You-Gotta-Play-This Scenarios?

inspired by this :point_up: quote

  • What are your “OMG YOU HAVE TO RUN/PLAY THIS !!!111” scenarios?
  • are there any you “have to” experience at all :thinking:

(Just by way of explanation since I was summoned, the original reference in that other thread was to consensus stuff like Masks or Enemy Within for other games (so as not to get ahead of any D&D discussion) rather than individual favorites.)

Looking forward to seeing everybody’s nominees!

yeah also looking forward to this :smiley:

btw. in case this was not clear … this question is system agnostic^^

Are we talking about officially released Oneshots / storylines from books / DMsguild stuff and so on, or would homebrew storylines also apply?

Because stuff like @Darthbinks “Age of Worms” port was great and I would recommend it, but as I understand, it was heavily modified? Either way → 10/10 would romance all the undead ladies again

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everything is on the table! (3rd party, official, semi-official, homebrew, modded, imaginary^^ …)

and thanks a lot for the praise :bowing_man:

I’d argue there is no scenario everyone has to play, just because preferences on genre etc differ, but there are certainly scenarios within systems you gotta play if you’re into the system. What comes to mind is “The Silver of the Sea” from Vaesen. When i read it i immediately knew this was gonna be great and it really was one of my best sessions. It’s kinda lovecraftian-ish, has some cool monsters, funny NPCs and a hard choice to make.

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A decent but railroady adventure path that I’m guessing was memorable largely because it was thoroughly Binksified and a little-known Vaesen scenario (which I’m putting on my list of things to check out based on the recommendation)?

Yeah, I’m resting my case. It’s just not the age of adventures, and hasn’t been for a while.

(If you ever decide to re-run Silver of the Sea, Himbeer, please do drop me a line. Thanks!)

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I’m curious about how everyone feels about “Curse of Strahd” for D&D 5e. For the 5e system, is it a must play?

I’m aware of the original Ravenloft source, and I am not asking for a comparison to the original. Just asking about the 5e campaign, for it’s own sake.

When I got back into D&D a couple of years ago, I picked up the book. But in talking with people, it felt like most regular players had played or run it. So based on popularity if nothing else, I’m wondering if anyone counts it as a must play.

(Because it seemed so popular, I still haven’t read it in case I become a player).

no not at all … “The Silver of the Sea” is a sandbox adventure with memorable NPCs
with a cthulhu-ish nordic horror vibe (well it is a Vaesen scenario^^)

ran it once … was pretty good

If you like detective noir atmosphere in 5e I can put “Sharn: City of Blood” on that list. Loved it when @Darthbinks ran it.


Talking about Age of Worms here.

ah … :smiley:

yeah I changed it a lot … less dungeons more talking

edit: also for open hop-in / hop-off campaigns as V.A.L.U.E., an episodic format works better

thanks a lot for the praise :bowing_man:

yeah that gem was one of the best adventures I ran in V.A.L.U.E. so far :man_detective:

a few modern gems:

  • “Written in Blood” (2022; from the Radiant Citadel anthology)

[quote] the Alexandrian: “is an adventure so good I’d give my left arm to run it.”
… won’t trade my arm :joy: … but agree that is very good
ran it 3 times

:point_up: :point_right: [Spoiler] Story of a young girl who lost her friend to the crawling claws and the dark waters of the lake … and now her friend has come back.

  • “The Canopic Being” (2021; from the Candlekeep Mysteries anthology)

[quote] the Alexandrian: “This adventure is a rare gem.”
agree here … the hook is the best I have read in years and is followed up with brilliant execution

:point_up: :point_right: [Spoiler] The party finds a list of the living victims in which a mummy lord will place his organs. The last names on the list? The PCs.

  • “A Deep and Creeping Darkness” (2021; from the Candlekeep Mysteries anthology)
    I run this right now with a group … and its amazing
    I guess it works far better in campaigns than as an oneshot

:point_up: :point_right: [Spoiler] a horror adventure set in an abandoned mining town, that had been devastated by an Aberfan-style dissaster 70y ago

non-D&D stuff:

  • City of Lies (L5R; 1998)
    this is imho the best rpg supplement published ever!
    is a samurai investigation sandbox
    … the adventure here works better for a finale of a long campaign

  • My Big, Fat Caped Wedding (Champions; 2005; is in the Villainy Amok anthology)
    super funny superhero adventure
    I only changed the NPCs to Marvel characters, so the players recognized the NPCs
    ran this gem 4 times, 3 of those times at an indie Thursdays night

  • [German] Namenlose Nacht (The Dark Eye / DSA; 2014)
    investigation scenario in a bathhouse, where the aristocracy are having an orgy
    best DSA single adventure
    the only downside (and advantage) is, that is so build into the setting, you cannot play it somewhere else while keeping the impact
    ran this once

  • [German] Die Herren von Chorhop (The Dark Eye / DSA; 2002)
    political adventure in the city-state of gambling
    looks like a single adventure but there is so much material there,
    that you will need a year to finish it
    ran this once

  • Lotus Blossom’s Bridal Path (Tenra Bansho Zero; not sure about the year ~ 2012)
    amazing adventure about love, war & loss
    one of the best oneshot experiences I had as a gamemaster
    ran this 3 times, 2 of those times at an indie Thursdays night

  • Jail Break (Unknown Armies; 1999; is in the One Shots anthology)
    “Four convicts. Five Hostages. One Gun. Do the Math.”
    very good if you have a lot of players - we basically LARP-ed this
    ran this once

edit: added more gems :slight_smile:

:vulcan_salute: Star Trek has some excellent scenarios

only a few gems:

  • A Cry From The Void (STA)
  • A Doomsday Like Any Other (FASA)
  • A Star Beyond the Stars (STA)
  • An Imbalance of Power (FASA; Klingon scenario)
  • Back To Reality (STA)
  • Border Dispute (STA)
  • Decision Point (STA)
  • Graduation Exercise (FASA; Klingon scenario)
  • The Taste of Ashes (Decipher-fan)

Mmm … not sure that citing a guy who’s written extensively about “the decline and fall of D&D adventures” is going to convince me that we’re living in a golden age of scenario writing. :slight_smile:

Some things peak early. I’m not happy about it either.

Just because I’m curious. What are your “MUST SEE” adventures. (Mostly because I haven’t run much, if any, before 3rd ed. adventures. Always looking for good stuff :slight_smile: )

Probably? A lot of people think it’s the best thing published for 5th edition.

TL;DR = no

if you like the themes, it is nice … if you are not, then you won’t like it

at least it does not have the “great sandbox ruined by buggy railroad at the 2nd part” problem of other hardcover 5E adventures

edit 1: p.s. the old Castle Ravenloft is so different, that those two a completely non-comparable adventures - the setting is partly the same, but the set-up and tone is very different

edit 2: p.p.s.: Waterdeep: Dragonheist is still my favorite hardcover 5E adventure … ran it twice^^