D&D General Adventure Titles


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Cheating a bit using an OSR game here, but Dungeon Crawl Classics has a lot of highly evocative adventure titles that are very much indicative of what you're getting with the game, in terms of both mood and content; with titles like Imprisoned in the God-Skull and Moon-Slaves of the Cannibal Kingdom, you pretty much know what you're getting into.
The Queen of Elfland's Son always makes me smile - both a riff on Dunsany's "King of Elfland's Daughter" and a subversion of the tired old "Male Professional's Female Relative" trope.
 

Weird Dave

Adventurer
Publisher
I love adventure titles! The best ones are evocative and engaging right from the start. I also agree that the 5E adventure titles have been ... somewhat lackluster. They have a feel of "design by committee" which makes them safe and rather boring. But not all of them! Here's some of my off the top of the head thoughts.

Lost Mine of Phandelver - Great title for a great intro adventure, though I think it would have benefited from a different focus. "Secrets of Phandelver" or "
Hoard of the Dragon Queen - I love this title! Hits the notes I want, gives me as a DM and player something to glom onto.
The Rise of Tiamat - An OK title, but not bad overall. A bit on the nose perhaps.
Tyranny of Dragons (as the completed version of the two above) - Ehh, pretty lackluster.
Princes of the Apocalypse - Pretty awesome title, no notes!
Out of the Abyss - Pretty meh title, and suffers from "what else are we going to call this" syndrome. Adventure is really two stuck together - trying to get out of the Underdark and then trying to get back into the Underdark. Probably would have benefited from a shift in focus in general, so it's hard to blame the title for it I think.
Storm King's Thunder - Pretty good title I think, evocative and memorable.
Curse of Strahd - I dig this one. The villain is up and front, you know what you're getting into, and it sets the stakes (get it?!).
Tales from the Yawning Portal - Works just fine as an adventure anthology. Do I wish there was a better hook for each that focused on the Yawning Portal? Yes.
Tomb of Annihilation - I don't enjoy this one as much. It's meant to evoke a bigger, scarier version of "Tomb of Horrors" but really I think it would have benefited from a different title. "Jungle of Death" would have been better in my mind.
Ghosts of Saltmarsh - Pretty awesome title, no notes!
Waterdeep: Dragon Heist - The play on words here is the key, since a dragon in Waterdeep is the name of a coin. I don't mind this one, and since it's contained within Waterdeep I think the city name before it works as well.
Waterdeep: Dungeon of the Mad Mage - Honestly a bit bland. I would have preferred the name Undermountain to be in the title since that's what it's all about. Or, alternately lean out of the dungeon and go with something like "Cackle of the Mad Mage"
Baldur's Gate: Descent into Avernus - Uggh. Do not like this title. Yes it starts in Baldur's Gate, but it really doesn't have a lot to do with it after about level 4ish. Either drop the city title OR drop Baldur's Gate into Avernus rather than Elturel. Any title change I think would necessitate a shift in focus for at least the first part of the adventure.
Icewind Dale: Rime of the Frostmaiden - I love this title, even with the geographic location (which at least makes sense since it does take place in Icewinde Dale). No notes!
Candlekeep Mysteries - Sure, it's OK for an anthology around mysterious books at Candlekeep. Kinda boring but the meat is in the individual adventures.
The Wild Beyond the Witchlight - A+ awesome title, no notes!
Journeys Through the Radiant Citadel - I would have preferred something more like "Radiant Citadel Stories" or something like that since it's a compilation of unrelated adventures, but it's OK.
Dragonlance: Shadow of the Dragon Queen - I don't mind the setting in the title, but big yawn here. The adventure focuses on an area of the War of the Lance that hasn't been touched much, so I would have preferred something like "March of the Dragon Army" or something.
Keys from the Golden Vault - A solid title for an anthology I think.
Phandelver and Below: The Shattered Obelisk - Hmm. This one likely suffers from having to re-write (somewhat) Lost Mines of Phandelver. Maybe "Mystery of the Shattered Obelisk"?
Light of Xaryxis - While I overall have issues with it, I think the title for this Spelljammer adventure is pretty great actually.
Turn of Fortune's Wheel - A+ awesome title I think, no notes!
 

Lanefan

Victoria Rules
One thing I really try to avoid, largely becauce I got tired of it decades ago, is using "of" or "of the" in adventure titles. It's just not original any more.

I find that either the adventure's location or the name of the main enemy work well as titles. The most recent string of homebrew adventures I've run:

Lajoya Manor
Scaline Castle
Villaroto
Asiri's Grotto
Alcthete the Fallen
Pomfrey West Marches

Villaroto, Asiri, and Alcthete were all the name of that adventure's BBEG (in sequence: a dragon, a giant, and a lich); and the adventures had "working titles" (often just "new adventure") until said BBEG was heard of or encountered by the PCs. Pomfrey is a kingdom in my setting, and the "West Marches" is to reflect the idea that this is something of a sandbox adventure where they're learning as they go just what they might be up against and where they've got all kinds of options as to what to do (or not) and in what sequence.
 

Burnside

Space Jam Confirmed
Supporter

Ancalagon

Dusty Dragon
Because I can (tm), I decided to show my adventure titles - from my home brewed material.

Yoon Suin Campaign:
A long voyage
The refuse
A scholarly reception
Blood Theft
The Mine
From the Deep
Journey to the North
Gamagadhi
The Oracle
The Altar
(not complete as some published adventures were mixed in)

The Silk Road Campaign:
A New Quest
Onward to Mosul
Alamut
From Ray to Merv
The temple of Fire
The sandalmaker
Onwards to the Tarim Basin
Osh to Kashgar
Shadow upon the mountains
The Stolen Vase
To Icarium
Leaving the Tarim
The Siege
Where the Great Steppes begin
The Altai and Denisova
Machinarium
Icarium's story
The trip to the edge of the world
The mountains of Brack
The lost City of Nim
 


Lanefan

Victoria Rules
One thing I managed to work in to a previous campaign was naming a couple of (unrelated) adventures after songs:

Stairway To Heaven (climbing an invisible staircase to a house trapped in the clouds)
Highway To Hel (party goes to Hel's land of the dead to try and recover a dead companion)
 


Ancalagon

Dusty Dragon
One thing I managed to work in to a previous campaign was naming a couple of (unrelated) adventures after songs:

Stairway To Heaven (climbing an invisible staircase to a house trapped in the clouds)
Highway To Hel (party goes to Hel's land of the dead to try and recover a dead companion)
Nice

"Where the Great Steppes begin" was a reference to
 

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