Horrors, Tomb of Horrors, 4E – An Interpretation by R.M. Walker of Initiative or What?

Pit Trap, Spiked (10’) Needle Trap

ENTRANCE TO THE TOMB OF HORRORS

Encounter Level 12 (3,500 XP)

SETUP

This encounter details the true entrance to the Tomb of Horrors. The encounter takes place at key areas 3 and 4 on the original Tomb of Horrors map. Although the areas specified by this encounter take place in separate locations, they are considered one encounter for the purposes of XP, Rests, and Milestones.

The actual entrance to Acererak’s tomb is no less dangerous than the false ones. Constructed with multiple pit traps, distractions, and diversions; only a truly dedicated and careful group of heroes will find themselves able to win past the initial façade, and delve deeper into the tomb.

AREA 3

Level 12 Lurker (Minion) Trap XP 175 You feel a small poke as a tiny needle scratches your skin. Trap: A small needle scratches anyone that pushes down on the button covering it. Perception DC 10 to notice the needle sticking out from just underneath the button Trigger Pressing the button triggers the jabbing needle. Initiative: NA Attack Immediate Reaction Area: Personal Target: The finger of the person pressing the button. Attack: +17 vs. AC Hit: Target takes 5 poison damage. Effect: No additional effect. Countermeasures ‡ A DC 10 Thievery check allows a hero to easily remove the needle before pressing the button. ‡ A DC 15 Insight check allows a hero to realize he can safely press the button with a mailed finger (the needle cannot penetrate armor). This section of the corridor is interesting, indeed. Two jackal-headed humans hold a bronze chest. The chest is no painting, though. Instead, it seems to be a real chest fastened to the wall. Additionally, the 10 foot section of wall immediately to the south of the bronze chest appears unlike the other pastoral scenes upon the wall. This wall depicts a torture chamber, complete with some beast eager to be let out of its cell. The bronze box is actually a cleverly designed trap. There is a small button/catch that when pressed, opens the bottom of the box. The catch is armed with a small poisoned needle. When the catch/button is pressed, the bottom of the chest swings open. When this occurs, read the following:

When the heroes have discovered the central entrance to the tomb (key area 3), read the following:

Upon clearing away the last of the rubble and debris it becomes quite evident that this tunnel is strange and unusual. Bright colors show upon the walls and tiled floor in strange images of pastoral scenes, wooded grottos and quiet libraries. Within these varied scenes, a number of unusual slave races go about their business.

On the floor, a narrow path of brightly colored red tiles stands out from the rest of the floor as it winds its way along the corridor.

Level 8 Obstacle Trap XP 350 The floor gives way as a trap door opens beneath your feet. At the bottom of the pit horrible spikes await to impale you! Trap: A 2 square by 2 square section of floor hides a 10 foot deep pit filled with 5 poisoned spikes. Perception DC30 (passive) to notice a faint outline of a square breaking up the tiled surface. Dungeoneering ‡ DC 10 to trigger the trap with a pole or similar prodding device. Trigger The trap is activated when a small sized or larger creature enters one of the 4 squares that comprise the trap floor. Attack Immediate Reaction Melee Target: The creature that triggered the trap. Attack: +11 vs. Reflex Hit: 1d10 damage and make 5 secondary attacks. Secondary Attack: +13 vs. Fortitude Secondary Hit: 1d6 damage plus ongoing 10 poison damage (save ends). Effect: If a creature falls into the pit, roll up to 5 secondary attacks to see if the creature falls upon the poisoned spikes at the bottom of the pit. A creature can only be affected by a total of 3 spikes. If the first two secondary attacks miss, none of the spikes affect the targets. The poison damage from the spikes is cumulative. Countermeasures ‡ A DC 15 Thievery check by an adjacent creature (standard action) can trigger the trap. ‡ A DC 25 Thievery check by an adjacent creature (standard action) can disarm the trap, preventing it from opening. ‡ A DC 15 Athletics check(move action) will allow a creature to successfully leap over an open pit. ‡ A DC 25 Athletics check (standard action) is required to open a pit from the inside of the trap. For more information on the red tiled path, see “Features of the Area” below.

The corridor extends about 120 feet into the hill, and has a ceiling some 20 feet high. The floor is tiled stone, but the walls and ceiling seem to be plastered in a stucco or plaster and brightly painted. Placed at various locations on the floor (see encounter map) are several pit traps.

