Return to the Temple of Elemental Evil (2001)

D&D continued to return to the locations of classic adventures after the advent of 3E. Slavers came next, but I don’t have that one (and am not gonna, I don’t enjoy the Slave Lords modules enough to want to revisit them). Then came Return to the Temple of Elemental Evil (2001).

If you recall from last year’s post on the original Temple of Elemental Evil, I don’t love it, basically. I like Hommlet and Nulb and the moathouse, but the temple itself, the elemental nodes, its function as both a prison for and hub of evil, it just doesn’t come together. So I should hate this, right? Nope! Monte Cook had a real talent for fiddling about with D&D as a body of canon lore and making things work. This book is no exception. Aside of the fact that it could stand to have 15-20% less combat encounters, I’d say it is pretty superior to the original in most ways!

Hommlet is still there, and the moat house. Lareth, too (though he is no longer bee-you-tee-ful). Nulb’s a ruin. So’s the temple, though there isn’t much there at the start. Instead, the second chapter leads to the Temple of All-Consumption and the cult of Tharizdun (thus tying things firmly to S4 and WG4). Only then does it become apparent what needs to be done to prevent the end of the world at an excavation in the original Temple of Elemental Evil. It’s a good read and I expect it’s a good time to play through.

Brom’s on the cover. David Roach does good work inside—I believe this is one of the last D&D adventures with black and white interiors and honestly, that’s a tragedy.

And that’s it for returns, aside of the cyclical return to Castle Ravenloft. And, I guess, the bulk of the 5E campaign books. They’re always returning to familiar pastures.

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