What's Your Favorite Dungeon Adventure Site?


Dungeon Magazine General Discussion

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Won't work - not easily anyway. I'm using Tallow's Deep as a base for Draconians in my campaign. Players are ~9th level. That means I'm pulling out traps in CR ranges from 7-10. Really nasty stuff. If your going to use goblins and such your going to want to be working on with more forgiving material.

Even that only sort of touches on the problem - I'm not converting Tallow's Deep from its original form into an adventure for 3.5 Draconians. Instead what I'm doing is converting a 2nd edition adventure made for Draconians into 3.5 adventure. The original work that turned Tallow's Deep into a base for Draconians was something I did ~8 or so years ago. I'm just going back to my old conversion and in turn converting that to its present form. Downside is that along the way I don't know what's true to the original and what's been changed or modified any more.

Anyway the biggest issue with this is more overcoming a bit of the tedium of constantly searching for mechanics you know are there and then implementing them in a form that will be usable when your players come to the correct part of the adventure. So finding the rules on swift flowing rivers was necessary in case the players where caught in the the whole river/dam scene. Of course just finding the material is not good enough, instead you have to both record it and also deal with the fact that, as good as 3.5 is, no one seems to have covered what happens when a swift moving body of water chases down a player character or what happens when players get flushed down the drain (or sinkhole in this case). The rules seem to presume that your usually caught in a vertical fast flowing river and make no mention about what happens when caught in a horizontal fast flowing river.

Generally I found that answering all these questions in a format that would not bog the game down when actually used at the table was certainly possible with a little innovation but its the kind of thing you might want to tackle at the rate of two rooms a day 'cause its a pretty boring task.

Scarab Sages

Pathfinder Companion, Maps, Pawns Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Charter Superscriber; Starfinder Superscriber

L'Trel!

The Halls of Huhueteotl. Prism Keep. The Elemental Plane of Water, from Deep Trouble in Telthin. The mushroom-intense village from a Ravenloft adventure I can't remember. Rana Mor, and the David Howery classics. I would add the opera house from Legerdemain, but Swords of Dragonslake is close enough. Was it The Book with No End that had the tesseract dungeon? In any case, more hypercube!

Also Moebius bands, so how about The Curse and the Quest? One yesterday was no problem, two today wasn't that hard, three tomorrow wouldn't be that bad, except... Or you could do a prequel at that location. Maybe have some armies racing for it in the distant past, so as to avoid catching the curse.

Liberty's Edge

Oh yeah: Skullrot!


Free City of Greyhawk. Easy. It will be the center of my next campaign (too bad my players almost destroyed it in AOW.)


James Jacobs wrote:
What is your favorite adventure site that's appeared in an adventure in Dungeon?

There's a much bigger difference between my Player and DM perspectives in this question. Some of the best games and experiences can get tied to a location, but it was often because of the work of the DM, not necessarily the source material. As a DM the best stuff must be good material with inspiring depth and mood all leading to a fun experience.

That's why I think Styes deservedly shows up so often.

My personal favourite is Istvan, as also mentioned. I was happily inspired to lay down a few adventures to segue into the 3-part series and it also got my players excited in its consequencees afterwards. Most successful campaign I've run in recent years. I didn't need a whole Adventure Path. Instead it inspired me to create the rest myself.

Which sort of described what happened with Styes, too, although it wasn't an entire campaign. Instead I knew it would be their home base for an extended arc.

Another great inspiration started from a single illustration in Dungeon with Zebra Centaurs. We played the module fine (hunting a T-rex, as I recall), but I was inspired to build a mini-campaign around the location because of the illustration! (I switched from Aztec theme to Zimbabwe and more emphasis on African wildlife.) The players enjoyed it much because it was so different from Middle Earth knock offs.


logic_poet wrote:
The mushroom-intense village from a Ravenloft adventure I can't remember.

Loved that adventure! My players still freak out over that years later. "Fear the Sugar-Noodles!"

~Qualidar~


Sebastian wrote:
It's really hard to separate out the site of an adventure from the adventure itself.

For me too. I suspect it's the great plot/characters/encounters of, say, Rose for Talakara (#25), that makes me love its castle rather than vice versa.

