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Thread: Favorite module?

  1. #1
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    Favorite module?

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    I'm in the habit of running games from a module. My free time isn't enough to guarantee that I'll be able to do the writing necessary for the weekly game session, having the safety net of just following a module really helps me get through the busy weeks. My problem is that my groups game of choice is D&D 4E. The rules are fine, but my problem is that I have yet to find a collection of modules that I really like.

    The problem with all of the modules I'm come across is that they are very linear, they assume that the players can be kept on the rails throughout. I could probably get my players to do that, but I don't want to. I like to give them some options and let them explore and be creative. So what I tend to do is to present them with plot hooks to start a few different modules and see where they go.

    This has worked really well so far, except that I'm quickly running out of modules to use. So I appeal to all of you, what are your favorite modules that you've played in the past? I know I said we're playing D&D, but who cares! Fantasy is fantasy, adapting an adventure from one set of rules to another is pretty easy to do. So over all the rules in all the games you've played, what adventure was your favorite?

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    I enjoyed the Keep on the Borderlands and the Slavers series from 1st edition.

    Aren't some of the newer 4e modules supposed to be "adventure sites", less railroading and just more adventure hook type stuff?

    The 4e modules or adventure paths, are very much on the rails. I tried to run the Scales of War from the Dragon magazine and it ended (pardon the pun) in a total train wreck. Everyone felt like they were being forced to do something that they were not interested in. Also, no one could keep track of the convoluted schemes going on around them (I tried to add some intrigue on the side). My group only plays for 4 hours every two weeks, and we all have short memories. We have opted for more of a sandbox approach. I just let the players decide what they want to do. Nothing is pre-planned to start with. Though later I can build encounters later, in response to what they have chosen to do. Random encounters got thrown back into the mix. Regardless what WotC says, not all encounters need to be meaningful to the plot.

    I found this blog post (Less plot, More Story)a few weeks back, and I couldn't agree more with what he has to say. Especially since I had already started doing this before I read his post.
    It's as if there are people who play RPGs that don't have computers or something. Seriously, people need to upgrade to 1994 already. - - -TheRedRobedWizard

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    Quote Originally Posted by kirksmithicus View Post
    Aren't some of the newer 4e modules supposed to be "adventure sites", less railroading and just more adventure hook type stuff?
    The latest one I read was The Slaying Stone, which was a basically a sandbox type adventure. They provided a plot hook and then in the quest area there were a few places the players could explore. Each place was basically just different types of encounters. It was a 1st level module, so not a whole lot of call for intrigue I guess. Its definitely a step in the right direction though.

    Also that post you linked to is pretty good. I like a lot of what he has to say, and I may need to consider those tips with how I handle my game.

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    It has certainly had some interesting results for my group. Abandonment of one PC to slavery, with the loss of one hand as additional punishment for his crime, and a plot by the 4 PC's to murder another PC.


    My tip would be to use the HLS (Hook, Line and Sinker) method. Hook, Line and Sinker. Tailor the bait to each player and his character, and have one or two ready for each player. For this you have to know what will get your players jumping into the action.

    Have your players come up with a goal for their character, doesn't have to be anything major. This gives you something to entice them with. I offer my players XP if they accomplish a stated goal. I simply throw up some obstacles to keep them from it.

    Random Encounters. These have lead to numerous great adventures. Even if they don't make sense. It makes the players think, "what the hell was that thing doing here, lets find out". You figure out the reason later. Also, if they catch you by surprise and do something you didn't see coming. Use a random encounter, they will probably think it's part of the plot, and give you some time to pull something out of your nether regions.

    If they start to obsess about something, usually a minor detail, make it into something important. Let them think they caught onto some clever trick or bit of secret information you didn't want them to have.

    Create adventure site areas, just like you have been doing with the modules.
    It's as if there are people who play RPGs that don't have computers or something. Seriously, people need to upgrade to 1994 already. - - -TheRedRobedWizard

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    +1 for keep on the borderlands. very nostalgic.
    nijineko the gm: AG16, CoS. nijineko the player: AtG, RttToH; . The Journal of Tala'elowar Kiyiik! .
    CrystalBallLite: the best dice roller on the planet! . nijineko the archivist: the 3.x archive

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    Keep on the Borderlands isn't just nostalgic, it's a well-designed module with tons of potential for customization and expansion. I also really dig Dwellers of the Forbidden City, Caverns of Thracia and, more recently, Stonehell Dungeon.

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    Lost Caverns of Tsojcanth, provided you can find a copy. Be sure to get the version with the expanded wilderness portion and not the shorter tournament version. The wilderness section itself can allow for lots of expansion. Also, I just let the players decide where they went, eventhough there were a couple of times that there were roads that didn't show on their map. You can follow our groups adventures on my P&PG blog, but you need to go back to the first entry to start at the begining. Currently they have started on the quest that picks up where they ended with the original adventure module.

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    some of my most memorable characters came crawling out of the b1 caverns to the unknown... as the dm didn't have the module that went with that direction, he made up a bunch of junk, and we suffered for the cool abilities we gained out of it.
    nijineko the gm: AG16, CoS. nijineko the player: AtG, RttToH; . The Journal of Tala'elowar Kiyiik! .
    CrystalBallLite: the best dice roller on the planet! . nijineko the archivist: the 3.x archive

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    White Plume.Mountain. I have gotten more mileage out of that module than any other. It looms large in the campagin in general. I finally let it go. The last adventure in the old wizards lair set the mountain off for real. White Plume is now fully active lava spewing monster. The dungeons within it are no more.

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    ah, continuity. wonderful thing for enhancing a world setting.
    nijineko the gm: AG16, CoS. nijineko the player: AtG, RttToH; . The Journal of Tala'elowar Kiyiik! .
    CrystalBallLite: the best dice roller on the planet! . nijineko the archivist: the 3.x archive

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    Harliquin, I know its not D&D but you could certainly use it in a D&D game.
    Playing: Pathfinder
    Running: infrequent VtM game


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    Yeah, adapting adventures is pretty easy, I've done it in the past a few times. The D&D game mechanics are pretty simple to apply, and with the wealth of creature options in the monster manuals you can easily find stuff to fit the encounters.

    Kinda makes me wonder if there's a market out there (or some company already there) for generic modules. Just a few maps of the area, background information on the important locations and NPC's, then a description of the evil plans afoot and what routes the player's might take to save the world.

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    My all time favorite book adventure was The Red Hand of Doom, for the D&D 3.5 rule set. It was an excellent "Save the Kingdom" quest, in which the characters become embroiled in thwarting a rising hobgoblin army as it prepares to strike at an isolated and fractious kingdom. The designers inserted a wealth of options for characters to pursue and numerous threads for the DM to develop. My gaming group still tells tales of the heroic deeds that occurred in that campaign.

    We set our game in Eberron, placing the Elsir Vale (the setting) on the far west coast of Khorvaire, between the Shadow Marches and the Demon Wastes. This gave it the right amount of isolation, while still providing a semi-cosmopolitan feel. But, the writers created a classic enough setting, that it can fit into almost any world (although Dark Sun would be a bit of a stretch).

    I also developed a few additional side quests, such as a cursed Dwarven city and the thwarting of a bandit queen who was profiting off the war. But, you could easily play this one straight out of the book without modification and still have a vastly satisfying experience.

    Click here if you want read more about the book.

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    Second most traction from one module with be the original Ravenloft.

    Garry AKA --Phoenix-- Rising above the Flames.
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    White Plume Mountain.
    It would be great if somehow some of those classic 1e modules could get redone for Pathfinder/DnD 3.X
    Stonebreaker
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