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 in which followers of Set and Mitra and the surrounding lands challenge each other for control of a dungeon.[1] The module details a village and four dungeon levels.[1]

Publication history[edit]

Dark Tower was written by Jennell Jaquays[a] and published by Judges Guild in 1979 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 

Shannon Appelcline explained that in early 1999, with Bob Bledsaw leading, Judges Guild returned on the web to sell original Judges Guild products, and "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 version of Dark Tower for 5E,[7] and Dungeon Crawl Classics RPG.[8]


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."[9]

Patrick Amory reviewed Dark Tower for Different Worlds magazine and stated that "Dark Tower is well worked out with intrigues, complicated interrelationships, and a background that reads like a fantasy novel."[10]

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.[11] 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. ^ "Pyramid: Pyramid Review: Dark Tower (For d20)".
  5. ^ "JG3: Dark Tower".
  6. ^ "Dark Tower (Tabletop Edition) | RPG Item Version | RPGGeek".
  7. ^ "Goodman Games Obtains 'Dark Tower' Rights from Judges Guild".
  8. ^ "Goodman Games Announces Dark Tower for 5E and DCC".
  9. ^ Turnbull, Don (February–March 1980). "Open Box". White Dwarf. Games Workshop (17): 10–11.
  10. ^ Amory, Patrick (September 1981). "Judges Guild and D&D: a guide for the discriminating GM". Different Worlds (14): 7.
  11. ^ Mona, Erik; Jacobs, James (2004). "The 30 Greatest D&D Adventures of All Time". Dungeon. Paizo Publishing (116): 78.
  12. ^ "Pyramid: Pyramid Review: Dark Tower (For d20)".