Top Twenty Adventures of All Time :)
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Post Posted: Sun Dec 11, 2005 1:17 am 
 

While  I recognize the impact the official list of top 30 adventures had on the game as a whole, I'd rather include my top 20 FAVORITE adventures.  This is quite a different list than the GREATEST adventures of all time, as I would be obliged to include modules such as I6 Ravenloft or B2 Keep on the Borderlands for their contributions to gaming.  In making this list I took those adventures I had DM'd more than once; half a dozen times or more automatically made it into the top ten, that's truly the mark of a great adventure when you have played it over and over:



1.  B1 In Search of the Unknown

2. T1-4 Temple of Elemental Evil

3.  G1-3 Against the Giants

4.  D1-3 Descent Into the Depths of the Earth

5.  U1 Sinister Secret of Saltmarsh

6.  Ruins of Undermountain

7. I1 Dwellers of the Forbidden City

8.  L1 Secret of Bone Hill

9.  A1-4 Scourge of the Slavelords

10. S1 Tomb of Horrors

11. WG4 Forgotten Temple of Tharizdun

12. S4 Lost Caverns of Tsojancth

13. WG5 Mordenkainen's Fantastic Adventure

14. U3 The Final Enemy

15. WGR6 City of Skulls

16. Gates of Firestorm Peak

17. S3 Expedition To the Barrier Peaks

18. X1 Isle of Dread

19. Night Below

20. B10 Night's Dark Terror



B1:  I've dm'd this one more than any other publishd adventure, over a dozen times. I think it's the perfect beginning module for both players and DMs, and I've never once not had a group have an absolute blast while running through it. May Kracky the Hooded One live long and prosper.....



T1-4: For most of us old school gamers, Hommlet was the first ever village we ever adventured in, and the Inn of the Welcome Wench the first tavern we ever got loaded in while hitting on the barmaids.  I've used T1 about a million times as a backdrop to a campaign, the fully fleshed out village is perfect.  Just a classic in plot and design.



G1-3: The first foray into a continued theme and it was a success.  Looking back it's mind boggling to realize how skimpy these adventures really were; the entire trilogy would barely make a good Dungeon Magazine adventure (G1 and G2 were EIGHT PAGES LONG EACH) yet everyone remembers them and it was a 1st edition rite of passage that every single gamer faced at some point.  



4.  D1-3: Building on G1-3 and surpassing it, rarely (until the present) has there ever been a campaign of such magnitude and scope.  I mean, an ENTIRE new race of evil underground elves with monstrous powers with an entire underground city; but to get there you had to pass through miles and miles and miles of the worst monsters ever (Mind Flayers, Kuotoans, and more).  Then you got to battle the servants of a god, in their temple, and somehow make it BACK to the surface again, alive.  The first moment when you hand the party the partially filled in map the players have found at the end of G3 and the PCs eyes start to glaze over as they realize the job ahead of them....it sends goosebumps down my spine.  The antithesis of cookie cutter, follow the path adventures that would follow unfortunately.  



5.  U1:  I've heard this called the perfect 1st edition intro adventure, and it may be.  Haunted House, backstabbing false hostages, nasty evil spellcasters, ship full of lizardmen, a mystery to solve, it has pretty much everything to get newbies interested in AD&D.



6.  Ruins of Undermountain: An entire box full of fun, it reminds me of a mixture of a Judge's Guild supplement, with the scope of D1-3, and the very able writing of Ed Greenwood (whose fiction stinks yet is to me at least the closest to Gary Gygax in actual conception of almost any adventure writer).  This one box set should provide years of adventuring (actual years, if the players feel like they want to map out all three levels given).  Lots of room for the Dm to add his own goodies, and for the players the adventure can be shaped to any party's likes (combat, thinking puzzles, roleplaying, etc)



7.  I1:  I love jungle adventures hearkening back to Conan's "Queen of the Black Coast" and Tarzan novels, lost cities have always intrigued me.  The expansion of the Lost City lends itself to lots of DM invention.  As proof I took the time to write a 40+ page expansion of the adventure when I updated it for 2nd edition and it was a labor of love.



8.  L1: If B1 is my favorite starter adventure, and U1 the perfect beginning adventure, L1 is the perfect beginning of a CAMPAIGN ever put out by TSR.  You get a village, with mysteries, politics, two adventures right underneath your feat, interesting and fleshed out characters....and you haven't even hit the wilderness yet with the nasty Bone Hill awaiting you.  I've used this at least twice for the settings of entire campaigns that lasted years, both times the module went above and beyond the call of duty even after Bone Hill was sacked.



