Greetings adventurers! Asterdahl here to show off some of the hard work the team put into the bosses in the epic dungeon: Tomb of the Nine Gods. The dungeon launched with Tomb of Annihilation, so depending on your platform the tomb has been available for a while or just opened. Today I’ll be sharing some interesting tidbits as well as some videos showcasing each of the tomb’s bosses.
The first boss you will encounter in the tomb is familiar at first glance—Orcus—or more accurately, a magical simulacrum of Orcus brought to life by Acererak, master of the Tomb of the Nine Gods. Orcus’s appearance here is actually a loving nod to the old Tomb of Horrors module. In the current story; however, Acererak and Orcus have little connecting them. You can think of the Avatar of Orcus’s appearance here as Acererak summoning up a foul and terrifying memory.
Orcus may look familiar, but mechanically this fight is fresh. Orcus brings some new abilities to the table and returning abilities build on their original ideas in new and interesting ways. The biggest difference this time around is actually the room itself. In order to open the path to Orcus, your party members will need to afflict themselves with three curses. The three curses are unique, each featuring some debilitating element as well as a boon that must be used to defeat Orcus. Deciding who will take each curse and then leveraging them in combat is the key to victory.
The second boss, Withers, is a master of traps and Acererak’s groundskeeper, overseeing the day-to-day maintenance of the tomb—cleaning adventurer corpses out of traps, resetting traps for the next party, etc. As you can imagine, facing off against Withers is more about facing off against his contraptions.
The room here plays an even bigger role than in the fight against Orcus. Withers operates his traps inside a magically shielded booth atop a tower in the center of the room. Defeating Withers entails destroying his tower and wresting him from the booth. In the meantime, Withers will call on the support of his tomb dwarves to flood the room, activate jets of fire, or even fill the room with poison gas. Defeating Withers will rely on coordination and calmly managing a chaotic situation.
The third and final boss will be familiar to those who have finished the final act of the Tomb of Annihilation Campaign—the yuan-ti Ras Nsi. Resurrected by Acererak to serve as guardian for his tomb, this second fight against Ras Nsi builds upon the core ability set introduced in the campaign but this time Ras Nsi pulls out all the stops. Oh, and Acererak might just intervene as well!
The final confrontation against Ras Nsi will test every party member’s personal skill in a furious and fast-paced encounter. Maintaining situational awareness is key, concentrating too much on any one thing will see you tumbling to your death; however, we think there’s a great sense of mastery to achieve in this fight. Speaking of tumbling to your death, the team worked hard to bring my original concept of tilting the entire arena to life. Hopefully once you’ve mastered the fight, you can appreciate the unique feel!
That’s it for me for today. If you haven’t already had a chance to delve into the Tomb of the Nine Gods we hope you will soon! See you in Chult, adventurers!
Douglas "Asterdahl" Miller