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Steading of the Hill Giant Chief is an adventure module for Advanced Dungeons & Dragons 1st edition released in 1978.

It is the first part of the G-series trilogy, followed by G2 The Glacial Rift of the Frost Giant Jarl (1978) and G3 Hall of the Fire Giant King (1978).

Official synopsis[]

This module contains background ifnrmation, referee's notes, two level maps, and exploration matrix keys. It provides a complete module for play of ADVANCED DUNGEONS & DRAGONS, and it can be used alone or as the first part of a three-part expedition adventure which also employs DUNGEON MODULE G2 (GLACIAL RIFT OF THE FROST GIANT JARL) and DUNGEON MODULE G3 (HALL OF THE FIRE GIANT KING).

Content[]

Backstory and plot[]

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

Development and release[]

Concept[]

TSR originally began creating pre-written adventures for competitive tournament play at conventions such as Gen Con and Origins. In order for games to be adjusticated fairly by separate DMs, something necessary due to the large number of entrants, it was necessary for the adventure itself to be strictly standardized.[2]

Additionally, with such a large number of entrants, it was deemed necessary for the tournament to have multiple rounds. To prevent players from cheating by learning information from earlier entrants, all games of a given round would need to be played simultaneously. This in turn would allow TSR to earn some revenue from the event by selling copies of the adventure module after the round was over.[2]

Another goal with publishing adventure modules was to show DMs an example of how to compose a dungeon. Original D&D expected DMs to create their own original dungeon, with modules like G1 used either for inspiration or to supplement a DM's own campaign.[2]

Development[]

Steading of the Hill Giant Chief was written by Gary Gygax. Gygax wrote all three of the G-series modules over a period of about a month, between completing the Monster Manual (1e) (1977) and starting on the Players Handbook (1e) (1978).[3]

Tournament debut[]

G1 Steading of the Hill Giant Chief was run at the 1978 Origins convention on Friday, July 14, 1978, held at Ann Arbor, Michigan. Over 275 players took part in teams of nine players, with the play session taking four hours. The modules G2 and G3 were run on subsequent days as part of the same tournament.[1]

Sixteen DMs were required at the event. The scoring system rewarded players for giants killed, rooms examined, and clues found.[4]

Release[]

The module was made available for purchase the following morning, Saturday, July 15, 1978, at TSR's booth at the convention.[2] It was priced at $4.49 US.[1]

The original print run was 1,000 copies, accompanied by 1,000 copies each of G2 and G3. Printing 3,000 copies of a new type of product during summer, the lowest sales period, was a significant risk for TSR. No more than half of the run was taken to Origins, where it sold out, partly through dealer purchases. Nearly all of the remaining stock was ordered by dealers. A second printing with small changes was ordered the following Monday afternoon.[5]

The module originally received four printings circa 1978-1980, plus UK and Australian printings. In 1981, it was superceded by the compilation G1-3 Against the Giants (1981).[6] A fifth printing of G1 was made in 1999 as part of the Silver Anniversary Collector's Edition (1999) boxed set, which made some small changes to two pieces of art.

G1 was TSR's first in-house published adventure module, aside from Palace of the Vampire Queen (1976), which TSR distributed, and the Temple of the Frog scenario included in Supplement II: Blackmoor (1975). It was followed by G2 and G3, which launched at TSR's booth on Saturday evening and Sunday, respectively. following their tournament debuts.

On June 22, 2020, it was re-released in digital format. It is currently available on DriveThruRPG and Dungeon Masters Guild for $4.99.

Creative origins[]

In Dragon #31 (Nov 1979), p.28-29, Gygax asserts that the G-series modules were inspired by 1940s isekai novella collection The Incomplete Enchanter, the first volume in the Harold Shea, by L. Sprague de Camp and Fletcher Pratt. In the first story, The Roaring Trumpet, the protagonist visits a world of Norse mythology.

Reception and influence[]

Critical reception[]

The module went on to sell over 100,000 copies.[7]

GDQ1-7 Queen of the Spiders (1986), the compilation which included this module, was rated #1 in 30 Greatest Adventures, Dungeon #116 (Nov 2004).

As of 2023, Steading of the Hill Giant Chief reached the rank of Silver seller on DriveThruRPG.

Influence on other works[]

The work was later compiled into G1-3 Against the Giants (1981), which inspired Against the Giants: The Liberation of Geoff (1999); and GDQ1-7 Queen of the Spiders (1986). A supermodule G1-4 Revolt of the Giants was also announced in TSR's 1986 catalogue, but never released.[8]

The term "steading" for a hill giant's lair was used in various D&D sourcebooks, and made explicitly canon in Monster Manual 3 (4e) (2010). A skill challenge based on G1 appeared in Dragon #363 (Apr 2008), although the author misremebered the module's title.

A D&D 4th edition conversion of the module appeared in Dungeon #197 (Dec 2011), for a party of characters from level 12 to 14. It received an additional sequel in Warrens of the Stone Giant Thane, Dungeon #198 (Jan 2012).

Steading of the Hill Giant Chief appeared in a D&D 5th edition conversion of Against the Giants in adventure anthology Tales from the Yawning Portal (2017).

External links[]

References[]

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 The Battle for Snurre's Hall: The Origins '78 D&D Tournament, Dragon #19 (Oct 1978), p.3-4.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 Q&A with Tim Kask, page 35. Dragonsfoot, May 17, 2008.
  3. "It took about a week to write B2. The G series I write when taking a break after finishing the MM, so the three were written in a pariod of about a month. Then I did the D series between finishing the PBG and beginning the DMG, about six weeks." Q&A with Gary Gygax, page 271. ENWorld, May 30, 2006.
  4. Dragon #19 (Oct 1978).
  5. Q&A with Tim Kask, page 41. Dragonsfoot, July 4, 2008.
  6. Giants Series (G1-G3) - The Acaeum
  7. Q&A with Gary Gygax, page 288. ENWorld, Jul 6, 2006.
  8. Q&A with Frank Mentzer Part 2, page 57. Dragonsfoot, January 9, 2012.
Advanced Dungeons & Dragons 1st edition
Core rules
Players HandbookDungeon Masters GuideMonster Manual
Supplements
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
Adventures
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
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