Top Ten Favourite Published Adventures/Modules

Best Selling RPGs - Available Now @ DriveThruRPG.com

TristramEvans

The Right Hand of Doom
Administrator
Moderator
Joined
Apr 24, 2017
Messages
29,811
Reaction score
84,220
As per the title, from 10 to 1 (best)

My List...

10. The Great Modron March (Planescape)
10.jpg

A fantastic trek across the Planes that serves as a great introduction to the Planescape setting in all it's myraid glories, and presents a fascinating mystery revolving around the always delightful Modrons.

Why It's #10 - While it had to make a top ten list for me because it was one of the best gaming experiences overall I've ever had with a module, a large part of that was me going in and fixing a lot of the issues from the get go (including the most BS railroady start to an adventure that I've ever seen), and adding in/expanding the adventure with elements from Tales From The Infinite Staircase and Well of Worlds, along with quite a few of my own inventions (including a self-contained ending rather than, as written, leading into the metaplot from Dead Gods).

9. One Shots (Unknown Armies)
9.jpg

A great resource for single session, no-prep adventures on the fly that display all the dark and twisted weirdness of the Unknown Armies' setting.

Why It's #9 - Like many collections of adventures, it's uneven, basically. There are some masterpieces in here (especially the quirky system-less "Heads"), though there's also a few that are "meh"

8. The Great Pendragon Campaign (Pendragon)
8.jpg

Greg Stafford's masterpiece; a thoroughly-researched; multi-generational path through the entirety of the Arthurian mythos

Why it's #8 - I've not gotten a chance to run it yet. It seems like it's prone to being very railroady at parts, in it's fidelity to the original stories, and the lack of character profiles/write-ups seems like a serious omission.

7. Horror on the Orient Express (Call of Cthulhu)
7.jpg

A massive Call of Cthulhu campaign set revolving around the legendary Orient Express, containing 19 linked adventures taking the players from London to Constantinople.

Why it's #7 - Again, mainly because I've not gotten a chance to run it through in it's entirety yet, after a sadly aborted attempt that fell apart too soon due partially to IRL circumstances, partly to me misjudging the lethality of the second or third adventure, which ended in a TPK.

6. City of Lies (Legend of the 5 Rings)
6.jpg

A fascinating boxed set by Greg Stoltze that I happened upon accidentally, and instantly fell in love with. Not so much a campaign as a detailed city mini-sandbox where every resident is on the verge of backstabbing everyone else each for their individual reasons.

Why it's #6 - As I haven't played Legend of the 5 Rings, I heavily adapted both the setting and system to fit into my Phaserip campaign, and though it was worth it, I expect most GMs would balk at that amount of work.

5. Tribe 8 Adventure Cycle
5.jpg


Comprising 9 volumes (if you don't do any of the side quests), Tribe 8's proprietary campaign cycle allows the players to completely reshape the setting while uncovering all the secrets lying beneath the game's mythos.

Why it's #5 - Easily the biggest published campaign that I've ever GMed, the early parts are very good at accounting for player freedom, but towards the end it takes some jiggering on the GM's part to prevent the players getting stuck as little more than spectators to some of the bigger events

IV. Wings of the Valkyrie (Champions)
4.jpg

A Time-Travel adventure that presents a classic moral dilemma for the players, questioning the very notion of what it means to be a Superhero

Why it's #4 - though superheroes is perhaps my favourite genre for RPGs (or is at least tied with Horror), despite the numerous great systems over the years, really good adventures are few and far between (one of the reasons I often convert CoC adventures to use in my superhero games). This one from Champions, however (a system I've never owned or played) is in a class by itself. I'm of the opinion, as a longtime supers GM, that part of what makes that genre work best, insofar as gaming, is to put players in situations where they have to make tough moral choices. Sometimes that means the choice between meeting personal obligations to friends and family vs foiling a villain (Spider-man), sometimes it means dealing with social issues that you simply can't punch into submission, like bigotry and racism (X-Men). What this adventure does is cover one of the classic moral conundrums that all of us have considered at least once in our lives: if given the chance to go back in time, would you kill Hitler? The adventure provides the opportunity and then forces the players to deal with the effects of their choices, in this case a rewritten future that is way worse than the one they left behind.

3. Beyond The Mountains of Madness (Call of Cthulhu)
3.jpg

A masterful adaption of one of Lovecraft's very few novel length works

Why it's #3 - Beyond the Mountains of Madness is very different from other classic CoC big adventures like Masks of Nyarlothotep or Day of the Beast, in that it's not really a series of interconnected adventures, it's more of one long adventure, and it's a slow burn until the final crescendo. It starts in New York, and rather than cultists or strange artifacts, you're dealing with reporters and gangsters, and...shopping. And then there's the trip to Antarctica, and from there stuff starts to snowball, but up until the very end it's all pretty much realistic perils and more grounded in psychological and survival horror. It's a massive adventure. The older edition I have is easiy over 400 pages. I think it's a masterpiece, but it requires the right group and a solidly experienceed GM. It's probably the last module I'd recommend to a group new to Call of Cthulhu.

2. The Enemy Within (Warhammer Fantasy Role-Play)
2.jpg

The epic campaign that defined the Warhammer Fantasy world, thrusting a band of lowly peasants into a conspiracy that threatens the Empire not from without, but within, gradually revealing the larger stage of the Warhammer World and the eternal conflict between civilization and Chaos manifest.

Why it's #2 - published in six parts (The Enemy Within, Shadows Over Bögenhafen, Death on the Reik, Power Behind the Throne, Something Rotten in Kislev, and Empire in Flames) between 1986 and 1989, the first parts were written when the Warhammer world was just starting to take shape, and more than half of the first book is devoted just to worldbuilding for the Empire, everything from calendars to forms of communication, geography to the political and economic structure. The adventure starts with a strong premise, but throws in a nice amount of twists, a healthy amount of black humour, and a larger focus on travel and social interactions than atypical dungeon crawls of the day. Unfortunately, the last two books aren't anywhere near as strong as the first three parts, with Kislev in particular seeming more like an unrelated adventure shoehorned in to expand the runtime. Hopefully the newly remastered version by Cubicle 7 will fix this, as the original trilogy is a masterpiece of adventure design that deserves an equally ingenious finale.


1. The Masks of Nyarlothotep (Call of Cthulhu)
1.jpg

Investigators travel around the world fighting a global network of cultists devoted to the titular Elder God.

Why it's #1 - Both an epic overall campaign that can take years of gameplay to complete, and a series of interconnected mini-campaigns, each of which could stand on it's own as examples of the highest quality of Call of Cthulhu adventures. Each new location offers an engaging new cast of unique characters to interact with, mysteries to solve, and the potential for a pulp action climax that can range from dogfights in bi-planes to interrupting a ceremony in a secret chamber beneath the Egyptian Pyramids. And though the basic structure is retained, so players are never at a loss for how to proceed, what really elevates the campaign is just how different each chapter is in atmosphere and mood., so that players always have something new to look forward to, and the campaign never feels repetitive. Likewise, the majority of adventures can be played in any order, presenting the entire world as a sandbox for players that provides the satisfaction of individual victories and the solving of individual mysteries while the larger plot is gradually revealed. If there's one criticism I can dig up, it's only that the campaign is not exactly "Lovecraftian" in the literary sense, but I imagine players will be having too much fun to ever notice.
 

