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Dwellers of the Forbidden City is an adventure module for Dungeons & Dragons set in the game's World of Greyhawk campaign setting. The module was published in 1981 by TSR, Inc., for the first edition Advanced Dungeons & Dragons rules.

Dwellers of the Forbidden City was written by David Cook with cover art by Erol Otus and interior art by James Holloway, Jim Roslof, Harry Quinn and Stephen D. Sullivan. The adventure was first used as a tournament module at the Origins Game Fair in 1980.[1],[2]


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.

Dwellers of the Forbidden City received an average reception on its initial release. While Different Worlds described it as "a good buy,"[3] White Dwarf gave it a rating of only 5/10,[4] though RPGNet gave it a slightly more favorable rating of nearly 6.8 (“Good”).[5] 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.[6]

The adventure was instrumental in terms of introducing the yuan-ti as a new species of antagonists.[1] 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.[7]

The Yuan-Ti have also been expanded from this introduction to other game worlds, in particular the Forgotten Realms.[8],[9]

The module was also used to later add detail to the Greyhawk continent of Hepmonaland in future Greyhawk supplements.[10]

Table of Contents

  • note there was no actual table of contents printed in the module.
Chapter Page
Background 2
Notes for the DM 2
Notes for tournament play 3
Start 4
The Forbidden City 11
Lair of the Treemen 13
Court of the Master 14
Bugbear Brigands 17
Ruins of the Mongrelmen 18
The Bullywug Stockade 20
The God of the Bullywugs 21
The Swamp Horrors 22
New Monsters 24


Design: David Cook
Development: Harold Johnson, Lawrence Schick
Able Assistance: Jon Pickens, Mike Price, Jean Wells
Editing: Harold Johnson, Allen Hammack, Roberta ReilLey, Edward G. Sollers, Steve Winter
Cover Art: Erol Otus

Interior Art: James Holloway, Jim Roslos off, Erol Otus, Harry Quinn, Stephen D. Sullivan
Playtesters: Helen Cook, Allen Hammack, Harold Johnson, Jeff Klinzman, Tom Moldvay, Lawrence Schick, Jean Wells, Skip Williams
Typesetting: Dianne J. Burke Key line: Joyce A. Kress, Laura Roslos , Mary Hendryx photography: Joyce A. Kress

Distributed to the book trade in the United States by Random House, Inc., and in Canada by Random House of Canada, Ltd.

ISBN 0-935696-33-4

Cover reads

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 module 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 given to expand play. Here characters may adventure several times in a unique and interesting mini-campaign. Included in this module are background and tournament notes, referee's keys, new monsters, pre- generated characters, and eight different maps.

Notable nonplayer characters

New monsters


  1. 1.0 1.1 Monsters with Traction, Part 2
  2. Intermediate Series (I1 - I14)
  3. Dwellers of the Forbidden City, Different Worlds, p.. . (Temporary fix for {{cite journal}}, please update to use {{cite dragon}} and similar templates.)
  4. Dwellers of the Forbidden City, White Dwarf, p.. . (Temporary fix for {{cite journal}}, please update to use {{cite dragon}} and similar templates.)
  6. 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.)
  7. Frequently Asked Questions

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External links

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