D&D 5E Rank the Official 5e Adventures (Updated)

Nikosandros

Golden Procrastinator
My opinion is that it’s a cool concept that fails spectacularly in execution. If you do an Alexandrian Remix level overhaul, you can get a really good campaign out of the ideas presented in it. But it fails completely as a product meant to allow you to run an adventure without having to lay that kind of groundwork.
I fully agree. Taking heavy inspiration from the Alexandrian Remix and adding plenty of my stuff, I'm enjoying it greatly (and apparently so do the players). So, as a campaign framework, I'm loving it, but I would never run it as presented in the book.
 

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TheSword

Legend
I seem to recall the books werent all that great either. Wasnt it the one with the fiend/elemental/god/whatever of mud in the Moonsheas?
Nah, the one with the blue tattoos and the bizarrely different groups. It reads and plays, like it was a badly designed party and the DM was winging it session by session depending on what was in that months dungeon magazine. 😂
 

vincegetorix

Jewel of the North
Nah, the one with the blue tattoos and the bizarrely different groups. It reads and plays, like it was a badly designed party and the DM was winging it session by session depending on what was in that months dungeon magazine. 😂
Oh god, I just reread the synopsis, what a hot mess!

Honestly I think there's something that could be done with the whole ''cursed tattoos brainwashing heroes to kill good NPCs'' as a scenario, in a little sandbox maybe?
 


Ancalagon

Dusty Dragon
The hook suffers from serious one-point failure. The PCs have absolutely no reason to trust this cloud giant who just showed up to a town that was recently ransacked by cloud giants, but if they don’t, the adventure just doesn’t happen. Also, there’s a huge chunk of the adventure that’s literally just “run some other adventures until the PCs are high enough level for the next part” with no other guidance. I’d be willing to bet the parts that seem “a bit lumpy” are the parts that are actually written in the adventure, and the good parts are entirely of your DM’s creation. Not because they’re going off-script but because there isn’t even a script to be on.
I've read that it takes a good GM to run it. I'm currently in it as a player (psi warrior, an old scholar who knows his way with a sword) and I have to agree on the weakness of the hook. The thing that made us accept is that we had all been reunited from all over northern faerun - we had ties to a village destroyed by giants a while back - so we decided that it seemed to be Fate.

Our GM has a bit of a wild style so it makes up for the plot holes :) In fact last session was stellar.
 



Burnside

Space Jam Confirmed
My personal experience with running Hoard of the Dragon Queen suggests that no 5E adventure book is irredeemable or unplayable.

Agreed that you can make them all work and have a good time, but I don't think they're all playable as written. I think even the weakest ones have good content. But they require a lot of work from the DM.
 
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akr71

Hero
You might enjoy this product, in case you're not familiar with it:

Heroes of Baldur's Gate (5e) - Dungeon Masters Guild | Dungeon Masters Guild

5E adventure by James Ohlin, lead designer of BG 1 & 2, set in BG and featuring many characters and locations from the games.
I bought it and was disappointed. It was great to see all my favorite characters with 5e stat blocks, but the villains' motivations seemed forced and hokey. Faldorn as an eco-terrorist was great, but Edwin, Monty & Xzar all fell flat. However, I did use Viconia as a hook to get the party the party to go to the underdark where I'm running a heavily edited OotA.
 
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TheSword

Legend
Shadows of the last war was dope
The principles were good, but it was just so sparse. The thought of exploring an ancient giant weapon complex is amazing but the end result, the maps, the artwork, the page count was like something I’d find in Dungeon Magazine. Even this was ranked one of the ten best adventures in D&D 3e.

The Eberron adventures always seemed to me like great ideas but not given the resource, page count and effort they deserved to be great.

Incidentally, if you want an amazing Eberron adventure convert Rise of the Runelords to Eberron. It works so well. I’ve been running it for about a year now and the party are currently exploring a demon-powered giant-built dam in the mountains of Xen’drik.
 