Ralph Dula

Fighter of Fungi, Mortal Foe of 5E, Possibly a Cat
Joined
Nov 28, 2020
Messages
1,824
Reaction score
5,310
In no particular order.





The Evil Eye. My introduction to second edition Ravenloft, years after one of the line’s designers convinced me it wasn’t the setting for me. One of the few adventures where it is possible to slay a Darklord, it has a layer of player agency other Ravenloft adventures lacked. Hampered by one of the stupidest intros to a module (so stupid the author kind of tells the DM to resolve it on his own) and a section lacking stats, even as the PCs should be bound to intervene, lest they have to make Dark Power checks.



The Frozen Reaches The first part of a trilogy of adventures, the latter two of which were marred by behind the scenes drama, including a plot point which directly contradicts The Frozen Reaches. Excellent as a standalone adventure for Rogue Trader, with plenty of role-playing and combat, including a unique city defense rule system. Marred by expecting characters to be versatile in abilities, even as NPCs are hyperfocused in the abilities they’ll use against PCs.



The Ferryman. For the first edition of Through the Breach, PCs mistakenly get involved in a monster hunt. Notable in that the PCs never realize they got involved by accident, and a novel mass combat that uses existing rules for Challenges, rather than standard combat rules.



Satellite Down For the first edition of Twilight:2000, it covers the PCs attempting to recover data from a weather satellite so plans can be made, a realistic and down to earth (no pun intended) scenario idea for a post-apocalyptic game.



Bad Blood For the first edition of Through the Breach, in truth this is an average adventure. What makes it noteworthy is that it’s one of the few adventures where PCs are given the choice of being good or evil, with no author-enforced punishments for being morally flexible. Given the adventure opens with a horribly annoying NPC stereotype, the option to sacrifice her if you go Team Evil is a delight.



Central Valley Gate One of the few scenarios for first edition Torg I never got to run, this scenario has a disperse collection of factions from the various realities coming together, with nefarious plans both major and minor colliding, as well as idiots doing what they think is best.



Operation: Hard Sell. For first edition Torg, a scenario where the Storm Knights find themselves caught up in the machinations of one High Lord acting against another. One of the few modules I’ve ever read where the PCs must help an antagonist of a setting against another without using the “Bad guy controls or threatens the PCs to do so” so many RPG modules go with



The Relics of Power trilogy (The Destiny Map, The Possibility Chalice, The Forever City)A trilogy for the first edition of Torg, doing a phenomenal job of introducing the setting to players while conducting a high-stakes adventure. My only complaints are in The Possibility Chalice, with an overpowered “trap” and a fight written before the Aysle sourcebook came out; combining the two can lead to a truly deadly fight where clerics are concerned.
 

Caesar Slaad

Legendary Member
Joined
May 15, 2017
Messages
518
Reaction score
1,176
Quick Take

10
Murder on Arcturus Station (Classic Traveller)


An early digest sized adventure that let the GM decide the parameters of the murder investigation, so if the players happen to own the adventure or have played it before, it didn't really help. Though brief, it's an early take on a murder investigation adventure with built in flexibility that was very novel at the time.

9
Return to the Tomb of Horrors (AD&D 2e)


Tomb of Horrors is a meatgrinder. Return is sort of still a meatgrinder (and includes the original adventure), but expands on it to make it more than just an exercise in killing PCs. Though still very rough, it has an epic moody final phase to the investigation.

8
Time of Crisis (Mutants & Masterminds)


So Crisis on Infinite Earths was the first of what would become many universe-redefining events in the comics. Though initially it came across to me as a bit of a naked editorial stunt, it did sort of establish a pedigree as an epic event. Time of Crisis encapsulated this sort of epic event for your own campaign.

As cool as this was, at the time it was released, there were few other published M&M adventures. So if your intent was to use this adventure to redefine your campaign, you were probably writing over what was already a blank slate.

7
City of Brass (Third party D20 adventure for D&D 3.x)


Both campaign sub-setting and adventure path, this meaty boxed set by Necromancer game gives you the fabled City of the Efreet as a playable setting, with 10+ adventures with really cool exotic locales in the city. You can splice the adventures into your own game or run them as part of a pre-defined adventure path the set provides for you.

The downside? This adventure is targeted at levels 11-20 where the 3.x system really bogs down. But if that's your jam or you have a reasonable system to port it to, it's great.

6
Isle of Dread (D&D Expert rules)


Another "adventure and setting", this is sort of a bit of a hex crawl in a cool exotic setting, a "lost world" island with dinosaurs and ancient temples. Further, for our teenage dungeon hacking group, interacting peacefully with natives was sort of important... hello rokeplaying and diplomacy!

The downside is that it was originally written for D&D BX rules, which didn't have a skill system to speak of, and many of the challenges therein really could have used them. But it ports well to more recent fantasy rulesets.

5
Of Sound Mind (Third party D20 adventure for D&D 3.x)


This adventure was written as a third party adventure that incorporated the 3e psionics rules... but you really didn't need any psionic PCs. The threat was psionic. In a lot of ways it's a fairly typical "help the locals deal with a local problem which stems from the local dungeon" type of adventure, but it has some cool foreshadowing and a fun explosive climax out of the dungeon.

4
Dead Gods (AD&D 2e Planescape)


There was a lot of really cool adventure content for Planescape (I also dig the aforementioned Tales of the Infinite Staircase), but this one is my favorite. Much gnashing of teeth was had around the disappearance of Orcus as demon lord of the undead, but this made that decision into an in-game event... Orcus was killed, but that won't keep a good demon lord down and he wants to come back. Aside from some great set pieces, it has one of my favorite puzzles/encounters to ever show up in a D&D adventure.

3
D1-3 Queen of the Spiders (AD&D 1e)


Still another "adventure and setting", this one is sort of cheating as it assembles 3 supposed previous adventures (but only sort of, as D1-2 were previously published in a combined volume as well). This set of adventures follows on from the Giants series as the PCs foray into the underdark to take the fight to the drow. Part of the adventure is a journey through the then-new underdark, but then we get a Kuo Toa city and a Drow City. The drow city only has a few defined adventure locations and lots of info on the Drow houses... which sort of makes it a mini sandbox the DM can play with the present new problems and situations for the PCs.

2
Homecoming (Traveller D20/Classic Traveller)


You probably won't be able to find this adventure, sadly. It was originally written for T20, there was some sort of disagreement between the author Martin J. Dougherty (who has lots of other great Traveller product... look him up!) and he eventually released it as a Classic Traveller adventure. Apparently he didn't have the full rights to publish this and it was taken offline.