My top 10:

  • Bard Keep (#29 Ex Libris)
  • The theatre (#39 Legerdemain)
  • Castle Justheart (#53 Elexa's Endeavor)
  • Anvil of Time (#86)
  • Athkatla (#88 Thirds of Purloined Velum)
  • Porphyry House (#95)
  • The Veins (#96 Pandemonium therein)
  • The Whispering Cairn
  • Dungeon of the Crypt (#127)
  • Kongen-Thulnir (#133 Kings of the Rift)

Apparently I'm a sucker for a good poster map/prop (viz. Bard Keep, Castle Justheart, The Veins).


John Simcoe wrote:
Troy Taylor wrote:

My Top 5 of recent years:

1. Ehlonna's Scar.

Wooo!

If the elevator/scaffold wasn't unique enough -- the Scar is filled with several unique and challenging encounters -- all influenced by the terrain.

But it's not all physical challenge. By the time my group's players had reached the old druid, they were mentally spent as well.

The PC's who survived felt they had really accomplished something -- and the one fatality was a heroic death of a beloved character we still mourn. But hey, it was a HEROIC death, and the module made it so.


Rocky Harbor, from "Caveat Emptor" in Dungeon #58.


I'm not an avid dungeon reader since #1, but more or less since #112, so I decided to answer anyway.
In my short paizo fanboy history, I especially liked the Whispering Cairne, Sasserine and of late Exag!
(There was always this image of a city like Exag in my mind. The only difference was size. In my Exag everything is much bigger, perhaps made by giants...)


Adventure Path Charter Subscriber

quicksilver hourglass! which is a strange choice, since i can barely understand the dang thing :-)

messy

Liberty's Edge

I'm starting to get enamored with Scuttlecove.


My favorite, and the most memorable, was the the second module I ever played... Of Skulls and Scrapfaggot Green by Judges Guild. I remember being scared s***less when we fought the manticore. DMed by my bro.

That followed Keep on the Borderlands, where, even at 12 years old, I felt a little guilty about walking in and slaughtering all those creatures (My mother's one and only DMing experience, having just bought us the game, and she added a few Kobold women and children... sick... my mom is a great guilt monger).

Paizo Employee Chief Creative Officer, Publisher

Peruhain of Brithondy wrote:


Diamond Lake--this, to my mind, has become the 3.5e Village of Hommlet (only much better).

Wow. That's one of the nicest things anyone has ever said about something I wrote. Thanks, Peruhain!

--Erik

Paizo Employee Chief Creative Officer, Publisher

G*# d&#n I love this magazine.

Two quick obervations:

1) There are so many incredible sites on this list.

2) One thing that always bugged me about these messageboards for the first year or so we had them was that in threads like these, no one ever mentioned anything within the recent past of the magazine, instead focusing in a laser-like fashion on decades-old modules. It is truly gratifying to see so many sites from the Paizo era of the magazine represented here.

The best thing about editing these magazines--by far--is you guys. Dragon and Dungeon have the greatest readers in the world.

--Erik


Erik Mona wrote:

One thing that always bugged me about these messageboards for the first year or so we had them was that in threads like these, no one ever mentioned anything within the recent past of the magazine, instead focusing in a laser-like fashion on decades-old modules. It is truly gratifying to see so many sites from the Paizo era of the magazine represented here.

You guys are all very talented and the stuff you are publishing is splendid. Having mentioned old stuff myself, the reason is that I (and others) love the things that got us into this game, and we cherish the memories.

But we are here now and as happy as ever thanks to the high quality publishing (writers, editors, publishers all) of today. I came back to D&D last year after a ten year vacation and this stuff blows me away.

....shaved, tatooed, pierced harpies... wow. Scuttlecove, very cool.

And I can't leave out the illustrators and mapmakers, it's just getting better and better... can it get better?


Chadranther's Bane, Prism Keep, The Ruins of Nol-Daer, and the pirate town from Vesicant (#18) are all setting I used in campaigns past and enjoyed every minute of.

I simply haven't used recent Dungeon issues, except for Cauldron, where I really, really enjoyed putting my PCs through Jazidirune (sp?).

