Our new Indie Games subforum is now open for business in G&T. Go and check it out, you might land a code for a free game. If you're developing an indie game and want to post about it, follow these directions. If you don't, he'll break your legs! Hahaha! Seriously though.
Our rules have been updated and given their own forum. Go and look at them! They are nice, and there may be new ones that you didn't know about! Hooray for rules! Hooray for The System! Hooray for Conforming!

Tomb of Horrors IC (Inevitable Corpses)

Jam WarriorJam Warrior Registered User regular
edited July 2011 in Critical Failures
Your thoughts go back to that crowded tavern meeting. The vast array of odd characters filling every corner of the crowded back room, some chatting nervously, some loudly boisterous, other silently watching. As wide and odd a collection of adventurers you'd be hard pressed to find but they had all been gathered by the same summons and rumours. Someone had figured out a way to beat 'The Tomb' and he needed able bodied adventurers to carry out his plan. Whether through any genuine belief that he had something or merely a morbid curiosity, you had come to hear the plan and you were far from alone.

'The problem' explained the unassuming looking wizard as he stood before the crowd, 'is that Acerak's legacy was built to last. Many a man has attempted to keep his treasures safe beyond the grave by putting it behind trap after trap. But like bees to honey the pillagers will always come and put those traps into action. And when triggered, traps fail. Mechanisms break. Beasts die. The lucky adventurer finally overcomes all possible defences by climbing over the corpses of those that have gone before. The pit trap fills with the dead, the mess on the wall gives away the location of the hidden blade, the dread guardian chokes to death on one two many armoured bodies.'

He paced back and forth, enjoying the rapt attention of the crowd, 'Acerak built his tomb differently. He has traps, oh so many traps, but soul after soul has met its end in his halls and the vile art of his creations operate as slickly as ever. Reports from rare escapees have told of a continual magical renewal, sometimes taking days at a time, but inexorably undoing all progress any have made into making the place safe.'

'How does one beat such a system? Volume! The old ways are still applicable. The persistence of many will overcome the traps as always but the flow of bodies must be consistent and constant. Beat the machines before they can reset! And learn from the fallen before you. The problem with such a strategy before has always been the wards that guard the gates to the tomb. Acerak knew the limitations of his traps and as such has created a barrier that only allows five souls within his tomb at a time. No magical message may pass in or out, and the sixth soul that attempts to enter?' He holds up a blackened skull, 'Acerak's magic is potent still. In this way he ensures that none dare enter until the machinery of death within has had time to reset and await its next set of victims.'

'And thus ladies and gentleman, I present to you, the artifact that will beat Acerak finally. The tool that with your aid will undo his final challenge once and for all.'

'The Orb of HSURGREZ!'

'Keyed to the life force of the brave tomb explorers, should a nasty accident happen, the orb will fly back through the tomb to the entrance, carrying with it a record of the exploits of those within and an instant message to the next awaiting adventurer that the wards are safe to cross and continue the push. Thus armed with the knowledge of those that went before, eventual victory is almost certain!'

After that your memories become blurred as the drinks began to flow and everyone had an opinion to share on the wild scheme. But here you are, small marble like orb nestled in your clothing, standing at the bottom of a long set of stairs deep into the hillside and with the gate to the infamous tomb before you.

Of course you had nothing to gain from the wizard's schemes. None had gone before you carrying the orbs. But you were off to conquer The Tomb anyway and the wizard had payed a significant up front fee to you and your companions to kick off his relay of the doomed. No doubt he hoped that upon your passing he could then charge the next adventurer an even greater fee to join his elaborate plan.

Seeing the smug look melt from his face when you return laden with treasure to show him for the fool he is will only make your victory over The Tomb all the sweeter.
Spoiler:

Jam Warrior on
TingleSigBar.gif
WiiU: JamWarrior
«13456714

Posts

  • FaranguFarangu I am a beardy man With a beardy planRegistered User regular
    edited August 2010
    Terios snorts, and shakes his head. He always did have a death wish. Best to get this over with now.

