The fortified city of Erelhei-Cinlu, stronghold of the Dark Elvenfolk, rises above a forest of giant lichens and fungi. (Dave Trampier from AD&D module D3: Vault of the Drow, by Gary Gygax, TSR, 1978 & 1980.)
The view upon entering the Vault of the Drow, a domed fault over 6 miles long, with the Black Tower guarding the road ahead. (Dave Trampier from AD&D module D3: Vault of the Drow, by Gary Gygax, TSR, 1978 & 1980.)
This is the 1980 reprint of the first two D-Modules, Descent
in into the Depths of the Earth and Vault of the Drow. Aside of some nice new
art (that back cover illustration of the mind flayer is some primo stuff), this
isn’t very different from the original printings.
It feels different, though. Unlike the G-Series that, when
collected, feels like an overwhelming slog, D1-2 seems very full of things I’ve
come to expect from later first edition modules – things like variety and
mystery that manage to come across just by flipping through. Maybe I’m just
excited to finally be playing these in the near future, though.
Regardless, half the fun of owning multiple version of this
early material is seeing how rapidly the norms of D&D and the industry it
created were evolving. If nothing else, you can immediately see how many more
people worked on making D1-2 an appealing product through better design,
layout, printing and even illustration.
Tomorrow, our long journey with giants and drow comes to an
end with the D-3 reprint and I have no idea what I want to shoot for next week
yet, so start thinking up some suggestions!