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.
Last session of the Storm Point campaign, we wrapped up the second installment of the Tomb of Horrors adventures, called The Tomb of Shadows. We had almost a full house – missing just one player – and the group decided that one of the other players would play his character, just to make sure that Thrun the Anvil, defender supreme, would be there helping them out against what they assumed would be their toughest fight yet.
We picked up right after the fight that ended the last session, and they immediately took an extended rest. As mentioned in previous posts, resting in Moil ((Well, the way I do it, anyway.)) is not as effective, thanks to the numbing necromantic cold. Characters do not regain all their healing surges – one less for each extended rest they’ve taken here, plus they get to make an Endurance check against a rising DC or lose another surge.
So, the gang had had about enough of that sort of thing ((Also, they’d had about enough of the “Screw you, adventurers!” nature of the Shadow Tomb. They accept it, now that they’ve realized that it’s the nature of the adventure, and no longer blame it on me. So, win.)), and wanted to wrap things up and get out while they could. They continued into a maze of rough passages, many dead-ending in little alcoves filled with sarcophagi. A little investigation revealed that the alcoves were all trapped, and fiddling with the sarcophagi would drop the whole mess down into a pit.
Eventually, they found a place where the trap had been tripped, and saw a passage off the bottom of the pit. They climbed down and found a chamber where a squad of shadar-kai had triggered some sort of necromantic trap and been slain. They were suspicious of this, having not had the best of experiences with the shadar-kai in the past, but Milo was able to identify these ones as faithful servants of the Raven Queen ((Unlike the rebel shadar-kai they had previously dealt with, who had sworn allegiance to Vecna.)), and they figured out that these must have been sent to figure out who was screwing around with the flow of death energies that should be flowing to the Raven Queen.
Of course they looted the bodies. What did you expect from adventurers? But the cleric also said some blessings over the bodies.
The next challenge was finding the way out of the maze of trapped passages. They finally found it by tripping a trap and dropping down one of the pits, then noticing the trap door in the ceiling above when Soren climbed back up.Â This led them to another “Screw you, adventurer!” room, with four of the demon faces that had done them so much damage the previous session. These ones were not trapped, and had real trap doors in the mouths, so once the gang got over their ((Very well-earned.)) paranoia, they dropped down into the passage that led to the final encounter.
This last room contained the mystical engine that was channeling the death energy for Acererak. They started trying to dismantle it ((A skill challenge – and not an easy one.)), but failed on the first roll, which triggered the defenses. Said defenses being the summoning of a skull with jewels for eyes and teeth that tried to eat their souls ((Actually, it wasn’t a demi-lich, but instead a construct that did almost the same things, just not as well. But it scared the crap out of the players.)). Our heroes immediately stopped trying to dismantle the engine ((Dunno if that was the best course of action, as dismantling the engine would have seriously weakened the construct. But their motto is “Get ’em!” so I can’t say I’m really surprised.)) and turned their attention to smashing the skull.
It was a tough fight. The thing managed to steal Soren’s soul early on ((Good thing his player had Thrun’s character sheet to run, otherwise he would have had very little to do all encounter.)), and got to heal himself twice – once by consuming a previously stolen soul, and then by consuming Soren’s soul, killing him dead. It almost managed to get Milo and Faran the same way, but they were luckier with their saving throws.
In the end, they managed to take the construct down, and destroyed the arcane machine. Then they used the teleport circle to head back to Belys to get Soren raised from the dead.
We’re half-way through the Tomb of Horrors, now, and I’m letting the characters advance to level 18 before we jump into the next adventure. I just need to decide how to handle getting them appropriate magic items for their level without giving away the store or being too stingy. I think I’ve got a plan, but I need to run the numbers.
Anyway, next game won’t be for a few weeks, due to other demands on my time. We’ll be ready by then.