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Grimwell
05-16-2010, 07:28 PM
I'm hoping for some feedback on your favorite D&D adventures that were location based. Places like the Temple of Elemental Evil, Tomb of Horrors, and others of similar design. I am not too concerned about what edition and since some of these locations have been visited more than once in more than one edition, please feel welcome to tell me which edition's version you preferred the most and why.

No edition wars though please :) Just the "I loved this dungeon crawl because!" sort of fun!

MortonStromgal
05-17-2010, 11:23 PM
Lets see excluding ones with a lot of travel
Keep on the Borderlands
The Village of Homlet
Ravenloft
The Shackled City
Council of Theives (at leased from what I've played so far)

Arch Lich Thoth-Amon
05-18-2010, 03:51 PM
WARNING, THERE BE SPOILERS...so don't read beyond the first few words of each paragraph. Ye be warned!

The best by far: Q1: Queen of the Demonweb Pits. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Queen_of_the_Demonweb_Pits
At the conclusion of Vault of the Drow, the characters find an astral gate leading to the Abyssal (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abyss_%28plane%29) realm of Lolth (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lolth), Demon Queen of Spiders, goddess of the drow elves, and architect of the sinister plot described in the series involving hill giants, frost giants, fire giants, kuo-toa (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kuo-toa), drow, and other creatures. Her realm, the 66th layer of the Abyss, is referred to as the Demonweb Pits (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Demonweb_Pits).
The Q1 module was the first to offer a glimpse into the Abyss itself, home to the D&D race of Demons (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Demon_%28Dungeons_%26_Dragons%29). Time and space stretch and twist in bizarre ways in the Abyss, and there are many portals in the Abyss that allow passage into entirely different worlds. These factors made Queen of the Demonweb Pits an unusually open-ended adventure, as each "portal" could potentially lead to a massive area, from which the dungeon master (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dungeon_master) could, if he or she chose, launch an entirely new campaign.
At the very end of the module, the players face a final confrontation with Lolth, an exceptionally difficult challenge.[3] (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Queen_of_the_Demonweb_Pits#cite_note-2)
The module features a map of the maze-like Demonweb Pits.[2] (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Queen_of_the_Demonweb_Pits#cite_note-Dummies-1)

Why is this the best. Well, if you add a DM with imagination, there is no limit with this module. It offers sooo many possibilities.

The Decent modules D1-3:

D1: In D1 Descent Into the Depths of the Earth, the player's party of adventurers follows the drow into these passages to eliminate them and the threat they pose. While exploring the tunnels, player characters encounter various evil creatures, including drow, illithids (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Illithid), wererats (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wererat_%28Dungeons_%26_Dragons%29), trolls (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Troll_%28Dungeons_%26_Dragons%29), bugbears (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bugbear_%28Dungeons_%26_Dragons%29), and troglodytes (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Troglodyte_%28Dungeons_%26_Dragons%29).

D2: D2 Shrine of the Kuo-Toa picks up with the party continuing to pursue the drow. The party encounters a kuo-toan (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kuo-toa) rogue monitor who helps them cross a large river for a fee. A party of Svirfneblin (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Svirfneblin) (or deep gnomes) approaches the player characters on the other side, and the party has a chance to convince them to help them fight against the drow. As the party travels, signs of the drow are all around; the drow are allowed to pass through these subterranean areas, even though they are hated and feared by the other local intelligent races. The party then moves through kuo-toa territory, ruled by the Priest-Prince Va-Guulgh. If the PCs appease the kuo-toa and respect their customs, the evil kuo-toa are not openly hostile to the party, but will attack if the party gives them a reason. The party learns that the drow and kuo-toa trade with each other openly, but the kuo-toa hate and fear the drow, resulting in frequent skirmishes between the two peoples.

D3: D3 Vault of the Drow is set in Erelhei-Cinlu, an underground stronghold of the drow.[5] (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Descent_into_the_Depths_of_the_Earth#cite_note-4) After traveling for league after league into the Underdark, the adventurers come upon Erelhei-Cinlu, the vast subterranean city of the Drow (or "dark elves"), the twisted, corrupt cousins of the surface elves. The adventure is written in a very open-ended fashion, giving the Dungeon Master (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dungeon_Master) free rein to script any number of mini-campaigns or adventures taking place inside the drow capital. An extensive overview of the Drow power structure is given for just this purpose. Eventually, the players may discover an astral gate leading to the plane of the Abyss (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abyss_%28Dungeons_%26_Dragons%29), leading into the Q1 module.[6] (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Descent_into_the_Depths_of_the_Earth#cite_note-Vault78-5)

Of course, Tomb of Horrors was incredible. The module's plot revolves around the tomb of the demi-lich (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lich_%28Dungeons_%26_Dragons%29) Acererak (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Acererak). The players' characters (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Character_class_%28Dungeons_%26_Dragons%29) must battle their way past a variety of monsters and traps, with the ultimate goal of destroying Acererak. Tomb of Horrors is considered one of the greatest Dungeons & Dragons modules of all time, as well as one of the most difficult. The module has influenced later Dungeons & Dragons products, and was followed by three other modules in the "S" series: S2: White Plume Mountain (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/White_Plume_Mountain), S3: Expedition to the Barrier Peaks (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Expedition_to_the_Barrier_Peaks) and S4: Lost Caverns of Tsojcanth (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lost_Caverns_of_Tsojcanth).The module's plot revolves around the tomb of the demi-lich (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lich_%28Dungeons_%26_Dragons%29) Acererak (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Acererak). The players' characters (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Character_class_%28Dungeons_%26_Dragons%29) must battle their way past a variety of monsters and traps, with the ultimate goal of destroying Acererak. Tomb of Horrors is considered one of the greatest Dungeons & Dragons modules of all time, as well as one of the most difficult. The module has influenced later Dungeons & Dragons products, and was followed by three other modules in the "S" series: S2: White Plume Mountain (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/White_Plume_Mountain), S3: Expedition to the Barrier Peaks (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Expedition_to_the_Barrier_Peaks) and S4: Lost Caverns of Tsojcanth (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lost_Caverns_of_Tsojcanth).

