Favorite dungeon?


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Liberty's Edge

I'm thinking about setting up dungeons...a handful...for a world I'm developing. I want them unique and memorable, so this is about the dungeons themselves...not the adventures, but the actual holes in the ground (or not). There are a lot of interesting, unique things about a lot of different dungeons...I'm curious, which ones really made the dungeon memorable?

I won't know every dungeon, so please explain what it was about the dungeon that made it really interesting...and if it was home-designed, I definitely won't be familiar with it...and still, a lot of homebrew dungeons might be even better than the published stuff!

I am familiar with a lot of the published stuff, but I still won't know what features made it memorable for YOU...so...I want your memories! ;)


There was a dungeon in a dessert campaign that was a disappeared city.
It was burried in the sand and haunted without any living creatures. The setting and the ambiance was brilliant. It was, I think, the most memorable campaign I ever played.

Dark Archive

Usually, for me, it's the encounters.
A ghoul in a room is boring compared to the lacedon that yanks one of the PCs out of the boat and into the cold underground river.
The vargouille is so much better if you find his decapitated body too.

There's a thread about a fireball trap that was deemed unfair by the players somewhere on these boards. Most of the people who reacted to it agreed that a trap that couldn't be overcome by a rogue was so much better than pitfall #219. The reason for this is that "I use disable device to disarm the trap" and "I attack the ghoul with my sword" are unimaginative and boring. It's usually better to have the players in thinking mode than hack'n'slash mode. This goes for dungeons and adventures alike. If you come up with something that's different from the standard bag of XP you're set.

Liberty's Edge

Little Skylark wrote:

There was a dungeon in a dessert campaign that was a disappeared city.

It was burried in the sand and haunted without any living creatures. The setting and the ambiance was brilliant. It was, I think, the most memorable campaign I ever played.

That sounds familiar...I don't recall the details on it, but it does seem like it was cool. What all do you remember about it?

Liberty's Edge

the David wrote:

Usually, for me, it's the encounters.

A ghoul in a room is boring compared to the lacedon that yanks one of the PCs out of the boat and into the cold underground river.
The vargouille is so much better if you find his decapitated body too.

There's a thread about a fireball trap that was deemed unfair by the players somewhere on these boards. Most of the people who reacted to it agreed that a trap that couldn't be overcome by a rogue was so much better than pitfall #219. The reason for this is that "I use disable device to disarm the trap" and "I attack the ghoul with my sword" are unimaginative and boring. It's usually better to have the players in thinking mode than hack'n'slash mode. This goes for dungeons and adventures alike. If you come up with something that's different from the standard bag of XP you're set.

Right...absolutely. Are there any dungeons that really grabbed you, that had that sort of uniqueness?


2 people marked this as a favorite.
Little Skylark wrote:

There was a dungeon in a dessert campaign that was a disappeared city.

It was burried in the sand and haunted without any living creatures. The setting and the ambiance was brilliant. It was, I think, the most memorable campaign I ever played.

I know you meant desert, but when I read this I immediately thought of a dungeon underneath a gigantic sundae.

I doubt your players have ever done THAT before!

Dark Archive

I think there where some cool small dungeons in Sandstorm. You should look up the Touchstone feat.

Castle Darkrook is also kinda cool, though you have to know what you're doing.

Curse of the Kingspire (Goodman Games) has an interesting plot but I don't know if it's a good dungeon.

Liberty's Edge

Hmmm...not seeing many favorites, yet...

One smallish dungeon I ran had a waterfall through the center, and the whole place was always noisy from the cascading water...the bottom level (3 levels, IIRC) was a small lake with some caves on the sides, underwater, and one shoreline area...

I've done a dungeon within a dungeon...in a fantastically huge cave where prehistoric beasts wandered was an ancient temple, and a dungeon beneath it...

One was a floating dungeon, high in the air, and not easily accessible...while another floated closer to the ground, but spun constantly, and offered no easy entrance...

One gigantic dungeon I made a while back was the top of a mountain - it was riddled with tunnels...and not only did they not go straight, they would go over and under, and there were chimneys and sinkholes that opened up to other areas...there were something like 800 encounter areas. I never did finish that monstrosity.


