“Plenty of room for those who wish to leap in and be completely and forever destroyed”
I was expecting to make this post some time late in August. Between now and then giving a few vague details about my plans and the speculation I had managed to glean from various sites, forums and blogs. Never did I dream that on Thursday afternoon, the day before I was to leave for Sydney, the Tomb of Horrors arrived in my mailbox.
I had a fun weekend, picking up another ruleset that I will devote another blog post to (Wondering what it is? I am afraid that information is not available at your security level, citizen) but managed to give it a very good read as well as drop hints for my players on the forum without giving too much away.
Which is what I am going to do now. But first, let’s take a little trip back in time. Back to 1978 when D&D was a little younger and maybe a bit more innocent…
‘THIS IS A THINKING PERSON’S MODULE”
For a DM, Gygax’s original adventure is a delight to read. All those big beautiful traps designed to test the most curious of adventurers and send them to a untimely and amusing end. And this is why I want to run it.
Aside from the Face of the Great Green Devil, my favourite part would have to be Room 18, the False Crypt. I swear, I will find someway to re-create that room when I run the new version.
But the reason I like it is not for the traps. Well, not just for the traps, but the commentary most of the way through. I had the feeling that Gary enjoyed writing this, not that he wouldn’t, but you had the impression that he has a smug look on his face while writing or running it. What I also like is the impression that I get that Gary is right behind you and helping you run the dungeon. Not just with the regular stuff, but little hints to keep players on their toes and give them the wrong impression of what’s going on.
If you’re not sure what I am talking about and can read the module, go back to Room 18.
Sadly, this sort of thing is missing in the new version which is why I am going to have such a time putting what I want in there.
Bigger than ever before
So, now that I have the new version in my hands, what can I reveal about it without revealing too much? It’s not just my players but other players who are going to be…playing it. It’s not nice to spoil…most of the time.
Well, for a start it’s a lot bigger than I anticipated. They don’t call it a super-adventure for nothing. If you wanted to, you could spend months on this and not get bored. Gary’s original module was a stand-alone dungeon, and unless I am wrong this is how Tomb of Horrors existed under that name until now. This expands it, includes a whole lot of the pre-established mythology from various sources as well as being a sort of continuation. The story is compelling, the encounters and puzzles epic in a way I never expected but somehow wanted it.
A lot of it depends on the DM reveal information about the story at certain times. My players will be very much in the dark of the story that is surrounding this until I have them sitting down on the very first night.
It’s so good, I wish I could play it!
Why am I so crazy?
As a DM, I see running this as a self-imposed challenge. I have never run a module, all my big campaigns (the Star Wars ones) have been planned originals and my DMing has been pretty much larks in the dark. By the end of this, or even halfway through, I reckon I’ll be much better at this hobby.
And even the players are learning, as now I have managed to give them a few details, they have thought seriously about party composition. All I have told them they will need a varies, diverse party to survive this with quite a number of rituals.
Truth be told, none of us know what we’re in for until the dice start rolling.