The Official Acaeum Top 30 adventures of all time
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Post Posted: Sat Dec 02, 2006 11:51 am 
 

Looking at the list, I was surprised to see that:

:arrow:  No I3 or I5;
:arrow:  That Q1 and A4--for that matter, all of the A series--finished as far down as they did;
:arrow:  And the same for T1-4;
:arrow:  As has been pointed out, not one non-TSR product--heck,
     not even one of the Dungeon Crawl Classics made top-30;
:arrow:  And . . . no Blackmoor, DA's, or even one of the Dragonlance/DL's made top-30
    (the last since I6 Ravenloft did make the list; it ended up starting a whole new campaign "world").

  

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Post Posted: Sat Dec 02, 2006 12:14 pm 
 

One thing about Q1 . . . I played it once and ran it once.  Neither time did anyone have characters that were high enough level to go through it, so they were just "pick-up" games with pre-generated characters.  And . . . well, when they are not your character, it's is difficult to care quite as much about the adventure.


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Post Posted: Sat Dec 02, 2006 12:30 pm 
 

sleepyCO wrote:Looking at the list, I was surprised to see that:

:arrow:  No I3 or I5;
:arrow:  That Q1 and A4--for that matter, all of the A series--finished as far down as they did;
:arrow:  And the same for T1-4;
:arrow:  As has been pointed out, not one non-TSR product--heck,
     not even one of the Dungeon Crawl Classics made top-30;
:arrow:  And . . . no Blackmoor, DA's, or even one of the Dragonlance/DL's made top-30
    (the last since I6 Ravenloft did make the list; it ended up starting a whole new campaign "world").


I guess I for one wasnt surprised at all with these findings.  I didnt like any of the 'Desert of Desolation' modules particularly much.  As BtB said, Q1 is not an easy module to run and most players probably either died or never finished it (my party never got that far).  Most people probably haven't played many of the Dungeon Crawl Classics so it doesnt surprise me that none made the list.  Dragonlance?  I think you will find most people here like the novels but despise the modules.

  

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Post Posted: Sat Dec 02, 2006 1:15 pm 
 

Really enjoyed reading darkseraphim's comments on his favorites... now only if he'd stick around a bit longer...  :wink:

I guess it makes sense that the low level modules finished highest since they're the most accessible to play.  I was surprised that A4 finished as low as it did, even lower than A1.  A4 is the only module I know of that forces players to think of their characters as not being just the sum of their equipment and magic items.  It also has a great climatic ending with the slavers' island being subsumed by a volcano as the players hopefully get away on a boat.

  


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Post Posted: Sat Dec 02, 2006 2:28 pm 
 

A couple of quick comments:

1. Not a single Dragonlance adventure received a single vote that I can remember;

2. A number of DCC's did receive votes, but no single entry in the series garnered enough support to break into the top 30. The support for the DCC series was too spread out, in other words.

3. I3, I4, and I5 got pummeled and finished well down the list. I was sort of surprised by this, too.

4. I thought it was a nice piece of symmetry that the very top and very bottom of our top 30 were T1 and T1-4.

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Post Posted: Sat Dec 02, 2006 5:14 pm 
 

Some more follow-up:

1. JG's Dark Tower almost cracked the top 30, finishing in a tie for 31st place. It was the top non-TSR finisher.

2. Three DCCs received at least a single vote, making it (by far) the most popular 3e line of products.

3. Of the 131 adventures to receive at least one vote, 66 received exactly one vote. As a guess, I'd say a lot of us just tossed in a couple of our off-beat favorites, knowing full well they had no chance of ever cracking any "top" list ever created.

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Post Posted: Sat Dec 02, 2006 9:40 pm 
 

The list is pretty much what you'd expect from a group of primarily long-time 1E players.  

All of the monos made the list.  Everything on the list (not including B10, I don't know on that one) is copyright 1985 or earlier.  T1-4 is the second-newest module.  The average of the top ten is about 1979. 8O

I'd hoped to see something strange make the list, such as a WG5/6/7, an R-series, or a non-TSR module.  I'm a little surprised nothing from the UK-series made the cut.

One thing I always find a bit disappointing is the over-emphasis on G1/G2/G3/D1/D2/D3/Q1.  Yes, they're wonderful, but I prefer to use G1-2-3, D1-2, D3, Q1 in order to limit that series to four selections rather than seven.

