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T1-4 Temple of Elemental Evil (1e)

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Watermarked PDF
$15.00
$9.99

A sinister force, long thought destroyed, stirs from the black hole that spawned it. Like an ebony darkness it prowls the land and safety is but an illusion, for it watches from every shadow and ponders possibilities.

What began years ago, with the introduction of the players to the quiet village of Hommlet and the amazing lands of Greyhawk, at last is complete. Here is the long-awaited campaign adventure, featuring the ruins of the Temple of Elemental Evil, where a great evil broods and grows beneath its blasted stones. This is your chance to drive it back and scatter its force again. 

This product includes the village of Hommlet, the filthy shire of Nulb, and reveals the ruins of the Temple of Elemental Evil and the labyrinths that lie beneath, a warren of darkness. And beyond these ruins, even more is revealed.

For the first time, this product provides a complete campaign adventure, which will take beginning characters from 1st all the way to 8th level and possibly beyond! Hours of adventuring await you!

*****

Product History

T1-4: The Temple of Elemental Evil (1985), by Gary Gygax and Frank Mentzer, was published in August 1985 as part of what might have been AD&D's biggest year ever for the publication of major books.

The Long Wait. The first part of this mega-adventure was published years earlier as T1: "The Village of Hommlet" (1979). That adventure into Hommlet's Moathouse set up an expedition to the Temple itself, and the expectation was that TSR would publish what was being called "T2: The Temple of Elemental Evil" just a short time later. Unfortunately, as early as 1980, Gygax reported that the adventure was delayed. It would in fact be six years after "Hommlet" before the Temple finally appeared.

Part of the problem was with Gygax's design of the Temple itself. He'd run it as his house campaign mainly to explore ideas about random dungeon generation. However, he didn't feel that the random dungeon he'd created was appropriate for a published adventure, so he thought it would have to be redone. Tension over this work probably increased when T1: "Village of Hommlet" received considerable critical acclaim. Now, Gygax had to both recreate the Temple and do it at a level of quality that matched its already well-regarded predecessor.

The other problem was Gygax's role at TSR. From 1979 onward, he was increasingly doing business development and management, leaving him less room for creativity. He recognized this by creating a Design department, but he wasn't willing to turn the Temple over to them — so it sat and waited (not unlike the Temple in the adventure itself). The likelihood of Hommlet's successor being produced decreased even more in 1982, when Gygax was effectively exiled to the West Coast by the Blume brothers.

The "Do or Die" Year. In 1984, TSR, then under the Blume brothers, took a hard stumble, and Gygax came rushing back. Returning to TSR, he found the company a million and a half dollars in debt. To help correct the deficit and get TSR back on his feet, Gygax proposed five major releases - four of which would bear his name as a creator. T1-4: The Temple of Elemental Evil was one of these five projects.

The Format. Temple was published as a "super module," a format used for the first time a month earlier by Lankhmar: City of Adventures (1985). The 128-page book was 2 to 4 times the size of any of TSR's adventures to date, and it also included a 16-page map book that a GM could use to easily cross-reference locations with details. The format would continue to be used in the years afterward for TSR's most prestigious adventure releases.

The Adventure Continues. Temple forms the start of a major Greyhawk adventure path, which continues in two more super modules, A1-4: Scourge of the Slave Lords (1986) and GDQ1-7: Queen of the Spiders (1986). Though connected, they weren't as closely knit as the adventure paths later created from their ashes by Paizo in the pages of Dungeon.

Ironically, you can probably trace the origins of adventure paths back to the original GDQ adventures (1978-1980). However, the new "TAGDQ path" formed a much more extended campaign of the sort that had originated with TSR's own Dragonlance saga (1984-1986) and DGP's "Grand Tour" for Traveller (1985-1989).

About the Creators. "The Village of Hommlet" was entirely the creation of Gary Gygax. He also gave Frank Mentzer what has been described as "200-300 pages of notes" on the Temple; from that source, Mentzer created the finished adventure. While Mentzer was working on Temple, he was one of the major designers at TSR. He was right in the middle of producing the BECMI edition of Basic D&D (1983-1986), and he'd already been picked to lead the work on AD&D Second Edition. As it happens, Mentzer never got to work on 2e; instead, he joined Gygax in forming New Infinities Productions in October 1986.

About the Product Historian

This history of this product was researched and written by Shannon Appelcline, the author of Designers & Dragons - a history of the roleplaying industry told one company at a time. Please feel free to mail corrections, comments, and additions to shannon.appelcline@gmail.com.

