The Tomb of Black Sand

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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.

9 Reviews Hide Reviews Show Reviews

  • 4
    This book went over well in my shop!

    Posted by Kerri Smith on Sep 19th 2023

    Great Game!

  • 3
    Good dungeon, but feels like it lacks purpose

    Posted by Ariel Aguero on Aug 4th 2022

    I bought this dungeon thinking it would be more or less usable in an OSR campaign. In reality, there isn't much treasure to be found and I'm not really sure what the point of the of the module would be in a 5e game either, unless you specifically use the module with the escape hook in mind. It just seems like a place with deadly enemies and not much else to do. It's a shame since there are some cool ideas here, and the art is gorgeous.

  • 5
    Believe the hype!

    Posted by Luckyboym on Jul 26th 2022

    The lich may be CR21 but this adventure is AR100 (awesome rating)!

  • 5
    The Tomb of Black Sand

    Posted by Michael Ruiz on Apr 27th 2021

    I first came across this book while watching one of Ben Milton's reviews (the Questing Beast). It was beautiful and I had to own it, ha. The module itself is awesome old school fun. Karl Stjernberg's map of the tomb is great and so is all of Gabriel Hernandez's art. The adventure is well-written and I really cannot wait to get this one to the table!

  • 5
    Great In Many Ways

    Posted by Edric on Apr 1st 2021

    This book is great. Mine unfortunately arrived a bit dinged up, but the contents inside are unscathed and incredible. I love how it was easily inserted into my campaign setting, and I plan to run a one-shot version soon! I highly recommend this product.

  • 5
    Well thought out

    Posted by Bret Jordan on Mar 31st 2021

    The Tomb of Black Sand is a well-constructed book, and I'm not just talking about the quality or craftsmanship of the physical book. The maps are well-drawn and the artwork is awesome. The story itself is fully thought out with some interesting aspects that sold me on the book. The book itself isn't very thick, coming in at 50 pages, but every page is used to tell the story. The map is even spread across the inside cover and first page so it's easy to reference. The module reminds me of old school D&D, but the stats are for 5E. This also isn't just another tomb with a lich. The lich has a purpose and the writer really thought it through. The whole place has a purpose. One thing that the writer did that I like, though some may not like, is to not detail out the rooms. Important aspects of the rooms are in bold followed by a listing of details. This works great for me because at a glance I can see what's in the room and describe it to my players in my own words instead of reading from boxed text, or digging through a paragraph to find the details. If the players need/want more details I can quickly see those too. Though not very thick, I think the quality and uniqueness of the story makes the adventure well worth the money.

  • 5
    A tomb of a vile lich with extra fun and clarity

    Posted by Devin on Sep 4th 2020

    Adventures set in Lich's tombs have spawned a lot of convoluted sprawling adventures. They tend to be challenging with endless amounts of traps and absurd precautions to flout attempts to bypass said traps. Every room is just a disconnected set piece. The legendary "Tomb of Horrors" was meant to be difficult and deceptive more than fun or with good role-playing opportunities. This adventure does have a real Lich adversary. He is dastardly and challenging but the dungeon isn't convoluted. There is a logical layout and comprehensible backstory to the place. There is a dark ritual, there is a love story, and yes there are fiendish traps. It's just a much more fun and focused.

  • 5
    The Tomb of Black Sand

    Posted by Hunter Ponder on May 29th 2020

    Amazing adventure with beautiful and unique artwork. An amazing adventure for any RPG setting with a unqiue story.

  • 5
    The Tomb of Black Sand

    Posted by Jeremy Elder on Apr 15th 2020

    Wonderful. Very enjoying to flip through and read.