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Worst D&D Modules?


3.5/d20/OGL

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Sovereign Court RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32, 2010 Top 8

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Companion to the Worst D&D Books Thread:

Adams Wrath: Starts out with the party dying (encouraging the DM to cheet to make it happen) and then they wake up having been 'saved' by Viktor Mordheim. They then have to make a deal with him (automatic evil act) to be railroaded into the plot.

The Exchange Contributor, RPG Superstar 2008 Top 6

Nothing compares with the Three That Shall Not Be Named: Puppets, Gargoyle, and Child's Play. Players made into dolls? Check. Wingless gargoyles? Check. Bad parody of 80s horror movies? Check.

It's possible I've mis-summarized them, I can't bare to pull out my copies to verify their plots.

Dark Archive

Terrible Trouble in Tragidore should be on that list.

The Exchange RPG Superstar 2010 Top 16

Russ Taylor, Deep One About Town wrote:

Nothing compares with the Three That Shall Not Be Named: Puppets, Gargoyle, and Child's Play. Players made into dolls? Check. Wingless gargoyles? Check. Bad parody of 80s horror movies? Check.

Now, a module where the PC's are turned into dolls has kind of a cool hook, in a "Wanda-and-Pietro's-Stepdaddy's-Being-Naughty" way. Now, I understand that this was part of a really awful set of Greyhawk modules, so I'm assuming it doesn't live up to its potential.

DangerDwarf wrote:

Terrible Trouble in Tragidore should be on that list.

Why so? (I admit it rings no bells.)


Time for swearing in church: Against the Giants.

The modules where people fight somewhere around 1x10^45 giants. If I recall, there was a room where you had to fight 400 dwarves in a 20'x30' room, etc etc etc.


The usual dungeon crawl/ hack n'slash festival with no logic, can't think of one in perticular as there are many.

Maybe The City of the Spider Queen if you play it as it is. Because it can turn out as a brilliant campaign if you arrange if a bit.


As a Greyhawk fan, I hate to say this, but Gargoyle by Skip Williams it is... It was meant to be a light-hearted romp, but fell completely flat... the designer must have made a poor roll on the module "random gargoyle encounter chart" (or whatever that thing was called, that would determine what the pair of wingless gargoyles would crash into next). IIRC, the module had villains named Tom and Jerry, or something like that... might be fun if you're a 7-year old, but otherwise, ugh...

Gargoyle and the other atrocious Greyhawk modules of that era (the joke version of Castle Greyhawk, Puppets and Child's Play) made me seriously consider dropping the setting in favour of the Forgotten Realms... It really looked like TSR management was doing its best to kill Greyhawk, and instead of just pulling the plug on it, they released a string of horrible products that would dissuade gamers from buying them, which would in turn generate the low figures required for the execs to justify cancelling the line... which they did, shortly afterwards...

Better the parent company release no Greyhawk products at all than substandard/embarrassing crap like that...


Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Modules Subscriber
Corian of Lurkshire wrote:

Time for swearing in church: Against the Giants.

The modules where people fight somewhere around 1x10^45 giants. If I recall, there was a room where you had to fight 400 dwarves in a 20'x30' room, etc etc etc.

No surprise, but I've talked to quite a few people who really enjoyed Against the Giants. No where did you fight 400 dwarves in a 20'x30' room, though there was a room with 27 trolls but it was a cavern of approximately 70'x80'. Fighting giants is fun, especially once the alarm sounds and the entire complex mobilizes against your PCs.

My vote for worse D&D Adventure goes to WG7 - Castle Greyhawk. It's an adventure full of really bad jokes and was directly responsible for me not buying published adventures from the day I bought this adventure until 3rd Edition came out.


I agree that castle greyhawk was nearly unplayable.
Even at 14 the first three modules in it were a bit hard to play ...
Poppinfarsh the dough golem - + 3 mithril BREADKNIFE...
but after the first three it degenerates into rips offs of comic book characters and cartoons...

Was drug use rife in TRS that year?

The Exchange RPG Superstar 2010 Top 16

TwiceBorn wrote:
It really looked like TSR management was doing its best to kill Greyhawk, and instead of just pulling the plug on it, they released a string of horrible products that would dissuade gamers from buying them, which would in turn generate the low figures required for the execs to justify cancelling the line... which they did, shortly afterwards...

