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T1-4 Temple of Elemental Evil (1e)
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T1-4 Temple of Elemental Evil (1e)

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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

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Reviews (39)
Discussions (22)
Customer avatar
GeoCentric D April 13, 2018 4:25 pm UTC
I hope they get this corrected, updated, and release a PoD.
Customer avatar
Rich F January 27, 2018 6:23 pm UTC
it's been over 4 years since I first reported problems with this PDF.

nothing has changed.

Customer avatar
Timothy S September 26, 2017 3:25 pm UTC
With this being featured with the September 2017 "Setting Sale," is this being updated? The scan/OCR is riddled with errors and typos.
Customer avatar
GeoCentric D January 17, 2017 2:53 pm UTC
Is there any chance of getting issues discussed here fixed and adding this to the PoD list?
Customer avatar
Rich F March 28, 2016 1:52 pm UTC
On January 8th, 2014, I reported the following:
Page 9 of T1-4 (as in, the number at the bottom of the page) has an OCR issue. In the middle of the page, encounter area 13, in the second paragraph after the first boxed text area, there is a sentence which reads:

"The shop is run by one Rannos Davl, who is bed."

The original text, found in my printed copy and the original version you guys sold before WotC yanked PDF sales, reads:

"The shop is run by one Rannos Davl, who is best described as slow, fat, clumsy and placid."

I know you guys simply put up what WotC gives you, but if you could pass that along and get it fixed, I'd appreciate it.

It still hasn't been corrected. That's very disappointing.
Customer avatar
Timothy S September 26, 2017 3:27 pm UTC
And it looks like their offering the same hacky scan/OCR as before in this September 2017 Setting Sale. Disappointing.
Customer avatar
GeoCentric D October 06, 2015 11:25 am UTC
I love that WotC is releasing product on a weekly basis, but when will we start seeing more of the classics items again like the Slavers Series: both individual modules (A1, A2, A3, A4) and the 'super module (A1-4). And others like GDQ1-7 Queen of Spiders, or the S-series and H-series. Also, there are several series still missing one or two products.
Customer avatar
Anne T March 02, 2015 6:31 pm UTC
The quality of the scan is excellent, clean and crisp, with a bright white background and dark black text. If it weren't for a couple of printing (not scanning) artifacts - a little less clarity on some sidebar text which is on a grey background, a texture flaw in one of the maps, and not quite perfect cover - you'd think it was from the print files and not a scan. I believe the module is complete, but I don't have the original, and haven't read or run it. The maps are included, and near-perfect scans. Wholly useable. It is a scan, but it is OCR'd, and properly done, so that if you highlight the central column of text, for instance, you aren't picking up odd words from the columns to either side. The only thing it lacks is bookmarking from the table of contents, but that, I think, would require original digital files, or more work than is worthwhile or really necessary. IMO, this is definitely a copy worth its price.
Customer avatar
Kevin W June 06, 2015 7:41 pm UTC
There are a few cases where a line of text is skipped. The example I am looking at is a few characters in on a line "is best described as" stops at the 4th character of that line and picked up at the 6th character of the next line "placid" leaving you with "The shop is run by Rannos Davlm who is bed."

I can't tell how many more such errors exist, but it makes the PDF version of dubious value.
Customer avatar
Frank P February 27, 2015 5:54 pm UTC
Can anyone provide an idea of the quality? Is this just a scan of an old module copy, or is this a fresh new layout? The "preview" looks low quality, but that may be the preview.
Customer avatar
John W September 26, 2013 12:00 pm UTC
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.
Customer avatar
Pablo M September 25, 2013 12:29 am UTC
Thanks a lot! Good site. Common sense people! the site is OK...
Customer avatar
Mikael B September 23, 2013 2:18 pm UTC
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.
Customer avatar
Neil G September 22, 2013 4:05 pm UTC
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
If you are having trouble getting this from the site, then search for it on and/or 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
cool. thanks, shannon for the historical perspective.
Customer avatar
Graham S September 21, 2013 4:15 pm UTC
Try this link if you are having issues...
Customer avatar
Ivan C September 21, 2013 9:01 am UTC
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
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Electrum seller
Rules Edition(s)
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TSR 9147
File Size:
35.98 MB
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File Last Updated:
September 19, 2013
This title was added to our catalog on January 22, 2013.