D&D General Best and Worst Editions- For Adventures.


My opinions:

1E - a lot of really solid adventures... for the edition. Most of them were dungeon crawls with some story to draw the players in. IME, I took the concepts of most of these adventures and trimmed them down to fit within a 5E game. Otherwise they tend to take a long time IRL, causing players to forget the purpose of the adventure.

2E - the only 2E adventures I'm particularly familiar with were the Greyhawk specific ones. These moved away from sandbox style gaming, forcing the players along a railroaded plot. There were a few others that were much better, but still emphasized a linear plot. Oh, there were also the abominable "humor" adventures designed to make fun of Greyhawk.

3E - I honestly never played any 3E adventures. My experiences with 3E were with me updating older adventures and the other DM making his own.

4E - conceptually these seemed okay upon reading, but most DMs I know made their own adventures.

5E - overall good, with a few notable failures (HotDQ prominent).

BECMI - the true winner. Most adventures had a dungeon crawl, but almost all of them had a decent plot. Many also had travel as part of the adventure, taking away the monotony of the dungeon. Plus since the edition had a built in setting (Known World/Mystara) all adventures fit into it, but were often done in a way you could incorperate them into homebrew settings.

log in or register to remove this ad


Lowcountry Low Roller
As a new DM who has run a few of the 5e official adventures (and read through most of the others), it seems I should be glad that I came in so late. Sadly I feel like they still could be a lot better in general. I guess writing adventures is hard, even for the pros!


As a new DM who has run a few of the 5e official adventures (and read through most of the others), it seems I should be glad that I came in so late. Sadly I feel like they still could be a lot better in general. I guess writing adventures is hard, even for the pros!

It's an art form.

Writing large adventures seems hard.


What's the fairest way to count Dungeon?

There were a lot of good adventures 87-91 and 2003-2007. And post 97 after the WotC buyout.

Good question. It was such a cool resource for adventures and ideas for me in 2e/3e. And I totally used a bunch of the 2e stuff in 3e.
I guess it’s possible that the best stuff from most of the eras came from Dungeon.

I can't really answer this definitively, since I know next to nothing about 3E or 4E adventures, and have read only one for 5E. That said... I always thought 1E had the best adventures in modules, and 2E had the best Dungeon magazine adventures (the modules from that era were variable in quality)…


5e - especially now. As the edition has matured the adventures have gotten better. Tomb of Annihilation is outstanding (imo).
2e - Had the best and the worst. Definitely the most creative period
1e - (including BECMI) - some definite good stuff there, but mostly very dungeon crawly
3e - High level stuff was just so overcomplicated to DM, but there was some great lower level stuff. Red Hand of Doom stands out for me.
4e- In the main it was a series of well designed encounters. It generally required quite a bit of work to flesh it out and make it feel like D&D



Now I explain why:
I hate running modules. I mean I really hate it. I like to skim, steal some ideas, get inspired by art and go do my own thing.

The bigger the book the more I have to read to get what I want. I like old school cover art and black and white interior.

Pathfinder comes in dead last because most were set in Paizo’s (Glorantha or some such) setting which I can’t stand. I felt it was derivative, bland and poorly fleshed out. The thing that aggrieves me the most is the overuse of Wayne Reynolds. His art just messes with my Chi. (Seriously it hurts) I would rather no art.


2E: My vote for my favorite is the original 2E Ruins of Undermountain. There was so much detail in some of those rooms. 2E was the edition I liked the best just because I played it so much and knew the rules so I could modify adventures on the fly the easiest. For me that was the best edition.

I generally write/wrote my own adventures over the years so I dont have much of an opinion on any other editions.

aramis erak

What are the best and worst editions of D&D based on the quality of the adventures?
Of the ones I've seen, the order is 5E, BX/BECMI/Cyclopedia, AD&D 2E, AD&D 1E, AD&D 3E.
4E excluded due to insufficient sample. OE excluded because the only ones I know of are in the rulebooks, and I haven't run/played them. Pathfinder excluded for lack of play/run, as well, but based upon read, I'd put it on par with BX/BECMI/Cyclopedia...

For selection of, 5.x, 3.,AD&D 2, BX/BECMI/C, AD&D 1, 4E, OE. AD&D 2 gets the nod due to Dungeon and Dragon support.


2E had the longest time if Dungeon support, a lot of good adventures in them.

3E went monthly though so probably has a similar number of issues.

Remove ads


Remove ads

Upcoming Releases