I’m running Tomb of Horrors for this leg of the Storm Point campaign – indeed, for the rest of the campaign. You may not want to read on if you’re playing the game yourself.
We finished off the1 last session of the Abandoned Tomb section of Tomb of Horrors last time we got together. I had decided to cut out all the hunts for keys, and let them find the way into the Tomb of Betrayal and face Moghadam right after the fight with the callers in darkness, so I decided whichever way they left the chapel, they would find their way down to his lair2.
I kept one simple, but evocative and atmospheric3 trap from the Tomb of Betrayal section, and it worked wonderfully. Our heroes found a large room with a raised dais in the centre, topped by a skull with gems in the eyesockets and teeth. They crept in very cautiously, spotted the seam on the floor around the edge of the room, and figured that the floor was going to drop out and the skull was going to animate.
To try and prevent the skull from animating, the cleric lobbed a vial of holy water at it. It hit the skull dead on, shattered, and sent the skull rolling. Of course, the trigger for the trap was anyone messing with the skull or dais. The floor dropped down 90 feet, shattering into jagged, sharp fragments. The couple of characters near the entry tried to leap back to the hallway, but failed, so everyone got nicely battered.
The initial reaction at the bottom was to heal up as they could. I kept them in combat rounds, which caused the following exchange4:
Player 1: Uh-oh. Something else is going to happen.
Player 2: I bet the floor falls away, again.
DM: Nope. I promise I wouldn’t do that to you.
Player 1: The ceiling, then. The ceiling’s going to come down.
Players look expectantly at the DM, who grins.
Players: Fucking Tomb of Horrors.
So, yeah. The ceiling fell on them a few seconds later. Again, those near the entry had a chance to jump free; again, none of them made it. Cue more healing.
On they went, and found Moghadam and his Ruinblade. The first round of the fight, with Moghadam having the initiative, made it look as if things were going to go badly for our heroes5, and I was starting to worry about a TPK. But, once they got a turn to act, the Storm Point boys completely schooled the archwraith6. They kept stunning and dazing the thing, denying it an opportunity to act, while they took it apart.
Once it was destroyed, the swordmage claimed the Ruinblade, and pledged to use it to destroy Acererak, causing the artifact to bond with him and preventing Moghadam from reforming. They smashed the bricked-up archways open and found the library and treasure, and that’s where we called a halt.
I’ve pared down the final adventure to 2-3 sessions, depending on how things go, and then that will put a wrap on the Storm Point campaign. I’ve got a couple of special things planned for the final session, so we’ll see how that goes.
And after that, it looks like the gang wants to start a Star Wars: Edge of the Empire campaign7. I’m good with that.
- Truncated and slightly retooled, in order to push on through the module quickly. [↩]
- Yes, this robs them a little of character agency. But it also pushed the game toward the parts of play that the characters enjoy. As Ken Hite has said, players don’t mind riding the plot railroad too much as long as they get to toot the whistle. [↩]
- Specific atmosphere being, “You’re in the Tomb of Horrors! Screw you, adventurers! [↩]
- Paraphrased. [↩]
- Brought the ranger down to 9 hp, in fact. [↩]
- This despite the fact that I had misremembered how some stuff worked, and gave the archwraith an immunity to physically forced movement. Ooops. [↩]
- Specifically, they want to start a campaign where they play the members of a cantina band. My plan was to run the Beyond the Rim adventure, but we’ll see if we can blend the two ideas. Because playing a cantina band traveling around and getting into trouble has some real appeal. [↩]