Cover of N1 Against the Cult of the Reptile God

N1 Against the Cult of the Reptile God

"Terror by night! The village of Orlane is dying. Once a small and thriving community, Orlane has become a maze of locked doors and frightened faces. Strangers are shunned, trade has withered. Rumors flourish, growing wilder with each retelling. Terrified peasants flee their homes, abandoning their farms with no explanation. Others simply disappear. . .

No one seems to know the cause of the decay -- why are there no clues? Who skulks through the twisted shadows of the night? Who or what is behind the doom that has overtaken the village? It will take a brave and skillful band of adventurers to solve the dark riddle of Orlane!"

TSR 9063

Written By
Douglas Niles
Published By
Publication Year
Battle Mats?
Includes Characters?
Levels 1–3
Found In
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Forged in the Stars has played this adventure and would recommend it.

Running this right now converted to Pathfinder 2e. Made a lot of changes, but to resume: Placed it in Mendev, added some nonhuman races, swapped the wizard GMPC into a semi hostile non-godmodding druid, swapped the goddess to Iomedae, removed the exploitation part and cut down 75% of the dungeon (the rest I put under the temple), swapped Explictica Defilus for a Weak Pairaka (a succubus expy with infinite uses of lvl 4 charm) and thus turned this into the Cult of the Hot Demon Guy, swapped some genders because I find the whole working men and housekeeping women thing a bit out of touch with modern times, added that the cultists keep demon paraphernalia hidden in their homes because there it completely lacked clues towards the creepy cult being a DEMON (or naga for that matter) cult.

Well, that was a lot of changes. I only put in the effort because it was sincerely good to begin with though. It is very openin execution and a bit of fresh air in the middle of all the dungeoncrawls and railroads.

KJordan has played this adventure and would recommend it.

Updated from AD&D to 5e because I wanted the village of Orlane for a wider campaign. I ran it for a large table, sometimes as many as 12, which wasn't a problem. I loved the village, but the Lair of the Reptile God was kinda sad and pathetic. My players came in at 2nd level and left at 4th level. I left the Wizard in the village. Including him just didn't make sense.

There wasn't much of a motive for the Naga and the Cult to take and keep prisoners. The village was dying, so the funds were just copper and silver, it seemed a bit boring.

So I added that the prisoners were dredging the mud-pits for crystals and gold dust. Quartz comes in various colors and values, so I went with that. The treasure became more interesting, taking and keeping prisoners made more sense and it was less of a slog in pathetic mud-pit than a stealthy mission in a mine.

The imprisoned Harpy became an agent of some greater villain who wanted to buy the crystals for much less than market value. That sparked some ideas and the nameless harpy became Leeli Crooner, who persuaded the Party to let her go in exchange for information on the Naga. The information was useful, the harpy returned to Orlane with the Party and opened up the Foaming Mug, turning it into a thriving business.

jdm2110 has played this adventure and would recommend it.

Easy to convert to 5e.

amorphousadam has played this adventure and would recommend it.

A detailed living village full of well described NPCs and a sinister plot. The kidnapping of PCs and possible forced conversion to serve the titular reptile god puts a very real and obvious timer on the PCs' actions.

Billiam94 has played this adventure and would recommend it.

Love it! I'm terrible at designing decent (ie not boring) dungeons on my own, and I needed a home for the cult that my players are facing. I stole the layout of the dungeon, as well as most of its inhabitants. Very easy to convert to 5e as well.

Orangeman44 has played this adventure and would recommend it.

Although its an older adventure, this has a lot going on and was enjoyable to run for my group. Just remember that your players won't explore every part of the town (or temple), so don't stress out if they jump around a lot. Lots of good RP activities as well as exploration and combat. Thumbs up!

DungeonLord has played this adventure and would recommend it.

A competent DM with time to prepare who is willing to make some changes to the adventure (such as finding a way around escorting a NPC wizard down the dungeon so he can fight the boss for you) will find this to be one of the most fun adventures they will ever find. I cant recommend it enough

wubrgerking has played this adventure and would recommend it.

At Matt Colville's recommendation I played this as an intro adventure for my 2nd-level players. While converting monsters to 5e is easy enough (most of the monsters have direct analogues to the 5e MM, and some named NPCs like Derek, Misha, Gareth, and Abramo need to be monkeyed around to make them challenging or interesting) there's stuff about the adventure that may not play well with modern groups. In particular is the main dungeon, which has a lot of exploration and tunnels and weird encounters that could be trimmed down. For example, the adventure tells you that walking through the mud hinders your movement, but gives no practical explanation for why you or the players should care that this happens. There's a harpy on the first floor for... some reason that I just got rid of. You also may want to remove the high-level wizard NPC, and if you do I'd recommend not doing the "cinematic moment" with the boss that the module includes.

Now that being said, my players really enjoyed the "first part" of the adventure, where they explored Orlane and eventually the temple. They just need a better hook and goal than "go here for fun" to get started and you just have to do some thinking about the enemies, NPCs, and their motivations that the module doesn't explore too much. Adjust dungeons depending on party reactions, and make encounters just a bit more difficult than you think your party will be cool with.

mandalia has played this adventure and would recommend it.

Did this for my first adventure DMing. My first-time players did only part of it before decidig Orlane was to dangerous for them and hightailing out of there. Now I have a slowly spreading cult in my world that becomes more and more powerful the longer my players ignore it. I really liked it anyways, and found converting it into 5th edition easy enough.

Jafarside has played this adventure and would recommend it.

There's a lot going on, including plenty of detail in the townsfolk. There is intrigue, a gritty environment and town, dark secrets, scandal, fun NPCs, and dungeons. Awesome!

Yora has played this adventure and would recommend it.

This adventure is widely considered a classic, and for very good reasons. Unlike most adventures from this time, Against the Cult of the Reptile is in great parts an investigation, which results there being a much greater sense of story. The description of the town, with all its houses and their inhabitants, may seem needlessly overloaded at first. But when they players start to look around as asking questions, all this information makes running these dozens of NPCs in a memorable way very easy and effortless. Even though this is an adventure for 1st level character, I think that it's probably not a good pick for either first time Gamemasters or parties with mostly first time players. The party is dropped off at the edge of the village with no inciting incident to get things going, or any place that is obviously the site of "the adventure". It requires the players to take the initiative to start investigating, though I found that it helps greatly if they come to the village already having the goal to search for one or more specific people. This is not a major problem, but probably makes this adventure not the best pick for the very first one to get people familiar with the basics of the game.