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May 2017, in case you haven’t noticed, is a month with 5 Wednesdays in it. That means an extra week between my Best Of DMs Guild posts. Just as I was looking for something to fill the gap with, M.T. Black came along and collated a list of the 50 highest rated adventures on the DMs Guild.
I don’t often review adventures on this site because I don’t often get a chance to run adventures that I haven’t written myself. That means that my Best Ofs are fairly lacking in these kinds of products, and a lot of the titles found on this list have never been featured on this site. To address that, here are the top 20 highest rated DMs Guild adventures. You can see the rest of the list that M.T. Black collated – a full 50 adventures – here. If you like the sound of any of these adventures, the ‘View More’ buttons will take you to each product’s DMs Guild page.
1. A Boy and his Modron by Anthony Lesink
A young boy befriends an extra-planar construct that has mysteriously appeared at his family’s farm. Once the boy finds out that other creatures are coming to take it back home, he comes up with a plan to get help from the party to save his new friend. A 4-6 hour adventure for characters level 1-4.
2. Tower of the Mad Mage by M.T. Black
Tower of the Mad Mage is a 4-6 hour adventure for 1st-2nd level characters. It features magic, mystery and thrilling combat encounters!
3. Dead of Winter by Patrick E. Pullen
"Dead of Winter" is a 1st-level adventure which can easily be adjusted to any level. It is designed as a side quest for Dungeons & Dragons 5th Edition (but could be converted to other editions with very little effort).
4. Banquet of the Damned by Benoit de Bernardy
Banquet of the Damned is a mystery adventure for a party of 2nd or 4th level characters (a separate PDFs for each level is provided). It takes place in the village of Womford (Forgotten Realms) during the fall but you can easily adapt the adventure to any farming hamlet.
5. City Of The Dead by Patrick E. Pullen
A strange thief wandered into Waterdeep and stole from the wrong person. Now, he has died of “natural causes” on his visit to the City of Splendors. Having no known friends or relatives, he was hastily buried, along with his possessions, at Waterdeep’s Cemetery (The City of the Dead) in The Road’s End Tomb. While the PCs are dining in the taproom at The Dripping Dagger Inn, they are approached by a stranger who claims that the unknown man had stolen a necklace from his employer, and he needs the adventures to reclaim it.
6. Killer Kobolds by Tony Petrecca
Killer Kobolds is designed for a party of four to eight characters of levels 8 through 12, but could readily be tweaked to accommodate parties of lesser or greater strength. Intentionally set in an entirely generic small village in need, Killer Kobolds can be easily dropped into any Dungeons and Dragons setting. Recently updated with a Yawning Portal cameo, the content within fits perfectly into any Tales of the Yawning Portal campaign, slotting perfectly between White Plume Mountain and Against the Giants. Additionally, it could readily be worked in to your Tyranny of Dragons, Elemental Evil, Rage of Demons or Storm King’s Thunder campaign.
7. The Haunt by Phil Beckwith
In ages past, an ancient town was lost and destroyed to a seige of orcs. Only one building survived and to this day, the manor is the only still standing building to be seen for miles around. Some say it is haunted, a few whisper of great treasures within, whilst others whisper that it is the manor itself that lives!
8. Fishing for Gods in Strade's Gallows by Remley Farr
A medical shipment to the swampy town of Strade's Gallows takes a turn for the eccentric when the party happens across enigmatic shrimp-men who begin to worship them as gods. Can the party solve the mystery of Strade's Gallows' ailment, or will their new disciples botch it all up?
9. Adamantine Chef: Supreme Challenge by Teos Abadia
Each year the Emperor holds a competition to select a new Adamantine Chef. When a challenger emerges from outside Kara-Tur, the current Adamantine Chef aims to win before the first dish is served. The challenger turns to heroes in this desperate hour!
10. Leomund's Misplaced Manor by Michael J Winegar
Leomund's Misplaced Manor is a D&D 5th Edition adventure intended to give players a classic dungeon crawl while they explore the confines of the titular Manor and unravel the mystery of its last owner. Uniquely, at the end of the adventure the location itself becomes the reward, along with any new allies the characters have made along the way and any treasure they find.
11. Journey to the Summer City by Dave Zajac
The cool days of spring have given way to the warmth of summer, bringing the dwarves of Citadel Hoarfrost forth from their mountain home to buy and sell goods throughout the surrounding lands. On the Cold Road, one such party of young dwarves makes their way toward the summer city of Bildoobaris with a wagon of glacial mead for trade. It is a simple enough task, but sometimes it's the simple tasks that cause the most problems.
12. Journey Through the Center of the Underdark by Tony Petrecca
Journey Through the Center of the Underdark contains several detailed encounters ideal for fleshing out traveling days between locations in Out of the Abyss. Furthermore, these encounters could be readily inserted into any 5th Edition Dungeons & Dragons Underdark oriented Forgotten Realms or home campaign setting.
