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T1-4 Temple of Elemental Evil (1e)

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Welcome to Christmas in July! In celebration, this digital title has been marked down by up to 40%! For more of Santa's savings, visit our Christmas in July sale page.

DISCLAIMER: The Print on Demand product contains typos and other errors that were contained in the original product. Until we find a copy available without those errors they will be reflected in any purchase of the  Print on Demand version of this title.


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.

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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Reviews (48)
Discussions (69)
Customer avatar
Randolph H July 11, 2024 3:18 am UTC
Does anyone know this process to formally submit a request to the publisher for PoD copies? There seems to be an abundance of messages of interest and more than likely hundreds who didn't leave a comment that may also consider sending an inquiry to make this happen again.
Customer avatar
Cameron M May 26, 2024 10:41 am UTC
PURCHASER
This was previously available as PoD, so not sure why it isn't now?
Customer avatar
Robert L May 25, 2024 9:52 pm UTC
POD please
Customer avatar
Jon L April 25, 2024 5:17 pm UTC
softcover print version please!
Customer avatar
Christian H March 23, 2024 9:34 pm UTC
POD please. Please. Please.
Customer avatar
Elliot B March 10, 2024 1:19 am UTC
What happened to the PoD version?
Customer avatar
Christopher C February 15, 2024 2:50 am UTC
POD?
Customer avatar
D. T February 01, 2024 12:27 am UTC
What happened to the POD option? :(
Customer avatar
Joseph H July 04, 2023 7:20 am UTC
PURCHASER
I need help. I ordered the standard softcover version of this title; when it arrived in the mail, the outside cover of the book looked fine - but when I cracked it open, the contents appear to be a copy of "Introducción a La Numismática" by Dr. Mario Eduardo Martinez Sánchez. I assume this is a fine quality textbook (I wouldn't know, as it's written in Italian) that was somehow bound inside the wrong cover.

In any case, it's not what I ordered. What should I do?
Reply
Customer avatar
Joseph H July 04, 2023 8:06 am UTC
PURCHASER
Oh, wait, I should probably use DriveThruRPG.com's contact us form for issues like this. I'll do that.
Customer avatar
Brady B May 26, 2023 3:02 pm UTC
Question for someone who has this. The original had a little pocket in the back for a few handouts, maps, etc. How are those handled with the POD version of this?
Customer avatar
Em R April 23, 2023 11:00 pm UTC
Would be nice to see this one in hardback.
Customer avatar
Michael C April 16, 2023 7:07 am UTC
PURCHASER
Ah, TSR back in the days before WotC - those were the days! This purchase was a necessary evil as I need to update my ancient original hardcopies with PDF!
Customer avatar
Michael G January 04, 2023 8:39 pm UTC
PURCHASER
A classic for those of us who DMed or played as PCs. Not a perfect module/adventure, though it's pretty darn close to perfect. This is what old school AD&D was all about.
Customer avatar
Taylor O January 03, 2023 5:39 am UTC
What errors are on the print on demand copy?
Customer avatar
Geoffrey T December 20, 2022 4:28 am UTC
PURCHASER
Also I forgot to say, they actually arrived on my birthday, so that worked out well!
Customer avatar
Geoffrey T December 20, 2022 2:18 am UTC
PURCHASER
Got them both (as below) today, took a bit longer as Auspost is crap, but VERY happy with the quality of this and the Fiend Folio!
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Product Information
Adamantine seller
Rules Edition(s)
Pages
128
Edition
1.0
Publisher Stock #
TSR 9147
File Size:
37.93 MB
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File Last Updated:
August 21, 2018
This title was added to our catalog on January 22, 2013.