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Gaming => First Edition AD&D => Topic started by: Alex Karaczun on January 31, 2016, 09:22:57 AM

Title: My Top 5 Favorite 1st Edition Adventure Modules
Post by: Alex Karaczun on January 31, 2016, 09:22:57 AM
I thought it would be fun to post my Top 5 Favorite Adventure Modules for AD&D, and ask others here to do the same.

Honorable Mention: I3 Pharaoh
(https://www.dropbox.com/s/y45ucz9dyeeqsgw/i3.jpg?dl=1)
Our thief got a ring of contrariness and refused to follow the party leader's direction through Kordan's Master Maze. Funny and frustrating all at the same time!

5. G1-2-3 Against the Giants
(https://www.dropbox.com/s/kpaly65l1scfz0z/g1-2-3.jpg?dl=1)
Battle royale in the Hill Giant Chief's Long Hall. Many dead, both giants and adventurers!

4. U1 The Sinister Secret of Saltmarsh
(https://www.dropbox.com/s/220ep32hjxx6fs7/u1.jpg?dl=1)
Awesome starting adventure. I wish Saltmarsh were detailed. That would have moved it up in the rankings. Paladin died without ever reaching the Haunted House, killed by a random Giant Weasel encounter!

3. L2 The Assassin's Knot
(https://www.dropbox.com/s/o3gx5u10jvfhzun/l2.jpg?dl=1)
Best mystery adventure written for any edition.

2. T1 The Village of Hommlet
(https://www.dropbox.com/s/sc6zmj7nzn8lq5a/t1.jpg?dl=1)
Best introductory adventure written. Provides a great home base for adventurers and an interesting and fun story.

1. I6 Ravenloft
(https://www.dropbox.com/s/uts6xhkhm22tsza/i6.jpg?dl=1)
Gothic horror done right! The first run through of this adventure provided some of the most memorable, creepy moments we've ever had playing AD&D.
Title: Re: My Top 5 Favorite 1st Edition Adventure Modules
Post by: Dizzy on January 31, 2016, 01:36:54 PM
Thanks for sharing. I've never played or ran any of these. I picked up the .pdfs for G1-3 and U1 recently though, and have had T1-4. Is there anything in T1 missing in the T1-4 book?
Title: Re: My Top 5 Favorite 1st Edition Adventure Modules
Post by: Fjw70 on January 31, 2016, 09:56:58 PM
I haven't played many of these since we didn't use many published modules back in my youth. However, I did enjoy the U series and the original Dragonlance saga.

I haven't played the G series but I did play the 4e remake of them. It was a lot of fun. :)
Title: Re: My Top 5 Favorite 1st Edition Adventure Modules
Post by: Alex Karaczun on February 01, 2016, 06:08:59 AM
Thanks for sharing. I've never played or ran any of these. I picked up the .pdfs for G1-3 and U1 recently though, and have had T1-4. Is there anything in T1 missing in the T1-4 book?

You know I have both, but never read Frank's treatment of T1 in the compilation.  :-\
Title: Re: My Top 5 Favorite 1st Edition Adventure Modules
Post by: Mojo on February 01, 2016, 08:33:53 AM
I have only played very few modules. Our group was too poor to buy them. We played one with a giant about to kill a fighter on the cover. That was the first one, and I am currently playing Keep on the Borderlands for the first time with Dizzy as our DM. We are using BFRPG rules, and it is a blast!!!

I think the AP Podcast I am in with Vince as the DM is using a module, but don't know for sure. Like I said, all of our games were home brewed ones.

So I will say if Vince's game is a module then the 3 I have played would have to be my favorites.

