AD&D 2e Adventure Modules

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AD&D 2e Adventure Modules

Post by Kythkyn » Fri May 17, 2019 4:48 am

So, when I started learning to GM, I had a mix of Basic and AD&D 2e (weird, right? We were kids, and didn't know the difference). Eventually I got my hands on the AD&D 2e books. Which I carefully, lovingly protected and still have. But what I didn't have, nor did I even hear about until I was like... in my 20s, was that there were adventure modules for it. So! Does anyone have experience with various AD&D modules/adventures etc? What are some of the best ones? What are some good ones? Which ones should I avoid?
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Re: AD&D 2e Adventure Modules

Post by NPCDave » Fri May 17, 2019 6:04 am

I posted my personal master list of awesome adventures from Basic to 3.5 D&D before, so here are my 2E selections from that list...

Best Dungeon Crawls
Dungeon Magazine #18 – Tallow’s Deep
Dungeon Magazine #37 – Mud Sorcerer’s Tomb

Best Enemy Base Adventures
Dungeon Magazine #26 – The Inheritance

Best Mystery Adventures
HHQ3 Thief’s Challenge

Best Epic Sprawling Adventure Quests for a Rollicking Good Time
Dragon’s Crown (Dark Sun)
Night Below
Rod of Seven Parts
Dungeon Magazine #70 – Kingdom of the Ghouls

Adventures with the Best Villain
Planescape Dead Gods (main adventure) (Orcus)
Return to the Tomb of Horrors (Acererak)
Dungeon Magazine #17 (Flame the Red Dragon)
Dungeon Magazine #25 - A Rose for Talakara (Agrovale the Skeletal Warrior)
Dungeon Magazine #75 – The Forgotten Man (Ulmade the Bardic Lich)

Best Carve Civilization out of Wilderness Adventure Quests
King of the Giantdowns (Birthright)

Best Adventures with Politics Mixed In
Dungeon Magazine #59 – Seeking Bloodsilver (Birthright)

Best Adventures for One Player
HHQ4 Cleric’s Challenge
Dungeon Magazine #22 – Tomb it May Concern
Dungeon Magazine #53 – Spellbook Masquerade

Best Adventure for Replaying the Seven Samurai
Dungeon Magazine #33 - Siege of Kratys Freehold

Best Adventures When You Show Up But Don’t Feel Like Playing D&D and Would Rather Fiddle With Your Smartphone While the DM Reads Page After Page of Box Text
FRE1 Shadowdale
FRE2 Tantras
FRE3 Waterdeep

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Re: AD&D 2e Adventure Modules

Post by Khedrac » Fri May 17, 2019 8:11 am

WGR1 - Greyhawk Ruins was quite a good mega-module I think (I only ever ran the first part of it).
The Falcon trilogy (WGA1-3) looked OK, if you liked making cut-out cardboard buildings but I never got to run them
WGA4 Vecna Lives less so I think - the "forced start" didn't really work (in 2nd Ed days a group of wizards wandering around with no support and sub-optimal spell choices deserved what they got).
WG9-12 seems average though WG9 Gargoyle was praised, it also re-wrote a monster from the first monstrous compendium in a fundamental way.

I think Dungeon was a better source of 2nd Ed adventures - being shorter usually helped them (though there were howlers published).
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Re: AD&D 2e Adventure Modules

Post by Big Mac » Fri May 17, 2019 12:30 pm

NPCDave wrote:
Fri May 17, 2019 6:04 am
Best Adventures When You Show Up But Don’t Feel Like Playing D&D and Would Rather Fiddle With Your Smartphone While the DM Reads Page After Page of Box Text
FRE1 Shadowdale
FRE2 Tantras
FRE3 Waterdeep
I love that category! :lol:
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Re: AD&D 2e Adventure Modules

Post by Big Mac » Fri May 17, 2019 12:36 pm

Kythkyn wrote:
Fri May 17, 2019 4:48 am
Does anyone have experience with various AD&D modules/adventures etc? What are some of the best ones? What are some good ones? Which ones should I avoid?
I mostly mine adventure modules for information, so probably can't give you any useful advice. (For example, if I want to learn about Maztica, I would be biased towards Maztica modules, specifically because they would increase my understanding of the region. And I generally put more effort into learning things about smaller cult settings that bigger broad settings, because it's more possible to learn everything about smaller settings....and easier to find experts about big settings.)

