D&D 5E Most Underrated D&D Module

TerraDave

5ever, or until 2024
I don't know if I'd call that underrated. It's one of the go-to modules people bring up when talking about great D&D old school adventures.

I guess you are right. Though I have certainly seen B10 cited in that context, and (occasionally) the UK ones.

Still, I will try harder.
 

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guachi

Hero
That list in the first link is ultimately what prompted this initial post. I've seen other lists, like the "official" top 30 list. That list posted by Morrus has B4, X1, U1, X2, and B2 - all of which I've run for 5e as an adult (vice playing them as a kid in the '80s). All are good. U1 is so good I'm running it for the 3rd time this week.

But B10 isn't on there. Nor are X4 and X5. X4 and B10 do appear on TerraDave's list (post #21 in the first link) as #32 #36. I just think both are better than that.

I owned X5 back in the day (along with X1, X2, X3, X10 and X13) but never X4. I did, eventually, pick up X4 on ebay in 2010 just to read the beginning. The Temple of Death in X5 is neat and all but the Great Pass in X4 is just truly wonderful.

Though if I had to pick an underrated adventure from the X series I'd pick X10. It came out before the Gazetteer series but it reads like a module meant to support all the supplements that came after (and it was meant to support Battlesystem). It was the only module I'm aware of that actually used The Warmachine rules from the Companion set.

It's a continent hopping adventure versus the dreaded Master as the PCs move from country to country gathering allies. Now, in a campaign actually set in the Known World it can really bring together all the previous actions the characters took before.

I also like it because it's got actual wargame stuff in it in the form of the Battlesystem and Warmachine battles.
 
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What's your most underrated D&D module?
I didn't pay a lot of attention to modules back in the day. I'd occasionally look through one, I ended up with a number for no particular reason - thrown in with a back issue of Dragon I was buying at a flea market, left with me when another friend left the hobby (or just the State) or whatever - and I don't have a lot of fond memories of under-rated TSR modules (and some less fond memories of over-rated ones). Though I did rather like the Ghost Tower of Inverness, and it doesn't seem like it's much remembered.

OTOH, there's one 3e module that got pretty bad press that I quite enjoyed, Heart of Nightfang Spire. No, really. When Cordell wrote this er, whatever it was exactly, I think he'd clearly become aware of just how badly off the rails 3e could go, and he'd written a module that prettymuch asked the DM to punish their players for every cheesy trick that had materialized. It's really not a great story, and the structure is very video-game (collect 4 keys to unlock the boss fight!), but it does challenge the way 3e was being abused back then. It's kinda like Tomb of Horrors that way...

... except that a regular party that isn't all casters going overboard with 5MWDs and scry/buff/teleport and whatnot can actually clear it. Not exactly a walk in the park, but doable.

Of course, I played through it with a good DM, so it just might have had some of the rough edges polished. ;)
 

JonnyP71

Explorer
That list in the first link is ultimately what prompted this initial post. I've seen other lists, like the "official" top 30 list. That list posted by Morrus has B4, X1, U1, X2, and B2 - all of which I've run for 5e as an adult (vice playing them as a kid in the '80s). All are good. U1 is so good I'm running it for the 3rd time this week.

I've done something similar... our regular DM couldn't make a session, so I ran the Haunted House in U1 as a one shot with zero preparation, using 5E rules, converting on the fly, using a pdf of the adventure I had on a USB stick and it worked very well. It helped that I'd DMed it twice in 1E (make that 4 times now!).

When my 5E 'newbie' group finished a campaign I'd written I then converted L2, X2, X4 and X5 to 5E for them. L2 was awkward with a lot of NPCs, and got derailed by the Detect Thoughts spell being so easy to cast frequently in 5E.. they were able to narrow down the list of suspects very easily.

My players enjoyed the change of pace that X2 provided, but I tired of it. I didn't like the semi-official conversion I got online, and it was another which was hard work to convert with a lot of NPCs. Plus even though 5E combat is pretty quick, it takes longer than in BECMI, so that started to drag a little.

X4 was a revelation - the set piece nature of the early encounters worked beautifully with 5E (though I removed the Malakaz as the party had no Cleric, and replaced it with a coven of Hags), and the Evil Abbey provided some magnificent scenes. X5 ended in a near TPK when they tried to take on the Temple's Storm Giant guardian and the Master at the same time (I converted the Master to a Cleric-based Lich). It was an epic final session, with the greed of the PCs ultimately being their downfall - they delayed to go looting when they had the upper hand.... only the Rogue survived, disappearing into the sunset on the back of his Ebony Fly.

I had thought about taking a look at X10 if they were successful in X5, but decided against it. We were playing the FR, and I was able to move X4 and X5 to Anauroch, but moving/adapting all the political factions in X10 would have been too much work.

It was the fun they had playing the conversions which prompted the group to ask to play some more of the 1E modules, this time using true 1E rules.
 
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Lanefan

Victoria Rules
Greatly underrated is L1 Secret of Bone Hill. Just the physical design of the ruins/dungeon alone makes it excellent - all the different vertical access points, lots of ways in and out, very few if any choke points, etc. And the monsters/encounters are memorable too.

Lanefan
 
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ccs

41st lv DM
Oh man.

I was waiting for someone to go there. I was expecting the joke! But no ...

I had a friend in college. He used to always talk about his love for Lionel Ritchie. How Lionel Ritchie was the greatest songwriter of all time. How he was a misunderstood genius. How he was like the genius bastard child of Dylan and Mozart. And, you know, we all thought it was awesome! How this guy would be able to maintain this level of ironic detachment/sarcasm through everything.

It was only after a few semesters that we realized ... he wasn't being ironic. Sarcastic. Or sardonic. The horror. THE HORROR! It was a genuine appreciation for Dancing on the Ceiling.

