OSR: Tomb of the Serpent Kings 3.0

Version 3 of my "tutorial" dungeon is up.This update isn't as significant as the jump from 1.0 to 2.0, but it's still important. The entire document was edited and reformatted by the incredibly helpful David Shugars (nthdecree.blogspot.com). Go check out his stuff! Overall, I'd say the dungeon is now more readable and easy to use in a hundred small but vital ways.

And, once again, it's still free!

Tomb of the Serpent Kings v3.0 PDF

New on the left, old on the right
Or bookmark the Megapost for quick reference in the future. It also explains what the heck is going on, if you're new here.


  1. Love it. I've always hated having to flip back and forth to the map when reading PDF adventures.

  2. Beautiful, and I intend to use it when I have novice players!

    I see that you are also a fan of Scott Alexander. I'd love to have you in my (Old School, using 5E rules) game on Roll20.

    What could get you interested in that?

    1. Great!

      So Sean Plott, another guy I like, said something like, "If the average person is wrong on a topic 90% of the time, an expert is wrong 70% of the time." I'm not sure what percentage Scott sits at (70% might be generous), but at the very least, he's interesting and can write really, really well.

      As for the Roll20 stuff, I'm not a huge fan of online games or the 5E rules, and I'm currently running 3 games at the moment, so I'm going to have to decline, sorry.

  3. Thanks for the adventure Skerples! I'm awaiting an opportunity to play it with my wife.

    As I'll use the real world with bits of fantasy and weird as the setting, I'm thinking about put the tomb as an abandoned cult place for the Snake from the Garden of Eden.


    Thank you for making this available for free. I am 27, been playing D&D on and off for about ten years. Started with 4th edition. Recently got into the OSR about a year ago and still definitely learning what it is. This dungeon is great.

    One change I think I would make is, in the second section with the octagonal rooms and chambers splitting off in all directions, I would want to add a sense of progression and rising tension as they explore each chamber. Right now, it seems like it's kind of like just checking the same thing over and over and seeing what you get. I would make one of the doors locked, and put the key to it inside one of the other chambers. So that they are wondering the whole time what is behind the locked door, and then the climax of the chamber is opening and seeing what is behind it.

    Again, thanks so much.

    1. Forgot to mention: I've already corralled a group of friends together to run this on Friday ;)

      Sometimes, I forget why I like to DM. I try to follow people's advice and string together this big campaigns with lots of roleplaying and crap. And it's not fun. I don't enjoy it. And then I find a dungeon like this, and I'm actually excited to run it. This is why I DM. Thanks brah ; )

    2. I don't think it's necessary to have the octagonal room's side-chambers be linear. They each teach an independent lesson. Sure, there could be a sense of rising tension... but if you want to strictly control player movement, write a story about it. My players ignored the side passages for 4 sessions and they still haven't fully checked two of them! Level 1 is purely linear, level 2 has some non-linear or optional sections, and level 3 is purely branched and interconnected.

      Anyway, good luck!

  5. Brah, I say I want some rising tension and you tell me to go write a story?! Come on... and having one locked door is hardly gonna feel "linear".

    Anyways, love your blog.

  6. I have recently started to GM this moduel, and fell into a deadly trap - I am playing on line, so I made slight alterations on the map so as not to show the secret passage, but I forgot t remove the numbers - letting the 5 on the map was a huge mistake :/
    Could you please provide us with a map with absolutly no indication, which we could show the players?
    (I don't ask you to remove stuff, but if you have the original file, maybe there is a calque with no figures? )
    Thank you.

  7. Replies
    1. Unless you've got the original files and it's easy to remove stuff, don't bother, I also need to have secret passage hidden, and I am pretty sure you haven't those removed (sorta).
      If I'm happy of the result (and you're interested) I will send you the image I made.

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  9. I wanted to say thank you for posting such a tremendous resource for free on your site. This is one of the best introductory adventures I've read in 36+ years and is what I will point people towards in the future as an example of an introductory adventure for any edition of D&D.

    Although this may be considered heretical, I run (and prefer) 4E and will definitely run a conversion in this edition at some point.

    Keep up the great work!

  10. Wow, this module is really well done! I just found your dungeon and I'm planning to use it as a one-to-three-shot in between the group's D&D sessions. Thank you for this :)

    One question I had was how exactly did you draw the amazing map? Please correct me if I'm wrong, it looks like you sketched it first by hand and then traced the walls over digitally, is that right? Did you use any specific tools?

    1. Thanks! I didn't draw the maps myself. I'm not sure what the guy who did them used.