9.  A1-4:  Technically, this is really one of the weakest structurally as the series shows it's tournament roots a little too closely.  If you get past that, and do a little fiddling, this can truly be a memorable gaming experience (particularly the end of A3 and beginning of A4, which in my entire experience of DMing almost caused the only mass player desertion ever).  The players went from the depths of "This sucks! My character is gone" despair and near tears to "That's kick ass! How cool!" when I read the intro to A4 and they found their characters while alive were left to defend themselves with a rock, loincloth and their own wits.



10.  S1:  Daddy Gygax showed us how to do the TPK for the first time, in stylish fashion, and it was good.....



11.  WR4: I've run this numerous times, both myself and the various groups have always enjoyed it. It's really three adventures in one:  The grueling outdoor exploration of the mountain range with a few nasty and unexpected foes; the assault on the Temple which turns into a fun and exciting exercise in assault tactics; and the eerie, spooky exploration of the chilling undertemple.  Rarely has an adventure fully lived up to all aspects of the D&D experience like this one.



12. S4: Ok, so it's a monster hack from start to finish, but the entire caverns is a ball of fun.  From the "What monster is next?" attitude of the party as they trundle from cavern to cavern meeting unusual and deadly creatures each one, to the final destination that rewards them with a horde of treasure that is mindboggling (along with the hottest vampire/fighter/demoness of all), rarely has there ever been a module that just embodied the sheer spirit of AD&D---Enter a cave, kill the monsters, search the cave, find the treasure, go to next cave---better than this one.



13. WG5: Everyone wants to try the dungeon that stymied Bigby and Mordy, and this one doesn't disappoint. From the Golem on the first floor to the demon at the bottom, this is classic dungeon adventuring at it's best.  Don't stop to think about it too hard, it'll fall apart, just pull your sword or wand and start hacking....



14. U3:  The only underwater adventure for 1st ed (I think) this threw characters for a loop and put them at a huge disadvantage the first time they learned that they were completely out of their element and oh yeh that two handed sword SUCKS when swung underwater and BTW that Lightning Bolt spell? You just fried half the party moron.  Plus, there were seas devils...LOTS andlots of them...a nicely underused but never underrated foe.  Cmon now, did anyone really play the module as written and just "scout" the evil Sahaughin headquarters, or did it always turn into a veritable bloodbath in the arena like it did everytime I ran the module?



15. WGR6: The best high level adventure put out by TSR that didn't encourage munchkinism or merely present the players with lists of creatures triple digit hit points as a way of "challenging" them.  If your players didn't truly get their ass in gear in this one and use their head, they got their ass handed to them, in Iuz of all places.



16. Gates of Firestorm Peak: This is the only adventure on this list I've never played.  I don't know why it isn't better known, it's got a great setting, plot and foes, as well as excellent maps.  Very underrated, I'd love to run it one day.



17. S3: For everyone that played fantasy games but also watched Star Trek reruns and wished SF had a game like D&D.  Everyone remembers fighting their first robot or android, or shooting their own arm off trying to reolad the blaster, or taking on the Froghemoth.  NOt to mention five adventures later when you were in the Tomb of Horrors pulling some spare Fragmentation grenades and a blaster with 3 charges out of your portable hole when in dire straits caused you saved them all thistime...



18. X1: I always like this one because I like jungle adventures (as I've said) and Isle of Dread led to all kinds of innovative and personalized designs for the DM to use past the basic encounters.  There were so many directions to go with this one you never got bored exploring or Dming it.



19. Night Below: I've only run this once but it was some great fun.  Toss the first booklet and get your party down into the underdark as soon as possible, to take on the troika of Derro, Kuo Toans and Aboleth in a battle for the fate of your world.  Highlights: The Kuo toan city and it's Attrition chart; The Sunless Sea and environs, No Drow, and the slimy and deadly foes themselves who all are used to their highest potential.



20. B10: Very underrated, a really good campaign adventure that takes the party through several different types of encounters and situations as they rise in level and explore the Karameikos countryside battling a slavery ring but finding more in the process. Good use of a huge castle and many side adventures



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Post Posted: Sun Dec 11, 2005 5:38 am 
 

i prb cant come up with 20 tbh, but will give it a go:



U1 sinister secret of saltmarsh

B2 keep on the borderlands

B4 lost city

R-1 to the aid of falx

JG88 dark tower

JG92 wilderlands of the magic realms

I6 ravenloft

Q1 Queen of the demonweb pits

D3 vault of the drow

G1-3 against the giants

R-2 the investigation of hydell

JG27 tegel manor

JG210 Inferno

S1 tomb of horrors

gorge of the afterlife - beholder #14



cant think of anymore offhand, and these are not really in any specific order.



