Tomb of the Vampire
|Tomb of the Vampire|
|◄Eamon adventure #155►|
|Revised||21 June 1995|
|EDX set||Classic Eamon Adventures, Vol. 4|
|Native format||Apple DOS 3.3|
In correspondence with Huw Williams in March 2020, Grayson recalls that he first played Eamon one summer as a child while he and his brother were staying with their grandfather William Trent, and since he was into Dungeons & Dragons at the time really enjoyed the experience of playing an RPG on the computer. After playing the Eamon adventures, Grayson found the program for creating custom adventures and set to work building his own dungeon:
"One evening when my grandfather, Dr. Trent, came home from work I stated, 'Did you know you could make your own adventures?' He stated, 'Yes, but that is too hard.' He was shocked when I showed him that I had already created The Tomb of the Vampire."
Grayson says his adventure was originally quite short and consisted of only about 10 to 15 rooms, but Trent was inspired by Grayson's work and sometime later called his grandson to tell him he'd expanded the adventure and submitted it the NEUC for others to play. Grayson states that he based some of the pieces of the story off of his memories of playing D&D with his friends, including items he remembered like the Holy Avenger Sword, Ogre Magi, Elf Warriors, etc. "I remember reading a review that did not understand why an Ogre Magi was in a dungeon. I don't either now, but I was a kid then so it made sense at the time."
Tomb of the Vampire was submitted for distribution probably around the time the NEUC was winding down and the EAG beginning. It was one of six new titles announced in the premier issue of the Eamon Adventurer's Guild Newsletter in June 1988.
You are sent by the Guild to the town of Brasov in the Transylvanian Mountains where the citizens are being terrorized and preyed upon by what they believe to be vampire. The creature is rumored to dwell in a nearby mountain cave, a place the citizens call the "Tomb of the Vampire".
Brasov's mayor commissions you to seek out and destroy the vampire and any other threatening creatures you find in the cave, and as a reward grants you permission to keep any treasure you find.
Trent notes that Tomb of the Vampire is a very difficult cave and should not be attempted by beginners or by adventurers who don't know all the magic spells; Power, however, is the only one that's truly vital. Playing as Sam or some similarly capable character is wise since the enemies you'll face in the tomb tend to be quite hardy. Secret passages abound so be sure to regularly check rooms for hidden exits.
The story begins at the entrance to the vampire's lair, an ancient cave in the mountain beyond the town's graveyard:
- Enter east and you'll find yourself in a large entry hall leading into the mountain, with side chambers north and south. A pair of steel doors automatically close and lock behind you, barring your exit west.
- The north chamber is a sword room where you'll encounter a hostile fighter. Defeat him and gain his Holy Avenger +5 sword, a powerful weapon that deals 7d7 damage.
- The south chamber is a ruined courtroom where a small frightened elf armed with a bow lurks; he may accompany you.
- Follow the hall to its darkened east end, with rooms north and south.
- North is a holy room full of spell components where a cleric is mixing potions — and where you'll also find an extremely useful vial of holy water labeled, "good for killing vampires".
- South is a vacant room inhabited by an ogre mage whom you must defeat. Though the description may not mention it, the room has an exit south and this is your path forward.
- Heading south you'll be in a corridor with a side-room to the east. If you
EXAMINEthe room you'll also discover a hidden staircase leading to a secret room above.
- The east room is empty save for a set of valuable diamond earrings.
- The upper room contains a rusty key. The inscription reads, "Get the key to escape from the key of gold."
- Continue south to reach a guard post. South the way is barred by a locked door, so once you've defeated the guard, head east.
- Follow the passage east into a dark room (the "wraith post"), vanquish the wraith who guards it, and take its magic cloak. Having the cloak in your inventory will "help you carry" 200 extra gronds.
- Head north to the next room (the "undead post") and battle the three skeletons.
- Continue north to reach the coffin room, with visible exits east and west — and a hidden ladder leading up. First check out the west room where you can pick up a golden ring, then climb the ladder to the upper level.
- Here you'll be in an anteroom with an exit north and a chamber to the east. The east chamber is empty save for a small opal.
- Go north an you're at the west end of a long east/west corridor.
- Head east to the end of the corridor. The side-chamber to the south is occupied only by half a dozen bats, one of which when killed will drop a diamond.
- Go east and collect the diamond-studded gold key inscribed with the word "rewop". Examine the room to find a hidden teleporter that returns you back down to the coffin room.
- From the coffin room, go east into the closet and search for a hidden exit south.
- Take the secret passage south, then east, emerging into a secret room with exits in all four directions, plus a hidden exit up.
- South is a closet containing a red ruby.
- East is a closet with a small diamond.
- North is a passage leading to a chamber occupied by eight black widow spiders; defeating them reveals another ruby.
- From the main room, go up the long secret staircase. At the second level of stairs, stop to look for a secret closet to the west that contains a silver knife.
- Once in the attic, go west and battle a vicious madman armed with a 3d7 sword known as "Windstriker".
