Hidden crimes, hidden shrines

In preparation for Nerdfest, I am re-reading a bunch of classic AD&D modules. For example, The Hidden Shrine of Tamoachan. The party starts off the adventure by stumbling into the underground part of the Shrine. So far, so expected. But wait, the entire first part of the module takes place while the party is slowly being poisoned by gas that is in the air. And if the magic-user decides to get all high and mighty and cast fireball, things have a decent chance of going badly. Apparently, this fireball will cause a collapse of the walls and ceiling, doing 3d10 damage, in addition to whatever else terrible happens. I would guess that the Tamoachans did not have much going on as far as building codes and the like. Note there is no random element in the description: the collapse will happen, no way around it. If the party manages to overcome the gas and the rubble and the various other cosmic brick-a-brak, they have the following exciting things to look forward to:

Room seven: Gas of Dreadful Sleep. Fail the saving throw and the character sleeps for 5000 years. Yup, Krondor the Barbarian could fail the save and wake up in Gamma World

Room 12: A door that won’t open is a direct and flagrant attack on any fighter/barbarian/paladin/cavalier’s virility. The -1 on the die roll only spices up the deal. They push, they pull, they prod, and what is the reward? A giant flood of water. The reason it was hard to open the door is the room is full of water that comes spilling out taking our stalwart party into Drownsville. PCs: so predictable.

Room 13: It’s been a long day adventuring and who can blame a cleric or thief for wanting to take some time off in the charming pool inhabited by an even more charming blond, pale -skinned temptress? Oh wait, once again we have been fooled. Turned out that the vixen was actually a nereid and if that suave rogue Jaxler manages to sneak a kiss, he drowns. Aren’t males foolish?

Room 15: “Wow, I’ m sure glad that we survived that encounter with the sexy dame. Look, ahead of us is the way out. Oh wait; someone painted the wall to look like the way out. Let me step off to the left here and see . . .”  The bars fall from the ceiling and in the roll of a die we observe the entrapment of poor Filgreen the Halfling.

In eight rooms, a party can sleep for 5 millennia, drown in a flood, drown by kissing, and/or be imprisoned by some iron bars that fall from the ceiling. This does not include the cursed battle axe, electric eel, vampire, giant slug or rats. I don’t think that this was one of the more popular modules among players.

And it gets worse

And it gets worse

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