Retreater

Legend
I think the issue with many of the WotC mega-adventures is that they are written by teams. They are designed to appeal to wide audiences, truly pleasing no one. They are sketched out with multi-format marketing campaigns (video games, novels, audio books, miniature lines, etc.) to tick all the boxes.
A shorter adventure could be a passion project of a focused writer (or a very small, coherent team). Instead we are getting the equivalent of adventures that resemble the worse traits of Hollywood blockbusters - overlong, passionless, soulless sequels and reboots.
People on here are claiming that 5e is a golden age of quality adventures. I don't think so. Compared to some of the classics from B/X, 1e, and even 3e (not to mention some of the interesting 3PP stuff), I'd say the 5e stuff is worse.
Why are 5e not as good in my opinion: they are too long. They dilute content, they don't tie together plots, they let good ideas stretch on to the point of nausea.
 

Parmandur

Book-Friend
Agreed that you can make them all work and have a good time, but I don't think they're all playable as written. I think even the weakest ones have good content. But they require a lot of work from the DM.
I ran HotDQ straight from the book, with improv based on player actions, no major work. It went well.
 

Bolares

Hero
The principles were good, but it was just so sparse. The thought of exploring an ancient giant weapon complex is amazing but the end result, the maps, the artwork, the page count was like something I’d find in Dungeon Magazine. Even this was ranked one of the ten best adventures in D&D 3e.
I don't know, I've run it multiple times, as is and the players always loved it. I love whitehearth with all my heart. that dungeon is so cool!
Incidentally, if you want an amazing Eberron adventure convert Rise of the Runelords to Eberron. It works so well.
Nerver heard of this Adventure, gonna check it out!
 

Enrico Poli1

Adventurer
Regarding Tomb of Annihilation's appeal...

It's a jungle hexcrawl, then a delve in a deadly dungeon, with a time limit - that's a challenge.
The hexcrawl has an Indiana-Jones vibe, with a lot of funny moments, and with interesting NPCs and locations.
The Tomb actually manages to recreate the spirit of the original Tomb of Horrors: the players have to think to overcome the deadly traps
Moreover, there is a strong nostalgia factor (the Tomb of Horrors, Isle of Dread, Dwellers of the Forbidden City, Artus Cimber, Dragonbait...)
 

Bolares

Hero
Regarding Tomb of Annihilation's appeal...

It's a jungle hexcrawl, then a delve in a deadly dungeon, with a time limit - that's a challenge.
The hexcrawl has an Indiana-Jones vibe, with a lot of funny moments, and with interesting NPCs and locations.
The Tomb actually manages to recreate the spirit of the original Tomb of Horrors: the players have to think to overcome the deadly traps
Moreover, there is a strong nostalgia factor (the Tomb of Horrors, Isle of Dread, Dwellers of the Forbidden City, Artus Cimber, Dragonbait...)
I like that even though the adventure is very sandboxy, there are subtle ways the book puts the players on a path. There are specific guides that are viable from the start, and those will direct the party in directions that will give them clues on how to advance the story. So the players will feel like they are making all the choices, but the book is lightly guiding them through....
 

Burnside

Space Jam Confirmed
I ran HotDQ straight from the book, with improv based on player actions, no major work. It went well.
While HotDQ isn't my cup of tea as an adventure, I do agree that you can run it as written.

When I say that there are some that are flat-out not playable unless the DM fixes stuff, the ones I'm thinking of specifically are Storm King's Thunder and especially Waterdeep: Dragon Heist - and at the same time, I would still say that there is good to great content in both of those.

Trying to run Waterdeep: Dragon Heist straight from the book is like trying to play the beta release of a complicated CRPG. You keep encountering game-breaking bugs and your character can wander into areas that were never finished. And there are other parts of it that are really great and make you think "I can't wait until they finish the rest of this game so it will all be like this part." But they never DO finish it. And then some third party working alone releases a free patch on Steam that fixes the bugs, finishes the missing areas, and makes it playable for you.
 
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