Light-hearted Adventuring

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Light-hearted Adventuring

Postby Saltwater1 » Mon Apr 10, 2017 12:51 am

Hey! I'm trying to find adventures or settings that escape the usual fantasy tropes and are more light-hearted in tone. The usual "fantasy-heroes-fight-doomsday-baddie" stuff is wearing down on me a bit. Any suggestions?
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Re: Light-hearted Adventuring

Postby Havard » Mon Apr 10, 2017 10:09 am

  • Lankhmar: Generally adventures focusing on thievry and the acquisition of wealth while learning more about the world in the process.
  • Greyhawk: Especially at lower levels.
  • Mystara: While Mystara has some epic campaigns and does have the "end goal" of Immortality, most campaigns focus on more casual adventuring. Check out any modules from the B series, X1 Isle of Dread, X2 Castle Amber etc
  • Blackmoor: The DA modules are fairly epic, but the d20 line is much more geared towards standard adventuring.

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Re: Light-hearted Adventuring

Postby RobJN » Mon Apr 10, 2017 10:54 am

I've heard that the AD&D adventure N2: The Forest Oracle is good for laughs.... :P
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Re: Light-hearted Adventuring

Postby agathokles » Mon Apr 10, 2017 12:44 pm

The Savage Coast (part of Mystara) is all about swashbuckler types and furry fantasy.
Also, the PC series (Top Ballista, Night Howlers) and Orcs of Thar are or can be played in a light-hearted mode.

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Re: Light-hearted Adventuring

Postby Sturm » Mon Apr 10, 2017 1:22 pm

I'd say that a lot of Mystara products are light hearted and escape the usual tropes, Gaz03 The Principalities of Glantri, Gaz04 The Kingdom of Ierendi, Gaz10 The Orcs of Thar in particular, and also PC1 Tall Tales of the Wee Folk and PC2 Top Ballista and the whole Voyages of the Princess Ark by Bruce Heard.
Calidar too could be quite light hearted IMO and is very original (Also Bruce Heard: http://bruce-heard.blogspot.it/)

D&D had devolved and regressed since the Mystara line ended.
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Re: Light-hearted Adventuring

Postby willpell » Thu Apr 13, 2017 9:28 pm

My homebrew Whiteleaf setting is also a bit more light-hearted much of the time. It's about a stable civilization that prefers to remain that way. Impending doom is viewed much the way threats of Cold War annihilation have been in our real life; in actuality, most people's lives are peaceful and prosperous, with no more than saber-rattling from distant powers to keep gossip interesting.
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Re: Light-hearted Adventuring

Postby Illuminatus » Sat Jul 15, 2017 4:46 pm

I have a spreadsheet of old Dungeon Magazine adventures (1e and 2e only) that has brief descriptions of plots, settings, level range, etc. that I used to use to help me find adventures appropriate for a given setting. One of the descriptors I sometimes used was “light,” although I didn’t really apply it religiously. Anyway, here are some Dungeon adventures that I thought were “light” back in the day…

