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The Lost Caverns of Tsojconth is a tournament adventure module originally written for the WinterCon V convention in 1976. It is designed for a party of six characters, supplying fixed characters of 6th to 9th level.

It was later adapted into TSR's similarly-named and better known S4 The Lost Caverns of Tsojcanth (1982).

Spoiler alert: The following article contains spoilers for an adventure module.

Content[]

Background and plot[]

Decades ago, the archmage Iggwilv conquered the Marches of Perrunland and hid it in a distant location. Iggwillv was later slain by the demon Graz'zt, and rumors have spread that the treasure is located in a place called the Caverns of Tsojconth.

The player characters are a party of six adventurers who each found a fragment of a paper with directions to the Caverns. The Caverns are located in a bizarre nexus between identical parallel worlds, and heroes may end up adventuring with alternate versions of themselves.

Notes[]

The module includes stats for six standard characters: Cathartic the cleric, Ethelrede the fighter, Flemin the dwarf fighter, Dunil the hobbit thief, Weslocke the elf fighter/magic user, and Hockerbrecht the half-elf fighter/magic user/thief.

The module features tournament-specific rules, advising DMs to referee the adventure fairly, deal average damage with weapons or spells, and use no wandering monsters.

Development and release[]

Development[]

In October 1976, the Metro Detroit Gamers announced the WinterCon V Gamefest, a convention at which Gary Gygax, Brian Blume, and Rob Kuntz were guests. The event took place from December 3-5, 1976, at the Oakland Center Building at Oakland University, Rochester, Michigan. The convention planned for a 100+ player Dungeons & Dragons tournament.[1]

Gary Gygax wrote the adventure The Lost Caverns of Tsojconth for the D&D tournament at WinterCon V. The module was playtested by TSR staff.

Aside from Gygax, others credited on the work were Will Niebling, Scharlotte Niebling, Bob Karalunas, Howard Dawson, Joe Tomassi, Paul Wood, Kathy Wood, Laurie Van De Graaf, John Van De Graaf, and Mike Bartnikowski.

Gygax randomly generated the magic items held by the standard player characters, resulting in two players with magic swords.

Release[]

With TSR's permission, Metro Detroit Gamers subsequently published copies of the tournament module, presumably shortly after the convention. Although an adventure scenario had appeared in Supplement II: Blackmoor (1975), TSR had not yet begun releasing their own adventure modules as standalone products, and would not do so until 1978. Instead, they allowed third parties to produce adventure modules to support D&D.

MDG released the module as a 16-page loose-leaf publication consisting of eight two-sided sheets with an outer folder in a ziploc bag, for $3.00 US. They were later made available via Flying Buffalo in summer 1977.[2] Only few hundred copies were printed.[3]

It is notable as the second ever standalone D&D adventure module published, pre-dating TSR's own G1 Steading of the Hill Giant Chief (1978).[4] It is preceded by Palace of the Vampire Queen (1976), by Wee Warriors. TSR's own Supplement II: Blackmoor (1975) also included an adventure scenario, Temple of the Frog.

The module is now extremely rare. In 1999, copies the module sold on eBay for $78.[4] Nowadays, the module is valued by collectors at several thousands of dollars, including nearly $10,000.[5]

Reception and influence[]

Critical reception[]

In American Wargamer vol. 5 no. 6, George Phillies called the module a "beautiful example of a well-prepared, thoroughly-described dungeon."[2]

Influence on other works[]

TSR later began publishing their own tournament modules as products, beginning with G1 Steading of the Hill Giant Chief (1978). They would later publish an adaption of Tsojconth as Template:Bok.

External links[]

References[]

  1. Dragon #3 (Oct 1976), p.6.
  2. 2.0 2.1 Peterson, Jon. Playing at the World, chapter 5.10, "D&D among the RPGs"
  3. Schick, Lawrence. Heroic Worlds, p.119.
  4. 4.0 4.1 S4 Lost Caverns of Tsojconth - The Acaeum
  5. Module Index - The Acaeum
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