The Tomb of Doom is the generic 'ancient tomb' where all the people end up dying or losing there virginity, the template which all other classic tombs are based off of. It has many very stereotypical characteristics which make it superior to every other tomb. This, as well as the fact that 'tomb' and 'doom' rhyme, makes it very useful for writers, movie directors and computer game designers.
The Tomb of Doom is very big. At the smallest, it takes hours just to reach the end and there are some areas you never have the time to explore. At the biggest, it's so big you can't explore it all even if you go on exploring forever. Usually this means it will fill the entire mini-map several times over, and the full screen map will need scroll bars.
Most of the Tomb of Doom is made of yellow sedimentary rock, because it looks older and dryer than other kinds of rock, and the Tomb of Doom is always old and dry. If you come across a cave section, however, the rock there is likely to be gray.
The Tomb of Doom is made mostly of relatively square tunnels and rooms, which connect to each other at right angles. However, there are some various caves and a few round rooms which are not square. The tunnels also lead up and down and can often be followed vertically by means of stairs or ladders.
The Tomb of Doom is always filled with levers which, when pushed or pulled, control various doors, stairs, ladders, sarcophagi and other objects which would not normally be accessible. They never are of a malicious intent, so always pull a lever if found.
In the deeper levels of the Tomb, there is usually a significant quantity of treasure, usually made up mostly of gold coins, gems and medieval military equipment made of precious materials that are usually useless for actually making things out of. However, much of this equipment is enchanted to make it more powerful.
edit Lava pits
The largest parts of the Tomb of Doom are enormous caves filled with giant naturally formed stone pedestals sticking up out of lava. For some reason the lava does not heat up the air inside the caves very much. Such lava pits usually contain minecart tracks.
Somewhere inside the Tomb of Doom, there is guaranteed to be at least one minecart track. This won't be your standard minecart track, either; it will be full of jumps, loops and other very dangerous track sections. It usually goes through caves, including at least one lava cave, although it can traverse artificial tomb areas as well. Many other smashed minecarts and sprawled human skeletons can be seen along the track, however, when you either go on a minecart or read a book, watch a movie or play a computer game in which there is a minecart, it will miraculously never crash.
There are lots of traps inside the Tomb of Doom, under many different forms. Some of the most common ones are:
- Trap doors/collapsing floors - These are pretty simple. When someone heavy enough steps on them, they collapse. The unfortunate someone falls into some kind of pit, usually filled with spikes, poison, human bones or some combination of the three.
- Moving walls/ceilings - When triggered, these sections of wall or ceiling move to either crush the person who triggered them, cut off an escape route, cut off the tunnel to the next area or some combination of the three. If they are meant to kill the triggerer, they are often covered in spikes, which often have poison or blood (or both) on them.
- Explosives - Any number objects can be rigged to explode when touched or broken into to. This includes doors, chests, barrels, bookshelves, sacks, urns, sarcophagi and various other items lying around the dungeon.
- Projectile traps - When triggered, projectile traps fire various projectiles at whoever triggered them. The projectiles can include arrows, crossbow bolts, stones, blade discuses, spiked metal balls, fire, poison, javelins, lightning, magic or a number of other nasty things. However, they are often placed so that jumping or ducking will trigger the trap but allow the person who triggered it to escape the trajectory of the attack.
- Drowning traps - These traps slowly fill up either the entire tomb or one section of it with water, poison or lava. It is usually triggered in an area from which the only escape route is down, so that it can fill that up first and then slowly fill up the air inside the area so that whoever is trapped in there has a minute or two during which they know they're going to die. However, they are usually set up so that anyone fast enough can get out before the place fills up.
- Giant rolling boulders - When triggered, these traps let down enormous balls of stone which roll alone through a preset path, crushing everything in their way. They are impossible to duck, and it is usually necessary to either jump over them, find some way to stop them (such as with a lever that makes a wall move or a door close) or run away until you can find a fork in the path and hide in the direction the boulder isn't going to go.
Remember, although traps appear to be intended to kill anyone trying to explore the tomb, it is almost always possible to circumvent them with enough speed, strength and ingenuity, and if it isn't, the area protected by the trap isn't meant to be accessed anyway; it's just there to tease you.
Most of the monsters in the Tomb of Doom are undead. The most common is the skeleton, followed by the mummy. Zombies, organic animals, floating heads, ghosts, golems, mechanical monsters (which run using either magic or babbage engines), flying weapons and abominations are less common, but a few still exist. A number of the monsters in the Tomb can use magic, usually the mummies, and when they can they often wield staves or wands and their eyes glow with some eerie color (usually red, green or yellow, but sometimes blue, purple or white for very powerful monsters).
edit Bottomless chasms
The Tomb of Doom generally has at least one bottomless pit. No, really bottomless. As in, if you fall in, you die of starvation, and thousands of years later your mummified corpse is still falling through the blackness. Bottomless pits are often hidden under trap doors or collapsing floors, but there are also large natural ones in some cave sections. These last often have bridges crossing them, which are invariably just wide enough to walk on and have no railings. They are also sometimes disguised by having perspectively scaled patterns on them, like the one in Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade.
edit Gruesome decorations
The Tomb is filled with various skeletons, mummies, shrunken heads, pickled bodies in barrels and other ghastly objects made out of human body parts. Some of these will activate and attack people nearby when triggered, but most of them merely look like they're going to. In the deeper levels of the Tomb, it is not uncommon to find stalagmummies (mummies that have been petrified inside stalagmites, like in King Solomon's Mines); luckily, these are much less likely to activate than most other things are. Other gruesome decorations include chopping blocks covered in dried blood, nasty-looking weapons and torture devices hanging on the walls and so on.
At the bottom of the Tomb of Doom (if it has one), there is guaranteed to be something of enormous use and value, guarded by something of enormous power which will attack anyone who tries to take the object it's guarding. Once the thing is defeated, the reward can be taken and, quite often, a magical portal opens up to let you back to the surface.
edit Getting through the Tomb of Doom
You have to be skillful in order to get through the Tomb of Doom. Intelligence and perceptiveness are an absolute must, speed is usually necessary and strength can also help to some degree. Be careful you have figured out all the traps in a given room and how to avoid them all at once before trying to get past the room. Don't waste time reading any books you find, unless they are clearly in a situation where they are meant to give you some kind of clue. Also be careful to try out all possible pathways before pulling any levers; some levers can't be pushed back into position once pulled. Finally, it's generally a bad idea] to slide or jump down any place you can't get back up from, unless you've tried out all other pathways and they were all dead ends, in which case it is probably the right thing to do. When you get to the end, use the most powerful weapons you have found along the way to defeat the guardian, and if you're still having trouble, try to find ways to use the tomb itself to your advantage (such as leading the guardian into a lava pit or under a collapsing ceiling).
edit Places the idea has been used
- All the Indiana Jones movies