TSR Example from the worst TSR adventure module(s) ever published


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I mean, you'd just notice this, at some point, wouldn't you?
Actually, a few bits of this adventure have inspired me to flesh them out into something a bit more logical.

The wererat bit (for when I get back to Ravenloft, most likely), will make a modicum of sense because the innkeeper is also a wererat, but is an infected one who is repressing his memories of his time in rat form.

The nymph/dryad/whatever I make her got her potion from an Evil Witch (not really Evil, but y'know, it'll be complicated) and can't wake the guy up. The PCs would have to get the antidote from the witch. The potion wasn't supposed to be drunk all in one go, but the nymph didn't follow the instructions. I'm trying to decide what the witch would want in return for the antidote.

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The seven pairs of underpants are all labeled with the days of the week, but actually are artifacts of seven Great Old Ones and corrupt the souls of those who wear them, turning them into serial killers sacrificing their victims to their masters.


And all because of a typo: it was originally supposed to be the Rod of Seven Parts...

New magic item:

Rod of Seven Pants

On command, the Rod turns into a rack on which you can hang your clothes and adventuring gear, but also has seven random pairs of pants hanging on it. The pants are of all different sizes and styles, and may or may not be clean.
When the command word is spoken again, any clothing, armor and gear stowed on it become part of the rod, allowing you to store the items without taking up space. However, any time the Rod is opened, one of any pair of socks stowed within it will disappear, never to be seen again.


Staff member
Rod of Seven Parts SHOULD have been rewritten as an Warforged Lich who- when defeated- was broken up into 7 pieces, scattered around the world.


It is evening. A man sits alone in his outhouse, both reading this thread and not reading this thread (1HD commoner, 4 HP, AC 10, -1 Atk, Weap: Sewing scissors, 1d1 dmg, percent lair 80%, percent liar 90%).

In the distance he sees the Rod of Seven Pants in his closet, faithfully housing the seven pairs of jean shorts acquired over 30 years of life.

If anyone approaches the Rod, or does not approach the Rod, it will offer to take all seven pairs of shorts and sell them at a garage sale for "the greater good of humanity and fashion sense."

On the way to the garage sale you encounter 5 wererats, accusing you and the Rod of robbing them of the shorts they rightfully stole from a halfling innkeeper in the mystical land of Orlonnd Ahflo Ridda.
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I was looking through some of my old D&D modules last night, and I came across The Forest Oracle, what I think is the worst TSR module ever published. It is so bad you have to read it to beleive it. So, just for the fun of seeing your reaction to it, here is one "encounter area" of the module.

Adventure module (AD&D1):
The Forest Oracle
by Carl Smith
c. 1984

The below is quoted exactly -- I've inserted nothing, changed nothing, and removed nothing. The "boxed text" is for the DM to read to the Players.

Note: the lake is called "Quiet Lake", and is minimally described before the below text as "strangely different" with no bird song or animal movement. "It does not seem as ominous as sad."

How many things are just wrong with this encounter and text? I mean, just start with Evan's stat block: 3rd-level fighter with 2 hit dice and 5 hit points? His damage is by an axe, but he only owns a longbow and a dagger. It hurts my head just reading it. And the "plot"?

And this is not the worst encounter scenario in the module. The whole thing is like this, just non-sensical encounters, screwed-up stat blocks, and contradictory descriptions. God this is so bad.

When I played this adventure (as a PC 3rd-level fighter), our party got all kinds of sidetracked because of encounters like this. We saw conspiracies in every encounter because the setup made no sense and explanations were so flimsy ("Why don't you pour that potion in the lake, yourself?"). We never finished the adventure. After getting about 1/3rd through it, the DM just couldn't go on because we were completely confused by the nonsense.

I'm interested in seeing text from other adventures that you think are really bad.

I think the one published in the 2E Chult sourcebook is the worst. It shipped without its map. This was as TSR was going broke.

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