Friday, April 8, 2011

Tombs of a Certain Type

So, I read about this thing called Fourthcore, seemed like a pretty cool way to play 4th Edition. Very interesting and challenging. I got to talking with Fred about it as well, and he thought it was interesting, but thought perhaps we could try it via Pathfinder, as that is the system we all know fairly well. Recently, for reasons I'll not discuss, I have been perusing some older modules from 1st Edition AD&D and I took this whole ultra challenging DnD thing a step further.

The Tomb of Horrors.

The module has a fine pedigree, penned by E. Gary Gygax after some inspirational advice from an individual I can't recall the name of at the moment. The Tomb is well known for its lethality. It is not a hack and slay adventure, there are only a few select monsters to be found within the original version of it, less than five I think. A lot more heavy on the tricks and traps and vigilance. 

The Tomb has been present in one form or another for a while now. It was first created in 1st Edition AD&D, it was not updated to 2nd Edition AD&D, there was a boxed set called Return to the Tomb of Horrors though. It was kind of a cross between a super adventure and a campaign setting. I own it, but have not perused it too much, at least not much further beyond, "Hey, cool undead shit!" The basic premise is that a city gets built on top of the Tomb and reveres Acererak and evil shenanigans ensue and must therefore be thwarted. 

In 3.5, the Tomb was updated by Bruce Cordell (I think), a guy whose work I tend to like. The general consensus seems to be that it is far less lethal than the original, mainly because it allows saving throws for things and the poison mechanics in the game have changed since 1st Edition AD&D. In the original, if you walk into the Sphere of Annihilation, it annihilates you. In the 3.5 update, you get a saving throw to avoid walking into it like you intended to. 

In 4th Edition, the Tomb has been made into some sort of three part mega adventure with portions for each tier, which is kind of neat. I'm glad it is still around. Lance actually brought it to PAX when we went, I didn't peruse it too closely though, so I'm not sure if it keeps the old school death incarnate flavor. I also recently found out that certain DM members of the DDI thing got a bonus 4th Edition update of the original Tomb, which is pretty cool.

Anyway, I decided to take this Fourthcore idea to the next level and asked the guys if they wanted to run through the Tomb of Horrors. Oddly enough, they were all happy and interested in the idea, despite the warnings. I still haven't figured out all the details, but I think it will be a fun diversion to give me time to build up a buffer of Hekinoe scenarios.

Also, I will take great joy in killing those dumb shits. Heh.

My one concern is that if I run the guys through the 3.5 version of the Tomb, and by the combination of sheer luck and lowered lethality, they survive, then the mythology of the Tomb is lost forever and I can never run them through it again. Ah well, we'll see I guess. If the 3.5 Edition of the Tomb doesn't hold up to the deadliness of the original, I'll just covert the original myself. Heh.

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