Module S1 – Tomb of Horrors

What’s New

  • First module to have an illustration booklet!
  • First module with 2 booklets
  • The module title is done as a graphic instead of plain text
  • First mention of the forthcoming World of Greyhawk, which wouldn’t come out for ages. And possible locations in Greyhawk for the Tomb
  • First module to have a picture as one of the inside panels, seeing as there’s only 1 level map
  • First module to have a character roster with suggested combinations for various player numbers to enable quick balanced character creation


  • Well, there’s an extreme number of illustrations in this module compared to any preceding it
  • Front and back covers, and internal panel facing map all by DCS III
  • If I’ve got my calculations correct, in addition to the covers, I count 22 pieces by DCS and 12 by Trampier, all fantastic!


  • The 20 page illustration booklet plus 12 page module booklet means this is a total of 32 pages, equalling D3, obviously with very different content.
  • After so much hack and slash in the Gs and Ds, finally we get a module with hardly any monsters – I love it! It’s such a classic.
  • Although not stated, it’s clear the background in D3 is clearly meant to be read to the players. In this module, it’s explicitly stated. Furthermore it says to read aloud appropriate sections of encounters. (This was still before boxed sections became a thing.)
  • I remember playing this one when I was young but can’t remember how far I got. (I say I, because it was just me playing with a friend – he was DM and I was playing probably 6 characters.)

Date Information – October 1978

  • Yes, this module was first run in a certain form at Origins I in July 1975, but it wasn’t actually published then. DriveThruRpg says it was released in Fall 1978. The copyright is June 29th but this was registered in 1983 and these dates are notoriously unreliable. It may possibly be correct in terms of copyright but not actual published date. Not to mention that June is before even the G’s and D’s came out.
  • The most important bit of info is that there’s an ad for this module in Dragon issue, #21, December 1978. Furthermore module B1 is advertised in the next issue, #22 in February. Various sources say B1 was published in November, so it makes sense that S1 was published one month or so before. That’s why I’m placing it in October.
  • One other note, module D3 is code 9021, S1 is 9022, and B1 is 9023, so at least the order is pretty clear, if nothing else.