Homemade D&D Modules: The Golden Scepter of the Troll Fens, The Maze of Death, and The Priest of Evil (1981)

Walters D&D-1

Walters D&D-2

Walters D&D-4

Walters D&D-3

Walters D&D-5

Walters D&D-6

 

Hand-drawn, hand-typed, and hand-assembled by 13-year-old Mikey Walters in 1981, I present the first six pages of a fully realized, fully playable 28-page module. (Click the images for a bigger view.)

Your mission, if you choose to accept it, is to journey to the Troll Fens, retrieve the golden scepter (it “can cause Orcs to do any task, including suicide”), and bring it safely back to the Kingdom of Kala. The scepter is gold and exactly 5 ft. long, as you can see. If you find a golden scepter measuring 4 ft. or 6 ft., that’s totally cool, but it’s not the golden scepter we’re looking for.

How far is the Troll Fens from Kala, you ask? Well, it’s 575 miles by the main road, or “250 miles as the bird flies.” Those birds have all the luck! If you happen to doubt the accuracy of the distances, you have but to consult the awesomely rendered map. (I thought it was very biblical/philosophical of Mikey to put the Island of Evil and the Island of Knowledge side by side.)

Wait, there’s more.

 

Walters D&D-8

Walters D&D-9

Walters D&D-7

 

I really could have used these “Mini Modules” back in the day, since only two of us were serious about playing (serious about wanting to play, anyway). The covers are made of construction paper. The “Basic” banner on top is pure genius.

The cover of The Priest of Evil is pretty creepy, isn’t it? What’s he doing in that chair? Is he commanding the fire? Why won’t he show himself? Oh my God he’s going to kill us all with his mind!

Okay, one more page. I can’t resist. This one is from Mikey’s new monsters stat pages.

 

Walters D&D-10

 

“A Mad Dog is simply a dog with Rabies.” And let me tell you, the Rabies is nasty. “Within four days the victim will have great difficulty swallowing water… and in twelve days they will die.” A constitution or strength of 18 or better will give you a mere 10% chance of survival. Note to party: steer clear of Mad Dogs.

“A Jinnis is a disgusting creature that lives in swamps and other dark places.” You know, despite its sandpaper-like texture and devil horns and fire breath, I feel like the Jinnis gets a bad rap. This thing has a mother that loves it. For all we know, the Jinnis thinks we’re disgusting creatures that live in kingdoms and other sickeningly well-lighted places.

You’ll find the entire modules and other gems at Mikey’s D&D Memories Set on Flickr.

Also, the modules appeared last year at Rended Press, where they were kindly made available as PDFs: The Golden Scepter of the Troll FensThe Maze of Death, The Priest of Evil.

STAY TUNED: Mikey was kind enough to talk to me about his D&D creations and other childhood endeavors and experiences. The interview will run next week.

9 Responses to “Homemade D&D Modules: <em>The Golden Scepter of the Troll Fens</em>, <em>The Maze of Death</em>, and <em>The Priest of Evil</em> (1981)”


  1. 1 Anon April 24, 2013 at 3:25 pm

    I like the exactly 5 feet part on the scepter. I’m thinking someone had just watched Raiders of the Lost Ark.

  2. 2 webmikey7 April 24, 2013 at 3:58 pm

    Thank you so much for posting these. The 13-year-old inside of me is so proud and happy! I love your commentary.

  3. 3 2W2N April 24, 2013 at 4:37 pm

    Mikey, thank you. I’m really excited about the interview! Putting it together now…

    Anon raised an interesting question. If you’ll remember, the Staff of Ra in Raiders (June of ’81) had to be exactly [x] feet long for the gold headpiece to display the exact location of the Ark. Do you recall the movie influencing your scepter?

  4. 4 leftylimbo April 24, 2013 at 10:51 pm

    These are priceless! Thanks for sharing. If there’s ever going to be a D&D Museum, these will have to be on permanent display.

  5. 5 WEBmikey April 24, 2013 at 11:07 pm

    I don’t remember being directly influenced by the Staff of Ra, but I’m sure it made an impression (lots of my childhood work contains things that look like stuff I was into).

    Thanks for the complement, Lefty!


  1. 1 Interview with a Geek: Mikey Walters | 2 Warps to Neptune Trackback on May 2, 2013 at 2:20 pm
  2. 2 Super 8: Mikey Walters’ Target: Earth (1979) | 2 Warps to Neptune Trackback on September 5, 2013 at 2:31 pm
  3. 3 Christmas Morning, 1978: Everything! (Part Two) | 2 Warps to Neptune Trackback on December 18, 2013 at 4:00 pm
  4. 4 This Book of Homemade D&D Modules Is Better Than Anything Anyone Has Ever Built on Minecraft | 2 Warps to Neptune Trackback on March 13, 2014 at 2:17 pm

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