D&D General What makes a good Adventure


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Parmandur

Book-Friend
Except they usually don't have a thin plot. It is integrated into the whole thing, at every step.

But you and I have been over this before. You think I interpret it to rigidly and I think you are too forgiving. Probably best we just agreed to disagree.
I mean, you are right, this is probavly best to agree to disagree territoey...but I wouldn't say a single one of WotC Adventure books has a well integrated plot, at all, even Tomb of Annhilation or Curse of Strahd. They are all super easy to disentangle pieces away from the thin plot and repurpose for something else.

I think "this plot is not well integrated" is both a valid criticism of these books, and missing the point at the same time.
 


Not so much, when taking the pieces apart and repurposong them. The structure is weak, on purpose IMO. That's why it works as preppable material.
Yes it can be much. You don’t get to tell other peoole what is or is not easy for them. Everyone is different. Don’t assume what is easy for you is easy for others. Please don’t be so narrow minded
 

Parmandur

Book-Friend
Yes it can be much. You don’t get to tell other peoole what is or is not easy for them. Everyone is different. Don’t assume what is easy for you is easy for others. Please don’t be so narrow minded
Okay, fair.

Which plot are you referring to, specifically? Most or them, in my experience, can basically just be ignored entirely without changing much.
 

And that there is no One True Way to run the adventure hook or even the order or contents of the encounters. Nearly every adventure written can be run as a sandbox if you choose not to force the party. That said, there are a lot of folks who enjoy linear adventures.

For me, the encounters simply need to be interesting, imaginative, engaging. But most of all they must turn expectations on their head. An adventure without surprises or unique situations or settings or opportunity for RP or only “one way” to complete it is an uninteresting adventure.

An adventure I would consider “perfect” is Masks of Nyarlathotep. Tons of background info and plenty of hooks. Could be run as a linear adventure or as a long running sandbox.
This post resonated with me, and is a reason I'm often very critical of WotC adventures. Many ideas are good, but their actual encounters very often leave me wanting. Sometimes it'll be the same boring old enemies, 2-4 of them, in a rather featureless room or arena, the only moving parts being JUST the monsters and only in a very expected, "slay the enemy" way. I'd like more interesting encounters that really flex what the system can do, engaging mechanics right there beside exciting scenarios, encounters that inspire me to create my own cool battles and what not.

Some adventures have this. Out of the Abyss has the best ending of any adventure; Rime of the Frostmaiden ends strong with Auril hunting the party through an ancient, frozen ghost-city before beginning a three-phase boss fight; Storm King's Thunder with the players drinking potions of gigantism to fight the dragon and its gargoyles...but notice these are all endings. I find so often the actual encounters throughout the adventure fail to spark joy for me personally. I'd like to see more bravery. More attempts at pushing the status quo.
 

Distracted DM

Distracted DM
Supporter
Red Hand of Doom is one of the best long-form adventures I've run. I've run short modules that I loved, like Tower of the Stargazer, but RhoD is definitely in the "wow there's maybe one or three points in the whole thing that I think could've been improved-" and I'm a pretty critical person.

It gives you a lot to work with. It gives you a lot of foundations that you can expand on. The designers talk to you in the book, in a familiar tone, about how things can go and how things can be handled differently.
It seems like it gives you all the info you could use, and very little of the info you don't need.

That seems pretty vague but man, RHoD.

Night Below is another good one but it did require more work. But it's also much longer.. so 🤷
 


Clint_L

Legend
Another thing a good adventure has to have is a compelling concept. I'm gutting the Vecna adventure, but I'm keeping the core concept: a group of adventurers are summoned by a wish cast by a group of iconic wizards, and visit various classic D&D settings to gain the power needed to stop Vecna shenanigans.

But I'm changing the stakes to be more personal and less apocalyptic, I'm getting rid of some settings and adding others (Exandria, Hawkins), I'm tossing most of the fights and changing out a lot of the bosses, the Kas subplot is gone, etc.

And I still consider the Vecna adventure a good one. No published material is going to be exactly what I want, but as long as it gives me some good bones to work with, I'm happy.
 

aco175

Legend
Red Hand of Doom is one of the best long-form adventures I've run. I've run short modules that I loved, like Tower of the Stargazer, but RhoD is definitely in the "wow there's maybe one or three points in the whole thing that I think could've been improved-" and I'm a pretty critical person.
Thank you for spelling out the name of a book before using the abbreviation. It would have taken me a while to get RHoD without telling me first. I notice it as a thing online where everyone thinks we all know the abbreviation for the last book that came out when some of us forgot there was even a book coming out.
 

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