The Official Acaeum Top 30 adventures of all time
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Post Posted: Mon Mar 05, 2012 2:17 am 
 

How about "generic" modules that we all know were realistically written for D&D - are those legal for this list?


Areas of interest/knowledge: Harn, WFRP, Ars Magica, anything BRP based such as CoC, Runequest, Pendragon and all their related games

  

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Post Posted: Mon Mar 05, 2012 2:23 am 
 

Well - I cheated, so....yeah.

Most of the generic modules are too transparently D&D to be anything else.


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Post Posted: Mon Mar 05, 2012 5:19 pm 
 

I was less commenting on your list and more preparing mine... which would be flooded with the non-TSR side of things.


Areas of interest/knowledge: Harn, WFRP, Ars Magica, anything BRP based such as CoC, Runequest, Pendragon and all their related games

  

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Post Posted: Mon Mar 05, 2012 7:21 pm 
 

Absolutely, any adventure you can play using D&D rules is fair game AFAIC.


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Post Posted: Mon Mar 05, 2012 10:18 pm 
 

My original list:

1.  G3 Hall of the Fire Giant King
2.  I6 Ravenloft
3.  B2 Keep on the Borderlands
4.  I1 The Forbidden City
5.  L1 Secret of Bone Hill
6.  N2 The Forest Oracle
7.  S2 White Plume Mountain
8.  D3 Vault of the Drow
9.  D1 Descent Into the Depths of the Earth
10.  U1 Sinister Secret of Saltmarsh
11.  WG4 Forgotten Temple of Tharizdun
12.  G1 Steading of the Hill Giant Chief
13.  G2 Glacier of the Frost Giant Jarl
14.  Dead Gods
15.  S3 Expedition to the Barrier Peaks
16.  U3 The Final Enemy
17.  X1 Isle of Dread
18.  X11 Saga of the Shadow Lord
19.  Vecna Lives!
20.  UK3 The Gauntlet

My updated list:

1.)  G3 Hall of the Fire Giant King
2.)  WG4 Forgotten Temple of Tharizdun
3.)  B2 Keep on the Borderlands
4.)  Dark Tower
5.)  G1 Steading of the Hill Giant Chief
6.)  I1 The Forbidden City
7.)  Tomb of Abysthor
8.)  I6 Ravenloft
9.)  U1 The Sinister Secret of Saltmarsh
10.)  D1-2 Descent Into the Depths of the Earth
11.)  G2 Glacial Rift of the Frost Giant Jarl
12.)  L1 The Secret of Bone Hill
13.)  D3 Vault of the Drow
14.)  S2 White Plume Mountain
15.)  N2 The Forest Oracle
16.)  S3 Expedition to the Barrier Peaks
17.)  A4 In the Dungeons of the Slave Lords
18.)  Starstone
19.)  Tegel Manor
20.)  UK3 The Gauntlet

Others that didnt quite make the cut:

A Paladin in Hell
Hammers of the God (Lamentations of the Flame Princess)
Crown of Shadow (d20 adventure for the Midnight setting)
Caverns of Thracia
The Lost Abbey of Calthonwey
The Black Monastery


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Post Posted: Mon Mar 05, 2012 10:50 pm 
 

Thanks for resurrecting a great thread :D

  

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Post Posted: Mon Mar 05, 2012 11:53 pm 
 

TheHistorian wrote:I was less commenting on your list and more preparing mine... which would be flooded with the non-TSR side of things.


Bring it!  I'm wondering which ones will make the list.


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Post Posted: Tue Mar 06, 2012 1:17 am 
 

Well I wasn't around when this thread was originally created, but I too am glad it has been raised from the dead. I haven't played in years so my list is not complete, but here are my recollections and opinions.