    Monsterquest, Issue 10, Levels N/A, Play humanoid PCS.
    Huddle Farm, Issue 12, Levels 1-4, Outwit a leprechaun who is inflaming halfling rivalries.
    Encounter in Wildwood, Issue 19, Levels 2-4, Cutesy diversion with a bizarre array of monsters.
    Rank Amateurs, Issue 22, Levels N/A, Play humanoid PCs.
    Manden’s Meathooks, Issue 28, Levels 4-6, Band of brigands with magical “hurricane lantern” waylay the party.
    Wrastle with Bertrum, Issue 30, Levels 2+, Dwarven bandits try to rob an inn while everyone is intent on the troll-wrestling attraction.
    Dark Days in Welldale, Issue 33, Levels 3-5, Figure out the source of troubles in a halfling village.
    Old Man Katan and the Mushroom Band, Issue 41, Levels 1-6, I was at a loss to come up with a blurb on this one. You’ve really just got to read it.
    Song of the Fens, Issue 40, Levels 1-3, Misfit troll given to song falls in love with innkeeper’s daughter.
    Way with Words, Issue 41, Levels 1-3, Kobolds think their stolen poetry book is a spell book.
    Rudwilla’s Stew, Issue 45, Levels 1-2, Avert a bugbear war by keeping a human chef alive long enough for her to brew them a pot of stew.
    Dovedale, Issue 46, Levels 1-3, The village’s water source is dried up, figure out why.
    Them Apples, Issue 48, Levels 1-3, Rescue halflings kidnapped by a hill giant.
    Lenny O’Brien’s Pot of Gold, Issue 49, Levels 3-6, Leprechaun tries to dupe party into recovering its treasure from mudmen.
    Back to the Beach, Issue 50, Levels 1-2, Ambassadors of crab people come to human lands to try and renew an ancient treaty, but the humans they knew are long gone.
    Bad Batch of Brownies, Issue 58, Levels 1-3, Real-world biker winds up in D&D world, converts a bunch of brownies to biker toughs.
    Mad Chefs of Lac Anchois, Issue 64, Levels 6-9, Giant chefs are cooking up Grippli legs for Giant food critics. Rescue the Grippli.
    Visiting Tylwyth, Issue 77, Level 1, Rescue PC’s uncle from a lovelorn witch.

Chadranther’s Bane, Issue 18, Levels 4-7 isn’t specifically light-hearted, but DEFINITELY "escapes the usual tropes" and could be DM’d as light-hearted. The characters are shrunk to about an inch high and must figure out how to restore themselves while adventuring through an abandoned inn.

A lot of these are kind of silly, as there’s a fine line between light-hearted and campy. I only ever DM’d a couple of them that I selected for their relative non-campiness. I used Visiting Tylwyth and Dovedale to start off a low-level all-elf campaign. Those two adventures had a "folklorey" or vaguely dreamlike quality that appealed to me (can't really figure out the right word to describe the feel. Sylvan maybe.). I also ran Chadranther’s for a higher-level party and it’s just a great, memorable adventure.
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Re: Light-hearted Adventuring

Postby LimeOdyssey » Mon Jul 24, 2017 3:25 am

Introduce some form of football or golf to your campaign. Watch otherwise serious people devote hours to trying to get their team to win or trying to perfect their golf swing. To hit against a golf ball should be virtually impossible, that way a lot of boosts and effort are needed. Also if there is the possibility of the version of golf actually involving a sentient hostile race that only resemble golf balls, the campaign derailment virtually writes itself.
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Re: Light-hearted Adventuring

Postby Yaztromo » Mon Jul 24, 2017 4:24 pm

Nice list, Illuminatus!
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Re: Light-hearted Adventuring

Postby Saltwater1 » Wed Jul 26, 2017 12:58 am

Illuminatus wrote:I have a spreadsheet of old Dungeon Magazine adventures (1e and 2e only) that has brief descriptions of plots, settings, level range, etc. that I used to use to help me find adventures appropriate for a given setting. One of the descriptors I sometimes used was “light,” although I didn’t really apply it religiously. Anyway, here are some Dungeon adventures that I thought were “light” back in the day…


Nice! I'll have to save this list for a rainy day or something. Just go down the list, one at a time.

LimeOdyssey wrote:Introduce some form of football or golf to your campaign. Watch otherwise serious people devote hours to trying to get their team to win or trying to perfect their golf swing. To hit against a golf ball should be virtually impossible, that way a lot of boosts and effort are needed. Also if there is the possibility of the version of golf actually involving a sentient hostile race that only resemble golf balls, the campaign derailment virtually writes itself.


I can definitely see the fun in that. Makes me think of a combination D&D/Bloodbowl campaign. Play D&D to find cool gear for your team or sabotage the other team, and then play Bloodbowl modified by the party's actions.
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Re: Light-hearted Adventuring

Postby Michael Silverbane » Wed Aug 02, 2017 7:56 pm

You could also go the XCrawl route, where the adventurers are contestants in a dungeon crawling game show. They can come up with cheesy catch phrases, win fabulous prizes, earn corporate sponsorships, and so on.
It's a big world out there. Go tear it up.
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