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D&D 5E Storm King's Thunder is someone's Demonweb Pits

Reynard

Legend
By that I mean: there is a whole generation of gamers for whom the WotC hardcover adventures (plus the STarter Box etc) are going to be the classic, gold standard adventures. Their history and therefore their future in the hobby is going to be defined by Lost Mines instead of Keep on teh Borderlands, or whatever.

I'm not saying it is a bad thing. It just suddenly occurred to me that the defining qualities of the WotC adventures are going to be fundamentally D&D to a whole new generation. As someone who came in via Metzner and never really played the modules of "my time" or the original modules, I find that strange and interesting.
 

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Democratus

Explorer
I know what you mean. Time will tell what becomes a classic and what doesn't.

In a way, I guess Harry Potter was the "Star Wars" of its generation.

Storm King is certainly a higher standard that the initial Dragon Queen modules!
 


Blue

Ravenous Bugblatter Beast of Traal
Tenatively I think it's a good thing. Many of the modules from when I started playing in the 80s where adapted Tournament modules, designed to see which party could get the farthest in the four hour slot as a competition, then fleshed out. They definitely had a set of priorities, and I'm not sure those priorities align with how I like today.

Plus, we have homages to classics Tomb of Horrors and Ravenloft, and even when the oral history of those originals fades we have new experiences in the current versions. And the ones that weren't so great can be forgotten.

I agree, this is an interesting phenomenon, but I think that generally it's a positive change over time.
 

5th edition adventures are very different than the classic 1st edition adventures in just about every way...but the overall level of quality is quite high and I think they'll be fondly remembered. I've folded, stapled, and mangled Storm King's Thunder, Dragon Heist, and Dragon of Icespire Peak and as a DM found virtue in all of them.
 

Reynard

Legend
5th edition adventures are very different than the classic 1st edition adventures in just about every way...but the overall level of quality is quite high and I think they'll be fondly remembered. I've folded, stapled, and mangled Storm King's Thunder, Dragon Heist, and Dragon of Icespire Peak and as a DM found virtue in all of them.
I often say that Dragonheist is a terrible module that gave me some of my favorite 5E gaming memories. As an adventure, it is an absolute mess. But everything in it can be repurposed for a great open ended urban campaign.
 

Stormonu

Legend
This is going to sound heretical, but a lot of those old modules are actually pretty badly designed, and only have gained a “classic” standing because they were the only things available at the time. There’s actually very few that were more than sources of inspiration or a place to pull a set-piece encounter from. (For example, Ghost Tower of Inverness has almost nothing redeemable or noteworthy for use).
 

My feeling on the matter is that it wasn't necessarily the best idea to introduce a bunch of tournament modules for home play. These were adventures where it was supposed to be a contest to see who could make it the farthest, get the closest to the end. They were written to be hard, not necessarily enjoyable (nor conducive to players not storming off because their favorite character that they'd been playing for years just died to a no-save deathtrap).

This is going to sound heretical, but a lot of those old modules are actually pretty badly designed, and only have gained a “classic” standing because they were the only things available at the time. There’s actually very few that were more than sources of inspiration or a place to pull a set-piece encounter from. (For example, Ghost Tower of Inverness has almost nothing redeemable or noteworthy for use).

My gaming groups tell stories about moments from Storm Kings Thunder, Tomb of Annihilation, and Tyranny of Dragons in the way that people talk about their experiences with White Plume Mountain, Village of Hommlet, Expedition to the Barrier Peaks, and all the other classics. My brother and I compare notes on what our experiences were like with our separate gaming groups going through them. The joy of modules has ever been that communal experience. Two gamers that have never met before can sit down and reminisce over their experiences playing Isle of Dread, Ruins of Undermountain, or Out of the Abyss.
 

Stormonu

Legend
I was posting about old bad modules as a response to the comment about Dragonheist, mostly. Some people hold “Classic” modules on a pedestal as if they didn’t have issues at all. There are certainly great memories and experiences to be had, but I think a lot of the newer adventures are actually better than most of the originals.

