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I was reminded last time on how evil the Tomb of Horrors dungeon is (instant death traps, an absolute necessity in one room is gruesomely fatal in another room). Sure, Gary Gygax constructed it to best his annoyingly high characters, especially Robilar.

Only that Robilar defeated the Tomb of Horrors according to the available sources in the web without dying once which I personally find extremely impressive.

Do anyone know how exactly he did it ? It seems to be a wonderful story, with Gary groaning, hair pulling and cursing under his breath.

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up vote 13 down vote accepted

I doubt any source traces Robilar's progress room by room, but according to this thread

Robilar losing all of his orc flunkies at the onset, in the initial passage. When he found the tomb of the demi-lich Robilar scooped all the magical treasures he could into his bag of holding and ran off leaving the demi-lich hanging. [sic]

In other words, it looks like Robilar took minions to activate the traps and was careful to leave undisturbed anything suspicious, like a creepy bejeweled skull.

The Dragonsfoot forums contain a host of Gygax-centric stuff.

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I asked Rob himself if he could tell the tale. Unfortunately it is too long ago so Rob could not add anything already told by you. The only thing to add is that Gary said that he wanted to playtest a new level, Rob expected the worst and it was the first time he used cannon fodder as wargame strategy. "Tomb of Horrors" was refined over time, Rob played the initial layout, so it is possible that the adventure differed greatly compared to the current ToH. – Thorsten S. Mar 16 '14 at 19:09

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