Mojo
Title: Re: My Top 5 Favorite 1st Edition Adventure Modules
Post by: Dizzy on February 01, 2016, 09:41:20 AM
Thanks Mojo! I believe Vince pretty much never uses modules, so I'd be surprised. He's an extremely creative guy and makes up some awesome stuff himself!
Title: Re: My Top 5 Favorite 1st Edition Adventure Modules
Post by: Professor thork on February 01, 2016, 09:58:25 AM
Well for me, the G 1-2-3 take up 3 slots themselves. Each is awesome unto itself (watering down the treasure, of course!)
I like the U 1, and even the idea behind the U 2; the U 3 totally disappointed me. But if a better end module came along, the story arc would be great.
S 3 is on my list, since it was (at the time) such a radical combining of genres.
And, naturally, the C 1; not as a tourney event, but fully fleshed out into a greater campaign--sheer awesomeness! Characters explore the 'New World'
Title: Re: My Top 5 Favorite 1st Edition Adventure Modules
Post by: Dizzy on February 01, 2016, 10:02:19 AM
I haven't played S3, but recently purchased it on ebay. I want to run it for my DCC group when they get in the appropriate level range. Hoping to get a hard copy of G1-3 soon. I've heard similar things about U3 in the past.

I've ran some of the UK Modules in the past as well. I think it was UK2 & 3, the ones that are linked. The Sentinel & Gauntlet I believe. They were pretty good too!
Title: Re: My Top 5 Favorite 1st Edition Adventure Modules
Post by: Mojo on February 01, 2016, 10:23:40 AM
Even though I have not had the chance to go through one of Thorky's Modules, I would still say that he is one of if not the best OSR module author out there today.

Mojo
Title: Re: My Top 5 Favorite 1st Edition Adventure Modules
Post by: Maegnarval on February 04, 2016, 11:00:21 PM
I would guess T1 has artwork that is not in the T1-4 module.

In i3-5 Desert of desolation, there is a missing description for a bedroom area & the original individual modules have artwork not in the bigger compilation.
Title: Re: My Top 5 Favorite 1st Edition Adventure Modules
Post by: Alex Karaczun on February 05, 2016, 08:10:42 AM
I always felt that using modules didn't have to be an either/or situation. A lot of people say things in response to posts like this such as, "I write my own." I always felt that came off as a little superior sounding. I write my own too. I would sometimes tell a story using the modules and sprinkle my own adventures in between (modules don't often supply the needed XP for the next in the series), or conversely I would write my own campaign, and sprinkle the modules in between for a break from writing on a deadline. I've also done campaigns of entirely modules, or entirely of my own creation. These are just my favorites of the modules I have run, or read. :)
Title: Re: My Top 5 Favorite 1st Edition Adventure Modules
Post by: Dizzy on February 05, 2016, 09:56:12 AM
I always felt that using modules didn't have to be an either/or situation. A lot of people say things in response to posts like this such as, "I write my own." I always felt that came off as a little superior sounding. I write my own too. I would sometimes tell a story using the modules and sprinkle my own adventures in between (modules don't often supply the needed XP for the next in the series), or conversely I would write my own campaign, and sprinkle the modules in between for a break from writing on a deadline. I've also done campaigns of entirely modules, or entirely of my own creation. These are just my favorites of the modules I have run, or read. :)

I'm right with you on all of that Kalex! Throughout my 3.5 career, I didn't run any modules. I barely could afford the core books, so I certainly wasn't spending money on modules. Once I got into 1e in college I picked up b2 and ran that to introduce my group, then mostly ran my own stuff, sprinkled in some free stuff from dragonsfoot, or some of thorkies modules. Now that I'm working, I've picked up a few more modules, so I still like to run my own stuff, I also want to experience some of the classic modules that I've never ran or played.
Title: Re: My Top 5 Favorite 1st Edition Adventure Modules
Post by: kevinwatson on February 07, 2016, 09:51:29 AM
Mine are series more so that individual modules.

