Advice needed on starter adventure

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Tales and Chronicles

Jewel of the North, formerly know as vincegetorix
On those topic I always go for Adventures in the Widerlands from Cubicle 7. Its for the AiME line of 5e so it would require a little modification, but the small campaign composed of 7 linked adventures spanning a few years is really interesting.



I would strongly suggest this

if you are able to find the original paper module together with the large included map and paper minis, it would be perfect IMO

I used it to teach dnd to my little brother a lot of years ago and it worked well, we still have good memories about that adventure :)


Magic Wordsmith
I wrote the Barrow of the Evensong specifically for my niece and nephew (pre-teens at the time). I ran it for some adults at a game store in about 3 hours and it was fun for adults, too. I recommend giving it a look for your purposes, plus it's free and you can read it right now!


I created a series of adventures that follow LMoP on DMsGuild that start with This one. It takes place the next year following the events in the boxed set. There are a few adventures that take PCs from level1-5 in the arc. They are pay what you want if you want to take a look.

It may make the player that already played in LMoP realize that the world keeps spinning and the you can throw some backstory from the last group to flesh things out.

I've been running a ton of free adventures for my kids and their friends and occasionally their parents using free or pay what you want stuff from DMsGuild and DriveThruRPG. I cobble them together to help form a greater homebrew world. Some are hit or miss so I tend to get them all for free to start. For the hits, I go back and buy them again to throw the authors some silver pieces.

Some of the gems - or at least we had fun playing these:

Moon over Graymoor - a nice mystery style adventure that is not devoid of danger. Anytime my son is taking copious notes, I know that I've found a good one.

Penny for Your Thoughts - requires a decent amount of exploration and social interaction and provides multiple pathways for getting to the finale

Nerzugal's Game Master Toolkit - specifically The Air Ship Incident which contains a bunch of encounters which encourage non-combat solutions (don't worry, there's still a chance to kick butt)



As I'm sure you know, Keep on the Borderlands has been the starting point for many new campaigns. With completely newish players, you might want to have a specific mission in mind for their first go into the caves. I'd probably do something with the goblins (kobolds are a LOT tougher than their CR suggests), such as recovering a lost item or perhaps rescuing prisoners. Once the players become aware of the caves, they'll presumably go back afterwards (young players seldom need much motivation beyond killing stuff and treasure IME), but you might keep a couple of plot hooks ready, just in case.


Okay folks, I am appealing to the collective brain trust of enworld for a solution to this problem. Let's see what we all can come up with!

Background. In addition to my other duties (hating on Paladins, DMing for grognards, occasionally working) I run the occasional game/campaign for the kids/teens in the area. The goal is always, always to get them to enjoy it and have fun, so that they go off and run their own campaigns. Teach a man to fish, and all that. Also? I like having my own free time occasionally! Anyway, it's been really successful so far.

My general approach for these groups is to run through LMoP (Lost Mines) which I think is an absolutely perfect 5e starter module, and then, if more seasoning is needed, I run them through a few converted mid-level 1e modules (since 5-12 is the "sweet spot" for 1e modules, IMO). By that time, they usually have learned enough to go off and play their own campaigns.

The Problem. So one of the groups that went off lost some of their players. Now, two of those original kids in question want to run another campaign with me as the DM and five new players. For a seven-person campaign. Due to peer pressure (aka, other parents) I have agreed to do so. The problem is I can't use the old tried and true (LMoP) because two of them will have already played it! And they all want to get together for a character creation session and gaming coming up.


I've already thought about U1 (Sinister Secret) and worry that it might be a little too cerebral and old school as an introduction.* So ... at this point I'm thinking ... B2?

Your Solutions. Fundamentally, I am operating under the following restrictions/ideas:
a. Characters are starting at 1st level. So, low level adventure.

b. Most of the players will have absolutely no knowledge of D&D, or even RPGs, although they are enthusiastic.

c. Skill levels on the players should be fine (6th and 7th grade) in terms of understanding, math, vocab., etc., except for not knowing D&D concepts.

d. I'd like something that would catch their attention, but not necessarily have too much intrigue or required deep thought for the first adventure or two until they get used to it.

e. I am pretty good at converting 1e and B/X modules on the fly, and I have most of them.

