Advanced Search

B3 Palace of the Silver Princess (Basic)Click to magnify
Quick Preview
Full‑size Preview

B3 Palace of the Silver Princess (Basic)

Selected Option:
Watermarked PDF
Softcover, B&W Book
Watermarked PDF + Softcover, B&W Book

As part of the Black Friday/Cyber Monday sale this title has been marked down by up to 33%. For more values visit the Black Friday/Cyber Monday sale page.

Not long ago, the valley was green and animals ran free through golden fields of grain. The Princess Argenta ruled over this peaceful land and the people were secure and happy. Then one day, a warrior riding a white dragon appeared in the skies over the castle, and almost overnight the tiny kingdom fell into ruin. Now only ruins and rumors remain, and what legends there are tell of a fabulous treasure still buried somewhere within the Palace of the Silver Princess.

This module is for use with the D&D Basic Set and is specifically designed for beginning players and DMs. Contained within are maps of the palace and its dungeons, background information, new monsters and a special preliminary adventure for novice DMs and players alike.

Product History

B3: "Palace of the Silver Princess" (1981), by Tom Moldvay and Jean Wells, was released by TSR in 1981, around the time that the Basic Dungeons & Dragons line was revised with a new Basic Set by Tom Moldvay (1981) and a new Expert Set (1981) by David "Zeb" Cook. However, the widely released green-covered edition of the book was actually its second printing; much of the book's interesting history centers on what came before.

The Censored Palace. The first printing of "Palace of the Silver Princess" (1981), which instead featured an orange cover, was solely the product of Jean Wells - making it one of the earlier RPG products written solely by a woman, as well as TSR's first release in that regard. The book was only lightly edited before it was printed. Various interviews suggest that this was because editor Ed Sollers was pretty new at his job; because Gary Gygax, who had hired Wells, asked that there be a "light" editorial touch; or because the book was on tight deadline.

When the book came back to TSR, it was sent out to some hobby shops and distributed to employees… and that's when the problems began. Some members of TSR's management (including Will Niebling and probably Kevin Blume) didn't like what they saw in the published module. As a result, they recalled it, getting it back from employees and hobby shops as best they could. Some few copies survived, and they've become rare collectors' items. Most have sold for $600-$800 in the 2000s, though The Acaeum records a March 2008 sale for $3050 as the highest confirmed sale price of any non-unique D&D module.

The exact reasons for the censorship aren't clear, but Erol Otus' artwork is most often listed as the culprit. "The Illusion of the Decapus" shows a woman being tortured, and Wells recalls Niebling stating that it was "S&M." Another picture showed a three-armed, three-headed hermaphrodite.

The text is also sometimes listed as a problem. With its light editing, it may not have been up to the levels of professionalism that TSR for shooting for with its new Basic Set. In addition, the adventure left GMs to fill in monsters and treasures from a listing. The basic idea of teaching GMs how to create dungeons had been used previously in B1: "In Search of the Unknown" (1978), but TSR had since abandoned it in favor of more complete dungeons.

Whatever the exact reasons, Tom Moldvay was given the task of revising "Palace." He polished up the text, revamped some of the dungeon, removed some of Wells' unique monsters, and filled in all the blanks. Some of Erol Otus' artwork was also swapped out, then the adventure was reprinted in its familiar green-covered form for actual distribution.

Less Introductory. Although B3 was an introductory adventure, it wasn't as simplistic as B1: "In Search of the Unknown" or B2: "The Keep on the Borderlands" (1980), both of which included extensive notes on how to run D&D.

About the Creators. This was Jean Wells' first and last RPG adventure. She left TSR later in the year, though for reasons having nothing to do with the problems surrounding "Palace." Tom Moldvay, meanwhile, probably worked on B3 just after he produced the second edition of the Dungeons & Dragons Basic Set, making it the first adventure mostly written for the "red" D&D Basic Set (though the adventure actually mentions both editions, and Jean Wells' version of the adventure probably predated the red box).

Finally, this wouldn't be the only time Erol Otus artwork caused controversy. His work on Oracle Games' Alma Mater (1982) was part of what caused that RPG to be censored. However, Otus is probably better known for the beautiful and iconic covers he produced for the Basic and Expert sets around the same time.