Rappan Athuk has a lot of unique encounters. Some of the dungeons in Return to the Temple of Elemental Evil are great, but tend to read better than they play. There are descriptions of the ecologies of the dungeons and what goes on when the dungeon is not being invaded by pcs that make the dungeon interesting for the dm.

Scarab Sages RPG Superstar 2013

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Obviously my favorite old school dungeon is Tomb of Horrors. The horror story full of death traps always gets the Cabin in the Woods type treatment from me, and so the adventure becomes less hodge podge of bizarre encounters, but a rich series of mean-spirited encounters. especially when it's run as a part of Cordell's Return to the TOmb of Horrors campaign.

If you're looking for memes and tropes that make dungeons really effective and memorable, I'd recommend the Goldilocks scenario. That is, the PCs adventure on someone else's turf, and while gathering clues as to how much danger everyone's in, it becomes clear that whatever it is is a) badass, and b) could return at any minute.

Liberty's Edge

Steven T. Helt wrote:

Obviously my favorite old school dungeon is Tomb of Horrors. The horror story full of death traps always gets the Cabin in the Woods type treatment from me, and so the adventure becomes less hodge podge of bizarre encounters, but a rich series of mean-spirited encounters. especially when it's run as a part of Cordell's Return to the TOmb of Horrors campaign.

If you're looking for memes and tropes that make dungeons really effective and memorable, I'd recommend the Goldilocks scenario. That is, the PCs adventure on someone else's turf, and while gathering clues as to how much danger everyone's in, it becomes clear that whatever it is is a) badass, and b) could return at any minute.

Cool. Any physical features that people remember?

Scarab Sages RPG Superstar 2013

Physical features of Tomb of Horrors?

Well....the plaster hallways full of art are inforgettable, as is the rhyme in the floor. If you haven't played or read that, make it one of your campaign's dungeons. You'll have to do some conversion work (I still have notes from my conversion). Pretty high-level stuff, though. You'll absolutely be glad you added it to your library.


The Temple of Elemental Evil. As written it's a major dungeon slog, but if the GM takes the time to look at the major NPCs and factions and then works out their motivations and interactions it really becomes something special.

The last time I ran it seriously, I had an evil party that was formed from the Horned Society (similar to Cheliax) that were sent to investigate the evil and whether it could be allied, dominated or was a threat to be destroyed. The political roleplay developments were fantastic. The evil factions were all working against each other for their own ends and taking advantage of the PCs actions (when the party attacked one faction the other factions took advantage of the new power imbalance). Whilst the good factions ending up rowing with each other over philosphical differences on how to deal with the party and the growing threat - i.e. the church was against the party for being evil, whilst the state was very much of the mind the enemy of my enemy is my friend.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

As for the sunken city you are maybe referring to the Lost City of Phoenix from the Desert of Desolation Series (I3 - I5). It was in the Oasis of the White Palm if I recall correctly.

My favorite dungeon of all time is the Temple of Elemental Evil. It was a temple proper plus four levels of dungeons plus the four elemental nodes. It was epic in scale and a true fight of good versus evil. The layout was fine and some of the odd rooms were nice. It had small room to room fighting or larger scale battle possibilities. You could also ally yourselves with temple dwellers and cause havoc that way. I just have very good memories of it.

I also really like the haunted house from the Sinister Secret of Saltmarsh. It was so simple. There were really not a lot of monsters to fight, but a good DM could keep players always on their toes and ever alert with some good, scary background noises and effects. The opposite of the Temple of Elemental Evil or Castle Greyhawk, I just loved the sheer simplicity of the haunted house.

Edit: Wow!! Two back to back votes for the Temple of Elemental Evil and I did not see Hugo's comments until I posted mine. I totally agree with the intigue that just waits a good DM and a party willing to role-play.

Liberty's Edge

Steven T. Helt wrote:

Physical features of Tomb of Horrors?

Well....the plaster hallways full of art are inforgettable, as is the rhyme in the floor. If you haven't played or read that, make it one of your campaign's dungeons. You'll have to do some conversion work (I still have notes from my conversion). Pretty high-level stuff, though. You'll absolutely be glad you added it to your library.

lol...no, physical features that made any dungeon memorable. *sheesh*.

Liberty's Edge

I've played both of the big ones - the Tomb of Horrors (never completed, of course. :p) and the Temple of Elemental Evil, all the way through Zuggtmoy. Yep, they're both a blast.


Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Maps, Pathfinder Accessories, Starfinder Accessories, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

I quite liked Q1 - the "fog" walls and free-standing doors/portals were a memorable physical feature. Tomb of Horrors is my all time favourite, but its not physically memorable really - just tense.

Paizo have flight of the red raven (? Something like that...) where the dungeon is basically inside an otherworldly glacier. Similarly the end of legacy of fire was a good take on the "dungeon with rivers of lava" idea (which is always rather illogical). The dungeon in escape from old korvosa (the third instalment of curse of the crimson throne) was memorable to me too - although granted I only read through it to do a conversion, we never actually got to play it.

Liberty's Edge

Steve Geddes wrote:

I quite liked Q1 - the "fog" walls and free-standing doors/portals were a memorable physical feature. Tomb of Horrors is my all time favourite, but its not physically memorable really - just tense.

Paizo have flight of the red raven (? Something like that...) where the dungeon is basically inside an otherworldly glacier. Similarly the end of legacy of fire was a good take on the "dungeon with rivers of lava" idea (which is always rather illogical). The dungeon in escape from old korvosa (the third instalment of curse of the crimson throne) was memorable to me too - although granted I only read through it to do a conversion, we never actually got to play it.

Q1...Queen of the Demonweb Pits, IIRC...yes, VERY memorable. Flight of the Red Raven...hmm...gotta look that up. :)


Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Maps, Pathfinder Accessories, Starfinder Accessories, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

Here you go.

Liberty's Edge

Steve Geddes wrote:
Here you go.

Cool. I was thinking about that, and started fiddling with an iceberg dungeon. :)


An ebony castle on the face of a cliff: On combat involved a 2e swashbuckler and a magic rope swing up and down the castle wall to the parapets filled with guards while a sheer cliff face hung below him. The BBEG fight also featured a throne room with 3 walls with balconies, several chandeliers and tapestries all over the walls so climbing and jumping and mobility were major tactical features.

A misty forest where the glades kept shifting so the players would randomly arrive in different glades until they found the creature who could guide them through the fog.

An underground dwarven city, lit only in the dim red glow of the lava far below. The streets are deserted and all the city slumbers, save it's vampire lords. Vampire Dwarven Lords.

Seven floating metropolises, some floating with magic, others with technology, all themed to suit the factions which built them, hovering over a world of wasting magics. Angelhaven was greco-roman in flavour nd had a teleportation guild and the city guard all rode griffons. Skyforge was dwarves and gnomes and had vacuum tubes to get from island to island and dirigibles and helicopter rotors kept it aloft. Equilibrium was ruled by genies and had four districts each themed with the 4 major elements. It had magic carpet taxis, fire elemental balloons and the water district was a giant blob of liquid that you just swam through.

Do any of these help?


EldonG wrote:
Little Skylark wrote:

There was a dungeon in a dessert campaign that was a disappeared city.

It was burried in the sand and haunted without any living creatures. The setting and the ambiance was brilliant. It was, I think, the most memorable campaign I ever played.
That sounds familiar...I don't recall the details on it, but it does seem like it was cool. What all do you remember about it?

Dessert.. Haha, that's desert of course :p

I remember that we had to call a very strong djinni to fight a very strong Efreeti, and the dungeon was about collecting gems to call that djinni. We also made a dried up river flow again, we "sailed" on a lake of melted sand (glas) and my druid had a pet lion. It was back when we had advanced, before 3.0. That's almost all I remember, I was 14 at the time.
I'll ask my father when he comes home, he DM'd and might recall the name of the dungeon.


Little Skylark wrote:
EldonG wrote:
Little Skylark wrote:

There was a dungeon in a dessert campaign that was a disappeared city.

It was burried in the sand and haunted without any living creatures. The setting and the ambiance was brilliant. It was, I think, the most memorable campaign I ever played.
That sounds familiar...I don't recall the details on it, but it does seem like it was cool. What all do you remember about it?

Dessert.. Haha, that's desert of course :p

I remember that we had to call a very strong djinni to fight a very strong Efreeti, and the dungeon was about collecting gems to call that djinni. We also made a dried up river flow again, we "sailed" on a lake of melted sand (glas) and my druid had a pet lion. It was back when we had advanced, before 3.0. That's almost all I remember, I was 14 at the time.
I'll ask my father when he comes home, he DM'd and might recall the name of the dungeon.

