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D&D General Best Shorter Adventure Path (spanning 5-10 levels) of all time?


Biological Disaster
Riffing on @Frankie1969's thread here, I enjoy running Paizo-style adventure paths, but I much prefer shorter campaigns, since in my entire history with the hobby I have never actually completed a "full length (10+)" adventure path start to finish. So what are people's favorite shorter adventure paths? Lost Mines of Phandelver and Curse of Strahd are the two obvious examples that are frequently mentioned, but I would love to learn about other good ones. Especially 3PP, since groups like The Arcane Library seem leagues ahead of Paizo and WotC in terms of usable-at-table design. I have no issue converting books for different systems (Shadow of the Demon Lord is my current go-to system for fantasy), so I'm interested in anything in a d20 or d20-adjacent system.

Megadungeons could count, but I'm more looking for something with at least some light plot rails, since my players aren't very self-motivated and mostly just enjoy the ride (Paizo's APs have been a great fit for our group, despite being unwieldly as all heck to actually parse and run as a GM).

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No rule is inviolate
  • Red Hand of Doom (3E). Hinder an army by sabotaging the enemy and making allies, capped off by a siege (affected by your prior efforts) and challenging the avatar of a god. One of the better adventures of all time, levels 5-10.
  • Savage Tide (3E, dungeon magazine, up to level 7). You can satisfactorily end this campaign by defending a village from one of the game's most despicable villains.
  • Pool of Radiance/Ruins of Adventure (AD&D). Up to level 6/7, some heavy work needed to convert, based off the original gold box computer game that catapulted D&D into the video game realm. Defend New Phlan, help retake the city, explore the wilderness and stumble into really awesome dungeons (like the teleporting halls of the silver pyramid), then take on the Boss.
  • And another thumbs up to the aforementioned Curse of Strahd and Lost Mines. Strahd needs a bit of work as he's a terribly written boss, needs to go back to his AD&D and book ("I, Strahd" novel) roots. You go there, got an amazing bad guy in a setting that can tug at your heart strings. Run him as-is, meh.


Personally, I'm fond of Ghosts of Saltmarsh, but I have a soft spot for it since the 1E days. The 2nd section, Danger at Dunwater can cause some issues, but it certainly teaches players that not everything is "kill on sight" in D&D. Also, you can stop the campaign after the Final Enemy section and have a complete campaign right there.

The OAR #4 5E update of the Lost City is also a good one. It's loosely based on an old Conan story and is a complete campaign in itself. The original for Basic D&D (which is included) had fully fleshed out 3 levels, half fleshed out another 3 and had a rough, unfinished section for the DM to flesh out the last 3rd. The OAR version fleshes out the whole thing and adds several side adventures as well. Though it's all confined to a single dungeon, the whole feels very sandboxy, and with the various built-in factions allows for a fair bit of roleplay instead of just hack-n-slash.

(As an aside, I'm not to fond of what I've seen of Arcane Library, their layout reminds me of the Delve format - which I greatly despise).

Dax Doomslayer

There were a few I really liked in the 3E days from Necromancer Games:
Tomb of Abysthor (probably one of my all time favorites)
Lost City of Barakus
Vault of Larin Karr

For WotC I liked:
Lost Mines of Phandelver (5E)
Red Hand of Doom (3E)


Biological Disaster
A variety of interesting suggestions so far! Some of these seem a lot easier to find / acquire than others, but I'm fine with that. A good smattering of non-WotC options as well. :)

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