Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Top 10 D&D Modules According to ViscountEric

Yet another flash in the pan web site shooting for site its has posted another top list, this time the top 14 (?) D&D modules ever.  The order is a little sketchy, but they do manage to cover all the famous ones.  
I've owned all the classics at one time or another, I just haven't played any.  Even through all the purges, there is a copy of S4 - Lost Caverns of Tsojcanth that I will get a table together for someday.  

So, turning to myself, I wonder, what would I pick as the top 10 modules D&D mods of all time. 

The answers, unsurprisingly to those who know me, is surprising.

#10  - X9 The Savage Coast
Another filler module to extent of X6 - Quagmire!, extending the Known World past the city of Hule.  Perhaps it was the cover that got my attention, but I used this heavily.  It really is noting more than an outline and a few choice encounters, but there's tons of potential and hours of play in there.

#9 - B9 Castle Caldwell and Beyond
Wait a minute, my favorite module of all time is only #9 on a top ten list?  One can differentiate between a favorite and something far better (or else everyone would jump on the Super Bowl champ's bandwagon after the game.  It's a great starter mod, with lots of variety, but it needs that experienced touch to tie everything together.

#8 Cloudland
"Freakin' Cloudland Castle," as my players would call it.  Different challenges on each level, multiple factions to play off of, and something that isn't your normal TSR format.  I wish Grenadier had made more. 
#7 - B4 The Lost City
 This module has taken years to grow on me, but the idea of a secret civilization hidden under the desert gets more and more appealing.  Plus, it's a great basis for a Reverse Dungeon, where the PCs are the semi-drugged citizenry trying to solve mystery's on their own.
#6  T1-4: The Temple of Elemental Evil

I believe this was #1 on the linked list, but I attribute that to nostalgia and TToEE being in the same "cool" category as drow.  This is the first adventure I ever ran for my group with 2nd Edition, and it has tremendous play value, great role-playing potential (which we skipped in the late 80's)  and some cool overwhelming evil to destroy.   There are some editing and design flaws in the dungeon levels of temple, but T1: The Village of Hommlet is the prototypical village for thousands of Dungeon Masters across the world.

#5 - X10 Red Arrow, Black Shield
The adventure so large and campaign breaking, the powers that be at TSR chronologically move the module 200 years in the future!   Finally, high Expert level adventurers running around the Known World with a purpose!  And to top that, they can adventure in between their diplomatic visits.  Plus, playing War Machine rocks!

#4 - N5 Under Illefarn

The second of the 0-level N-Series modules (N4 Treasure Hunt being the first), Under Illefarn created a nice campaign to accompany the Militia PCs as they grow to become heroes, including a quite formidable dungeon at it's climax.

#3  - X1 The Isle of Dread

The first wilderness adventuring most of us ever did.  Jungles, dinosaurs, and  a strange alien race hidden on the island, what more could you ask for.  And yes, great potential as a reverse dungeon.
#2 - B5 The Horror on the Hill
Not a big fan of the encounters leading up to the monastery, and there are some editing errors on the maps, but this is truly an epic low-level campaign, as the PCs wander through the levels until they become trapped and must scrape their way for survival. 
#1  - B3 Palace of the Silver Princess 
I know, I know, the start is railroady as all hell, but it's a great mixture of combat and investigative play as they attempt to reverse the curse of the kingdom.  Everytime I've run it, it's a long mystery, but once the player's figure out what to do, it's always been a desperate race to save everyone. 
Yep, folks, no Tomb of Horrors.  No Keep on the Borderlands.  Nothing from the GDQ series.  Not that they're overrated, but if I can do what I do with these ten, who needs badass epicness turned up to 11?

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