Erik, I understand why you'd like there to be recent entries as well, but personally I can't help wishing for a "Return to..." some of those places. And then it makes sense to ask for old adventures. Plus, it gives us old-timers a chance to whip out our Dungeon collection and show how large it is.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Erik Mona wrote: The best thing about editing these magazines--by far--is you guys. Dragon and Dungeon have the greatest readers in the world.

On behalf of myself and the other readers, thank you!

The reason I listed sites from earlier issues is because I (correctly) thought that newer readers would list newer sites, and didn’t want some of the earlier ones to be forgotten. Even so, the Whispering Cairn is one of the best recent ones, because the cairn itself it has everything- combat, roleplaying, mystery, nasty traps, and puzzles, plus interesting maps, too. Along similar lines, I like the Vanderboren Vault, mainly because of its puzzle. I also rank the Tabernacle of Worms highly, because of its deadly design.
There’s not been enough dastardly puzzles and arbitrary nastiness in adventures since 1st ed (exempting Maure Castle).

Contributor

Heathansson wrote:
I'm starting to get enamored with Scuttlecove.

you sure it's not just the residents?

Liberty's Edge

Naah...it's the whole package. The whole, gnarley, wrapped in brown paper bag paper with a bent coathanger for a ribbon, dripping some mysterious viscous fluid out of the bottom package.

Contributor

Heathansson wrote:
Naah...it's the whole package. The whole, gnarley, wrapped in brown paper bag paper with a bent coathanger for a ribbon, dripping some mysterious viscous fluid out of the bottom package.

Niiiiiiiiiice


I'm starting to really like Jzadirune, from the first chapter of the Shackled City. The whole setup, with a haunted gnome city abandoned after a mysterious magical disease, skulks and dark creepers that stalk you unseen, and deadly traps to catch the unwary, leads to some real tension around the table. Cool stuff.

I also really liked the temple from The Coming Storm. It has a great location, background, and atmosphere. I'm hoping to maybe fit this one into the SCAP right before the party journeys to Occipitus.


Kruelaid wrote:
...it's just getting better and better... can it get better?

As long as the writers, artists, illustrators, and the people who put the magazine together consistently challenge themselves to do better than before, yes, it can get better.

Contributor

I've used "The Ruins of Nol-Daer" (Dungeon #13) often enough to consider it a favorite. I've changed the original adventure, over time, but the core elements are still present.


I rarely use adventures in their original setting. That's something different about the Adventure Paths - a series of adventures where the setting is really integral to the story. I think I would have loved Cauldron had I played that part, and Sasserine is lovely too - though you leave it pretty early.

But Scuttlecove is more special than most. When I played Porphory House of Horror, Scuttlecove was a space-pirate hangout in the Dragonstar universe. Some of those players are in Savage tide now and might recognize the place.

The places I've mentioned are all recent, but I do have a lot of old magazines (issue 4 and on); it just seems the more modern places are more memorable to me.


I think I'm a sucker for level one adventures, because Escape From Meenlock Prison really jumped out at me as having an amazing blend of creepy horror, intriguing plot and fun gameplay. I haven't seen an adventure that made me think 'wow' as often as this one since The Whispering Cairn.

Both are very much top-notch adventure sites and, for me, it doesn't get much better than them, pushing your mind and imagination to the limit to make up for low levels.

Dark Archive

Some of my Favs

Istivin City (Dungeon #117-119)Building and soon running a whole campaign from 1st -20th level on these three beauties!

The Steading of the Hill Giant Chief-I never got to play the Against the Giant modules but Id love to see an Expedition type hardcover on that classic series.

The Moathouse from Return to the Temple of Elemental Evil-Again never played the original but this dungeon was a fun one.

The Kopru Ruins from Flood Season in Shackled City AP. Good fun here trying to find all those darn wands. Also Jazdirune and the Malichite Hold where great dungeon crawls.

Isle of Dread-Never played in the original module,but I love how Dungeon and Dragon have brought out all the coolness in the Savage Tides AP that the original module only hinted about.

I cant comment on the Age of Worms since I havent read or played in it yet.

