Original D&D — Finding Adventures

D&D Adventures

A good number of adventure modules were published for Original D&D, but with the exception of “The Temple of the Frog” published as part of the Blackmoor supplement, they weren’t published by TSR. TSR did not really get into publishing adventures until the AD&D hardbacks were being published. Instead adventures were published by third party companies. Most were publiashed by Judges Guild who had a license from TSR so they could be officially produced for D&D.

Adventures for Original D&D were generally much different from adventures published for later editions. They generally detailed an area and/or a dungeon, provide some hooks the DM could use to get the characters involved and that was it. There was little plot (except perhaps a mission for a patron to get things started). While some fault this, it made for very open-ended player-centered adventures. The players could have their characters do what they wanted them to without the DM having to keep a story with a detailed plotline on track for later encounters or modules to work correctly.

Judges Guild Original D&D adventures came in two basic types: completely independent competition dungeons that have been run in touraments at major conventions and normal (i.e. not designed around tournament needs and limitations) adventures, most of which are set in various places in Judges Guild’s own Wilderlands setting (but can be dropped into almost any campaign world). While the tourament dungeons are interesting, they present a very skewed style of adventure designed around the needs of tournament play: strict time limits and need to fairly pick winners. Non-tournament adventures are generally more fun for campaign play and are better examples of what an adventure should be like.

While most Original D&D Judges Guild products are long out of print, many are available in PDF format or can be purchased used at an affordable price.