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Post Posted: Sun Dec 11, 2005 10:05 am 
 

I've been tablating the lists posted using my ultra-secret formula**, and as a group, our most popular/greatest/favorite/whatever modules are:



1. GDQ1-7 (92 points) *

2. U1 (60 points)

3. S1 (33 points)

4. T1-4 (30 points)

5. WG4 (25 points)

6. S4 (23 points)

7. I6 (22 points)

8. A1-4 (21 points)

8. L1 (21 points)

10. JG88 Dark Tower (17 points)



*or parts thereof.  Taken individually, none of the components would make the list.

** 10 points for first ranked, 9 for second, etc...  5 points each item in the lists where the modules were not ranked.  Lists containing more than 10 items were truncated mercilessly.




U1 is by far the leader in the "single module" category, scoring a massive 60 points, but gets bullied out of first by GDQ1-7.

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Post Posted: Sun Dec 11, 2005 10:12 am 
 

These lists are showing that very few people have ventured away from TSR products. There are at least as many vintage non-TSR adventures than there are published by TSR, but no-one has played them.


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Post Posted: Sun Dec 11, 2005 10:14 am 
 

mbassoc2003 wrote:These lists are showing that very few people have ventured away from TSR products. There are at least as many vintage non-TSR adventures than there are published by TSR, but no-one has played them.




hey i veered away :)



always willing to try stuff from other games. i have converted the odd module from other formats on a few occasions, if i liked the ideas enough.



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Post Posted: Sun Dec 11, 2005 10:37 am 
 

mbassoc2003 wrote:These lists are showing that very few people have ventured away from TSR products. There are at least as many vintage non-TSR adventures than there are published by TSR, but no-one has played them.




My problem with non-TSR stuff is that I dont own a whole lot now and I never owned nor knew anybody who owned anything but TSR back in the day. Whats your list? :)


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Post Posted: Sun Dec 11, 2005 11:30 am 
 

bclarkie wrote:
mbassoc2003 wrote:These lists are showing that very few people have ventured away from TSR products. There are at least as many vintage non-TSR adventures than there are published by TSR, but no-one has played them.




My problem with non-TSR stuff is that I dont own a whole lot now and I never owned nor knew anybody who owned anything but TSR back in the day. Whats your list? :)




mine had a nice smattering of allsorts. could prb change and expand on that with more time to think and look back. beholder 14 was the only one me or the group i was with, had all over the years. and that one adventure i ran, was a right old hoot. i only found it some time back, which was why i started to hunt them down. getting there now!



i actually quite liked some of the adventures that were in the imagine magazine too.



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Post Posted: Sun Dec 11, 2005 3:14 pm 
 

here's my top 20. i listed individual modules rather than supermodules for the G,D, and A series as i never played the supermods of these and i just think they have more appeal as individual modules!



                      20) I2-tomb of the lizard king

                      19) B1-in search of the unknown

                      18) N1-against the cult of the reptile god

                      17) H2-the mines of bloodstone

                      16) B2-the keep on the borderlands

                      15) U2-danger at dunwater

                      14) I1-dwellers of the forbidden city

                      13) L1-secret of bone hill

                      12) T1-village of hommlet

                      11) S4-lost caverns of tsojcanth

                      10) D2-shrine of the kuo toa

                        9) D3-vault of the drow

                        8) A4-in the dungeons of the slave lords

                        7) D1-descent into the depths of the earth

                        6) A1-slave pits of the undercity

                        5) S2-white plume mountain

                        4) G1-steading of the hill giant chief

                        3) U1-sinister secret of saltmarsh

                        2) G3-hall of the fire giant king

                        1) G2-the glacial rift of the frost giant jarl


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Post Posted: Sun Dec 11, 2005 10:21 pm 
 

I can't rank the adventures, I just don't have the time to split hairs that closely, so here are my favorites:



grodog's Favorite RPG adventures (D&D and other)



