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D1 Descent Into the Depths of the Earth is a 20-page adventure module for Advanced Dungeons & Dragons 1st edition released in 1978. It is intended for characters of levels 9 to 14.

It is the first in the D-series of tournament modules, followed by D2 Shrine of the Kuo-Toa (1978) and D3 Vault of the Drow (1978). The first two modules were later combined into the confusingly similarly-named D1-2 Descent into the Depths of the Earth (1981).

Official synopsis[]


This section is incomplete. Please complete this section and remove this {{secstub}} notice.

Development and release[]


The book was written by Gary Gygax.

Gygax originally intended to detail the area more thoroughly, including a trip to the drow city of Erelhei-Cinlu. However, his players were unenthusiastic about exploring the Underdark. Gygax would later lose his brief notes on the area.[1]


D1 Descent Into the Depths of the Earth was released by TSR in 1978 for $[missing data] US.

Five printings of the module were later made, plus UK and Australian printings.[2]

D1 was subsequently re-released as part of D1-2 Descent into the Depths of the Earth (1981), which combined the module D2 Shrine of the Kuo-Toa (1978).

Reception and influence[]


Gary Gygax estimated that each of the D-series modules sold over 100,000 copies.[3]

Critical reception[]

Influence on other works[]

The title of the module likely inspired the title of Baldur's Gate: Descent into Avernus (2019).

External links[]


  1. Q&A with Gary Gygax, page 68. ENWorld, Jun 20, 2003.
  2. Drow Series (D1 - D3) - The Acaeum
  3. Q&A with Gary Gygax, page 288. ENWorld, Jul 6, 2006.
Advanced Dungeons & Dragons 1st edition
Core rules
Players HandbookDungeon Masters GuideMonster Manual
Battlesystem: Fantasy Combat SupplementThe Book of LairsThe Book of Lairs IIDeities & Demigods (Legends & Lore) • Dungeoneer's Survival GuideFiend FolioManual of the PlanesMonster Manual IIOriental AdventuresThe Rogues GalleryUnearthed ArcanaWilderness Survival Guide
Desert of Desolation (PharaohOasis of the White PalmLost Tomb of Martek) • Queen of the Spiders (Against the Giants (Steading of the Hill Giant ChiefGlacial Rift of the Frost Giant JarlHall of the Fire Giant King) • Descent Into the Depths of the EarthShrine of the Kuo-ToaVault of the DrowQueen of the Demonweb Pits) • Realms of Horror (Tomb of HorrorsWhite Plume MountainExpedition to the Barrier PeaksLost Caverns of Tsojcanth) • Scourge of the Slavelords (Slave Pits of the UndercitySecret of the Slavers StockadeAssault on the Aerie of the Slave LordsIn the Dungeons of the Slave Lords) • The Temple of Elemental Evil (The Village of Hommlet) • DungeonlandThe Land Beyond the Magic MirrorThe Secret of Bone HillThe Assassin's KnotDeep Dwarven DelveThe Sinister Secret of SaltmarshDanger at DunwaterThe Final EnemyAdventure Pack IAgainst the Cult of the Reptile GodAll That Glitters...Baltron's BeaconThe Bane of LlywelynBeyond the Crystal CaveDark Clouds GatherDay of Al'AkbarDestiny of KingsDwellers of the Forbidden CityEgg of the PhoenixEye of the SerpentThe Forest OracleThe GauntletThe Ghost Tower of InvernessThe Hidden Shrine of TamoachanThe Lost Island of CastanamirMidnight on Dagger AlleyNeedleRavager of TimeRavenloftRavenloft II: The House on Gryphon HillThe SentinelThe Shattered StatueTales of the Outer PlanesTo Find a KingTomb of the Lizard KingTreasure HuntWhen a Star Falls