Mike’s Tavern- Tomb of Horrors Podcast run

Mike’s Tavern- Tomb of Horrors Podcast run

Mike’s Tavern- Tomb of Horrors Podcast run

0 comments 📅17 June 2017, 00:48

Well that was quite the hiatus now wasn’t it?
Welcome to my Tavern.
Per the request of Uncanny Ryab, I’m going to be reviewing how the podcast group is fairing in one of the most notorious dungeons of all time. This is a (kinda) spoiler free article, so if you are planning to eventually play the Tomb feel free to read on ahead. Let me get right into it.
So far, our group has activated roughly 80% of the encountered traps. They have avoided some with successful saving throws (which undoubtedly would have caused certain death for some). The few creature encounters were dispatched with ease except that one time when Uncanny Ryab had his chest blown open by a demon. Luckily one of the clerics had just the right spell to bring him back to life. Despite all of these incidents, some of the characters (not the players themselves, but their characters) can’t seem to get it into their heads that this dungeon is DANGEROUS.

Does this mean that they suck?

Gary Gygax had one goal when he created the tomb: kill players. Mainly he wanted to humiliate the god-killing player characters that were complaining that his previous campaigns were too easy. So Gygax designed Acererak’s tomb to be riddled with traps instead of monster encounters. Apparently this was beyond the imagination of the players if a game all about imagination.

I wish I was there at the Origins 1 convention of 1975 when this module debued. Think about it, players of the first iteration of D&D, who have optimized their characters and know the weaknesses of every monster in the Monsters Manual, boldly walk into this special tournament only to have their spirits crushed because they got trapped by a sliding wall of a false entrance, or fell into a pit of spikes covered by poison. I bet that slice of humble pie tasted real good right then.

Here is the thing: Acererak is a dick. He leaves a poem at the beginning of his tomb that mocks you  in crappy iambic pentameter. In a sense it does, however it’s written by the realm’s biggest asshole and it reeks of it. The chances of misinterpreting the verses is high and will lead to a potential lost limb if you are not careful. The only reason why your characters would progress forward at this point is because of the promise of treasure. Think about this for a second. Acererak purposely gathered treasure for his tomb in order to lure you in. And once you are inside his tomb, you can get stuck in a trap… and they all suck.

To illustrate that last point [minor spoiler] there is a room that traps you into a cube with only three levers and no clue what to do. If you move all the levers up, a secret door opens for an escape. But if you move all the levers down, a trap door opens beneath the player to a 100 foot drop. If you get out of that cube and follow the passage way out, it leads you right to one of the beginning hallways… in front of a another trap door that drops you into a pit of spikes covered in poison.

What an asshole.

As you progress further in the dungeon, the tricks and traps get even worse. They are deadlier, with less opportunities to perform a saving throw. Once you pass the halfway mark, Acererak becomes an even bigger asshole. He sets a trap that warps you to the front door of the dungeon naked. Where did your stuff go? Oh, it was transported to the room of the final boss… Good luck with that!

I haven’t really dove into what makes Acererak such an asshole because the group is still running the adventure. Once they complete it, I’ll post a full spoiler review of the adventure, why it sucks, and with the death count of the party, so stay tuned.

So how well has the Nerddome group performed thus far? Not bad, considering they are only at the halfway point

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Mike Sanora
Mike Sanora

Mike Sanora is just a nerd from Los Angeles CA who grew up on video games, Dungeons and Dragons, books, movies, music, and anime. Once he even wrote a comic book script based on his travels around South America, but he couldn't draw so that ended pretty quick. He is currently wrapping up a pretty big D&D campaign and will soon be moving on to something else. Oh, and he's into nerd fitness so that he can make an awesome cosplay in the future.

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