1: U1-3 Saltmarsh - Really loved these. They work so well and in a large way inspired my Arapa series that is coming in a year or so.
2: DA 1-4 - Dave Arneson's Blackmoor. Nothing. More. To. Be. Said.
3: X2 Castle Amber - played it. The guy was an artist DM. Never wanted to run it for fear I wouldn't do it justice.
4:A0-4 - Slaver series. Liked the introduction adventure A0 that was added to the hardback collectors edition. Ran it 8 times at Origins 2013. Always loved the originals, 1-4. For something written over 30 years later, I thought A0 really captured the feel of them.
5:D1-3 - Descent into the Depths. Liked them much more than G1-3 or Q1, personally.
Title: Re: My Top 5 Favorite 1st Edition Adventure Modules
Post by: Alex Karaczun on February 07, 2016, 09:56:57 AM
Mine are series more so that individual modules.

1: U1-3 Saltmarsh - Really loved these. They work so well and in a large way inspired my Arapa series that is coming in a year or so.
2: DA 1-4 - Dave Arneson's Blackmoor. Nothing. More. To. Be. Said.
3: X2 Castle Amber - played it. The guy was an artist DM. Never wanted to run it for fear I wouldn't do it justice.
4:A0-4 - Slaver series. Liked the introduction adventure A0 that was added to the hardback collectors edition. Ran it 8 times at Origins 2013. Always loved the originals, 1-4. For something written over 30 years later, I thought A0 really captured the feel of them.
5:D1-3 - Descent into the Depths. Liked them much more than G1-3 or Q1, personally.

I never played the other Saltmarsh series modules. On my bucket list!
Never played the DA's either. Bucket List!
Loved DMing X2. IT.WAS.SO.MUCH.FUN!
I also like A0. Very well done and fits in well with the other four.
D Series is a lot of fun, creepy, classic Underdark. Shrine of the Kuo-toa was my favorite of the three.
Title: Re: My Top 5 Favorite 1st Edition Adventure Modules
Post by: kevinwatson on February 07, 2016, 12:44:04 PM
Quote
I never played the other Saltmarsh series modules. On my bucket list!
Never played the DA's either. Bucket List!
Loved DMing X2. IT.WAS.SO.MUCH.FUN!
I also like A0. Very well done and fits in well with the other four.
D Series is a lot of fun, creepy, classic Underdark. Shrine of the Kuo-toa was my favorite of the three.

You'll likely enjoy them. Send a post game report.
Title: Re: My Top 5 Favorite 1st Edition Adventure Modules
Post by: Dizzy on February 07, 2016, 03:41:28 PM
X2 is one of my favorite module I've ever run. I have A1-3 and the hack master version of A1-4 but have never run them. I will need to do so at some point.
Title: Re: My Top 5 Favorite 1st Edition Adventure Modules
Post by: DM Keith on February 16, 2016, 10:39:33 AM
S4    Lost Caverns of Tsojcanth
S2   White Plume Mountain
A1   Slave Pits of the Undercity
A2   Secret of the Slavers Stockade
A3   Assault on the Aerie of the Slave Lords
A4   In the Dungeons of the Slave Lords
I6   Ravenloft

More than five, but these modules made up the most rip-snorting campaign I ever ran, from ~1982 to 1985, in college, drinking beer.
We played in secret... because we liked girls :-)

Tsonjcanth remains one of my all-time faves to this day... it's almost like a setting (in my mind).

Keith
Title: Re: My Top 5 Favorite 1st Edition Adventure Modules
Post by: Julia2207 on February 25, 2016, 08:35:46 PM
Thanks for sharing. I've never played or ran any of these
Title: Re: My Top 5 Favorite 1st Edition Adventure Modules
Post by: Pladohs Ghost on February 25, 2016, 08:54:12 PM
T1 was the first published module I ever saw. That's what I was handed to run when recruited to DM for a group, so I saw down and read that thing straight through four times to get it in my head. Then the group headed into the A series. Those top my list, prolly because those were my introduction to the game (yeah, I was a DM long before ever sitting as a player).

