"Best" module?
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Post Posted: Fri Oct 08, 2004 9:45 pm 
 

Out of curiousity, what module(s) do you feel are the "best" -- not personal favorites (which invariably include things like S or A series, or, of course, B1/B2), which tend to have nostalgia mixed in -- the ones that had a really good narrative element that would hold up, say, as a piece of fiction?

Which module do you feel was just absolutely horrible in terms of narrative, i.e. it could have been manufactured with just random tables and geomorphs?

  


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Post Posted: Sat Oct 09, 2004 12:00 am 
 

Off the top of my head To Find a king and Ravenloft had great stories.

  

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Post Posted: Sat Oct 09, 2004 12:17 am 
 

Temple of Elemental Evil and White Plume Mountain.  Both have been released in paperback.  Always thought Rahasia would be a good one to make the leap to a book.

  

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Post Posted: Sat Oct 09, 2004 3:32 am 
 

BaconTastesGood wrote:Out of curiousity, what module(s) do you feel are the "best" -- not personal favorites (which invariably include things like S or A series, or, of course, B1/B2), which tend to have nostalgia mixed in -- the ones that had a really good narrative element that would hold up, say, as a piece of fiction?

Which module do you feel was just absolutely horrible in terms of narrative, i.e. it could have been manufactured with just random tables and geomorphs?


Interesting question, because rarely do "canned" adventures have the scope, majesty and excitement of say a David Gemmell, Glen Cook or Robert E. Howard tale.  Unfortunately, the structure of a "dungeon crawl" doesn't really lend itself to the heroic mythmaking of some like "Hour of the Dragon" or "Lord of the Rings".  A very neglected fantasy author whose books read like D&D adventures should run is David Gemmell, who has gotten the "Impossibly dramiatic doomed quest" down pat.  Despite having a familiarity of plotline (Incredibly deadly/talented outcasts/antiheros team together reluctantly to complete a quest/kill a foe/survive a siege against impossible odds) Gemmell's books, in my mind, really give some good ideas about what heroic RPG adventuring should be about, not what it is about.  I remember the first time I DM'd and a party of characters ran away in the face of, shall we say, underwhelming odds, and pretty much destroyed any semblance to the type of heroic fantasy I'd grown up reading in Conan and Fafhred and Mouser tales....
  Anyway, some good adventures I put in the "Could be good as a story" are the G1-3/D1-3 adventures, which follow a really good "quest" structure against deadly foes that allows for a lot of heroics, plus constant revelations that follow a nice story-type structure.  WG4 Temple of Tharizdun was one of the few D&D adventures that i thought actually created an atmosphere of gloom and mystery, especially if the characters reach the hidden areas and don't have a clue what they are up against.  UK7 Dark Clouds Gathering I've always thought had a nice little backstory that could be worked into any campaign setting and allows the characters to complete a truly heroic deed; likewise the modules UK2 and UK3 which allows the characters to aquire an artifact in order to destroy another artifact, giving them center stage in world-shaking affairs.  
    Some of the best story-type adventures come from companies other than TSR, probably because most other RPG worlds aren't as fundamentally unchangeable as TSR's were.  A good adventure was Big Rubble for Runequest....particularly, an epic adventure involving the River of Cradles and a giant's baby is the sort of epic, doomed heroic quest that any adventurer would be proud to have on his resume, live or die, as the end result could have historical significance to a campaign.  The Doomstones quest for Warhammer has the feel of a long, deadly perhaps doomed (they aren't called Doomstones for nothing!) quest that will have effects on any Warhammer world campaign.  Both these follow the structure of a well-written and exciting fantasy tale.  
  AS for bad adventures, pick almost any random dungeon crawl.  Particularly a Judge's Guild adventure, as they didn't for themost part even have internal coherence, much less a storyline.  

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Post Posted: Sat Oct 09, 2004 11:09 am 
 

Ravenloft spawned a whole setting. It`s one of the best.
Also for newer stuff anyone know Dead Gods ?