Liberty's Edge

Riskbreaker wrote:
I haven't seen an adventure that made me think 'wow' as often as this one since The Whispering Cairn.

Strong kudos, I'll have to read that one as The Whispering Cairn holds a special place in my heart. The Whispering Cairn brought me back from the brink of walking away from D&D entirely to DM a campaign once more. Great players help with that too, but that adventure site was so much fun to interpret and relate.

My most memorable Dungeon local would have to be Flame's lair as depicted by Keith Parkinson. That picture alone in the early ads for Dungeon that appeared in Dragon was enough to get me subscribing to the magazine at issue #2 and I haven't regretted a subscription renewal since, especially that one I did at the brink!


Way back there was a adventure involving a quickling(little evil fey) That lived in a mushroom. I believe it was a sidetrek adventure. That encounter was deadly killing four 3rd characters.


My original post from 4/12/07 in this thread is missing, so I will re-state what I said.

I have to list two golden oldies for my choices of favorite adventure site from Dungeon magazine (sorry, Eirk).

These sites are favorite for two reasons: Tey are just plain good and they hold a lot of fond memories for me and my gaming friends.

The first is The Isle of the Abbey from around issue 36.

This is one of the first adventures I ran my wife through when she was learning RPing, and we had a lot of fun in the adventure. I later sed the skeletons in the sand motif in various other adventures throughout the years and even later updated the setting for 3.5 to use in a short adventure at a local gaming convention. I've gotten a lot of mileage out of the ol' isle!

The second is The Spottle Parlor from issue 12 or so.

I used the setting and the game Spottle in the middle of a campaign I was running waaaay back when and the players had a great time. They had so great a time they asked to keep returning to "The Spottle Spot" time and time again between adventures to have some R&R. The unique NPCs in the adventure, as well as any others a good DM can throw into the mix as well as the game Spottle itself make the adventure wonderful and the site a great one for any game. We used a big rubber toy frog for the Spottle toad, poker chips for gold, silver, and copper pieces when we bet, and created fun memories each and every time we revisited the parlor.

What I look for in a great adventure site is adaptability and future use. Mileage, to use a term I applied before. Can I get a lot of good use from a particular site? If so, the site is going to be a winner for me as a busy DM.

Cool topic, James!

Now fingers crossed my post won't disappear again!

Liberty's Edge

Michael Griffith wrote:

The second is The Spottle Parlor from issue 12 or so.

I used the setting and the game Spottle in the middle of a campaign I was running waaaay back when and the players had a great time. They had so great a time they asked to keep returning to "The Spottle Spot" time and time again between adventures to have some R&R. The unique NPCs in the adventure, as well as any others a good DM can throw into the mix as well as the game Spottle itself make the adventure wonderful and the site a great one for any game. We used a big rubber toy frog for the Spottle toad, poker chips for gold, silver, and copper pieces when we bet, and created fun memories each and every time we revisited the parlor.

I'm glad the Spottle Parlor worked for someone! I ran this as well and only ended up getting frustrated when the barbarian PC ended up eating the frog to avoid losing a huge bet.

Here's an instant that the 3.xE skills could have saved the day, especially with Bluff and Sense Motive checks. The barbarian blurts out and points behind the spottle dealer "Look, Haley's Comet!". I had the dealer make a d4+2 x WIS check on d% and ended with a bad luck roll. The dealer bit on the bluff and the barbarian bit on the frog. ::sigh:: After the dealer realizes what's happening the game session degrades into a Three Stooges episode with the barbarian spitting up the frog, the cleric trying to revive it, and the dealer calling in the toughs rough up the PCs.

Still to this day, when the players attempt a Bluff that fails, they try again with "Look, Haley's Comet!!!"

So good call on "memorable" adventure site as the memories flooded back for me!


The location that I have most enjoyed is the ruined city that Kyuss and his followers built, as described in The Spire of Long Shadows. I enjoy history, and ancient things/cultures/etc., and I liked the feel that the environment of the adventure had to events of great importance a very, very long time ago. There is also a feeling of dread that underlies the place and I'm confident my players will be clutching their character sheets a little tighter than normal... which is pretty tight, considering how often I inflict severe harm on those characters.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

After the news about the magazines I feel a need to weigh in on this question. Dungeon has given us an amazing number of great adventure sites over the years. I agree with many of the posts above, but noticed that my choices usually involve a good story rather than just an exotic location.