1. Vault of the Drow- This was the Sine Qua Non of D&D for me. Before I got so sick of the Drow that I wanted to spit, the were the perfect enemies. Sinsiter, evil, and just plain deplorable. However they were portrayed as having their own motivations and not evil for for just the sake of being so.
2. Lost Caverns of Tsojcanth- Love the Behir, loved the 2nd booklet with all the new monsters and treasure. Got killed by a lurker above when I was young because I didn't get the hint.
3. Ghost Tower of Inverness- The very first module I ever got (apart from the one included in my boxed set)). The Soul Gem and the mad wizards lair. Loved it all and was mystified by it at the same time. The elemental levels, life sized chess? Couldn't get enough.
4. Tomb of Horrors- Ack, what even needs to be said.
5. The Sinister Secret of Saltmarsh- Loved the Pseudo-dragon and the scooby-doo-esque fake haunted house.
6. Against the Cult of the Reptile God- Loved the naga. Reflecting on it now, I love that the descriptions of all the villagers houses included insane amounts of treasure below floorboards and in mattresses. Its begging a party to ignore the villagers troubles and transition from 'adventuring party' to 'raiding party'.
7. The Temple of Elemental Evil- Village of Hommlet is my favorite start locale ever. The temple itself is so huge and so complex that we played through it like 4 times and never saw it all.
8. The Final Enemy- The secret room filled with swimming and underwater breathing magic items that we missed the first time around and drowned in a most unheroic manner.
9. Against the Giants- Loved the concept and the artwork. Only actually played through G1 and G2. I love the orcs who are the kitchen slaves. Isn't the Hill Giant Chief's name a play on Arneson's name?
10. Expedition to the Barrier Peaks- Mind Flayers, enough said.
11. Queen of the Demonweb Pits- The title alone is enough to make it great. I loved the demonweb and how unique it was compared to so many other products. Its depiction was better than anything new in the Manual of the Planes as far as I am concerned.
12. Isle of Dread- Loved the King Kong feel, and viscousness of the creatures.
13. Sentinel- Cool low-level type artifact and interesting monsters (Skulk and Xvarts)
14. The Gauntlet- Even cooler low-level artifact with even cooler final enemy.
15.Hidden Shrine of Tamochan- Very cool setting with a unique feel
16. Dwellers of the Forbidden City- Yuan-Ti, the only race that made me re-consider my long-time love of the drow.
17. The Secret of Bonehill
18. Danger at Dunwater- My least favorite of the U series, but still a great module.
19. Sword of the Daimyo- Only OA adventure I ever played. Although I knew nothing about far eastern culture or mythos I had a good time (don't know why I didn't use OA again).
20. Lost Temple of Tharizdun- The guys on the front cover of the booklet look suspiciously like KKK members, I thought this was funny because that would never get published now (and not then either). Another reminder that the D&D I love is a product of its time.
21. Descent into the Depths of the Earth- I loved Vault of the Drow so much buit I was underwhelmed when I was younger by its prequels (so to speak). I have since changed my opinion significantly to overwhelmingly positive, but I made my list with my playing days in mind. Plus side was the Kuo-Toa.
22. Keep on the Borderlands- Good, but not as classic to me as some of the others.
23. The Lost City
24. The Assasins Knot- Murder Mystery
25. In the Dungeons of the Slave Lords- End to a cool serious of modules that I once again undervalued when I was younger.
26. In Search of the Unknown- Unknown reason why I didn't like this one much. Like it better now.
27. When a Star Falls- One of my favorite module titles. Played through it, thought it was quite good.
28. Castle Amber
29. White Plume Mountain
30. Ravenloft- Way cooler than any of the World of Darkness stuff, in my opinion



  

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Post Posted: Tue Mar 06, 2012 9:44 am 
 

1) U1 The Sinister Secret of Saltmarsh.
2) B10 Night's Dark Terror
3) U3 The Final Enemy
4) D1-2 Descent into the Depths of the Earth
5) T1 Village of Hommlet
6) L2 Assassins Knot
7) I6 Ravenloft
8. OA1 Swords of the Daimyo
9) S4 Lost Caverns of Tsojcanth
10) D3 Vault of the Drow
11) B4 Lost City
12) A2 Secret of the Slavers Stockade
13) B2 Keep on the Borderlands
14) U2 Danger at Dunwater
15) Xvarts: Silent but deadly
16) H1 Bloodstone Pass
17) G1-2-3 Against the Giants
18) X8 Drums on Fire Mountain
19) X10 Red Arrow Black Shield
20) X1 Isle of Dread
21) A1 Slave Pits of the Undercity
22) Adventurer's Wanted
23) S1 Tomb of Horrors
24) X5 Temple of Death
25) I1 Dwellers of the Forbidden City
26) Revenge is Best Served Cold
27) OA4 Blood of the Yakuza
28) B6 Veiled Society
29) CM6 Where Chaos Reigns
30) N4 Treasue Hunt

