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White Plume Mountain Revised (3.5)


White Plume Mountain, the new revised adventure by Andy Collins, Gwendolyn F.M. Kestrel, and James Wyatt, recasts the three famous weapons Blackrazor, Wave, and Whelm as legacy weapons and presents Lawrence Schick's entire dungeon fully revised and updated for D&D V.3.5.

So if you've been looking for a classic adventure that you can use with the newest rules, download this web enhancement now and introduce your PCs to the wizard Keraptis and his minions!

Product History

"White Plume Mountain" (2005), by Lawrence Schick & updated by Andy Collins, Gwendolyn F.M Kestrel, and James Wyatt, is a 3.5e iteration of the classic AD&D dungeon. It was published as part of Wizards' online Adventure Archive on December 7, 2005.

Origins. In 1978, Gary Gygax decided to create a Design Department within TSR, and so began advertising job positions. One of the applicants was Lawrence Schick, a recent graduate of Kent State University. After he was asked to submit an AD&D adventure as a sample of his work he cobbled together his "best ideas" from five years of dungeon design and wrote "White Plume Mountain". Not only was Schick hired, soon becoming the Head of the expanding department, but "White Plume Mountain" was also scheduled by Gygax for publication.

Sources. The sword Blackrazor, one of the three named weapons in White Plume Mountain, is an obvious rip-off of Elric's black blade, Stormbringer. Schick says he "would not have put it into the scenario if [he] ever thought it might be published."

Continuing the Special Adventures. "White Plume Mountain" followed S1: "Tomb of Horrors" (1978) as the second "Special" adventure — which seems to mainly mean one-off adventures for AD&D, not connected as part of a campaign like the G, D, and T adventures that had preceded it.

"White Plume Mountain" is notable for being the first AD&D adventure not authored by Gary Gygax — though it was preceded by Mike Carr's B1: "In Search of the Unknown" (1978) for the Basic D&D game. The trend of other authors writing for D&D would really take off in 1980.

Like all of TSR's early D&D adventures, the first edition of "White Plume Mountain" was printed with a monochrome (orannge) cover. It was updated with a full-color cover with an orange border (1980) just a year later; at the same time the book was expanded from 12 to 16 pages, mainly thanks to the addition of more illustrations.

Continuing the Adventures Archive. By late 2005, TSR's free 3e adventure archive was nearing its end, but that year also contained two of their most notable adventures, 3e revamps of classics "Tomb of Horrors" (2005) and "White Plume Mountain".

The 3.5e version of "White Plume Mountain" is based closely on the original, with the design adjusted in some areas for balance and better polish. The three named weapons have also been statted up with the Weapons of Legacy (2005) system.

Wizards supplemented this adventure with a web enhancement, "Outside the Mountain is just as Dangerous as Inside" (2006). It updates material from Return to White Plume Mountain (1999), including the fourth weapon, Frostrazor.

Adventure Tropes. White Plume Mountain is an interesting contrast. On the one hand it's one of the earliest quest dungeons: players go into the Mountain searching for three magic weapons. The dungeon is very tightly organized around that quest. On the other hand, "White Plume Mountain" was TSR's first "fun house" dungeon. This was doubtless a result of the piecemeal way that Schick constructed the dungeon. The result doesn't feel like an organic whole and certainly doesn't contain any "Gygaxian naturalism". Instead, it's a random assortment of monsters, puzzles, and traps. Just as "Tomb of Horrors" popularized the idea that D&D dungeons could be "killers", "White Plume Mountain" in turn debuted the idea of fun house dungeons as professional releases (though GMs all over the country had surely been cobbling them together for half a decade).

Exploring Greyhawk. Like "Tomb of Horror" before it, "White Plume Mountain" is only very lightly set in Greyhawk. The beautiful full-page map on page three, showing the Great Swamp, White Plume Mountain, and Castle Mukos didn't match up with anything else at the time, though the text of the adventure clearly places White Plume Mountain in the Shield Lands, near the Great Rift. The background in the module was also entirely self-contained at the time.

Years later, Return to White Plume Mountain (1998) would much more fully connect up Schick's famous module with Gygax's world.

NPCs of Note. The central NPC of "White Plume Mountain" is dungeon creator Keraptis — except the 1,300-year-old wizard is never actually seen.

Instead, it's probably the undead dragon Dragotha who's best remembered from this adventure. This primordial dracolich only shows up on the map of the local area as a possible adventure seed. He finally got a full writeup a decade later in the "Lords & Legends" column of Dragon #134 (June 1988).

Both NPCs got much better usage in Return to White Plume Mountain, while Dragotha also starred in the "Age of Worms" adventure path in Dungeon #124 (July 2005) to Dungeon #135 (June 2006).

About the Creators. Though originally written by Schick, three different authors contributed to the 3.5e revision of White Plume Mountain. Kestrel updated the Whelm section of the dungeon, Wyatt worked on Wave's region, and Collins got to revamp the ever-popular Blackrazor area.

About the Product Historian

The history of this product was researched and written by Shannon Appelcline, the editor-in-chief of RPGnet and 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

We (Wizards) recognize that some of the legacy content available on this website does not reflect the values of the Dungeons & Dragons franchise today. Some older content may reflect ethnic, racial, and gender prejudice that were commonplace in American society at that time. These depictions were wrong then and are wrong today. This content is presented as it was originally created, because to do otherwise would be the same as claiming these prejudices never existed. Dungeons & Dragons teaches that diversity is a strength, and we strive to make our D&D products as welcoming and inclusive as possible. This part of our work will never end.

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August 5th, 2016
This is a really fun adventure for new players -- one of my favorite modules. This edition has been adapted for 3.5, but I went ahead and played it for 5e. (To make things easier, I just downloaded some premade characters between levels 6-8. The modul [...]
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