GDQ1-7: Queen of the Spiders

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The 1980s, right. Amazing this wasn't sold in a brown paper bag or a trashy metal music store. That white mist is probably cocaine.

Queen of the Spiders is the super-omnibus format for the Advanced Dungeons & Dragons 1st edition Adventure Path, spanning a set of seven individual adventures that collectively make up a mega-campaign; Against the Giants (G), the Drow Trilogy (D), and Queen of the Demonweb Pits (Q).

First, let's not discuss That Cover.

There's a new prologue. The lead-in is from Scourge of the Slavelords, wherein the surviving slavers are gaslighting the PCs. This part is artificial and contrived. Then there's an overview of giant-occupied Sterich. This bit is... pretty good. Carl Sargent's 2e From the Ashes Greyhawk revamp uses that for its Sterich, and it further inspired the "liberation of Geoff" arc in the Against the Giants expansion.

The main text of GDQ went hardly touched. Its narrative mistakes, like D1 revealing to players that big ghoul cave too late in the adventure to matter, are still here. D1's missing southwest and northeast pathways are still NOT here. The editors did take the icons away from the Player's Map, which was damn lame. The largest change was to the wandering-monsters which take on Monster Manual II additions like the marlgoyle. And this one's still got gnomes stranded in D3's tertiaries too.

Also there's an appendix in case anyone wanted to visit elsewhere in this underdark, or to other planes from the Demonweb Pits. For the former, perhaps to justify the hippie illithid on That Cover, is introduced Dra-Mur-Shou, their city. Which is... too powerful; it's easily a rival for the Vault itself. All it did was to demonstrate what a narrative-breaker D1's hex M12 was. The fans at the Dragonsfoot forum have accordingly ruled Dra-Mur-Shou off-map.

As for the Demonweb's extra planes, let's just say it was raining on Mongo that morning... raining a deluge of lazy and stupid. Tundra planet! Grassland planet!

It's no Slavelords, that's for sure. This was worth buying back when the baseline modules were out of print.