  


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Post Posted: Sat Oct 09, 2004 2:11 pm 
 

frankfromgermany wrote:Ravenloft spawned a whole setting. It`s one of the best.


Does anyone know of a good site with a summary of all the TSR campaign settings?  So far if I want to learn about one I have to read up reviews on rpg.net or somewhere similar, but I'm more looking for are interesting "executive summaries" of the different ones.  Many interesting sounding settings (SpellJammer, etc.) came out after I had stopped tracking RPGs.  I'd  love to get caught up without having to read about 3000 pages of material =)

  

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Post Posted: Sat Oct 09, 2004 2:30 pm 
 

With a good DM L2 can be very fun and has a good story.

  


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Post Posted: Sat Oct 09, 2004 3:57 pm 
 

BaconTastesGood wrote:
frankfromgermany wrote:Ravenloft spawned a whole setting. It`s one of the best.


Does anyone know of a good site with a summary of all the TSR campaign settings?  So far if I want to learn about one I have to read up reviews on rpg.net or somewhere similar, but I'm more looking for are interesting "executive summaries" of the different ones.  Many interesting sounding settings (SpellJammer, etc.) came out after I had stopped tracking RPGs.  I'd  love to get caught up without having to read about 3000 pages of material =)


There are "official" appointed websites to most of the now dead settings.
Check out the WotC  other worlds forums or the sites themselves.

The Wizards Community

DragonLance - Online RPG, Gaming Software - Role Playing Games - Fantasy - Science Fiction - Interactive Games - Online Gaming - Game Reviews
404 Not Found
The Burnt World of Athas
Welcome to Planewalker | Planewalker
Spelljammer: Beyond the Moons (For all your Spelljamming needs)
http://www.mystaranet.jamm.com/vaults/default.aspx

Curiously there`s no Al Qadim forum there, but there are a lot of great AQ websites: Al-Qadim.com

Ravenloft`s inofficial support site was: Secrets of the Kargatane: The Home of Ravenloft on the Net
which is now closed but still has some great links and netbooks.
Another great RL site: Ravenloft: Fraternity of Shadows: Home of Ravenloft on the Net

Also check the links sections on these sites.

For very short summaries the respective Conspectus ...es  (or is it Conspecti?) come to mind.

Edit: Or try Dragon Annual #1. It has short 1-page Campaign Classics introductions to FR, BR, DL, GH, RL, DS, PS and an article for each setting plus Spelljammer.

  

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Post Posted: Mon Oct 11, 2004 11:02 am 
 

I am gonna go way out of the box here.

X4 and X5 Series.

Way overlooked just because they are in the X-series surrounded by crap.
But I loved these adventures. Great storyline with a couple very cool twists set in a tatanic set of events. It has all the elements of a good novel. Solid story, exotic setting, events that are larger than life, mysterious villian and on.

My group played all the old standards - sometimes twice - but they all agree that one of the best times they had was those two modules. When I ask what in particular they liked, they can't point one particular thing. That says a great deal in my book.


And I could've bought these damn modules off the 1$ rack!!!

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Post Posted: Mon Oct 11, 2004 3:55 pm 
 

Easy.
ST1.

Sell it and buy all the rest. :P

I'm well stretching the definition of module, of course (and a few of the other picks here are series, anyhow), but for a modicum of imagination and a browse through a few of the original paperbacks, a copy of Lankhmar is fairly good value for money.
What's that, $1 for a "reading copy"? ;)

Easily worked a few sponsored 24+ hour RPs around that core setting.


(*nods to Mike B.'s comments*)

  


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Post Posted: Mon Oct 11, 2004 4:41 pm 
 

B10 gets my vote - it's been my fave since release.

We had a thread here with more responses:
Favorite module of all time?

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Post Posted: Wed Oct 13, 2004 1:51 pm 
 

G1-3!  I liked some of the early dragonlance ones..... but thats just me

  

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Post Posted: Wed Oct 13, 2004 2:57 pm 
 

UK7 would make a great book. I8 could be made into a sequel to a book, but it wouldn't work as a standalone.