Hi, may I be of help ?

"Lost, deserted city in a desert" is a quite close description of module B4, The Lost City.

Gem collecting in various dungeons (a pyramid, a city in the sky, etc.) comes from modules I3-5, Desert of desolation (or I3, Pharaoh, I4 oasis of the white palm and I5 can't remember the name)...

All are good old D&D or AD&D first edition modules.


Smarnil le couard wrote:


Hi, may I be of help ?

"Lost, deserted city in a desert" is a quite close description of module B4, The Lost City.

Gem collecting in various dungeons (a pyramid, a city in the sky, etc.) comes from modules I3-5, Desert of desolation (or I3, Pharaoh, I4 oasis of the white palm and I5 can't remember the name)...

All are good old D&D or AD&D first edition modules.

You, are Brilliant! Dessert of Desolation is exactly what I was looking for! Thanks!!!


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
Little Skylark wrote:
Smarnil le couard wrote:


Hi, may I be of help ?

"Lost, deserted city in a desert" is a quite close description of module B4, The Lost City.

Gem collecting in various dungeons (a pyramid, a city in the sky, etc.) comes from modules I3-5, Desert of desolation (or I3, Pharaoh, I4 oasis of the white palm and I5 can't remember the name)...

All are good old D&D or AD&D first edition modules.

You, are Brilliant! Dessert of Desolation is exactly what I was looking for! Thanks!!!

Not that it matters, but that was the answer I gave about 10 posts ago and the name of third module was I5 The Lost Tomb of Martek. The entire series where published as a super module with more filler later on and that was tittled the Desert of Desolation.


Hendelbolaf wrote:
Little Skylark wrote:
Smarnil le couard wrote:


Hi, may I be of help ?

"Lost, deserted city in a desert" is a quite close description of module B4, The Lost City.

Gem collecting in various dungeons (a pyramid, a city in the sky, etc.) comes from modules I3-5, Desert of desolation (or I3, Pharaoh, I4 oasis of the white palm and I5 can't remember the name)...

All are good old D&D or AD&D first edition modules.

You, are Brilliant! Dessert of Desolation is exactly what I was looking for! Thanks!!!

Not that it matters, but that was the answer I gave about 10 posts ago and the name of third module was I5 The Lost Tomb of Martek. The entire series where published as a super module with more filler later on and that was tittled the Desert of Desolation.

I concur. I saw your post after I myself posted, but you did provide the answer first.

PS: is Dessert of Desolation another name for porridge ?


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
Smarnil le couard wrote:
Hendelbolaf wrote:
Little Skylark wrote:
Smarnil le couard wrote:


Hi, may I be of help ?

"Lost, deserted city in a desert" is a quite close description of module B4, The Lost City.

Gem collecting in various dungeons (a pyramid, a city in the sky, etc.) comes from modules I3-5, Desert of desolation (or I3, Pharaoh, I4 oasis of the white palm and I5 can't remember the name)...

All are good old D&D or AD&D first edition modules.

You, are Brilliant! Dessert of Desolation is exactly what I was looking for! Thanks!!!

Not that it matters, but that was the answer I gave about 10 posts ago and the name of third module was I5 The Lost Tomb of Martek. The entire series where published as a super module with more filler later on and that was tittled the Desert of Desolation.

I concur. I saw your post after I myself posted, but you did provide the answer first.

PS: is Dessert of Desolation another name for porridge ?

Why yes it is! I believe that you can eat it with Ochre Jelly or Black Pudding!!

Liberty's Edge

Dr. Calvin Murgunstrumm wrote:

An ebony castle on the face of a cliff: On combat involved a 2e swashbuckler and a magic rope swing up and down the castle wall to the parapets filled with guards while a sheer cliff face hung below him. The BBEG fight also featured a throne room with 3 walls with balconies, several chandeliers and tapestries all over the walls so climbing and jumping and mobility were major tactical features.

A misty forest where the glades kept shifting so the players would randomly arrive in different glades until they found the creature who could guide them through the fog.

An underground dwarven city, lit only in the dim red glow of the lava far below. The streets are deserted and all the city slumbers, save it's vampire lords. Vampire Dwarven Lords.

