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Tomb of the Serpent Kings - Deluxe Print EditionClick to magnify
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Tomb of the Serpent Kings - Deluxe Print Edition

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People keep asking for "beginner" dungeons. Everyone can name "classic" dungeons - Tomb of Horrors, Barrier Peaks, The Temple of Elemental Evil, etc. - but in order for those adventures to make sense, there needs to be some sort of introduction.

It's like all the adventures we have are Bach concertos. People keep writing amazing works of staggering genius, but someone needs to write a book on how to play the piano.

I had the same questions, and since I couldn't find anything satisfactory, I decided to write the kind of dungeon I would have loved to find. I wanted to write the best basic old-school dungeon for new players that I could, and I also wanted to show the design process. And since people keep refereng to it, I figured I'd put up a fancy print version.

Tomb of the Serpent Kings is designed to be easy to adapt to your system of choice to create an old-school dungeon-crawling tomb-robbing experience.

The PDF is free and licensed under Creative Commons NC-BY-SA. Hack it, share it, translate it (there are French, German and Spanish translations available on my blog). 

If you want a fancy print version, buy the print-on-demand copy. It's sold at cost - I don't make a cent off it. If you'd like to support me, consider adding Magical Murder Mansion, Kidnap the Archpriest or Epochrypha: a Book of Speculative Ages to your order.

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Reviews (18)
Discussions (6)
Customer avatar
Ben S January 25, 2023 4:18 am UTC
For some reason I can't review things on this site so I'm writing this comment.

I think this a great module. It has some good ideas and is simple and too the point which I feel fits the less is more philosophy of old school modules. The only thing I would say is that you will probably have to do a little conversion to a module of your choice, which shouldn't be too hard. If your an OSR DM/referee then you can figure it out and oyf you can't then you should consider another hobby.

I see in some of the reviews some two complaints that stuck out at me.

"It's not a good tutorial" I disagree I see the reason for this being that it is too harsh and I think that is the best part. It acts a lesson about Old School in general difficulty is part of it you either adapt, improvise and overcome or you die...welcome to old school git gud! When did gamers decide we need to be coddled or coddled others? Gaming is about facing a challenge and overcoming or trying to improve until...See more
Customer avatar
Tori B July 24, 2022 2:09 am UTC
I'm enjoying running my husband through the module as we try out a system we're new to. It's well thought out and easy to follow as the dungeon master, and very intuitive on the player side.

An odd quirk of the print edition I received - it's so deluxe, it's printed twice! Two full printings of the book together in one cover. I suppose I'll keep the front book nice and clean, and mark up the back book with notes.
Customer avatar
Giuseppe R April 10, 2022 7:35 am UTC
I took the time to write full BX/Old-School Essentials conversion notes, and they are available on my blog:
Customer avatar
Ben S January 25, 2023 3:53 am UTC
I was thinking this does need some changes to work in BX/OSE and I thought of some I would do. I decided to check the comments of this product and noticed your post and check out your conversion and you pretty much said everything I thought so I think your spot on. I might make the treasure even more valuable I still think 10gp for a gold amulet is too low but thats just me. Anyway great comment and info for other players.
Customer avatar
Giuseppe R January 25, 2023 8:30 am UTC
Hey thanks a lot!
Yes, I agree that treasure is low for OSE. Making it x10 is probably the MINIMUM to make it work... x20 might actually be more accurate!
Customer avatar
Alexandr G January 16, 2021 1:52 am UTC
What is size of a squares on the map, is it 5 by 5 ft?
Customer avatar
Skerples (CoinsandScrolls) . February 12, 2021 12:59 am UTC
You can use 5'x5' or 10'x10' and nothing significant will change.
Customer avatar
Sean C November 25, 2020 4:22 pm UTC
Cool! Would love to see a conversion of this to Savage Worlds Adventure Edition!
Customer avatar
Dan L May 03, 2020 4:11 pm UTC
The 5e conversion of this module includes a “Background” blurb which helped me wrap my head around the entire concept before reading each room detail. I’ll leave that paragraph here in case it’s helpful. And maybe the author of this module would provide any critique or corrections.

> The **Tomb of the Serpent Kings** was an underground lair of snake-men a long time ago. They used it to bury their heroes and rulers and to worship their gods. Almost a millennia ago, one of the snake-men, a great wizard called **Xiximanter** moved into the tomb to advance his magical research into immortality. He still exists in the tomb as a lich (see **room 43**). Centuries ago, the Empire of the snake-men had disintegrated, and the snake-men abandoned the tomb. They left behind some odds and ends, a little bit of treasure, some functioning traps, and even a bound demon (see **room 32**). The tombs main inhabitants are in the **fungus goblins**. They are an unexpected result of one of Xiximanter’s foul...See more
Customer avatar
RICHARD C January 07, 2023 3:31 am UTC
That was a helpful synopsis. Thanks.
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File Last Updated:
October 28, 2018
This title was added to our catalog on October 30, 2018.