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Classic Modules Today: I3-5 Desert of Desolation (5e)
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Classic Modules Today: I3-5 Desert of Desolation (5e)


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In 1987, TSR published the supermodule named “Desert of Desolation” with the module code “I3-5”. It was a compilation and expansion of the original three modules; Pharaoh, Oasis of the White Palm, and Lost Tomb of Martek. The original material was written by Tracy Hickman, Laura Hickman, and Philip Meyers, and expanded by Peter Rice and William John Wheeler. It was illustrated by Jim Holloway, Keith Parkinson, and Harry Quinn.  It consisted of a 128 page book, poster size wilderness map, and small map booklet.

In 2004, for the 30th anniversary of the Dungeons & Dragons game, Dungeon magazine ranked this module the 6th greatest adventure of all time.

This conversion guide allows DMs to run the original module with 5th Edition rules and provides a reference sheet for encounters.

This update is an entirely new expansion of the original conversion. Substantial content was added including:

  • Less NPC substitutions and more custom NPC stat blocks.
  • Advice on running the different sections of the campaign, including clarification where the original text is unclear.
  • Eratta in the original adventure noted.
  • Updated and custom magical items.
  • Cleaner, easier to read format with larger fonts.
  • Revised desert encounters so you don't have to refer to the original book.
  • Each chapter and section given references to proper book location and map.

The conversion is now 50 pages of content for running this mini campaign adventure with the D&D 5th edition rules. Best of all, no price change for the additonal content!

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Reviews (4)
Discussions (8)
Customer avatar
Mark S July 19, 2021 6:10 am UTC
New revised version uploaded, now with 50 pages of expanded content.
Customer avatar
Mark S May 20, 2021 5:52 am UTC
New updated version uploaded.
Customer avatar
Joel C April 07, 2021 12:55 am UTC
In Chapter 14 there are Palan-teens but nothing in the list of monsters as to what to use for them. Do I assume they are all knights like Percivilis?
Customer avatar
Jason O April 14, 2021 1:24 am UTC
I noted this when I ran it also, I just treated them as thugs (CR 1/2) because it puts them pretty equivalent to their 1e counter part. Basic fighter types, low AC, decent hp's.

Guilders are 1/2 CR scouts and I think this makes them "roughly" on par as opponents.
Customer avatar
Adam M August 17, 2019 4:06 pm UTC
Is this a raw stats conversion or does it adjust encounter difficulties to 5e assumptions?
Customer avatar
Jason O August 18, 2019 12:26 am UTC
DoD is a fairly sandboxy game, and it should not be expected that it will run like "2 encounters, short rest, 2 encounters, short rest, etc".

There is a decent amount of work that needs to be done in general to run the adventure coherently, but it is an awesome adventure overall.
Customer avatar
Cary B April 28, 2019 6:42 pm UTC
Hey, the Special Creatures section is referenced many times but is completely missing from the download.
Customer avatar
Mark S May 01, 2019 1:33 am UTC
Hi Cary. Special Creatures span pages 17 to 23. I checked the pdf and uploaded it again to be sure the download is correct. Thanks!
Customer avatar
Cary B May 01, 2019 1:44 am UTC
Man, my old-man eyes have failed me. Speak and like magic they appear. Thank you!
Customer avatar
Aaron A March 04, 2018 4:56 pm UTC
I may be wrong, but it seems as though some traps haven't been converted to 5e? Like crushing walls and falling block?
Customer avatar
Aaron A March 04, 2018 5:17 pm UTC
Nevermind I see it now
Customer avatar
Jason O February 15, 2018 8:02 pm UTC
Having purchased this, I have to admit, I'm a bit confused by the layout. Planned Encounters per chapter make sense, they are the direct conversion from the module. But almost every chapter has a listing of "Monsters" and I have no idea what this is meant to be? Sometimes it matches the room descriptions, other times it doesn't. What is this?
Customer avatar
Mark S February 26, 2018 9:53 pm UTC
Hi Jason. The "Monsters" listing is simply a concise list of the monsters potentially encountered in that chapter, and is put there to help the you run the chapter by letting you know which monster stat blocks to have handy during play. You could go through the random and planned encounters and glean the list yourself, but I like to make the DM's job easier when I can.
Customer avatar
Blue P January 11, 2018 5:37 am UTC
if you want the maps, go here:

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File Last Updated:
July 19, 2021
This title was added to our catalog on December 22, 2016.