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I1: Dwellers of the Forbidden City, is an adventure module for 6-8 characters of level 4th to 7th.

This adventure is set in the mountains south of the Pelisso Swamp in Hepmonaland(p.2). The Forbidden city, later named Xuxuleito was expanded in 2e AD&D Scarlet Brotherhood, as a city in the Xaro mountains, that once was ruled by batmen and olman, then later yuan-ti[1](p.56).

Dwellers of the Forbidden City was used at the 1980 Origins AD&D tournament(p.2).

The module was originally earmarked for the S4 (Special) code[2](p.29), but this was then given to The Lost Caverns of Tsojcanth.

The module requires the Fiend Folio for the full description of many monster stats, but can be played without it(p.3)

Blurb

"Somewhere in the heart of the steaming jungle lies the answer to the whispered tales - rumors of a magnificent city and foul, horrid rituals! Here a brave party might find riches and wonders - or death! Is your party brave enough to face the terrors of the unknown and find - the Forbidden City!

Parts of this module were used in 1980 for a major East Coast convention tournament. Information is presented here to reconstruct this exciting tournament and even more has been given to expand play. Here characters may adventure several times in a unique and interesting mini-campaign. Included in this module are background and tournament notes, referee's keys, new monsters, pre-generated characters, and eight different maps."

Index

Art

  • James Holloway:Sacrificial Pool(p.4), Aboleth(p.24), , Rust Monster(*p.15), The Swinging Bridge(*p.6), Xorn (*p.9), Apes(*p.15), Arathaes(*p.19)
  • Jim Roslof: Giant Snake(p.23), *Backcover
  • Erol Otus: Frontpiece(p.1)
  • Harry Quinn: Mongrelmen (*p.3) Meditation Room(p.5), Spiders(*p.10), Wasp-Rider(p.14), Bullywugs(p.20), Shambling Mound(p.22)
  • Stephen D. Sullivan: Carrion Crawler(p.9), Tasloi attack (p.11), Kwaino's Chamber(*p.16) Map art.
  • Unconfirmed: ,Yuanti(p.12-Roslof, Otus?), Tasloi ambush(p.13), Mongrelmen camp(p.18), Tasloi(p.26), Yuanti(p.27)

Art marked with an asterix* is speculated to have been done by the associated artist, based on art style.

Characters

  • Arathaes(p.19)- An arrogant elven magic user, trapped in the city after her party died. She'll work with the party, but will ridicule any perceived faults and mistakes.
  • Horan(p.3,10,14-16)- Magic user and leader of the city, working with the Yuan-ti and Bullywugs to spread his influence.
  • Kwairno(p.14-16)- Magic user assistant to Horan.
  • Shruzgrap(p.17)- a rebellious bugbear who wants to be chief, and will use the characters to do so.
  • Yrak(p.17)- Bugbear witch doctor, supports Shruzgrap secretly.
  • Zura(p.6)- son of the Chief, of the village the players pass through in the beginning(p.2), and possible companion if rescued.

Pre-generated characters(p.28)

  • Tournament play characters: Nasaldromus (Human male magic user), Bruti (Dwarven male fighter), Daniel (Human male cleric), Theala (human female monk), Olaf Peacock (human male bard), Hieroman (Half elven female druid)
  • Extra characters: Orrem (Human female cleric), Prandalas (elven Male Fighter/Magic User), Jarl (Gnome male illusionist), Donnela (Human female thief), Gavin (Halfling male thief), Roland (Half elven male Magic user/cleric), Black Morran (Dwarven male fighter), Fairburne (Human male paladin), Ursh (Half orc, male cleric), Marcellla (Human female Ranger), Andrea (human female magic user), Morgana (half elven female fighter/magic user), Stephanos (elven male magic user/thief), X the mystic (human male magic user). Unusually, this roster includes evil characters, such as Gavin and Ursh.

