Dungeon Masters Kit – Number 1
The first ever published D&D module! It’s here because it was distributed by TSR.
This is quite an impressive adventure considering there were basically no other examples to get ideas from (apart from the minimal and weird example in the D&D rulebooks). It’s quite amazing how polished the whole thing is.
The maps are all very nice and they even provide copies of the maps for the players that don’t show keys or secret areas.
The background story is written very well and is certainly enough of an adventure hook to get things going and give a decent reason for the state of the ‘dungeon’.
The key to each room is very minimal. Basically no description, just what monsters there are if any, and what treasure if any. Occasionally there’ll be some small note. And there are a heck of a lot of empty rooms (which kind of makes sense in the context of the story).
And of course a lot of the rooms are just random monsters or people that would have no rationale for being there. Although truthfully a lot of it kind of does make sense, more-so than a lot of other modules.
And LOTS of secret doors.
Level 4 starts to get a little crazy with the monsters and treasure. Chests with 10000gp guarded by things like mummies.
And on level 5 we get a Balrog! You know, just kind of hanging out in an empty room at the end of a corridor…
Actually level 5 is kind of funny. It’s almost what would be called a corridor shooter in modern terms – pretty much a single path with various rooms off to the side.
The whole point of the quest is to save the Dwarven King’s daughter. The description for her room is “dwarf princess, 3hp, empty, princess is unharmed”. No flavour text for you!
A reprint can be purchased from DriveThruRPG.
The Copyright page says “1st Printing June 1976”. You can see this copyright page on The Acaeum. Tome of Treasures also says June.