T1 Village of Hommlet
A1 Slave Pits of the Undercity
A2 Secrets of the Slavers Stockade
WG4 Forgotten Temple of Tharizdun
B2 Keep on the Borderlands

Keep on the Borderlands was the first module I experienced as a player. From reading it afterwards, I can say the DM didn't play it as written!
Title: Re: My Top 5 Favorite 1st Edition Adventure Modules
Post by: Dizzy on February 25, 2016, 11:53:18 PM
Then the group headed into the A series. Those top my list, prolly because those were my introduction to the game (yeah, I was a DM long before ever sitting as a player).

I was in that same position as well! Interesting perspective to come in from.
Title: Re: My Top 5 Favorite 1st Edition Adventure Modules
Post by: bbarsh on March 23, 2016, 07:52:59 AM
The key for me is "favorite." I don't consider my favorite to be TSR's best. I guess its the sentimentality for me that determines best. I am one of those old guys who was buying these as they came out, so my perspective is also different than some others. Each TSR module was fantastic - there wasn't anything else to compare them to.

In no particular order:
T1 The Village of Hommlet - I still think its Gary's best. (and per the question above, T1 was not modified in T1-4).

U1 The Sinister Secret of Saltmarsh - It is really hard to surprise players in this age of D&D, but back then, my group was completely shocked to discover the "secret." Great adventure and presented perfectly.

B1 In Search of the Unknown - The king of dungeon crawls.

A2 Secret of the Slavers Stockade - Just a fantastic adventure from all angles. It has a little bit of everything and its done well. Memorable encounters, challenging for players and their PCs.

X4 Master of the Desert Nomads - A module that no one talks about but everyone should. Yes, I know its for the Expert set, but who cares. It works for AD&D as well.

And because I need to say this, G1-3, A1-4, S1-4, et al, are not modules. They are compilation books.
Title: Re: My Top 5 Favorite 1st Edition Adventure Modules
Post by: Alex Karaczun on March 23, 2016, 09:08:53 AM
Cool list! A lot of good ones there!

When I bought G1-2-3 the monochrome individual modules were not available any longer. The front cover of the forest green G1-2-3 says "Adventure Module." I think for the purposes of these lists whatever you played as a single unit is acceptable as a "module." I never played Scourge of the Slavelords, I played A1, A2, A3, and A4, but I wouldn't nitpick someone who listed it as one module.
Title: Re: My Top 5 Favorite 1st Edition Adventure Modules
Post by: bbarsh on March 24, 2016, 07:57:45 AM
Cool list! A lot of good ones there!

When I bought G1-2-3 the monochrome individual modules were not available any longer. The front cover of the forest green G1-2-3 says "Adventure Module." I think for the purposes of these lists whatever you played as a single unit is acceptable as a "module." I never played Scourge of the Slavelords, I played A1, A2, A3, and A4, but I wouldn't nitpick someone who listed it as one module.

I am not knocking the compilation modules. Just making a point they were not designed that way - as a single adventure. The individual modules that make up a compilation book can vary wildly in quality. I guess all I am saying is that comparing the compilations to other stand-alones is sort of apples and oranges. It's real easy to love GDQ as a book. But lets face it, not all of the modules that are included rate very high.
It may sound like I am nitpicking someone's preference. I am not. Far from it - seeing people's choices is great regardless of  what I think of a particular choice. Maybe I am doing a poor job of explaining my point of view; it wouldn't be the first time.
And to further complicate my estranged point of view, I don't consider T1-4 a compilation module. Yes, I know it includes T1; but they only did that because there was such a time-lapse between the releases. The majority of T1-4 is new material as opposed to the other compilations which were just reprints of previously released material.


Title: Re: My Top 5 Favorite 1st Edition Adventure Modules
Post by: DMMike on March 24, 2016, 02:08:55 PM
Like Barsh noted, my 'faves' are as colored by what I could get at the time as anything else.

1. G1: Steading of the Hill Giant Chief - The mono version, bought from Sears no less! A good stand alone, and I had several players rescue the orc tribe to become their 'king'....to cause lots of trouble in the campaign world.

2. U2 Danger at Dunwater - I never had U1 and U3 until the late 1980s but I played U2 to death. The lizard man tribe was unusual in its motivations and there was real story hooks there.

