The Official Acaeum Top 30 adventures of all time
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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.

Keith


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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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Post Posted: Thu Mar 08, 2012 1:58 am 
 

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



MetamorphosisSigma:  Who are those two guys in your avatar picture?    Don't tell me that's supposed to be Fahfrd and the Gray Mouser!


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Post Posted: Thu Mar 08, 2012 9:58 am 
 

I thought they were the two brothers from Dragonlance?


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

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



MetamorphosisSigma:  Who are those two guys in your avatar picture?    Don't tell me that's supposed to be Fahfrd and the Gray Mouser!


You got it. By Jim Steranko. The ax Fafhrd's toting is ridiculous, but I love the expression on the Gray Mouser's face. He captured his personality perfectly, IMO.


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Last edited by MetaSigma on Thu Mar 08, 2012 12:33 pm, edited 1 time in total.
  

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

davidc wrote:I thought they were the two brothers from Dragonlance?


I don't know to which brothers from Dragonlance you're referring, but no. Fafhrd and the Gray Mouser.


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Post Posted: Thu Mar 08, 2012 4:16 pm 
 

MetamorphosisSigma wrote:
davidc wrote:I thought they were the two brothers from Dragonlance?


I don't know to which brothers from Dragonlance you're referring, but no. Fafhrd and the Gray Mouser.

The brothers in Dragonlance are Caramon and Raistlin.  Caramon was the big fighter and Raisltin was the frail magic user in red robes.

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Post Posted: Thu Mar 08, 2012 5:33 pm 
 

Oh yeah, good o' Caramel & Raisins (as we useta call 'em at TSR, behind Tracy's back).


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Post Posted: Thu Mar 08, 2012 6:29 pm 
 

FormCritic wrote: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.


It sounds like we're in the same ballpark, age wise.
I agree with several of your points.
The railroading aspect just happened to work for us at that time.

I came of age straddling OD&d and AD&D, too
Differences in style if play may be a simple result of the word-of-mouth approach to teaching the rules

And geography.
You're in Washington; I'm in Alabama.
It's actually amazing that we have so much in common wrt the game
:)


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Post Posted: Thu Mar 08, 2012 8:19 pm 
 

MetamorphosisSigma wrote:
FormCritic wrote:

MetamorphosisSigma:  Who are those two guys in your avatar picture?    Don't tell me that's supposed to be Fahfrd and the Gray Mouser!


You got it. By Jim Steranko. The ax Fafhrd's toting is ridiculous, but I love the expression on the Gray Mouser's face. He captured his personality perfectly, IMO.


I think the Mouser needs to look more sinister.

That has to be the worst depiction of Fahfrd I have ever seen. Makes him look like a villain from an 80's college frat movie....or maybe a movie titled, Snow Bunnies.


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Post Posted: Thu Mar 08, 2012 9:13 pm 
 

I agree with you on Fafhrd, fwiw, but I think Mouser looks plenty sinister. The small size of the pic doesn't do the malicious glee in his smirk justice :).


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Post Posted: Tue Mar 13, 2012 3:35 pm 
 

The results!

And the winners are (using the scoring system in the OP):

1. U1 The Sinister Secret of Saltmarsh
2. B2 The Keep on the Borderlands
3. G1 Steading of the Hill Giant Chief
4. S1 Tomb of Horrors
5. Dark Tower
6. T1 The Village of Hommlet
7. D3 Vault of the Drow
8. G3 Hall of the Fire Giant King
9. S4 The Lost Caverns of Tsojcanth
10. G2 Glacial Rift of the Frost Giant Jarl
11. L1 The Secret of Bone Hill
12. T1-4 The Temple of Elemental Evil
13. I1 Dwellers of the Forbidden City
14. B1 In Search of the Unknown
15. Caverns of Thracia
16. S2 White Plume Mountain
17. S3 Expedition to the Barrier Peaks
18. D1 Descent into the Depths of the Earth
19. C2 The Ghost Tower of Inverness
20. I6 Ravenloft
21. WG4 The Forgotten Temple of Tharizdun
22. N1 Against the Cult of the Reptile God
23. A2 Secret of the Slavers Stockade
24. A1 Slave Pits of the Undercity
25. X1 Isle of Dread
26. U3 The Final Enemy
27. I2 Tomb of the Lizard King
28. Tomb of Abysthor
29. C1 The Hidden Shrine of Tamoachan
30. L2 The Assassin's Knot


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Post Posted: Tue Mar 13, 2012 4:44 pm 
 

Good work, MetamorphosisSigma !!

I have most of those but not U1 - Im surprised how well it has done, I'll have to pick up a copy.

C1 and WG4 don't make the top twenty - bizarre.



  

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Post Posted: Tue Mar 13, 2012 11:47 pm 
 

I will second the thank you on the work you put in on this, I always find this stuff fascinating. Even though D3 was my number one choice, I really do like Like U1.

I don't even know anything about Caverns of Thracia or the Temple of Abysthor. Need to pick those up.

Was there ever a least favorite list?



  

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Post Posted: Tue Mar 13, 2012 11:55 pm 
 

Bloom wrote:Good work, MetamorphosisSigma !!

I have most of those but not U1 - Im surprised how well it has done, I'll have to pick up a copy.

C1 and WG4 don't make the top twenty - bizarre.

The U series was fantastic... great memories from that series.  :)  In fact, I have a fondness for a bunch of the modules from the UK.  The UK series had some gems; I especially loved UK2 (The Sentinel) and UK3 (The Gauntlet), but they didn't make the list, apparently.

The one thing that U1 was missing was Saltmarsh.  lol  In a way, it is neat that it has the DM create the town, but it is still somewhat amusing that the home-base for the series isn't included and has to be created by the DM.  ;)  At least it was unique for each group that played it!  :D

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P.S.  I never even heard of Tomb of Abysthor, either... I might have to investigate.  :)

  

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Post Posted: Wed Mar 14, 2012 1:17 am 
 

Katchoo wrote:P.S.  I never even heard of Tomb of Abysthor, either... I might have to investigate.  :)

Amazon listing:  http://www.amazon.com/Tomb-Abysthor-Cla ... 1588461505
RPG.net review:  http://www.rpg.net/news+reviews/reviews/rev_7286.html

Abysthor is one of the better, if not the best, adventures released by Necromancer Games for D&D 3.5.  And much more affordable than Rappan Athuk Reloaded.


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