Dan & Paul take a look back at published adventures for D&D in the 70’s — at the time, a revolutionary and controversial idea! And also take a look back at the pioneering contributions of Jennell Jaquays (creator of Dark Tower, Caverns of Thracia, and many more), and our other favorite early adventures.
The first published Dungeons & Dragons scenario was “Temple of the Frog”, included in 1975’s Blackmoor Dungeons & Dragons rules supplement. This scenario was later developed into the stand-alone module DA2 – Temple of the Frog for the D&D Expert set rules (TSR, 1986).
The first stand-alone Dungeons & Dragons adventure module, Palace of the Vampire Queen, was published in 1976 by Wee Warriors. Although TSR did not produce this module, the company did distribute the first three printings on behalf of Wee Warriors. The adventure was described as a “Dungeon Masters Kit” rather than a “module” or an “adventure”.
Also in 1976, the adventure Lost Caverns of Tsojconth was distributed by Metro Detroit Gamers as the tournament module for the gaming convention Wintercon V, but was not published for general distribution at the time. The adventure was later re-written for the first edition Advanced Dungeons & Dragons rules and published as module S4 – The Lost Caverns of Tsojcanth (TSR, 1982).
Additional unpublished adventures were distributed at gaming conventions during this period, including Steading of the Hill Giant Chief, used as a tournament module for Origins ’78. Later in 1978, Steading of the Hill Giant Chief became the first stand-alone Dungeons & Dragons module actually produced and published by TSR. TSR Hobbies published a series of six adventures in 1978 that had been used previously only in tournaments. The company initiated its practice of assigning a code to each module published at the time, assigning the “G1” code to Steading of the Hill Giant Chief. TSR’s practice of coding modules into various series would continue into the 1990s.
- Watch our interview with Jennell Jaquays from 2021
- Help Jennell Jaquays spouse pay down medical bills here
This description uses material from the Wikipedia article “Adventure (Dungeons & Dragons)“, which is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.