Excerpts Archive | 3/5/2013
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Dungeons of Dread: Tomb of Horrors
Dungeons of Dread Excerpts

"Welcome to Dungeons of Dread, the archival collection of adventure modules S1 through S4. All four of these scenarios are durable fan favorites that have stood the test of time, albeit for very different reasons…."

So begins Lawrence Schick's foreword to Dungeons of Dread, the S Series Classic Adventure Compilation. We certainly couldn't introduce the first adventure in the series any better than he does:

"S1 Tomb of Horrors is one of the most famous Advanced Dungeons & Dragons scenarios in the history of the game. It passed through several iterations, first appearing in Gary’s campaign as a dungeon designed to challenge his players’ high-level characters—and take them down a peg. It was formally written up as a tournament scenario for the 1975 Origins game convention, then revised in late 1977 for publication as an AD&D module. The dungeon of the demi-lich Acererak was, for Gary, a kind of thought experiment: If an undead sorcerer really wanted to keep his tomb from being plundered by greedy adventurers, how would he do it? The answer, of course, was to defend the crypt with tricks and traps designed not to challenge the intruders but to kill them dead. And furthermore, to do it in ways so horrific that all but the most determined party would give up and leave well enough alone."

In today's preview, we look at the Legend of the Tomb—preamble to the Tomb of Horrors including its possible locales and important notes for the Dungeon Master:

Somewhere under a lost and lonely hill of grim and foreboding aspect lies a labyrinthine crypt. It is filled with terrible traps and not a few strange and ferocious monsters to slay the unwary. It is filled with rich treasures both precious and magical, but in addition to the aforementioned guardians, there is said to be a demi-lich who still wards his final haunt. (Be warned that tales told have it that this being possesses powers which make him nearly undefeatable!)

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