Return to the Tomb of Horrors:
This module expanded significantly upon the plot of the original Tomb of Horrors,[1] (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Return_to_the_Tomb_of_Horrors#cite_note-SFSite-0) revealing that the tomb of the first adventure was merely an antechamber to the lich (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lich_%28Dungeons_%26_Dragons%29) Acererak (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Acererak)'s true resting place, and the demilich "slain" in the first adventure was both decoy and key to proceeding further. The dust from the destroyed skull opened a way to the cursed city of Moil in a pocket universe (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pocket_universe) of eternal darkness and ice, and beyond that to Acererak's fortress hovering at the edge of the Negative Energy Plane (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Inner_plane#Negative_Energy_plane) itself.
Acererak is revealed in this publication to be near the completion of a multi-thousand-year project to achieve godhood (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/God), powered by souls (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Soul) consumed over the years. He now needs only three additional souls to complete the process, but they must be of exceptional purity and strength; to this end he constructed his tomb to serve as an ultimate challenge for heroes, hoping to winnow out all but the very best. He would then consume them when they reached the center of his fortress, where his own undead essence resides in his phylactery (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Phylactery). If the player characters (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Player_character) fail to defeat Acererak in the course of the adventure they themselves could wind up serving in this role.


And, of course the S modules. Oh man, i must stop...too much to list...m u s t s t o p l i s t i n g

---------- Post added at 12:49 PM ---------- Previous post was at 12:47 PM ----------

Ravenloft was genius and before its time. Problem with Ravenloft was that so few DM's could do it justice.

---------- Post added at 12:51 PM ---------- Previous post was at 12:49 PM ----------

Very nice thread, grimwell. Ah, the memories...

cplmac
05-18-2010, 05:01 PM
To help get our favorite Arch Lich off the hook, I will post up one of the S modules.

S4 The Lost Caverns of Tsojcanth.

Instead of just starting at the caverns, first your party has to find the entrance. Then you get to the bottom of a long set of steps only to find yourselves in a large room with 6 ways to go. With some luck, you finally find the steps that lead down to the lower caverns. Once again, you find that there are multiple ways to proceed. A good DM can have the party searching for quite some time, as well as having ample opportunities to add onto the written module.

I have run this module for our tabletop game group. The campaign log of their wanderings can be found on my blog located in the blog section.

Elf Lover
06-06-2010, 03:27 AM
My favorite settings are elven based. I like ancient myth drannor before its fall when elves still had a lot of control. I like Cormanthyr as well. My favorite city of course is Evermeet but that doesn't have a lot in the way of adventures unless you are really creative and/or have a party that is 100% elven. I also liked the brief time my character spent in the Moonshae Isles.

Umiushi
07-23-2010, 04:44 AM
I liked a fair number of adventures that would seem to be location-based at first, but thinking back on it, the reason I liked them was because of their opposite qualities. I enjoyed Keep on the Borderlands because there was The Keep and the Caves of Chaos, and the little patch of wilderness in between the two. I thought Castle Amber was great because of Averoigne.

If you mean location as in a single area, such as Erelhei-Cinlu, then my favorite would be that nightmarish portion of the Silvanesti Forest in DL10: Dragons of Dreams. If you mean a single building or dungeon complex, I guess I'll go with G2: Glacial Rift of the Frost Giant Jarl. I always enjoyed it when we played in wintertime, preferably with a plentiful supply of hot beverages, while the PCs alternately froze to death or got hacked apart by giants.

For both of these, they would be the 1st edition AD&D versions. I read through the 2nd edition adaptation of Dragons of Dreams and didn't care for it at all; the little bits of detail that made the original modules work for me seemed to have been surgically removed. As for the Glacial Rift, the 1st edition version's all I know.

Why do I like the locations? Silvanesti in Dragons of Dreams was probably the most experimental dungeon setting of its time. Sure, there was weirdness aplenty in modules like Dungeonland, but with Silvanesti, all the craziness was tied to a coherent theme. Every encounter was a phantasm in the mind of one of the PCs, but the players didn't know who was experiencing which encounter, and thus, who was actually getting hurt and expending their abilities. The concepts, and mechanics for executing them, would make for a very memorable extra-planar trip, among other things. In fact, I have yet to see an extra-planar setting that stands out quite as much as this adventure in the "prime material plane."

In "Glacial Rift," I think the game-play atmosphere I described above counts for a lot. There's nothing particularly special or outstanding about the setting. It's just the cold, the constant danger of violence, and the environmental threat posed by traversing windy ledges over sheer precipices combine to make it a cinematic and memorable classic adventure that also evokes a great deal of seasonal nostalgia for me.

jasonj
07-31-2010, 11:19 AM
I loved the town of Orlane from Agains the Cult of the Reptile God module .