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Hardcover Return to the Temple of Elemental Evil Book

ISBN: 0786918438

ISBN13: 9780786918430

Return to the Temple of Elemental Evil

(Part of the Dungeons & Dragons, 4th Edition Series)

A legendary adventure updated for the Dungeons & Dragons game, this all-new adventure provides hours of play as users race against an evil band of priests attempting to unleash the dark god upon the world.


Format: Hardcover

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Customer Reviews

5 ratings

Excellent product, but be careful

First of all, let me say that this is easily the best module I have ever gotten my hands on for Dungeons and Dragons. It is very well written, provides everything in great detail, and is a hell of a lot of fun to run. As the DM of my home campaign, i must issue a few warnings to those who want to use this adventure. My campaign is set in the Forgotten Realms and thus I needed to do a fair bit of conversion to set the adventure in Faerun, but in the end it was well worth it. DMs should remember before running this adventure that it is intended to be the backbone of an entire campaign, and if you run the entire thing, it most certainly will be just that. After conquering the Temple, your PCs will have saved the world (hope I'm not spoiling this for anybody), and the question for the DM is simply: Where do I go from here? Frankly my PCs are a bit disenchanted with the entire "Save the world, um, again" theme. I'll still give it five stars since it is the best module available as far as content is concerned, just make sure you want your campaign to be remembered as "When we did the Temple of Elemental Evil".

Well worth the wait

I've been waiting for this release all summer, and I am well pleased. Let me say this, I was against a 3rd. edition of DnD from the beginning. Like many other DMs, I had all ready modified 2nd ed. to my liking and had worked out most of the rough edges on my own; however, like many other gamers, I couldn't resist picking up a copy of 3rd. ed. just to see what changes were made. I found myself liking it and believing that this is where DnD should have been twenty years ago. That being said, "Return" is a step in the right direction of what made AD & D great to begin with: Compelling Adventures. "Return" is just that. It takes the original module T1-4, uses it as a background and advances the story line into an interesting campaign. I must say, I was skeptic when I received the book in my mailbox and at first peek saw that it has one hell of a massive dungeon crawl. Having read it, I agree with those who've reviewed this before me. Mr. Cook has done an excellent job of making this a dynamic,long, dungeon trek that if run properly will not be your standard, "Kick down door, slay monster, take treasure, repeat". The environment reacts to the characters. Several of the areas could be revisisted, and would not be the same encounter twice.Overall, the story is solid. Old timers will enjoy finding refrences to several of the classic adventures from 1st ed. AD & D modules. The campaign takes players from 4th to 14th, but I've found that by starting earlier in the time line, and by expanding on the side trek options given in the book, I've been able to expand the adventure to begin at 1st level and go all the way to 14th. It is possible that events started with this campaign could take your players well beyond 14th with a little creativity on the DMs part as well. I all so think it is important to note that even though this is set in Greyhawk, I've adapted it to my own campaign world ("Birthright") with very little effort. Well worth the money.

An epic release for 3rd edition

Return to the Temple of Elemental Evil is for DMs who like to think big. Really big. The appendices alone total more than 30 pages -- as large as most published adventures in their entirety. Characters who survive to the end (no small feat in itself) will likely advance 10 levels. The plot, meanwhile, charges the characters with saving the universe from total annihilation.Running a game on such an epic scale generally turns out one of two ways. In the best case scenario, the players find themselves completely absorbed in the story as the unfolding events slowly build momentum and drama. Alternately, the players become mired in a seemingly endless string of repetitious encounters and eventually lose interest.So, besides a good DM, what makes the difference? I primarily look for a compelling storyline, strong writing and quality design. Return to the Temple of Elemental Evil delivers all three.Without going into specifics that might spoil the story, Monte Cook pulls off something truly ambitious. Essentially, he combines events from various past Greyhawk adventures that point to a single malevolent force working behind the scenes. There's plenty here to keep even veteran players guessing -- including lost temples, terrifying new monsters, powerful artifacts, dozens of interesting NPCs (many with hidden motives) and a secret cult cloaked in layers of mystery.This adventure also strikes a careful balance between advancing the plot and maintaining flexibility. For example, players can only progress to certain areas once they've found a key item or clue. But they usually have more than one way to acquire it. Plus, the design makes it easy to accommodate different styles of play. So there's no right or wrong approach; the PCs can decide to storm in, infiltrate using stealth, negotiate their way through or all of the above.Most DMs will appreciate the suggestions on running and modifying the adventure. There are tips for adjusting encounter levels, adding side treks, adapting it to your campaign and more. Finally, the excellent maps and artwork serve to enhance the adventure and highlight important encounters.All in all, Return to the Temple of Elemental Evil stands out as one of the best adventures I've ever read for D & D. (Previous editions included.) I can't wait to run this one, and I'd recommend it to anyone looking for a heroic campaign on a grand scale.