  

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Post Posted: Tue Mar 06, 2012 10:56 am 
 

Ekim Toor wrote:15) Xvarts: Silent but deadly


Another classic I left off my list :)



  

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Post Posted: Tue Mar 06, 2012 1:13 pm 
 

Jaquays made a strong impression the first time I read him and I think he and Gygax are the most distinguished adventure writers by some distance although it took me a long time to appreciate what Gygax was trying to achieve with his presentation.

[1] Caverns of Thracia
[2] Forgotten Temple of Tharizdun - WG4
[3] Dark Tower
[4] D3 Vault of the Drow
[5] The Enchanted Wood
[6] Trouble at Embertrees / Starstone
[7] Hidden Shrine of Tamoachan - C1
[8] Glacial Rift of the Frost Giant Jarl - G2 --- [Mostly for the map which is extraordinary]
[9] Horror on the Hill - B5
[10] Irilian - White Dwarf



  

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Post Posted: Tue Mar 06, 2012 9:14 pm 
 

My previous list:

1.   A2 Secret of the Slavers Stockade
2.   U1 Sinister Secret of Saltmarsh
3.   X4 Master of the Desert Nomads
4.   G3 Hall of the Fire Giant King
5.   A1 Slave Pits of the Under City
6.   T1 Village of Hommlet
7.   I2 Tomb of the Lizard King
8.   L1 Secret of Bone Hill
9.   I1 Dwellars of the Forbidden City
10. S3 Expedition to the Barrier Peaks
11. N1 Against the Cult of the Reptile God
12. A4 In the Dungeons of the Slave Lords
13. S1 Tomb of Horrors
14. B5 Horror on the Hill
15. X1 The Isle of Dread
16. B1 In Search of the Unknown
17. UK5 Eye of the Serpent
18. Thieves Fortress of Badabaskor
19. G1 Steading of the Hill Giant Chief
20. D3 Vault of the Drow

I am trying to look at these as great modules vs. my favorites. In many cases they are one in the same, though. I am looking at several features that make a module stand out: great story, new features/monsters, runs easy (not hard on the DM), innovation and finally, just plain coolness.


My new list:

1.   A2 Secret of the Slavers Stockade
     This module is flat out fun. It is really just a dungeon crawl but it is loaded with classic encounters and great NPCs.

2.   U1 Sinister Secret of Saltmarsh
     I love running this module. Back in the day, my group was 100% sold it was loaded with undead. It was great!

3.   X4 Master of the Desert Nomads
     This is my sleeper module. Do yourself a favor and read it. Then run it. It just works.

4.   G3 Hall of the Fire Giant King
     Gary's best.

5.   A1 Slave Pits of the Under City
     If you don't know it, I love tournament adventures. This one was one of the best.

6.   T1 Village of Hommlet
     Gary's second best. Probably one of the best campaign starter adventurers ever produced.

7.   I2 Tomb of the Lizard King
     Solid and fun.
    
8.   L1 Secret of Bone Hill
     Next to T1, this is the best campaign starter modules out there.

9.   I1 Dwellars of the Forbidden City
     Alone in a ruined city. Fantastic atmosphere.

10. S3 Expedition to the Barrier Peaks
     Gamma World meets D&D. Can't miss.
    
11. N1 Against the Cult of the Reptile God
     I actually went through this one as player. It was a blast just trying to figure out what the hell was going on.

12. Palace of the Vampire Queen
    It just needs to have a place on the list.

13. S1 Tomb of Horrors
     The killer of killers. Nobody gets out alive. And it should stay that way.
    
14. Dark Tower
     It was between DT and Dragon's Hall. Size won out.

15. X1 The Isle of Dread
     The basic/expert campaign starter.

16. B1 In Search of the Unknown
     My introduction to modules. I was hooked.

17. UK5 Eye of the Serpent
     I am not the biggest fan of the UK modules, but this one is unique and fun.

18. Thieves Fortress of Badabaskor
     Went through as a player. Or should I say I tried. Dozens of characters bought the farm in this classic. We just would not give up.

