The Tomb of Horrors has claimed another party tonight.
I ran the Order of Magnitude through a "non-cannon" run of the Tomb of Horrors tonight in preparation for a 9 month hiatus. The deal was that they (and 7 NPC hirelings) would make their way into the tomb. So long as one person could make it out with Acererak's treasure they would get to keep it when we resumed our main campaign along with any experience earned. They would jump a whole level and have about 3-5 hundred thousand gold pieces worth of treasure if they managed it.
The barely made it past the entrance.
(warning, spoilers ahead)
They found one of the false entrances first and lost a character when the sliding wall sealed them away. They found another entrance but (wise for false-hoods) they searched until they found another entrance. They explored the long, decorated hallway (the real entrance) and managed to avoid setting off all but one pit trap (mostly through spider climbing and levitation) but they were stymied by arch of mists and the demon's face. After some thought they sent a hireling through the mist-arch only to have him reappear naked at the entrance, so he runs back down the corridor (falling into a second pit trap) and tries the gargoyle head...and vanishes (annihilated). The party decides to try the third (false) entrance and gets a ceiling dropped on them.
They go back to the main hall and find Acererak's poem, which drives them fairly insane with its cryptic clues. They find the chest built into the wall and the party rogue dies impaled on poison spikes when she triggers its pit trap.They have to convince magnus not to try the gargoyle mouth himself. After screwing around with the gemstones they finally trigger the sequence to remove the mists. The party barbarian steps through and vanishes (moving to a different area of the map, but safe...but I don't let them know). Magnus decides he'll try...but he'll try to follow the red path all the way from the start of the hall to the arch...he triggers two pit traps along the way that were previously avoided. Finally he puts on a pair of boots of levitation and moves along the ceiling, then goes through the arch only to end up sealed in an iron prison with no sign of the party barbarian.
He manages to open the hatch in the ceiling and uses levitation to escape and follow a one-way secret door into the bottom of one of the pit traps in the main hall. At this point most of the party is significantly injured, 3 people are dead and only one has moved beyond the foyer of the dungeon.
Nolan uses boots of levitation to go over and over every inch of the hallway looking for secret doors fruitlessly.
This time Magnus walks through the arch on his feet which brings him to the chamber where the barbarian is, a small room with a 3 armed gargoyle. Magnus left his homunculus behind to transmit info back and forth to the rest of the party. He examines the statue but they decide to leave through a small crawlspace and find a large hallway full of paintings and several false doors (which shoot magic spears at them). They find another mist filled arch. Magnus throws a broken stone arm of the gargoyle through, it vanishes. Magnus steps through and ends up back at the start with none of his equipment.
He runs down the corridor and leaps through the demon mouth and his homunculus screams as he dies. The party is now down 4 people. Some of them are on the verge of tears. They conclude that they do not have what it takes to handle the tomb of horrors and we call it a night. They have gotten a grand total of absolutely nothing from the tomb. The ghost of Gygax gains their souls.