Starter set campaigns from older editions?

delphonso

Explorer
One of the 3rd edition starter boxes had a paperback PHB
I found this one, which looks about right, but I remember having that paperback PHB for 3.5, which I think was only with a starter kit.

Looking back, this isn't a great adventure. Very simple dungeon crawl with no chance to really interact with NPCs/solve problems without violence. Though, I think it was for starter players and starter GMs alike.
 

Ash Adler

Villager
1E, no such thing, but T1 (by itself), L1, U1 N1 are great low level starters (And L1 is a real sandbox)
Seconded on T1, U1, and L1 being excellent starters. I haven't gotten to run N1 yet, but from reading it, it seems lacking on support for the investigation phase aside from the timeline of cult activity progression. I know someone who wants to play it, though, so I'm planning on trying it once I figure out how to adapt it for a solo player.
The Crucible of Freya by Necromancer.
I know The Sunless Citadel gets a lot of love, but it always plays out the same IME, which IMO, makes for a boring/mediocre adventure.
I also found The Sunless Citadel to be lacking. The adventure as written is pretty linear, and 1 random encounter check per 12 hours is WAY too low for what's supposed to be an active compound. Adding a couple of extra doors (along the lines of Justin Alexander's advice in comment #7 here) helps significantly.

Side note: if you don't care about following up on the Gulthias tree plotline, you can place the Crucible of Freya in the tree instead, have the party recover it for a local temple of Freya, and then kick off the Crucible of Freya adventure with it. That gives them some more emotional involvement in it than the default hooks for that adventure, and I think it makes sense for a relic of a fertility goddess to be used to create mutant plant monsters.
Is this something they do with each edition like how they did lost mines of phandelver for 5e? Im curious if this is the case as i consider lmop to be a great story and introduction to dnd but you can only run it so many times. If this is not the case are there any other older edition starter campaigns held in high regard that could be or have been adapted to 5e rules?
What I tend to look for in a starter is adventure is something that (a) is fun to play in and of itself and (b) sets the stage for further adventures. Based on that, some favorite starters of mine:
-Book 1 of Night Below (if you don't care to run the rest, you can segue into any sort of underground shenanigans from Broken Spire Keep, although it works best if there's at least some follow-up to the mind control stuff)
-Tomb of the Serpent Kings
-Better Than Any Man
-Tomb of the Iron God
-The God that Crawls
-Tower of the Stargazer
 

JeffB

Adventurer
The 3.5 Black Dragon cover was the version that had the updated rulebook from the 3.0 set that allowed for character generation. It's the starter set I used for my son when he was a kid.. And recently, I ran some of 3.0 starter set adventures for my daughter 8 yo, wife, and my son who is now 20yo. The 3.0 and 3.5 black dragon sets are hard, as veteran gamers,to imagine as being worth a damn, but they do the trick. Not much use beyond the spark, but good for complete newbies to the concept.
 

JeffB

Adventurer
I would also add, that as a whole, nothing beats the PF Beginner Box in recent years. It not only includes a solo and a GM adventure, it covers alot of territory in teaching people how to create and run your own adventures with extensive tools, including a map to populate, some ideas how to tie it into the included adventures, a ton of monsters,treasures, campaign/adventure terrain/environments. Pre gens and also character creation. It's Mentzer Basic for PF levels 1-5. LMoP wins for pre made sandbox though.
 

Matrix Sorcica

Adventurer
Totally forgot. Well worth your $-I would dive into Troll Lord Games' - Aufstrag campaign- The A series modules. A0-A5 is like LMoP on steroids. I've run them in C&C, but they have 5E versions now too.

Edit- Actually A0 & A1 are probably more adventure material than LmOP is. But it's worth picking up the first 3 or-5 anyway. A big sandbox area, that also has a central campaign plot/theme if you want to run it that way,
Not to derail, but could you spill some details? Are all the A's from TLG connected? What's the plot? What makes it (them) stand out?
 

JeffB

Adventurer
Not to derail, but could you spill some details? Are all the A's from TLG connected? What's the plot? What makes it (them) stand out?
Not sure I can say a lot without spoiling things,

It's fairly big regional sandbox. There are a great many towns of various sizes, adventuring areas both dungeon and wilderness. The background of the world/region is that for a long time a great winter covered the world due to the presence of a demonic being known as Unklar who ruled. Previously, the region was heavy with fey and the demi human races. About 100 years ago, Unklar was banished from the material plane. But his fortress remained and many of his very and not quite as powerful lieutenants went into hiding. Mankind moved in and have been trying to scrape together kingdoms, but they all squabble, as well as the demi-humans that remained or came back. It's a Borderland that still needs a lot of taming.

