5E Our Next Adventure?

Retreater

Adventurer
So my friends and I are getting ready to wrap up our weekly Dungeon World Campaign after about 5 months. We have a small group of three players (plus a GM) and we play with video chat online as we're all in different cities.

We're thinking that we should do 5e, as it's sort of the Rosetta Stone for all of us (some of whom like tactical play, some who prefer OSR, etc). The bad side of it is that we all have our home games and have - between us - already played many of the official adventures. We are looking for something that won't require a lot of keeping up with plot, NPCs, etc. (because at the time of night we're playing and with the distractions, it's hard enough to remember what is happening during that session); also the players aren't especially into dungeon crawls. I feel like I would do better running a pre-written adventure rather than writing one due to organizational reasons (and the amount of time I have left for gaming is dwindling).

We have played (either individually or together): Curse of Strahd, Lost Mines of Phandelver, Out of the Abyss, Princes of the Apocalypse, and Storm King's Thunder. I would prefer to run something I already own, which include Dungeon of the Mad Mage (too dungeon-crawly), Rappan Athuk (too dungeon-crawly), and Tomb of Annhilation (which I have run twice already, but they haven't played at least). Of the "fresh" options I have Ghosts of Saltmarsh (even though we played Sinister Secret around 20 years ago) and Descent into Avernus.

I have heard no discussion of Avernus - it was as if it just dropped off the face of the earth after its release. Is it any good? I've heard Saltmarsh is a very mixed bag in play.

What are your opinions?
 

aco175

Adventurer
I'm preparing to run the Essentials box set as my next campaign. May not start for a few months, but I want to get some of the prep work done. I have the adventure where Phandalin has been advance a year and some of the map has changed and new business are being set up.
 

dave2008

Legend
I haven't heard much about Avernus, but I have heard a lot of good things (and some bad) about Ghost of Saltmarsh. Also, Mikel Shae has a good series of articles on GoSM: Running Ghost of Saltmarsh and there is also at least two threads on this forum about running it: Best Practices and Enhancing Ghost of Saltmarsh. Finally, there is a good DMsGuild Adept's product Saltmarsh Encounters for $5 that offers 60 encounters to flesh out and offer options for the adventure that would probably worth the investment.

Given your time constraints I would suggest going with Ghost as there are some good resources to get the best out of it.

Also, if your players like more options I have another suggestion(s):
  1. Ban ASIs
  2. Ban Multiclassing
  3. Allow feats - All feats:
    1. General Feats (PHB)
    2. Racial Feats (Xanthar's)
    3. Skill feats
    4. Weapon Master feats
  4. Allow UA Variant Class Features
 
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Prakriti

Hi, I'm a Mindflayer, but don't let that worry you
I started reading Ghosts of Saltmarsh a few days ago and, based on the first few adventures, I think it's a mixed bag. Sinister Secret is decent enough, but I agree with the general consensus that the next two adventures in the series (Dunwater and Final Enemy) have serious design issues. The second one, for example, can either be an 8-hour dungeon-crawl or a 20-minute roleplay encounter, depending on how your players approach it.

I just read through the Essentials Kit recently, and while I think the adventure is mostly dull and uninspired, it might actually be what you're looking for. There's very little plot, very little dungeon-crawling, and the NPCs are mostly walk-on roles that serve their purpose for 1 or 2 sessions, then disappear into the night. Not much thought or preparation required.
 

ccs

40th lv DM
Why don't you read Saltmarsh & Avernus & form your own opinion as to wether they'd fit your on-line group or not.
 

Eltab

Adventurer
I have heard no discussion of Avernus - it was as if it just dropped off the face of the earth after its release.
Given the big hook that is supposed to draw PCs into the adventure:
Is that a pun?

The group should enjoy the chance to do something Mad Max -ish. Tacticians can think about what an invisible Imp familiar can do. (The DM better think about it too, or they will give him nightmares.) Diplomats will be needed to finally solve the big problem.
OTOH almost the whole adventure is set in Hell, so Lawful Evil behavior is the order of the day - to me this gets tiresome, but YMMV.

EnWorld has an Enhancing... thread for this adventure.
And I personally like the backstory for the cultists of the Dead Three (former gods) you can encounter in Baldur's Gate.
 

Enrico Poli1

Explorer
IMO the best 5e adventures are Descent into Avernus, Tomb of Anniholation and Curse of Strahd.

DiA has some good dungeons in the first part, but really becomes great in the middle part, the Avernus sandbox. Very Planescapey. Epic in scale. If you already experienced ToA, try this for something new that stands out.

Ghosts of Saltmarsh has a piratesque and horror feeling. It is a sandbox in which you can play some classic modules (plus those of TftYP if you want). Some of these are good, some are not. But it's solid.
 

tommybahama

Explorer
If you do Avernus I would suggest making the characters have Baldur's Gate a big, important, and beloved part of their back story. None of our party was very connected to it or the other big city in the campaign and some felt no need or desire to go on a fools mission to save either, especially when our DM compared Baldur's Gate to a modern day Detroit.

And don't allow a mixed party of good and evil. Also we were told that we may have to do some bad things "for the greater good." Some of your players might not be comfortable with that.

Spoilers maybe

For some reason our DM rushed us out of the Duke's household before we could loot it after uncovering and thwarting her diabolical plans. It seemed like ransacking it for all it was worth should have been a payoff for the weeks prior. But we only got a +1 mace and fiendish +2 shield that nobody will use. We are 6th level and only have two magic items that we use between the six of us.

We also found magic beans which were kind of lame. I don't know if they were written in the campaign book or something our DM threw in. We still have several that we never tried as the first two were nearly disastrous. If you insist on using them in the campaign then either pick the results ahead of time or roll in secret. Also change the effects up a bit so players aren't tempted to metagame.

Otherwise, I'm enjoying the campaign.
 

Enrico Poli1

Explorer
I'll give advice for DiA, too.

- We were a good, heroic party. No need to do evil things. We enjoyed the story very much. I think you could play the adventure as an evil party and attain radically different results (the adventure is open-ended).

- We trimmed down dungeons and combat in the first part, giving space to exploration of Hell and interaction with its dwellers in the second part. You can meet with the stuff of Legends. You can alter the fate of nations and even of the planes. Enjoy!

- About magic items: the adventure is stingy at first, but then... Artifacts pass by, you can grab them if you are willing & able.
 

Retreater

Adventurer
I was reading through Chapter One of DiA last night. It's pretty solid, and better than I was anticipating. So it might be the way to go, if I get the players to buy in.
And yes @tommybahama the magic beans are in the adventure.
 
I really like Dragon Heist, but you need to tinker with it a bit in places, and it may not be as simple narratively as you would like. There is a very cool DMs Guild bundle that fleshes the module out and papers over some of the cracks, plus adding in a bunch of smaller encounters, NPCs, and whatnot.
 
I liked the Scourge of the Sword Coast. It was one of this in between D&D Next and 5E but overall, it has a nice mix of outdoor and dungeon type encounters and was a lot of fun to play and run.
 

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