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Post Posted: Sat Dec 02, 2006 10:34 pm 
 

darkseraphim wrote:#16 EX1, Dungeonland.  Probably the most unpopular of the Gygaxian adventures; I admire it because I'm an Alice and Carroll devotee.  If you study Victorian literature and lifestyle at all, you have to nod in admiration at some of the "extensions" Gygax made to Wonderland.  The humor, however, is trite and contrived and never really works.  This is an example of how to create a wonderful tribute to an existing work, and also the pitfalls in the procedure.  If you're thinking of adapting a classic novel and making an adventure out of it, read this.  (EX2, although not as well-designed, is worth a nod.)


I wrestled a lot with whether to include these two in my list or not, and in the end left them off.  I like them a lot, though, and am glad to see that they got some representation in the voting :D  Like X4, these play better than they read, but I think your point about being a Carroll fan is the big reason that these didn't rank in the end:  they're just a little too out there, broader in their definition of "fantasy" than many find comfortable, and the humor side doesn't often appeal to those who take their D&D seriously (alas :D ).


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Post Posted: Sat Dec 02, 2006 10:55 pm 
 

Xaxaxe, is there any way to post the rest of your list in another post (from 31st on down)?  

I can't believe that I forgot the entire L and UK series  :oops: ;  and I didn't even have a DL-series module on my top-20 list (aaarrrggghhh!!).
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Deimos3428 wrote:
I'd hoped to see something strange make the list, such as a WG5/6/7, an R-series, or a non-TSR module.  I'm a little surprised nothing from the UK-series made the cut.


I agree, deimos--maybe in the case of the R-series or even the original (woody) books, some like myself have only heard about them and never played or read them;  I did put in votes for WG5 and WG7, but why I did NOT put one in for WG4 is unexplainable.

  

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Post Posted: Sat Dec 02, 2006 11:40 pm 
 

Beyondthebreach wrote:One thing about Q1 . . . I played it once and ran it once.  Neither time did anyone have characters that were high enough level to go through it, so they were just "pick-up" games with pre-generated characters.  And . . . well, when they are not your character, it's is difficult to care quite as much about the adventure.


I just never saw any greatness in Q1. I went through as a player and later bought it to read. I did not like it either way.

I3,4,5 are not surprising. Again, they seemed a little, well, dull.

No surprise on T1.

I am just as big a fan on the old monos, but I am still not sure G2, D1 or D2 should be that high on the list. They are riding the coat-tails of the others in my opinion.


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

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Post Posted: Sun Dec 03, 2006 6:40 pm 
 

Thinking of the D adventure as one module makes sense.

The G modules are easily the most fun of all the modules on the list.

Everyone has a G series story.  They are superior enough to stand out individually...just too much raw adventure in each one to be ignored.

Did Dragonlance ever have a single module that grabbed the attention?  The series sold a lot, but was there one that stood out?

I can't figure why I only voted for TSR products.  I wonder what I was thinking.  Verbosh and Dark Tower need to be up there.

No surprise that all of the winners were early modules.  None.

I can't think of a single thing that was medieval about Hommlet aside from the costumes. That was a small Edwardian English village.  Sort of like a Rennaisance fair in a small town of the 20th century.  If a postman had shown up with hot news from the Boer War, or something like that, I would not have been surprised.


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Post Posted: Sun Mar 04, 2012 12:53 pm 
 

Xaxaxe wrote:I recently jumped in here to help BC with my Create Huge Spreadsheet spell, and — after two run-throughs of the data — I'm ready to say the results are final.

Again, I think this was a great idea for a fun thread; we just get so damn serious around here sometimes. On behalf of BC, thanks to all who took the time to vote (28 voters, BTW, although not everyone filled out all 20 places).

The full top 30 list, along with some details that I found interesting, will follow within the hour. For now, I thought you might want to know that our winner is ...

(drum roll)

[ Image ]


The results of this thread are missing which undermines the thread somewhat.

Can someone post a text list of the results?

  

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Post Posted: Sun Mar 04, 2012 2:04 pm 
 

We could always run it again. New members, several years later.