    !Ready

    farangu.png

    Come join my Let's Play of Total War: Rome II! Boss around some Gauls!
  • KamikazeCommunistKamikazeCommunist Registered User regular
    edited August 2010
    Frederick approaches and begins to stretch, well...stretch as much as his full plate and round figure can allow. "Can't vait to see vat tis inside ja?"

    !Ready

  • FaranguFarangu I am a beardy man With a beardy planRegistered User regular
    edited August 2010
    Terios began to respond, then suddenly tilted his head. "What the hell is wrong with your voice?"

    farangu.png

    Come join my Let's Play of Total War: Rome II! Boss around some Gauls!
  • streeverstreever Registered User regular
    edited August 2010
    Idly picking his teeth with one of his daggers, Mike continued to draw elaborate--crude--images into the bar table as the wizard talked. The others drank and boasted--he sat and got drunk.

    And that's it. He slept the sleep of the dead, and now, he is standing with four strangers and a bit of a hangover.

    "Look, let's get something straight from the start," he says, gesturing with his daggers. "I'm a two-bit thief, a small times con. My life is over anyway--the only reason I wasn't executed was I volunteered for this suicide mission. Way I see it, my odds of dying are still pretty close to 100%, but let's say we make it, yea? Let's say we get the stuff and we get out!" His eyes blaze, and his companions see the charisma that let him swindle and cheat his way into the King's dungeons. "Then we ain't gotta worry again. And 'sides, that wizard swore he'd compensate my kid with my share if I didn't make it, so what do I got to lose?"

    As he continues talking with his daggers, one comes alarmingly close to the strangely accented speaker. He steps aside, frowning.

    "Name is Mike Moustaches," he says, swiftly replacing one dagger as he smoothes his glorious and full moustaches. "Named for these." he says, almost apologetically. "Pleased to meet you gentlemen and all that shit. Let's get a move on."

    !ready

  • Fondor_YardsFondor_Yards Elite Four Member: Hydra Registered User regular
    edited August 2010
    Wearing a big grin, Ferdinand nodded. "I can't wait, can we leave now, let's go now. This will be fun, lots of fun."

    !Ready

    Secrets, lies, and tragedy. The trifecta.
    3DS Code: 5043-2172-1361
    Xbone Tag: Salal al Din
  • SteelhawkSteelhawk Registered User regular
    edited August 2010
    Derek Deepdelver grinned at the others. "Indeed this well be great fun! I live for challenges like this! We all met last night, but again, I am Derek Deepdelver. Dungeon splunker extraoridinaire! I have delved and survived many places both deep and dark. This Tomb shall be my ticket to everlasting glory. And riches."

    Derek winks at you with his last statement. he is a handsome example of a human being. Tall, dark hair and flawless goatee. Dressed in expensive clothing mainly in blue and grand cloak. A magnificent amulet is around his neck, and fine gloves on his hands.

    "After you."

    !Ready

    Games & Characters:
  • streeverstreever Registered User regular
    edited August 2010
    Mike Moustaches peers closely at Derek. His clothes are finer, certainly. His amulet, more resplendent. But the thin, weasel-like man snorts his large nostrils when he realizes where he is superior to him. "Your goatee is half as magnificent as my moustaches," he says, nodding, rather humbly.

  • SteelhawkSteelhawk Registered User regular
    edited August 2010
    "My dear Mike...you've only half the work to do! Of course your moustaches are twice as fine as my beard. The mathematics proves it!"

    Games & Characters:
  • streeverstreever Registered User regular
    edited August 2010
    Snorting, Mike puts his daggers away with a surprising adroitness. "Alright, let's get a move on."

  • Jam WarriorJam Warrior Registered User regular
    edited August 2010
    As you banter, the mist covering the doorway to the tomb clears. You all turn silently and look at the passage that has been revealed.

    Map01.jpg CorridorOne.jpg

    You all stand just off the north edge of the map. It's not at all that I haven't got around to doing tokens yet.

