D&D 5E Thoughts On The Meh 5E Adventures.

Zardnaar

Legend
So when it comes to the official 5E adventures the vast majority are meh with a few stand outs. Those are Curse of Strahd, ToA, LMoP, and a few of the shorter ones in the anthologies. Ghosts of Saltmarsh is probably the best one.

However there's a much larger diversity of opinion around the others. How can one be an A tier adventure but someone else's D tier?

Mostly it's up to the individual DM I think and if you finish the adventure. On the plus side not to many of the 5E adventures are outright terrible so it's probably not to hard for an experienced DM to elevate a mediocre adventure to something fun.

For me I can do a bit with adventures such as Dragon of Icespire Peak, Princes of the Apocalypse, Storm Kings Thunder, ToA.

See this thread.

I can't do that much with Hoard of the Dragon Queen, Icewind Dale, Out of the Abyss or Dungeon of the Mad Mage. They just don't interest me.

I'm never going to run an adventure 100% as written but I like minor tweaks. Changing the monsters in an encounter, adding a plot or tweaking a name. I'm not interested in major rewrites. A good hook also helps and if it's not my jam it's a big turn off eg Wild Beyond the Witchlight.

A "bad" adventure like 2014 HotDQ is still useful for mining. Princes of the Apocalypse was great for this as well. Icewind Dale not so much.

Note I got around half of mine essentially for free. I own Wild Beyond the Witchlight for example I wouldn't spend real money on getting it. Haven't bought anything new since then (not getting the books for "free") .

A bad adventure for me is crap hook, not fun to read, don't want to run it and not that useful to mine. Within reason I can make most things work to some extent.
 

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Rabbitbait

Grog-nerd
It's all about the hook for me. If the theme does not spark my imagination I just don't touch it.

ToA was possibly the best D&D campaign I have ever run and I did that pretty much as written. It had so much room for flexibility.

PoTA was pretty good, but a lot of that was me transferring it to Eberron and running another campaign within that, so as well as the main adventure there was a bunch of political stuff and individual character arcs going on.

I'm running the Shattered Obelisk at the moment. The LMoP part was just brilliant in an old-school D&D way. Am now 2 chapters past that and it is still good, but there are parts that are poorly written, do not link well to the first part or are just a bit wobbly. The rate of character level progression is insanely fast as well. It's still fun though despite having to put some patches in here and there to fix bits up - my players are loving it.

My other 5e games have been a homebrew Eberron campaign, The Ghouls campaign from Kobold Press (this started well but fizzled out when the players got bored of being underground), and cobbled together campaigns from DMs Guild.
 

Zardnaar

Legend
It's all about the hook for me. If the theme does not spark my imagination I just don't touch it.

ToA was possibly the best D&D campaign I have ever run and I did that pretty much as written. It had so much room for flexibility.

PoTA was pretty good, but a lot of that was me transferring it to Eberron and running another campaign within that, so as well as the main adventure there was a bunch of political stuff and individual character arcs going on.

I'm running the Shattered Obelisk at the moment. The LMoP part was just brilliant in an old-school D&D way. Am now 2 chapters past that and it is still good, but there are parts that are poorly written, do not link well to the first part or are just a bit wobbly. The rate of character level progression is insanely fast as well. It's still fun though despite having to put some patches in here and there to fix bits up - my players are loving it.

My other 5e games have been a homebrew Eberron campaign, The Ghouls campaign from Kobold Press (this started well but fizzled out when the players got bored of being underground), and cobbled together campaigns from DMs Guild.

Hook is massively important imho.
 

MerricB

Eternal Optimist
Supporter
Hook is massively important imho.
Yeah. It's why the most important thing about an adventure is getting DMs to want to run it. If you fail at that...

I'm fine with not all adventures appealing to everyone. Give me an adventure that SOME DMs love to bits, but not all, and I think it's worthwhile. (Tyranny of Dragons is that way for me; I know not everyone loves it, but it's one of my favourite adventures of all time. Yes, I've run it three times!)