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

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Post Posted: Sun Mar 04, 2012 2:43 pm 
 

I'm game, not having participated in the original. What the heck, I guess I'll volunteer to tally the results, too. As I understand the original post, everyone should list their top 20 favorite modules, TSR or non-TSR for A/D&D (any edition). For simplicity's sake, include modules published as stand-alone products only (i.e., no "Temple of the Frog" from Blackmoor, no adventures out of Dragon or Dungeon mags). No "supermodule copouts" (B1-10, A1-4, D1-2, G1-2-3, GDQ1-7, I3-5, S1-4, etc.)--T1-4 is an exception, as it is the only form in which T2-T4 (ToEE) ever appeared. I will compile a list of the top 30 named after about a week, weighting everyone's 1st place module x20 down to the 20th place x1 (interpolating those in between, i.e., 10th place is x11). Entries in the following format, reasons/commentary optional:

1)
2)
3)
4)
5)
6)
7)
8)
9)
10)
11)
12)
13)
14)
15)
16)
17)
18)
19)
20)


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Post Posted: Sun Mar 04, 2012 3:08 pm 
 

bbarsh wrote:We could always run it again. New members, several years later.

Not a bad idea considering its been almost six years since this thread was started and I can guarantee that my list has changed since then.


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Post Posted: Sun Mar 04, 2012 4:10 pm 
 

So is the Acaeum's remit now, all D&D, D&D pre-4E, or what?
I's expect an 'official Acaeum top 30' to reflect the site's remit, and as DCC are not Pre-1990, they do not fit with the site's intended function.

Maybe we need an unofficial Acaeum top 30 aswell, and a non-TSR top 30 to boot?


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Post Posted: Sun Mar 04, 2012 4:21 pm 
 

I'm not sure what a remit is, but I was just going with the same format as the original poster. DCCs and such were allowed the first time around. I'm the last person who wants to see any discussion about 4th ed. or even 3rd. Aren't you one of the big posters over in the d20 thread? :)


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Post Posted: Sun Mar 04, 2012 4:30 pm 
 

Anyway, here are mine (I might edit to explain choices later):

1. S3 Expedition to the Barrier Peaks (I love the idea of wielding a sword in my right hand and a laser pistol in my left, and the illustration booklet is wicked cool).
2. D3 Vault of the Drow (a deadly mini-campaign that's almost infinitely expandable, along with the other 2 in the D-series, and because it has some of the most striking examples of Gygaxian prose in a module--the description of the vault).
3. S1 Tomb of Horrors (cause it has more Tramp art per page-count than any other TSR publication [I think], and it's the ultimate test of player skill [as opposed to character level/ability])
4. T1 The Village of Hommlet (another mini-campaign with lots of possibilities, a believable low-level setting with scads of personality)
5) S4 The Lost Caverns of Tsojcanth (yet another mini-campaign that can go off onto all kinds of tangents [that's a good thing!], an extensive wilderness component, and I love[d] the new material in the additional booklet--it was an injection of pure Gygaxian goodness at just the right time bitd)
6) G1 Steading of the Hill Giant Chief (a great mid-high level tactical challenge, can really be used by itself or as a lead-in to the rest of GDQ)
7) D2 Shrine of the Kuo-Toa (there's just something wonderfully creepy about the Kuo-Toa People, and an alien religious pilgrimage site is a neat concept)
8) G3 Hall of the Fire Giant King (incorporates an incredible level of detail and interconnectedness among the encounters/monsters).
9) S2 White Plume Mountain (I like the occasional funhouse dungeon, and Keraptis seemed such a likeable villain with a sick sense of humor--I mean, his followers are fanatical gnomes, fer Chrissake).
10) B2 Keep on the Borderlands (it encapsulates the true spirit of D&D in the fewest possible pages, nonsensical bits and all).
11) C2 The Ghost Tower of Inverness (Yeah, what the hell IS going on here?)
12) G2 Glacial Rift of the Frost Giant Jarl (Don't slip!)
13) C1 The Hidden Shrine of Tamoachan (Arcane mystery out the wazzoo... Ten minutes ago we didn't even know there was a civilization down here, and now..)
14) D1 Descent into the Depths of the Earth (Abandon hope....)
15) B1 In Search of the Unknown (A great introduction)
16) A4 In the Dungeons of the Slave Lords (You really find out what you're made of without all that crap you've accumulated).
17) I1 Dwellers of the Forbidden City (All those factions make for a complicated and interesting several sessions, if you utilize the potential)
18) N1 Against the Cult of the Reptile God (a bit railroady, but like T1 another good example of a fleshed out "living" village).
19) EX1 Dungeonland ('cause you gotta admire EGG for trying, and I do like my Alice--but where was Alice?!)
20) Q1 Queen of the Demonweb Pits ('cause DCS was really trying hard here; it didn't really work, but you can see the potential, and the alternate prime material planes were inspired).