Anyways, there are a few other Traveller adventures like this (e.g., Skyraiders, Knightfall) that are star-hopping investigations. This one has the PCs investigating the fate of an ancient species that one dwelled in the Ley Sector, but where were destroyed by the 2nd Imperium, and whose existence is still being suppressed today. The downside of this adventure (other than the difficulty getting it legally) is that the early part of the adventure requires investigation and ship skills, but the late part requires combat skills. I solved this in my home game by letting the crew bring on mercenaries (and had them create them as a 2nd group of PCs.)

1
Dracula Dossier (Night's Black Agents)


This is an amazing campaign that deserves the same sort of accolades as Masks has. Its core assumption is that the novel Dracula was actually a tale of a real intelligence op where British intelligence tries to recruit Dracula, which has implications that echo down through time. In addition to the directors handbook (which has the bulk of the game material), there is an accompanying volume that is Dracula Unredacted, a modified version of the seminal novel with footnotes by British Intelligence agents. This becomes a prop for the PCs seeded with plot seeds.

While the novel prop is cool, the best thing about the adventure it the NPCs/Plot seeds. The director's handbook is full of NPCs (and a few organizations and sites), each of which has multiple interpretations... typically the NPC is an agent of Dracula, of EDOM (MI6's vampire program), or a third party. Aside from giving the GM great flexibility on how to play things and making the PCs uncertain who is trustworthy, it adds replayability to the campaign.
 

T. Foster

Legendary Member
Joined
Dec 12, 2018
Messages
656
Reaction score
1,931
10. The Abduction of Good King Despot (generic AD&D-compatible): goofy linear funhouse tournament-style module with tons of puzzles - I've run this several times over the years and the players (even "serious" types who would normally disdain this type of adventure) have always had a lot of fun. Not really suitable for campaign-style play but a great palate-cleanser for one-off play. It's been out of print for decades; hopefully someday someone will re-release it.

9. The Lost Caverns of Tsojcanth/Forgotten Temple of Tharizdun (AD&D): "Mature" AD&D with outdoor exploration, a town-like location (the Gnome Vale), and a pair of classic dungeons. The first is derived from a 1976 tournament module and takes some heat for being a "monster hotel" but its filled with memorably flavorful (and difficult) set-pieces and a lot of fun to play through. The second is even better, with a deceptively-simple surface (a tribe of humanoids - with a nicely detailed order of battle) that gradually gets stranger and more mysterious and potentially culminates in an epic set-piece as the PCs encounter (and rob) a sleeping god.

8. Dark Tower (AD&D): great backstory, great maps, memorable NPCs. Caverns of Thracia by the same author (Jennel Jaquays) could just have easily have taken this slot.

7. Borderlands (RuneQuest): episodic campaign covering a year in the life of some settlers in the strange, harsh land of Prax. The setup is nice for players new to Glorantha because it starts that the characters are just as new to everything and unfamiliar with their surroundings as the players are, so everybody learns at the same time, as the scenarios become more complex and involved, and by the end of it they (players and characters alike) have a real sense of the world and its inhabitants. Bonus points for its boxed-set format, where the setting material is in one book, the encounter tables are in another, and then each scenario gets its own booklet. Masks of Nyarlathotep did the same thing.

6. Against the Giants/Descent Into the Depths of the Earth/Vault of the Drow (AD&D): the quintessential AD&D epic; heavy action and combat combined with investigative elements as the PCs try to figure out who's behind the giant uprising, and then when they do the script flips and it becomes an expedition into an entirely new setting that takes the traditional D&D dungeon paradigm to a whole new level, a literal dark faerieland. This stuff feels elemental and mythic, and for all of the imitations and ripoffs it's never really been equaled. Don't bother with Queen of the Demonweb Pits, though.

5. The Traveller Adventure (Traveller): This was my introduction to the Third Imperium setting, and I was instantly in love. There are some unfortunate railroads elements (especially right at the beginning) but it eventually opens up into more of a self-directed sandbox. Traveller can come off as pretty dry and antiseptic and it's not always clear from reading the rules (or even the early published adventures like The Kinunir and Annic Nova) what the players are supposed to do or how the game is supposed to feel in play. This book fills in a lot of those blanks and (at least for me) helped it all click together in my mind.

4. Necropolis & The Land of AEgypt (Dangerous Journeys): Gary Gygax's magnum opus IMO. Takes elements of several of his older modules, remixes them, adds a bunch of Egyptian flavor, and more sophistication and logic. The final tomb section is absurdly difficult and deadly and a real test of what the players have really learned by playing through all the other Gygax dungeons. I'm also biased in favor of this one because I played through part of it pre-publication with Gary Gygax as DM (using AD&D rules because Dangerous Journeys hadn't been written yet).

3. The Enemy Within/Shadows Over Bogenhafen/Death on the Reik (WFRP): not much more to say about this universally-acknowledged classic that hasn't already been said - the later entries in the series aren't nearly as good, but that's okay, because these three are enough

2. Masks of Nyarlathotep (Call of Cthulhu): ditto the above; I've never actually managed to play through more than about a third of this, but am still able to recognize it as a masterpiece

1. Griffin Mountain (RuneQuest): almost literally an entire campaign in a book - an entire native culture, several detailed towns (full of detailed NPCs each with their own goals and plans), a huge random encounter table (with even more NPCs), a giant rumor table (and a whole new info-gathering subsystem), and a dozen+ adventure locations to top it all off. We had this thing in play for two years and it felt like we'd barely scratched the surface of its possibilities and could have kept it in play for another two.
 
Last edited:

ffilz

Legendary Member
Joined
Dec 17, 2018
Messages
2,171
Reaction score
3,715
My thoughts, and again, I don't like trying to rank, so...

Apple Lane - I start most of my RQ campaigns with Apple Lane. It's a great introduction, trolls to fight, newtlings to befriend, connection to myth.

UK5 - Eye of the Serpent, I have used this twice for RQ (casting it as an adventure on Tada's High Tumulus) and I think one other time. I love the various encounters, some with micro-dungeons.

B1 - In Search of the Unknown, this is such a nice introduction to D&D dungeons, even if I've really not run it.

Lair of the White Wyrm (White Dwarf Magazine #14) - Another great RQ adventure.

Licheway (White Dwarf Magazine #9) - Just a really fun D&D adventure that inspired my first big dungeon.

This second part of the list don't grab me quite so well, but if I'm easily remembering them, they probably belong on a list:

Snake Pipe Hollow - a very nice RQ adventure though I really haven't run it much

The Fell Pass (Dragon Magazine #32) - An interesting dungeon that I also used in RQ and had to be careful not to read while adventuring it in an AD&D play by post

Trouble at Grogs (Dungeon Magazine #4) - An interesting town adventure, I think I've used it a couple times.

Dungeon Magazine - as a whole collection this has been a great source of adventures or ideas with many smaller modules that are easily adapted to other game systems.

There are probably others, but those are the ones that come to mind.
 

