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I2 Tomb of the Lizard King (1e)

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The southlands of Eor are being despoiled. Merchants will no longer run their caravans on the main highway past the quiet village of Waycombe. The peasants are fleeing their lands, and all are demanding protection from the powerful Count of Eor. The goodly count has sent a troop of his trusted fighters to exterminate the brigands believed responsible for these outrages, but weeks have passed, and still there is no word from this force.
Now John Brunis, Count of Eor, has turned to you for aid. After taking counsel with the High Priest of Eor, he believes that a small party of cunning, bold adventurers may succeed where armed might has failed. You find yourselves faced with many mysteries!
Why has robbery suddenly erupted in the peaceful southlands? How could mere brigands be as powerful as the foes described to you by their numerous victims? Is this really mere robbery? Or is there some truth to the rumors, told only in hushed whispers, about the beginnings of a hideous plot being hatched by an ancient, vile, and evil foe of all mankind?
The answers to these mysteries will be found by only the most brave and cunning in this extremely challenging adventure for characters levels 5 to 7.
Product History
I2: "Tomb of the Lizard King" (1982), by Mark Acres, is the second adventure in the (mostly) unconnected series of "intermediate" I-series adventures for AD&D. It was published in 1982.
About the Name. Everyone knows that the Tomb of the Lizard King is really in Paris - at least that's where Jim "The Lizard King" Morrison is buried. Acres didn't intentionally reference Morrison in the adventure title, but it turns out he is a big fan of the Doors.
Adventure Needed, Stat. "Lizard King" came about when an opening suddenly appeared in the I series, which had started by David Cook's I1: "Dwellers of the Forbidden City" (1981) in the previous year. Presumably something else fell through. As a result, a "quick" adventure was needed.
Acres opted to be the one to fill the gap, taking on the task freelance (and thus separate from his normal TSR work). He wrote the adventure in a hurry, typing it on an old Royal typewriter over a weekend, Friday through Sunday - and then turned it in on Monday morning.
Recurring Tropes. This adventure makes use of several tropes that were percolating through D&D adventures in the early 80s: It starts out with a set-piece plot encounter (which was fairly unknown in 1982), continues with a short episodic wilderness trek, and then moves into a village. From there the adventure contains more traditional dungeon delving: into an ancient temple, a brigand's lair, and then a tomb.
Author Acres also makes extensive use of detailed NPCs, which he says reflects his personal style of GMing.
Expanding Greyhawk. As published, "Lizard King" is set in a generic fantasy realm called the County of Eor. It's since been officially folded into Greyhawk. In "The Kingdom of Keoland" (Living Greyhawk Journal #1, 2000), author Gary Holian hints that the County of Eor fell to lizard men raids before being absorbed in part into the Kingdom of Keoland.
Monsters of Note. One of the most innovative elements in the adventure is the introduction of the "vampiric lizard man." In those days, long before the monster templates of 3e (2000), combining monster types like that was pretty rare.
Acres says that he'd loved vampires since he'd read Bram Stoker's Dracula at age 12 and had loved lizard men since he'd started playing D&D. In "Lizard King," he needed a monster to top the black dragon that appears earlier in the adventure, and thus came up with the idea of combining two of his favorites.
Lizardy Goodness. The reptilian themes of I2 have led more than one GM to connect it up with N1: "Against the Cult of the Reptile God" (1982), published earlier the same year.
About the Creators. Mark Acres began working at TSR in 1980, but all of his other developer work went to non-D&D. He was the co-author of Gangbusters (1982) and of Star Frontiers' Volturnus trilogy (1982) of adventures. In time, he left TSR (with many other TSR alumni) for Pacesetter, where he'd design their Time Master RPG (1984) and co-design their innovative Sandman: Map of Halaal (1985) game - the first release in an RPG trilogy that was unfortunately never finished.
About the Product Historian
The 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

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Geoffrey T May 15, 2023 12:19 pm UTC
Just got mine today (3 weeks from the UK to AUS), very happy indeed.
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Brian V June 06, 2022 3:10 pm UTC
Seth Skorkowsky!
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Dominic L September 02, 2021 11:19 am UTC
Good quality reprint, text and maps clear throughout
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Dustin C October 05, 2019 12:49 am UTC
My print copy came bundled with B1: In Search of the Unknown. They main module is intact and unaltered. I’m just wondering if this is normal.
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File Last Updated:
October 08, 2013
This title was added to our catalog on April 16, 2013.