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L1 The Secret of Bone Hill (1e)

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Danger lurks in the Lendore Isles. Bands of evil creatures prowl the hills overlooking the town of Restenford, seeking unwary victims. Now you have come to this sleepy little village looking for adventure and excitement. You seek to fathom the unexplored reaches of Bone Hill and unlock the mysteries of Restenford.

This module contains complete information on the town of Restenford and the lands surrounding it. Included herein are encounter tables, background information, and numerous maps of the town, the surrounding areas, a dungeon, and various points of interest. This module may be incorporated into an exisitng campaign or used in conjunction with THE WORLD OF GREYHAWK Fantasy World Setting.

Product History
L1: "The Secret of Bone Hill" (1981) is the first adventure in Lenard Lakofka's "Lendore Isle" trilogy. It was published in 1981.
Triple Commission. It's been widely reported (though the source is unclear) that Brian Blume commissioned the design of three adventures from Lakofka directly in 1979, for the total price of $10,500 USD. Lakofka submitted all three adventures together, probably in 1980. They'd eventually become L1, L2, and L3.
A Town & Wilderness. "Bone Hill" is an unusual AD&D adventure for its time in that it contains an extensive description of the town of Restenford and also details the wilderness nearby. (Most modules of the era focused solely on dungeons, to the exclusion of any town or wilderness adventure.) The module's description of the Ruin of Bone Hill - including a basement and a dungeon - is more typical of TSR's other publications, but it takes up just six and a half pages in a 32-page module.
Detailing a town was Lakofka's primary goal when he started work on "Bone Hill," as he felt like published modules didn't include enough detailed towns. To that date, TSR's only similar release was Gary Gygax's T1: "The Village of Hommlet" (1979). One of Lakofka's innovations was to include a few mini-dungeons in the town, making it an adventure locale too. This hadn't been done in Hommlet, but town-based adventures would be seen in later publications like U1: "The Sinister Secret of Saltmarsh" (1981) and even more so in N1: "Against the Cult of the Reptile God" (1982).
Lakofka's extensive detailing of a wilderness setting was even more innovative. Though the original D&D (1974) had featured wilderness as one of two major areas for exploration, AD&D adventures had been almost entirely confined to dungeons, caverns, and other monstrous lairs. Of course Expert D&D (1981) was also expanding into the wilderness around the same time.
Overall, L1: "Bone Hill" creates a large sandbox of a sort that was almost unheard of at the time it was created, a setting much more suited for adventure than an actual keyed adventure module. This has earned it some criticism over the years, as by 1981 GMs were increasingly expecting fully developed scenarios, not starting places for their own creativity.
Considerable Editing. In early 1981, it was almost unknown for TSR to be publishing a module by someone outside the company. Thus it's not a surprise that "Bone Hill" didn't match TSR's general style for adventures and therefore underwent considerable editing and expansion. Developer Kevin Hendryx even wrote up a new adventure locale, where the players could fight against a reptilian cult.
Lakofka - with the full support of Gygax - refused some or all of the edits to his adventure. This caused Hendryx to redevelop his new adventure locale as its own adventure, as is described in the history of N1: "Against the Cult of the Reptile God."
Expanding Greyhawk. The introduction of Lakofka's Lendore Isle to Greyhawk marked one of the first and largest additions to the campaign world by someone other than Gary Gygax. Lendore Isle had previously been set in Lakofka's own campaign world, part of a game that he ran primarily for the Nystul family from approximately 1978-1985. When Gygax was drawing up the maps for the World of Greyhawk Folio (1980), he offered to give Lakofka's island a place in his own setting, and thus the Greyhawk Lendore Isle were born.
The Original Campaign. Lakofka's L-series scenarios were all based on adventures he'd originally run for his local group. After that group explored the Ruin at Bone Hill, they cleared the rubble and hired dwarves and gnomes to build Voxbonder Abbey there. It was run by one of the PCs, Ralyman, a cleric who at that time was 5th or 6th level.
New Monsters. Bone Hill introduces the "spectator," a weird beholder-like beast.
About the Creators. Len Lakofka was a big name in wargaming circles long before the appearance of D&D. He was associated with the International Federation of Wargamers as early as 1968 and was the IFW President by 1971. He also published an early Diplomacy fanzine.
More importantly to the history of roleplaying, Lakofka discussed many of the early D&D rules with Gygax and even got his own Dragon magazine column that ran from The Dragon #30 (October 1979) to Dragon #108 (April 1986). "The Secret of Bone Hill" was Lakofka's first major RPG publication (and in fact the Lendore series as a whole would be his only major RPG work).
About the Product Historian
The 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.

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Discussions (9)
Customer avatar
Richard H May 01, 2023 7:08 am UTC
Purchased this as a POD and when I received this it started with 2 copies of Lewd Dungeon Adventures - The Rescue of Lady Jai, which is X-rated in both text and pictures. I raised this with support over a month ago and have not received any response. Not particularly impressed.
Customer avatar
Richard H July 02, 2023 5:16 am UTC
My original request had "disappeared" from their system, but I have finally received a good POD.
Customer avatar
Riordan B July 05, 2023 11:28 pm UTC
I had a similar problem with a different product (N1), made a complaint to wotc and got everything fixed and replaced in under a few hours. Glad to see the POD is a good one.
Customer avatar
Ernie N September 10, 2022 2:17 pm UTC
I have published a 5e Conversion Guide of L1 The Secret of Bone Hill with maps on DMs Guild. Enjoy and Happy Gaming.
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Seth L April 02, 2022 4:00 am UTC
Quality control on my copy was terrible. The first two pages (with the maps of the main dungeon) are missing, replaced by two blank pages at the end; right after page 14, I got page 28, and the second half of the module counts down from there, ending at Page 15 right before the blank pages; and the margins around the text block are too small and misaligned, making it really hard to read the text near the binding. The module is great, but the POD is a POS.
Customer avatar
Jon S June 05, 2021 12:31 am UTC
Print order error: pgs 1-14, maps in the middle, 28-15 in reverse order. Customer service informed me they are contacting the printer to make sure they have the correct file. Hopefully it can be resolved and get a corrected print copy.
Customer avatar
Jon S June 09, 2021 9:44 pm UTC
Received an email from support, "The issue has been corrected." I should be getting my replacement shorty with expedited delivery at no extra cost.
Customer avatar
Rachael S May 22, 2020 9:53 pm UTC
I just got the POD and there are issues. between pages 14 & 15 (middle of the print) should be the four pages of maps but i only have 2 pages and the other two are at the end of the book so that now I can't pull them out. since the cover maps are in the book also then the middle is now 16/17. if the four B&W maps are on the center two pages and the bonehill maps on another inside pair with the "notes" pages on the back of each then both become pull outs and can be noted on as DM needs arise. just an idea here.
Customer avatar
Alex H April 12, 2019 3:31 pm UTC
Is this no longer available as POD? The softcover book option was just replaced with "none". Very unfortunate if true, was looking forward to this POD
Customer avatar
Joel G January 12, 2019 11:46 pm UTC
PoD version looks great and maps, print, and art are crisp and clear! As always, it is recommended to include the pdf in your purchase for printing maps, handouts, etc.
Customer avatar
Graham L December 03, 2016 9:02 pm UTC
Yes, they updated it and it's great. I'm really loving the service here.
Customer avatar
Grasen J November 29, 2016 7:14 pm UTC
Has the scan improved yet?
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File Last Updated:
December 29, 2021
This title was added to our catalog on February 12, 2013.