Chaotic Wooster

Legendary Member
Joined
Aug 13, 2018
Messages
938
Reaction score
1,720
8. The Great Pendragon Campaign (Pendragon)
View attachment 38062

Greg Stafford's masterpiece; a thoroughly-researched; multi-generational path through the entirety of the Arthurian mythos

Why it's #8 - I've not gotten a chance to run it yet. It seems like it's prone to being very railroady at parts, in it's fidelity to the original stories, and the lack of character profiles/write-ups seems like a serious omission.

7. Horror on the Orient Express (Call of Cthulhu)
View attachment 38063

A massive Call of Cthulhu campaign set revolving around the legendary Orient Express, containing 19 linked adventures taking the players from London to Constantinople.

Why it's #7 - Again, mainly because I've not gotten a chance to run it through in it's entirety yet, after a sadly aborted attempt that fell apart too soon due partially to IRL circumstances, partly to me misjudging the lethality of the second or third adventure, which ended in a TPK.

6. City of Lies (Legend of the 5 Rings)
View attachment 38064

A fascinating boxed set by Greg Stoltze that I happened upon accidentally, and instantly fell in love with. Not so much a campaign as a detailed city mini-sandbox where every resident is on the verge of backstabbing everyone else each for their individual reasons.

Why it's #6 - As I haven't played Legend of the 5 Rings, I heavily adapted both the setting and system to fit into my Phaserip campaign, and though it was worth it, I expect most GMs would balk at that amount of work.
- The Great Pendragon Campaign IS very railroad-y... IF you insist on following it all as written. Which you don't have to. Making minor changes is very easy, and likly depends upon your preferred version/vision of the Arthurian myth. But even as-written, there's lots of major roles for the PCs suggested, and if your players are anything like mine, they'll just fall into it without really derailing things. My players live for this sort of epic and don't want to ruin it for themselves.

I suggest using the Uther expansion, it costs peanuts on drivethru, which adds five more years to the start of the campaign. I really loved making Uther a more interesting king, so more time with him on the throne is welcome.

- I found Horror on the Orient Express hugely disappointing. Our group splashed out big money for the original boxed set, but found it an obnoxious series of unrelated scenarios that demanded you never miss your train without messing the whole thing up. Still a wonderful collector's piece. But for us, there has never been a big Call of Cthulhu campaign that as better than average.

- My copy of City of Lies had a bunch of pages being reprints of each other. So I was always too annoyed to referee it.

I'll do my own list when I have time. GPC is going to be on it, don't you worry!
 

Moracai

Probationary Member
Joined
May 5, 2017
Messages
277
Reaction score
658
Snake Pipe Hollow - a very nice RQ adventure though I really haven't run it much
If we timewind about 30 years and I ran SPH quite a bunch of times. Each time for new characters, but not necessarily for new players, always going through timeline in the way that previous characters had the impact to the dungeon that they did. Even after multiple goes, it was not never truly fully explored. I found my Finnish translated copy a while back, and I've been toying with the idea to give it a re-visit...
 

Moracai

Probationary Member
Joined
May 5, 2017
Messages
277
Reaction score
658
1. Griffin Mountain (RuneQuest): almost literally an entire campaign in a book - an entire native culture, several detailed towns (full of detailed NPCs each with their own goals and plans), a huge random encounter table (with even more NPCs), a giant rumor table (and a whole new info-gathering subsystem), and a dozen+ adventure locations to top it all off. We had this thing in play for two years and it felt like we'd barely scratched the surface of its possibilities and could have kept it in play for another two.
I had the later expanded version called Griffin Island. We enjoyed it very much, but sadly I've lost my copy.. :weep:
 

T. Foster

Legendary Member
Joined
Dec 12, 2018
Messages
656
Reaction score
1,931
I like Snakepipe Hollow and tried to run it a couple times but the players would never bite. They were too intimidated by the backstory and convinced that it was way too tough for them (and, honestly, they were probably right). I like the twisty map and the way the rooms are described and the quasi-random system for determining if each room is inhabited and if so by whom. It and Griffin Mountain were both big influences on how I design my D&D dungeons.
 

Séadna

Legendary Member
Joined
Sep 3, 2018
Messages
6,302
Reaction score
13,750
I'll give five that clearly stand out for me.

Traveller: The Annic Nova

32a2182ad27819f0af2a1e46a4cff360.jpg

The module itself involves the Travellers finding a ship of unknown origin in deep space. The ship is unusual in that it's jump drive is powered by solar collectors and is currently powering up near a star.
The inside of the ship is abandoned and has plenty of rooms to explore and is clearly not from "known space". The rooms, hydroponics bays, labs, etc often have small details conveying the everyday lives of people from a completely unknown culture, such as an extremely violent film where nobody is injured playing on a loop in a bar. If left alone long enough the ship just jumps on to its next destination.

There's no monster here or anything, although some versions have a not terribly threatening disease the PCs might catch, rather the whole module is like finding a temple from a culture that left no other trace. I've found all the details of everyday life get players engrossed more and more, especially once they search the whole ship and find there is no danger. People slide into being archaeologists of a sort and years later people have asked me "What was going on with that ship?"

There are several versions from Classic to Mongoose and over the years I've built in extra stuff myself.

Traveller: The Deep Night Revelation

deepnight-relevation-cover.jpg

Journeying far outside human controlled space to find the source of a bizarre mutagenic virus.
This is a high concept SciFi where the PCs meet several very alien aliens, land on worlds with bizarre geographies and have to make plenty of very tough moral choices, both for these civilizations and their own crew, some made doubly tough when they involve beings whose psychology is at right angles to a human's.
Phenomenal.

The Great Pendragon Campaign:

The_Great_Pendragon_Campaign_-_Front_Cover__43347.jpg

Covered by others above, it's a masterpiece that allows you to play the Matter of Britain with Le Morte d'Arthur as the base. The most impressive thing is drawing in both earlier Welsh material and modern films like Excalibur to flesh out the world and NPCs and heighten the drama. In essence creating a modern standard for the Arthurian cycle.
I would recommend including the Uther period as mentioned above because of Ambrosius as an early precursor of Arthur/the one whose legacy Arthur fulfills. By now there are some supplements that give more detail stats, descriptions and portraits of NPCs as well.

It is very railroady, although like Chaotic Wooster Malleustein said my experience was with people who bought into that from the get go. How much people can go off the rails depends on the period, quite a bit in the Boy King and Tournament periods for example. The ending wraps things up nicely, especially the ambivalent note of the final year.

Deadlands Noir: New Orleans

photo-original.jpg

This is a city setting campaign included in the Noir core book. Other city campaigns are in a separate volume.
New Orleans is well mapped out, ton of flavourful NPCs, an impressive Vodou caplata as the "big bad". Most interesting though is the web of loyalties and rivalries built up through the city's network of ethnicities and syndicates. All the details are easy to remember because they're anchored by OTT personalities and informed by real life, so I found I didn't really have to reread the book.
Centers around the PCs as detectives with plenty of Noir urban fantasy cases to solve, giving a sort of 30s Dresden files feel and a generator for more.

LotFP: Scenic Dunnsmouth

dunnsmouth1-725x1024.jpg

Generates a bizarre Early Modern Mythos town with a great "map, card and dice" mechanic, with the secrets of the town and NPC relationships and in fact who the NPCs are shifting drastically with different rolls.

