Content of the article: "Tomb of Horrors – Did we break it? *SPOILERS*"
I recently participated in a 5E Tomb of Horrors session as a player. It was my first experience with the Tomb, although I had heard enough to know it was about careful navigation and avoiding traps, not a hack and slash adventure. I'm also still pretty new to D&D, only been playing 6 months or so but I'm thoroughly obsessed. We are a party of four level 10 characters – myself a druid. We had a harrowing experience with a 100 foot pit trap, and I'm curious if we broke it or if we were just too clever for our own good. Here's how it went down:
We were able to find the real entrance to the Tomb and navigate to the misty archway. the rest of my party waltzed right through and disappeared, but staying true to my character's RP I chose to wait when he didn't see where the party went. I spent some time investigating the hallway further, ritual casting detect magic…trying to find any other clues. Eventually I followed them through.
Meanwhile, the party had found themselves in the cube room and pushed all the levers down to trigger the floor trap. Two characters fell down the pit but survived the fall damage. The third (a Bard) managed to ace a DEX save and held on to a lever, managing to stay up top. The floor closed, with two party members at the bottom of the pit and one in the cube room with the levers.
At this point, my druid showed up in the lever room. The Bard explained what happened, and I immediately cast detect magic again. The DM explained that there was nothing magical to detect, so I assumed the levers and trap door was mechanical in nature. At this point, I assumed we were trying to get to the bottom safely to move to a new area – I didn't realize that the pit was a dead end and we hadn't communicated with the players at the bottom to find out what was down there. We used wedged 10 foot poles to rig up a rope at the top of this chamber and opened the floor again. After all four of us found ourselves safely to the bottom of the pit, the DM began to narrate us starving to death down here but I was like, "I have something I want to try" – THIS IS WHERE I WONDER IF WE BROKE IT.
I proceeded to collect everyone's 10 foot poles, climbing gear, and rope. I cast Gaseous Form on myself and floated back up the pit (flying speed 10ft.), where I argued that I could squeeze through the minute cracks in the trap door floor based on the fact that it was a non-magical trap door and the wording of Gaseous Form allows one to "pass through small holes, narrow openings, and even mere cracks." I argued there had to be seams of some kind around the trap door edges. The DM was resistant to this concept as he seemed pretty convinced that we should all be dead at the bottom of the pit because the guide gave him very little info about the pit and the trap door other than there is no way out of the pit. But he relented and let me gas my way through the trap door floor cracks. I did more rigging of poles and ropes, re-opened the floor and the party all successfully climbed back out of the pit, and after the floor reset again we then found a different hidden way out of this trap and managed to get back to square one without a single casualty.
So, did we break it? Did I bully my DM into letting us survive a trap we should have died in? I felt like this was the most heroic thing I have ever done in a campaign. I saved my whole party from certain doom, but I can't help but feel like we bent a rule somewhere.
WE ARE STILL PLAYING AND I HAVE NOT READ ANY OF THE GUIDE SO PLEASE DON'T SPOIL THE REST OF THE TOMB, but can anyone weigh in on this particular trap and how we survived it?
- A simple puzzle/trap for DMs to use in their next dungeon!
- An absolutely lethal trap that I like to call the “Crocodile Toilet”
- Got told I was meta-gaming and was threatened to be booted from the campaign. I truly believe I wasn’t.
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