Dark Tower (module)

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Dark Tower
JG0088 Dark Tower.jpg
AuthorsJennell Jaquays[a]
First published1980

Dark Tower is an adventure module published by Judges Guild in 1980 for the Advanced Dungeons & Dragons fantasy role-playing game.

Plot summary[edit]

Dark Tower is an adventure which describes a dungeon contested over by followers of Set and Mitra and the surrounding lands.[1] The module describes a village and four challenging dungeon levels in detail.[1]

Publication history[edit]

Dark Tower was written by Jennell Jaquays[a] and published by Judges Guild in 1980 as a 72-page book.[1][2]

A listing of cumulative sales from 1981 shows that Dark Tower sold over 15,000 units.[3]: 200 

Early in 1999, Judges Guild, led by Bob Bledsaw, returned on the web and began selling original Judges Guild products. Afterward Judges Guild took the same path as many other first-generation RPG publishers in the d20 age: they became a licensor, and their first partner was RPGRealms / QuickLinkInteractive. QLI reprinted just two books during the two years that they held the license — Dark Tower (2001) and The Treasury of Archaic Names (2001).[3]: 205 [4]

In 2007, the Dark Tower Silver Edition for Dungeons and Dragons v3.5 was released by Judges Guild, Goodman Games, and Eostros Games. Credited authors for this version were Jennell Jaquays,[a] Greg Geilman, and Steve Stottrup. While keeping most of the original Jaquays' text, this version fixed typos, updated the formatting and maps, and contained new material to incorporate into the Judges Guild Wilderlands of High Fantasy setting.[5]

In 2016, the Dark Tower (Tabletop Edition) was released by Goodman Games. The "tabletop edition" version was a restored scan of the original 1980 version of the module.[6]

In 2021, Goodman Games obtained the rights from Judges Guild to publish a 5E version of Dark Tower.[7]


Don Turnbull reviewed Dark Tower for White Dwarf #17, giving it an overall rating of 9 out of 10, and stated that "whereas in the past Judges Guild products have not compared particularly favourably, in the depth of their presentation and the coherence of their contents, with the TSR products, Dark Tower is the one which comes the closest . There are signs of random selection in the occupants of some of the dungeon areas but this is only to be expected. In all, Dark Tower should provide an absorbing and most interesting adventure."[8]

Lawrence Schick, in his 1991 book Heroic Worlds, notes that this "[p]opular scenario" was "Judges Guild's best-selling scenario."[1]

Dark Tower was ranked the 21st greatest Dungeons & Dragons adventure of all time by Dungeon magazine in 2004, on the 30th anniversary of the Dungeons & Dragons game.[9] This is most noteworthy because Dark Tower was the only adventure module to make this list that was not produced by TSR, Inc., the direct antecedent of Wizards of the Coast.

According to author Shannon Appelcline, "Jaquay's AD&D adventure, Dark Tower (1980), is considered an early masterpiece."[3]: 196 


  1. ^ a b c Credited as Paul Jaquays.


  1. ^ a b c d Schick, Lawrence (1991). Heroic Worlds: A History and Guide to Role-Playing Games. Prometheus Books. p. 92. ISBN 0-87975-653-5.
  2. ^ "Jennell Jaquays: The Reinvented Girl". Jaquays.com. Retrieved 16 August 2017.
  3. ^ a b c Shannon Appelcline (2014). Designers & Dragons: The '70s. Evil Hat Productions. ISBN 978-1-61317-075-5.
  4. ^ http://www.sjgames.com/pyramid/sample.html?id=2490
  5. ^ https://www.rpggeek.com/rpgitem/58076/dark-tower
  6. ^ https://www.rpggeek.com/rpgitemversion/343942/tabletop-edition
  7. ^ https://icv2.com/articles/news/view/48019/goodman-games-obtains-dark-tower-rights-from-judges-guild
  8. ^ Turnbull, Don (February–March 1980). "Open Box". White Dwarf. Games Workshop (17): 10–11.
  9. ^ Mona, Erik; Jacobs, James (2004). "The 30 Greatest D&D Adventures of All Time". Dungeon. Paizo Publishing (116): 78.