Tomb of the Serpent Kings | Spreadsheet Adventure Module Adaptation

I’ve made a Spreadsheet Adventure Module (SAM) of Skerples and company’s great learning/beginner adventure: Tomb of the Serpent Kings (xls  download)

Video demo:

Screenshot:TotSK screen capture.png

Original work: Written by SKERPLES (; Art by SCRAP PRINCESS (; Map by JANON; Layout by DAVID SHUGARS (

Skerples et al’s original work (shared under a Creative Commons license) can be found here: Link

Description:  People keep asking for “beginner” dungeons. Everyone can name “classic” dungeons – Tomb of Horrors, Barrier Peaks, The Temple of Elemental Evil, etc. – but in order for those adventures to make sense, there needs to be some sort of introduction.

It’s like all the adventures we have are Bach concertos. People keep writing amazing works of staggering genius, but someone needs to write a book on how to play the piano.  I had the same questions, and since I couldn’t find anything satisfactory, I decided to write the kind of dungeon I would have loved to find. I wanted to write the best basic old-school dungeon for new players that I could, and I also wanted to show the design process. And since people keep refereng to it, I figured I’d put up a fancy print version.

Tomb of the Serpent Kings is designed to be easy to adapt to your system of choice to create an old-school dungeon-crawling tomb-robbing experience.

Spreadsheet Adventure Modules (SAMs)

If you don’t know what SAMs are about – then please see the video which explains the ‘Big Idea‘ behind using Excel to present module information in a super compact fashion. There is also a 5 minute How-to-Guide video which shows you all you need to know to get started.


For more SAMs here: Link

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InHotS the cover imageMe on DriveThruDriveThru; at the moment I’m mainly pimping my procedural High Seas ‘Hex Crawl’ – In the Heart of the Sea.


12 thoughts on “Tomb of the Serpent Kings | Spreadsheet Adventure Module Adaptation

  1. Nicholas Banks

    This is a great way to collect all of the needed information to run a module on a single worksheet. I tend to “over produce” my maps and session content. Having it all available in one sheet saves a lot of headaches. I’ll have to give this a try.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Aaron Smith

    This is so awesome – revolutionary, even! However… I can never get your pre-made work to open correctly. The map graphic is missing every time.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Aaron

        Nope. That’s very likely related to the problem. I am one of those people who refuses to pay for excel. Perhaps I can re-place the maps manually?


      2. Goblin's Henchman Post author

        Excel is fairly ubiquitous, but I understand not wanting to pay for it!
        The problem is, as far as I can tell, Excel is the only program that let’s you add a “background” which is the key trick.
        Maybe G-Sheets will add this in the future!?
        I believe Open Docs has a spreadsheet program – I believe I tried it and it didn’t work, but that was a few years back!
        Good luck – maybe you can crack this for free-ware!


  3. Richard

    LibreOffice Calc V6 will let you put a background image into a spreadsheet. Sadly, the background image from your excel sheet does not appear in Calc, so the map image would need to be re-added. Everything else seems to work fine.


    1. Aaron

      That is the solution I was working on. You need to rearrange things a bit to make the image a background. Also, the comments show up “behind” the map. You have to togglethem off & on. Lastly, the encounter numbers don’t line up correctly.

      All in all, I think Libre might work to build from scratch, but it doesn’t work great for using your generously pre-made maps. I haven’t had time yet to try building one with my own original map.



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