So, what do y'all think? Any great ideas?

*U1 is great, but I think it works best as a low-level adventure after you already understand what D&D is. Maybe.

B2 would be good. I have a non-traditional approach for introducing new folks to D&D... I converted "Hunt for a Hierophant” (by Chris Doyle, DUNGEON #63) as a 3rd-level adventure with four parts: An exploration montage/skill challenge, evading a bullywug hunting party in a retreating skirmish, interacting with a sick treant, and then a small 16-room dungeon heavy on puzzles/riddles with a dash of combat, with an optional wizard boss fight. I've only run it once for two players, but it ran really well. And theme-wise, it's very kid-friendly. And I made 7 fun pre-gens for it.
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I ran "The Sunless Citadel" as an introductory adventure back in 3e days. It worked really well. Since that has been updated in ToYP, that would be my recommendation.

(LMoP is better, so that would be my usual go-to. But since that's not an option.)

Oh, I think I'll also give a shout out to "The Shattered Circle", a fairly obscure late-2nd Ed adventure. It's another adventure by Bruce Cordell, and for 1st level parties, and it's another one I had a good experience with.


I'm a big fan of Rescue at Rivenroar (4e) - it is the first adventure in the Scales of War AP.
Very easy to run and highly enjoyable.

The Sinister Secret of Saltmarsh is a nice starter.

I converted the free Pathfinder adventure Hollow's Last Hope for my group when we first started out.
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Li Shenron

So, what do y'all think? Any great ideas?

*U1 is great, but I think it works best as a low-level adventure after you already understand what D&D is. Maybe.

I also thought about U1 for our family game, but went with "Horror on the Hill", which is of course not "horror" at all. I only removed the Neanderthals because I found them somewhat offensive (i.e. the r* word). "Horror on the Hill" is very simple, it has practically no story at all, so it's all about exploration, but it has a range of classic monsters and a reasonable curve of difficulty as you approach the main destination and then delve into it.


Have you thought about the DM's Guild at all? Using what you have is great, but there are some great starter adventures on the DMGuild that are already 5e

I used M. T. Black's 'Triboar Trilogy' to introduce some new players to D&D or 5e.
First part was a small dungeon, the second an investigation type adventure and the third a fiendish haunted house.

I did something completely different, you can take this with a grain of salt, but let me explain...

I started my group of adventurers at level 0, meaning "plain old people" without a lick of adventuring skills. I took an old AD&D module called N4:Treasure Hunt which is an introductory module that will take them from level 0 to maybe 1st or 2nd.

The module is unique in the fact that the actions made by each individual character will determine their alignment and class. A player that started the game thinking they may want to be a caster of some sort, found out that swinging a weapon and melee combat was more their cup of tea, and vice versa.

It worked really well for my party, and yes, I had a few people realize that the way they played their character was completely different than the character they thought about playing.

It's a different way of thinking about playing, but it also teaches the basics about your characters stats, basic combat (since they have no formal training), and survival as a normal villager. When they do hit level 1, (which is about 1/4 through the adventure), thats when the DM assigns them their class based off of their actions (from a chart given in the adventure, in which the DM notes the actions made by each individual.)

My group liked the idea, and accepted the class given to them, and we have been meeting every Friday since then!

If you like something truly different, I'd give this one a look!


Space Jam Confirmed
Another vote for Sunless Citadel. Very easy to run and definitely fills the requirement of not demanding too much deep thought from players.

Also, the following Season 5 Tier One AL adventures string together to make a very solid level 1-4 campaign:

The Black Road DDAL5-02
Uninvited Guests DDAL5-03
Beneath the Fetid Chelimber DDAL5-06
Chelimber's Descent DDAL5-07
Giant Diplomacy DDAL5-10
Bad Business in Parnast DDAL5-12
Parnast Under Seige DDAL5-16

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