D&D 5E Nominate Today's Top Adventures for Use in 5E

jerryrice4949

Adventurer
I hear everyone on LMoP, it’s a very well structured adventure and it showcases a good breadth of baddies that have a reason to be there. It is a great introduction to a bunch of standard DnD tropes, but it’s also trodding very well worn ground. It’s basic DnD done right, but…i guess, yes, not everything has to be new and exciting if it just works.

No one has yet really gone to the stuff on DM’s guild, so I will. With my sole nomination.

The Collected Works of MT Black Volumes I & II. I guess that’s two products. There’s better production value in Two, and it has more stuff over Level 5, but One has more adventures you can link into mini campaigns. Overall, while they’re just one shots, they are far more imaginative and interesting than just about anything the Big Books have. A tremendous value and easy to run right off the page. West Marches in a box that is a pdf. Great intros to SKT or PotA if you’re not impressed with the get to level 4/5 intro stuff those have. Side quests any time. If we’re talking things people should run, should experience in 5e, these are some of the best little set pieces out there. Cheap and quick reads too if you doubt me.
Yeah I am surprised about all the love LMoP gets. It is a decent adventure but very plain and predictable. I don’t know that I would ever play it again.
 

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pukunui

Legend
Yeah I am surprised about all the love LMoP gets. It is a decent adventure but very plain and predictable. I don’t know that I would ever play it again.
Our DM ran a short part of it as written and I was bored to tears.
The best part of LMoP for me was how easy it was to run. I barely needed to do any prep at all, unlike with every other adventure WotC has put out for 5e since.
 


pukunui

Legend
It did seem like a fairly easy and straightforward adventure to run. I imagine in this case its virtue was also its weakness.
Potentially, yes. I think Dragon of Icespire Peak does a decent job of fleshing it out more. I'd love to run a combined LMoP and DoIP campaign. Problem is that because of LMoP's status as the first 5e starter adventure, everyone has already played it. I'd have to find a group of all new players to run it for.
 

Smackpixi

Adventurer
The best part of LMoP for me was how easy it was to run. I barely needed to do any prep at all, unlike with every other adventure WotC has put out for 5e since.
I don’t think super easy to run is the goal with the Big Book adventures. Dragon Heist has a pretty great 20 to 40 hour, maybe more adventure in it, but you have to find it. Its got everything you need for it. They say “all you need to make it easy to run“ because all you need is in the book, but the adventures are not just read and run like dmsguild one shots, they‘re full of more background and setting stuff. They’re 250 pages, and at that kind of page count not all of it is gonna be good even if parts are awesome. So a handicap on them being classics compared to all the way shorter old school stuff. I really like SKT, but you have to put blinders on to just whip open the book and run people through it I think.

There’s not a lot of unity on what’s a good adventure these days, so the Big Books split the difference in different ways bending adequate for most but rarely being awesome for anyone.
 

Smackpixi

Adventurer
Potentially, yes. I think Dragon of Icespire Peak does a decent job of fleshing it out more. I'd love to run a combined LMoP and DoIP campaign. Problem is that because of LMoP's status as the first 5e starter adventure, everyone has already played it. I'd have to find a group of all new players to run it for.
I had the opportunity to do that, spent a couple weeks of evenings plotting out how I’d like to present, all kinds of options and epicness, read all the guides to do it I could find and concluded, combining them is really more an idea that makes a DM happy than players. Makes them happy about presenting something more epic. But for players, just more confusing. LMoP is near perfect in the amount of player options to quest goals to hurried imperatives. There are way more stories about how great the combination is from DMs than players. Basically I think combining them just ruins LMoP. DoIP needs something, but it’s not Lost Mines.
 

pukunui

Legend
I don’t think super easy to run is the goal with the Big Book adventures.
Indeed. And for someone who is fairly time poor, I find that more than a little annoying.

I really like SKT, but you have to put blinders on to just whip open the book and run people through it I think.
I really like it too, and I managed to run it without a huge amount of advance prep. But then I had already played through it as a player, so I was already familiar with it, which is undoubtedly a factor.

I had the opportunity to do that, spent a couple weeks of evenings plotting out how I’d like to present, all kinds of options and epicness, read all the guides to do it I could find and concluded, combining them is really more an idea that makes a DM happy than players. Makes them happy about presenting something more epic. But for players, just more confusing. LMoP is near perfect in the amount of player options to quest goals to hurried imperatives. There are way more stories about how great the combination is from DMs than players. Basically I think combining them just ruins LMoP. DoIP needs something, but it’s not Lost Mines.
Good to know. Thanks.
 

With all this talk about DoIP and where to go from there... Has no one read and/or run the beyond trilogy, Storm Lord's Wrath, Sleeping Dragon's Wake, and Divine Contention?

They flesh out the town of Leilon (on the coast south of Phandelver), and can easily be run after DoIP, LMoP, or even Dragonheist (as I did).

I liked these. Sure, nothing about them was new, but everything is solid. Can be run pretty much as written (not that I did). Maps are decent. NPCs are a bit refluffed MM creatures. But the plot is clear but open. i.e. not a railroad that allows te players to manage various ongoings while staying on plot, flexible enough but not a sandbox that leaves DMs wondering what's next.
 

edosan

Explorer
Indeed. And for someone who is fairly time poor, I find that more than a little annoying.

Same - I guess if I wanted to spend multiple hours whipping a published adventure into shape, I would have just homebrewed an adventure and saved myself $50. The reason I buy a book is because I don't have that kind of time.
 

pukunui

Legend
Same - I guess if I wanted to spend multiple hours whipping a published adventure into shape, I would have just homebrewed an adventure and saved myself $50. The reason I buy a book is because I don't have that kind of time.
So far the only one that I’ve been able to run with minimal prep is Dungeon of the Mad Mage. I don’t know if we’ll make it all the way through or get bored but so far it’s fun and a refreshing change of pace.