Seven floating metropolises, some floating with magic, others with technology, all themed to suit the factions which built them, hovering over a world of wasting magics. Angelhaven was greco-roman in flavour nd had a teleportation guild and the city guard all rode griffons. Skyforge was dwarves and gnomes and had vacuum tubes to get from island to island and dirigibles and helicopter rotors kept it aloft. Equilibrium was ruled by genies and had four districts each themed with the 4 major elements. It had magic carpet taxis, fire elemental balloons and the water district was a giant blob of liquid that you just swam through.

Do any of these help?

Yes, most definitely! I LOVE the imagery of the dwarven city...and the glades...floating cities...all fantastic stuff. :)


I like when potential allies are in the dungeon. Example: in B5 Horror on the Hill there is a dwarf smith forced to work with the goblins. Also, a thief (Cullen DeFilch, classic name) is imprisoned there.

In the dungeon in Quest for the Heartstone, there's this "wellevator" water powered lift platform that is kind of cool.

Been a long time since I played it (25+ years) but I do recall the pyramid in I3 Pharaoh was really cool. The maze area was fun - made it a challenge to get out and on to the next part of the dungeon.

Then there's Castle Ravenloft. Probably my all time favorite dungeon. The flavor of the rooms and the great three dimensional design are classic. I think the crypt area is particularly cool.


Hendelbolaf wrote:


Sir, you're brilliant as well! And you're brilliant first! I'm sorry I mist your post.

Temple of Elemental Evil is actually my thrid favorite, after Standing Stone.

Liberty's Edge

Little Skylark wrote:
Hendelbolaf wrote:


Sir, you're brilliant as well! And you're brilliant first! I'm sorry I mist your post.

Temple of Elemental Evil is actually my thrid favorite, after Standing Stone.

Standing Stone is another excellent one. :)


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
Little Skylark wrote:


Sir, you're brilliant as well! And you're brilliant first! I'm sorry I mist your post.
Temple of Elemental Evil is actually my thrid favorite, after Standing Stone.

No, no, its not a problem!

I actually ran all of the 3rd edition modules from Sunless Citadel to the Bastion of Broken Souls and I did not really care for Standing Stone that much. It was a nice open style of adventure and required some good role-play and interaction but it just did not gel for me. I did like the Forge of Fury, but I did not like the Speaker in Dreams so much.

Sometimes it just comes down to individual taste.

Liberty's Edge

Hendelbolaf wrote:
Little Skylark wrote:


Sir, you're brilliant as well! And you're brilliant first! I'm sorry I mist your post.
Temple of Elemental Evil is actually my thrid favorite, after Standing Stone.

No, no, its not a problem!

I actually ran all of the 3rd edition modules from Sunless Citadel to the Bastion of Broken Souls and I did not really care for Standing Stone that much. It was a nice open style of adventure and required some good role-play and interaction but it just did not gel for me. I did like the Forge of Fury, but I did not like the Speaker in Dreams so much.

Sometimes it just comes down to individual taste.

Definitely agreed. I ran Speaker in Dreams, and it was an absolute blast...but then, I'm a huge Lovecraft fan, and I played up that otherworldly angle to no end. :D


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber
Legendarius wrote:


Been a long time since I played it (25+ years) but I do recall the pyramid in I3 Pharaoh was really cool. The maze area was fun - made it a challenge to get out and on to the next part of the dungeon.

Woe to he that is hit by a flying mummy!!

Silver Crusade

I have just run through the Whispering Cairn (Dragon Magazine #124) and it was amazing. Wonderful piece of dungeon design.

Liberty's Edge

Here's 5

1. Caverns of Thracia
2. White Plume Mountain
3. Dark Tower
4. The Hidden Shrine of Tamoachan
5. Under Illefarn

for pure dungeons

Everyone worthwhile.

All easily tansportable to whatever setting you are using.

All memorable.

Liberty's Edge

Love it or hate it, White Plume Mountain is friggin' unique. :)

The Hidden Shrine...that WAS cool! :)

Liberty's Edge

Caverns of Thracia is my personal fave. Originally a Judges Guild Module. It was redone by Necromancer for 3.5 so wouldnt be hard to adapt.