For those not familiar with its system:
You roll ten d6s, one each of a d4 and d8 and two d12s onto a sheet of paper. The d12s generate special locations or NPCs (e.g. an Elven spy or Sawmill), the d4 and d8 mark details of two fixed locations/items and d6s are regular homes. Cards are then drawn to fill the homes with members from four families (the card suits) who have lived in the town for generations. The result on a d6 tells you if that house is "infected".

The town is infected with a sort of retrovirus that makes it worship a spider beast and carry hybrid children. Sort of like a Tyranid cult from 40K.

Finally the location and NPC descriptions include several variants depending on if you drew another NPC or if you have a certain special location, etc.
The locations where the dice landed on the sheet give the layout of the town.

All of this is brought to life by NPCs and their bitter rivalries that really come alive on the page.

Basically you can whip up a great evening or two's entertainment with very little effort.
 
Last edited:

CRKrueger

Eläytyminatör
Joined
Apr 25, 2017
Messages
7,106
Reaction score
14,386
In no order
  • Enemy Within Campaign (Old and New)
  • Great Pendragon Campaign
AD&D Classics - The Stuff of Legends
  • GDQ Series (Giants, Drow, Lolth)
  • S Series (Tomb of Horrors, White Plume Mountain, Expedition to the Barrier Peaks, Lost Caverns of Tsojcanth)
  • Desert of Desolation Series (I3, I4, I5)
  • Ravenloft (I6)
Shadowrun Modules
  • Universal Brotherhood
  • Harlequin and Harlequin’s Back
 

xanther

Legendary Member
Joined
Jan 6, 2018
Messages
2,135
Reaction score
2,992
10. Halls of Beoll-Dur (Dragon #41, for the lowest level alone)

9. S3 Expedition to the Barrier Peaks (extensive handouts plus figure out that tech tree, plus fond memories)

8. City State of the Invincible Overlord (each rumor was a potential mini-adventure)

7. B2 Keep on the Borderlands/Caves of Chaos (when you make it your own and Jaquay them up)

G1-G3 (when you make them your own, and Jaquay them up, and not slug fests)

6. G3

5. G1

4. G2 (the geography of the rift alone)

3. Escape from Arden (Traveller) (I have it as a pullout from I thought Dragon magazine but this thing is from pre-1984 so no idea anymore)

2. Dark Tower (it gets harder as you go down, then again as you go up)

1. The Caverns of Thracia (still the pinnacle of design to me)
 

ffilz

Legendary Member
Joined
Dec 17, 2018
Messages
2,171
Reaction score
3,715
10. Halls of Beoll-Dur (Dragon #41, for the lowest level alone)

9. S3 Expedition to the Barrier Peaks (extensive handouts plus figure out that tech tree, plus fond memories)

8. City State of the Invincible Overlord (each rumor was a potential mini-adventure)

7. B2 Keep on the Borderlands/Caves of Chaos (when you make it your own and Jaquay them up)

G1-G3 (when you make them your own, and Jaquay them up, and not slug fests)

6. G3

5. G1

4. G2 (the geography of the rift alone)

3. Escape from Arden (Traveller) (I have it as a pullout from I thought Dragon magazine but this thing is from pre-1984 so no idea anymore)

2. Dark Tower (it gets harder as you go down, then again as you go up)

1. The Caverns of Thracia (still the pinnacle of design to me)
I almost listed Halls of Beoll-Dur... B2, G1-3 (and I like your specific call out of G2), Dark Tower, and Caverns of Thracia are also good choices. I don't consider CSIO an "adventure module" so I didn't list it.
 

xanther

Legendary Member
Joined
Jan 6, 2018
Messages
2,135
Reaction score
2,992
I almost listed Halls of Beoll-Dur... B2, G1-3 (and I like your specific call out of G2), Dark Tower, and Caverns of Thracia are also good choices. I don't consider CSIO an "adventure module" so I didn't list it.
I was torn on CSIO as well, but seemed to have more fun adventures via it than many a official module. Also 8, 9 and 10 are kind of a toss up.

If had to replace CSIO would go with: I1 Dwellers of the Forbidden City.

As one may be able to tell, I prefer a light sketch with non-linear geography and multiple factions.
 

Gringnr

I ❤ BRUH CHICKS
Joined
Jan 9, 2019
Messages
4,563
Reaction score
10,099
Not sure I can come up with ten... But here's one that I have a real fondness for. NOTE: I do not think my opinion is an objective measure of quality. It's just my $0.02

Hearts & Minds for Recon 1e. This module is unique in many ways, especially for when it was published. The PCs are Special Forces headed to the Montagnard village of Plei Mih, to equip and train the villagers as allies in the fight against the Viet Cong. There is much to do, and much of it has nothing to do with combat. The village must be fortified, mortars placed, bunkers constructed, wells and latrines dug, etc.

There are brief descriptions of the personalities of 50 villagers, for PC interaction. There are random tables for generating nearly 100 events in the village, as well as a similar number of "contact" events outside. Village events might be comical, sad, or involve some kind of mishap (one of the Montagnard sentries is caught sleeping at his post, frex), with or without injury. You see, once the Montagnards have been trained, they will go on patrol with the PCs. "Contact events could be anything from wildlife to VC, and many things in between (such as an attack on the village itself). This is another area where the module takes a unique approach. To simulate the fact that US "advisors" often led indigenous troops, players will also make Montagnard characters. Each patrol will consist of one of the Military PCs and Montagnard troops, while the rest of the Military PCs will stay back at the village and attend to the day-to-day business of maintaining the camp.

There is a timeline, and the PCs will begin to take the Montagnards on patrol after about 4 weeks. Some of the random daily events are "Training events", things that happen while the PCs are training the villagers. If a "training" event comes up AFTER the training is completed, that is played out, but as a "memory" of what happened during training.

The one drawback, is that there's really not a "final act", or denouement. But I don't think there's supposed to be. What there is, is enough material to run a campaign, in a 42-page, digest-sized book. And that's impressive. The book is dense, with tiny font and no index/ToC, so it can be a pain to navigate, but the juice is definitely worth the squeeze. Just a really unique module, especially among military games. It shows a lot of respect for the smaller villages and communities of Vietnam, who, it is pointed out, were often causalities of a conflict they neither understood, nor had any stake in. Recon is a tough sell for reasons both obvious and not, but this is a great module. Not sure I've done it justice here. A lot of your appraisal of this module (and Recon in general) will come down to how you feel about tons of random tables.
 

Nobby-W

Expert in the Dunning-Kruger effect
Joined
Oct 7, 2018
Messages
6,781
Reaction score
14,483
Not sure I can come up with ten... But here's one that I have a real fondness for. NOTE: I do not think my opinion is an objective measure of quality. It's just my $0.02

Hearts & Minds for Recon 1e. This module is unique in many ways, especially for when it was published. The PCs are Special Forces headed to the Montagnard village of Plei Mih, to equip and train the villagers as allies in the fight against the Viet Cong. There is much to do, and much of it has nothing to do with combat. The village must be fortified, mortars placed, bunkers constructed, wells and latrines dug, etc.