19. G1 Steading of the Hill Giant Chief
     The epic bar room brawl in the main room was awesome. I had a magic-user and walked out having used every spell and burned through every disposable magic item I had.

20. D3 Vault of the Drow
     When we played the G/D series back in the day, we alternated DMs so each of us could play. I drew D3. I spent four months preparing, writing and designing it out. I have about 120 sheets of paper - hand written (it was 1979!) of encounters, maps and other stuff. This module did more to inspire me to start writing more homebrew adventures. 33 years later I am still as excited to create encounters and adventures as I was after reading D3 for the first time.


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

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Post Posted: Wed Mar 07, 2012 1:11 am 
 

1.    Caverns of Thracia...this one got me started
2.    Brotherhood of the Bolt
3.    Sinister Secret of Saltmarsh U1
4.    Ravenloft  I6
5.    Tomb of Horrors  S1
6.    The Radisha Must Die...from Thieve's Guild 5 converted
7.    Assasin's Knot  L2
8.    The Lost City   B4
9.    The Book of Treasure Maps...I prefer short adventures
10.  The Secret of Bone Hill  L1
11.  Moorguard...converted from High Fantasy
12.  The Shattered Statue   DQ1
13.  The Forest Oracle  N2
14.  Horror on the Hill  B5
15.  Dweller's of the Forbidden City I1
16.  In Search of ther Unknown  B1
17.  Dragons of Weng T'sen
18.  Assault on Raven's Ruin  9350
19.  Thieves Fortress Badabaskor
20.  Pharoah  I3

  

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Post Posted: Wed Mar 07, 2012 4:08 pm 
 

FormCritic wrote:18)   Kingdom of the Ghouls - Dungeon #70

The best from Wofgang Bauer.  This is how an underworld adventure should be done.  A great twist on a classic D&D monster.  Kingdom of the Ghouls has seen press in Dungeon Magazine


I am enjoying reading this adventure and I had not heard of it before. It is very good. I know its tangential to the topic of the thread but then again the purpose of the thread is to bring good material to our attention so if you have any further *magazine adventure recommendations* like this or irilian (which I did know about) Id love to hear them.



  

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Post Posted: Wed Mar 07, 2012 9:01 pm 
 

RalphPartha wrote:1.    Caverns of Thracia...this one got me started

9.    The Book of Treasure Maps...I prefer short adventures


I had to leave Caverns of Thracia off my list.  I chose Dark Tower and reluctantly removed Caverns of Thracia.

I can't believe I left The Book of Treasure Maps off of my list!  I love that module!  But, are you talking about the Jaquays module from Judges Guild, or a TSR module by the same name?

I'm definitely talking about the Jaquays module.  The Lone Tower might be the best adventure of its kind I've ever read, and it dwarfs the other scenarios in The Book of Treasure Maps.  Certainly, it is the best werewolf scenario, period.  I last ran my players through The Lone Tower almost two decades ago, and there has been some turnover in players since then.  I'm planning to insert it into my current Pathfinder campaign (Empire Gothic IV).

You probably know this, but Paul Jaquays is the tall fighter guy  in the conical helmet on the cover.  The others on the cover are Jaquay's friends, posing in the brush behind his home.

I have a nice copy of The Book of Treasure Maps that I bought around 1986 at Goodwill for 99 cents.  I also have a copy with the top edge of the front cover chopped off at a crazy angle by the printer.  Although it was clearly a factory second, Judges Guild shipped it anyway.  Those were the days.

Paul/Jennell Jaquays remains one of the iconic figures from the early days of gaming.


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Post Posted: Wed Mar 07, 2012 9:48 pm 
 

Disclaimer # 1: I was in an slovenly animal house fraternity.  
While our characters may not have always been chaotic, our players certainly were!

Disclaimer # 2: I wrote this draft earlier.  Since then there have been several posts about railroad adventures.  I happen to like them, but I understand why a lot of you wouldn't.  

