Advanced Search

Q1 Queen of the Demonweb Pits (1e)Click to magnify
Full‑size Preview

Q1 Queen of the Demonweb Pits (1e)

Selected Option:

How different things seem now from when you undertook the crushing of a few rebellious hill giants! What seemed a simple adventure has turned into a major expedition. Much time has passed since you discovered the conspiracy that led you to the frost giants, fire giants, and eventually to the long-forgotten Drow. Through your encounter with the dark elves, you have found the true source of the evil -- the demon queen Lolth!

This module is the exciting conclusion of a series of seven AD&D modules. It may be played on its own or as the climax of the "Giant" series (G1-G3) and the 'Drow' series (D1-D3). The first of a new series of other-planar adventures, this module includes several new monsters, maps of the Demonweb and lair of Lolth, and notes on eight alternate worlds, suitable for expansion and addition to existing AD&D campaigns.

For characters level 10 to 14.

Product History

Q1: "Queen of the Demonweb Pits" (1980), by David C. Sutherland III, was the seventh and final book in the GDQ sequence that TSR began publishing in 1978. It appeared in October 1980 under TSR's new full-color adventure trade dress. The next year, the original "Giants"-series and "Descent"-series adventures were brought up to the same standards in a series of three reprints, covering G1-3, D1-2, and D3.

The Official Story. As the seventh adventure in a path that ran through G1-3 (1978) and D1-3 (1978), most folks expected the finale to be by the same author — which is to say Gary Gygax. Instead, Dave Sutherland was brought in to finish up Gygax's epic. In a preface to "Queen of the Demonweb," Gygax explained why: He said that "The Temple of Elemental Evil" (then also unfinished) had kept him from finishing Q1 because they were too similar in nature. He also praised Sutherland's work to the outer planes, saying that he'd personally chosen to put the adventure into Sutherland's "capable hands" and that the result was "a superior design" and "a fitting climax" (to the adventure path).

The Real Story. It turns out that Gygax was putting on a good face, and that Q1 was in fact produced against his express wishes, apparently at the insistence of Gygax's partner, Brian Blume. It would be the first outward sign of a division in the company that would lead to its takeover by Brian and his brother Kevin in 1982, and Gygax's subsequent exile to California (where he'd get the Dungeons & Dragons cartoon on the air).

If you look closer at Q1, you can see the cracks - i.e., that it's not actually the sequel Gygax intended. A careful reading of the G- and D-series modules suggests that the villain of the piece was the Eilservs drow clan, who worshiped the Elder Elemental God. If anything, Lolth should have been an erstwhile ally for the player characters in a final adventure against the EEG, rather than a final foe.

Gygax said that the villain got changed after Sutherland discovered the "demonweb" pattern in a hand towel and talked Blume into making Lolth the Big Bad.

New Settings. The entire GDQ series rushes breathlessly through a series of settings that were very unique for D&D at the time. This final adventure's setting - the Demonweb within the Abyss - is the most unique of all. It's so different that are even special rules for how spells work there. The idea of a planar setting would pave the path for everything from the latter T1-4: "Temple of Elemental Evil" elemental nodes to Planescape and numerous other looks at the Outer Planes. It was a truly original innovation.

Killing Gods. The original D&D (1974) and AD&D (1977-1979) have a bit of a reputation for supporting Monty Haul-style games, in which players killed gods and controlled the welath and the fate of nations. That perception was helped along by the fact that Supplement IV: Gods, Demi-Gods & Heroes (1976) gave stats for gods as if they were just high-level monsters. However, the idea really gained traction here, where Lolth appears as a monster to be killed in room #32 of her spider ship. After that, it was pretty hard to tell players that they shouldn't be slaying deities - especially when the newest deity book, Deities & Demigods (1980), had appeared just months earlier and was once more full of statted gods.

New Monsters. The very iconic drider appear for the first time here, as does Lolth herself.

Future History. TSR rereleased the entire GDQ sequence a few years later in GDQ1-7: Queen of the Spiders (1987), a 128-page supermodule. Wizards massively expanded the setting in Expedition to the Demonweb Pits (2007) for 3e.

About the Creators. David C. Sutherland III was brought into TSR in 1976 as their first staff artist. "Queen of the Demonweb Pits" was his only D&D design, and his only solo design work other than the Tékumel related miniatures wargame, Legions of the Petal Throne (1977).

About the Product Historian

This history of this product was researched and written by Shannon Appelcline, the author of Designers & Dragons - a history of the roleplaying industry told one company at a time. Please feel free to mail corrections, comments, and additions to

We (Wizards) recognize that some of the legacy content available on this website does not reflect the values of the Dungeons & Dragons franchise today. Some older content may reflect ethnic, racial, and gender prejudice that were commonplace in American society at that time. These depictions were wrong then and are wrong today. This content is presented as it was originally created, because to do otherwise would be the same as claiming these prejudices never existed. Dungeons & Dragons teaches that diversity is a strength, and we strive to make our D&D products as welcoming and inclusive as possible. This part of our work will never end.

