The Lost Caverns of Tsojcanth

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Lost Caverns of Tsojcanth
S401.jpg
Type Adventure module
Code/ Abbreviation S4
Edition 1st edition Advanced Dungeons & Dragons
Author(s) Gary Gygax
First Published 1982 (1976)
Series S4 / WG4
Classification Canon

The Lost Caverns of Tsojcanth is an adventure module for the Dungeons & Dragons fantasy roleplaying game. It was written by Gary Gygax and published by TSR, Inc. in 1982 for the first edition Advanced Dungeons & Dragons (AD&D) rules. The 64-page adventure bears the code "S4" and is set in the World of Greyhawk. Module WG4 - The Forgotten Temple of Tharizdun is a loosely connected sequel to S4.

History

The Lost Caverns of Tsojcanth is a revised and expanded version of The Lost Caverns of Tsojconth (sic), a tournament adventure that Gygax wrote for WinterCon V, a gaming convention sponsored by the Metro Detroit Gamers (MDG) in 1976. MDG also made a version of the tournament (an 8-sheet packet in a plastic bag) available for purchase at the convention, making Tsojconth the second commercially-available adventure module for Dungeons & Dragons. (The first commercial module, Wee Warriors's Palace of the Vampire Queen, preceded Tsojconth by mere months.) [1]

The original Lost Caverns adventure was a "dungeon crawl" taking place entirely in an underground environment, written for the 1974 version of the Dungeons & Dragons rules with schematics partly derived from Rob Kuntz's El Raja Key of 1972/73. [2]

In 1980, Gygax began rewriting the adventure for first edition AD&D, expanding it to include outdoor encounters. The redevelopment of The Lost Caverns of Tsojcanth was one of the major delays in the completion of The Temple of Elemental Evil (Anon 1981, Gygax 1981).

Both versions of the module are noteworthy for introducing several new monsters to the published Dungeons & Dragons canon. The monsters introduced in the original unpublished version were updated for AD&D rules and included in the first edition Monster Manual. Monsters developed and introduced specifically for the S4 published version (including the demon princes Baphomet, Fraz-Urb'luu, Graz'zt, and Kostchtchie) later reappeared in the original Monster Manual II.

In 1987, The Lost Caverns of Tsojcanth was revised yet again and included in TSR's "supermodule" Realms of Horror (ISBN 0-88038-486-7).

In 2007, the classic Lost Caverns of Tsojcanth module was reimagined and expanded for edition 3.5 of the Dungeons & Dragons game by Ari Marmell, Edward Albert, and C.A. Suleiman for the online version of Dungeon Magazine. In this version, the destinations of several of the caverns' portals were changed and the identity of Tsojcanth was revealed.

Plot

The characters must travel into the Yatil Mountains south of the Greyhawk realm of Perrenland to investigate rumors of a lost treasure that scores of adventurers have perished attempting to find. The treasure is a remanent of the wealth amassed by the archmage Iggwilv, former ruler of Perrenland, prior to her presumed death at the hands of the demon Graz'zt.

Reception

The Lost Caverns of Tsojcanth was ranked the 22nd greatest Dungeons & Dragons adventure of all time by Dungeon magazine in 2004, on the 30th anniversary of the Dungeons & Dragons game.

Bibliography

  • Anonymous. "RPGA Interview with... E. Gary Gygax." RPGA News #2. Lake Geneva, WI: TSR, 1981.
  • Gygax, Gary. "From the Sorceror's Scroll: More 'Meat' for Greyhawk." Dragon #55. Lake Geneva, WI: TSR, 1981.
  • -----. The Lost Caverns of Tsojcanth. Lake Geneva, WI: TSR, 1982. ISBN 0-935696-72-5
  • -----. The Lost Caverns of Tsojconth. Detroit, MI: Metro Detroit Gamers, 1976.
  • Marmell, Ari, Edward Albert, and C.A. Suleiman. "Iggwilv's Legacy: The Lost Caverns of Tsojcanth." Dungeon #151. Renton, WA: Wizards of the Coast, 2007. Available online [3]
  • Moore, Roger E. "Gates in the World of Greyhawk." Lake Geneva, WI: TSR, 1995. Originally appeared in TSR's America Online folder, later moved to its website. Available online:[4]

External Links