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

payn

I don't believe in the no-win scenario
I would add Rise of the Runelords to this list.

For my money Forge of Fury is the best dungeon crawl I’ve ever run. It’s a fantastic adventure.

Not D&D but I ran the Zalozhniy Quartet for Nights Black Agents last year by the book and it was a great time.
Yeah I was sticking to things I have run per OP. I cheated though on my not recommended list I added Serpent Skull which I havent run but have seen some of the GM material and read a lot about the problems it has.
 

log in or register to remove this ad

Umbran

Mod Squad
Staff member
Supporter
I guess I'm kinda alone here. I didn't realize so many people try to run adventures straight from the book. It's just not something that's ever really occured to me. To me, reading a module is the starting point, not the ending.

So, just be aware - it may not be your intent, but this reads a bit like a humbebrag. Like: You're so lovely and creative (unlike all those people who run them straight) that the idea of running them straight never occurred to you!

Never mind that several of the classic early modules were from tournament play, in which case running them straight was necessary for the intent of testing skilled play. And never mind how often people may have spoken about it in the past two decades!

If this never occurred to you, imagine how many other approaches to play you may have failed to notice!

But, the idea of opening up, say, Sinister Secret of Saltmarsh, a module I ran as part of the Ghosts of Saltmarsh (never ran it back in the day) and just running it never occured to me.

Well, now you are aware - doing exactly this was the core play experience for thousands in the 80s.
 


Yeah, I don't read it as a humblebrag either. It's a valid perspective. I ran a few published adventures in the 80s but not many because I simply couldn't afford them. I've run lots since then, though, to make up for experiences I missed out on. Prior to that, homebrew was (and remains) my default mode.
 

Shiroiken

Legend
I've run a LOT of adventures, especially back in the day. The BECMI adventures were overall the best, but there were some great AD&D ones as well. This is my personal list, but like others, I tend to modify the adventures to my tastes. I've run these all multiple times over the decades, to great success. I'm sure they could all have been better written, but they did the job well.

Against the Cult of the Reptile God
Against the Giants
Castle Amber
Danger at Dunwater
Expedition to the Barrier Peaks
Five Coins for a Kingdom
Ghost of Lion Castle
Isle of the Ape
Keep on the Borderlands
Lost Tomb of Martek
Oasis of the White Palm
Palace of the Silver Princess
Pharoah
Queen of the Demonweb Pits
Quest for the Heartstone
Ravenloft
Temple, Tower & Tomb
The Assassin's Knot
The Endless Stair
The Final Enemy
The Forgotten Temple of Tharzidun
The Gauntlet
The Lost Caverns of Tsjocanth
The Secret of Bone Hill
The Sentinel
The Temple of Elemental Evil
The Village of Hommlet
 

Hussar

Legend
Thing is I do run a lot of adventures. Always have. I’ve run a good chunk of the ones listed here. But it’s never occurred to me to run them as is.

We just didn’t play that way. That 32 pages was the starting point, not the end.

@Umbran, it’s nothing to do with bragging. It just never really occurred to me that it was that common to run adventures as written. I’ve never seen anyone do that.

I started like a lot of people with things like Keep in the Borderlands or Lost City.

You can’t run those as written because there’s so much empty space in the adventures where you are told by the creators that it’s your job to fill in the blanks.
 

Retreater

Legend
When a module is 32 pages with blank spots on maps - yes, expand them.

But when you're looking at Level 1-13 WotC mega-adventures or Level 1-20 Paizo APs, if you start adding stuff all Willy Nelson, you risk unbalancing future encounters because of extra XP or treasure AND/OR messing up the stories that are sometimes already at risk of collapsing like a Jenga tower.

I know that when I tried to riff on published adventures in the past with fun improv bits, I ended up really painting myself into a corner that messed up the rest of the adventure.
 

payn

I don't believe in the no-win scenario
Thing is I do run a lot of adventures. Always have. I’ve run a good chunk of the ones listed here. But it’s never occurred to me to run them as is.

We just didn’t play that way. That 32 pages was the starting point, not the end.

@Umbran, it’s nothing to do with bragging. It just never really occurred to me that it was that common to run adventures as written. I’ve never seen anyone do that.

I started like a lot of people with things like Keep in the Borderlands or Lost City.

You can’t run those as written because there’s so much empty space in the adventures where you are told by the creators that it’s your job to fill in the blanks.
Yeah there is a lot to unpack in these threads. There is a continuous drag on published adventures currently here. Its looked at as faulty if, you, the GM, need to make any changes at all. Its also mighty convenient for folks to blame the module if they, "ran it as written" without any context. Was it a mechanical mess? Did you just not like the plot elements? Does the organization not work for you? Did it not interest your players? Do you simply just have an axe to grind becasue you dont like published adventures?

On the flip side, if you do like published adventures and have a good time with them, you constantly have to defend the position. You either "changed too much" or are a humblebragger. Sometimes going so far as being called a board gamer not real role player who wants to railroad everybody becasue you like a story in your role play game.
 

Umbran

Mod Squad
Staff member
Supporter
Yeah, I don't read it as a humblebrag either. It's a valid perspective.

Call me crazy, I suppose. I'd expect that after posting on a site devoted to discussing different ways we play the game for over 20 years, one might actually consider so basic a possibility as using materials as written.

I guess I expect too much.
 


Voidrunner's Codex

Remove ads

Top