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D&D 5E Best 5E Adventure?

Zardnaar

Legend
As the title says. Igot a nice present a few weeks ago and what do you think is the best (or even good) 5E adventures? I have the 3 AP ones and the Quests of Doom book and I would have to say the winner is......

Lost Mines of Phandelver;).

Several of the Quests of Doom adventures would also be contenders.

Of the official adventuresI would rate them as.

LMoP
PotA
OotA
RoT
HotDQ

HotDQ I think is an outright bad adventure, OotA requires a bit of work it seems and I kind of want to run it but can't really be bothered atm. Ithink I owuld want to run PotA but are currently playing it so its a no go le sigh.

Of the Quests of Doom Adventures several are along the lines of LMoP, easy to drop in anywhere. my favorites dsofar have been Bad Moon Rising, Irteps Dish, and THe Dead from Above in terms of ye olde dungeon hack.
 

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delericho

Legend
LMoP
OotA
PotA
HotDQ
RoT

for me.

"Lost Mine..." is the best adventure WotC have produced for some years; possibly the best D&D adventure WotC have produced ever. (Though note that that's WotC, not TSR!)

I consider the first half of OotA to be on a par with LMoP, or perhaps even better. Alas, I found the second half under-baked, and the climax was hugely disappointing - bad enough to ruin the whole.

"Princes..." just didn't grab me. I don't know why. It was okay, but...

And I actually rate HotDQ more highly than RoT. One of the things I like seeing in adventures is when the designers make sure to note many different ways the PCs might solve a problem. And while I found the sequence of chapters in HotDQ overly prescriptive, I did like that there were a range of options called out within most of the chapters. "Rise..." struck me as little more than an inferior knock-off of Dragonlance.
 

pukunui

Legend
Lost Mine isn't perfect but my group did enjoy it. I'd say the best part of it for me was how easy it was to run. As Chris Perkins said, it practically runs itself. I did very little prep for it.

I disagree that HotDQ is a bad adventure, but we've been down that road a million times before. We haven't gotten to RoT yet, so I can't really comment on that one.

I'm with [MENTION=22424]delericho[/MENTION] re: PotA, though. While I like parts of it and have been mining it for material for my episodic campaign, I don't think I'd like to run or play it in its entirety. I think it would just get way too repetitive.

As for OotA ... I think I'd rather play it than run it, mainly because of the amount of work required to run it. So far I've just been stealing parts of it for my home campaign as well. (I ran the Neverlight Grove section as a standalone Halloween adventure, for instance.)
 

wedgeski

First Post
I wouldn't like to rate OoTA or the Tiamat adventures without running them. I long ago learned the lesson that adventures often play completely differently than they read. Having said that, I just joined a HotDQ campaign, and will soon be launching an OoTA campaign, so should have a better idea soon. :)

Princes is running fine so far, but I'm using it mainly as filler for a more custom campaign. I have to say that the opening investigative sections of the book are terribly organized. I had to write a multi-page crib sheet to keep the clues and NPC's straight. That's a big failing, and harks back to what I said about adventures playing differently than they read. However, the crunchy bits of Princes are excellent, and in general it's playing well with my group. There's no doubt in my mind that Princes is best used as a grab-bag of locations for a home-brew campaign.

Which is all a long-winded way of saying that I agree. Lost Mines is by far the best adventure so far. It launched the 5E era for us with great style.
 

delericho

Legend
I wouldn't like to rate OoTA or the Tiamat adventures without running them. I long ago learned the lesson that adventures often play completely differently than they read.

Very true.

And yet... even a run-through isn't definitive, because you never see the path not taken. An adventure could be a horrible railroad but if your players never try to jump the tracks you'd never see it. IMO, that's still a design flaw, even if circumstances never reveal it.
 

wedgeski

First Post
And yet... even a run-through isn't definitive, because you never see the path not taken. An adventure could be a horrible railroad but if your players never try to jump the tracks you'd never see it. IMO, that's still a design flaw, even if circumstances never reveal it.
That's the start of a different discussion. For another time, maybe. :)
 

MerricB

Eternal Optimist
I've run Hoard twice and I'm just starting Rise for the second time. And I love the adventures - Rise is in my Top 5 of all time.

But neither of them hold your hand. Like Vault of the Drow, you have to work to make them yours.

Princes I'm most of the way through and I have massive problems with its structure, though there are redeeming features.

I have hardly looked at Out of the Abyss.

Cheers!
 

Mepher

Adventurer
My group switched to 5E this summer and they played Lost Mine. I myself didn't make the plunge until this fall when I took back the reigns of DMing full time. The group wanted to play 5E so I decided to take the plunge. I wish I had done a little reading before hand because I decided to start with Horde of the Dragon Queen. My time is limited right now so I wanted a long term adventure path that I could run each week with minimal preparation....this is NOT that. I think I spend more time shoring up this adventure to make it coherent than if I just wrote my own adventure. Add to the fact that (and I know I will be the minority here) but I am just not a fan of the 5E system. It feels like D&D rewritten for the video game crowd where every player must have 10 options to do every turn. My players all like it so at the very least I will finish HOTDQ, but after that who knows. Maybe I will move onto Rise or maybe I will just go back to running my own sandbox world.
 

jayoungr

Legend
Supporter
Also consider where you are with rules familiarity when you run or play something. Whichever adventure you do first may seem clunkier because you're interrupting the flow to look up rules and stuff, while the later ones may seem more immersive because you have the spells and abilities more or less memorized by the time you get to them.
 