Evil is Back, and Badder than Ever!

Ah, memories...I ran the original Temple of Elemental Evil back in the eighties, and never was I more pleased with how badly a game can crash my school grades and keep me up until the wee hours of the morning. The Temple of Evil was one of the most popular and lauded adventures ever for the popular Advanced Dungeons and Dragons (AD & D) game.Well, Monte Cook is sure to make the "Module Hall of Fame" with this new epic set in the original lands of the evil elemental cult. Unlike some of the previous "return-to" modules, "Return to the Temple of Elemental Evil" is not a simple re-hashing of old material. Rather, it is a true sequel, and a worthy successor to the Elemental Evil legacy.Set about fifteen years after the original adventure, "Return to the Temple of Elemental Evil" contains descriptions of several of the original people and places, so those familiar with the original material will find much to reminisce over. However, the tiny Village of Hommlet and its bulwark of heroes and villains have "grown up" now, and Monte Cook does an excellent job portraying the passage of time and fleshing out the new order of things in the quiet, wooded hills at the edge of the Viscounty of Verbobonc.Furthermore, Monte Cook provides a compelling, rich history of the past events in the area, serving to bring new Dungeon Masters "up to speed" with the cult of Elemental Evil, but also providing new material and insight into events and forces only hinted at in the original work. After about fifteen minutes of reading, the prospective Dungeon Master, even if new to the game, can rest assured that she will not be missing any information vital to running this epic adventure.The adventure itself is a truly monstrous undertaking, beginning with players retracing the steps of the original adventurers of fifteen years ago, but quickly taking them off the beaten path into an entirely new edifice of Evil, where they will find themselves pitted against several rival cults in a massive, several-hundred-keyed-locations dungeon that should provide hours and hours (if not months and months) of entertainment for all. To be fair, though, this is not a simple hack 'n' slash dungeon - rather, it is a complex, dynamic community, and Dungeon Masters are warned to prepare thoroughly before attempting to run players through this complex.The climax to this grand adventure truly befits the monumental work which precedes it, and characters who begin play as 4th level characters can finish as high as level 14!!The presentation and artwork are consistent with other products published by Wizards of the Coast, that is, superb. A 16-page full-color map booklet brings the many locations to life vibrantly, while settings, encounters, creatures, and magic items are organized in a consistent, logical manner. Major villains are separated from the keyed locations and placed into their own section, to remind Dungeon Masters that they do not simply stay put and wait for players to discover a

The Evil Rises Again

(This review is 90% spoiler safe -- maybe a couple of minor details revealed.)It has been 15 long years since a party of adventurers last destroyed the Temple of Elemental... yet something stirs in its shadows once again.This is not a 3rd edition gloss-over of the original -- It is an entirely new plot with lots of new territory to explore.The old favorites are there, but different: Hommlet is growing, the moathouse is still standing in it's old, crumbly way, Burne and Rufus are leading the town, and of course, the old walls of the Temple of Elemental Evil still stand.To keep the players on there toes a host of new magic items, monsters, races, and spells are scattered throughout the adventure (and collected nicely in the appendix).But whereas the original adventure was a dungeon-crawl of epic scale, this product is "the backbone of a full campaign". Instead of trudging through endless dungeon hallways, this adventure will actually involve a bit more traveling, npc interaction, and imagine, just possibly, role playing.Descriptions are good and solid. Most monsters are listed by hit points and page number in the Monster Manual with little variants noted as needed. Use of the 3rd edition templates have taken advantage of to provide interesting new surprises. The plot and story line is logical. NPCs are often listed with their own personal goals and motivations in addition to the plans of their cult. Splashed about are tips for handling parties that go astray, dally, or take things in an unexpected order. Suggestions are included for how The Temple reacts to attack, both immediate and long term recovery if the players wander afar.This is not a nostalgic rehash. This is a new story, new bad guys and new characters. I never GMed the first adventure, but I played through it. I'm thinking it will be fun to scatter my friends of old in and around Hommlet as retired adventurers; the players can run into them in bars spinning yarns of their glories of old. And possibly dropping some hints and tips to help keep the party on track...If you play this, you can expect exploration of the plans of an evil cult, encounters with a wide range of creatures and magic, and the occasional gabbing with NPCs of Hommlet, and I would guess a good year's worth of gaming.Played "out of the box", players should not expect great intriguing NPCs, long dives into the Underdark, nor great armies clashing over territory. But then, if that's what your players want, a creative GM could always work more of that activity into the game. Unlike its predecessor, there are many points where hooks could be added to take the game play in any desired directions.The maps are stapled into the back of the book. Some may see this as bad, but for me, I think I'll just photo-copy the 40 pages of appendix. This will make it easy for me to give out handouts, add details/scratch out NPCs as events dictate, and scribble notes on maps to keep up with changes as the campaign progresses.Being an open book
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