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I1 Dwellers of the Forbidden City is a 32-page adventure module for Advanced Dungeons & Dragons 1st edition released in 1980. It is intended for characters of levels 4 to 7.

Official synopsis[]

Somewhere in the heart of the steaming jungle lies the answer to the whispered tales - rumors of a magnificent city and foul, horrid rituals! Here a brave party might find riches and wonders - or death! Is your party brave enough to face the terrors of the unknown and find the Forbidden City!?

Parts of this adventure were used in 1980 for a major East Coast convention tournament. Information is presented here to reconstruct this exciting tournament and even more has been give to expand play. Here characters may adventure several times in a unique and interesting mini-campaign setting. Included in this module are background and tournament notes, referee's keys, new monsters, pre-generated characters, and eight different maps.

For characters levels 4 to 7.


Development and release[]


The book was written by David Cook. Art was provided by James Holloway, Jim Roslof, Erol Otus, Harry Quinn and Stephen D. Sullivan.

Dwellers of the Forbidden City is the first of a group of mostly unrelated and unconnected I (Intermediate) series of modules designed for characters of levels between 4 and 8. The module was originally intended to bear code S4, but this code was re-assigned to Lost Caverns of Tsojcanth before Dwellers was published. As published, the adventure bears the code I1 (Intermediate). This was also one of the first adventures written by David "Zeb" Cook would later go on to contribute material for the 2nd Edition of the AD&D rules and the City of Villains MMORPG.

New monsters[]


Dwellers of the Forbidden City was released by TSR in for $[missing data] US or $[missing data] Canadian.

On March 26, 2013, 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[]

Dwellers of the Forbidden City received an average reception on its initial release. While Different Worlds described it as "a good buy,"[1] White Dwarf gave it a rating of only 5/10,[2] though RPGNet gave it a slightly more favorable rating of nearly 6.8 (“Good”).[3] Dwellers of the Forbidden City was ranked the 13th greatest Dungeons & Dragons adventure of all time by Dungeon magazine for the 30th anniversary of the Dungeons & Dragons game in 2004.[4]

The adventure was instrumental in terms of introducing the yuan-ti as a new species of antagonists.[5] Much like the drow from the GDQ Series, the yuan-ti have gone on to be featured in a number of 1st, 2nd, and 3rd Edition books for the D&D game and is one of the few species that Wizards of the Coast did not keep open for the Open Gaming License.[6]

The Yuan-Ti have also been expanded from this introduction to other game worlds, in particular the Forgotten Realms.[7],[8]

The module was also used to later add detail to the Greyhawk continent of Hepmonaland in future Greyhawk supplements.[9]

As of 2023, Dwellers of the Forbidden City reached the rank of Platinum seller on DriveThruRPG.

Influence on other works[]

External links[]


  1. Dwellers of the Forbidden City, Different Worlds, p.. . (Temporary fix for {{cite journal}}, please update to use {{cite dragon}} and similar templates.)
  2. Dwellers of the Forbidden City, White Dwarf, p.. . (Temporary fix for {{cite journal}}, please update to use {{cite dragon}} and similar templates.)
  4. The 30 Greatest D&D Adventures of All Time, Dungeon, p.. . (Temporary fix for {{cite journal}}, please update to use {{cite dragon}} and similar templates.)
  5. Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named mwt2
  6. Frequently Asked Questions

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Advanced Dungeons & Dragons 1st edition
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