It is fun to compare them, at least and see what 40 years of change has wrought upon the game
 

Yes. The Isle of Dread is a treasured classic for me, but so is Curse of the Crimson Throne. I think Rise of the Runelords is a classic from the 3rd edition era, and Kingmaker from the Pathfinder years.

What would be a classic from the 2nd and 4th edition eras?
 

Stormonu

Legend
For 2E, maybe the Hero’s Challenge modules, Night Below, Gates of Firestorm Peak or some of the adventures from Dungeon (A lot of 2E modules were reeeealy bad and buried in the volume of releases so there’s not a lot of shared experiences with the dearth of content from that time, poor writing and splits among the various campaign worlds).

Can’t speak much for 4E, but Keep on the Shadowfell May have had quite a few players, but it was badly written.

PS Rise of the Runelords is pathfinder, not 3E - maybe you mean Age of Worms?
 

jgsugden

Legend
Yes and No.

A lot of people will have fond memories in 40 years of the Adventure Paths they played as a teen. However, it won't be the same as the people playing now look back on the Modules from our youth. That is absolutely true. Many that played Demoneb in the year it is released will also have fond memories of current Adventure Paths as well.

However, it was a different world in the 1980s. There was no internet. Video games were on the Atari 2600. Most of us played theater of the mind D&D because we had no miniatures (and certainly no VTTs). Our lives were different, and the role of D&D was a different element of those lives than it is now.

When we played the Demonweb Pits, we didn't have piles of Google available information. We were exploring D&D for the first time as new core material was being introduced. It was a disorganized and messy adventure into rulebooks and source material that had a lot of rough edges to cut ourselves upon.

If you're a Batman fan, and you've been reading Batman since 1939, you're a very different fan than someone that started reading in the 1960s, which is different than a fan that started in the 1980s, and is different than a fan that started reading/watching in the 2000s. All might love Batman, but all have a very different idea of what Batman is.

The same is true of D&D players. Those that started before AD&D, those that started in BECMI, those that started in AD&D, those that started in 2E, 3E, Pathfinder, 4E, 5E ... all see the game very differently. And even within our generations there are a lot of different views, especially amongst the grognards.

While new players can treasure the adventure paths as much as we treasure Demonweb pits, they won't be having our experience. It just isn't possible to relive it when so much has changed.
 

Reynard

Legend
Yes and No.

A lot of people will have fond memories in 40 years of the Adventure Paths they played as a teen. However, it won't be the same as the people playing now look back on the Modules from our youth. That is absolutely true. Many that played Demoneb in the year it is released will also have fond memories of current Adventure Paths as well.

However, it was a different world in the 1980s. There was no internet. Video games were on the Atari 2600. Most of us played theater of the mind D&D because we had no miniatures (and certainly no VTTs). Our lives were different, and the role of D&D was a different element of those lives than it is now.

When we played the Demonweb Pits, we didn't have piles of Google available information. We were exploring D&D for the first time as new core material was being introduced. It was a disorganized and messy adventure into rulebooks and source material that had a lot of rough edges to cut ourselves upon.

If you're a Batman fan, and you've been reading Batman since 1939, you're a very different fan than someone that started reading in the 1960s, which is different than a fan that started in the 1980s, and is different than a fan that started reading/watching in the 2000s. All might love Batman, but all have a very different idea of what Batman is.

The same is true of D&D players. Those that started before AD&D, those that started in BECMI, those that started in AD&D, those that started in 2E, 3E, Pathfinder, 4E, 5E ... all see the game very differently. And even within our generations there are a lot of different views, especially amongst the grognards.

While new players can treasure the adventure paths as much as we treasure Demonweb pits, they won't be having our experience. It just isn't possible to relive it when so much has changed.
I am guessing you don't mean it this way, but this post feels very gatekeeper-y.
 