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Post Posted: Wed Oct 13, 2004 7:00 pm 
 

harami2000 wrote:Easy.
ST1.

Sell it and buy all the rest. :P

I'm well stretching the definition of module, of course (and a few of the other picks here are series, anyhow), but for a modicum of imagination and a browse through a few of the original paperbacks, a copy of Lankhmar is fairly good value for money.
What's that, $1 for a "reading copy"? ;)

Easily worked a few sponsored 24+ hour RPs around that core setting.


(*nods to Mike B.'s comments*)

S3.  I loved the sci-fi elements dropped onto Oerth.
T1-4 I thought quite good and well worth the money I spent on it when it was new.



  

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Post Posted: Wed Oct 13, 2004 7:11 pm 
 

I think T1-4 has a book about it. I know D1-3 does, as does S2.


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Post Posted: Wed Oct 13, 2004 7:23 pm 
 

Deadlord36 wrote:I think T1-4 has a book about it. I know D1-3 does, as does S2.


Yeah, they released some paperbacks for classic modules. Those are the ones I know of:

Against the Giants WOTC21379
White Plume Mountain WOTC21424
Descent into the Depths of the Earth WOTC21635
The Tomb of Horrors TSR88547
The Temple of Elemental Evil WOTC21864
Keep on the Borderlands WOTC21881
Queen of the Demonweb Pits WOTC21903

They're still available at amazon.com


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Post Posted: Wed Oct 13, 2004 9:06 pm 
 

99.9% sure they did the slavers, too.


And I could've bought these damn modules off the 1$ rack!!!

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Post Posted: Thu Oct 14, 2004 2:09 am 
 

Between this thread and the one from before many have given their favorites. (mine are WG4 & S4).  

I thought I would chime in with a non-TSR module.  I really liked Citadel by the Sea from Dragon #78.  It is a great beginning level module and handles a classic humanoid race (Orcs) with a little more sophistication.  Went through it as a player and also DM'ed it years later.

Of course, my opinion is colored by the few non-TSR modules (or ones from Dragon/Dungeon Magazine) I have actually played.  Any other favorites that are not so commonly known?
:?:


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Post Posted: Fri Oct 15, 2004 2:15 am 
 

beyondthebreach wrote:Between this thread and the one from before many have given their favorites. (mine are WG4 & S4).  

I thought I would chime in with a non-TSR module.  I really liked Citadel by the Sea from Dragon #78.  It is a great beginning level module and handles a classic humanoid race (Orcs) with a little more sophistication.  Went through it as a player and also DM'ed it years later.

Of course, my opinion is colored by the few non-TSR modules (or ones from Dragon/Dungeon Magazine) I have actually played.  Any other favorites that are not so commonly known?
:?:


These are generally overlooked but on the whole very high quality....the adventures in pre-#100 Dragon magazines.  My group played in almost all of these, but particularly the aforementioned Citadel By the Sea, Can Seapoint Be Saved?, Barnacus City in Peril, Forest of Doom and Ruins of Andril all became staples of my campaign after a little reworking.  I've run Citadel probably 3 times, (it was the first adventure of my last campaign before my current one) it's an excellent low level adventure with a decent storyline and intelligent foes, as well as a good "orcish" background. I would rank any of the above mentioned five modules in the same company as an above average "letter" module from the same period.   We could probably fill an entire new posting list with adventures from Dragon magazine that were exceptional....maybe I'll give my personal Top Ten Dungeon adventures list here sometime, I have to find it first.....

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Post Posted: Fri Oct 15, 2004 3:19 am 
 

I have to say the original Dragonlance stuff, because it did stand up as fiction. The sequence manages to tell a cool story, if you can follow it.

They could give you a story, with recurring themes and whatnot, to allow you to create a convincing world. Great games.

  
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