TSR What TSR-era D&D material do you still put to use in your 5E games?


Great question. Personally, I have used loads as a DM and also love encountering old stuff as a player. My favourites include:
Greyhawk as a setting
The Giants series of modules
Tsojcanth and Tharizdun adventures
Anything by Jennel Jacquays, particularly Thracia and Dark Tower
The Keep on the Borderlands as a base
Recently DM-Ed the whole KotB inc Caverns of Chaos

Guess I just love the old stuff!

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God and monster lore are the big ones.

In my 5e conversion of the Pathfinder Iron Gods adventure path two of the PCs (one a cleric) are part of an Acme themed dragon cult and I have adapted a lot of the material on Hlal from FOR1 The Draconomicon and Aasterinian from Monster Mythology for use in my homebrew mashup setting.

B/X and 1e were what I started with so the monster lore from these is a lot of my base and I go back to them as references. I like a lot of the 2e monster lore as well.


Reeks of Jedi
Still play 2E so a lot of that. Recently used the Faerun Grey box set and the Dragonlance box set.

Switching to Shadowdark I plan to get a lot of use from old modules and plan to convert and use the old Undermountain box set.


I use AD&D Setting lore, Monster lore, Deity lore, some gear alternatives (e.g. sheaf & flight arrows), many converted modules. From Dungeon magazine, I've run the following AD&D modules by Chris Perkins in 5e as one-shots...

A Wizard's Fate
Redcap's Rampage
Wards of the Witching Ways (Chris Perkins' first published module)
Scourge of Scalabar
Dragon's Delve


1. The modules. The classic B/X modules and the 1e modules are great, and I am able to convert them "on the fly" for use in 5e.

2. Greyhawk. I may have mentioned this once or a thousand times, but I'm a fan of the original Greyhawk setting, and I think that the Folio / Campaign Settting are still the ideal when it comes to a balance of plot hooks and leaving areas of the map for the table to fill in.

3. The 1e DMG. Still my favorite source of inspiration- in terms of rules, it's not great, but in terms of just random lore drops, I always can find something in there.
I started with 3.5, but through the power of used bookstores and DMsGuild, I can also speak to these, especially Greyhawk: my 3E love of Greyhawk transferred quite well to the OG box set when I got it from DMsGuild.

I also use the Manual of Planes: it's pretty much 100% applicable to 5E.


Oh yeah. I still use this as well no matter what the D&D setting. While not everything in there thematically fits the level and degree of tech I like for D&D, there are a ton of great flavor items and useful items to incorporate.
I mean, no worse than just making up the numbers of gold pieces, and someone already put some thought into it, right? Why duplicate the effort?


I ran some adventures from the DnD mini setting thunder rift, didn't change anything about the monsters or treasure, just ran it with comparative monsters/items. Apart from a few unique items, it was the same adventure. We were using roll20, in a couple of occasions I had to recreate the maps, but otherwise the module as downloaded from dmsguild worked well.

Guess I just love the old stuff!
Me too. I use AD&D 1e and more:
- Setting. Greyhawk, as modified by 25 years of play. A little bit of the original FR as another world.

- Adventures. Too many to count. And I’m slowly reading every issue of Dungeon, which is AD&D to 2e to 3e to 3.5e, and use materials from all eras.

- Monsters. Almost everything from AD&D has a conversion to 3.5e, which I DM in. I use ForgottenRealms.fandom to read up on monster lore and see the pictures from all editions.


I know I could ask this question in the 5E forum, but I am more interested in what the folks who have played (or continue to play) 1E/2E/BECMI have incorporated into the 5E games they run than I am hearing from folks who are 3E or later aficionados (though I have incorporated some 3E stuff into my 5E games as well).

This could be modules/adventures, class/species abilities/restrictions, setting material, player options, etc. I am curious what it is about the particular material that appeals to you for use in 5E and what if anything you had to change to try to make it work (and if it actually works/ed).

What I am not interested in is hearing about how older material is completely incompatible with the newer rulesets. As someone who does it to varying degrees and finds the DIY/mix-n-match aspect of D&D one of its main appeals, I want to hear about what you are trying and doing, not what you think cannot be done based on pet theories.I
In a pinch I've used 1st 2nd or even 3rd edition modules if I have to run an impromptu game. If I run forgotten realms it's 1e timeline as I hate pretty much everything starting with mystra and the gods war. I've pulled stuff from Al Qaudim and Darksun. All those old game supplements have great stuff not hard to make it work with new rules.


I did a few adventures. Then I realized how much I rewrite adventures, and got rid of most of them, save for a few gems and curiosities (Greyhawk Ruins, Caverns of Thracia, etc.).