- Go west once more to enter a closet and find an emerald. Search the room and you'll locate another hidden transporter that will beam you back to the guard post on the main level.
The inner circle, western half
- Go south to the locked door. Now that you have the "rewop" key in your possession, cast your
POWERspell and the door will open.
- Begin by heading west to a room, then north into another seemingly empty room. Examine it to reveal a stairway leading up.
- At the top of the stairs is a secret library and a valuable golden book.
- Go west to reach the television-filled room of the friendly Madman Muntz.
- Continue west, then south to reach a pantry; collect the golden cookie.
- Go south again into the kitchen and battle the human fly.
- Go south twice more and you'll emerge into the "Mystery Room", a strange location with exits in all directions. Two of them will jump you directly to earlier rooms:
- West jumps you to the ant room.
- South jumps you to a closet in the attic.
- Take the east passage, along which is a hidden side-room to the north that contains some diamonds.
- At the end of the passage, search to find a hidden stairway that leads down.
- Below you emerge into a ghost-filled cavern with exits east and west. Fight the enormous ghost and collect the diamond it drops.
- Go west to an intersection, and west again to reach a room occupied by a giant ant (who will drop a pearl).
- From the intersection head south to a guard post and defeat the guard.
- Retrace your steps north then east to the ghost cave.
The inner circle's center
- From the ghost cave, exit east to reach a three-way intersection with a passage north and a chamber east. (The east chamber is a dead-end occupied by another ghost.)
- Follow the passage north to the middle guard post where you'll meet an unexpectedly friendly guard. Search for a hidden exit that leads up to an observation tower that overlooks the nearby graveyard and find a sign that reads, "To escape from the tomb you must use the key of gold to unlock the door of escape." Collect the golden telescope and return down to the guard post.
- Continue north from the guard post and you'll return to the circle entrance.
The inner circle, eastern half
- Head east to the end of the passage. Obvious exits are north and south, and a search reveals a hidden one east.
- North is a chamber filled with rats (and a gold brick).
- East is the vampire's hidden vault. It's been mostly ransacked, but two scrawled questions are on the walls: "1. Have you looked in the observation room? 2. Have you checked both tapestries?"
- Follow the corridor south and tangle with another giant ant.
- Go south again along the corridor. (At this point there are strange, unseen anomalies in the east and west walls that will jump you to previous rooms: west to a dark attic closet and east to the gold key room.)
- Keep going south through a guard post and another guard.
- Continue south, then follow the corridor as it turns west and you'll emerge into an opulent chamber occupied by the vampire!
The vampire and escape
- The vampire is a formidable opponent and can take a lot of damage, but a strong adventurer with multiple armed companions can defeat him with brute force. However, using the holy water you picked up earlier will let you sidestep the combat completely: just
OPENthe vial and the water will turn into a mist that surrounds and kills the creature. When it dies it drops a small golden coffin.
- Examine the vampire's room and you'll see two tapestries (as mentioned in the note in the vault), one on the north wall and the other on the south.
- The north tapestry hides a door to the vampire's secret vault where you can collect some valuable swag, though even with the help of the lifting cloak you'll probably be at or near your carrying limit.
- Through the south tapestry is the way out.
- Go south to find the locked outer door and
UNLOCKit with the gold key, per the instructions in the observation tower. It will swing open and you'll step out east into the cemetery.
- Once outside, head north, south, or east to complete the adventure.
The townspeople are overjoyed at your success and give you a hero's welcome.
Tomb of the Vampire is unusual in having been reviewed twice by the same critic.
Author Robert Parker writing in the December 1990 issue of the Eamon Adventurer's Guild Newsletter initially gave the adventure a low rating of 4 out of 10, criticizing it for the tedium of having to search every room for hidden passages, the brief or incomplete room descriptions, the fact that some of the monsters didn't seem to fit the setting, and its general lack of sophistication. Newsletter editor Tom Zuchowski added a counterpoint, noting that the adventure was comparable to many other Eamons and suggesting that Parker's review was a little too severe.
Parker later re-evaluated the adventure more favorably and apologized to Dr. Trent for his initial poor review. He wrote that after playing an updated copy with bug fixes applied the adventure was more to his liking and upped his rating to a 6. Parker praised the well thought-out map and the interesting puzzle clues.
The city of Brașov is located in central Romania in the historical region of Transylvania. The vampire's tomb, described as being in the mountain near town, would presumably lie beneath Tâmpa, a massive limestone peak that rises over a thousand feet above the community. Tâmpa was the site of a citadel built in the early 1200s and destroyed in the 15th century.
- Earl "Madman" Muntz (1914–1987) was an American salesman, businessman, and engineer known for his bizarre television commercials, and for popularizing the abbreviation "TV".
- The Holy Avenger sword is a weapon that features in Dungeons & Dragons.
- The Trollsfire swords carried by two of the guards, described as "beautiful weapons", first appear in The Beginners Cave by Donald Brown.
- The skull artwork shown in the adventure's introduction is the same as in the Alternate Beginners Cave by Rick Volberding.