FWIW, he loved playing Paladins too. Probably liked the Forest Oracle.

Well, unlike your friend with questionable taste in music, I realize the faults present in Forest Oracle.
Those faults are why it's underrated. Even reviled. People see the bad writing, simplistic encounters set along a very clear set of rails, the poorly fleshed out encounters (practically all of them!), and the truly atrocious wandering monster table (& %s) & won't touch it with a 10' pole.
But yet the basic concept of the adventure - a journey there & back, encountering various things along the way - is solid enough.
 


Luz

Explorer
Most underrated module? I have three:

I8 Ravager of Time. Another from the UK team, this one slips under most gamers' radar for some reason. It's got an excellent plot, a unique locale and plenty of intrigue and variety. It's been criticized for being railroad heavy in spots, but it's designed so well that it's fun nonetheless.

X11 Saga of the Shadowlord. Just a good old-fashioned epic quest done with a little more panache than most of the stuff that was being published at the time. Not a top 10 title, but still very much a hidden gem.

Rod of Seraillian. One of my favourite modules of all time comes from Gamemaster Publications. An early module written by Carl Sargent, it seems like a straight forward dungeon crawl. There are some excellent plot twists and fleshed out villains that separate this from the pack tho, I highly recommend it.
 

TerraDave

5ever, or until 2024
That list in the first link is ultimately what prompted this initial post. I've seen other lists, like the "official" top 30 list. That list posted by Morrus has B4, X1, U1, X2, and B2 - all of which I've run for 5e as an adult (vice playing them as a kid in the '80s). All are good. U1 is so good I'm running it for the 3rd time this week.

But B10 isn't on there. Nor are X4 and X5. X4 and B10 do appear on TerraDave's list (post #21 in the first link) as #32 #36. I just think both are better than that.

....
Though if I had to pick an underrated adventure from the X series I'd pick X10. It came out before the Gazetteer series but it reads like a module meant to support all the supplements that came after (and it was meant to support Battlesystem). It was the only module I'm aware of that actually used The Warmachine rules from the Companion set.

....

X10 is one I expected to make that original list and did not.

But, as I noted above (with another link) B10 and X10 seem to come out to late. The great majority of classics that top various lists came out between 79 and 82.

It turns out hundreds of adventures have been made for D&D. Hundreds and hundreds if you include early Dragon or Dungeon. Probably thousands if you add third party stuff, which has been around since the beginning.

Even in this thread, with the UKs, X4 and X5, EX1 and EX2, we have pushed forward to about 1984. X10 and B10 about 1986. Still 30 years ago.

Across all these threads you will see Red Hand of Doom, one or two Dragonlance (still late 80's), one or two 2E ones. Maybe Sunless Citadel from 3E. And thats about it.

You can debate the causes. I really like old modules, but there is no denying some first mover advantage. But I also really like them.
 

TerraDave

5ever, or until 2024
Anyways, back to the challenge.

NeMoren's Vault. A great 3E intro module that does a good job of bringing the players together, nicely ties in its creepy backstory, and has some good creative touches. I think it has 3.5 and PF versions, but nothing for 5E, yet.
 


Raith5

Adventurer
The whole UK series was great and underrated. I especially like UK1 Beyond the Crystal Cave when I played in 1e and 3e.

I8 Ravager of Time was also great but quite railroady from memory.
 


Henry

Autoexreginated
UK4 - When a Star Falls (another one in which Graeme Morris had an involvement).

I 1st bought it in 1987, and am only now running it for a group for the 1st time.

From a fantastic opening sequence (I copied all the memories to slips of paper and hurled them into the players' faces when the Memory Web died), to neatly designed encounter locations, stir in a liberal dose of roleplaying, and tie it together with the most interesting plot I've ever seen in a published adventure.

And it never appears on any of the 'best of' lists either. I guess the UK made adventures just didn't have the impact they should have done in the States - shame, as many of them were better than most of the stuff the US writers were churning out.

I converted this adventure to 5e and ran it in two parts for a North Carolina ENWorld gameday almost 2 years ago. It was how I managed to get in some 5e gaming when I didn't have a group who wanted to play 5e at the time. :) I really like that adventure.
 

Henry

Autoexreginated
Another heavily underrated adventure for me - B5: Horror on the Hill. It contains a wide variety of monsters, "hexploration" mixed with dungeon crawl, and something for every party member to do. I've run it so many times I have literally run it from memory at a couple of tables. Also, like so many Basic D&D modules, it's easy to convert to later editions of D&D.
 


Prism

Explorer
Some great adventures already listed. I'll add B6 Veiled Society as it was the first non dungeon crawl we ever did and was a revelation at the time
 

steeldragons

Steeliest of the dragons
Epic
I was going to name Balton's Beacon, as well. Nearly always overlooked when "classic adventures" are discussed. But a great run. Really interesting party of pre-gen characters (if you are so inclined).

I have others I like a lot that get more or at least some appreciation on these kinds of lists (the second and third UK Saltmarsh series have been mentioned, I think Cult of the Reptile God gets a bad wrap because of the railroady/DMPC-driven finale, et al)...but Baltron's gets my final vote for "Most Underrated."
 

Antilles123

First Post
My vote is for B10: Night's Dark Terror.
I love that adventure. My grandma bought it for me for Christmas when I was about 8 years old and my older brother DMd it for us.

I still remember so much of it, 28 years later. Fantastic recurring villain, epic homestead invasion by goblins, great battlemap.
Good call.

One of my favourites is X1 - The Isle of Dread. It was one of my first forays into wilderness exploration and I believe the first time I "met" a T-Rex.
 
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