There are brief descriptions of the personalities of 50 villagers, for PC interaction. There are random tables for generating nearly 100 events in the village, as well as a similar number of "contact" events outside. Village events might be comical, sad, or involve some kind of mishap (one of the Montagnard sentries is caught sleeping at his post, frex), with or without injury. You see, once the Montagnards have been trained, they will go on patrol with the PCs. "Contact events could be anything from wildlife to VC, and many things in between (such as an attack on the village itself). This is another area where the module takes a unique approach. To simulate the fact that US "advisors" often led indigenous troops, players will also make Montagnard characters. Each patrol will consist of one of the Military PCs and Montagnard troops, while the rest of the Military PCs will stay back at the village and attend to the day-to-day business of maintaining the camp.

There is a timeline, and the PCs will begin to take the Montagnards on patrol after about 4 weeks. Some of the random daily events are "Training events", things that happen while the PCs are training the villagers. If a "training" event comes up AFTER the training is completed, that is played out, but as a "memory" of what happened during training.

The one drawback, is that there's really not a "final act", or denouement. But I don't think there's supposed to be. What there is, is enough material to run a campaign, in a 42-page, digest-sized book. And that's impressive. The book is dense, with tiny font and no index/ToC, so it can be a pain to navigate, but the juice is definitely worth the squeeze. Just a really unique module, especially among military games. It shows a lot of respect for the smaller villages and communities of Vietnam, who, it is pointed out, were often causalities of a conflict they neither understood, nor had any stake in. Recon is a tough sell for reasons both obvious and not, but this is a great module. Not sure I've done it justice here. A lot of your appraisal of this module (and Recon in general) will come down to how you feel about tons of random tables.

When I got Recon I liked the section on digging a foxhole so much I went out and dug a foxhole.

And, here it is, from a previous posting where I dug it out.

 
Last edited:

Fenris-77

Small God of the Dozens
Joined
Jul 9, 2020
Messages
8,687
Reaction score
22,338
I don't have the energy for a top 10, but I'll start and add as the mood strikes me. In no particular order.

DCC Lankhmar - City of the Black Toga (from the box set) - This might be the best city source book ever published. It's only 48 pages long and still manages to capture a sprawling city beautifully. Almost the entire book is playable content. Random tables do most of the heavy lifting and adventure seeds and ideas are bloody everywhere. If I wrote a city book I would want it to be this good.

B2 Keep on the Borderlands - This is my Ur module. The first one I ever played and the module to which I compare every other module (consciously or not). That's not because it's perfect (it ain't) but it is pretty damn good. Also an early example of leaving space for the DM to play, at least in terms of thigs like not naming the NPCs and stuff like that. There's a lot of design space to play in, at least I found it so. Nostalgia, you ask? Why certainly, I reply, but not just that.
 
Last edited:

sdmsec

Active Member
Joined
Jan 13, 2021
Messages
36
Reaction score
58
I'll give five that clearly stand out for me.

Traveller: The Annic Nova

View attachment 38093

The module itself involves the Travellers finding a ship of unknown origin in deep space. The ship is unusual in that it's jump drive is powered by solar collectors and is currently powering up near a star.
The inside of the ship is abandoned and has plenty of rooms to explore and is clearly not from "known space". The rooms, hydroponics bays, labs, etc often have small details conveying the everyday lives of people from a completely unknown culture, such as an extremely violent film where nobody is injured playing on a loop in a bar. If left alone long enough the ship just jumps on to its next destination.

There's no monster here or anything, although some versions have a not terribly threatening disease the PCs might catch, rather the whole module is like finding a temple from a culture that left no other trace. I've found all the details of everyday life get players engrossed more and more, especially once they search the whole ship and find there is no danger. People slide into being archaeologists of a sort and years later people have asked me "What was going on with that ship?"

There are several versions from Classic to Mongoose and over the years I've built in extra stuff myself.

Traveller: The Deep Night Revelation

View attachment 38097

Journeying far outside human controlled space to find the source of a bizarre mutagenic virus.
This is a high concept SciFi where the PCs meet several very alien aliens, land on worlds with bizarre geographies and have to make plenty of very tough moral choices, both for these civilizations and their own crew, some made doubly tough when they involve beings whose psychology is at right angles to a human's.
Phenomenal.

The Great Pendragon Campaign:

View attachment 38098

Covered by others above, it's a masterpiece that allows you to play the Matter of Britain with Le Morte d'Arthur as the base. The most impressive thing is drawing in both earlier Welsh material and modern films like Excalibur to flesh out the world and NPCs and heighten the drama. In essence creating a modern standard for the Arthurian cycle.
I would recommend including the Uther period as mentioned above because of Ambrosius as an early precursor of Arthur/the one whose legacy Arthur fulfills. By now there are some supplements that give more detail stats, descriptions and portraits of NPCs as well.

It is very railroady, although like Chaotic Wooster Malleustein said my experience was with people who bought into that from the get go. How much people can go off the rails depends on the period, quite a bit in the Boy King and Tournament periods for example. The ending wraps things up nicely, especially the ambivalent note of the final year.

Deadlands Noir: New Orleans

View attachment 38099

This is a city setting campaign included in the Noir core book. Other city campaigns are in a separate volume.
New Orleans is well mapped out, ton of flavourful NPCs, an impressive Vodou caplata as the "big bad". Most interesting though is the web of loyalties and rivalries built up through the city's network of ethnicities and syndicates. All the details are easy to remember because they're anchored by OTT personalities and informed by real life, so I found I didn't really have to reread the book.
Centers around the PCs as detectives with plenty of Noir urban fantasy cases to solve, giving a sort of 30s Dresden files feel and a generator for more.

LotFP: Scenic Dunnsmouth

View attachment 38095

Generates a bizarre Early Modern Mythos town with a great "map, card and dice" mechanic, with the secrets of the town and NPC relationships and in fact who the NPCs are shifting drastically with different rolls.

For those not familiar with its system:
You roll ten d6s, one each of a d4 and d8 and two d12s onto a sheet of paper. The d12s generate special locations or NPCs (e.g. an Elven spy or Sawmill), the d4 and d8 mark details of two fixed locations/items and d6s are regular homes. Cards are then drawn to fill the homes with members from four families (the card suits) who have lived in the town for generations. The result on a d6 tells you if that house is "infected".

The town is infected with a sort of retrovirus that makes it worship a spider beast and carry hybrid children. Sort of like a Tyranid cult from 40K.

Finally the location and NPC descriptions include several variants depending on if you drew another NPC or if you have a certain special location, etc.
The locations where the dice landed on the sheet give the layout of the town.

All of this is brought to life by NPCs and their bitter rivalries that really come alive on the page.

Basically you can whip up a great evening or two's entertainment with very little effort.
It sounds like Annic Nova has a Rendezvous with Rama vibe, right? If so, that's really intriguing. Are there elements built into the module that ramp up the tension or suspense (like certain music does in a movie) even though nothing ultimately occurs?