(I'm also a bit biased towards Spelljammer and how other campaign settings fit into the Spelljammer universe. You might not have noticed, as I don't talk about it much. ;) )

Is there a particular setting or theme that you want to see in adventure modules?
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Re: AD&D 2e Adventure Modules

Post by shesheyan » Fri May 17, 2019 2:01 pm

I greatly enjoyed GMing the Evil Tide trilogy.

« Evil Tide is the first of an adventure trilogy (continuing with Night of the Shark and concluding in Sea of Blood) that pits brave adventurers against the evil race called Sahuagin by the air-breathing races. The sahuagin adventure trilogy can be played seperately or linked together to form a seamless epic-length adventure. The sahuagin trilogy supports Monstrous Arcana: Sea Devils, a source book providing invaluable, fascinating, and immediately applicable supplementary information.»

https://www.drivethrurpg.com/product/17 ... 30_0_0_0_0

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Re: AD&D 2e Adventure Modules

Post by shesheyan » Fri May 17, 2019 2:04 pm

The Ravenloft adventure The Created is my second favorite 2e adventure. It's really challenging for the players and offer great opportunity for thinking outside the box. I used it as a one-shot inserted in a home-brew campaign.

https://www.drivethrurpg.com/product/17 ... 30_0_0_0_0

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Re: AD&D 2e Adventure Modules

Post by NPCDave » Fri May 17, 2019 4:28 pm

That reminds me, I always put I6 Ravenloft as one of my personal favorite best horror adventures, but for 2E that would be its remake RM4 House of Strahd. And it also counts as an adventure with the best villain.

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Re: AD&D 2e Adventure Modules

Post by Kythkyn » Fri May 17, 2019 4:40 pm

Big Mac wrote:
Fri May 17, 2019 12:36 pm
Is there a particular setting or theme that you want to see in adventure modules?
Setting neutral, theme neutral. Essentially, if I can strip the setting out with ease or it's just Mystara. Theme is really whatever, though.

I'd love to know about good adventures in Dragon, too. But I think those might be a little harder to get my hands on than a bevy of potentially currently PoD stuff
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Re: AD&D 2e Adventure Modules

Post by Cthulhudrew » Fri May 17, 2019 7:06 pm

NPCDave wrote:
Fri May 17, 2019 6:04 am
Best Adventures When You Show Up But Don’t Feel Like Playing D&D and Would Rather Fiddle With Your Smartphone While the DM Reads Page After Page of Box Text
I would add a couple of the Ravenloft adventures to this list. I don't recall whether it was the 1E Ravenloft or the 2E Feast of Goblyns that our DM was running us through, but whichever it was, my fellow players and I definitely were feeling this way. (And this was pre-smartphone, so we didn't even have that distraction to while away the time). :lol:
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Re: AD&D 2e Adventure Modules

Post by NPCDave » Fri May 17, 2019 7:40 pm

By the time 2nd Edition AD&D rolled in, Dungeon Magazine was well-established and Dragon Magazine had stopped publishing adventures. You will find NPC stats and some encounter ideas but not adventures for 2E.

But if you want to know the best 1E adventures from Dragon Magazine...

Best Mystery Adventures
Dragon Magazine #111 – Death of an Arch-Mage

Adventures with the Best Villain
Dragon Magazine #83 – The Dancing Hut (Baba Yaga)

Best Adventure That My Players Rate Highly and Still Talk About But Was So Situational It Is Unlikely You Could Duplicate the Result
Dragon Magazine #50 – The Chapel of Silence

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Re: AD&D 2e Adventure Modules

Post by Kythkyn » Fri May 17, 2019 8:46 pm

NPCDave wrote:
Fri May 17, 2019 7:40 pm
But if you want to know the best 1E adventures from Dragon Magazine...
100%. Honestly, I have actually used some Basic Revised adventures with 2e before with mininal conversion, so really, anything pre-3e is welcome!