I was one of the freelancers on "Castle Greyhawk", and that was certainly the impression I was getting from the editor. "Parody" was the term used in the Writers Guide.

It was nice to see the "World of Greyhawk" hardcover come out when it did.

The Exchange RPG Superstar 2010 Top 16

Murkmoldiev wrote:

I agree that castle greyhawk was nearly unplayable.

Was drug use rife in TRS that year?

Actually, Greg Gorden's Level #6, "The Temple of the Really Bad Dead Things" is both funny and playable.


Chris Mortika wrote:
Murkmoldiev wrote:

I agree that castle greyhawk was nearly unplayable.

Was drug use rife in TRS that year?

Actually, Greg Gorden's Level #6, "The Temple of the Really Bad Dead Things" is both funny and playable.

I guess one can always try to redeem some parts of the module as reflective of the lunacy of the Mad Archmage, Zagyg... but that approach still doesn't work for me...

I can't imagine what I would have done if I had been handed Castle Greyhawk as an assignment.

But you're right, the Greyhawk Adventures hardcover that came out around that time was, overall, a high quality product.

Grand Lodge

Eric Tillemans wrote:
Corian of Lurkshire wrote:

Time for swearing in church: Against the Giants.

The modules where people fight somewhere around 1x10^45 giants. If I recall, there was a room where you had to fight 400 dwarves in a 20'x30' room, etc etc etc.

No surprise, but I've talked to quite a few people who really enjoyed Against the Giants. No where did you fight 400 dwarves in a 20'x30' room, though there was a room with 27 trolls but it was a cavern of approximately 70'x80'. Fighting giants is fun, especially once the alarm sounds and the entire complex mobilizes against your PCs.

Three caverns with 27 trolls in each - with a bit o'luck, you'd be fighting 81 trolls at once! The same level of that dungeon also contained a lich just hanging out in an alcove and a huge ancient red dragon. Smash, smash, smash... The frost giant fortress contained 87 frost giants, plus any from random encounters. If nothing else, it was a lot of XP.

I never played any of the bad Greyhawk modules, though the opening sequence of Vecna lives! is certainly among the worst possible ones. Instead, my vote for bad module goes to Keep on the borderlands, if nothing else just because of the scaling dungeons. First kobolds, then goblins, then orcs... Even as 12-year olds, we thought it was lame as hell.


Vattnisse wrote:
Eric Tillemans wrote:
I never played any of the bad Greyhawk modules, though the opening sequence of Vecna lives! is certainly among the worst possible ones.

Yes, it certainly is. I don't mind the premise of the module, and as a matter of fact, it's supposed to play an important role in my current campaign... but if my players ever get to a high enough level to play the scenario, I can guarantee that it will have been altered drastically... No more opening sequence, that's for sure! And the railroading in that module was some of the worst I have ever seen.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Campaign Setting, Cards, Companion, Maps, Modules, Pawns, Roleplaying Game, Tales Subscriber

There's a short adventure for very low level characters in Bestiary of Dragons and Giants in which (if I remember the details correctly) the PCs wander by the lair of a black dragon who needs someone to watch her clutch of eggs until she returns from... whatever it is she needs to go do. She gives them the choice of guarding the eggs or getting melted (not much railroading there). The entire adventure involves the PCs standing around the eggs making sure none of the things that happen to wander by hurt the eggs.

I made the mistake of trying to run this back in high school and mid-adventure we decided it wasn't worth the time.

The Exchange RPG Superstar 2010 Top 16

TwiceBorn wrote:


I guess one can always try to redeem some parts of the module as reflective of the lunacy of the Mad Archmage, Zagyg... but that approach still doesn't work for me...

Indeed, it was my first contract for TSR.

Spoiler:
I went on to be a regular member of a strange little group of freelancers, contributing a chapter here and there to various late-1st-edition "super-modules" and Marvel Super Heroes products.

All of this lasted till (a) TSR was sick and tired of freelancers being late with assignments, and asked the lot of us to consider a move to Lake Geneva, (b) I was still in graduate school, and had no intention of leaving without my degree, and (c) I started having problems with seasonal depression, and saw myself becoming one of those deadline-missers.