Mephista

First Post
I vote for the political intrigue D&D adventure they released back in Summer of 2017. Man, that one was a blast! Loved the evil half-elf queen. Who would have thought a Lore Bard could be so vicious? ​Oh, wait, its right there in the cantrip, nevermind.
 

Jeff Carlsen

Adventurer
I own all of the official adventures, and some unofficial, but I've only run Lost Mine. It was great though.



I like to run a variety of RPGs, and have only a few hours a week to play, so the storyline adventures are a daunting time investment for me.
 

Agreed. I will say that Out of the Abyss is the first of the big adventure books that I’ve said “I have to run this!” And now I am doing so.

That being said, I totally dig Lost Mines of Phandelver as a great introductory module. I didn’t get to use it, but the way it integrates learning the new rules with the module is quite well done. The adventure also has plenty of hooks to entice new DMs to start creating their own adventures.


I wouldn't like to rate OoTA or the Tiamat adventures without running them. I long ago learned the lesson that adventures often play completely differently than they read. Having said that, I just joined a HotDQ campaign, and will soon be launching an OoTA campaign, so should have a better idea soon. :)
 

Louis Brenton

Explorer
I have run Lost Mine. I've also run HotDQ & I'm in the midst of running RoT. I'm part way through reading PotA to prep for my next campaign now, but I like it a lot & I'm confident that I'll enjoy running it. I own Out of the Abyss, but I've barely read it, so I'm not going to offer any comment on it.

My current rankings would be:

Lost Mine of Phandelver
Princes of the Apocalypse
Hoard of the Dragon Queen
Rise of Tiamat

No vote on OotA until I've at least read it.

Like others on this post, I think Phandelver is special, & arguably the best introductory adventure that's been done.
 

AaronOfBarbaria

Adventurer
I don't really think that ranking the 5th edition adventures against each other is productive.

Rating them entirely independently of each other (i.e. asking if Lost Mine of Phandelver is awful, excellent, or somewhere between, rather than if Lost Mine of Phandelver is better or worse than Hoard of the Dragon Queen or any of the others), or providing each a rating compared against other adventures with similar themes and styles, if not also level ranges, would be more productive... though still not largely productive.

That said, I have little bit of "rating" to share: For being written before final word could possibly be delivered on important details like what is or is not an appropriate random encounter, or exactly how to properly set up milestones for gaining levels, Hoard of the Dragon Queen is actually a mighty fine adventure.

It certainly takes less effort to make play well than the modules I've run that are often claimed as among the "best", certain disorderly caverns and color-coded cult hideout for example.
 


Grakarg

Explorer
I'd like to know what other 'non-official' adventures there are out there that are actually worth getting.
It sounds like QoD might be worth picking up, what else is worth it?
 

Only run part of LMoP and read the rest.

I love OotA. I like the sandbox nature and stronger story, the change in tone from fleeing survivors to conquering heroes returning. And just the fun of the myriad little characters and scenes.
After that things get screwy.

HotDQ and RoT are a hot mess, but mostly from a rules perspective. They could easily be fixed and made awesome. And the adventure is more varied instead of endless dungeons, but it requires a lot more work to flesh out into a functional adventure. It's a good framework.

PotA is next, but not by much. There's just no story. It's endless dungeons. There's the player's story, and they have a tale, but there's nothing else going on. And the dungeons themselves are just room after room filled with monsters. There's just an illusion of a story crafted by planned reactions. There's literally no reason the Elemental Evil cultists don't stop attracting attention and hunker down in their caves and summon the elemental princes right away. Not even the pretense of a justification for why they're waving a big red flag while shouting "over here adventurers! We're up to eeeeevil!"

Then there's LMoP, which is also just a series of interconnected dungeons lacking any interesting terrain or features. And despite having a lot of overland potential, there's no travel or natural hazards. The NPCs are flat and exist only for the adventure. There are lost of gaps, such as missing location maps and NPCs. LMoP just feels uninspired and generic. At least PotA has the Temple of Elemental Evil homage and sandbox game justifications for being more than a series of dungeon chambers.
 

The most important thing for me is that you can play an adventure without any DM preparation. Like, the players just say where they want to go and then I can just read the section for that exact area and know what to do. I want to explore the dungeons as the players go too, because I love exploration, if I read ahead it's only exciting for the players and not for me.

Only LMoP could really offer this for me.

Certainly the other campaigns might have more interesting locations, but they are all a mess to play spontaneously. I don't even know on which page to start / what to read first!
 

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