D&D 5E I'm doing some research on modules for my newbie DM

Voi_D_ragon

Explorer
I'm looking for some fun/easy-ish modules for a player of mine who's starting to DM.

Since I'm going to be a player, please at least spoiler your spoilers.

I was looking around at vague outlines of published campaigns and saw that Dragon of Icespire Peak is considered pretty good. Just from the name, it seems it might also be easy enough to tie into Rime of the Frost Maiden if we choose to continue at higher levels. Is this doable? If so, how? (If you put spoilers I can just link this to the DM so he reads the explanations).

Other than that the group is coming out of Curse of Strahd, and other modules we've played are Tomb of Annihilation and Out of the Abyss.

Any other tips? I'm trying to keep as blind as possible so I can't look at the modules myself to give advice on what to play or fix, so any experience is appreciated :)
 

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aco175

Legend
Generally the box sets are ok and easy to DM. Dragons of Icespire Peak (DoIP) is considered by many to be a good starter adventure. You can find more filler and help running the box set on DMsGuild for free or pay what you want. It als ogives you choices on where to go and not just a storyline with little choice.
 



jgsugden

Legend
My recommendations:

1.) Lost Mine of Phandelver is solid and has been free in the past. It is expanded and modernized in Phandelver and Below.

2.) Tales of the Yawning Portal is a series of independent adventures, but the first two in it cover levels 1 to 5 and were part of the same series. I prefer these adventures to Lost Mine of Phandelver.

My recommendation is for a new DM to plan to run a campaign with an expected end at 5th level - and then a reboot allowing the DM and players to start over once they understand the style and approach - and to allow the DM to recover from anything they decide was a mistake (I guess I shouldn't have given you that Vorpal Sword at 4th level....) At this point a DM may want to explore more ideas of Homebrew modules where they create material.
 

Umbran

Mod Squad
Staff member
Supporter
Lost Mines of Phandelver is great for a new DM.

And LMoP has been expanded in Phandelver and Below. I don't know the quality of the additional material, though.

I suppose it is thematically easy enough to connect Dragon of Ice Spire Peak to Rime of the Frostmaiden, - it is easy to stick something on the Peak to direct folks to Ten Towns and its troubles. DoIP should end with characters around 6th level. And RotF has an entry point designed to take in level 4-6 characters from the rest of the FR to the Ten Towns.

However, I would not recommend Rime to new GMs. I have played through it, and we had fun, but our GM was constantly griping about the adventure's poor organization and lack of cohesion. And, RotF takes place 500+ miles from anywhere, and doesn't, as written, interact with anywhere else. Any PC backgrounds related to their start, or NPC relationships you've built over the first adventure, will be lost, and the party will need to start anew.

A practiced GM can smooth over the rough edges, but it'd be heavy work for a new GM.
 
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overgeeked

B/X Known World
I'm looking for some fun/easy-ish modules for a player of mine who's starting to DM.
I'd suggest looking at the anthologies for shorter, easier to run adventures. They're easier to run because they're shorter. Your new DM friend will be prepping a few sessions at most rather than a full campaign. Jumping between a few anthologies to mix things up is also a good idea to get a feel for different adventure styles.

So Candlekeep Mysteries (17 adventures, 1st-16th), Ghosts of Saltmarsh (7 adventures, 1st-11th), Journeys Through the Radiant Citadel (13 adventures, 1st-14th), Keys from the Golden Vault (13 adventures, 1st-11th), or Tales from the Yawning Portal (7 adventures, 2nd-11th).
Any other tips?
My honest advice is not to have them run a module. It's usually more work than it's worth to prep, plan, and run. Far, far easier to run a sandbox with hooks that gives the players a full range of options rather than figuring out how to keep the players pointed in the right direction of a module.

I'd point them to these articles and set them loose. Just Three Hexes. Node-Based Design. Prep Situations, Not Plots.
 

MerricB

Eternal Optimist
Supporter
And LMoP has been expanded in Phandelver and Below. I don't know the quality of the additional material, though.
Poor. The changes to the LMoP portion make it more difficult, which is not what the adventure needed.

Wizards have been doing a lousy job of making material for new or low-level adventurers.

I think Lost Mine of Phandelver is fairly good.

I think the Essentials Kit: Dragon of Icespire Peak is lousy (it throws a CR3 manticore at level 1 characters with no advice for the DM). The best use for the Essentials kit is combining it with Lost Mine to create a bigger sandbox. That's a lot of fun to run.

I haven't run the new starter set, Dragons of Stormwreck Isle, but I've heard good things.

Waterdeep: Dragon Heist has a really good first chapter, but becomes challenging after that.

The beginning of Storm King's Thunder (A Great Upheaval), while I don't like it as a start to the big adventure, works well on its own. And it's free as a pdf.

Cheers,
Merric
 

I also second @MerricB's suggestion of Storm King's Thunder (a Great Upheaval) and the first chapter of Waterdeep: Dragon Heist.
After that let the DM can run sandbox hooks (like @overgeeked suggested) and steal wheresoever necessary from other published works or just let them run vignettes.
 

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