I think what makes it so easy to run is that there’s no plot/story other than what you make yourself. I haven’t even read the book all the way through! We’re mostly just taking it level by level.
 
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Smackpixi

Adventurer
With all this talk about DoIP and where to go from there... Has no one read and/or run the beyond trilogy, Storm Lord's Wrath, Sleeping Dragon's Wake, and Divine Contention?

They flesh out the town of Leilon (on the coast south of Phandelver), and can easily be run after DoIP, LMoP, or even Dragonheist (as I did).

I liked these. Sure, nothing about them was new, but everything is solid. Can be run pretty much as written (not that I did). Maps are decent. NPCs are a bit refluffed MM creatures. But the plot is clear but open. i.e. not a railroad that allows te players to manage various ongoings while staying on plot, flexible enough but not a sandbox that leaves DMs wondering what's next.
I’ve read, and might soon run. About 4-5 sessions from finishing DoIP, but an extended version of it that started in Leilon and has already done tuned down modified versions of Attack on Wayside and Aid from Phandalin (Herding goats seemed like fun level 2 activity). We’ve also inserted Secret of Saltmarsh, Tales Trees Tell, Forge of Fury, a period in Neverwinter doing MT Black‘s Clockwork Queen and Secret of Skyhold Tower…and omitted Dwarven Excavation, Loggers Camp, Mountain’s Toe (which competing Adventurers beat them to) and maybe Dragon Barrow (players are on the fence about grave robbing). Seeds have been planted about Ularan Mortus’s side (which will be Necromancing Yuan Ti led by a Beholder) at Axholm which was filled with weird Zombies coming through a portal. One of the players is a 10 year old and there’s been some fan service.

Anyway, while the sidetracks have been in service of player choices, and players have a flying tower base and are pretty pleased with themselves, after they deal with Cryovain, the choice will be to continue or start a Moonshae adventure players want next. My guess mood seems like they want to move on rather than continue into the follow on adventures, feel like they’re not fully engaged anymore.

All of which is leading up to me saying…There’s a lot of great stuff in Storm Lord's Wrath, Sleeping Dragon's Wake, and Divine Contention…love the Death Knight Dreadnaught. Very under-rated And criminally ignored.
 

All of which is leading up to me saying…There’s a lot of great stuff in Storm Lord's Wrath, Sleeping Dragon's Wake, and Divine Contention…love the Death Knight Dreadnaught. Very under-rated And criminally ignored.
Sounds like a great campaign!

Vaguely similar.... I had Ebondeath have 3 phylacteries, so he has been a re-occuring villian for them and now as they approach tier 4 it is one of the lose threads they have to tie up. Finding and destroying his other his other two phylacteries. Plus wrapping up Amalia Cassalanter (from DH) who escaped and nw hunts them with her new power base in the Dessarin Valley (and one of the phylacteries). The party also doesn't remember that Nicixious escaped, and will have allied with one of their enemies. As well they just killed the Dreadnaught, I made it much more deadly than in the adventure. They had to spend 24 hours onboard doing a ritual to actually kill it. All the while it was forming skeletal type creatures to kill it (if you want the details, let me know) and while it was submerged like in Pirates of the Carribean (so they had to first hunt down water breathing magic items etc)
 


pogre

Legend
Curse of Strahd and Lost Mines of Phandelver are going to be 1st and 2nd period. I am not a big fan of CoS, but I recognize I am very much in the tiny minority on that. It is universally loved. LMoP most folks have played and had a good experience with it and so it is going to be 2nd. It probably deserves that distinction.

So, as much as possible, I am going to stick with adventures as written that would provide a solid play experience.

3. The Forge of Fury out of Tales from the Yawning Portal - A really solid adventure with a compelling reason to explore and lots of interesting encounters.

4. Calebais The Broken Covenant - an Ars Magica adventure - it's a mystery, a dungeon, and a whole lot of role playing. The mechanics are easily sidelined to make this a simple conversion to 5e. Definitely not a hack and slasher like a lot of my favorites are.

5. The Lost City - Goodman Games version - I really love this adventure and have some very fond memories of it. The quality of the adventure has only been reinforced when I ran it for another group recently. It's only this low on the list, because I am wary of my own bias.

Special Mention: My favorite campaign published of all time is The Enemy Within. I have run it with three different versions of WFRP, but never successfully with 5e. I know folks have successfully converted it, but when I tried a few years ago it fell far short of my WFRP experiences.
 

delericho

Legend
Yeah I am surprised about all the love LMoP gets. It is a decent adventure but very plain and predictable. I don’t know that I would ever play it again.
The thing is that although it's fairly basic, it's implemented very well - there are opportunities to highlight all three pillars of the game, there are multiple paths through all the dungeons, there's a good mix of challenges, and so on.

And it's unfortunately quite telling how many published adventures don't do all those basics at all well. An awful lot of them have a bunch of cool ideas put together and have the potential for greatness... only to fall agonisingly short.

For instance "Storm King's Thunder" has a great concept. But it has the big problem that for a huge part of the campaign the PCs are just wandering around the region with no real ties to the plot - it's not until the Exposition NPC shows up at level 7 that they get to know why.

Or there's the "mystery you can't solve" problem - in order to achieve something necessary to the plot, the PCs have to perform some action that is simply impossible to them. I actually ran into this in "Curse of Strahd" (which is otherwise far and away the best of the storyline books) - the PCs needed to cast greater restoration, but the party included no Cleric or Druid (and the Bard didn't know it).
 


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