Saturday, December 17, 2011

Black Monastery Released

A while ago I wrote about an upcoming Frog God product that's now released. It's a dungeon from 1981 that was shut down before release due to TSR legal action, and which we're now publishing. This is the authentic stuff (well, the S&W version is, the Pathfinder one is obviously re-done for Pathfinder).

Bill has a description of the history of the Black Monastery on the Frog God site HERE. Note that part of the description is written for younger gamers who may not be familiar with what they're going to find in there. Old schoolers can get by with: "it works a lot like Tegel Manor does."

It's a stitched hardback, and I think it has one or more poster maps, but I can't remember exactly. I don't remember if it's a fold-out map, or separate, or what. The price tag is $34.99 for the book + pdf, or $15.99 for the pdf alone.

But the point being, this is basically a piece of lost D&D from the hidden cabinet of the past. Pretty cool stuff.


  1. Any idea how long the pre-order is going to run?

  2. Do you know how many pages the new version is? The linked page says the original was 100 pages, but it sounds like a lot has been added (art, etc). I would also be curious to know about the scope of the maps (number of rooms, keyed locations).

  3. For length of preorder, I think it's pretty short because I believe it's at the printer.

    As to pages, I have no idea. I think that for S&W the length is still in the neighborhood of 100 pages.

  4. The pdf is numbered up to page 82, with about 87000 words. If I did my math right, there are 308 encounter areas.

  5. Just preordered and paged through the PDF. I really like the look of the uppermost level's map.

  6. One thing I don't get: the product description mentions a Rowena cover, and some of you already bought the PDF. So apparently the thing is done.

    But the product page is bare of any sample illustration, map excerpt, or even the product cover?

    What do they teach in Advertising 101 these days?

  7. @Greyhawk Knight

    I have downloaded the PDF, and the cover is indeed by Rowena Aitken. It is an illustration of the front of the monastery, from a low angle looking up, with a purple glowing title.

    I assume that they won't mind a low-res upload of the cover art, so you can see it here:

  8. Hey Brendan, thanks a lot!

    After seeing that cover I am all the more inclined to ask why they don't use it for advertising. It's gloomy, spooky, mysterious - it's a hell of a cover for a Tegel Manor-like product.
    Or any Swords & Wizardry product!

    If I were the publisher of that thing, citing Tegel Manor as an inspiration, I'd go to great lengths to show some sample maps. AFAIR it was that poster map that had such a large lure, or effect, on the gamers back then.

    (The closest thing I ever played was Tizun Thane that always felt like a miniature Tegel Manor to me.)