Give me a range of different adventures. Give them different lengths and approaches.

(But make them competently put together. The Shattered Obelisk has error after error after error in its basic construction. Boxed text refers to gray slaad. Slaad in chamber is red. Huh?)

Cheers,
Merric
 

Zardnaar

Legend
Yeah. It's why the most important thing about an adventure is getting DMs to want to run it. If you fail at that...

I'm fine with not all adventures appealing to everyone. Give me an adventure that SOME DMs love to bits, but not all, and I think it's worthwhile. (Tyranny of Dragons is that way for me; I know not everyone loves it, but it's one of my favourite adventures of all time. Yes, I've run it three times!)

Give me a range of different adventures. Give them different lengths and approaches.

(But make them competently put together. The Shattered Obelisk has error after error after error in its basic construction. Boxed text refers to gray slaad. Slaad in chamber is red. Huh?)

Cheers,
Merric

Heh. Got the idea for this one via your thread.

I've stopped buying adventures around Strixhaven. Skipped that one and everything after it.

Golden Vault is on maybe list.
 


MerricB

Eternal Optimist
Supporter
I would add Murder in Baldur's Gate, which had stats in 3.5E, 4E, and D&D Next Playtest flavors. I usually prefer a looser adventure structure, but I really liked the way they did that one.
It's a deeply flawed adventure, and another that is one of my favourites of all time. Watching my group realise that the person they were working for wasn't who they thought, and looking around for a solution - great divergent gameplay!

Cheers,
Merric
 

MerricB

Eternal Optimist
Supporter
Heh. Got the idea for this one via your thread.

I've stopped buying adventures around Strixhaven. Skipped that one and everything after it.

Golden Vault is on maybe list.
Because my fascination is adventures, I'll still buy them. Though most of the adventure compilations are lying unread at present. (Too many things, not enough time!)

I'm fascinated to see how Vecna goes. I really, really hope it has better QA than The Shattered Obelisk.

Cheers,
Merric
 

Zardnaar

Legend
Because my fascination is adventures, I'll still buy them. Though most of the adventure compilations are lying unread at present. (Too many things, not enough time!)

I'm fascinated to see how Vecna goes. I really, really hope it has better QA than The Shattered Obelisk.

Cheers,
Merric

I'll wait for the Aussies review or opinion lol.
 

Warpiglet-7

Satan’s Echo Chamber! Muhahahaha
So when it comes to the official 5E adventures the vast majority are meh with a few stand outs. Those are Curse of Strahd, ToA, LMoP, and a few of the shorter ones in the anthologies. Ghosts of Saltmarsh is probably the best one.

However there's a much larger diversity of opinion around the others. How can one be an A tier adventure but someone else's D tier?

Mostly it's up to the individual DM I think and if you finish the adventure. On the plus side not to many of the 5E adventures are outright terrible so it's probably not to hard for an experienced DM to elevate a mediocre adventure to something fun.

For me I can do a bit with adventures such as Dragon of Icespire Peak, Princes of the Apocalypse, Storm Kings Thunder, ToA.

See this thread.

I can't do that much with Hoard of the Dragon Queen, Icewind Dale, Out of the Abyss or Dungeon of the Mad Mage. They just don't interest me.

I'm never going to run an adventure 100% as written but I like minor tweaks. Changing the monsters in an encounter, adding a plot or tweaking a name. I'm not interested in major rewrites. A good hook also helps and if it's not my jam it's a big turn off eg Wild Beyond the Witchlight.

A "bad" adventure like 2014 HotDQ is still useful for mining. Princes of the Apocalypse was great for this as well. Icewind Dale not so much.

Note I got around half of mine essentially for free. I own Wild Beyond the Witchlight for example I wouldn't spend real money on getting it. Haven't bought anything new since then (not getting the books for "free") .

A bad adventure for me is crap hook, not fun to read, don't want to run it and not that useful to mine. Within reason I can make most things work to some extent.
Meh.
 

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