Sunday, August 22, 2010

We finally visit the Tomb of Horrors

I have been playing D&D in one form or another for over 30 years.  In the early years we played a few of the famous TSR modules but mostly went on to home brew adventuring split between the two regular DMs.  I was one of those DMs. Copies of TSR modules not played lay in storage, waiting for the right moment that might never come to drag it out and give it a run.  The Tomb or Horrors module rested quietly, biding its time, waiting for fools to cross its threshold and die.

The golden years of our game group came to an end many years ago when one of the four core gamers in the group moved to the west coast.  Although the regular game changed forever, we are fortunate these individuals remain in our lives as friends regardless of distance.  Ever few years a visit is orchestrated, there is much rejoicing and often times a game is run just like old times.

One of those joyous visits recently happened.  Life being what it is, neither of the long time DMs had something appropriate to run so we were looking for something suitable to do when my youngest son, who is in his early 20s, offered to run a version of Tomb of Horrors for D&D 3.5.  At first folks were a bit hesitant about it.  Over time our game migrated away from the more old school save or die type of game, where dungeon ecology logic was unnecessary, and where replacement characters were expected.  Do we really want to be offered up to the granddaddy of killer dungeons?  Of course we do!

Unfortunately, we were not able to get the original four players together in one sitting.  We did manage to have two outings with three players each time.  Though we did not get too far through the dungeon, a good time was had.  Amazingly, we did manage to kill the gargoyle without any character losses though it was close.  However on the second night the tomb did manage to take three characters in total, not too shabby for the evil old icon.

We had a great time.  This is not going to lead to playing the old modules regularly because of the experience, it is not where we want to be now.  As a one off outing, it was loads of fun.  There was also much more than nostalgia here.  There were a number of firsts.  It was the first time my son ran a game for the old timers.  He got to show off his skill with a classic and did a fine job.  I hope that he comes to treasure the evening where he ran this icon and ground up this dad and friends.  The first evening was the first time in many years that those three particular players were characters together; that had not happened since one of the other regulars ran his first and only module as DM.  The second evening was the first time those three particular players were characters together ever.  These three were the only to ever DM our original group, and so we had never been together on the same side of the screen.

Our time together passes too quickly because ultimately it is about friends and family.  It was great to have these little outings, and The Tomb was just the icing not the cake.  It is interesting how these things come about, you just never know.  Its the gaming and not the game.  BruHaHa the Sincere, we miss you already .


  1. Man, I wish I hadn't missed this. Never played TOH either, just heard about its killer reputation.

    Sounds you like you had a great time! I'd be interested to hear how the three adventurers met their doom.

  2. If you ever want to play ToH, telling you how they died is a spoiler. I will say that we lost two rogues and a wizard. Can you say die no save?


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