D&D General Tangent from Vecna - How Many Actually Good Adventures Are There?


Among the discussion about Vecna: Eve of Ruin here ... D&D General - (SPOILERS for Vecna: Eve of Ruin) Are My Standards Too High for Adventures?, it's been brought up that it's hard to write high level adventures, or maybe WotC doesn't care, or maybe the best adventures come out early in an edition's life cycle, or various other rationales.

Someone mentioned "Keep on the Borderlands" as being a great adventure. Sometimes "Curse of Strahd" is mentioned as a more recent example.

But I'm wondering ... how many actually good adventures have you run?

You can't count things you've merely read or suspect would be good. You can't count things you've been a player in - because you can't know what a GM did to modify the adventure.

I mean, you sat down with a group of players and you ran the adventure with minimal adjustments, from roughly beginning to end. How many of those were "good?" And be willing to name them.

Any edition. Heck, any game system. As long as it's a professionally produced adventure.

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I don't believe in the no-win scenario
The Paizo APs in the PF1 era were mostly fantastic. A few duds, most are great with, of course, a few adjustments and an enthused GM.

Curse of the crimson throne
Carrion Crown
Jade Regent
Iron Gods
Mummy’s mask
War for the crown

Not recommended,
Second darkness
Serpent skull (First module excellent tho)


Kingmaker is a legitimately good adventure.

Dragonheist is a legitimately bad adventure composed of really good bits.

I like the structure of Rime of the Frostmaiden but can't say whether I think ti is "good" or not because I only got through the first act before getting burned out.

Rappan Athuk 5E is a good old school dungeon crawl even if 5E isn't the right game for that.

I hated running Storm king's Thunder but that has more to do with trying to juggle 8 or 9 players via Fantasy grounds at the time. I should revisit it someday.

Lost Citadel of the Scarlet Minotaur is the best introductory dungeon I have ever run, hands down.

Lost Mines of Phandelver is the best introductory "theme park open world" I have ever run, hands down.

The Isle of Dread is the best introductory hexcrawl I have ever run, hands down.

The best not-introductory D&D stand alone dungeon adventure is Forge of Fury, IMO (either 3E or 5E).


I have enjoyed running the following adventures:
  • Red Hand of Doom
  • The Forge of Fury
  • Scourge of the Sword Coast
  • Tyranny of Dragons
  • Storm King's Thunder
  • Curse of Strahd
  • Tomb of Annihilation
I am currently running the Keys from the Golden Vault adventures as part of an episodic Eberron campaign, and I am really enjoying them. I have also run a slew of smaller adventures from multiple editions that I have enjoyed. Too many to name here.

I am also running Waterdeep: Dungeon of the Mad Mage. We're nearly finished. It's been kind of hit-or-miss for me, but it was the right thing for the group post-COVID. Next we're going to play through The Wild Beyond the Witchlight, which I have started running for my family, although we haven't made it very far in. I have enjoyed it so far, though.

While there are a bunch of others I would like to run, including Turn of Fortune's Wheel, I keep coming back to Scourge of the Sword Coast. I would love to run that one again. It is, to me, nearly perfect for what it is. It's unfortunate that it exists only as a D&D Next playtest adventure. It's a real hidden gem, I think.


This thread where I'm currently reviewing Ravenloft modules from the 2nd edition era (mostly). I've found a handful I really like - Evil Eye, Spottle Parlor (from Dungeon #12), Sea Wolf (Dungeon #55), and House of Lament (from VRGtR). I might change my opinion of them after I run them, however.

I'm not sure I've ever ran a super great published module, like ever. So this will be kind of a new experience for me (as I'm planning on running a bunch of these old published modules).

A while back, I was considering running a published 5e campaign, and my overall assessment was that Rime of the Frostmaiden and Curse of Strahd were probably the two best ones overall.

TenFootPole.org reviewed EVERY Dungeon module ever written. He has a top 10 list here.


B/X Known World
Lots of the old B/X, BECMI, and AD&D modules are great. In Search of the Unknown, Keep on the Borderlands, Village of Hommlet, Against the Cult of the Reptile God, Caverns of Thracia, Dark Tower, Expedition to the Barrier Peaks, Lost City, Veiled Society, Night's Dark Terror, Test of the Warlords, Temple of Elemental Evil, Isle of Dread, the Blackmoor modules, Castle Amber, Slave Lords, Hidden Shrine, the Drow triplet, Against the Giants, the Saltmarsh trilogy, etc.

Many of the Dungeon Crawl Classics RPG modules are fantastic. Sailors on the Starless Sea, People of the Pit, Blades Against Death, Tower Out of Time, Frozen in Time, Purple Planet, Hole in the Sky, Moon-Slaves of the Cannibal Kingdom, Imprisoned in the God Skull, Return to the Starless Sea, etc.

Some others, in no particular order. The Stygian Library, Dark of Hot Springs Island, Dolmenwood, Hole in the Oak, Waking of Willowby Hall, Halls of the Blood King, Tomb of the Serpent Kings, etc.


The top official adventures I have run that I would consider top class as they are:

Tomb of Annihilation (5E)
Lost Mines of Phandelver (5e)
Seekers of the Ashen Crown (4e)
Red Hand of Doom (3E)
Desert of Desolation (1e) - but that might be nostalgia.
Castle Amber (1e) - but that might be nostalgia

With an honourable mention to Tomb of Horrors (4e) which I found excellent, but I set in in Eberron and added another story running concurrently. The module also has gaps between scenes where you would slot in other adventures to take the characters up a few levels. I liked that, and I liked adding material but that is not everyone's cup of tea.

Nothing there from 2e, because it was all homebrew for me back then.
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