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Last edited by MetaSigma on Sun Mar 04, 2012 5:39 pm, edited 1 time in total.
  

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Post Posted: Sun Mar 04, 2012 4:40 pm 
 

Old List:

Posted: Wed Oct 25, 2006 11:00 pm         
1.        T1 Village of Hommlet
2.        B1 In Search of the Unknown
3.        L1 Bone Hill
4.        Ruins of Undermountain
5.        G3 Fire Giants
6.        D1 Descent Into the Depths
7.        S1 Tomb of Horrors
8.        WG4 Tharizdun
9.        I1 Forgotten City
10.        U1 Secret of Saltmarsh
11.        N1 Cult of the Reptile God
12.        B2 Keep on the Borderlands
13.        B10 Night's Dark Terror
14.        WG5 Mordenkainen's Fantastic Adventure
15.        D3 Vault of the Drow
16.        A4 Dungeons of the Slave Lords
17.        Night Below
18.        WGR6 City of Skulls
19.        G1
20.        G2

New List:  

1. B1 In Search of the Unknown
2. Caverns of Thracia
3. T1 Village of Hommlet
4. Ruins of Undermountain
5. L1 Secret of Bone Hill
6. I1 Forgotten City
7. WG4 Tharizdun
8. Dark Tower
9. Bottle City
10. WG5 Mordenkainen's Fantastic Adventure
11. B2 Keep on the Borderlands
12. B10 Night's Dark Terror
13. G1
14. G2
15. G3
16. D1 Descent Into the Depths
17. U1 Secret of Saltmarsh
18. N1 Cult of the Reptile God
19. D3 Vault of the Drow
20. S1 Tomb of Horrors

The new list reflects the added respect for Judges Guild and the OSR at this point of my gaming experience.  I will readily admit many of the adventures are on the list for nostalgia purposes only at this point as I haven't played or DM'd them in decades.

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Post Posted: Sun Mar 04, 2012 8:38 pm 
 

I'm a longtime lurker here but infrequent poster.  Here is my list.  It was harder ranking these than I had expected and probably some could exchange spots but I think this is pretty close to my order of favorites.

1. T1-4 Temple of Elemental Evil (awesome back-story, cool mega-dungeon)
2. B2 Keep on the Borderlands (one of the first I ever played, great introductory adventure)
3. U1 Sinister Secret of Saltmarsh (loved the details on the town and remember taking notes on it and having fun mapping it out myself)
4. Tegel Manor (my favorite funhouse dungeon)
5. L1 Secret of Bone Hill (lots of adventures out in the wilderness, which many modules didn't have during this time period)
6. G1 Steading of the Hill Giant Chief (great challenge that if not approached tactically and cautiously will lead to a quick TPK)
7. Dark Tower (perhaps the best Judges Guild module ever)
8. S1 Tomb of Horrors (scary, deadly and difficult to successfully complete)
9. X1 Isle of Dread (I have fond memories of exploring the island way back when I first started playing)
10. T1 Village of Hommlet (classic campaign starter, can easily be used without T1-4 if you wish something shorter that can act as a springboard to future adventures)
11. C2 Ghost Tower of Inverness (weird place with evocative set pieces)
12. N1 Against the Cult of the Reptile God (aside from Hommlet, Orlane was one of the better examples of a D&D village)
13. I1 Dwellers of the Forbidden City (cool setting, lots of interesting factions for the PCs to deal with)
14. A1 Slave Pits of the Undercity (my favorite of the Slaver modules)
15. U3 Final Enemy (interesting underwater element)
16. G2 Glacial Rift of the Frost Giant Jarl (awesome adventure environment)
17. G3 Hall of the Fire Giant King (nice cap on the Giant series)
18. D1 Descent into the Depths of the Earth (high level goodness)
19. D3 Vault of the Drow (so much open-ended potential, flavorful writing)
20. S4 Lost Caverns of Tsojcanth (another module with a strong wilderness component, cool and interesting encounters)

  
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