The Elephant's Graveyard was one of my favorite locations and I have often thought about updating it to 3.5. Likewise, with the house and garden in Chandanther's Bane. As a previous writer noted, I really like the idea that shrinking characters are challenged by getting across the cavernous gaps and cravasses of the inn floor and regular-sized insects become horrendous, monstrous creatures.

My votes for more recent sites go to Diamond Lake as the perfect setting for low-level characters. Lots of interesting characters and important friendly NPC links for the players. It was dripping with grungy, miner's grit and nasty local politics: perfect reasons to get the PCs to start adventuring.

I also liked the Styes for some of the same reasons, though DL was richer with backstory because it was part of the AP. Though I generally dislike dungeon crawls I think the Whispering Cairn is one of the best sites in this vein because of Erik Mona's brilliant mix of conventions (dungeon crawl, role-playing opportunities with monsters, traps, etc.). And then returning to the site in Wolfgang Baur's A Gathering of Winds; awesome!

Dark Archive

I really like the Styes, I absolutely adore Diamond Lake and all the nearby sites, and I also enjoyed the abandoned city (I don't recall the name) from issue #2 or so. I also liked all of the ruined manors from the Mere of Dead Men series. Scuttlecove and Sasserine are also quickly becoming favorites.


Do the towers on the back of a massive extraplanar megamule (i.e., "Beast of Burden") count as a location? 'cos if so, they've got my vote!

-The Gneech


This is an easy one: The Styes.

I'd be surprised if this wasn't a runaway winner. This adventure practicly put Richard Pett on the map as one of Dungeon's best writers....ever.

Alhaster is the runner-up. And it really isn't that close.

Contributor

Demiurge 1138 wrote:

In no particular order...

The Wormcrawl Fissure
The aboleth ruins in "The Lightless Depths"
Kuluth-Mar
The Quicksilver Hourglass
The Styes
Sharn, of Chimes at Midnight, Steel Shadows and Murder at Oakbridge

Warms my heart to hear my little adventure at the end of time mentioned here at the end of Dungeon time.

messy wrote:

quicksilver hourglass! which is a strange choice, since i can barely understand the dang thing :-)

messy

OK, I'll take that in a positive sense...

Contributor

Erik Mona wrote:

The best thing about editing these magazines--by far--is you guys. Dragon and Dungeon have the greatest readers in the world.

--Erik

That's because both magazines have the greatest staff in the world. Seriously - the way each and every one of cares so deeply not just about the content but the writers behind the content is truly amazing and inspiring.

I put everything I had into every Class Acts article, for example, because Mike deserved that sort of effort.

Now I'm getting all verklempt. Talk amongst yourselves. The topic is great Dungeon adventure locations...

***

*ahem*

To add two to the list (or, rather, to repeat two that've been mentioned):

The Styes: At the risk of swelling Pett's ego ( :P ), this entire adventure is truly amazing. My players hate the city; they hate the leaders; they pity those who are stuck living there. In my world, I placed the Styes near the city of Dyvers, only for convenience. One of my players received a land grant from the leaders of Dyvers, and he begged me not to make it the Styes. That's awesome stuff.

The Whispering Cairn: Quite frankly, this location taught me a lot about dungeon crawl design. No longer did a dungeon crawl need to be linear; I mean, I already knew that - but wow did this adventure make that point as clear as the nose on my face. Different branches, each with their own unique consequences; the need to leave and come back. I learned a lot from this adventure.


in no particular order

The Whispering Cairn
The Dark Conventicle
Irongard
Pol Dubh Doracha
Styes

Shadow Lodge

In no particular order:
...


