D&D 5E Dungeon of the Mad Mage - Boring?

Mepher

Adventurer
I've probably handed out too much magic to my players. It didn't break my game. I'd say you can make just about whatever changes you want to magic and magic distribution and it will work out fine.

I misunderstood what you meant. I thought you were advocating for the low magic that is seen in most of the adventures. Player's love magic items and I just don't understand why they were minimized in the grand scheme of 5E. Some players love roleplay, some love combat, some love exploration....I have never met one that didn't love getting new shiny magic items!
 

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And I know I can do roleplaying. I know I can add story. I know I can add descriptions and make it interesting in my own way. But it's like buying a meal at a restaurant. Sure you can add a little salt and pepper, but ultimately it's the cook who's responsible for most of the flavor. A well-stocked, interesting dungeon half the size of Mad Mage would've been preferable.

I tend to find Wizards' official adventures do need the DM to work them into their group. But that is also the case with a lot of "official" works.

This is basically why I stopped buying WotC adventures in 4E, and they seem to have the exact same issues in 5E (not surprisingly). I found that the basic design of virtually all the adventures I bought was extremely dull, and the amount of work required to make it interesting and to make them make sense was so significant that I felt like I ripping myself off by buying them. The dungeon-centric ones were particularly bad for this.

I've played a few WotC adventures in 5E, and they were unexciting, unmemorable, and one was actually ludicrous/risible. The only exception has been Curse of Strahd, but the DM running that has re-written a lot of bits of it, added entire adventures of his own devising, and so on, and done so in such a pro way that I have no idea what "stock" Strahd is like.

Also not handing out loads of magic items in Undermountain is like, a crime against D&D, I swear to god.
 

Parmandur

Book-Friend
Granted, we're on the 1st level, but there's no dynamic, memorable hooks to whet their appetite for a 300+ page book. We're probably 5+ hours into the game, and very little has happened. And we're running briskly on VTT. They've uncovered a solid half of the 1st level map. Empty room after empty room.
And I know I can do roleplaying. I know I can add story. I know I can add descriptions and make it interesting in my own way. But it's like buying a meal at a restaurant. Sure you can add a little salt and pepper, but ultimately it's the cook who's responsible for most of the flavor.
A well-stocked, interesting dungeon half the size of Mad Mage would've been preferable.

Adventure books aren't restaurant meals, they are recipe collections.
 

Mistwell

Crusty Old Meatwad (he/him)
This is basically why I stopped buying WotC adventures in 4E, and they seem to have the exact same issues in 5E (not surprisingly). I found that the basic design of virtually all the adventures I bought was extremely dull, and the amount of work required to make it interesting and to make them make sense was so significant that I felt like I ripping myself off by buying them. The dungeon-centric ones were particularly bad for this.

Oh man, you missed out. The very last 4e adventures were the best 4e adventures they ever put out. It's like the found their groove finally, right as the axe was falling on the whole edition. I'd say Madness at Gardmore Abbey, and Reavers of Harkenwold are their two best in my opinion.
 

Mepher

Adventurer
Adventure books aren't restaurant meals, they are recipe collections.

I learned my lesson with WOTC's lazy design but one could read this from the back of DotMM and certainly believe they were getting the whole meal, not a collection of recipes.

Waterdeep---Dungeon-of-the-Mad-Mage.jpg
 




Prakriti

Hi, I'm a Mindflayer, but don't let that worry you
I can safely say no published Wizards adventure comes close to following the DMG's treasure guidelines. They definitely skimp on the rewards.
I don't know if it meets the DMG guidelines, but Storm King's Thunder awarded way too many magic items for my taste. By the end of the campaign, the players had so many magic items that I think they forgot about several of them that they never ended up using (including an immovable rod, which is like the dream-item for creative player shenanigans). Since then, I've cut way back on the number of magic items I award, because I want every item to feel special and valuable, not just one part of a giant hoard.
 

Also not handing out loads of magic items in Undermountain is like, a crime against D&D

Luckily, I don’t think any D&D loot crimes were committed in DotMM. It has been awhile since I read it, but my memory is that each level has around 5 Magic Items on it.

Sure, some of these Magic Items will be potions, scrolls, minor magic items, spellbooks and just plain cursed items.

Some are also Shield Guardians, Slaadi Control gems, and a Sentient Sword of Sharpness, that acts like a wand that can cast Fly, Polymorph, and Transport via Plants.

Yes, many of the items are hidden and difficult to get to...like a 1e inspired adventure should be.😈
 

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