|1||Palace of the Vampire Queen may count as the first Dungeons & Dragons adventure module published, but only after a few disqualifications.
Book 3 of the original D&D game devoted two pages to a dungeon level, but the sample falls short of a complete dungeon. Supplement II Blackmoor (1975) includes Temple of the Frog, but that location plays as a Chainmail scenario rather than a dungeon. As Palace reached print in June 1976, Paul Jaquays published Dungeoneer issue 1. The magazine including a dungeon called F’Cherlak’s Tomb. So Palace of the Vampire Queen rates as the first standalone D&D adventure in print.
|2||D&D co-creator Gary Gygax thought no one would buy published dungeons, because dungeon masters could easily create their own.
The key to Palace makes dungeon creation seem trivial, so you can see Gary’s point. Each room appears as a row on a table with a monster quantity, a list of hit points, and a line describing the room’s contents. Anyone with enough imagination to play D&D could create similar content as quickly as they could type.
Just a couple of years after Palace of the Vampire Queen reached gamers, the D&D community forgot about it. But this first adventure showed Gary that adventure modules could attract buyers, so he rushed to publish the giant series.