I guess, though, what else is helpful is knowing why the adventures are recommended. I would be GMing these, so spoilers are fine
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Re: AD&D 2e Adventure Modules

Post by Kythkyn » Fri May 17, 2019 8:48 pm

Like, I have looked at the Beholder trilogy, and while it initially piqued my interest, even the nicest reviews put it at a 4/10 over all. Which is unfortunate, because really, it sounds super interesting
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Re: AD&D 2e Adventure Modules

Post by NPCDave » Fri May 17, 2019 11:36 pm

NPCDave wrote:
Fri May 17, 2019 7:40 pm
Best Mystery Adventures
Dragon Magazine #111 – Death of an Arch-Mage
This one is just a very good murder mystery that also takes into account that high level PCs have magic capable of solving most murders simply and easily.
Adventures with the Best Villain
Dragon Magazine #83 – The Dancing Hut (Baba Yaga)
Baba Yaga's hut is explored as a tesseract and is a good dungeon crawl.
Best Adventure That My Players Rate Highly and Still Talk About But Was So Situational It Is Unlikely You Could Duplicate the Result
Dragon Magazine #50 – The Chapel of Silence
A simple hexagonal tower and dungeon craw, with the gimmick that half way the adventure all the characters are struck dumb with no save. The players(not just the characters) have to complete the adventure without speaking. My players loved it and ran with the idea, but I know others would not like that at all.

A couple of other good Dragon Magazine adventures to consider...
Dragon Magazine #90 Aesirhamar - An outer planes adventure in Asgard
Dragon Magazine #75 Seapoint - A pretty generic aquatic adventure

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Re: AD&D 2e Adventure Modules

Post by Digitalelf » Fri May 17, 2019 11:42 pm

Kythkyn wrote:
Fri May 17, 2019 4:40 pm
...or it's just Mystara.
I take this to mean that you are running a Mystaran campaign?

If that's the case, are you aware that there are a few 2nd edition AD&D Mystara products?

The adventures have horrible, horrible audio CDs... But they can be used with out them.

Here is a list of all of the 2nd edition Mystara products:

Karameikos: Kingdom of Adventure Boxed Set (Includes adventure "Trouble in Threshold")
Glantri: Kingdom of Magic Boxed Set (Includes adventure "The Test of Darkness")
Mystara Monstrous Compendium Apendix
DM's Suvival Kit (made up of various "handouts")
Player's Survival Kit (also made up of various "handouts")
Poor Wizard's Almanac III
Joshuan's Almanac
Night of the Vampire (Adventure)
Hail the Heroes (Adventure)
Mark of Amber (Adventure)

There were 2 Boxed sets for the "Savage Coast":

Red Steel Boxed Set (Has a few short "Sample" adventures)
Savage Baronies Boxed Set (Includes the adventure "Divided We Fall")

From Dungeon Magazine:

Voyage of the Crimpshrine (Issue #59)

The "First Quest" Boxed Set (an introduction to 2nd edition) had 3 adventures "tentatively" set in Karameikos.
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Re: AD&D 2e Adventure Modules

Post by timemrick » Sat May 18, 2019 2:06 am

I'm not how much I can help with 2e adventures. I mostly ran my own homebrew stuff during the 2e years, with occasional one-shots of 1e modules, which didn't require a ton of work, as 90% of 2e was essentially 1e with better editing.

The couple of 2e adventures that actually recall running successfully were both light-hearted one-shots from Polyhedron Newszine (well before it merged with Dungeon).

"Winter Holiday" is a Christmas-themed adventure full of bad puns based on "The Twelve Days of Christmas." I encouraged my players to make silly characters that they would never play in a remotely serious campaign, and they rose to the challenge.

"Turkey Feathers" was a Thanksgiving offering, in which the PCs must fend off rustlers and wild beasts to drive a flock of a few hundred turkeys to market. (It's nearly as impossible as it sounds!) I actually ran this adventure using the True20 edition of Blue Rose, since my group hadn't played 2e for a few years by the time I ran it.
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Re: AD&D 2e Adventure Modules

Post by Kythkyn » Sat May 18, 2019 3:01 am

Digitalelf wrote:
Fri May 17, 2019 11:42 pm
Kythkyn wrote:
Fri May 17, 2019 4:40 pm
...or it's just Mystara.
I take this to mean that you are running a Mystaran campaign?

...

There were 2 Boxed sets for the "Savage Coast":

Red Steel Boxed Set (Has a few short "Sample" adventures)
Savage Baronies Boxed Set (Includes the adventure "Divided We Fall")
Not necessarily, but I can make those setting neutral if we go the not Mystara route.