But Zagyg had nothing to do with that product. That castle in the woods was the result of another mad mage; honest. And I think you'll only hurt your brain by trying to figure out where in the actual lands of Greyhawk it fit. If it makes you feel any better, imagine that


  • An artifact called the Random Monster Generator, which pulls critters from any and all planes, ended up coming to rest on some material plane, like, I dunno, Toril,
  • It pulled a noble from Greyhawk through some planar rift.
  • The terribly bewildered noble jabbered about his lost homeland to a bard, and then died.
  • The bard spread the legend of 'Greyhawk and the dungeons underneath its great castle'.
  • Another mage decided that his universe needed that kind of a castle, too.
  • And he built it on top of that Random Monster Generator.

Or, you know, you can just pretend the whole sorry thing never happened.


Chris Mortika wrote:
TwiceBorn wrote:


I guess one can always try to redeem some parts of the module as reflective of the lunacy of the Mad Archmage, Zagyg... but that approach still doesn't work for me...

Indeed, it was my first contract for TSR.

** spoiler omitted **

But Zagyg had nothing to do with that product. That castle in the woods was the result of another mad mage; honest. And I think you'll only hurt your brain by trying to figure out where in the actual lands of Greyhawk it fit. If it makes you feel any better, imagine that


  • An artifact called the Random Monster Generator, which pulls critters from any and all planes, ended up coming to rest on some material plane, like, I dunno, Toril,
  • It pulled a noble from Greyhawk through some planar rift.
  • The terribly bewildered noble jabbered about his lost homeland to a bard, and then died.
  • The bard spread the legend of 'Greyhawk and the dungeons underneath its great castle'.
  • Another mage decided that his universe needed that kind of a castle, too.
  • And he built it on top of that Random Monster Generator.

Or, you know, you can just pretend the whole sorry thing never happened.

Wow, thanks for the insights, Chris. That must have been a most disheartening professional experience. I'm definitely going with the last option ("the sorry thing never happened")... ;-)


May not be among the worst ever; but in retrospect, the Avatar Trilo really didn't work as modules.
Egregious example of railroading/leading the PCs by the nose.

Paizo Employee Publisher, Chief Creative Officer

Russ Taylor wrote:

Nothing compares with the Three That Shall Not Be Named: Puppets, Gargoyle, and Child's Play. Players made into dolls? Check. Wingless gargoyles? Check. Bad parody of 80s horror movies? Check.

It's possible I've mis-summarized them, I can't bare to pull out my copies to verify their plots.

Don't forget the leprechaun Freddy MacKreuger!

--Erik

Paizo Employee Publisher, Chief Creative Officer

Chris Mortika wrote:


I was one of the freelancers on "Castle Greyhawk", and that was certainly the impression I was getting from the editor. "Parody" was the term used in the Writers Guide.

Oh please baby Jesus tell me you still have a copy of that text order....

--Erik


Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Modules Subscriber
Vattnisse wrote:
Instead, my vote for bad module goes to Keep on the borderlands, if nothing else just because of the scaling dungeons. First kobolds, then goblins, then orcs... Even as 12-year olds, we thought it was lame as hell.

I kinda hate to keep defending old adventures, but out of all the horrible adventures put out in the 80s and 90s(and I count most of them as horrible) how can you pick on Keep on the Borderlands? There was no railroading forcing you to first attack the kobolds, then the goblins, etc. It was open ended and had some brief notes on the interactions between the various tribes and what happened as the PCs attacked the various caves.

PROs:
Good introduction to a lot of basic monster types in D&D.
Had some basic roleplaying NPC interactions at the Keep and with a few of the monsters.
Open ended adventure, no railroading involved.

CONs:
Too open ended. If your players didn't scout the caves first to determine what lived where (and weren't willing to retreat), they could very well find themselves dead by owlbear or ogre after their very first encounter.
Various monster types living in caves works. The same monsters living in caves so close to each other stretches believability (my fix was to make the caves area dynamic by having the monsters form alliances or begin to fight each other as the adventure progressed).

All-in-all I wouldn't grade the adventure high by Paizo standards, but I ran this adventure multiple times over the years and enjoyed it each time. I find it hard to believe it's the worst D&D adventure of all time.

Scarab Sages

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Card Game, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

The one module I actually bought that I disliked the most was I11, Needle by Frank Mentzer. It might not be the worst ever, but it was the worst I ever paid cash for.


Matthew Morris wrote:

Companion to the Worst D&D Books Thread:

Adams Wrath: Starts out with the party dying (encouraging the DM to cheet to make it happen) and then they wake up having been 'saved' by Viktor Mordheim. They then have to make a deal with him (automatic evil act) to be railroaded into the plot.