5 Pit Traps (10’ deep)

AREA 4
One of the more interesting scenes depicted on the walls is that of two jackal-headed men holding a bronze chest. When the heroes have reached this portion of the corridor (key area 4), read the following:

With a quiet click, the bottom of the chest swings open revealing a space inside. Feeling around underneath, you feel a short lever of some kind. 1 Needle Trap 1 Pit Trap (30’ deep) Perception Check DC 05 (active) to notice a small catch that seems to open the bottom of the chest.

Perception Check DC 30 (passive) to notice the faint outline of a square breaking up the tiled surface.

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Horrors, Tomb of Horrors, 4E – An Interpretation by R.M. Walker of Initiative or What?
AREA 4

ENTRANCE TO THE TOMB OF HORRORS, CONT.
B.

This area is a non-combat encounter. The needle trap within this area is old and likely to be easily discovered and disabled. Once triggered, the 30’ deep pit trap does not reset.

FEATURES OF THE AREA
AREA 3 A.
Illumination: The light varies with time of day. If the tomb is opened in daylight, this corridor is dimly illuminated. Mosaic Floor: The floor is tiled in a colorful mosaic of stone. A ribbon of red mosaic tiles about 2 ½ feet wide winds its way down the length of the corridor (indicated on the map at “B”). A DC 10 Perception check reveals the following writing that is inscribed into the red stone tiles:

Level 12 Elite Obstacle Pit Trap, Spiked (30’) Trap XP 1575 With a tug on a small lever, the floor gives way as a trap door opens beneath your feet. At the bottom of the pit horrible spikes await to impale you! Trap: A 2 square by 2 square section of floor hides a 30 foot deep pit filled with 5 poisoned spikes. Perception DC40 (active) to notice a faint outline of a square breaking up the tiled surface. Trigger The trap is activated when the small lever within the bronze box is forcibly pulled. Attack Immediate Reaction Melee Target: Any creature standing on the 4 squares immediately in front of the bronze box. Attack: +17 vs. Reflex Hit: 3d10 damage and make 5 secondary attacks. Secondary Attack: +13 vs. Fortitude Secondary Hit: 2d6 damage plus ongoing 10 poison damage (save ends). Effect: If a creature falls into the pit, roll up to 5 secondary attacks to see if the creature falls upon the poisoned spikes at the bottom of the pit. A creature can only be affected by a total of 3 spikes. If the first two secondary attacks miss, none of the spikes affect the targets. The poison damage from the spikes is cumulative. Countermeasures ‡ A DC 35 Thievery check shows the hero that the handle is probably a trap mechanism of some kind, but it does not reveal the nature of the trap.

ACERERAK 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!

DC 10 (active) to notice a poisoned needle near the small catch on the bronze box.

DC 35 (active) to notice the faint outline of a square that surrounds all 4 squares in front of the bronze box.

TACTICS
AREA 3
This area is a non-combat encounter. The traps within this area reset at the beginning of the triggering hero’s next turn.

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 color is for those of great valor. 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.

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Horrors, Tomb of Horrors, 4E – An Interpretation by R.M. Walker of Initiative or What?

ENTRANCE TO THE TOMB OF HORRORS, CONT.

Walls: The walls of this corridor are painted stucco over stone. If a hero manages to examine the 10’ section of wall depicting the imprisoned monster, a DC 20 Dungeoneering check will reveal a possible ordinary door (marked by an “A” on the map) behind the stucco plastering. This Dungeoneering check is reduced to a DC 15, if the pit trap immediately in front of the passageway has been triggered. Breaking away the material that conceals the door here requires a DC 25 Athletics check. Ceiling: The ceiling is 20 feet high in this area and appears to be constructed of stucco or plaster covered stone. Pit Traps: The pit traps are constructed of the same stone as the rest of the hall and operate as described above. The southern-most pit trap has a one-way secret door that only opens into the pit from area 7. A DC 40 Perception check is required to even notice the door is there.

AREA 4

Illumination: The light varies with time of day. If the tomb is opened in daylight, this corridor is dimly illuminated. Chest: This small bronze chest stands out from the wall between a painting of two jackal-headed humanoids painted as though they are holding the chest. The chest is affixed VERY firmly to wall (DC 40 Athletics check to remove). Removing the chest triggers the 30’ deep pit trap described above.

This derivative work is based on the original Tomb of Horrors module written by Gary Gygax and property by Wizards of the Coast® For personal use only. Please do not resell or redistribute.

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Original work presented in this document by the author is covered under a Creative Commons License. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons AttributionNoncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 United States License.

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