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5E Semi-sandbox product I'd love to see

Staffan

Adventurer
I've been giving this some thought, and this is what I've come up with. I'd love to see a product featuring the following:

* A central town acting as a base for adventurers.
* The surrounding area described in quite a lot of detail, in a radius of maybe 50 miles (about 2 days' travel, more in difficult/trackless terrain).
* A bunch of adventure hooks in the form or problems that need solving (the local lord's daughter has been missing for years), as well as opportunities to exploit (if you befriend the local fey, they can grant you a boon).
* Opportunities to explore the area covered.
* An introductory adventure that showcases some of the important features of the place and introduces the PCs to important NPCs.

I think the latter part is what is missing from many otherwise cool setting products. If they do come with an adventure, they're often just a dungeon crawl which kind of misses the point. The adventure should essentially do the same job as the pilot of a TV-series.
 

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Gecko85

Explorer
I think you just (almost) described Lost Mines of Phandelver. You could use Phandalin as a base city. At the end of LMoP, the PCs can relocate in Phandelver to help rebuild/revitalize it. It already has several NPCs, but you could add more as the town grows/expands. Flesh it out a bit more and you have your sandbox.
 


Gecko85

Explorer
Yup. That's the adventure in the starter set, almost exactly. It's really quite good!

I think it's an instant classic. Best Starter/Basic set adventure for sure, but possibly one of the best adventures, period. WotC should make more of those style adventures for varying levels.
 

Ed_Laprade

Adventurer
I think it's an instant classic. Best Starter/Basic set adventure for sure, but possibly one of the best adventures, period. WotC should make more of those style adventures for varying levels.
Quite so. I'd certainly buy more like Phandelver, but I'd never buy an Adventure Path. They just don't fit my style of play.
 

ninjayeti

Adventurer
You might want to check out the 1st edition module L1 Secret of Bone Hill. It is available as a PDF at RPGNow.com and dndclassics.
 
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SirAntoine

First Post
I've been giving this some thought, and this is what I've come up with. I'd love to see a product featuring the following:

* A central town acting as a base for adventurers.
* The surrounding area described in quite a lot of detail, in a radius of maybe 50 miles (about 2 days' travel, more in difficult/trackless terrain).
* A bunch of adventure hooks in the form or problems that need solving (the local lord's daughter has been missing for years), as well as opportunities to exploit (if you befriend the local fey, they can grant you a boon).
* Opportunities to explore the area covered.
* An introductory adventure that showcases some of the important features of the place and introduces the PCs to important NPCs.

I think the latter part is what is missing from many otherwise cool setting products. If they do come with an adventure, they're often just a dungeon crawl which kind of misses the point. The adventure should essentially do the same job as the pilot of a TV-series.

I like it a lot. I am just finishing writing a big adventure that encompasses most of this (a base, semi-sandbox with surrouding area, adventure hooks, etc.).
 

Sadras

Hero
Starter Set/Phandelver sounds interesting. How useful would it be when my campaign already hit 4th level?

Quite useful. Although I'm not using the town in LMoP as a base for the entire campaign, I am using it as a base for the current storyline I'm running (PCs are level 8). I find the adventure does provide enough details to expand/develop on the surroundings and the people if you are that way inclined.

I certainly would purchase modules/adventures designed like this more so than the HotDQ & TRoT (Tyranny of Dragons Adventure Path). I feel the Adventure Paths require more work from me as a DM to integrate them fully into an existing campaign world. It is time consuming to get all the moving parts working, NPCs, plots and locations first time, instead of like in LMoP where one can prepare 1-2 sessions ahead without having to understand/integrate the entire adventure path before starting.
I'm sure there are plenty of DMs out there who have no trouble with this, but my preference is having more adventures designed like LMoP.
 

Wasn't there something like that in the 4e Forgotten Realms sourcebook? I seem to remember that the book started with a short adventure and the description of a small town.
 


Gilladian

Adventurer
Starter Set/Phandelver sounds interesting. How useful would it be when my campaign already hit 4th level?

You would have to boost some of the early encounters, and maybe add foes to make things challenging. The initial goblin lair could have doubled numbers, and add a shaman, perhaps. The bandits could be given war dog companions, or more bugbears, etc...

The bones of the plot are good enough to handle the tinkering easily.
 

You can also check out Frandor's Keep. It is a product for Hackmaster but 5E stats are easy to substitute. It is a keep on the borderlands kind of mini setting with lots of interesting NPCs, adventure hooks, and places to explore.
 


Pibby

First Post
This sort of sounds like the way a house-run D&D Encounters setting basically works. Currently all of the adventures start in the town of Phlan and can be done in any order. I may be wrong, but I think there is a way to sign for D&D Encounter subscriptions. Once you do get the material from the subscriptions you might want to take a brief read through all of them because none of the adventures take derailing into account. Other than that they fine as written.
 


Fildrigar

Explorer
Also, check out Scourge of the Sword Coast, from the playtest. It details Daggerdale, just south of Waterdeep, and has a bunch of plots and local places for adventure detailed. It's designed for the playtest, so very little work is needed to convert it.
 

Gecko85

Explorer
Also, check out Scourge of the Sword Coast, from the playtest. It details Daggerdale, just south of Waterdeep, and has a bunch of plots and local places for adventure detailed. It's designed for the playtest, so very little work is needed to convert it.

I second that recommendation. Lots of really good maps. I bought the entire Red Wizards series. Haven't run any of them yet as-is. May some day, but at the very least I have a ton of stuff to mine for other adventures.

http://www.dndclassics.com/product/...ed-Wizards-Scourge-of-the-Sword-Coast-DD-Next

Also, regarding L1: Secret of Bone Hill. I picked up a copy on eBay that was in very good condition. It's a little more than the PDF going the eBay route, but the comments on dndclassics warned me off the PDF. I've bought quite a few older module PDFs on dndclassics, and most are pretty good, but the comments on this one aren't good. Evidently the pages are crooked, and there are numerous hand-written DM notes throughout. Why they didn't pick up a clean copy off eBay to scan is beyond me...and why they didn't assign the task to someone with a modicum of attention to detail so they would get straight scans is also beyond me...So, they don't get my money for that one.
 

mserabian

Explorer
I used to love adventure path type adventures, but I've grown pretty sick of them at this point.

type of sandboxy, homebase oriented adventure with recurring NPCs as friends and enemies really is what I've been looking for ... I love the opportunity at the end of Lost Mine of Phandelver to take over the keep and use it as a base for the PCs...

I'm considering taking all the recent sword coast stuff and trying to tie it all together... Anybody know of any other adventures in the area that could be appropriated... Or suggestions for other modules that match these parameters would be great!

So glad I found this thread.

mal
 

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