoned creatures to check for traps (not as troublesome but still)
4. Resting every time possible.
5. Passwall will let them tunnel through the dungeon
6. Telekinesis or even Mage Hand will let them open all chests, doors etc form the safe distance
7. Arcane Eye for scouting

It seems that most of traps are very easy too pass mostly because of great range of spells. We must also remember that at this point they will have a lot of magic items so hoping to wait for them running out of the spells is pointless

I propose some solutions

1. Start at level 7th and make some monsters weaker
2. Make magical wind through tomb to prevent effective use of gaseous form and made more traps with triggers suited to flying characters
3. Make summoning defective in tomb 30% chances that creature will not obey and 30% that it will be hostile
4. Make some wandering demons or even better give time limit in form of orders from king to use a portal
5. Prevent players from having it with any possible way
6. No idea
7. Not really big problem, but still...
I will be glad if you can tell me what do you think o this ideas and maybe provide better solutions o pointing out other problems that I overlooked. Ive read most of the boards but that was not enough. You may think that Im thinking too much but I know my players and I want to be ready for their actions as much as possible. A also apologize for any mistakes I made (English is not my first language) and for length of this post (this is my villainous monologue class trait)

Yours faithfully