Now it's all setting material, all the way down. Since I primarily use the Realms (and a dash of Greyhawk), that's a LOT of 1e and 2e books. I make use of the setting material to pull dungeons, sites, and NPCs and convert them as needed. Notably, I keep my games pretty loose rules-wise, and I've found that if you simply take any NPCs' Ability Scores and subtract 10 from them, that's as good an indication as anything as to their modifier on a d20 ability check, attack, or save, so that saves me a ton of time on conversion work. I only do a full conversion when it's a critter that doesn't have Ability Scores and/or I know it's going to feature prominently in a set-piece encounter.

I have the 4 volume Encyclopedia Magica series, too, and use that for all magic item table rolling. That means I do have to convert magic items somewhat frequently, but finding a direct correlation is easy enough, or just relying on simple things like "+1 to +3 to such and such" or "advantage/disadvantage when such and such" goes a long way. And I don't mind magic items "breaking" some standard rules, like using modifiers in place of adv/disadv, so that too keeps it both simple and direct, as well as making such items feel different from character's Class Abilities and the like.

I also use B/X (via Old-School Essentials) for stocking dungeons. I take a lot of liberties so I don't stick to the rules entirely as-is, but I use that as a gauge for treasures and which rooms have what monsters or features. Then I rely on the Event Die, wandering monster tables, and 10 minute segments (formerly known as "turns") and 4 hour shifts (in the wilderness) for determining how often to roll the Event Die.

Whizbang Dustyboots

Gnometown Hero
I have all the Goodman Games Original Adventures Reincarnated books that are currently out, and have used both Keep on the Borderlands and Isle of Dread at the table.

Otherwise, I think I currently just mine TSR content for vibes, which I try to inject into my OSR games especially. But I'm not someone who's particularly interested in anyone else's version of canon anyway.


Over the years I have gradually added more and more TSR content to my 5e games. It just recently got to the point where I dropped my 5e books off at the used book store, and now just run only TSR-era games.

James Gasik

Pandion Knight
Just about all the lore, especially concerning the Outer Planes; I don't have any problems with (and actually like) the Shadowfell and the Feywild, but I grew up with the Great Wheel, so it's lore stays pretty much untouched (though I do have Inevitables as well as Modrons in my Mechanus).

Converting adventures hasn't gone so well; the challenges and expectations have changed a lot over the years, but I've converted and been inspired by a lot of old Dungeon adventures, as most of those generally have great moments that are fun to introduce to younger players.

I often joke about Potion Miscibility, but I haven't used it (yet). Weird item drawbacks and curses, tricks and traps, artifacts, magical properties of gemstones and plants, ingredients for potions, and many other goodies from the 1e DMG are still a staple of my campaigns.

Just about all the lore, especially concerning the Outer Planes; I don't have any problems with (and actually like) the Shadowfell and the Feywild, but I grew up with the Great Wheel, so it's lore stays pretty much untouched (though I do have Inevitables as well as Modrons in my Mechanus).

Old Manuals of the Planes are a must for any extraplanar adventures. There's so much detail, so many adventure hooks in them.


Druid of the Invisible Hand
It's not properly a 5e game, but I am planning a Spelljammer/Flying Swordsmen mashup and I figured out it's a lot easier to use the structure and basic math of 5e as a vehicle for... random assorted content than to make FS work in OSE.

So, specifically: I am using more of the AD&D Spelljammer content than the modern SJ content, combining the Complete Spacefarer's Handbook and Star Frontiers versions of the Hadozee/Yazirian and Rastipedes/Vrusk along with the 5e Plasmoid/Dralasite. I'm using all of the (core) playable alien species from Alternity Star•Drive, thematically linked to existing races-- fraal gnomes, t'sa quickling/kobolds, weren bugbears, seshayan wyvarans (PF), and aleerin as a fusion of the PF android and warforged. AD&D kobolds are a separate race. Probably cheating, but I've got a number of DM's Guild PDFs converting OA and SJ spells to 5e.

It is not exactly using TSR Content, but I am leaning very heavily on Player's Option: Spells & Magic for constructing class spell lists.

Off topic, but a little related, I'm also using a tonne of Paizo and 3PP PF1 content: I am baking Path of War into all of my replacement classes, I'm using Rogue Genius' Talented classes and Legendary's Legendary classes as the basis for those replacement classes. My whole skill system is based on combining Pathfinder Unchained's Grouped Skills and Skill Unlocks rules.


The Elephant in the Room (she/they)
The Rod of Seven Parts is such a classic macguffin hunt that I've started to frame several (sadly short-lived) campaigns around it. I tend to utilize it more conceptually (the rod itself, the battle between Order & Chaos) than actually mining the written material itself, though.

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