D&D General Iconic and Best Adventures in each Edition


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Kobold Stew

Last Guy in the Airlock
Supporter
My must play module list:

  • B1 Keep on the Borderlands (Gygax). Came with the Basic box I first bought, and has been kept relevant for 40 years, even into the 5e playtest period.
  • G1-3 Against the Giants (Gygax). The first three legs of the mega-GDQ campaign, with new challenges in every module, which remain thematically linked but still feel like distinct challenges. The 4e Revenge of the Giants is an appropriate substitute.
  • S2 White Plume Mountain (Schick). Wave, Whelm, and Blackrazor are still the quintessential D&D artifacts for me, and this puzzle fest istands out so muchc, in part because of Jeff Dee's art. Trying not to cheat by including Gygax's S1, which introduces Acererak, and S3, you got SF in my fantasy! you got fantasy in my SF!, all of which have proven to have legs that last through editions.
  • Return to the Temple of Elemental Evil (Cook). Better than the original, this 3.0 module showed what an adaptation of a classic module could be, elevating the original and making it more memorable. This made Monte Cook's name.
  • Something in Sigil. I don't know if I've ever played a proper module here (I'm aware of 2e's Doors to the Unknown), but Sigil is such a fun location for a campaign, allowing wacky plane-hopping creativity and urban intrigue to sit side-by-side. In the Cage: A Guide to Sigil is a great resource and enough to generate adventures even without a through-line.
  • Also, Everyone should play some SF planet-hopping, and for that I would say the Classic Traveller LBB, Twilight's Peak gives everything one needs for an epic space campaign,
  • Finally, two wildcards, both from 3.5 days: First, Goodman Games's Dragonfiend Pact, a low level dungeon crawl in which everyone is shrunk to tiny size, and The Last Days of Constantinople, a low-level historical adventure set in the 1450s. I've only rread both of these, but they still shape the way I think bout a fun adventure.
 


Haplo781

Legend
  • Something in Sigil. I don't know if I've ever played a proper module here (I'm aware of 2e's Doors to the Unknown), but Sigil is such a fun location for a campaign, allowing wacky plane-hopping creativity and urban intrigue to sit side-by-side. In the Cage: A Guide to Sigil is a great resource and enough to generate adventures even without a through-line.
Tales from the Infinite Staircase, maybe?
 


Eyes of Nine

Everything's Fine
AD&D - Barrier Peaks; Giants -> Drow/Demonweb Pits; Tamoachan; White Plume Mtn. In that order imo
2e - did not play
3e - did not play
4e - Scales of War AP
5e - Icewind Dale (without spoiling, loved the final quarter of the AP)
 

Clint_L

Legend
BX: Keep on the Borderlands, the introduction to D&D for many.
AD&D: White Plume Mountain (still a favourite); Against the Giants (first one my friends and I tried)
2.0: The Night Below - such an epic
3.0: Expedition to the Demonweb Pits. Spiders freak me out.
4.0: not qualified
5.0: Lost Mine of Phandelver - no adventure has introduced more players to the game.
 

billd91

Not your screen monkey (he/him) 🇺🇦🇵🇸🏳️‍⚧️
I enjoyed the Slave Lords series in AD&D, but my memories from 40 years ago are wearing thin. It may be nostalgia rather than it actually being a good series.
Not just nostalgia. It was a good series.
 

The quintessential 5e adventure is Lost Mines of Phandelver. I can't say there is anything exactly special about it. It's main virtue is that it is not so overwritten with bloat as the big book adventures WotC makes these days, sticking to something simple and loose that even a first time DM can riff on, expand on, and remix without too much stress or loose ends. It's second greatest virtue is that it efficiently delivers everything a first time player expects D&D to be. It is the thesis statement of 5e era D&D.

In any case, as the starter set adventure it is absolutely the "Keep on the Borderlands" of 5e, and the one that will be a nostalgic touchstone for a lot of the people who started in the 5e era, which is a lot of people. If there is a 5e adventure whose place in the pantheon of D&D adventures is assured, it's LMoP.
 

GuyBoy

Hero
Adding my support for those who include the Giants series for 1E and Night Below for 2E to the list.
I’d also add Temple of the Frog from the Blackmoor supplement to Original. Not so much due to quality, but due to its position as the first published adventure for the game.
The OP doesn’t specify that the adventures have to be TSR/WOTC, so I’d add Jennell Jaquays’ work for 1E to the list, particularly Dark Tower and Caverns of Thracia.
 

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