Module G1 – Steading of the Hill Giant Chief

US, UK, Australian prints

I’m so excited to get to the first official module. The adventure modules are what I enjoy reading the most.

What’s New

  • Its’ the first D&D module designed, produced and distributed by TSR – woohoo! (Lost Tsojcanth wasn’t distributed by TSR, Vampire Queen et al were written by others. Temple of the Frog was a scenario contained in a rulebook, not a standalone module).
  • It’s the first AD&D product besides the Monster Manual (and the Players Handbook released just a touch later)
  • This is the last product to use the Lizard logo (as far as I can tell). That’s on the first printing and the Australian print.
  • Instigation of the module letter/number scheme
  • Concept of a series of modules is introduced – “First of 3 modules” (basically as a consequence of the 3 part structure of how it was used at the Origins tournament)
  • Instigation of the cover wrap around cover with map inside and separate module booklet
  • Note – map style is not new – that style was introduced in the Geomorph products

Art

  • Pretty cool cover and art throughout by DCSIII with the exception of a kitchen scene by Tramp
  • I really like how the back cover is a high perspective shot of the Steading which matches the map
  • Oddly, on the Australian edition, the back cover has no product info and is just the same picture of bugbears from the 3rd panel of the cover of D1. (Note, first US printing only lists the G modules, not the D modules.)

General

  • What’s great about this module is that it’s actually coherent! The environment and layout makes logical sense. The “wandering monsters” are not just random monsters but various of the giants and other creatures moving from location to location. There’s also a hint at a guiding force behind the banding together of giants, to be revealed in later modules.
  • Uhhhh, the chief hill giant, described as a sly, backstabbing, despicable creature, has the name Nosnra, which is suspiciously close to Arneson backwards…
  • In being logically coherent, it means most of the rooms are empty of inhabitants because they’re almost all in the main hall – which makes for one enormous battle if the party takes that on – 29 giants, 8 ogres and a bear!
  • It’s pretty darn short at 8 pages but it still crams a lot in – this is definitely still the era where the DM was meant to come up with a lot of stuff
  • On to G2 next!

Image Information

From left to right in all pictures, US 3rd print, UK print, Australian print.

Date Information – July 1978

The dating of this one is fairly clear. The 3 G modules were used for the tournament which ran at Origins ’78 and put on sale immediately after the end of the tournament. So July it is. You can read a bit about it on DriveThruRPG. More info at The Acaeum.

Further timeline information:

  • Ads in June and July Dragon mags for Origins (July) saying D&D tourney modules (and Gamma World) will be available at the booth and Players Handbook available at GenCon (August)
  • G’s were played at Origins in July
  • G’s have Lizard logo (1st print)
  • Gamma World has Lizard logo (1st print)
  • Judges Guild Journal Issue 10/S June/July lists the G’s and Gamma World for sale
  • Players Handbook available in August with Wizard logo (1st print)
  • Ad in August dragon mag saying PH is available
  • D’s were played at Gencon in August
  • D’s have Wizard logo
  • second print of PH has date of September and Wizard logo
  • the ad in the Oct Dragon for the G’s says they’re available and 3 more (the D’s) to be made available at GenCon (plainly should have been in an earlier issue – but then it’s always hard to figure out the lead times of the Dragon mags)