 Customers Who Bought this Title also Purchased
Reviews (7)
Discussions (14)
Customer avatar
Kenneth Ian V February 15, 2023 3:11 am UTC
9 months later and nothing has changed from Loren D's comments below. The POD is based on a low quality scan so all the letters are fuzzy. In addition, the large 2-panel color cover-map of the Demonweb Pits from the original module has been replicated as a one page photocopy in black and white (or, to be exact, 4 shades of near identical grey). Really lousy job Wizards of the Coast!
Customer avatar
Ernie N August 10, 2022 3:50 pm UTC
I have released a 5e conversion of Q1 Queen of the Demonweb Pits on DMs Guild. Thank you and happy gaming.
Customer avatar
Loren D May 29, 2022 8:35 pm UTC
The quality of the scan is rather poor, it really needed to scanned at a higher DPI. While some of the images are ok, others are bit too faded and the inside edges on page 5 and 7 has that darker space where book wasn't pushed down enough to keep the space between the scanner and the page low. I also can't recommend the POD either as the low quality of the scan makes letter appear rather fuzzy. WOTC would have been better off trying to rebuild the original document if they have this much issues doing scans and doing color/lighting corrections.
Customer avatar
Geoffrey T September 29, 2022 2:04 am UTC
How long did yours take to get here (Perth as well)?
Customer avatar
Loren D December 14, 2022 5:30 pm UTC
About three weeks for me.
Customer avatar
George F January 25, 2022 9:29 pm UTC
Please, release GDQ1-7 as a print + PDF combo.
Customer avatar
Mauro L August 21, 2021 7:49 am UTC
Really you make a pod of Q1 and not D3...
Customer avatar
sean W July 01, 2021 7:16 pm UTC
POD version please.
Customer avatar
Simon W April 05, 2021 4:21 pm UTC
Please make a Print On Demand option for this book. :)
Customer avatar
sean W March 22, 2021 7:25 pm UTC
Please make a pod verson.
Customer avatar
Alexander L November 04, 2020 2:38 pm UTC
Print version, please.
Customer avatar
Bruce L June 29, 2020 5:47 pm UTC
A video, not made by me… All in 1 D&D Portals, Murals, Archways and Arch Walls, from the RP Archive, on YouTube.

Spoiler Alert!!! To me, this is a scene from Q1: Queen of the Demonweb Pits module. Lolth has a room full of portals which would take the PC's to many foreign planets/Alternate Prime Material Planes. As a young DM, I found this concept breathtaking, and terrifying! I saw the possibilities in the short write-up's for each portal, but I also saw how much work each world would be to develop into a playable adventure/storyline!

Watching this video was really a blast from the past. I DM'ed Q1 in roughly 1982… Wow! That experience, alone, was worth the price of admission to the video (free!). LOL! I hope this inspires, and perhaps gives some of you your very own flashbacks. This module is a gold mine for ideas, and it is a classic piece of AD&D history. Cheers!
Customer avatar
Andrew C May 28, 2020 2:21 am UTC
POD version please
Customer avatar
sean W May 06, 2020 1:18 am UTC
Please make a POD version available.
Customer avatar
Joel G August 11, 2019 7:18 pm UTC
POD option please.
Customer avatar
Taed W May 13, 2019 11:06 pm UTC
Warning: spoiler within my question...

On which plane is the spider ship currently residing? That mostly matters due to all the stuff with Spell Alterations. The description of Web level 4 says that all doorways on that level go to different places in the Prime Material plane. There's a bit saying that historically, the spider ship has occasionally been seen on the Prime Material plane. There's all the weird stuff that talks about the Chaos magics, but never mentions a Chaos plane, and a fair amount of little bits that suggest that Abyss and Chaos are interchangable. Room 33 says that it contains items that cannot exist on the Prime Material plane and will disappear when taken back there by the characters. Plus, it would be weird that the final boss fight with Lolth would be anywhere except her Abyss level. However, her final escape through the mirror semi-suggests that she is retreating to her own plane, suggesting that the ship is not on her own plane.

I did find this bit on...See more
Browse Categories
$ to $
 Follow Your Favorites!
NotificationsSign in to get custom notifications of new products!

Product Information
Mithral seller
Publisher Stock #
TSR 9035
File Size:
54.68 MB
Scanned image Click for more information
Scanned image
These products were created by scanning an original printed edition. Most older books are in scanned image format because original digital layout files never existed or were no longer available from the publisher.

For PDF download editions, each page has been run through Optical Character Recognition (OCR) software to attempt to decipher the printed text. The result of this OCR process is placed invisibly behind the picture of each scanned page, to allow for text searching. However, any text in a given book set on a graphical background or in handwritten fonts would most likely not be picked up by the OCR software, and is therefore not searchable. Also, a few larger books may be resampled to fit into the system, and may not have this searchable text background.

For printed books, we have performed high-resolution scans of an original hardcopy of the book. We essentially digitally re-master the book. Unfortunately, the resulting quality of these books is not as high. It's the problem of making a copy of a copy. The text is fine for reading, but illustration work starts to run dark, pixellating and/or losing shades of grey. Moiré patterns may develop in photos. We mark clearly which print titles come from scanned image books so that you can make an informed purchase decision about the quality of what you will receive.
Original electronic format
These ebooks were created from the original electronic layout files, and therefore are fully text searchable. Also, their file size tends to be smaller than scanned image books. Most newer books are in the original electronic format. Both download and print editions of such books should be high quality.
File Information
Watermarked PDF Click for more information
Watermarked PDF

These PDF files are digitally watermarked to signify that you are the owner. A small message is added to the bottom of each page of the PDF containing your name and the order number of your purchase.

Warning: If any files bearing your information are found being distributed illegally, then your account will be suspended and legal action may be taken against you.

Here is a sample of a page from a watermarked title:

File Last Updated:
September 28, 2013
This title was added to our catalog on January 22, 2013.