There is a bunch of material/sub plots in the books (like in NPC descriptions) and many adventuring areas that don't figure into the main, so you can totally ignore the main theme which involves the PC's piecing together the plots of men, monsters, those who may fit both categories., and ancient beings who are indifferent, or are undecided about what to do as man tries to civilize this Borderland region. But really you can grab the first few and do whatever- the later adventures, say A5 and beyond start to tie much heavier into the main plot (but still make fantastic dungeon/adventure locations to mod how you see fit). Eventually....well that's too much of a Spoiler. Sorry :D

Check them out on Drive-Thru or at www.Trolllord.com.
 

aco175

Adventurer
I got a lot of mileage from Under Illefarn like mentioned earlier. A lot of it was updated or at least referenced in the 5e next adventure Ghosts of Dragonspear Castle, which is not the final product of 5e, but the playtest stuff. I wish it was updated and put out again I think it would be a great started adventure.
 

JeffB

Adventurer
I forgot about Under Illefarn. Thats a good one as well. I ran it using DCCRPG in The Wilderlands.

Haunted Halls of Eveningstar also is a fun small sandboxy type thing. The Halls are the focus, but there plenty of other plots/side things for the PCs to get into.
 

Nebulous

Adventurer
I'm running the 5e starter set for the second time and dropping in a few encounters from Essentials to flesh it out. Not that it NEEDS fleshing out really, but the honorary Harper PCs asked some of the big boys in Neverwinter if they needed any help in the area, and well, Essentials is practically twelve missions of potential help! We just wrapped up the Tower of Storms and that was a cool little scenario.
 

Zardnaar

Hero
Not sure I can say a lot without spoiling things,

It's fairly big regional sandbox. There are a great many towns of various sizes, adventuring areas both dungeon and wilderness. The background of the world/region is that for a long time a great winter covered the world due to the presence of a demonic being known as Unklar who ruled. Previously, the region was heavy with fey and the demi human races. About 100 years ago, Unklar was banished from the material plane. But his fortress remained and many of his very and not quite as powerful lieutenants went into hiding. Mankind moved in and have been trying to scrape together kingdoms, but they all squabble, as well as the demi-humans that remained or came back. It's a Borderland that still needs a lot of taming.

There is a bunch of material/sub plots in the books (like in NPC descriptions) and many adventuring areas that don't figure into the main, so you can totally ignore the main theme which involves the PC's piecing together the plots of men, monsters, those who may fit both categories., and ancient beings who are indifferent, or are undecided about what to do as man tries to civilize this Borderland region. But really you can grab the first few and do whatever- the later adventures, say A5 and beyond start to tie much heavier into the main plot (but still make fantastic dungeon/adventure locations to mod how you see fit). Eventually....well that's too much of a Spoiler. Sorry :D

Check them out on Drive-Thru or at www.Trolllord.com.
They're a mixed bag but Assault on Blacktooth Ridge is good.

Anyone else have the 1999 Starter Set?
 

Matrix Sorcica

Adventurer
I got a lot of mileage from Under Illefarn like mentioned earlier. A lot of it was updated or at least referenced in the 5e next adventure Ghosts of Dragonspear Castle, which is not the final product of 5e, but the playtest stuff. I wish it was updated and put out again I think it would be a great started adventure.
I think you'll find this very interesting.
 

aco175

Adventurer
I think you'll find this very interesting.
I have that, it is a great amount of detail and history for the region. It is for 3.5e but can be used easily enough for 5e. I'm not 100% how much is 'cannon' vs. how much is made just for this campaign, but ether way it is a great resource.
 

Sacrosanct

Legend
I don’t think 1e and 2e had starter sets right out of the gate (probably because basic was still out and they assumed people would start with basic). After initial release, 2e did a bunch of stuff that could be considered starter stuff. Many already mentioned, but also the class specific adventures and a few others.
Can’t speak for 3e or 4e, but the best one in my opinion is the Mentzer set. That literally walked you through and adventure as a new DM. LMoP doesn’t even really do that.
I also liked In Search of the Unknown because it was like a training wheels adventure, giving you the outline but allowing you to flesh it out yourself.

I know a lot of people give KotBL flak for being a dungeon hack, but I think that does it a disservice and is a missed opportunity. The surrounding areas had details that allowed sandbox exploration, and the keep offered many intriguing possibilities. The caves themselves introduced factions and alliances between monsters that hadn’t been done before. Creative players would leverage this to their advantage.
Needless to say, I’ve played and run that module many times, and some of them ended up with the PCs allying with certain monsters to take over the caves, then attack the keep itself ala a Trojan horse.
 

Scottoz

Villager
Am i correct in assuming its just the combat aspect in these older adventures that need updating to 5e? You could run the story as is and eyeball any combat encounters on the fly?
 

S'mon

Legend
Am i correct in assuming its just the combat aspect in these older adventures that need updating to 5e? You could run the story as is and eyeball any combat encounters on the fly?
Personally I find that after 2nd level you can run a 1e adventure in 5e just subbing in the 5e monster stats, keeping numbers unchanged. Level 1 5e PCs are particularly squishy compared to low level foes like orcs, kobolds, hobgoblins, goblins that appear in great numbers in 1e, so if you want a fair fight, need to roughly halve numbers.
 

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