The Temple of Elemental Evil is set in the World of Greyhawk, a popular campaign setting within the D&D universe. The adventure takes place in and around the village of Hommlet, which lies near the infamous Temple itself. The module was designed for use with the Advanced Dungeons & Dragons (1st edition) rules, though it has been adapted for subsequent editions as well, and this PDF can be flipped to any game system or D&D edition.
The overarching storyline revolves around the reawakening of a malevolent force known as the Elemental Evil. The temple serves as a gathering point for worshippers of the four elemental cults: Earth, Air, Fire, and Water. The players’ characters, often referred to as the party or adventurers, are tasked with investigating the village of Hommlet, which has fallen under the shadow of the Temple and its sinister influence.
The module begins with the players arriving in Hommlet and interacting with the villagers. They can gather information, form alliances, and uncover hints about the temple’s activities. The players have the freedom to explore the region surrounding Hommlet, encounter various non-player characters (NPCs), and potentially stumble upon additional threats and quests.
As the players delve deeper into the Temple of Elemental Evil, they face a series of challenges, including traps, puzzles, and battles with cultists and their elemental allies. The module provides detailed descriptions of each area within the temple, complete with maps, encounters, and potential treasure or rewards.
The ultimate goal of the adventure is to put an end to the threat posed by the Temple and defeat its leaders, including the notorious high priest and the elemental princes they serve. The outcome of the adventure depends on the choices and actions of the players, and the Dungeon Master is responsible for bringing the story to life and adapting it based on the players’ decisions.
The Temple of Elemental Evil is known for its rich storytelling, challenging encounters, and open-ended gameplay. It has been praised for its depth, the freedom it offers players, and the opportunity for both combat and role-playing experiences.
It’s worth noting that The Temple of Elemental Evil has had multiple editions and adaptations over the years. The original 1st edition module was followed by a 2nd edition version, and a later 3rd edition release called Return to the Temple of Elemental Evil. Additionally, it has inspired video game adaptations, including the well-regarded Temple of Elemental Evil computer game released in 2003.