Reynard

Legend
I may be mistaken but wasn't Rise of the Runelords written by Paizo for Dungeons and Dragons 3rd edition. Pathfinder as a game didn't come out till later. Right?
Correct. Rise of the Runelords was the first Pathfinder Adventure Path after Dungeon was canceled, but it was still in 3.5
 

jgsugden

Legend
I am guessing you don't mean it this way, but this post feels very gatekeeper-y.
I'm not keeping anyone from doing anything now. We can all do anything we want that is available now in D&D. I encourage people to try lots of different styles of play.

However, some experiences are just not possible any more (unless you cut yourself off from the modern world and lock yourself up with old D&D books). We're shaped by our experiences, and people of different generations have been shaped in different ways.
 

MGibster

Legend
I am guessing you don't mean it this way, but this post feels very gatekeeper-y.
If you're going to drop a bomb like that at least explain why it feels that way to you. I am in agreement with you that people will look at Dragon Heist, Prince of the Apocalypse, Hoard of the Dragon Queen, Curse of Strahd, and others as their classics. But it's not gatekeeping to recognize that the experiences of those born in 1999 is going to be different from the experience of those born in 1979.
 

Gorg

Explorer
Interesting. My first experience was with the B/X sets and Keep on the Borderlands and Isle of dread. I was too poor, lol to buy and play ALL the adventures that came out then, but I did play some- like Village of Hommlet; and Ravenloft. Our middle school D&D club also played Sinister Secret of Saltmarsh. Still, to this day, ANY adventure with that sort of cover makes my eyes light up! I know exactly what I'm looking at, and what kind of content it's likely to have.

Since then, I've collected as many of those OG 1st ed AD&D/ D&D B/X modules as I could. When 3rd ed came out, and a 3rd party publisher started putting out Dungeon Crawl Classics with that style of cover, I bought those, too! Lots of good stuff in there. True, many were "story lite", but so what? It just made it easier to incorporate them in whole or part into your own game. Frankly, I found them easier to use, with their separate covers, with the map on the inside- a bonus DM screen!- than the subsequent editions, with stapled on covers or today's hard covers.

OTOH, when we taught my friend's wife and kids to play, 3rd ed was "THE" game. They learned to play with the linked adventures beginning with Sunless Citadel, and a few pulled from my Dungeon collection, as well as his homebrew adventures. (3rd ed was a wonderful time for Dungeon mag!!) So, they'll look back upon those days fondly as the good ol days, and that will be their version of D&D. (well, that and all the wild stories of games past they grew up hearing from us!)


Both are very different experiences, and both are equally valid.

I can say that my buddy and I encountered a lot fewer rules arguments in our formative years than those learning 3rd ed and beyond. Whether due to our style of play, or the rulesets themselves who knows? 3rd ed WAS pretty crunchy, though- and could easily get confusing, if playing as theater of the mind as we do. I guess I'm lucky, in that none of the groups/people I played with were power-gamery; min/maxers; or rules lawyers. True, we liked our characters powerful, and loved our kewl loot- and relished a good brawl. But I was completely taken by surprise, reading about all the "Broken"; OP; or horribly abused stuff everyone was always railing about on the boards. Nothing like that ever happened in the games I played... We just didn't play like that, lol.
 


Mines of Phandelver is really in a position to be the new Keep on the Borderlands for how many have played it.

And for having crammed so much of the whole checklist of what new players (and old) expect out of D&D into the first 5 levels of play. It includes a village, a cave, a mine, lots of goblins, a few orcs with an ogre, bandits, an evil wizard, a necromancer, a bunch of undead, a dragon, a few days of overland travel, and even a ruined keep in a borderish land. I've run two groups of newbies and new-to-5e-bies through it and while I won't say the adventure particularly wowed anyone I will vouch for it having provided exactly what they seemed to expect when they signed up to play D&D.
 

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