    The first light brought to bear on the corridor ahead reveals a flare of colour undimmed by the passage of time. The walls and ceiling 20 feet overhead are smooth plaster frescos illustrated with interior and exterior scenes. Herds of cows graze in open fields. A wooded copse conceals wolves on the prowl. Slaves of various humanoid and monstrous races go about their labours under the whips of fiends and other cruel creatures.

    Certain of the frescoes create the illusion of an interior space. A wizard's workroom is guarded by two jackal-headed humanoids. A library stands filled with many books and scrolls. A torture chamber holds a barred door behind which some fiendish creature lurks. The workroom fresco seems to contain some kind of 3D element jutting out into the corridor but you'll need to get closer see any more.

    The floor of the corridor is an equally colourful mosaic of stone, set with a distinct 2-foot wide path of red tiles snaking its way south. At the far end of the corridor the path forks, one path leading straight ahead to what appears to be a giant green stone head and one disappearing to the east out of view.

    Declared intentions from all five players please.

    TingleSigBar.gif
    WiiU: JamWarrior
  • FaranguFarangu I am a beardy man With a beardy planRegistered User regular
    edited August 2010
    Weapon ready, Terios will wait for the cutpurse to test the path of red stones first. Then, after he sees that it's safe, he will go to the fresco of the library and take a closer look.

    farangu.png

    Come join my Let's Play of Total War: Rome II! Boss around some Gauls!
  • SteelhawkSteelhawk Registered User regular
    edited August 2010
    Derek follows Terios' lead, but instead of idly waiting, he runs through his vast skillset to see what he can see regarding the corridors. What magics are there? What features of the dungeon itself stick out in his mind? Does he get a bad feeling about anything? What have other adventurers said about this corridor in the past/what lore is there?
    Spoiler:

    Games & Characters:
  • streeverstreever Registered User regular
    edited August 2010
    With no fanfare, Mike's daggers appear back in his hands, as if from thin air.

    Sniffing at the air, he disdainfully looks at the stones and the walls, seeking some sort of pattern.

    There must be something here, he thinks. Two paths. One a giant face. Some images that look like... a box? and a door.

    "I don't like it," he says, as he inspects the floor directly in front of them. He's searching for some sign of... different. A crease? A seam? He's not sure what he's looking for. He's trusting his instincts will be of some use.

    Perception: 1d20+13 16
    Thievery: 1d20+16 24

  • Jam WarriorJam Warrior Registered User regular
    edited August 2010
    DM will always roll perception.

    TingleSigBar.gif
    WiiU: JamWarrior
  • Fondor_YardsFondor_Yards Elite Four Member: Hydra Registered User regular
    edited August 2010
    Seeing the rogue go on first, Ferdinand follows closely behind him. Keeping an eye out for danger, but eager to get things going.

    Secrets, lies, and tragedy. The trifecta.
    3DS Code: 5043-2172-1361
    Xbone Tag: Salal al Din
  • streeverstreever Registered User regular
    edited August 2010
  • KamikazeCommunistKamikazeCommunist Registered User regular
    edited August 2010
    Frederick, now with his shield and battleaxe at the ready, files in line behind Ferdinand. His eyes passively panning from one side of the hallway to the other in an attempt to notice anything out of the ordinary.

    "Oh boyce! I'm so exzited I've gots goosebimples!" Frederick exclaims as he crosses the threshold into the dungeon.

  • Jam WarriorJam Warrior Registered User regular
    edited August 2010
    As Mike makes his way slowly and carefully down the corridor, his nimble fingers and sharp eyes make out the skillfully hidden outline of a number of 10 foot square trapdoors or hatches concealed in the stonework of the floor.

    Pointing them out to his colleagues as they file behind him he cheerfully explains that if their eyes aren't up to the task of spotting them, if they were to give a hard enough smack to an adjacent bit of ground then a trapdoor will often reveal its position through sound and movement. Just make sure you're not standing on one when you try this.

    Note: Throughout The Tomb, an athletics check can be made to sound the floor and check all adjacent squares for trapdoors. As this a pseudo perception check the DM will make the roll.

