Queen of the Demonweb Pits

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Queen of the Demonweb Pits
Type Adventure module
Code/ Abbreviation Q1
Edition 1st Ed AD&D
Author(s) David Sutherland with Gary Gygax
First Published October 1980
Series G1 G2 G3 D1 D2 D3 Q1
Expedition to the Demonweb Pits
Classification Canon

Queen of the Demonweb Pits (Q1) is an adventure module for the Advanced Dungeons & Dragons roleplaying game. The "Q" in the module code represents the first letter in the word "queen." Queen of the Demonweb Pits is also the title of a 2001 novel based on the adventure.

Queen of the Demonweb Pits was the seventh in a massive series of adventures set in the World of Greyhawk, starting with persistent raiding by local hill giants and ending in the Abyssal realm of Lolth, Demon Queen of Spiders, goddess of the drow elves and architect of the sinister plot described in the series involving hill giants, frost giants, fire giants, kuo-toa, drow, and other creatures. Her realm, the 66th layer of the Abyss, is referred to as the Demonweb Pits.

As such, the Q1 module was the first to offer a glimpse into the Abyss itself, home to the D&D race of demons. Time and space stretch and twist in bizarre ways in the Abyss, and there are many portals in the Abyss that allow sojourns into entirely different worlds. These factors made Queen of the Demonweb Pits an unusually open-ended adventure, as each "portal" could potentially lead to a massive area, from which the dungeon master could, if he or she chose, launch an entirely new campaign.

At the very end of the module, the players face a final confrontation with Lolth, an exceptionally difficult challenge.

Critical reception

Q1 was and remains very controversial for fans of First Edition AD&D. Unlike the six modules that lead to it, Queen of the Demonweb Pits was not authored by Gary Gygax, the creator of the game and genre. Instead, Gygax determined that the dungeon he designed for Q1 was too similar to the ones he planned to use in Module T1-4 Temple of Elemental Evil. When David C. Sutherland III displayed a dungeon map he had created based upon a placemat design, Gygax suggested that it be used for Q1. Sutherland would go on to write the majority of the adventure. Many fans believe that the module, the climax of six prior adventures, each more difficult than the last, was too lighthearted and whimsical, especially when compared to its immediate predecessor, Vault of the Drow. Others were puzzled by the relative lack of demons or drow in the adventure, and were put off by the odd use of a massive steam-driven "Spider Ship" that serves as Lolth's base. Several fan-created "alternative endings" to the GDQ series have been posted on the Internet.

Related publications

  • Much of the module's version of the Abyss was incorporated into TSR's first edition of the Manual of the Planes, and thus later into the Planescape campaign setting.
  • The module was later republished as part of the Queen of the Spiders supermodule (coded GDQ1-7), containing the entire saga.
  • Queen of the Demonweb Pits was made into novel of the same name by Paul Kidd for the Greyhawk Classics series. The novel was published by Wizards of the Coast in 2001.
  • In 2007, the module's setting was revisited in the Wizards of the Coast adventure module Expedition to the Demonweb Pits.


External links