13. Macabre Escape by Grand DM
At the edge of this forlorn place we located an immaculate row home. Once a wealthy family lived there which committed damnable sacrifices. The choking mists forced us inside this sorrowful and malevolent estate. Within we found a life of luxury twisted with unsettling madness. This sentient abode tormented us until we found a way to depart its corrupted halls. The antiquity of the evil in that place seeped into our dreams. After some time we steeled ourselves for those waking night terrors. Unfortunately, the wrathful abode was not done haunting us. As if swallowed by a morbid oubliette, we have returned. I fear our prayers will go unanswered inside the macabre escape tunnel of the Death House…
14. The Throne of Bone by Jeff C. Stevens
It all begins with a simple request (doesn’t it always?) from an old farmer. The request – protect his cattle herd from vicious wolves. Simple enough for the brave adventurers, right? But it doesn’t stay that way. Not at all. Soon, the adventuring party will find themselves in the thick of it as they solve puzzles, avoid traps, fight for their lives, and endure witty taunting. And in the end, they discover an artifact that may, or may not, be useful to them.
15. Blood on the Trail by Jeff C. Stevens
Bale, the kind gnome and owner of Bale's Outfitting Outpost, requests that the adventurers track down a group of youngsters that rented horses from him. The horses are overdue and Bale believes that he may have been swindled. Unbeknownst to the gnome, the party of young adventurers has met a dark fate. Will your adventurers accept Bale's request to track down the youngsters and, in doing so, find out what really happened? Or will they leave more blood on the trail?
16. Giantslayer by Richard Jansen-Parkes and M.T. Black
Yegor Bonecruncher is the most ferocious hill giant in the land. When he begins terrorising the small village of Frickley, the inhabitants have only one hope - the legendary warrior, Jahia Giantslayer. The PCs undertake a dangerous trek through the High Forest to find her, battling wild fey magic all the way. But can Jahia live up to her own legend?
17. House of Horror by Patrick E. Pullen
As the adventurers are investigating the disappearance of a missing teenager in the city of Waterdeep, they stumble upon an old rundown mansion rumored to be haunted. The search for a missing person will turn into a fight for survival when the heroes discover the haunting secret of the House of Horror, and become prey for what lurks in the basement.
18. Carnival of Synn by Patrick E. Pullen
The adventurers are traveling The Long Road, between Triboar and Longsaddle, when they come across the campsite of a traveling carnival. The carnival-master is a beautiful and seductive tiefling named Synn. She asks the travelers to stay for dinner and watch the show. It is a new play called The Beast of Barovia. The entertainment is amazing and wonderful… up until the point that the act turns real. Suddenly, the party finds themselves immersed in a nightmare, fighting for their lives against horrifying creatures. Even if the protagonists survive, the unfortunate souls could be forever trapped in the cursed realm of Ravenloft.
19. Dragon's Breath Tavern by Jeff C. Stevens
It’s been a long few days of travel and the adventurers are tired of eating rations and sleeping on the ground. The road opens to a small town with an inviting tavern. The smells of grilling meat and ale fill their nostrils and the sounds of laughter and music float out the tavern’s door. Unlucky for the adventurers, they’ve stumbled upon Dragon’s Breath Tavern. What starts out as a pleasant evening of food, drink, and entertainment soon evolves into an adventure that takes the party into and under Dragon’s Breath Tavern. The adventure includes roleplay, exploration, combat, and a dice game called Demon Dice.
20. The Five Temples of the Earthmother by Shawn Merwin and Christopher Sniezak
The Five Temples of the Earthmother is a series of short adventures for Dungeons and Dragons 5th edition. Broken into chapters, which take place on the Island of Alaron in the Moonshae Isles of the Forgotten Realms, each chapter in the series details a different adventure site. Each site is a lost temple dedicated to the Earthmother, the force representing the primal essence of nature and life, a revered force in the Moonshaes.
And if all that’s not enough for you, yesterday saw the release of a great collection of some lesser-known adventures that was put together by Glen Cooper (the man behind Deadly Dungeon Doors). Glen was kind enough to let me see the collection before it went live on DMs Guild, and it’s a fantastic product. He’s also written another guest post for me, which will be going live later today.
For the clearest description of what this is, it’s probably best to turn to the description from the product listing:
This is a collection of 9 incredible Dungeons & Dragons adventures and 3 supplements at an outstanding price! This product will be only available for a limited time and has been reduced by 70% from their original prices.
In total these adventures have 14 authors and have been reviewed 78 times with an average rating of 4.8! Together they represent over 60 hours of game time and 296 pages of exciting content.
What that doesn’t tell you is that Glen has also written an over-arching story that ties all of these adventures together into an Adventure Path-style campaign set in the Moonshaes. It’s an impressive piece of work that’s also shining a light on some forgotten gems from the depths of the DMs Guild, and I really hope we see more projects like this on the DMs Guild in future! You can find out more about it here.
And hell, while we’re talking adventures, why not have one more? I was recently commissioned to produce some maps for PB Publishing’s new adventure Struggle In Three Horn Valley.
Although I haven’t actually run the adventure myself I obviously had to read it to produce the maps, and I’m confident in saying that this will be a ton of fun for groups to play through. There’s a very strong element of surviving against the odds, some really cool set piece encounters that will be very memorable, and there are pirates. And dinosaurs. And pirates riding dinosaurs. Really, there’s a lot to love – but since I’m biased, I encourage you to check out this review by The Kind GM. If you’re interested, you can find out more about the adventure here.