A1 Slave Pits of the Undercity

A4 In the Dungeons of the Slave Lords

B4 Lost City

B10 Nights Dark Terror

D1 Descent Into the Depths of the Earth

G3 Hall of the Fire Giant King ** my favorite module **

N1 Against the Cult of the Reptile God

N5 Under Illefarn

R1 To the Aid of Falx

S4 The Lost Caverns of Tsojcanth

T1 Village of Hommlet

U1 The Sinister Secret of Saltmarsh

U3 The Final Enemy

WG4 Forgotten Temple of Tharizdun

WG5 Mordenkainen's Fantastic Adventure

X4 Temple of Death

X5 Master of the Desert Nomads



"Into the Fire" and "Out of the Ashes" from Dungeons 1 and 17

"Trouble at Grog's" from Dungeon #4

"Hirward's Task" from Dungeon #5



"The Garden of Nefaron" from Dragon 53

"Assassins' Run" from Dragon 64

"The Ruins of Andril" from Dragon 81



Starstone

The Enemy Within series (Warhammer FRP)

Masks of Nyarlathotep (CoC)

Yellow Clearance Black Box Blues (Paranoia)

Spawn of Azathoth (CoC)

Shadows of Yog-Sothoth (CoC)

Griffin Mountain (RuneQuest)

The Broken Covenant of Calebais (Ars Magica)



"Grace Under Pressure" in The Unspeakable Oath (CoC)

"In Medias Res" in The Unspeakable Oath (CoC)

"Deep Sh*t" (Blue Planet tournament adventure; the best convention tourney I have ever played, in any game system)



and, of course: "Treasure of the Dragon Queen" :D :D :D



===



Interestingly, running through the Origins Award winners for best adventures, many more awards were handed to Chaosium and CoC over the years than to D&D: http://www.aagad.originsgames.com/aagad/award-winners


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Post Posted: Sun Dec 11, 2005 10:39 pm 
 

I always liked "Forest of Doom", from Dragon #73. Not in my top 10, or maybe even my top 20, but in my top 30.

  


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Post Posted: Sun Dec 11, 2005 11:03 pm 
 

grodog wrote:
"Grace Under Pressure" in The Unspeakable Oath (CoC)

"In Medias Res" in The Unspeakable Oath (CoC)





I knew I enjoyed your opinions for good reasons.  I love these adventures, and cherish the UnspeakableOaths I own. :)


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Post Posted: Sun Dec 11, 2005 11:28 pm 
 

MrFilthyIke wrote:
grodog wrote:
"Grace Under Pressure" in The Unspeakable Oath (CoC)

"In Medias Res" in The Unspeakable Oath (CoC)





I knew I enjoyed your opinions for good reasons. I love these adventures, and cherish the UnspeakableOaths I own. :)




Thanks Sean:  I still count writing reviews in TUO and playtesting for Pagan as one of my career highlights.  If you liked the old-style stuff like GUP and IMR, you should definitely check out Blue Planet from Biohazard Games/Fantasy Flight Games:  Jeff Barber who was the voice of science behind GUP created that game and company when John Tynes moved Pagan Publishing to Seattle when he went to work for WotC in 1995 or so.  "Deep Sh*t" was a phenomenal con scenario, and come to think of it, I should see if Jeff has any copies of it that I can nab....


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Post Posted: Tue Dec 13, 2005 4:14 pm 
 

Since I was always a DM, my favorite modules were the ones I could easily incorporate into my own world.



Most won't like my choice for #10, but my players loved it.  Of course, my players were cracked (something they're quite proud of).



Greyhawk Castle is also the last dungeon I ever ran.



10.  WG4 Castle Greyhawk

09.  S3  Expedition to the Barrier Peaks

08.  S4  Lost Caverns of Tsojcanth

07.  T1  Village of Hommlet

06.  B2  Keep on the Borderlands

05.  S1  Tomb of Horrors

04.  S2  White Plume Mountain

03.  --  Temple of the Frog from Blackmoor, Supplement II

02.  A3  Assault on the Aerie of the Slave Lords

01.  A4  In the Dungeons of the Slave Lords


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Post Posted: Sat Dec 17, 2005 10:11 am 
 

I'm not extremely familiar with adventure modules, since I never play them and always create my own adventures, but some of my personal favorites are:

1) For Duty and Deity
2) The Great Modron March
3) The Shadow Rift
4) The Lost City
5) Ronin Challenge
6) Feast of Goblyns
7) Ruins of Adventure
8) Requiem series (Death Unchained, Death Ascendant, Death Triumphant)
9) Reunion (interesting 3-ways game)
10) Castle Greyhawk (special mention for the fun)

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