I really like Red Steel. I have both of the boxed sets, which I got for an absolute steal about a year ago. Getting it to be a steady game has been difficult because of adult lives and all, but yes. 100% a Red Steel fan.

For a while I wanted to (and started to) run modules around the sample adventures, with Divided We Fall as a goal. I really do want to get it going again. Like a lot
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Re: AD&D 2e Adventure Modules

Post by Digitalelf » Sat May 18, 2019 10:04 pm

Kythkyn wrote:
Sat May 18, 2019 3:01 am
For a while I wanted to (and started to) run modules around the sample adventures, with Divided We Fall as a goal. I really do want to get it going again. Like a lot
I never got to run Red Steel, I did get to run a few adventures using both the Karameikos and Glantri boxed sets sets however. Had fun with them.

For Karameikos, I ran the "Night of the Vampire" adventure... I even used the CD that came with it... Big mistake! :oops: :facepalm:

For Galantri, I used my own adventures. These went far better. :D

My current campaign (using 2nd edition, and set in The World of Greyhawk) I am running the Illithiad trilogy of modules, which as published, are not set within any particular setting. They fit really well into my campaign with very little work.

The modules in this trilogy are:

A Darkness Gathering
Masters of Eternal Night
Dawn of the Overmind
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Re: AD&D 2e Adventure Modules

Post by Kythkyn » Sun May 19, 2019 4:23 am

Digitalelf wrote:
Sat May 18, 2019 10:04 pm

A Darkness Gathering
Masters of Eternal Night
Dawn of the Overmind
Yeah, I have poked at those ones, but I wasn't sure if they were worth it. From everything I have read, the Beholder ones weren't great. How are the Illithid ones?
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Re: AD&D 2e Adventure Modules

Post by Cromstar » Mon May 20, 2019 11:55 pm

To champion one from NPCDave's list: one of my favorites as a DM is Night Below as a full campaign (I'm currently running 2 players through the whole thing) since there's a full campaign, and then I can add or change things when or how I desire. Its pretty easy to set the story up and even when it goes off the rails, you can redirect back to the main plot with ease. Plus the plethora of unusual and odd circumstances built into it provides a wide variety of challenges, especially non-combat challenges in the first act (which also has a lot of combat challenges). I also like that there are some interesting and varied characters to introduce to the PCs.

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Re: AD&D 2e Adventure Modules

Post by Kythkyn » Tue May 21, 2019 4:19 pm

Cromstar wrote:
Mon May 20, 2019 11:55 pm
...one of my favorites as a DM is Night Below as a full campaign...
I've seen this pop up a few times, here and other places. I am thinking I am going to check it out
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Re: AD&D 2e Adventure Modules

Post by Digitalelf » Tue May 21, 2019 6:49 pm

Kythkyn wrote:
Sun May 19, 2019 4:23 am
How are the Illithid ones?
I like them. However, they are not without their problems... Especially since they were written to be as generic as possible.

One issue, is that the "tech" is somewhat on the sci-fi end of things, which I don't mind too much. Of the things that I did not like, I simply changed (which was VERY easy to do).

The modules do a good job of letting the DM decide how psionics function (i.e. whether or not they are magical or mental in nature). The issue I have concerning their implementation of psionics, is that they assume the use of psionics from the Player's Option books as opposed to the original "Complete Psionics Handbook" (which I of course, prefer); but I can't fault the author nor TSR too much for that, as the Player's Option psionics "officially" replaced the psionics handbook.

At any rate, be warned: the plot is "epic" in scope and will affect your campaign even if the PCs are successful in the end (e.g. At the start of the adventure, the entire world Is suffering from a devastating winter that has continued right through spring because the Mind Flayers are trying to darken the sun - and it's this set-up that puts the whole trilogy of modules into motion).
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Re: AD&D 2e Adventure Modules

Post by NPCDave » Tue May 21, 2019 7:31 pm

For anyone looking into Night Below, I highly recommend the following resources, of which only two out of three are written by myself.

Threshold Magazine #6
Direct link to html http://www.pandius.com/nghtblw.html

Threshold Magazine #8
Direct link to html http://www.pandius.com/nghtblw2.html

A guy named zimriel did some fantastic work analyzing, commenting, fixing and adding to the Night Below box set in the past. His pages are gone but much of it is preserved. I link to it in my first article above but here is the last direct link.
https://web.archive.org/web/20080527090 ... index.html

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