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Thursday, March 20, 2014

The Best D&D Adventures of All Time Part 2


Here is part two of my choices for the greatest D&D adventures of all time. Part One is here. As I said before, the thing that is most important to me when it comes to a module is exciting ideas. All of these adventures are ones that I have run.

The Dancing Hut of Baba Yaga


I know a lot of people prefer the 1st edition version of this adventure, but The Dancing Hut of Baba Yaga is the first "version" of the hut that I read and I loved it. In fact, I love it so much that I haven't read it in 15 years and I can rattle off all of my favorite parts.
  • Getting In is a Challenge: The hut is surrounded by 64 necrophidius golems which will utterly decimate the heroes if proper protocol is not adhered to.
  • Weird Rooms: There are many doors in the hut. There is one where, if you open it, you've opened a door to your own intestines.
  • Pit Fiends: There is a room containing pit fiends playing tag with fireballs.
  • Godzilla: There is a controversial room where, well, basically Godzilla is stomping on Tokyo. Your PCs are Godzilla-sized. Will they battle the mighty lizard?! What happened here in my game was that the PCs scooped up and kept handfuls of tiny fleeing Japanese people. They were put in a little bottled city. Over hundreds of years, they procreated and now I have a race of tiny people descended from them in my campaign world known as the akaname.
This adventure is insane and a lot of fun. I have since run the 1st edition version, "The Dancing Hut" from Dragon Magazine, and found it lacking. The original version leaves out way too many details. I prefer the 2nd edition version (and the 4e version by Craig Campbell).

Zenith Trajectory (Dungeon Magazine #102)


I am going to go ahead and say that this is my favorite actual dungeon of all time. I've never enjoyed reading or running one more.

To get to the dungeon of Bhal Hamatugn, you have to cross a misty underground lake. Kuo Toa may swim up from underwater to try to flip your boat. If that happens, you're in an underwater combat with them and you are in big trouble.
  • Huge Battle on the Steps: You may have to battle hoards of Kuo Toa minions on the steps of the prehistoric-fish-shaped-entrance. Some have sticky shields that your weapons might get stuck to (what a cool idea).
  • The Black Dragon: You will likely do battle with the hilarious and creepy black dragon Dhorlot who has been impregnating kuo toa females to create hybrid creatures. Dhorlot is something of a ladies man.
  • Crazy Final Battle: You will fight the insane dwarf who sits on a throne of stitched skin in a room full of twitching, headless corpses hung from ropes.
Legacy of Io (Dungeon Magazine #172)


Legacy of Io has a really world-shattering story. Tiamat, the evil god of dragons, killed Bahamut, the good god of dragons. Bahamut had a contingency plan which involves our trusty adventurers. They must travel to Hestavar, a city where angels and devils co-exist. From there, we commence with the awesome:
  • The Angel-Making Devil: The heroes must face off with a devil who grows baby cherub sidekicks out of his stomach.
  • Prism Bombs: There are librarians of Ioun who throw prism bombs and can transform their foes into weasels
  • Artifact: The adventurers might obtain the Arrow of Fate, an artifact made from Io's Blood.
  • Epic Battle: They must battle the exarch of a primordial in a "hole in an ocean"
This one had a real Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade feel to it. I loved that movie and I loved every second of this adventure.

Tempest Rising (Skull & Shackles Adventure Path)


Skull & Shackles is one of the greatest campaigns I have ever run. This adventure is about the heroes proving themselves as worthy pirate lords. To do so, they enter a pirate ship race known as the Free Captains' Regatta. The prize: An island. The race is beyond awesome.
  • Dagon's Piss: Our heroes must navigate sandbars and "Dagon's Piss" (a swirling wash of ocean currents). 
  • Magic Hurricane: They'll have to face off with a dragon turtle and pass through a magical hurricane known as the Eye of Abendago.
  • Lightning Elementals: They'll brave a lightning storm and a lightning elemental and then maybe end up in the final stretch racing their hated foe, Captain Barnabus Harrigan of The Wormwood.
Of course, there are miniatures of all the prominent monsters and NPCs of Skull & Shackles because Paizo is awesome.

This was one of the most fun things I've ever run in d&d. My players won the race in the final stretch by tossing their heftiest crewmember overboard.

Intrigue at the Court of Chaos


In Intrigue at the Court of Chaos, the adventurers stand before five massive entities of Chaos. The Court of Chaos includes god-like creatures such as Noohl the warlord, Dzzhali the undead bride, and Magog, the guy with a 2-trunk face that ends in seven-fingered hands! The Court wants our trusty heroes to go to the Plane of Law to steal an ancient artifact.
  • The Long Ox: They will have to pass by the 30 foot long ox, Taurziel. This made me laugh more than almost anything else in D&D ever.
  • The Floating Diamond: They will have to enter the floating diamond known as The Cataphract and complete 5 challenges!
  • Utter Chaos at the End: The group will need to decide which member of the court to give the egg to. The party may tear themselves apart making this decision!
This adventure is an absolute pleasure. So creative, so fun. There is nothing in this world I like saying out loud more than "THE CATAPHRACT."

And there you have it. The greatest adventures of all time.

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