  • The Mud Sorcerer's Tomb (sure it was Tomb of Horrors-ish, but it hung together better and was so different for its time)
  • Can't recall the name but it was the adventure that dealt with the origins of the Gray Elves, a schizoid wizard, a black dragon and the Stone of Gul and was written by the same guy that did Ex Libris
  • Baba Yaga's Hut (The one in Dragon)
  • Whispering Cairn in all its hidden glory
  • The pyramid adventures (AD&D I1-I3?) about the pharoahs whre the characters aquire a knife-edged "ship" and sail across a sea of glass formed by fused sand
  • The Assassin's Run (i used that one alot and the players always liked it. It was flexible and intense)

There are some soon-to-be favorites in my last 3 years of Dungeon, now that I am back in the DM's chair and free to run them.


Riskbreaker wrote:
I think I'm a sucker for level one adventures, because Escape From Meenlock Prison really jumped out at me as having an amazing blend of creepy horror, intriguing plot and fun gameplay. I haven't seen an adventure that made me think 'wow' as often as this one since The Whispering Cairn.

I'll second the spooky, clever idea in Escape from Meenlock Prison. I think the whole idea was short and to the point: like a good, scary movie.


Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber

I think the two most memorable locations for me are the floating crystal in Out of the Ashes (Dungeon #17) and the Quicksilver Hourglass from Quicksilver Hourglass (Dungeon #123).

Honorable mentions go to House of Cards (Dungeon #19), Thiondar's Legacy (Dungeon #30), The Storm Lord's Keep (Dungeon #93), Porphry House of Horror (Dungeon #95), Maure Castle (Dungeon #112, 124, and 139), The Clockwork Fortress (Dungeon #126), and The Coming Storm (Dungeon #136).


Choosing a favourite dungeon from the hundreds that have been in the magazine is not an easy task.

What I do like in an adventure is something unusual about the location.

Underwater. In the sky. On another plane (the abyss in particular with it's chaotic nature). These are more interesting locations for adventures.

Endless corridors and rooms full of monsters can get tiresome after a while.


1) The Whispering Cairn
.
.
.
.
.
2) Sasserine
.
3) Galath's Roost


Scuttlecove - I just love the possibilities.


Talking about this thread around the table as we played, my wife and our friend (the only current other long term gamer I'm running the current campaign for) both agreed with the Mud Sorcerer's Tomb. I believe we even used it as a jumping off point to toss the characters for a session or two into Melnibone to meet with a certain weak drugged albino worshiper of Arioch...


Hands down, Golismorga. I loved me some dying aboleth city.


Michael Griffith wrote:


The second is The Spottle Parlor from issue 12 or so.

I used the setting and the game Spottle in the middle of a campaign I was running waaaay back when and the players had a great time. They had so great a time they asked to keep returning to "The Spottle Spot" time and time again between adventures to have some R&R. The unique NPCs in the adventure, as well as any others a good DM can throw into the mix as well as the game Spottle itself make the adventure wonderful and the site a great one for any game. We used a big rubber toy frog for the Spottle toad, poker chips for gold, silver, and copper pieces when we bet, and created fun memories each and every time we revisited the parlor.

Something about this local clicked with my players as well. It became part of a number of adventures in later campaigns until, one day, it was burnt down. Even then I could not leave it alone. I've got a bunch of Orc Bandits hanging out in the burnt out ruins - poor Orcs are going to be in a lot of trouble if my PCs come wandering by at this point however as my PCs are now 10th level and Orcs are no match for them.


always liked elaborate castles... as they made a excellent addition to the loot ;)

Anyway, (in no particular order)
1) Avacia Germanicus Castle
2) Plight of cirra, that assassin-mage and his stolen cloud castle
3) The antipaladins !!!!
4) That flying prism castle, with Irene the enchantress (same name as someone i know.. lol, all too approprate :D ), annoying that it was just one level tho..
5) Maure "castle" -dungeons more like it :)
6) HQ of the duergar busy making The iron man, with that iron sphere... (maybe that 200k in loot influencing :D , almost as good as my first venture into UM and stumbling across 3*444 gems of 5000 gp each, no fighting required.. lol)
7) Yeah.. elephants graveyard !! Damn that end monster was a terror!
8) the mountain with the white flame..

Sorry about not too many new ones, just as with the other questions, it takes a few years for these kind of things to mature ;)

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