That one isn't too bad, compared to the worst module (IMO) of all time - Thoughts of Darkness

1) Despite all odds, they managed to make mind-flayers boring
2) A vampire who drains 5(!!!) frickin' levels on a hit
3) Breaks the cardinal rule of non-tournament adventure design by relegating the PCs to bodyguard status while an NPC carries out the main mission - it's fine to have an NPC who CAN do this, but you should ALWAYS give the PCs the option of being the True Heroes, even if it DOES mean suicide.

Actually, though, the Ravenloft setting was host to some of the best (Feast of Goblyns, Castle Forlorn) and most gawdsawful trash (Adam's Wrath, Thoughts of Darkness) TSR put out...

Murkmoldiev wrote:

I agree that castle greyhawk was nearly unplayable.

Even at 14 the first three modules in it were a bit hard to play ...
Poppinfarsh the dough golem - + 3 mithril BREADKNIFE...
but after the first three it degenerates into rips offs of comic book characters and cartoons...

Was drug use rife in TRS that year?

NEARLY? IIRC, three of the levels in it WERE playable as written. Two others could be played with a bit of tweaking. The rest was fun to read but ... trash. Utter trash.

Still, the entertainment value of reading it saves it... ALMOST.

TwiceBorn wrote:
Vattnisse wrote:
Eric Tillemans wrote:
I never played any of the bad Greyhawk modules, though the opening sequence of Vecna lives! is certainly among the worst possible ones.
Yes, it certainly is. I don't mind the premise of the module, and as a matter of fact, it's supposed to play an important role in my current campaign... but if my players ever get to a high enough level to play the scenario, I can guarantee that it will have been altered drastically... No more opening sequence, that's for sure! And the railroading in that module was some of the worst I have ever seen.

Worst railroading, IMO, was "Roots of Evil"; the PCs die (it was cool when they did it in ONE tournament module; it got lame the THIRD time, and IIRC they did it twice more) at the beginning, and are sent on a VERY linear mission to the past to figure out how Ravenloft came into being, mess it up, and then (in the sequel) have to straighten everything back out again - except that things happened out of order, so it will straighten itself out regardless...

Some great ideas, abysmal execution.

Vattnisse wrote:
Eric Tillemans wrote:
Corian of Lurkshire wrote:

Time for swearing in church: Against the Giants.

The modules where people fight somewhere around 1x10^45 giants. If I recall, there was a room where you had to fight 400 dwarves in a 20'x30' room, etc etc etc.

No surprise, but I've talked to quite a few people who really enjoyed Against the Giants. No where did you fight 400 dwarves in a 20'x30' room, though there was a room with 27 trolls but it was a cavern of approximately 70'x80'. Fighting giants is fun, especially once the alarm sounds and the entire complex mobilizes against your PCs.

Three caverns with 27 trolls in each - with a bit o'luck, you'd be fighting 81 trolls at once! The same level of that dungeon also contained a lich just hanging out in an alcove and a huge ancient red dragon. Smash, smash, smash... The frost giant fortress contained 87 frost giants, plus any from random encounters. If nothing else, it was a lot of XP.

I never played any of the bad Greyhawk modules, though the opening sequence of Vecna lives! is certainly among the worst possible ones. Instead, my vote for bad module goes to Keep on the borderlands, if nothing else just because of the scaling dungeons. First kobolds, then goblins, then orcs... Even as 12-year olds, we thought it was lame as hell.

That lich in D2 was one of the dumbest throwaway encounters EVER...

I liked Keep on the Borderlands - it was a great little introductory module; it didn't do anything more than that without a lot of work, but it laid the groundwork for many a campaign.
And there's nothing matching the "fun" of a party wandering into the "wrong" cave (eg. the Shrine of Evil Chaos or the Minotaur's cave) first...

Wicht wrote:
The one module I actually bought that I disliked the most was I11, Needle by Frank Mentzer. It might not be the worst ever, but it was the worst I ever paid cash for.

Ah, Needle... Not a bad tournament module, but nearly unusable for anything but a one-off, and had one of the worst editing blunders ever; a dwarven female fighter (one of the major NPCs) who loves arm-wrestling male dwarves (and wins usually) - DESPITE having a STR of 7... Not even enough to qualify for Fighter class...