3. B2: Keep on the Borderlands - Yes I know its not AD&D but we played it using 1E more than any other module; regardless of "E".

4. I6: Ravenloft - When it first came out, this was a seminal module and really unusual in a lot of ways. Unfortunately it was wrecked over the next decade.

5. A4: In the Dungeons of the Slave Lords - Again didn't have A1-3 until the late 1980s-early 1990s. This module's start was unusual compared to the standard power-gaming of my Middle School years. As the usual DM, I really enjoyed depriving all the PCs of their high level goodies!

DM (Good at likeing what he likes) Mike
 
Title: Re: My Top 5 Favorite 1st Edition Adventure Modules
Post by: RobJN on March 26, 2016, 10:50:35 AM
No love for N1: Against the Cult of the Reptile God?  :'(

Most of my modules are for BECMI D&D, but N1 is my all time favorite AD&D module. With Ravenloft running a close second.
Title: Re: My Top 5 Favorite 1st Edition Adventure Modules
Post by: DMMike on March 26, 2016, 05:29:47 PM
N1 is very cool, but I've never run it...only played in it. ;)

DM (Good at grading only mods he's DMed and played) Mike
Title: Re: My Top 5 Favorite 1st Edition Adventure Modules
Post by: Alex Karaczun on March 27, 2016, 08:34:16 PM
No love for N1: Against the Cult of the Reptile God?  :'(

N1 probably falls in my Top 10, or worst case just outside it. 11 or 12 at worst. Orlane is a great starting point/home base!
Title: Re: My Top 5 Favorite 1st Edition Adventure Modules
Post by: longfoot on March 28, 2016, 04:08:25 PM
Kudos on N1. That module has a lot of sandbox potential to break out from.
I would put N1 in my top 5.

I'd also put T1, village of hommelet.
Then the entire T1-4

Then U1 sinister secret of saltmarsh.

I also loved OA1, Swords of the Daimyo because it was the first and only Oriental Adventures module I ran.
 
I would also round things off with I6. Ravenloft was just awesome. 
Title: Re: My Top 5 Favorite 1st Edition Adventure Modules
Post by: BuckBackup on March 29, 2016, 05:36:44 PM
#1  B2 Keep on the Borderlands - It was my introduction to the game.  Burned into my mind.

#2 B2 Keep on the Borderlands (25th Anniversary Edition) - Yes, for 2E but I ran a party of adults through this when I first got back into gaming as an adult (if that's what you call me).  We had a blast and most of us are still into a regular game several years later.  Having a more mature perspective of the Keep and its citizens really brought the place to life.

#3 U1 Saltmarsh - as was mentioned, you can really surprise players with this one.

#4 Tsojcanth - I'll never forget my players lobbing the fireball into the couatl's nest only to have most of it blow back in their face.

#5 Wandering Trees - May I include something from Dragon #57?  An ancient Druidic compound deep in a forest of trees of constantly changing pathways.

Thanks for the topic, what fun to see people's reactions to these classics.  I love all the comments about being throw into the DM role by a group.  Very similar to my own experience.
Title: Re: My Top 5 Favorite 1st Edition Adventure Modules
Post by: Pladohs Ghost on April 24, 2016, 10:13:13 PM
... I love all the comments about being throw into the DM role by a group.  Very similar to my own experience.

I've always wondered how many folks began as DMs instead of playing first.
Title: Re: My Top 5 Favorite 1st Edition Adventure Modules
Post by: theungainlyswordsman on August 08, 2016, 08:54:20 AM

I loved Saltmarsh and still do.  I also like the idea of creatively adapting old favorites to different campaign and narrative settings.

Swords & Stitchery has featured some really interesting and creative mashups, using various modules and resources together.

Check out this one, in which Saltmarsh was a kind of secret ingredient. 

http://swordsandstitchery.blogspot.com/2016/08/frogmen-dark-albion-sinster-secret-of.html?m=1