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WGR6 The City of Skulls (2e)


Glory—or fate worse than death—in the World of Greyhawk!

The dreadful jails below the appalling City of Skulls, luz's nightmare capital, contain many wretched and desperate captives. Among them is Earl Holmer, Knight Commander of the Shield Lands. A brave spy in Dorakaa has show the way to find and free Holmer—is your party up to the job of freeing him? King Belvor IV of Furyondy believes so. In the way stand fearsome priests and mages of the Lord of Pain; ogres, giants, fiends, and worse hinder the struggle to defeat the traps and guardians of luz. Plucking Holmer form his grasp will bring great renown, knighthood, and treasure-for those who survive. None has ever escaped luz's jails. Who will you be the first to use stealth or storm to breach them?

The City of Skulls presents adventure with a mighty challenge, full of dangers writ large and also unseen (until they strike). This adventure is suitable for the quest, player handouts, a unique Notoriety system enabling the DM to draw forth luz's most fearsome guardians, a multi-level dungeon-jail, and much more besides. Now is the time for true heroes—is your party skillful enough to survive and return in triumph?

Product History

WGR6: "The City of Skulls" (1993), by Carl Sargent, is the sixth and last book in the World of Greyhawk Reference series. It was published in May 1993.

Concluding the "WGR" Series. Following the late 1992 release of From the Ashes (1992), 1993 saw an impressive revival of the Greyhawk setting under Carl Sargent. WGR4: "The Marklands" (1993) appeared in January, WGR5: "Iuz the Evil" (1993) appeared in March, and WGR6: "The City of Skulls" (1993) appeared in May.

Unlike its two predecessors, which were both setting sourcebooks, "The City of Skulls" is actually an adventure. It's set in Dorakaa, the City of Skulls — the capital of the empire that had been detailed in "Iuz the Evil".

Sadly, "City of Skulls" marked the ended of the "WGR" series and nearly the end of the "From the Ashes" rebirth. In July one last Greyhawk adventure appeared, WGM1: "Border Watch" (1993), by Paul T. Riegel … and that was the end of Greyhawk at TSR.

Adventuring Tropes. In large part, "The City of Skulls" is a dungeon crawl. Its twist is that it's also an espionage adventure, set in the middle of an enemy-held city.

Expanding AD&D. So how do you manage espionage in AD&D? "The City of Skulls" answered the question with a new "notoriety" system, which is widely acclaimed as the adventure's biggest innovation. It's a mechanic that makes life increasingly difficult for the players the longer they're in the city of Dorakaa causing problems. This makes the players think about adventuring in new ways — rewarding them (for example) for ensuring there are no witnesses to their actions and for using illusions. It's a delightful twist on what could have been a typical dungeon crawl.

Expanding Greyhawk. Dorakaa is is a classic city that was mentioned as far back as the early '80s, but it only came center stage in WGR5: "Iuz the Evil". "The City of Skulls" expands upon that information.

Future History. Sargent wrote one more "From the Ashes" WGR book. Though it was never published, TSR eventually released it online as "Ivid the Undying" (1995).

Five years later, Wizards of the Coast returned to the world of Greyhawk. The first book in WotC's revival was "Return of the Eight" (1998), which finally brought the Greyhawk Wars / From the Ashes period to an end. The Player's Guide to Greyhawk (1998) then brought Greyhawk into a new era.

About the Creators. After his final "From the Ashes" books, Sargent wrote just one more book for TSR, Night Below: The Underdark Campaign (1995). Following that, he disappeared under mysterious circumstances.

About the Product Historian

The history of this product was researched and written by Shannon Appelcline, the editor-in-chief of RPGnet and 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.

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File Last Updated:
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This title was added to our catalog on May 27, 2014.