D&D General Iconic and Best Adventures in each Edition

aco175

Legend
I find a big disparity in best adventure and best remembered or maybe most iconic. Styles have certainly changed over the last 40 years. I remember running White Plume Mountain years ago, but find it rather silly now. I'm running the updated Against the Giants now and find it lacking as well. I did get a lot out of the Under Illefarn module back in 2e days and was able to make a couple campaigns out of it.
 

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B: In Search of the Unknown, Keep on the Borderlands (only 2 adventures I played sadly)
1e: Ravenloft, Dragons of Dreams
2e: Dragon Mountain, Night of the Vampire
3e: Didn't play
4e: Didn't play
5e: Lost Mine of Phandelver, Curse of Strahd
 

iserith

Magic Wordsmith
D&D 3e: The Sunless Citadel

D&D 4e: Glitterdust (Dungeon Magazine #211 by Will Doyle)

D&D 5e: Lost Mine of Phandelver

I don't have anything good to say about the adventures in any previous editions of D&D (and most adventures in the above editions), particularly AD&D 2e which was a low point for adventure modules in my view. I read some of those and know exactly where a lot of what I consider bad DM habits come from.
 

braro

Explorer
As someone who only had preboxed adventures started in 3e:

Non-Starters:
3e: Red Hand of Doom - had a great blend and fun challenges, and had a real threat. A lot of my campaigns
4e: King of Trollhaunt Warrens - had a really fun, psudo-faerie feeling to it that I enjoyed. I liked the use of a cunning troll as a major threat. The sandbox books (Threats to the Nentir Vale and Vor Rukoth) get an honorable mention because they are weren't adventures but they did inspire them.
5e: Wild Beyond Witchlight - because it really is nice to dig in to the faerie stuff, and even if some parts of it are silly, it still adds a lot of lore and things, and it has some interesting situations that come up.

Starter Adventures:
3e: The Sunless Citadel - a great intro dungeon delve that established some great tone.
4e: Reavers of Harkenwold - Good tone, interesting action, a cool threat for the players to oppose.
5e: Dragons of Stormwreck Isle - it's an introductory adventure with a small sandbox, a clear scope, plenty of dungeons AND plenty of dragons, that lets the characters solve their problems in a variety of ways. Phandelver might be a better adventure, but Stormwreck is a better starter, I think.
 



Clint_L

Legend
I find a big disparity in best adventure and best remembered or maybe most iconic. Styles have certainly changed over the last 40 years. I remember running White Plume Mountain years ago, but find it rather silly now. I'm running the updated Against the Giants now and find it lacking as well. I did get a lot out of the Under Illefarn module back in 2e days and was able to make a couple campaigns out of it.
I agree but I still love those old modules.

I ran White Plume Mountain again not that long ago (the 5e update) and it was super fun, even if it is a fairly random assortment of encounters ("here's a vampire!"). And the traps are top notch - simple, but leading to really fun gameplay. Against the Giants is a straight up nostalgia pick for me.
 


Eyes of Nine

Everything's Fine
I find a big disparity in best adventure and best remembered or maybe most iconic. Styles have certainly changed over the last 40 years. I remember running White Plume Mountain years ago, but find it rather silly now. I'm running the updated Against the Giants now and find it lacking as well. I did get a lot out of the Under Illefarn module back in 2e days and was able to make a couple campaigns out of it.
Most definitely. I recently ran WPM and what I liked about it was it was simple and straightforward to run. What I didn't like was it felt completely unmoored from anything else in the world. Classic older D&D dungeon - some mad wizard built this for inscrutable reasons - your goal as heroes is to try to clear out the monsters and solve the puzzles/traps. Oh and as players, you are to be impressed, amazed, and struck dumb with wonder at the inenguity of the encounters!

Compared to many 5e APs, where characters have motivation that feels mostly understandable, especially the newer ones - WbtW, IceWD, ToA you kind of understand what
Acererak
is up to and why. Even in Tyranny of Dragons, you understand the Dragon Cult's motivation, even if it's a bit hard to understand exactly what the lower tier cultists get out of it

Still, I do like those old puzzle box type adventures! I'm throwing another of my groups into the 5e Hidden Shrine of Tamoachan after they finished Phandelver. First encounter there's already some whiplash - we'll see how they do
 

Whizbang Dustyboots

Gnometown Hero
White Plume Mountain wasn't meant to be a published adventure -- it was an audition to get a job. ("Look at these cool traps and encounters!")

The silliest thing about White Plume Mountain is that the adventure expects the players to return Blackrazor, Whelm and Wave at the end, because presumably no one at TSR ever met an actual AD&D player.
 

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