CEBrown wrote:


Actually, though, the Ravenloft setting was host to some of the best (Feast of Goblyns, Castle Forlorn) and most gawdsawful trash (Adam's Wrath, Thoughts of Darkness) TSR put out...

For all the design flaws in Adam's Wrath and Thoughts of Darkness (not to mention From the Shadows, which is another Ravenloft module that encourages the DM to kill the PCs before moving on with the main adventure), those modules at least had atmosphere and salvageable material.

Compare that to the Greyhawk line's Gargoyle and WG7 Castle Greyhawk, and you'll see why those two modules are waaaaaayyy worse than Adam's Wrath and Thoughts of Darkness, which are worth tweaking... IMO (I admittedly haven't played or DMed any of them yet, but they are on my shelf)...


TwiceBorn wrote:
CEBrown wrote:


Actually, though, the Ravenloft setting was host to some of the best (Feast of Goblyns, Castle Forlorn) and most gawdsawful trash (Adam's Wrath, Thoughts of Darkness) TSR put out...
For all the design flaws in Adam's Wrath and Thoughts of Darkness (not to mention From the Shadows, which is another Ravenloft module that encourages the DM to kill the PCs before moving on with the main adventure), those modules at least had atmosphere and salvageable material.

Oops - right; I get From the Shadows and Roots of Evil mixed up (read them back-to back a few months ago when I was on a "re-read Ravenloft kick; I'd thought they were GOOD modules when the first came out, then was apalled at how badly done they really were...).

TwiceBorn wrote:
Compare that to the Greyhawk line's Gargoyle and WG7 Castle Greyhawk, and you'll see why those two modules are waaaaaayyy worse than Adam's Wrath and Thoughts of Darkness, which are worth tweaking... IMO (I admittedly haven't played or DMed any of them yet, but they are on my shelf)...

Someone loaned me a copy of Gargoyles once, and I read about three pages before it vanished (maybe it committed merciful suicide - or maybe the guy who loaned it to me wanted it back; I don't remember). Castle Greyhawk was at least, fun to read. Unplayable (except, as I said, MAYBE three levels) but fun. On a scale of awfulness, I'd put Adam's Wrath far above Castle Greyhawk - and both of them a few MILES above Thoughts of Darkness...

I haven't read the other two Greyhawk travesties ... er MODULES ... mentioned, so can't judge them.

Incidentally, I'd have to put the original release of Desert of Desolation in an "Honorable Mention" category for both best and worst adventures for sheer schizophrenia...
I3: Pharoah - Hilarious set-up ("...Know that you stand accused of... short-sheeting the chief wizard's bed and leaving 5 concubines in his chambers..." - to which the Thief with Probability Travel said: "Wait a second..." then vanished, returning five minutes later, grinning, and saying: "If I'm going to be exiled, it's going to be for a crime I DID commit - hope he likes brunettes..."), standard dungeon crawl with an apparent side adventure that "accidentally" sets up the other two adventures (and if the PCs miss it, the whole story ALMOST falls apart).
I4: Oasis of the White Palm - the worst-written of the trilogy, the plot seemed kind of thin... But when I ran it, it was one of the best sessions I've ever DMed, period. Sucked to read, great to play.
I5: Lost Tomb of Martek - one of the most fun to read, best written modules I ever owned. Also one of the WORST modules to run I've ever SEEN anywhere.

The Exchange RPG Superstar 2010 Top 16

Erik Mona wrote:

Oh please baby Jesus tell me you still have a copy of that text order....

Oh, yeah. Absolutely. It's packed up with a lot of other paperwork from the 80's, but I know exactly which box in my parent's basement to reach into for all that stuff.

Why do you ask?


The absolute worst in my opinion--worse by far than "Castle Greyhawk"--was the 2e "Dancing Hut." I bought it hoping for the one from Dragon magazine I vaguely remembered, and instead ended up with absolutely worthless leftover junk that must have gotten cut from other efforts, then thrown together and sold purely by virtue of the prestige of its title.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Modules Subscriber
CEBrown wrote:

Incidentally, I'd have to put the original release of Desert of Desolation in an "Honorable Mention" category for both best and worst adventures...