Creatures

FF- Fiend Folio

  • Aboleth (p.7,24- First Appearance)
  • Ant, Giant (p.8,11)
  • Ape Carnivorous(p.11,15)
  • Bat-people(p.23)
  • Beetle, Fire (p.11)
  • Bloodworm, Giant (p.9-FF, First Module Appearance)
  • Bugbear (p.3,5,11,15,17)
  • Bullywug (p.3,7,11-12,17,20-21-FF, First Module Appearance)
  • Carrion Crawler (p.9)
  • Centipede, Giant (p.11)
  • Crocodile (p.21)
  • Crocodile, Large (p.4)
  • Dragon, Pan Lung (p.15,21-22,25-FF, First Module Appearance)
  • Elf (p.19)
  • Frog, Giant (p.11)
  • Frog, Killer (p.20)
  • Frog, Poisonous (p.12)
  • Hedgehog, Giant (p.19)
  • Invisible Stalker (p.15)
  • Lizard, Subterranean(p.6)
  • Mongrelmen(p.3,10-11,18-20,25- First Appearance)
  • Ochre Jelly (p.21)
  • Piercer (p.9)
  • Rust Monster (p.15)
  • Shamblin Mound (p.22)
  • Snake, Giant Constrictor (p.6)
  • Spider, Giant (p.10-11,13)
  • Spider, Large (p.10)
  • Stirge (p.21)
  • Tasloi(p.3,5-6,8,10-13,15,26- First Appearance)
  • Violet Fungus (Dead) (p.21)
  • Warthog (p.17)
  • Wasp, giant(p.7,13)
  • Xorn (p.9)
  • Yellow Musk-Creeper (p.8,26-FF, First Module Appearance)
  • Yellow Musk-Zombie (p.8-FF, First Module Appearance)
  • Yuan-ti(p.3,5-6,10-12,15,27- First Appearance)

Locations

  • Hepmonoland(p.2)
    • Pelisso Swamp(p.2)
    • Forbidden City(p.2) (Xuxuleito)
    • Lost Temple of Ranet(p.23)

Organisations

  • The Black Brotherhood- a deliberately not fleshed out organisation (DM choice) working with the Yuan-ti(p.22)

Appendix

Trivia

David Zeb Cook was inspired by the Conan Novella, Red Nails, an tried to capture the feeling of the novella for this module[3]. Dweller's was originally part of a home campaign Cook ran before joining TSR, and he submitted a chapter as part of his resume. The adventure was later scheduled for a publish module, so Cook fleshed it out with the city and mongrelmen near the ruins[4].

White Dwarf, Jim Bambra, reviewed the module as a potentially good setting book for a DM to make their own adventure, but lacks cohesion as an adventure itself and is only given a 5/10[5](p.16).

James Wyatt, in the 4th edition DMG, suggests that Dwellers of the Forbidden City was the first or 'proto super adventure', havng a rich setting and nonlinear goal, along with suggestions for further adventures. Wyatt suggest that with more content and space to expand ideas, I2 could rival T1-4: Temple of Elemental Evil in terms of being a super adventure[6](p.148).

Different Worlds, Anders Swenson, reviewed the module as a 'Good Buy', and enjoyed the novel setting of the adventure, but does criticise the repetition of monster stats[7](p.39-40).

Dungeon ranked Dwellers of the forbidden city as the 13th greatest adventure, primarily for the monsters it introduced into the hobby[8] (p.76)

Ares magazine, Gerry Klug, gave the module a harsh review, criticising it's lay out and plot, calling it disorganised.It praises the new creatures, but not the ecology of the module, claiming such coexistence is implausible[9](p.31-32).

Exterior Links:

Articles: RPGGeek, RPG.Net, Drivethrurpg, Acaeum

  1. The Scarlet Brotherhood, Sean K Reynolds, 1999, ISBN:0-7869-1374-6, 2e
  2. White Dwarf, Issue 24, D&D Clones!, April/May 1981
  3. Dragonsfoot: Q&A with David 'Zeb' Cook. p.4
  4. Dragonsfoot: Q&A with David 'Zeb' Cook, pg 5
  5. White Dwarf, Issue 40, Open Box: Dungeon Modules , Jim Bambra, April 1983
  6. Dungeon's Master Guide, Birth of the Super Adventure, James Wyatt, 2008 , 4e
  7. Different worlds, Issue 16, Reviews: Dwellers of the Forbidden City, Anders Swenson, November 1981
  8. Dungeon Magazine, Issue 116, 'The 30 Greatest D&D Adventures', Erik Mono, James Jacobs, et al, November 2004
  9. Ares Magazine, issue 12, RP Gaming: Dwellers of the Forbidden City, Gerry Kulg, January 1982
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