Classics Unboxed: Hollow World

Posted on December 1, 2011 by


I wanted to continue my  series on classic boxed sets, but I had run out of sets.  Luckily, readers chimed in and offered to contribute.  So today we are going to look at Hollow World, kindly presented by reader (and now contributor!) Christopher.  Remeber, if you have an old boxed set you’d like to snap pictures of and send my way, I’ll gladly publish it.

Hollow World was an interesting boxed set, because it was actually published for the D&D game (as opposed to AD&D, although it claimed compatibility with the 2nd Ed. AD&D game.  It was released in 1990, and it was written by Aaron Allston, who also wrote the much beloved D&D Rules Cyclopedia.  I would guess that this boxed set was released as a companion setting for that book.

Now, Hollow World, presented by Christopher Pitts:

I found this boxed set while browing through the RPG section of Powells in downtown Portland. I was instantly intrigued. It seemed like it had some very cool ideas for running a completely different setting in a game.

The concept of Hollow World is that the known world is actually hollow and contains an entirely separate world inside. It has its own interior sun, so there is no night, and completely different races and cultures.

While mainstream D&D is based on Medieval European culture, Hollow World introduces races based on Native American, Aztecs, Ancient Romans, and Vikings. Each of these cultures is spread throughout the interior continents and are unaware of each of other, as they are separated by large mountain ranges.

I haven’t read everything in this set yet, as I mainly wanted it in hopes of taking my 4e home group to an adapted version of Hollow World, but it seems like a great set. The ideas are great and everything is put together nicely. Great set.

The set was published in 1990 by TSR and was written by Aaron Allston. Original retail was $18.00

Box Contents:
DM Book: 128 page sourcebook for DMs running a Hollow World campaign. Includes information about the areas of the world, the cultures, gods, etc.

Player Book: 64 page book for players to build a Hollow World native. There are a few changes between outer world races and classes and their inner world counterparts. These changes include spells that don’t work or work differently or tweaks on what races such as elves can do.

Adventure Book: 32 page book containing some summaries for adventures, including some suggestions of how to get outer world characters to the inner world. This book also contains stats for new monsters to use such as dinosaur-like creatures and other beasts.

Maps: 4 large, full-color maps showing the make-up of Hollow World, a map of the entire world and details of the continent of Iciria.



Remember, if you’d like to contribute pics and a write up, send me a note, as I am out of boxes.

If you would like to support, perhaps you’d consider visiting for your next rpg related purchase. Check out the following products:

World of Greyhawk AD&D Boxed Set

Menzoberranzan AD&D Boxed Set

Conquest of Nerath: A D&D Boardgame

Legend of Drizzt: A D&D Boardgame

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