I recently bought Deadlands Noir, so I'm glad to hear you liked it so well. I'm looking forward to actually playing it. Any suggestions to really bring in the atmosphere of the setting?
 

Dyrnwyn

Legendary Member
Joined
Nov 24, 2018
Messages
458
Reaction score
1,145
Negative.

Yeah, I looked again and I was thinking of the information it had for running a Laos campaign, with all of the tables/task lists and such. Sounds similar, but not quite the same.
 

Ronnie Sanford

Legendary Member
Joined
Aug 13, 2017
Messages
1,783
Reaction score
3,134
They don't have anything for Recon there besides the Deluxe Revised book and the older Advanced Recon book, from what I can see.
Yeah the deluxe book says it comes with several adventures, can anyone confirm Hearts & Minds is one of them?
 

Gringnr

I ❤ BRUH CHICKS
Joined
Jan 9, 2019
Messages
4,563
Reaction score
10,099
Revised Recon was the first Palladoum version.

Advanced Recon is a supplement for Deluxe Recon.

Deluxe Revised Recon just prints the two as one book. If you have DRR, you ha e all the Palladium Recon material in one book.
 

Sloth_in_a_bowl

Legendary Member
Joined
Sep 26, 2020
Messages
184
Reaction score
501
I must admit that my favourite campaigns as a player have been home-brews rather than published. However I tend to GM modified published scenarios, with homebrew sections. A few of the ones that I have enjoyed running and that are not on this thread yet are:

D&D B4 the lost city
A scenario that can go any which way, it starts rather weak but blossoms into a nice mini campaign as the party discovers the city under the pyramid.

Shadowrun Dream Chipper
Recover 3 prototype personality chips that have been placed in 3 people. Has a nice open world in which the players can come up with almost any solution that they desire, but enough guidance to keep a stuck party on track.

AD&D UK5 Eye of the serpent
I actually ran this with Qin.
A nice wilderness adventure of climbing down a mountain though several different terrain types while trying to get back to civilisation. This is my preferred outdoor adventure to X1 as the scale of the journey is much more believable.

Serenity Out in the black
A bit of a mixed bag, the plot is to chase down a lost war treasure, but it has lots of good Serenity locations including a decent town and problems for a crew to overcome.
 

Rich H

Bear with me; learning not to be an arse!
Joined
Nov 18, 2019
Messages
896
Reaction score
3,310
Shit, this is tough. I'll have to think about it a while!
 

Fenris-77

Small God of the Dozens
Joined
Jul 9, 2020
Messages
8,687
Reaction score
22,338
C2 Ghost Tower of Inverness - this was my first purchased AD&D module and also my first module with a serious leavening of gonzo. All the different elemental levels and the puzzles and the traps. Oh my. It made a huge impression at the time. It was also a tournament module which, when I was 11 or whatever, made me feel awfully important. Hence the C, I know, but at the time the letters meant nothing to me. It was also my first taste of this Greyhawk thing, a place heretofore unknown but destined to be the site of many of our future adventures.

iu
 

xanther

Legendary Member
Joined
Jan 6, 2018
Messages
2,135
Reaction score
2,992
Thinking of firsts, at least for me, one reason so like Escape from Arden (aka Exit Visa) is it was the first true "adventure" that used all the PCs social and intellectual and underworld skills. Exciting with out nary a need to fight. It felt so much more like a true sci fi instead of action adventure where the blasters come out oh so fast.
 

Séadna

Legendary Member
Joined
Sep 3, 2018
Messages
6,302
Reaction score
13,750
It sounds like Annic Nova has a Rendezvous with Rama vibe, right? If so, that's really intriguing. Are there elements built into the module that ramp up the tension or suspense (like certain music does in a movie) even though nothing ultimately occurs?
It's very like Rendezvous with Rama in feel, although the ship isn't as alien as Rama. There are so many versions at this point that there are a few that include stuff like that, but in most versions no nothing really heightens the tension that much. At some point the solar collectors begin to retract to prepare for jump but the PCs would probably know enough at that point to know it's not really threatening.

Any suggestions to really bring in the atmosphere of the setting?
Reading up on New Orleans historically is useful, although the book explains the various parts of the city well, it's more to get examples of food etc. Beyond that some reading on Vodou. Deadlands is a fairly cheesy setting, not a historically serious one, so it's handy to bring in the feel from stuff like Valiant Comics Shadowman, the original more than the one based on the game. Also the high society social clubs are a big part of the setting, so check out how they were laid out historically. Any familiarity with film Noir as well. Either watching the movies or reading the odd thriller.

Soundscapes from New Orleans are pretty useful as well, especially including wind chimes in certain parts of the city. Instrumental Jazz and Blues stuff is great for clubs. Any film Noir soundtracks. Grim Fandango's soundtrack has a nice vibe.

Things I drew from include: Boardwalk Empire, Grim Fandango, Shadowman, Lovecraft Country, several Noir films, Cowboy Bebop (for feel and music not the SciFi), some old Vodou fiction and even the Princess and the Frog as a base for two NPCs and some music.
 

Chaotic Wooster

Legendary Member
Joined
Aug 13, 2018
Messages
938
Reaction score
1,720
This was not an easy list. I don't use modules often. I think they are bloody terrible far more often than they are useful or good. This is especially true for most of my favourite games, where modules are unnecesay, absent, or awful.

With all that said, here we go...

1. The Horned God Campaign (Slaine d20)
Slaine.png
Slaine d20 gets no respect, no respect I tell ya. It's a (mostly successful) attempt to blend celtic history with Slaine's gonzo comic madness. It is clunkier than it needs to be, and it didn't get all the supplements it should have. However... It did get this epic campaign.

The Invulnerable King - Teeth of the Moon Sow - The Ragnarok Book - Way of the Horned God is an ambitious campaign spread over four books that takes a band of expendable bastards across much of Tir na Nog, throws them in the deep end against all sorts of deadly and horrible madness. It's the only Slaine campaign I've ever run, because I'm 100% certain another will never measure up.

Mongoose's signature poor editing and some heavy railroading hurts it. The experience is much improved by having the other Slaine books.

2. Thunder Rift (Dungeons & Dragons)
Thunder.png
Hey, Wizards! Instead of yet another huge-threat-to-the-realms campaign, how about Thunder Rift? You could fit the entire setting and an adventure path drawing from all these books (and the board games) into a single book.

No?

Just more Forgotten Realms?

Shit.

Thunder Rift. My favourite bottle setting. A self-contained region (massive valley) with some very fun low-level modules. It can be squeezed into any campaign setting. Fantastic.

3. Trail of Tsathogghua (Call of Cthulhu)
Trail.png
It's like Beyond the Mountains of Madness, but doesn't take forever. While it can be extended for those interested in the expedition elements, this is good explorative investigation. It could all do with some extra detail and the npcs could be better developed, but it works and I've referee'd it a few times over the years.

