The Forgotten Temple of Tharizdun
| The Forgotten Temple|
|Edition||1st edition Advanced Dungeons & Dragons|
The Forgotten Temple of Tharizdun is an adventure module for the Dungeons & Dragons role-playing game, set in the World of Greyhawk campaign setting. The module bears the code WG4 and was published by TSR, Inc. in 1982 for the first edition Advanced Dungeons & Dragons rules. Because it is one of the WG modules, it is a module intended for the World of Greyhawk campaign setting.
The adventure is a loosely connected sequel to module S4. It is a combined wilderness and dungeon adventure set in the Southern Yatil Mountains focused on a temple dedicated to the evil and insane Greyhawk god Tharizdun. The module was written by Gary Gygax with artwork by Karen Nelson.
The adventurers are involved in the story by a gnomish community and travel to the temple. After battling their way in, the characters explore the temple chambers which contain mundane creatures and new monsters from the Fiend Folio. This segment of the module is similar to many other of TSR's AD&D dungeon crawls including those of the S1-S4 series which precedes this module.
During their exploration the characters may reach the chambers of the temple in which religious rituals were performed, and risk insanity and death as they contact remnants of the worship of the imprisoned god Tharizdun. To progress further the characters must enact portions of the rituals of worship of Tharizdun, traveling into a dark and freezing underground subtemple, and magically opening an inner sanctum called the "Black Cyst." Having advanced this far the characters are likely to be driven insane, killed outright, or permanently trapped within the underground temple.
The thematic elements of nightmare and insanity which are introduced when the PCs are exposed to the evil influence of Tharizdun's temple bring elements of Lovecraftian horror to Dungeons & Dragons, not for the first time. The concept of a trapped, malevolent god, intent upon the destruction of all that is, harkens to the dark and insane Great Old Ones. In his comprehensive article on the topic of Lovecraftian influence on D&D – "The Shadow Over D&D" – James Jacobs says of The Forgotten Temple of Tharizdun and Return to the Temple of Elemental Evil, "Tharizdun [...] obviously owes his pedigree to Lovecraft."
The Forgotten Temple of Tharizdun was ranked the 23rd greatest Dungeons & Dragons adventure of all time by Dungeon magazine in 2004, on the 30th anniversary of the Dungeons & Dragons game.
- Bambra, Jim. "Open Box." White Dwarf #44. London: Games Workshop, 1983.
- Jacobs, James. "The Shadow Over D&D: Lovecraft's Influence on Dungeons & Dragons." Dragon #324. Bellevue, WA: Paizo Publishing, 2004.
- Erik Mona, James Jacobs, et al. "The 30 Greatest D&D Adventures of All Time." Dungeon #116. Bellevue, WA: Paizo Publishing, 2004.