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A Paladin in Hell is a 64-page adventure module for Advanced Dungeons & Dragons 2nd edition released in September 1998. It is for four to six characters of levels 15 to 20.

Official synopsis[]

Eternally does the Lord of Nessus scheme, and his designs are for all eternity; In the pit of Hell do the devils teem round his throne, and his reign is unchallenged; By the eight Dark Ones is he held supreme, and his name (speak it not!) is Asmodeus.

from "The Canticle of Thumis," 142:15

To some, justice is more important than glory, duty is more important than desire, and goodness is more important than life. The great paladin Klysandral was such a man.

But even the sleep of death, at the end of a long lifetime spent battling evil, did not bring peace to Klysandral. During his funeral, the entire Temple of Neheod was dragged by terrible magic into the Nine Hells, along with the soul of Klysandral and scores of living mourners!

What unearthly motive could be behind this tragedy? Only the bravest, strongest, and most resolute heroes will have the mettle to find the answer. Along the way, they will meet the enigmatic wizard Emirikil the Chaotic, sail aboard the fiendish ship Demonwing, and finally face the horrific minions and overwhelming terrors of Hell itself.

Only the path of light can lead the bravest of the brave into perdition and safely out again. Step wisely, and walk in justice.


Backstory and plot[]

The devil lord Asmodeus seeks to recover the Vallis Crystal, an artifact containing an entire world. He sent his servant, the sorceress Loviath, to recover the item from its resting place in the Temple of Neheod, but she failed in several attempts. Finally, Asmodeus gave her The Bonds of Hell, stealing the entire temple away to Hell.

The party must find and speak with Emirikol the Chaotic, who gives them the ship Demonwing. They use it to travel to Stygia in the Nine Hells to find the Temple of Neheod. They dive beneath the freezing waters of Stygia to find the Citadel Coldsteel and locate the Temple of Neheod, undoing the evil to restore the temple to the world.

Development and release[]


The book was written by Monte Cook. Cover art was provided by Fred Fields, and internal art by Arnie Swekel.

Fred Fields' cover art recreates a piece of art appearing in Players Handbook (1e) (1978), p.23, by Dave Sutherland. The name of the book is also taken from the title of that artwork. The figure of Emirikol the Chaotic, depicted in the Dungeon Masters Guide (1e) (1979), p.193, also appears in this module.

The book was notable for its definitive references to Hell, which had been forbidden during the TSR era.


Playtesters created characters with 1,800,000 XP, which would allow for characters of 14th to 18th level depending on class. This was found to be underpowered, and further tests found the module better suited characters with 2,250,00 XP, or character level 15-20. The module also recommends that characters possess around 50,000 XP worth of magic items.


A Paladin in Hell was released by Wizards of the Coast in September 1998 for $13.95 US, or $18.96 Canadian.

On February 7, 2017, it was re-released in digital format. It is currently available on DriveThruRPG and Dungeon Masters Guild for $4.99.

Reception and influence[]

Critical reception[]

As of 2023, A Paladin in Hell reached the rank of Platinum seller on DriveThruRPG.

Influence on other works[]

External links[]


Advanced Dungeons & Dragons 2nd edition
Core rules
Player's HandbookDungeon Master Guide
Monstrous Compendium Volume OneMonstrous Compendium Volume TwoMonstrous Manual
First QuestIntroduction to Advanced Dungeons & Dragons GameThe Complete Starter SetDungeons & Dragons Adventure Game
Optional core rules
Player's Option: Combat & TacticsPlayer's Option: Skills & PowersPlayer's Option: Spells & Magic
Dungeon Master Option: High-Level CampaignsCampaign Option: Council of Wyrms
Supplement lines
Player's Handbook Rules SupplementDungeon Master's Guide Rules Supplement
Monstrous Compendium AppendixMonstrous Compendium Annual
Encyclopedia MagicaHistorical ReferenceThe Magic EncyclopediaMonstrous ArcanaPriest's Spell CompendiumWizard's Spell Compendium
Other supplements
Bastion of FaithBook of ArtifactsCastle SitesChronomancerCity SitesCollege of WizardryCountry SitesDen of ThievesDungeon Builder's GuidebookGuide to HellLegends & LoreRogues' GalleryShamanTome of MagicThe Vortex of Madness and Other Planar PerilsWarriors of HeavenWorld Builder's Guidebook
The Apocalypse StoneAxe of the Dwarvish LordsCleric's Challenge (II) • The Dancing Hut of Baba YagaDestiny of KingsDie Vecna Die!Dragon MountainDungeons of DespairFighter's Challenge (II) • The Gates of Firestorm PeakA Hero's TaleLabyrinth of MadnessThe Lost Shrine of BundushaturMoonlight MadnessThe Murky DeepNight Below: An Underdark CampaignA Paladin in HellReturn to the Tomb of HorrorsReverse DungeonRoad to DangerThe Rod of Seven PartsThe Shattered CircleThe Silver KeySwamplightTale of the CometTales of EnchantmentTemple, Tower, & TombThief's Challenge (II) • TSR Jam 1999Wizard's Challenge (II)