Oh, ignore the re-released "Compact Trail of Tsathogghua", it includes a worthless 'sequel' which is underdeveloped, boring and nothing to do with this scenario except for one minor npc.

4. Red Hand of Doom (Dungeons & Dragons)
Doom.png
The last great 3.5 campaign. Like Thunder Rift, it's a self-contained affair. Unlike Thunder Rift, it's a big ongoing campaign with the player characters trying to stop the region being overrun by a marauding army.

Hey, Wizards... How about...

No?

More Forgotten Realms?

...


5. Adventures! (Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles & Other Strangeness)
Turtles.png
There was a time when Palladium Books would put out actual scenarios. Oh, how I long for the days.

TMNT Adventures is... An anthology book of adventures. It's slim, it's cheap, the scenarios are varied and easy to run. I'm not praising any particular aspect of this book, but I've had a blast as a player and as a referee. Honestly, it was a toss-up between this and Boxed Nightmares (for Beyond the Supernatural).


6. Valkenburg Foundation (Werewolf: the Apocalypse)
Valkenburg.png
Ah, White Wolf... It sure is hard to write "adventures" when your games are all pretentious woe-is-me am-dram bollocks isn't it?

Valkenburg Foundation works really well if you referee Werewolf as a dark-and-violent-indy-comic. Which is honestly the only way Werewolf ever fucking works. Because trying to play it with any depth or nuance is laughable. Revel in the simple solutions (violence), enjoy the obvious twists and betrayals. I'd make more of Samuel Haight (it's his first appearance), but applaud the chips-are-down, gung-ho climactic battle.

7. Befallen (EverQuest)

Befallen.png
Yes. Really.

A 25% wilderness/75% dungeon crawl on one of d20's crunchiest rulesets. But I actually liked EQ... I barely played the MMO (and that years later), but think the tabletop game is underappreciated. Befallen is a good, solid, workmanlike dungeon. It's much improved by having the Realms of Norrath: Freeport book to add detail to the area.

Why do I like it? It works for parties of any race/class/aligment. The dungeon has some good encounters. It has a population of gnome necromancers who may or may not give a shit about what the characters are up to. The final boss is delightfully infuriating.


8. The Great Pendragon Campaign (King Arthur Pendragon)
Pendragon.png
It's already been mentioned. It's great. It's a goddamn acheivement if you can get through it all. I will restate my love for the "Uther Expansion" that adds another 5 years to the start. Because this campaign isn't long enough...

9. Transylvania Chronicles (Vampire: the Dark Ages)

Chronicles.png
In theory, Transylvania Chronicles sucks. It's a middling railroad with some frustrating encounters with meta-plot protected npcs. Y'know, all of White Wolf's worst excesses.

However. Transylvania by Night is my favourite World of Darkness setting. Playing a game over decades/centuries is fun. Even if the "campaign" will almost certainly go off the rails after a while, you can always drag the characters back into it for the bits you like and let them do their own thing for years at a time otherwise.

No, I never did play parts 3 and 4. They aren't dark ages, so I didn't care.

Plus, in what other campaign do you get to babysit Count Dracula!?

10. The Keep on the Borderlands (Dungeons & Dragons)

Keep.png
It's the Keep on the Borderlands.

What? You need more?

My t-shirt might as well read "everything I ever needed to know about dungeon design I learned from The Keep on the Borderlands".

Hey, Wizards... How about?

...no?

...more Forgotten Realms?

...Fuck!
 

Ralph Dula

Fighter of Fungi, Mortal Foe of 5E, Possibly a Cat
Joined
Nov 28, 2020
Messages
1,824
Reaction score
5,310
3. Trail of Tsathogghua (Call of Cthulhu)
View attachment 38246
It's like Beyond the Mountains of Madness, but doesn't take forever. While it can be extended for those interested in the expedition elements, this is good explorative investigation. It could all do with some extra detail and the npcs could be better developed, but it works and I've referee'd it a few times over the years.

Oh, ignore the re-released "Compact Trail of Tsathogghua", it includes a worthless 'sequel' which is underdeveloped, boring and nothing to do with this scenario except for one minor npc.

I’ll never forget the Compact version, as I’d been running a Uber-Gonzo CoC campaign for years, when one of my players wanted to take over being Keeper for a bit. He ran Compact’s reprint of the original scenario, and had a snit fit that we were capable of fighting the critter in the final fight. Despite being a member of the campaign since the beginning he felt everyone’s Investigators should roll over and die when he ran things, rather than putting up a fight.
 

Chaotic Wooster

Legendary Member
Joined
Aug 13, 2018
Messages
938
Reaction score
1,720
I’ll never forget the Compact version, as I’d been running a Uber-Gonzo CoC campaign for years, when one of my players wanted to take over being Keeper for a bit. He ran Compact’s reprint of the original scenario, and had a snit fit that we were capable of fighting the critter in the final fight. Despite being a member of the campaign since the beginning he felt everyone’s Investigators should roll over and die when he ran things, rather than putting up a fight.

Yeah, the final encounter has freaked my players. The bit with the polar bear always weirds them out and leaves them uncertain what to do.
 
Last edited:

Dyrnwyn

Legendary Member
Joined
Nov 24, 2018
Messages
458
Reaction score
1,145
He ran Compact’s reprint of the original scenario, and had a snit fit that we were capable of fighting the critter in the final fight. Despite being a member of the campaign since the beginning he felt everyone’s Investigators should roll over and die when he ran things, rather than putting up a fight.

I've run into this attitude before with some CoC Keepers and players, and it's very annoying. Yeah, the odds are probably against the Investigators, but at least let them try, especially if they can come up with a good plan.
 

AsenRG

Legendary Member
Joined
Apr 28, 2018
Messages
11,853
Reaction score
13,781
I’ll never forget the Compact version, as I’d been running a Uber-Gonzo CoC campaign for years, when one of my players wanted to take over being Keeper for a bit. He ran Compact’s reprint of the original scenario, and had a snit fit that we were capable of fighting the critter in the final fight. Despite being a member of the campaign since the beginning he felt everyone’s Investigators should roll over and die when he ran things, rather than putting up a fight.
I never know whether to laugh or be shocked when I see this attitude...:grin:

I've run into this attitude before with some CoC Keepers and players, and it's very annoying. Yeah, the odds are probably against the Investigators, but at least let them try, especially if they can come up with a good plan.
:thumbsup:
If they weren't meant to be defeated, they wouldn't have stats

The D&D book with the stats for the gods agrees with you:tongue:.
Or, as you said, "if you have a boat" (and your Warhammer Referee doesn't burn it)...go right ahead (and through:skeleton:)!

And I just realized that I don't actually have 10 adventures I can recommend. At most, I can get to about six, and two or three of those are Delta Green, one is Monster Island, one is Knight's Tale for Dragon Warriors, and the rest is Traveller.
I wonder what this says about me. Other than "has not been using adventures in the last couple of decades, so is kinda new to the field" (but OTOH, my interest is growing:shade:).
 
Cthulhu Mythos - Available Now @ DriveThruRPG.com
Top