Iâ€™m running Tomb of Horrors for this leg of the Storm Point campaign. You may not want to read on if youâ€™re playing the game yourself.
The last session of my Storm Point campaign was the first session with our new quorum rules – only three players need to be there for me to run the game. Previously, it was four, but with a total of five players, that was resulting in a lot of canceled games. We only had three players show for this game, but we ran with it.
I had spent some time between sessions looking at the current stage of the adventure ((The abandoned Fortress of Conclusion, in the second installment of the campaign.)) paring things down so that there would be a reasonable chance of getting through the adventure in two or three sessions. This phase of the adventure is a dungeon crawl, with some interesting battles, some nasty traps, and some really tricky puzzles. I wanted to give the characters the full-on Tomb of Horrors experience, so I kept a few of the traps/puzzles and a couple of the combats, and discarded the rest. The mix I have left will give them ((I think.)) enough variety to keep them interested and the game moving along, as well as giving them enough danger to let them know that they’ve accomplished something when they get to the end.
So, we started out with the characters dropping through the portal from those annoying archways ((See last session.)) and finding themselves in a room filled with piles of skulls. A search discovered no traps, only a bit of treasure. From there, they went on to a cavern that dropped away in a cascade of necrotic rain, with a stone platform floating at the bottom, decorated with four of the ubiquitous demon faces. This room was an elaborate and vicious trap that took up a lot of the session. The heavy misdirection kept the group fixated on the wrong things for some time, damaging them repeatedly as they tried different things. Eventually ((After a fair bit of whining: “Well, fine, then. We’ll just sit down here and die.”)), they found the way onward.
Next up was a corridor that screamed “Trap!” It had one of the big demon faces at the far end, and the entire floor was covered with tiles marked with magical glyphs, saying things like fire, ice, gender swap, lightning, teleport, and other threatening things. Our heroes displayed some admirable caution in advancing into this corridor, but in the end, discovered that the magic that had powered the various traps was gone, and they could cross the room with impunity ((Like the original Tomb of Horrors, the modern adventure relies on a lot of misdirection to basically say, “Screw you, adventurer!” You can’t trust things that look safe to be safe, and you can’t trust things that look dangerous to be dangerous. So, the adventurers have to treat everything like a serious threat, and feel like idiots when there’s no actual danger. Like I say, “Screw you, adventurer!”)).
After this room, they found the site where they’re missing magic item ((A box of eternal provisions.)) had been teleported when Milo went through one of the arches and were able to recover it, along with a number of other pretty nice magic items. Then they reached a bridge of bones over an ossuary pit, guarded by the spirits of dead warriors. This encounter had a method for talking your way past these dead-but-once-noble defenders, but our boys didn’t care much about that, and proceeded to destroy them with great effectiveness ((A combination of some good initiative rolls, lacks of other combats this evening, and a cleric tooled up for healing and radiant damage made this a really short fight.)). That was where we stopped things for the evening.
I was surprised how much we got through, and I think that’s largely an effect of only a single combat right at the end of the evening. I think that next session should see this section of the adventure – and this adventure in the larger Tomb of Horrors collection of adventures – wrapped up. Then, everyone levels up a couple levels, and we start the third ((And second-last.)) adventure.
Should be fun.