March 29, 2008 at 9:01 pm #595535
Tomb of Horrors is a terrible module with no redeeming qualities. There is no reason for any party interactivity, just trap after trap after trap. Too many times the module just says ‘die no save’, despite repeated admonitions from the DMG regarding that same statement. It’s just a meat grinder for DMs who don’t like their parties. The treasure is minimal, the XP is pathetic, and the risk is far too great for a module that lethal. This thing chews up epic parties but it says it’s designed for level 9. For what, a +3 Sword and less than 20k in gold. Oh, and some potions.
You can take the module with a cleric and a thief. Two guys. In the quick run there’s what, three monsters that aren’t the lich? And all of them are pretty much aced instantly by the party. The Demilich is immune to nearly every spell a 9th level wizard or cleric could possibly have. It can’t be backstabbed, it’s got DR20 for the fighters, and it can’t be turned. It negates every possibly angle of attack the party might have, unless you can manage to have the 9th level wizard cast power word kill FIVE FRELLING TIMES on the lich before his soul is sucked, which is the first thing that happens.
This module is broken beyond compare, it’s not fun for the party when they walk in, have everything they could possibly do it nerfed, and get to sit and watch for several rounds as they inevitably get munchkined to death by one of the worst ideas in D&D since a guy put a bunny on a man eating tree stump. There are dozens of 9th level modules that are actually fun to play with your party.
White Plume Mountain, Against the Giants, Slave Lord series, Desert of Desolation series, Temple of Elemental Evil, and the Avatar Trilogy are all great modules that didn’t suck.March 29, 2008 at 10:25 pm #595536Bazorkin
- Posts : 373
Well, maybe it largely is nostalgia that makes me have such fond recollections of this particular dungeon crawl.
You should understand, I was twelve when this came out. the illustrations, the fiendish traps, the idea that you couldn’t get back out whenever you wanted to to heal up, all these things made it really bleak and cool.
Maybe its different when played under 3e but under AD&D it was absolutely no cakewalk. With no ‘take 20’ or skills and no optional spells or rules it was very very hard.
Granted, I liked Great Barrier Peaks and White Plume Mountain more.
My favorite module from this series was The Lost Caverns of Tsojcanth. It came with its own monster book, for cryin’ out loud.
To say Tomb of Horrors is broken beyond compare and no fun, I have to wonder if you’ve ever actually played through it?
I had a very good time with it, granted, I was twelve and it may not hold up well in the light of modern gaming but back then, when it all was new, this was a fun and awesome module.
Well, mileage may vary but it is a classic.March 29, 2008 at 10:59 pm #595537
I’ve played through several times, usually as a thief because that was my class de joir back in 1st edition. I later finished it as a paladin, fighter and bard. I’ve never liked the module, TPK dungeon crawls don’t entertain me. Mainly because it was boring to a lot of the party, then grossly unfair to them at the end. Nothing screams bad module like a boss monster that invalidates half of the party, sometimes more.
The module was a tourney module, and it reflects that. You go through the dungeon blindly exploring hitting numerous traps. Except for the fact you have to immobilize the creature with a spell at the end, thieves could take this module blindfolded. There’s few monsters for the fighters to fighter, the wizard doesn’t have much to do, and the cleric isn’t needed until the very end. And when you get to the end the only person that you need to do anything is the cleric for that command spell. For the most part, the party can’t hurt the damned thing because he’s immune to everything except a few spells you don’t have.
Yes I can show off how awesome my character (a thief/acrobat first time around) by jumping that 30′ spiked trap with little effort, but he can do that any time he wants to in any module. The module almost always breaks down into ‘we walk 10ft, we search for traps & secret doors’, wash, rinse repeat. Gratuitious death traps does not a great module make.
White Plume Mountain was a great dungeon crawl with challenging traps (I still hate those discs on chains), decent treasure (not overwhelming, but at least enough to make the adventure worth it), and one very out of place funpark revolving door. I loved WPM, I’d still play it. Beyond the Barrier Peaks was a fun one, but usually you had to one shot because of all the crap you found that could unbalance the game. And a druid makes the module a walkthrough because of all the damned veggie pygmies. I’ve had loads more fun playing B10: Dark Night’s Terror than I’ve had trying to find the right secret door in ToH.March 29, 2008 at 11:30 pm #595538Bazorkin
- Posts : 373
Out of curiousity, what did you think of Return to the Tomb of Horrors?
I thought it was a very well-produced and beautifully illustrated boxed set. I’ve used it a few times in superhero games that I run.
I’ll fully admit that I do love White Plume Mountain more. It would make a pretty damned good movie when its all said and done with some awesome visual moments like the inverted pyramid, the lava tube, and the spinning fire hallway.March 30, 2008 at 1:09 am #595539
Too honest, TPK munchkin fest. It does add a lot more monsters than the first one, but it’s still mile after mile of deathtrap. Too many traps had ‘can’t be brought back except with wish’. Managed to win Return TOH in some raffle, it really didn’t impress me. Epic style modules tend to boil down to horrific amounts of high powered baddies in one area, which tends to stretch credibility for me.
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