The second module ever written for Dungeons & Dragons was a 1976 game convention tournament adventure written by Gary Gygax: The Lost Caverns of Tsojconth.
What was the first D&D module? Palace of the Vampire Queen!
The original Tsojconth was a very simple affair with loose typewritten sheets inside a folio cover, all contained in a ziploc bag. Only 300 were printed, and Tsojconth is now extremely rare today.
[Edit: Auction ended 20 Nov 2022 at $5655 in 23 bids.]
I am auctioning this on behalf of James Davidson. At the end of the post I will have his statement of provenance.
But first I have some nice full-page clean photos, plus a few contrasting pics of Tsojconth and Tsojcanth
The Lost Caverns of Tsojconth
1976 … Gary Gygax … Metro Detroit Gamers WinterCon V
8 loose sheets inside tan folio cover
Check Wayne’s Books Inventory for Tsojcanth
Photos of Tsojconth, every page
Full page photos in this section have no watermarks. Note the pages with the tournament adventure are blank on the reverse side. Brown folio cover is a tan 11 x 17 inch sheet, folded.
Comparison pics, old and new
Tsojconth was written for Original D&D, the little brown books. Six years later, Gary Gygax changed and dramatically expanded the material to create better-known Lost Caverns of Tsojcanth.
Now it was an Advanced Dungeons & Dragons module, with a wilderness adventure in the beginning, new monsters in the dungeon itself, plus a separate booklet detailing the demons, new spells, monsters, and unique magic items.
Though the dungeon maps (Lesser & Greater Caverns) are essentially the same, the monsters assigned to chambers are altered or replaced entirely. The Formorian Giants that you remember from Tsojcanth were Chinese Hill Giants in the original! Not sure what Gygax was on to there, maybe something akin to Ogre Magi? I dunno.
Lucky for us, Grodog of Greyhawk has a room-by-room comparison of both modules! Very interesting.
PROVENANCE OF THE TSOJCONTH MODULE; 1994
I am auctioning this on behalf of James Davidson. He’s been sending me boxes of miscellaneous wargames and RPGs over the past year in exchange for for store credit. He didn’t know the Tsojconth had any special value until I told him. I asked him for a provenance statement:
This item was included in a large consignment of gaming material purchased from a vendor, at a local flea market/charity sale in the Kingston Ontario area. The vendor said he was liquidating assets from a defunct gaming store and made an offer to sell ALL his stock [30 + large shipping boxes of items] for a flat fee.
One of my friends called me and explained the offer [I was in Ottawa at the time (1994)] and we agreed to form a group of friends together to purchase/transport the entire stock of games. 5 people joined in, a cube van was rented, and we acquired a LARGE lot of games /magazines/ player aides tec. Most of the items were un-circulated, many with price tags still affixed from the defunct store.
The Tsojconth module was included in my share of the divided items, by mutual consent of my partners. We divided all items together, while taking inventory of the shipment. The module has remained in dry, flat storage in my basement since that time. The module was opened once [by me!] to verify content.James Davidson/ November 09/2022
[This is somewhat similar to how I acquired a (different) Tsojconth in my personal collection. Back in the Nineties I lived in Oregon, and would visit used bookstores and game stores. I picked up a Tsojconth in ziploc; I couldn’t have paid much for it, since I had no idea what it was at the time. It wasn’t until 2004 that I re-discovered it in a box of my gaming papers, and realized what I had in my hands. Sold it in October 2004 for $699.]
After the auction ended, James noted:
“I am a senior, still working and enjoying life, but have always had to budget carefully.
The recent sale of this item has given me a real morale boost!
Thank you to all participants, especially the generous auction winner, for giving me a real Jaw dropping surprise, and of course to Wayne’s books for their wonderfull help & service.
My lifelong penchant for being a pack rat has really paid off!
James Davidson/ Nov-26, 2022