Tag Archives: Tomb of Horrors

Fourth edition gives traps a new design

When the fourth edition designers rethought D&D, they saw traps as posing two core problems: Traps can frustrate players Traps can slow play to tedium Problem: Traps that challenge player ingenuity can lead to player frustration. This problem arises when … Continue reading

Posted in D&D fourth edition, Role-playing game design, Role-playing game history | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

A history of traps in Dungeons & Dragons

In original Dungeons & Dragons, the three brown books only include one rule for traps. “Traps are usually sprung by a roll of a 1 or a 2 when any character passes over or by them.” That’s it. The rules … Continue reading

Posted in Role-playing game history | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Three unexpected ways wandering monsters improve D&D play

In my last post, I reviewed the history of wandering monsters and random encounters in Dungeons & Dragons and discussed how the game changed to meet my own negative views of wandering monsters. However, I failed to see how wandering … Continue reading

Posted in Role-playing game design | Tagged , , , , , | 6 Comments

Spells that can ruin adventures

Have you ever had an adventure spoiled by a spell? Through the history of Dungeons & Dragons, a variety of spells carried the potential to short circuit or spoil whole categories of adventures—at least without significant planning to avoid the … Continue reading

Posted in Role-playing game history | Tagged , , , , , , , | 7 Comments

Picturing the dungeon – keyed illustrations

Tomb of Horrors from 1978 stands as the first adventure to include a set of illustrations keyed to the various locations. TSR dabbled with keyed illustrations in two more early adventures, Hidden Shrine of Tamoachan (1979) and Expedition to the Barrier Peaks (1980). … Continue reading

Posted in Role-playing game history | Tagged , , , , | 3 Comments

Player skill without player frustration

The Zork II computer game from 1981 includes a locked door that you can open by solving a clever puzzle. The door has the old-fashioned sort of lock that lets you look through the keyhole and see the other side. … Continue reading

Posted in Advice, D&D fifth edition, Role-playing game history | Tagged , , , , | 4 Comments