 
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Reviews (35)
Discussions (21)
Customer avatar
John W September 26, 2013 12:00 pm UTC
PURCHASER
Thanks! Made for a Great birthday present for myself this week!
Here is hoping you maintain the reduced prices on the other products... AND that you Bundle them... I am saving up to purchase everything. Looking forward to seeing what else you will transfer to PDF.
One note though - it would be nice if things like "the Secret of Bone Hill" did not have pencil marks in them.
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Pablo M September 25, 2013 12:29 am UTC
PURCHASER
Thanks a lot! Good site. Common sense people! the site is OK...
Customer avatar
Mikael B September 23, 2013 2:18 pm UTC
PURCHASER
OK, so this page is utterly broken. They promise us a free PDF, but cannot even produce a web page to download it from. Bummer.
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Neil G September 22, 2013 4:05 pm UTC
PURCHASER
How a company like Wizards can still be so bad at the basics such as web/eCommerce totally bemuses me...
Customer avatar
Anne T September 22, 2013 3:39 am UTC
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If you are having trouble getting this from the www.dndclassics.com site, then search for it on RPGNow.com and/or DriveThruRPG.com. Same family of sites, and their pages look normal, while the D&D site's page is looking a little off.
Hope this helps! Have fun! :D
Customer avatar
Mærie O September 21, 2013 9:02 pm UTC
PURCHASER
cool. thanks, shannon for the historical perspective.
Customer avatar
Graham S September 21, 2013 4:15 pm UTC
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Try this link if you are having issues...http://www.dndclassics.com/index.php?pto=0&pfrom=0
Customer avatar
Ivan C September 21, 2013 9:01 am UTC
PURCHASER
Right, the link is invisible, however you can click next to "GET IT FREE" on the right, and that will put it in the cart
Customer avatar
Michael K September 21, 2013 5:29 am UTC
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I think on the D&DClassics version of the website, the button graphics aren't loading properly. Try it through rpgnow or drivethrurpg.
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Adam C September 21, 2013 4:28 am UTC
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I have to agree, this website is horrible. I'm trying my best to add this to my cart, but it's impossible.
Customer avatar
Jesse L September 21, 2013 3:36 am UTC
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WHERE IS THE DOWNLOAD BUTTON?

this website is fucking HORRIBLE
Customer avatar
Bruce L September 21, 2013 3:53 am UTC
PURCHASER
Load it into your shopping cart, then check out -- it has a price of $0.00, so you won't need to supply payment information. Cheers!
Customer avatar
justin B September 21, 2013 2:59 am UTC
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ok so its free...now how do i download it lol?
Customer avatar
Bruce L September 21, 2013 3:53 am UTC
PURCHASER
Load it into your shopping cart, then check out -- it has a price of $0.00, so you won't need to supply payment information. Cheers!
Customer avatar
Ivan C September 21, 2013 9:00 am UTC
PURCHASER
How would one go about loading it into the cart? beyond finding a digital imp to do the digital lifting i mean.
Customer avatar
Tony B September 20, 2013 2:15 am UTC
PURCHASER
Wow... I loved this adventure in the 80's and constantly used the Village of Homlet, Nulb and the Wild Coast Surrounds of Greyhawk all through the 90's.... no idea what the other people are on about but I loved it, the story comes from your characters after all and even the great Gary Gygax himself said, 'the rules just arn't that important' once you understand that the worlds of Dungeons and Dragons are yours to explore and enjoy !!
Customer avatar
Bruce L September 12, 2013 4:38 pm UTC
PURCHASER
I own a hard-copy, and I have to say, it is virtually useless to me: it is 100+ pages of boxed, room descriptions, and zero explanation of the plot, storyline, or even an outline! I came away from attempting to read it several times, over a period of 20+ years, wondering if Gary Gygax really expects DM's to glean the plot from reading the room descriptions alone!

I purchased the fiction book of the same title, hoping to learn what the story concept behind the 100+ pages of super-module are. I have not read too much of the paperback (long out of print, picked up a used copy off of Amazon.com), but I have learned enough, thus far, to begin to understand how I might use this super-module, maybe, some day...

The idea of reading 100+ pages of room descriptions, leaves me cold. I don't know how anyone could read this, as originally printed, and learn what the storyline is all about. I role-play my games, as opposed to roll-play.

If you did not read the paperback fiction book...See more
Customer avatar
Afet B September 19, 2013 4:35 pm UTC
PURCHASER
Well, these days there's usually someone on the Internet who can help with this. Here, for example is the Wikipedia article, which contains a brief plot summary: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Temple_of_Elemental_Evil#Plot_summary
Customer avatar
Dwayne Y September 21, 2013 2:16 am UTC
PURCHASER
I don't think you understand the true concept of "role play" with the Dungeon Master as author and guide. These modules are just tools to help the DM with the details of the adventure that he/she creates.
Customer avatar
Bruce L September 21, 2013 3:51 am UTC
PURCHASER
Dwayne, I've been playing D&D since 1983, DM'ing since 6 months into my gaming start. I play mostly by ad-lib, building storylines from barebones outlines I write, with the flesh, and the directions of the plotlines, coming from the players' input to what happens. Combat happens, but the story is the key for my group. As I said, 120 pages of room descriptions is a bit much to plow through, to get the basic plot outline. Thanks for your input, though. Cheers!
Customer avatar
Jonathan G September 21, 2013 5:16 am UTC
PURCHASER
It is just a reprint of the old 1e book and suffers from all of the problems pretty much every one of those books had. Bad layout comes with the 80s territory, sadly. It doesn't help that T1 can be considered stand-alone and, as a result is really bare-bones and open-ended compared to the rest of the module. Important information about characters and location has a tendency to be buried in the text descriptions and really requires you to read through and make notes ahead of time on some of the important plot points and NPCs. Aside from the information that can be gathered from the villagers, you really have to make your own hooks into the first bit of the content, especially since the starting blurb is just your standard "seeking fame and fortune as a murderhobo" motivation.
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Product Information
Gold seller
Pages
128
Edition
1.0
Publisher Stock #
TSR 9147
File Size:
35.98 MB
Format
Scanned image
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File Last Updated:
September 19, 2013
This title was added to our catalog on January 22, 2013.
Publisher Info
Wizards of the Coast
Wizards of the Coast
Publisher Average Rating