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I'm trying to remember a module, AD&D I'm fairly certain. They had a listing of rooms and what was there. A few of the rooms had rubble in them which could be searched for treasure with one of them instead hiding a cache of parasitic worms in the rubble which would attack any searching PCs (presumably to discourage Always Check Behind The Chair) with the mild twist that, after the worms were defeated, a second search found some valuable treasure (jewelry, I think). Anyone familiar with this module?

After looking at the listed answers, it sparked a bit of memory. The rooms being listed were along a corridor. It's the weirdest thing, but my memory is that it's a rough rock corridor, but it was houses on either side that were available to search. That suggests to me it was either a canyon or somewhere underground. They were dilapidated, but I am not certain if it was due to simple disrepair or if it was due to an earthquake.

While trying to trace down a vague memory of Boggles, I found the Secret of the Slaver Stockade module, but it does not seem to quite match up. There is a bit of rubble with vipers, but no double bluff with the second search finding treasure. That and it just doesn't have that same feeling as the memory of something wormlike burrowing into the questing adventurers.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Do you have any guess on the timeframe of this module ? When it was released ? \$\endgroup\$
    – Nils Munch
    Commented Oct 14, 2014 at 20:00
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    \$\begingroup\$ This sounds like every Gygax module ever. \$\endgroup\$
    – mxyzplk
    Commented Oct 17, 2014 at 3:59
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    \$\begingroup\$ How long ago would you have played this? If it was long enough ago, that would eliminate some of the recently-published AD&D adventures. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Oct 17, 2014 at 17:35
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Sandwich: Unfortunately, at the time, I had no one to play with, so I just read the modules through and imagined playing them. Kind of sad, I know. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Oct 22, 2014 at 11:54
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    \$\begingroup\$ @SeanDuggan Actually that's a large part of the job/fun of being the GM, so not so much, no. :) \$\endgroup\$ Commented Oct 23, 2014 at 1:59

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Could it be "The Sinister Secret of Saltmarsh"?

In this AD&D module, you are investigating a haunted mansion. Within, there is a winecellar that contains several bins and a corpse. (See page 16, section "WineCellar".) The corpse is infected with 7 rot grubs (which burrow into your flesh and then to your heart, killing you). Once dealt with, the corpse has an emerald worth 250 gp in their boot. The bins contain a colony of 18 rot grubs.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ I looked it through, and I don't think I've ever seen this one before. Sorry. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Oct 18, 2014 at 3:50
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Are you perhaps referring to the module "Tegel Manor"?enter image description here

It takes place in a haunted house with Laughing paintings, animated kitchen utensils, boots that stalk the player characters, beds that cast sleep on and suffocate their victims, and hidden worms that shriek when stepped on.

I combed the old internet for a while looking for information about parasitic worms in an AD&D module and that was all I could come up with. Your question is going to be hard to answer but I'll keep looking.

A helpful bit of information to find the module you're looking for would be the level that you ran the game at. Modules in AD&D are typically categorized by their level, if its something you remember it would be invaluable information.

Also, you should look through this:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Dungeons_%26_Dragons_modules

There's a list of all the AD&D modules there by name and by module class, you might be able to find what you're looking for in that list.

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    \$\begingroup\$ I don't think that would be the one. For one thing, I don't remember the critters as being randomly generated. For two, the layout doesn't ring a bell. However, that does remind me of another detail which I will post into my question. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Oct 17, 2014 at 12:57
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    \$\begingroup\$ How does one pronounce Tegel? \$\endgroup\$ Commented Oct 18, 2014 at 0:13
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    \$\begingroup\$ I believe it's pronounced "Tee-gull", or "Teggle" ( Like peggle ) \$\endgroup\$
    – Sandwich
    Commented Oct 18, 2014 at 0:30
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Perhaps you're thinking of Carl Smith's epic 1984 module for Advanced Dungeons and Dragons

The Forest Oracle (N2)

Even for 1984 the layout is terrible.

The module contains a section titled The Ruins of Castle Karn in which the party investigates... well... the ruins of Castle Karn.

KAAAAAAAARN!

Castle Karn includes, for our purposes, two interesting areas.

Area B

A stone shed stands against the inside of the castle's north wall. The roof has bark shingles and the wooden door hangs askew.

The shed was used for storage but now contains only dust and a pile of rubble. If the party digs through this rubble, they encounter 5 rot grubs (AC 9; MV 1"; HD 1; hp 4 each; #A 0; Dmg Nil; SA Will infest person and burrow to heart in 1-3 turns, causing death; application of flame or cure disease kills them, SD None). Nothing of value is hidden here.

Now, that last part might indicate that this is the wrong module, but hang on! Time may do weird things to memory because the very next room is...

Area C

This tower's stairs lead to a closed, wooden door facing inside of the courtyard. The stairs are stone, and 20' high.

This tower room is used by the goblin leader. The door is closed but not locked, and it will open easily. Inside is a round room and stairs leading up to a level with a collapsed floor.

In the room lies a dirty pallet and a small chest. Rotted wooden stairs lead to the collapsed floor above.

The chest is booby-trapped. When anyone tampers with the lock without inserting a key (even though the lock is unlocked), a dagger flies out of the false front of the chest. The dagger is angled slightly upward so that it hits a normal-sized man in the chest. In the chest rests the goblin's dirty laundry.

Should anyone check the filthy pallet, they find a small a small lump on the underside. If the pallet is slit, five gems worth 100 gp each are found inside. There is nothing else of value in the room.