I3: Pharoah - Hilarious set-up ("...Know that you stand accused of... short-sheeting the chief wizard's bed and leaving 5 concubines in his chambers..." - to which the Thief with Probability Travel said: "Wait a second..." then vanished, returning five minutes later, grinning, and saying: "If I'm going to be exiled, it's going to be for a crime I DID commit - hope he likes brunettes..."), standard dungeon crawl with an apparent side adventure that "accidentally" sets up the other two adventures (and if the PCs miss it, the whole story ALMOST falls apart).
I4: Oasis of the White Palm - the worst-written of the trilogy, the plot seemed kind of thin... But when I ran it, it was one of the best sessions I've ever DMed, period. Sucked to read, great to play.
I5: Lost Tomb of Martek - one of the most fun to read, best written modules I ever owned. Also one of the WORST modules to run I've ever SEEN anywhere.

I so much agree with your assessment of the Desert of Desolation Adventures. I had nothing but good memories from playing them LONG ago and then a few years ago DM'd them again. I3 went really well, especially since my PCs got lost in the desert and wound up doing the side trek "accident" first thing - about as good as you could plan it. I also found the plot thin in I4, but it played well. However, I5 was horrible to play until the final scenes - it definitely reads way better than it plays.


Chris Mortika wrote:
I was one of the freelancers on "Castle Greyhawk", and that was certainly the impression I was getting from the editor. "Parody" was the term used in the Writers Guide.

As a parody, I thought it was actually rather successful in places--you just had to know not to expect the "Tomb of Horrors" or something. Some parts of it I rather liked (the reaction table I still use: "NPC refuses to have anything to do with you and contracts an assassin ASAP").

Would you be too shy to hint at which stuff in there was yours?

The Exchange RPG Superstar 2010 Top 16

Kirth Gersen wrote:
Would you be too shy to hint at which stuff in there was yours?

(laughs) I'm not sure "shy" is the right term. "Prudent," maybe, given the notoriety that the product has earned. You can find the author-per-chapter in the table of contents, a practice I wish Wizards had continued.

I was asked to do up the castle proper.


Chris Mortika wrote:
You can find the author-per-chapter in the table of contents, a practice I wish Wizards had continued.

OK, just pulled my copy... HEY! The reaction table ("What's It Worth to Ya?") was yours! I used that one over the one in the DMG for almost a decade.

Shoot, this is embarrassing. Some of my other favorites are yours, too: LeDurt's reincarnated party, for example (the centaur thief was classic).

Grand Lodge

Eric Tillemans wrote:
Vattnisse wrote:
Keep on the borderlands, blah blah blah.

I kinda hate to keep defending old adventures, but ...{snip}

All-in-all I wouldn't grade the adventure high by Paizo standards, but I ran this adventure multiple times over the years and enjoyed it each time. I find it hard to believe it's the worst D&D adventure of all time.

Oh, you are absolutely right - it is far from the worst adventure ever; with a bit of work, it might even become OK. But it combines being an iconic adventure with being not particularly good or interesting, which makes it more annoying than other comparably weak modules.

Some of this is probably connected to the nostalgia factor. We've run Keep a few times and never cared for it. OTOH, most of us want to redo Bane of Llewellyn and Ghost tower of Inverness, as we liked them way back when. Different strokes and all that...


Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Modules Subscriber
Vattnisse wrote:
Some of this is probably connected to the nostalgia factor. We've run Keep a few times and never cared for it. OTOH, most of us want to redo Bane of Llewellyn and Ghost tower of Inverness, as we liked them way back when. Different strokes and all that...

I agree with the nostalgia factor. While Bane of Llewellyn seemed like a good adventure when I read it, both times I DM'd for it it didn't play very well (maybe not my DM style? not sure here). Ghost Tower of Inverness was a blast for me as DM (I ran this one 2 or 3 times), but I don't think my players appreciated the lethalness - those old tournament adventures could be nasty sometimes! I remember half the group getting wiped in the last room of the tower, and that was an evil way to die wasn't it?

Paizo Employee Publisher, Chief Creative Officer

Chris Mortika wrote:
Erik Mona wrote:

Oh please baby Jesus tell me you still have a copy of that text order....

Oh, yeah. Absolutely. It's packed up with a lot of other paperwork from the 80's, but I know exactly which box in my parent's basement to reach into for all that stuff.

Why do you ask?

Because I would really, really, really like to see it, of course. :)

--Erik


Erik Mona wrote:
Because I would really, really, really like to see it, of course. :)

He wants to frame it and hang it up in his office. :P


given there are some pretty corny designed ones..the Alice in Wonderland themed 2 comes to mind...and of course Castle Greyhawk would as it stands have to be my pick also as stated above.BUT...

lets face it there are no really BAD modules only bad/misguided/inexperienced/anal/((lordy this list could be long)) DM's..if he reads it and sees its corny as can be and knows the players are super serious players he has gamed with a good while who wont like the adventure he wont run it as its designed but alter it or just completely lay it aside..

