Homemade D&D module, 1981

Tim H sez, "A recent and amazing donation to the PlaGMaDA.org [ed: Play Generated Map and Document Archive] project: A beautiful, hand-made homebrew addition to the classic TSR Against the Giants series."

I wish I had the modules and monster sheets I painstakingly made in my youth. I used to cram them into envelopes and mail them, full of hope, to Dragon magazine. I suppose it's possible that they're in a filing cabinet at Hasbro or whomever ended up owning TSR's materials.

Habitition of the Stone Giant Lord (Thanks, Tim H!)


  1. Hi all,

    This is Tim Hutchings, the organizer of the plagmada.org archive.  I Submitterated this piece myself, I hope that isn’t bad form. 

    The archive collects and preserves things like this, preserving them from the inevitable trip to the garbage bin.  I encourage any of you who know gamers, especially EX-gamers, to suggest they donate their old gaming ephemera.  Contact information is on the plagmada.org website.  The documents are scanned and shared on the site, then archived away for safety.  They are brought out for research and exhibition needs, exhibitions out of the archive have been mounted at Cranbrook, FACT in Liverpool, the Nikolah Kunsthalle in Copenhagen and elsewhere.  If you are at a university, consider hosting an exhibition at your school gallery.

    If anyone has any questions about the archive, I would be happy to answer them. 

    – tim hutchings

  2. feminine freudian gates of the last page seal the giant’s lair from the eyes of children; do not wake the ankylosaur.

  3. The grid paper maps reminds me of the maps my brother and I would make while playing the Wizardy series on our old Apple II.  Hours of counting steps down halls, confirming which way a door faced, etc.

  4. I churned out reams of dungeon levels back in the day. I threw most of the stuff out before moving out of my parents house in the mid 90s.

    By the time of AD&D, I was writing stuff professionally, for various magazines and smaller publishers.

  5. I have all the Basic and AD&D dungeons I designed, and created art for as a kid filed neatly away in the filing cabinet… perhaps I should scan? They are pretty hilarious, but I really did go the whole way with them in imitating a proper module with art, loads and loads of maps, and detailed descriptions of each room and creature or secret… Not as much storytelling as I would want now, but still lots of fun to look back over with adult eyes.

    1. Hi MooseDesign, if these are in imitation of a module I’d love to see them.  If you’d like to scan them for inclusion on plagmada.org it’s usually a 300dpi jpg.  Email me at the contact, submissions@plagmada.org and we can discuss some other things…

      1. OK, will do! I’ll probably need to disassemble them since the booklet ones were stapled along the spine (yes, I made spines) in order to scan them without damaging the pages. But this post made me go back and dig them up and have another good laugh… I even included the TSR logo with some ludicrous adventure names like, “Stone Death” and “The Sanctuary of Zeus”.

  6. Cory, it would be Hasbro who wound up with TSR properties, but it is unlikely that submissions sent to Lake Geneva would have survived.

    Back in the early ’90s I remember phone conversations with Dragon magazine editors about the nightmare of independent submissions. In the early years they would very often get identical ideas in the mail, and feel unable to use either, so they stopped accepting them. Unless you sent an SASE with submission paperwork signed, it was likely trashed unopened.

    Tim, this is an amazing project. I can say authoritatively that Yamara herself would heartily approve. I will see if I can attend your playtest tomorrow night, it sounds intriguing.

  7. You guys just created your own modules?

    I created an entire game and world.

    (No, really. I did. Not sure why. I’m pretty sure it was crap.)

    1. The particular charm in Habitition is that it so clearly apes the style of the modules.  The method of delivery is so considered… 

  8. This brings a smile to my face.

    I’ll have to consider donating my material (if I can find it). Though I think the only material that has survived my various moves are the ones from college (since they’re mixed up with my other papers).

  9. Ah, fond memories here.  I remember turning in a “choose your own adventure” story for standard grade English.  And having a cool English teacher.

  10. I, too, would make my own D&D modules and monsters, sending them to Dungeon Magazine and Dragon Magazine, respectively. My proudest creation— the Petroll, a combustible humanoid created by a fire-obsessed archmage for use as a walking siege weapon– came back with rejected with a smudge of White-Out on the manuscript. Underneath the White-Out I made out the words “This is disgusting.” I still have the manuscript.

    1. That’s fantastic!  I’m confused about the White-Out, was that what was disgusting?  Please consider scanning your manuscript for the arhive.

  11. If WotC didn’t burn TSR’s old files I’m sure Hasbro torched ’em when they bought WotC.

  12. That really brought back alot of good memories of playing AD@D all weekend and waiting by the mail box each month for my new issue of Dragon to come in. Truly wonderful days those were.

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