(The original's punctuation and syntax have been preserved.)

The module is available as treeware and electronically. It's also considered "asinine" (Dragonsfoot forums) and "simply awful" (RPG Geek forums). If an audio review is preferred, its judgment is equally harsh. The module did spawn a hilarious thread on the EN World forums entitled, to paraphrase, "The worst TSR module ever published" which almost redeems the module. Almost.

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    \$\begingroup\$ Sorry, but that doesn't strike any memory. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Oct 22, 2014 at 11:55
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    \$\begingroup\$ @SeanDuggan Aw, man, but it has crumbling buildings with smaller crumbling buildings along a corridor and rot grubs and finding nothing in the obvious place and something in the inobvious place. And it's sometimes played just for irony. Darn. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Oct 22, 2014 at 16:24
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The "parasitic worms" are very likely Rot Grubs, a common encounter in AD&D modules whenever there was refuse or rotting corpses about. They burrowed into your skin with no attack roll, and no saving throw. I think if you noticed them you could maybe roll a DEX save to avoid them. They would quickly find their way to your heart and kill you unless you stopped them with fire or Cure Disease.

Have you checked out Realms of Horror, Expedition to the Barrier Peaks?

This was an extensive campaign module with a variety of areas. One area was cavernous, one was jungle-like, and there was one area that was on an abandoned spaceship that was falling apart. Then there was this (Realms of Horror, Gygax and Schick, 51):

If these monsters are slain, a careful inspection of the area reveals a narrow path leading to a heap of rotting vegetation. At a depth of one foot in this heap are two fully charged power discs. Another foot down is a human skeleton with a jeweled ring (5,200 gp value). Digging another foot farther the unfortunate digger uncovers a nest of 5d4 rot grubs which attack at once.

The text went on to describe how Rot Grubs eat your heart in 3 turns (in AD&D turn did not mean what it means now, I think a turn was ten minutes). The monsters the text is referring to were a couple of shambling mounds. This took place in the old "Zoo" of the spaceship. The "double bluff" is reversed from what you described and the setting wasn't as you describe, but there are other areas in the adventure that resemble the setting you describe and maybe the years have jumbled the memory (?). I don't have full access to the book - while I was at a very large local comic/collectible shop I was able to peruse their AD&D collection for results with help from my own distant memories. I found the book above and found that spot in the adventure. Not sure where or if you could find it online.

Here is the Realms of Horror Wikipedia page. As you can see it's a collection of 4 previously published modules from 1978 - 1982 combined to make one adventure. The scene I described was in the Expedition to the Barrier Peaks portion of the campaign.

Realms of Horror

enter image description here

Expedition to the Barrier Peaks

enter image description here

(from here)

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    \$\begingroup\$ I am familiar with "Expedition to the Barrier Peaks", and it was indeed a module I read through at the time, but I don't think it's the answer. I'll check the others Realms of Horror modules. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Feb 13, 2019 at 21:16
  • \$\begingroup\$ @SeanDuggan I'm not surprised you read it. It was one of the more popular modules. That's why I thought of it. Good luck finding what you're looking for! \$\endgroup\$
    – lightcat
    Commented Feb 13, 2019 at 21:21
  • \$\begingroup\$ Hmm... I can't find the bit that I remember, but this is close, involved an earthquake, and "The Lost Caverns of Tsojcanth" has some very familiar-looking maps, so it is possible that I got the two mingled. To be fair, I'll let the bounty extend, but I plan to award it to you. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Feb 13, 2019 at 21:25
  • \$\begingroup\$ @SeanDuggan Yeah, lots of crumbling rocks, etc. and some close quarters like you described, just not all in one place as far as I could tell. I'm all for fair. Thx. \$\endgroup\$
    – lightcat
    Commented Feb 13, 2019 at 21:29
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Hmmm.. Perhaps The Merchant House of Amketch?

enter image description here

The Merchant House of Amketch features Beetle parasites which are Magically altered to deliver a disease with their bite that disables psionic powers. I believe there's a section in the campaign which mentions the beetles being in a treasure room, or something to that effect if memory serves.

If there were psions in your campaign when you played theres a possibility that this ( or the other four parts of the module ) might be the one you're looking for.

The other two parts were Black Flames, and Marauders of Nibenay.

The only other module that I could think of that might contain something like that might be Tomb of Horrors, which features a demi-lich as the primary protagonist and deadly traps, dangerous encounters, and primarily used fear to eat away at the character's sanity.

enter image description here

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  • \$\begingroup\$ It was not Dark Sun. I remember that. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Oct 22, 2014 at 11:55
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Is it possible you are thinking of Citadel by the Sea, a module published in Dragon Magazine #78, October 1983? In it, the players explore a citadel with an open courtyard and rooms surrounding it--which sort of fits your recollection of being outside and searching indoor areas on either side. The citadel was a ruin, so there was a lot of rubble about as well.

In area 4, the Old Stables, there is a pile of decayed wood in which an ear seeker lurks. Ear seekers are similar to rot grubs, but instead of burrowing to your heart by eating into your flesh, they burrow into your brain by entering your ear. In the same area there are some valuable very old brass urns that the archaeologist NPC in the adventure wants you too retrieve.

You can check this issue of Dragon out here: https://annarchive.com/files/Drmg078.pdf

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  • \$\begingroup\$ That is a good find, but unfortunately, sparks no recognition in me on reading its contents. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Aug 11, 2020 at 12:17

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