What Are The Greatest Ever D&D Books For Inspiring Adventures?

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I'll give an example of a book I think fits this bill, the Neverwinter Campaign Setting. Its choc full of inspiring ideas.
Most good campaign setting books should be. Not that all campaign setting books are good, but still...

Most of my books are from the 3e era, and are fantasy in nature. I could put some of my original Traveler stuff up here too, but that's probably not really what you're looking for. I missed 2e entirely, and was disgruntled with 1e and BD&D.

Amongst campaign setting books that I think have tons of great ideas to mine, I'd put Five Fingers, The Pirate's Guide to Freeport, Sharn: City of Towers, the original Pathfinder campaign setting book, Heart of the Jungle, and Rule of Fear.

Other books that have given me that vicious GM gleam in my eye include the Fiendish Codex I, Drow of the Underdark, and The Manual of the Planes (3rd edition version, not the 1e version.) Green Ronin's The Book of Fiends also has a million and one great ideas, and Privateer Press's Monsternomicon books have each monster entry written up so that it's almost a mini-adventure in its own right, if not more.

My absolute favorite RPG book, though, and the one I turn to more than any other (yes, even for fantasy) is my d20 version of Call of Cthulhu. That's the most inspiring book, full of useable ideas, full of great concepts, and has the best advice for running the game that I've read almost anywhere.

Wilderness Survival Guide - I wish that the 3.5 terrain books had been half as useful.
Although I'm not especially a fan of the old Wilderness Survival Guide, I certainly agree tha tthe 3.5 environment focus groups were dreadfully disappointing. Rather than inspire with new ideas, they seemed focused on trying to avoid the very notion of new ideas. Most of what was included was either too silly to be taken seriously, too banal to be interesting, or too obvious to have merited being put into print. And I still laugh at the constant implicit and explicit references to the idea of not actually getting out in the wilderness, but rather just making a room in a dungeon be really cold (or hot, or wet, or whatever, depending on which environment book it was) instead. :erm:

I suppose the 1E WSG was useful to me mainly because I was fond of running wilderness adventures back in my DM days ("no, really, Dave"). It gave me some hard and fast answers for various things that the DMG didn't address... a wider variety of pack animals, how fast you could move through various terrain, how hard it is to find food and water in different environments, etc. I'd just winged a lot of this stuff before ("So, how fast can we go down this river in our canoes?" "Um...."). I can't say the book really inspired any adventures, but it made life easier for the adventures I did run. I used the book clear though my 2E days as well.
As for the original question... I dunno. I can't say that any of the campaign supplements and whatnot ever really directly inspired me for adventures. I drew more on non-gaming books, comics, and history for adventure ideas, and used campaign supplements mainly for maps/distances and places to put stuff...


First Post
The late 3e Eberron supplement "City of Stormreach" was incredible. You could easily play a whole campaign around the stuff in this single supplement.

For 4e the most inspiring supplement so far was for me "Hammerfast"; particularly if you consider the number of hooks & ideas per page!
"Monster Vault: Threats to the Nentir Vale" was also quite inspiring.


MV: Threats to the Nentir Vale is full of great material to inspire adventures; its Gray Company entry inspired the major 'Neo-Nerathi' story arc in my Wilderlands campaign.

I'm also finding the detailing, tables & hooks in EGG's Yggsburgh very inspirational.

Before that, hmm Mystara's Dawn of the Emperors was great for inspiring a "grunt soldier to quasi-deity" campaign that spanned over 40 years of game-time.

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