Castle of the Mad Archmage Final Release Now Available!

UPDATE: See this post for news on how you can purchase the new and improved version of the dungeon.

Alternately, it seems like an eternity has passed since I first set out to write my own version of the infamous dungeon ruins “but a league or so from the walls of the city of Greyhawk”, or only a couple of weeks. It has been a ton of work, but all of it fun, and boy has it been a wild ride sometimes.

It’s taken me 18 months to write the 12 and a half levels that make up the final version of the Castle of the Mad Archmage, and I’ve recorded more than 1,200 downloads of some of the releases. There’s a ton of additional work that I can, and eventually will, get to; side levels (yes, yes, the Black Reservoir among them!), my own stab at the Upper Ruins and the Storage Rooms, pocket universes and demi-planes, and much more. I can say nothing concrete about how I’m going to approach those pieces; certainly the dungeon is fully capable of being played now as-is; there are entrances aplenty into the levels past the first, and of course nothing says an enterprising DM can’t simply make his own Level 1 or skip it and say that the stairs from Level 2 just go straight to the surface. Suffice to say that there are plans in the works to bring more of the Castle of the Mad Archmage to light, but at the moment I’d like to take a breather and work on something else.

The module clocks in at around 180 pages, and a bit under 4 MB. My erstwhile cartographer, Joe Bardales, made new versions of all the maps (which helped a bit with the file size) and my indispensable proofreader, Steve Rubin, made the thing a million times more professional than my typo-laden manuscript would have otherwise been. 

As always, if anyone is using the dungeon in actual play, please drop me a line; I’d love to hear how it fares. 

And now, without further delay, I invite you to download the pdf –> HERE <–

EDIT: The previous pdf was missing one of the maps. The link now goes to the corrected pdf. Sorry for the mix-up!

UPDATE: See this post for news on how you can purchase the new and improved version of the dungeon.

Written by 

Wargamer and RPG'er since the 1970's, author of Adventures Dark and Deep, Castle of the Mad Archmage, and other things, and proprietor of the Greyhawk Grognard blog.

43 thoughts on “Castle of the Mad Archmage Final Release Now Available!

  1. Yes! I shall print a most fine copy for my own use.

    More money to come when I have it.

    Congratulations on producing the best adventure to come out of the entire OSR.

  2. "y own stab at the Upper Ruins and the Storage Rooms"

    For what it's worth, though, I would not do this.

    Your product succeeds because it's a brilliant continuation of a project that the original creator couldn't complete for tragic reasons.

    No matter what one might think of the Castle Zagyg box (I adore it), it was "Gygax-approved" while the man lived.

    A remake of that same material might be a little disrespectful, IMHO. As a published product only, of course.

  3. An excellent 'last encounter' to a fantastic effort. Pure, uncut, concentrated 'fun'.

    I'm with Mistretta – best OSR module. Period.

  4. Really, I can't say enough nice things about your work on this. Another donation coming as soon as I can afford it, and well-deserved it is.

    You've done an amazing, tremendous, stupendous job on this instant classic.

  5. Boccob Be Praised!

    Now I can shred all of my previous installment copies! SWMBO will be pleased to see all of that paper finally gone.

    I will be printing the last installment out in the morning, patiently awaiting the future supplements to it.

    A very (ahem) "wily" conclusion!

    I shall be sending my donation for your labors soon.


  6. Bravo! I merely skimmed it, that I might enjoy it as a player over many GaryCons and Gencons and whatnot to come. You and the team are to be supremely commended on your efforts and results! I say again, Bravo!

  7. Ooooh, you nasssty, trixie DM, you have left out the map for sub-level 6A…it isss missssing…

    Now it is indeed a classic old school module!


  8. Congratulations and a big thank you for this amazing work!!! I've been following the CotMA all these months, and I can't wait to plunge my PCs into it! 🙂

  9. Dagnabbit! So it is, GW (and the fault is entirely mine, not Joe's or Steve's). You do indeed have a collector's version!

    I'll post a final final corrected version tonight.

  10. Great adventure! But it's finished all too soon (well, except for the sub levels you mentioned!). I've thoroughly enjoyed reading the pdf's as they were released and am now interested in hearing more about that print-on-demand/publication deal you mentioned earlier! 🙂

  11. Got a type-o for you:

    "and the floor covered iwith thick rugs."

    Page 112 (doc page)/114 (pdf page), paragraph 4, 3rd sentence.

    Otherwise looking good.

    I'm much amused by the notion that my (2nd ed) party's Kensai will have the potential to get either +4 plate mail or a +4 sword – neither of which he can use! It'll serve him right for trying to start a maid cafe in Zagyg's old mansion 😉

  12. Congrats on the completion of this most highly awesome and indescribably fantastic project. I've been eagerly following since level 3 and I always looked forward to the next installment. I've been looking forward to grinding my players through this! Great Work!

  13. Fantastic! I'm so glad you got this done – I'm looking forward to reading it through.

    I think you should post it up through and offer a print version sometime.

  14. Thanks so much! I'm planning to start a bi-weekly "Megadungeon Wednesday" campaign and this is the adventure they'll be playing. I'll let you know how it goes!

  15. Joe, there's a room on the second level that I'd love to understand better. I've read the description many times and I just don't grok it at all. Any way I could send you an email?

  16. Jim: Feel free. My address is in the module itself (on the same page as the table of contents IIRC) and over in the right-hand column on the blog.

  17. Whoops! I think the link was (again) outdated. The link in the "free downloads" section is the correct one, and I've made the correction in the post itself. Thanks for the catch!

  18. I came looking for a working download link but was having some trouble locating one.

    If it is still available I would love a link when you get the time.


  19. Hi Chris,

    Because the Castle of the Mad Archmage is due to be released as a print product in the next few months by Black Blade Publishing, the free pdf version was removed from the downloads section.

    I'll be posting more information as to where the complete version can be gotten once I've got something more concrete.

  20. So more then a year later, the PDF is still removed, the print version has been lost in oblivion. The mega dungeon is no longer available anywhere 🙁
    Go the lulu route like stonehell?

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