    Map01Traps.jpg
    Note scale, one square = 10ft x 10ft

    As you travel the length of the corridor you notice that subtle runes are hidden in the mosaic pattern of the path and spell out a message as you follow the path.
    ACERAK CONGRATULATES YOU ON YOUR
    POWERS OF OBSERVATION. SO MAKE OF THIS
    WHATEVER YOU WISH, FOR YOU WILL BE MINE IN
    THE END NO MATTER WHAT!

    Go back to the tormentor or through the arch,
    and the second great hall you’ll discover.
    Shun green if you can, but night’s good colour
    is for those of great valour.
    If shades of red stand for blood the wise
    will not need sacrifice aught but a loop of
    magical metal—you’re well along your march.

    Two pits along the way will be found to lead
    to a fortuitous fall, so check the wall.
    These keys and those are most important of all,
    and beware of trembling hands and what will maul.
    If you find the false you find the true
    and into the columned hall you’ll come,
    and there the throne that’s key and keyed.

    The iron men of visage grim do more than
    meets the viewer’s eye.
    You’ve left and left and found my Tomb
    and now your soul will die.

    You all ponder these verses but your previous experiences offer no extra insight into their meaning.
    Don't bother rolling any skills for the pretty poem.

    Terios' examination of the library picture reveals nothing more than an elegantly painted frescoe. A figure in the room could be Acerak at study in his earlier years. There is no text to read or search for hidden meaning as the scale of the painting has rendered all writing into a thin wibbly line.

    Moving along and examining the other major painting elements of interest he comes to the torture chamber picture. This portion of the fresco illustrates an iron door that evidently confines some sort of a horrid creature (its clawed and scaled hands grasp the bars of its small window) that can be loosed to torment prisoners. Again no hidden meanings or elements can be discerned.

    Finally coming to the workroom, he sees that the two jackal-headed human figures in this painting are portrayed as if holding bronze chest, but the chest is real and protrudes slightly into the corridor. The chest is clearly hinged so as to allow the lid to open. Any closer inspection is hampered by the fact that the fresco stands directly over the northernmost of the potential trapdoors that Mike has identified.

    BoxMural.jpg

    Reaching the end of the corridor, the party are now able to clearly see the two elements at the end of the fork in pathway.

    A fork of the red tile path leads directly to a leering great green devil face set in the mosaic at the corridor’s end. The devil’s mouth gapes wide and empty, large enough for a man to step into. It is dead black, emitting no hint of light and allowing none entry.

    Head.jpg

    The other section of the red tile path leads into a white mist filled stone archway. As you approach, three large stones that are embedded in the arch start to glow. Each has a different hue, yellow on the lower left, bluish at the top of the arch, and orange on the lower right. The swirling mist completely blocks all vision through the arch.

    Arch.jpg

    Derek's internal monolgue is going ten to the dozen as he racks his brain whilst advancing down the corridor.

    What magics are there? How could he ask such a simple question? Magic was everywhere in this place! A haze of enchantment hangs in the very air around him. He'll have to be much more specific in his investigations if he wants to pick anything up there.

    What does he know of the Tomb and these paintings? Nothing particularly insightful. The frescoes appear to illustrate various scenes from the life of Acerak and they indeed match up with some of the tales he has heard, but with a figure as steeped in myth and story as Acerak, picking out the real life from the legend is pretty much impossible. Certainly nothing specific had been mentioned of this corridor by past escapees of The Tomb, but that was unsurprising given the fog that clouds the mind of any who leave and robs them of the knowledge of the traps within. The most that can be ascertained from them is that, true to legend, Acerak's tomb contains both honey and poison in abundance. Treasure to tempt and traps to guard.

    Does he have a bad feeling about this? Too bloody right he does. And that's good. This was no place to relax and let down your guard and he knew it.

