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The Tomb of Black Sand


Deep in the forest plants and animals twist and crack and seem to fill with stars before they vanish, screaming into nothing. A tomb has appeared, and lumberjacks argue about its origin over drinks at the Red Squirrel Inn. Some say it's new, like a freshly grown cancerous lump; others say the twisting earth revealed an ancient trove of bone and unimaginable treasure. No one can agree, but townsfolk have begun to go missing, riders in black have been seen on the roads, and some say the candles are singing.


The Tomb of Black Sand is an adventure created for use with contemporary (2019) table top role playing games. Yet, deeply rooted in “old school” RPG design sensibilities. It can be used as a one-shot or as a hook filled location on the map that players can explore or ignore over the course of their adventures.

Creatures within the tomb are not here to be killed by or provide a challenge for PCs. They have their own concerns, are (mostly) minding their own business and PCs are intruding upon their mythic underworld. Dealing with them does have its benefits though, as the tomb is full of treasure and innocents in need of rescue.

The tomb is a Lich’s lair (CR 21), who is always present. There is no need, or expectation, PCs kill him. If a level 4 party goes up against him—expecting balanced, “combat-as-sport”—it almost certainly ends in their oblivion. It is possible, but his death is in no way the “intent” of this adventure.

The answers are not on your character sheet but uncovered with exploration and applied creativity.


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Reviews (2)
Discussions (9)
Customer avatar
De la Viscario R August 05, 2022 3:23 am UTC
Hi, do you have an email for business contact?
Customer avatar
Chris R September 25, 2020 2:17 pm UTC
Got this back in august and I love it. Does anyone know other good books for small dungeons and are 5e (or not for 5e but easily adaptable)? Looking for really cool mini books like this that I can scatter around in my world. Thanks!
Customer avatar
Mark T January 29, 2021 2:41 pm UTC
Winter's Daughter
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Charles W April 16, 2020 8:57 pm UTC
So while I fully support the concept of "The answers are not on your character sheet" but uh... It'd be nice if the answers were clearly lined out for behind the DM screen!
Customer avatar
Jeremy C April 11, 2020 6:35 pm UTC
Has anyone gotten this to print correctly? I realize the Kickstarter version of this was printed in one of those novel formats but since I didn't know about the Kickstarter I am left printing the PDF on my home printer. Here is what I have noticed.

1. Printing at 100% scale or autoscaling to printer margins wastes about 1/3 of the pages surface area and thus makes maps and text unnecessarily small.
2. Scaling the document up manually causes the print & images to run off the side of the page.
3. Despite my best efforts I can never get this file to print double-sided.

If anyone has some advice or if the author has a home-printer friendly version I'd appreciate that very much. I run adventures from a hard-copy and write notes all over them when I prep them so running this from a tablet is something I'd rather avoid.
Customer avatar
Wayne G December 11, 2019 11:46 pm UTC
Sorry, if there's a way to discretely offer feedback to the author I have not found it. Great ideas! Half way through it. But some context on what the hell is going on would be handy for the DM. I shouldn't have to read this like a novel (or PC experiencing it), what is up with the wolf bros - how do they fit into the narrative, again - black sand. Yes, keep reading to figure it out. That's not why I paid for this.

It is a fresh, excellent adventure and I don't want a page of exposition. Just a "hey DM, here's the mechanics of what's happening". I shouldn't have to be as confused as I'm going to make my players as they explore. It hampers my ability to wedge this into my ongoing campaign.

But still worth the $10. Would have expressed this more privately if I knew the way to do that.
A good buy!
Customer avatar
John S October 31, 2019 2:17 pm UTC
Can't leave a review here because I bought the hard copy directly and got the PDF for them as well. But all I can say is if you're on the fence fall over on the side that forces you to buy a copy of this beautiful book. Just a great looking piece of art. It brings joy to see it on the shelf and flip through the pages.
Customer avatar
Dani J October 31, 2019 11:23 am UTC
I know I can tweak the content for osr. But, do you have any plan for releasing the material as system neutral osr setting?
Customer avatar
Markus J October 07, 2019 8:57 am UTC
Does "to be used with contemporary role playing games" indicate that the adventure contains stats for 5e? Or is this a system neutral adventure?
Customer avatar
Jacob H October 07, 2019 7:48 pm UTC
It may be a poor interpretation on my end but my understanding of the OGL is that you can't say it's compatible, but, it uses the 5e OGL.
Customer avatar
Michael P October 07, 2019 10:23 pm UTC
There are 5e stat blocks. Sort of an abbreviated form, but they are there and usable. Not sure why it did not use the normal and market accepted way of saying 5e of the world's most popular RPG ....
Customer avatar
Joani M October 13, 2019 8:50 pm UTC
Since everybody does it, I think it's safe to say that you can say it is 5E compatible.
Customer avatar
Matthew S June 12, 2020 9:28 pm UTC
Yeah, pretty disappointed that it isn't actually OSR like it says on the side bar.
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File Last Updated:
October 06, 2019
This title was added to our catalog on October 06, 2019.
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