Modules

[1] B1 -- In Search of the Unknown  
Quintessential and essential Dungeons & Dragons.  It's almost like D&D couldn't exist without this module.
Even the title is perfect. 
Every dungeon should be so simple yet so damn fun. 


[2] A4 -- In the Dungeons of the Slave Lords
The single best dungeon I ever DM'ed. 
My frat brothers still talk about how much awesome this was.  
And talk about railroading!
This was the pinnacle, the taping of the keg of our AD&D campaign. 


[3] A1 -- Slave Pits of the Undercity  
The "6-pack" of the campaign ... what started it all for us at Delta House.


[4] A2 --  Secret of the Slavers Stockade
The 12-pack of the campaign. 
Players' choices started to dwindle.  I loved that.


[5] A3 -- Assault on the Aerie of the Slave Lords.
This was the metaphorical and literal point where we discovered you could buy beer by the case.
   

[6] S1 -- Tomb of Horrors 
I love killing players. 
Never had anybody survive it.  Excellent.


[7] U1 -- Secret of Saltmarsh
A newfound pleasure.  Running it right now with those same frat brothers.
Same amount of beer.  Fewer and fewer neurons firing. 


[8] S4 -- Lost Caverns of Tsojcanth
Another module that was just too cool for school


[9] N1 -- Cult of the Reptile God
The other half of the game I'm running right now.  
Too bad we're having much gnashing of teeth over the rules (1E vs. 0E vs. C&C)
We have the Innsmouth look here in Alabama.


[10] DA2 -- Temple of the Frog
Uh, you won't allow me to list the Blackmoor version

[11] X1 -- Isle of Dread 
Part of the island hopping campaign that I ran back in the day.


[12] S2 -- White Plume Mountain
Absolutely great dungeon!
Slimy platforms hanging over hot mud?  An airborne river?
What else could you want out of life?!


[13] X2 -- Castle Amber
I can't remember why I like this.  See above:  beer.

[14] S3 -- Expedition to the Barrier Peaks
This was the perfect segue for me; made me realize my transition from  Metamorphosis Alpha-based D&D could be done!

[15] T1 -- Village of Hommlet 
Meh ... .
 
[16] U2 -- Danger at Dunwater
More coolness from the UK.  That warm, slimy feel.  

[17] B4 -- The Lost City
There's a pattern here. 

[18] I6 -- Ravenloft
The only thing I hate more than undead are vampires, and I fucking hate vampires.
Despite all that, this one was killer diller , dude.

[19] The Original Bottle City
What a blast to read!

[20] There is... no number 20.  They put us on double secret probation.
Neurons dying left and right.  Dogs and cats living together.

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Post Posted: Thu Mar 08, 2012 12:32 am 
 

Yes, without a doubt the Judges Guild version.   The Lone Tower is one of my all time favorites.  Maybe I should move it up a notch.

  

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Post Posted: Thu Mar 08, 2012 1:52 am 
 

Railroad plots are great for some people.  Everyone who played A4 seems to think it was great.  Obviously, I missed something.

I am gathering I was just a tad older than the average AD&D player in 1980.  I didn't (and don't) like text boxes and linear dungeons.  When I first saw them I thought they were for younger players who were not good readers.  

Also, having spanned the OD&D and AD&D eras in high school, I was never completely in love with the rules Nazi attitude of some of the younger gamers I met.  I guess part of what annoyed me was that some younger players would read those text boxes aloud and regard them as gospel.  So, when a text box says that my character is surprised by a trap, I am surprised no matter how unsurprising the situation might be.  That's annoying.  I also hated the wasted space.  As a DM I always snorted in disgust at a text box taking up module space that could have described half a dozen mutated and berserk ettins wielding magical chainsaws and razor claws on all three hands.  See...now...that is worth space in a module.

I don't like the slave lords dungeons because they are not the style of big box combat I prefer. (For instance, all three G modules featured some version of the battle royal.  Or, even better, a potential situation where every character runs for his life in a different direction, pursued by giants.)   It is funny I don't like tournament modules, because virtually all the classic TSR modules were tournament modules.


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Last edited by FormCritic on Thu Mar 08, 2012 2:04 am, edited 2 times in total.
  
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