On the other hand humerous play can be fun with the right mood or people who like that sorta thing as a break from the norm.I recall playing a adventure in Dungeon where you played monsters((Ogre..wererat..goblin..you get the idea))...it was hilarious((given very slap stick))but everyone really cracked up thru the corniness of it all and had a fun day of it...again you dont want the black spot from you're players buy forcing them to play what they dont like..they would probably tell you afterwards the adventure is terrible or just refuse to play it....my 2 cents anyways
Mick


EFSmick wrote:


lets face it there are no really BAD modules only bad/misguided/inexperienced/anal/((lordy this list could be long)) DM's..if he reads it and sees its corny as can be and knows the players are super serious players he has gamed with a good while who wont like the adventure he wont run it as its designed but alter it or just completely lay it aside..

On the other hand humerous play can be fun with the right mood or people who like that sorta thing as a break from the norm.I recall playing a adventure in Dungeon where you played monsters((Ogre..wererat..goblin..you get the idea))...it was hilarious((given very slap stick))but everyone really cracked up thru the corniness of it all and had a fun day of it...again you dont want the black spot from you're players buy forcing them to play what they dont like..they would probably tell you afterwards the adventure is terrible or just refuse to play it....my 2 cents anyways
Mick

I half agree here. Silly modules can be a lot of fun. However, any module where the DM/GM has to alter more than 25% of it just to make it PLAYABLE was, IMO, a waste of money. Yes, you always have to tweak a few bits if you don't run "one-shots" or, as in the case of some of the "Classics" need more depth to the adventure (or just to fix a GLARING hole in the plot, as in the original GDQ series - there's NO reason to go after Lolth in final module of the series, as it was the drow REBELLING AGAINST her who riled up the Giants in the first place!).

A stupid plot can be forgiven or worked around, yes.
A silly plot can be a blast with the right group and an acknowledgement that it IS silly.
A badly-written or unplayable adventure though, especially one littered with ill-conceived ideas (Vampires draining 3+ levels, let alone 5, is just WAY Overkill; even applying that many "Negative Energy Levels" is going WAAAAY too far, IMO; and the "sin" of providing an NPC solely to sacrifice himself while the PCs run interference - especially when their own writer's guidelines warned against doing this - is, for me, unforgiveable.


Oh, Thoughts of Darkness... An adventure for 15th level characters, because they will need every single one of them. The 5 level at a touch vampire got her powers by artificial aging from a ghost and misapplying rules from Van Richten's guide to Vampires. But even more terrifying is the bunch of vampire mind flayers, with four attacks each draining 2 levels. Oh, and the infinite PSPs of the elder brain dark lord... =)


OMG I forgot about the Avatar trilogy Railroad epic !

I recently re read the Trilogy Novels and bought the Trilogy module on ebay... thinking to convert it to 3.5 and somehow run it with my group of gamers aged 12 - 15.

In reading the modules tho other month I was almost sick.
I felt like I was drowning.
Run 4 NPCs AND a massive world changing campain where the players are essentially robot bodyguards to the NPCs !

Well when I ran it in the back woods of NZ in 93 it seemed cool and we all seemed to like it and my group played all three modules...beating it and winning and getting the wish at the end...

What changed?

...................

Ahh but wait - here is an anti plug for one of my Modules availble for free download at

http://www.dmtools.org/resources.php?nav=advs

About one of them ( The Bronze Flute ) a guy wrote

"how bad can an adventure be? download this one and find out... at least use dungeon crafter for maps... ms-paint is for losers and morons"

I think my modules are up there with the best...
But maybe I have indeed written the WORST moudule ever...


Corian of Lurkshire wrote:
But even more terrifying is the bunch of vampire mind flayers, with four attacks each draining 2 levels. Oh

I'd - conveniently - blocked those travesties out of my memory, much like the alleged Highlander sequels.


Murkmoldiev wrote:


Ahh but wait - here is an anti plug for one of my Modules availble for free download at

http://www.dmtools.org/resources.php?nav=advs

About one of them ( The Bronze Flute ) a guy wrote

"how bad can an adventure be? download this one and find out... at least use dungeon crafter for maps... ms-paint is for losers and morons"

I think my modules are up there with the best...
But maybe I have indeed written the WORST moudule ever...

