Sunday, September 20, 2015

The "D&D For Beginners" Dungeon Model - Part II

This is the second in a series of posts looking at the dungeon model that Chris Holmes designed for a "Dungeons & Dragons for Beginners" scenario that he and his father ran at Gen Con XII in 1979. The first post is here. All color photography is by Chris Holmes and is posted here with his permission.

In this post we'll look at the three areas in the first row of the dungeon:

The middle room is the same entrance chamber we saw in the first post, but from the opposite side. It's hard to see but doors (behind the archway in this shot) lead to the left and right rooms.

Entrance chamber. Click for a larger view.

The room on the right has brick walls, and two areas. There are bear skin rugs in the corner and a giant battle-axe on the wall. Chris mentioned that the dungeon had an Ogre and Orcs so this was possibly their chamber.

Brick Room. Click for a larger view.

And on the left is a temple chamber, with images painted on one wall.

Temple. Click for a larger view.

This temple also appeared on page 163 Holmes' FRPG book:

Original caption: "Temple of the Bloodstained God. Temple Set by Grenadier. Aztecs by Minifig. Dungeon decor by Chris Holmes, photography by Steve Pyryezstov"

The Grenadier Temple Set is SS07 The Temple, seen here at the Lost Minis Wiki.

Ad for Grenadier SS07. Scan by the Lost Minis Wiki.

Note that the big statue at the top of the stairs seems to have disappeared between the 1981 photo and the more recent photo.

Here's another shot from directly above the entrance, the temple and the small area behind the temple. You can see the doors between rooms more clearly here:

Chris: "The temple had a hidden chamber with a trap door containing real green slime!"
"Here you can see behind the temple the secret room which is a couple inches higher than floor level. It had a trap door which fell into a cup of green slime. Matell actually made green slime as a toy, unrelated to the D&D monster. My green slime trap fooled both groups we played through the dungeon which made me very happy."

Hidden Chamber with Green Slime Trap. Click for a larger view.


  1. Someone really needs to do a full retrospective of the "visual D&D" tradition at Gen Con, which surely began here. 1, 2, 3, not it!

  2. Hi,

    I just stumbled on these two posts about this model yesterday. I started to map it out and stock it with stuff using the Holmes book, dice, and what I see here. If you have more you can share about it, I'd like to put something together. The best would be if Chris himself is interested in publishing this model as an adventure module.