Dungeons and Dragons Modules

Dungeons and Dragons Modules

To play Dungeons and Dragons back in the day you needed a few things: a Dungeon Master, some players, a sweet collection of dice, and Dungeons and Dragons Modules (or adventure) to go through. Like the Retroist himself, I was a fan of collecting various modules. My friends and I spent a lot of time making up our own adventures to lead each other through, but over time we found that the ones you could buy off the shelf were much more professionally written and designed.

At one of my usual haunts I ran across a literal treasure trove of old modules. The old “$1.99” price tags had been covered with more modern prices (ranging between $10 and $20) making them too expensive for me to buy them all, but I did have a great time thumbing through them and reminiscing about my old days of adventuring.

Descent into the Depths of the Earth


One of the reasons I collect vinyl albums is because of the great artwork displayed on the outside of the cover, and perhaps that’s what attracts me to old D&D modules as well. You can definitely tell the different eras apart based on the cover designs and artwork. The older modules feature less realistic artwork but that doesn’t make them any less enjoyable to me. I also always enjoyed the simpler, internal drawings as well.

Bugbears. Oh dear.


Dungeons and Dragons Modules covers contained information pertaining to the targeted experience level of players. I found this one, Midnight on Dagger Alley, to be particularly interesting. These “solo” adventures allowed players to assume both the role of a PC (“player character”) and the Dungeon Master. It did this by “hiding” some of the text and requiring players to read it through red-tinted plastic. I always thought of D&D as being a group activity but when times got tough, a stalwart adventurer will do what they have to do to get their D&D fix.

Midnight on Dagger Alley


Rob O'Hara

I'm into old video games, old arcade games, old computer games, writing, photography, computer/network security, and of course, the 1980s!

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4 thoughts on “Dungeons and Dragons Modules

  1. ddsw says:

    I never did any of the solo adventures you described, but I did play D&D with my BFF over the phone when we couldn’t meet in person.

  2. Badwolf says:

    Played D&D in High School with a group of friends from Boy Scouts. Had fun, and then played D&D with my brother and Dad, and that was okay, but not as much fun. Never did the solo quests – Our feeling was that it was best with a group of about 5-8 people. We tried to get it going in college, but the guys in my Fraternity were more interested in Foosball and Backgammon (which are both great as well, they’re just not D&D). I don’t think the rules I know are even applicable anymore with the modern version. I am a “D&D head” that has become anachronistic. Maybe someday I will find a group that is from my era and we can roll up some new characters and see what happens.

  3. Solo D&D? That’s awesome! I would often spend hours in book stores thumbing through these modules! The art work always got me as well. Really really fun times!

  4. talonfoe says:

    Lately I was bitten by the nostalgia bug. I started playing 1st ed AD&D with older cousins(22 years ago or so). After literally sitting and observing hours of their gaming sessions. That was years ago, a few times since I have tried to get back into it, with a few friends or my kids. We started again now where 3 of them are more at the age I believe they can appreciate it.
    We play 1st ed. Getting material is a hassle, I had purchase pdf’s previously and lost the cd I saved them to. Now I cannot download them because WoTC has them on hold. So my oldest son is trying to purchase them for himself, hardcovers.
    Hope he will become confident enough to DM some so I can play again. But this is his senior year of high school and is off to college.
    I did get my PDF of Temple of Elemental Evil downloaded again. Trying to get a thief (son 2) to thief and a cleric (And druid, played by daughter) to not try thieving is seeming a slight battle. But overall we had fun our 1st session.
    Where as they all worry (Rightly so.) about the boss’s last words “What are you doing in MY BROTHERS room.” Oh the things I have planned…..
    But in all reality all my kids just get to hung up on the electronics these days. Its a way to spend more time with them w/o a pixelated image. And not 1 said “Can I go play (Inserted game council/PC game here) instead. And this will help overall because its not $5-$20/month, per child!
    My youngsters are not yet with us. Although my 6 y/o is a (In his eyes) master of pvp on WOW. I have left my accounts open to them for now. Which is which that 90th lvl mage keeps falling of his flying mount over goldshire or in the trade district….
    Hope to see more DND heads around the net as I search for more and more glorious ideas to help spend more time with my kids, doing what I have always enjoyed.
    I guess I got of the side here. Many of my most memorable times were playing some of those pre made dungeons. 2 stand out Keep on the borderlands (My 1st) and Tomb of the Lizard king. I can tell you that my 1st encounter with death medusa did not go well with a ranger. Nor did I ever stop playing my Pre rolled thief from the Tomb (Cousin misspelled his name, so He was Prini, the 2’9 Halfling thief.) who became my favorite and most powerful character. Until years later I lost my DND folder, with him retired within.

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