Thursday, May 24, 2012

Tomb of Horrors/Ready Player One Challenge: Attempt 1

Armed with their own reference copy of the module, can a simple third level, Basic D&D Fighter survive the infamous adventure, 'Tomb of Horrors'? As postulated in the novel Ready Player One.

Warning: Contains Spoilers to the Tomb of Horrors Adventure Module.
Thacko: Level 3 Fighter
Str 17 (+3)
Dex 12
Con 13 (+1)
Int 9
Wis 10
Cha 12

HP: 19
AC: 5

Saving Throws
Poison/Death 12
Wand 13
Stone/Paralysis 14
Dragon Breath 15
Spell/Staff 16

Short Sword d6
Leather Armour AC 2
Shield AC 2

Conditions for Victory
While in the Tomb, You Must Collect:
-20,000 (or more) gp!
-A Bag of Holding
-Flaming Sword+1
-Ring of Protection +1
-A Gem of Seeing,
-a full set of Full Plate +3!
Collect all of the above and make it to Room 25: the “Pillared Throne Room”.

Begin the Challenge!
Room 3
Ignoring the false entrances, Thacko made his way past the pit traps and went through the archway to Room 5 with the glowing stones pressed On and was transported to Room 11.

Without any gems, he could not yet get the ‘Gem of Seeing’ (needed to complete the Conditions of Victory) from the broken statue. Moving into Room 12, he ignored the false doors and moved into Room 10. Since he needs the Ring of Protection in Room 13, he goes through the hidden crawlspace, but the hidden door will not open (roll failed) and he is forced to turn back.

Going through the second crawl space, he cannot open the secret door here either (roll failed).

With no way forward, Thacko’s quest is effectively at an end. To return to the entrance he will have to negotiate through the Complex of Secret Doors and if he survives that, face the mutant gargoyle in Room 8.

RIP, Thacko, First of your Name.

Conditions of Victory Met: None!

Thoughts: Ready Player One must make the assumption that the character is able to open Secret Doors if they know they are there. It is something I’ve allowed in my own campaigns (depending on the door), but haven’t really encountered it in any pre-made module before, so I’m not sure exactly how to proceed.

On one hand, there are some very definite rules in TOH for discovering Secret Doors, (1in6 or 4in6 chance), and finding them is very much part of the adventure. But on the other hand, there is now only a 1 in six chance of any Ready Player One Challenge making it past Room 13.

Given the premise presented in RP1, I suppose I’ll have to allow automatic Secret Door discoveries, but it feels like a fundamental cop-out to the meatgrinder spirit of Tomb of Horrors.

If anyone has any strong feelings on this one way or another please let me know. Tomorrow I shall attempt it again with Thacko II, Son of Thacko!

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