Given that it was written by a 14-year-old (I know how bad the stuff I wrote when I was 14 looks today), it's not too bad. Could use some (ok, a LOT of) polish, and the maps ... look like they were drawn by a 14-year-old (but then, so do mine NOW, and I'm 26 years older than that...)

The Exchange RPG Superstar 2010 Top 16

Erik Mona wrote:

Because I would really, really, really like to see it, of course. :)

Well, then, I'm sorry the OP didn't start this thread last week, before I visited my family for Christmas. (sigh)

Drop me a line at c.mortika@gmail.com and we can do details.


Cheers man!

The other ones are much better ... That ones kindof in the Castle Greyhawk style...

I tried to play in my 12 year old sons game the other day but his other friend was playing a 3rd level elven Druid called Allan, who rode a veloceraptor with mithril barding and I couldnt take three steps without tripping over a half buried magic item...

Sovereign Court RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32, 2010 Top 8

Chris Mortika wrote:
Erik Mona wrote:

Because I would really, really, really like to see it, of course. :)

Well, then, I'm sorry the OP didn't start this thread last week, before I visited my family for Christmas. (sigh)

Drop me a line at c.mortika@gmail.com and we can do details.

Sorry, let me find a TARDIS then :-P

I'd like to see it too, also for the morbid curiosity aspects.


Kirth Gersen wrote:
The absolute worst in my opinion--worse by far than "Castle Greyhawk"--was the 2e "Dancing Hut."

Seconded.

I went through this as a player, and managed to squeeze a little fun out of parts of it -- my character was feebleminded, I forget by who or what, and that gave me an excuse to terrify people with sheer idiocy. (At one point, Galen's fellow adventurers had to forcibly restrain him from petting the old bat's familiar. They seemed to think the cute little kitty would react badly or something.)

Overall, though, the Hut stank on ice.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I found several modules for the Old D&D Master's Sets (M1-3) to be very uninteresting reads, and did not even attempt to use them, nor anything beyond the Companion Set.

Liberty's Edge

Wicht wrote:
The one module I actually bought that I disliked the most was I11, Needle by Frank Mentzer. It might not be the worst ever, but it was the worst I ever paid cash for.

A quick little aside ...

I got to meet Frank Mentzer back in the 80's. He was kind of the guest of honor you might say all week at a D&D camp (yes, you heard that right) I attended at a local college.

If I remember correctly, I think he wrote (or at least contributed to) the special adventure the DM's all ran for us that year. He was pretty cool (at least, through the filter of my 11 or 12 year old eyes he seemed pretty cool). I remember he even conducted a Q&A one evening after dinner, which was was interesting.

The only thing I remember about the adventure was that it involved one of the villains secretly casting Simulacrum in order to commit a crime or something and none of us (the players) were able to figure it out in time. I seem to recall Frank being amused by that ...

Anyway, back to you regularly scheduled thread.

Lone Shark Games

Russ Taylor wrote:

Nothing compares with the Three That Shall Not Be Named: Puppets, Gargoyle, and Child's Play. Players made into dolls? Check. Wingless gargoyles? Check. Bad parody of 80s horror movies? Check.

It's possible I've mis-summarized them, I can't bare to pull out my copies to verify their plots.

Nope, you got them all right.

I love all three of those modules, by the way. They're all beautiful representations of the whizbang spirit that was whipping through the RPGA in those formative days. Gargoyle especially. The wingless gargoyles Rudy and Hubert were awesome NPCs. It may have something to do with the fact that I was in Skip Williams' campaign at the time, though.

You're not far off, though. All time worst, by far: Dungeonland and Land Beyond the Magic Mirror. Gary Gygax's interpretation of Alice's Adventures in Wonderland cast most of the clever creatures of the Carrollverse as lethal, unthinking killers. The Cheshire Cat? He's a blinking smilodon who tries to kill you. The Dormouse, Hatter, and March Hare try to trick you into drinking poisonous tea, and if you don't, they try to kill you. Humpty Dumpty summons all the king's horses and all the king's men (illusory rhinos and frost giants, actually), and they try to kill you. But, hey, if you ever wanted detailed rules for striking a hedgehog with a flamingo, this is the module for you.

Mike

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