    TingleSigBar.gif
    WiiU: JamWarrior
  • Fondor_YardsFondor_Yards Elite Four Member: Hydra Registered User regular
    edited August 2010
    As they reached the end of the hallway, Ferdinand peered at the open mouthed statue for a moment before shaking his head. "I do not like the idea of climbing into a devil man's mouth, seems more likely to eat us than to take us to treasure. Derek what do you make of these glowing stones here, you are the magic man around here."

    Secrets, lies, and tragedy. The trifecta.
    3DS Code: 5043-2172-1361
    Xbone Tag: Salal al Din
  • streeverstreever Registered User regular
    edited August 2010
    Mike snorts in frustration as he reads the poem. "I'm not a man of letters, but I can tell you not to touch that damn chest."

    He sets about methodically poking at and tapping near the devil's mouth, looking for any sign of a trap. He's also examining the sides of the mouth for any signs of hinges, moving parts, or similar.

    "Sounds like we can go either way, and no real guidance on it. But it did say to watch out for green."

  • FaranguFarangu I am a beardy man With a beardy planRegistered User regular
    edited August 2010
    Terios thinks for a second.

    "The colors of the glowing stones on the arch...they can combine to form the colors in the poem, don't they? Yellow and blue for Green, Yellow and Orange for Red, and Blue and Orange for...Night, apparently? It said to watch out for Green, and that the color of Night was for those of valour, which I am not. But apparently, we just have to sacrifice something metal and magic, and we can make our way through the Red path."

    The minotaur waits to see if the others agree with his hypothesis.

    farangu.png

    Come join my Let's Play of Total War: Rome II! Boss around some Gauls!
  • streeverstreever Registered User regular
    edited August 2010
    "Geez, minotaurs really do have a good head for puzzles, don'cha?" Mike asks, tugging at his cap with one hand. Somehow, his daggers appear and disappear from his hands without any problems. "So maybe that stuff about valor means you gotta be pure of heart or somesuch?" His pronounced country bumpkin accent makes the others wince.

    "What if it's the demon mouth that is for people of valor?"

  • KamikazeCommunistKamikazeCommunist Registered User regular
    edited August 2010
    Upon reaching the end of the trapped hallway, Frederick glances over at the devil's face on the wall. "Vhat a happy looking young man, no? I Vonder Vhat he is hiding," Frederick says to himself.

    Frederick then sighs, "I vas never good at zeese puzzle fings..."

  • Jam WarriorJam Warrior Registered User regular
    edited August 2010
    Mike's 'hands off' inspection of the head reveals no hinges, catches, gaps or potential moving parts. The head seems entirely unmechanical.

    TingleSigBar.gif
    WiiU: JamWarrior
  • SteelhawkSteelhawk Registered User regular
    edited August 2010
    Derek thinks for a minute running his mind over poem.

    "Gents, I beleive that while we are in this hallway, that we should check these trap doors. If two of them are indeed fortuitous, it could lead to great treasure and perhaps further clues to the portal. It says to check the wall....it seems the Jackals may point to something greater? Assuming death can be avoided."

    Derek frowns at the pit trap thats under the chest.

    "If we open the trapdoor, I could cast Tenser's Floating Disk and give Moustaches here something solid to stand on as he works..."

    As they reached the end of the hallway, Ferdinand peered at the open mouthed statue for a moment before shaking his head. "I do not like the idea of climbing into a devil man's mouth, seems more likely to eat us than to take us to treasure. Derek what do you make of these glowing stones here, you are the magic man around here."

    "Lets find out"

    Arcana vs. Glowing Stones = 24

    Games & Characters:
  • streeverstreever Registered User regular
    edited August 2010
    "I have a better idea, Derek Ditchdigger, why don't you step on them one by one?" Mike sneers. The others realize he is either still drunk or hungover.

  • Jam WarriorJam Warrior Registered User regular
    edited August 2010
    Derek's magical examination of the archway reveals that it has an aura of potent teleportation magic. The glowing stones are tied into the magical weave and touching them in a particular order will in some way affect the nature of the magic of the arch. The order required and the results it would produce can't be ascertained.

