D&D General Why 5E Adventurs Suck!!!!!

Zardnaar

Legend
Well they don't generally they're more mediocre imho. But why? We know WotC is capable of making good ones.

The big problem is the format. It's very hard to design a level 1-10 adventure let alone 1-20. It's an art form not a science. Paizo perhaps came the closest BUT.

Alot of those adventures fall apart later but you probably didn't reach those levels.

For example we played Kimgmaker and loved it. And gave up at the start of part 4. Savage Tide started out super strong. Perhaps the greatest low level adventure ever. Then you left Sasserine.

I stopped buying 5E wotc adventures after the witchlight one. It was essentially free but opportunity cost got involved.

Generally the good larger 5E adventures only two come to mind. ToA and CoS. Others have their favorites I suspect the DM or group made them work. And they're not generally terrible there's no 5E forest oracle for example.

The Starter sets and anthologies have good adventures. I own Ghosts of Saltmarsh, TftYP and Candeldeep each one has at least 2 good adventures in them imho. The big advantage is the format. Shorter adventures.

When I run my games I don't plot out the entire adventure. I come up with a them and blend it with pre published adventures and my own design. I have around 500-1000 adventures to draw on. Old dungeon magazine adventures, anthologies, PDFs add up very fast.

WotC has focused on the money
It's cheaper to print larger adventures with larger print runs. I would argue quality and variety has suffered.
 

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TiQuinn

Registered User
Generally the good larger 5E adventures only two come to mind. ToA and CoS. Others have their favorites I suspect the DM or group made them work.
I’ve heard about plenty of DMs failing with Curse of Strahd.

It’s funny that for all this recent talk about how people want simpler adventures that are easy for DMs to just open up and run, everyone still acts like Curse of Strahd is somehow this easy level campaign, when it requires probably more planning than any of them in that Strahd is a moving element that consistently dogs the PCs.
 

Zardnaar

Legend
I’ve heard about plenty of DMs failing with Curse of Strahd.

It’s funny that for all this recent talk about how people want simpler adventures that are easy for DMs to just open up and run, everyone still acts like Curse of Strahd is somehow this easy level campaign, when it requires probably more planning than any of them in that Strahd is a moving element that consistently dogs the PCs.

I regard CoS as an intermediate to advanced adventure. And it's basic premise may not appeal to everyone.
 

TheSword

Legend
Well they don't generally they're more mediocre imho. But why? We know WotC is capable of making good ones.

The big problem is the format. It's very hard to design a level 1-10 adventure let alone 1-20. It's an art form not a science. Paizo perhaps came the closest BUT.

Alot of those adventures fall apart later but you probably didn't reach those levels.

For example we played Kimgmaker and loved it. And gave up at the start of part 4. Savage Tide started out super strong. Perhaps the greatest low level adventure ever. Then you left Sasserine.

I stopped buying 5E wotc adventures after the witchlight one. It was essentially free but opportunity cost got involved.

Generally the good larger 5E adventures only two come to mind. ToA and CoS. Others have their favorites I suspect the DM or group made them work. And they're not generally terrible there's no 5E forest oracle for example.

The Starter sets and anthologies have good adventures. I own Ghosts of Saltmarsh, TftYP and Candeldeep each one has at least 2 good adventures in them imho. The big advantage is the format. Shorter adventures.

When I run my games I don't plot out the entire adventure. I come up with a them and blend it with pre published adventures and my own design. I have around 500-1000 adventures to draw on. Old dungeon magazine adventures, anthologies, PDFs add up very fast.

WotC has focused on the money
It's cheaper to print larger adventures with larger print runs. I would argue quality and variety has suffered.
Aside from format - which seems a bit nebulous - it’s tough to understand what grounds there are to say they suck/are mediocre.

Not-Curse-of-Strahd isn’t very descriptive.
 
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GuardianLurker

Adventurer
Honestly, I think your point about Adventure Length is the primary driver. As you say, it's hard to write a single adventure that covers 10 levels. I personally feel that a series of smaller adventures, collected into a thematic whole, would be a better creative model.

Especially if the adventures are more ... "modular"... in terms of the plot. Where you can treat each module as it's own node the the campaign's flow chart of plot - to include branches.

The problem with this is that the it still demands content creation. A LOT of content creation. And in a hobby that's notorious for being niche and low-margin, the kind of content that the hobby considers low-margin.

We do have a couple of potential sources for this kind of content - DMs Guild for 5e, Pathfinder Infinite, even the corresponding organized play groups - but none have really produced any outstanding ones that I am aware of. (And if you have some, please list them.)
 

payn

I don't believe in the no-win scenario
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Oofta

Legend
In todays episode of Everything WotC does is crap!!! (almost) all modules are terrible! :sleep:

I mean, I get it. Modules, in general aren't great. It's why I don't use them. But very few modules over the years have stood out as being particularly good in any edition from what I've seen. For me I don't use them because they take more effort to prep and run than just doing a home campaign. I'm sure there are some modules out there that have worked well for some people, but the majority? Well it just depends on what you want, who's running it, the group that's playing it. Some are okay, some aren't.

Take Dragon Heist. In the hands of the right DM, with the right group, it was a lot of fun. Given the wrong combo? Not great to terrible. Curse of Strahd is better in the hands of a DM with a group that really love gothic horror is much better than with people that simply aren't into it.

I can't really comment on format and whatnot, the quality there has varied when I do look at them. Ideally modules would have some kind of description about what style they fall into and give enough info to let people make a judgement call about whether it works for them. I don't expect that to ever happen, I guess that's what reviews are for.
 

der_kluge

Adventurer
In the Ravenloft reviews thread, what struck me is how some of the older, classic modules that I really, really liked (reading at least; the jury is still out on how they run) (Evil Eye, and Circle of Darkness, for the record) are phenomenal reads, but I (as a 30+ year DM) are actually intimidated by how hard they're going to be run well.

CoS is kind of like that, too. My 21 year old daughter liked the idea, and wanted to run it, and I was like "hold up there, cowboy, that one is not for beginners". So yea, I think the really good ones often are very intimidating because they often end up being very free-form, and leave a lot of wiggle room in terms of pacing, or how fleshed out the various locales are. If I were to even run CoS, I'd want to spend an inordinate amount of time and really add a LOT more to the villages, for example, because they just seem way to underdeveloped.

But Evil Eye and Circle of Darkness, while fairly epic in scope (especially the latter), they are far smaller in scope than something like ToA or Rime, or the Tiamat line, which are much longer campaign-style games.

I don't think WoTC should take all the blame here. 3rd party publishers rarely put out campaign-length modules, instead focusing on smaller modules. But I think plenty of DMs out there don't have the skill level, or the adventure repository to build a campaign piecemeal like this. They want something standalone that they can read, and run. WoTC is simply responding to that demand.

Of course, it's also worth mentioning that any sort of 1-10 level campaign is going to be a kind of railroad, because you have to define point A and point Z, and some sort of linear path in order to get to the goal.
 

R_J_K75

Legend
For me its length and format why I dont use them. 200-250 page adventures are just too much work to prep, remember and run for my liking. Realistically, I suppose I should read the entire adventure before starting to DM it. Then re-read about 25 pages before every session. From what I gather it takes the average group between 6-12 months to complete a 5E adventure. I could see my group getting bored very quickly running the same adventure. I ran Death House from CoS and played in a LMoP game and I wasnt impressed with either. Other than those two I can't comment on the quality of their other adventures. I find the hardcover format just too unwieldy at the table. Besides the oversized coffin shaped box that doesnt fit on my bookshelfs, I liked the format of the revised CoS. I'd prefer if WotC use this format.
 


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