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

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.

 Customers Who Bought this Title also Purchased
Reviews (5)
Discussions (29)
Customer avatar
Iain B October 31, 2022 8:46 pm UTC
Hey guys, glad to see you make steps forward, but would really like a colour POD! Is that possible?
Customer avatar
Iain B October 31, 2022 8:44 pm UTC
What does the cover of a B&W book like?
Customer avatar
kristiaan L October 17, 2022 9:26 pm UTC
POD=Instant purchase
Customer avatar
Michael O October 07, 2022 1:14 am UTC
POD, please!
Customer avatar
Erik T August 29, 2022 7:08 pm UTC
This needs to be POD!
Customer avatar
Iain B August 18, 2022 7:45 pm UTC
WARNING: Until this classic module is made POD, like the rest of the B series, the world will be blighted by a terrible injustice.

(PS Same goes for X3. What have you got against the number 3??)
Customer avatar
July 07, 2022 8:19 pm UTC
This would be great to have in print!
Customer avatar
June 07, 2022 7:10 pm UTC
Would love to buy this in print!
Customer avatar
Ilias L May 27, 2022 1:24 pm UTC
POD please.
Customer avatar
Antonio C May 26, 2022 4:20 pm UTC
It' the only one left in B Series without POD :(
Customer avatar
Iain B May 03, 2022 8:18 pm UTC
POD this sucker. You can do it!
Customer avatar
martin Y April 23, 2022 6:58 pm UTC
Who do I have to sleep with to make this POD?
Customer avatar
Iain B May 03, 2022 8:18 pm UTC
I think they’re trying, Martin, but anything you can do to help push B3 over the line would be greatly appreciated.
Customer avatar
Benjamin W March 19, 2022 7:29 am UTC
Products need to go platinum, before they become they get made availible as POD. Basically Wizards and OBS need to be sure their is enough of a market to make the effort worthwhile.
Customer avatar
George F June 16, 2022 3:25 pm UTC
Really? That makes sense.
Customer avatar
Tapio P March 18, 2022 2:45 am UTC
POD Please!!
Customer avatar
Matthew Y March 09, 2022 10:48 pm UTC
Would love a POD, please!
Customer avatar
Daniel R February 11, 2022 7:30 pm UTC
POD Please!
See 16 more
Browse Categories
 Follow Your Favorites!
NotificationsSign in to get custom notifications of new products!

Product Information
Mithral seller
Rules Edition(s)
Publisher Stock #
TSR 9044
File Size:
5.9 MB
Scanned image
Scanned image
These products were created by scanning an original printed edition. Most older books are in scanned image format because original digital layout files never existed or were no longer available from the publisher.

For PDF download editions, each page has been run through Optical Character Recognition (OCR) software to attempt to decipher the printed text. The result of this OCR process is placed invisibly behind the picture of each scanned page, to allow for text searching. However, any text in a given book set on a graphical background or in handwritten fonts would most likely not be picked up by the OCR software, and is therefore not searchable. Also, a few larger books may be resampled to fit into the system, and may not have this searchable text background.

For printed books, we have performed high-resolution scans of an original hardcopy of the book. We essentially digitally re-master the book. Unfortunately, the resulting quality of these books is not as high. It's the problem of making a copy of a copy. The text is fine for reading, but illustration work starts to run dark, pixellating and/or losing shades of grey. Moiré patterns may develop in photos. We mark clearly which print titles come from scanned image books so that you can make an informed purchase decision about the quality of what you will receive.
Original electronic format
These ebooks were created from the original electronic layout files, and therefore are fully text searchable. Also, their file size tends to be smaller than scanned image books. Most newer books are in the original electronic format. Both download and print editions of such books should be high quality.
File Information
Watermarked PDF
Watermarked PDF

These PDF files are digitally watermarked to signify that you are the owner. A small message is added to the bottom of each page of the PDF containing your name and the order number of your purchase.

Warning: If any files bearing your information are found being distributed illegally, then your account will be suspended and legal action may be taken against you.

Here is a sample of a page from a watermarked title:

File Last Updated:
January 28, 2013
This title was added to our catalog on January 22, 2013.