    TingleSigBar.gif
    WiiU: JamWarrior
  • FaranguFarangu I am a beardy man With a beardy planRegistered User regular
    edited August 2010
    Terios throws his head back and laughs.

    "I was RIGHT! HA!"

    He stares right at Derek.

    "You and your magic can just suck it"

    He then looks at the box in the wall. "Can we push open the box with a pole or something? That way we're not standing right over the trap door when the box opens."

    farangu.png

    Come join my Let's Play of Total War: Rome II! Boss around some Gauls!
  • streeverstreever Registered User regular
    edited August 2010
    "I can loan you my crowbar," Mike says, burping.

  • SteelhawkSteelhawk Registered User regular
    edited August 2010
    Derek looks hurt. "I don't know what I've done to earn such hostility from you and Mr. Moustaches."

    Games & Characters:
  • streeverstreever Registered User regular
    edited August 2010
    don't take it personal, Mike Moustaches is just coming off of a bender

    "Ah, don't let it fizzle your spells, magic-man. I've got a killer of a hang over."

  • SteelhawkSteelhawk Registered User regular
    edited August 2010
    Don't worry, I'm not... :)

    Games & Characters:
  • Fondor_YardsFondor_Yards Elite Four Member: Hydra Registered User regular
    edited August 2010
    "Hmm I agree with both of you, about the light and the box. The poem said something about a locked throne ahead, and that two of the traps here lead to keys. But did it mean two traps in this hallway or 2 traps in the next one? About the devil man, Mr. Mustach you're free to test your valor there."

    Secrets, lies, and tragedy. The trifecta.
    3DS Code: 5043-2172-1361
    Xbone Tag: Salal al Din
  • streeverstreever Registered User regular
    edited August 2010
    Mustaches ignores the comment that he could enter the demon face, and instead begins methodically looking around the box. As he looks, he ties a length of rope to himself, and hands the end to the minotaur. He is searching for seams or cracks--anything which looks out of place--and is using a crowbar to tap along the wall, being careful to not touch the box. "Hold tight...." he tells the minotaur as he works carefully.

  • Jam WarriorJam Warrior Registered User regular
    edited August 2010
    Is Mike investigating from 5 foot away or is he standing on the outline of the hatch?

    TingleSigBar.gif
    WiiU: JamWarrior
  • streeverstreever Registered User regular
    edited August 2010
    He's going to touch the box with his crowbar, without stepping on the hole. If nothing horrible happens, he'll use his crowbar to hit the hole.

  • Jam WarriorJam Warrior Registered User regular
    edited August 2010
    No mechanical signs are visible in the wall surrounding the box. Poking and prodding with his crowbar, nothing untoward happens but nothing is learned either.

    Squatting down on the safe ground, Mike gives the trapdoor outline a hefty whack. Nothing happens. He tries again a few times. He can feel movement which confirms that the thing does indeed move but it seems that it is not responding to pressure or impact from above indicating that it is probably safe to stand on.

    He reckons he could try to make a more directed assault on where he suspects the hinges and release mechanism will be hidden (Thievery) to either trigger the release from a safe position (you roll) or disable it and jam it in a closed position (I roll).

    TingleSigBar.gif
    WiiU: JamWarrior
  • streeverstreever Registered User regular
    edited August 2010
    "Well, folks, I can either open that trapdoor from over here and we can have a look-see down innit, maybe figger out some of the si-col-agee," he pauses, and you realize he is saying psychology as he continues, "of the madman that did put this all here, or I can try to disable it shut and we can screw with that box."

  • SteelhawkSteelhawk Registered User regular
    edited August 2010
    "Open it." Derek suggests. "If the poem is even half true, there might be something worthwhile down there. I think we should examine all of the trap doors for hidden pathways and treasures and keys and the like before toying with the portal. There may be more clues."

    Games & Characters:
  • streeverstreever Registered User regular
    edited August 2010
    "OK, here goes nothing," the two-bit con man says as he opens the pit.
    Spoiler:

«13456714
Sign In or Register to comment.