Explore a Jungle city to a long lost empire in a Jungle setting? complete with cultists, and a multi level dungeon that has a subterranean city that can be expanded by the DM and links to the darklands and a 'at the earths core' feel complete with dino's? Serpent folk, Beast Men, and ancient evil Lich? yep...sign me up ;)

Dark Tower another Judges Guild with a tower to set and a tower to Mitra another multi-level dungeon with the prize lesser artifacts. The Crown, Orb, and Sceptor of Law/Chaos/and Nuetrality in the balance. :D

finally Under Illefarn was a forgotten realms adventure done for the end of 2nd ed; a huge dungeon for low level characters (essentially 1st-4th)...dwarven ruins motif.

Dark Archive

Pathfinder Companion, Lost Omens Subscriber

Lost Caverns of Tsogica..something or other. I never could pronounce it. It was great because of 1)lots of cool new monsters like the Formorian Giant. 2)different encounter ideas like a creature with slippers of spider climb in a spherical room (I'm being vague for spoiler purposes 3) awesome artifacts 4) new spells 5) info on magic circles, summoning demons, etc. 5) history involving Iconic NPCs. Getting that module was like getting a new rule book for summoners.

I know they are not for everyone but I have always been a fan of the super dungeon. Greyhawk, Undermountain, Rappan Athuk, etc. I just loved the idea of the Yawning Portal, a bar built around an entrance to an underground death maze. Different ecosystems at different levels all held together by an ancient wizard, demi-god, evil cult, etc. They are big enough that they can be whatever you want or need. They are so big and powerful that they become more like a natural feature of the game world than an obsticle to be overcome in an adventure or two.


In no particular order:
The Eye of the Serpent - One of the best approaches to wilderness adventure dungeons I have seen.
When a Star Falls - Several locations that are pure mapmaking genius, as well as a brilliant adventure.
The Mud Sorcerer's Tomb - Dungeon adventure that should require no further introduction.
Thiondar's Legacy - Dungeon adventure that managed to do more or less everything right.
The Eternal Boundary - Planescape adventure with a VERY cool planar dungeon.
Harbinger House - THE definitive Sigil adventure.
The World Serpent Inn of the FR setting, detailed in a Dragon magazine.

As for not completely described dungeons, I have a fondness for the House of Stone in the FR setting, a gargantuan fortress with a serious twist. Volo had a guide about it in Dragon.

Finally, one of the encounter books for 2nd edition had a tumbling cloud giant castle which was all kinds of awesome.

Now... Tomb of Horrors... Really? To be honest, I have run it, and most of it was a tedious exercise of "I reach into the third hole in the wall" "You die, no save." Plus... Seriously... A PASTEL coloured dungeon??? That adventure is one that is stupendously overrated.


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Also gotta favorite 'The Whispering Cairn'. Brilliant dungeon design and unique fights. Also, any of the three published levels of 'Maure Castle' from Dunegon are just outstanding. I dropped a couple in my homebrew games and just swapped out some of the lore in the modules for backdrop details in my game and it worked perfectly. Finally, 'Foxglove Manor' from The Skinsaw Murders is a great one-shot, haunted house dungeon that I ran on halloween, using the pre-gens. Even having to make up or change some of the links to the previous module on the fly, the sheer horror factor and cool encounters made it quite memorable.


Little Skylark wrote:

There was a dungeon in a dessert campaign that was a disappeared city.

It was burried in the sand and haunted without any living creatures. The setting and the ambiance was brilliant. It was, I think, the most memorable campaign I ever played.

That description sounds vaguely like an Expert D&D module (whose name I can't recall) from waaaaaaay back in the day.


Hendelbolaf wrote:

As for the sunken city you are maybe referring to the Lost City of Phoenix from the Desert of Desolation Series (I3 - I5). It was in the Oasis of the White Palm if I recall correctly.

I also really like the haunted house from the Sinister Secret of Saltmarsh. It was so simple. There were really not a lot of monsters to fight, but a good DM could keep players always on their toes and ever alert with some good, scary background noises and effects. The opposite of the Temple of Elemental Evil or Castle Greyhawk, I just loved the sheer simplicity of the haunted house.

A big thumbs up for Sinister Secret of Saltmarsh! Great low-level adventure (1-3 lvl IIRC) made by a UK firm that had a wonderful spooky atmosphere. When I played it, I hadn't yet read Lovecraft's "Shadow Over Innsmouth" which I think was the inspiration (at least partially) for the storyline.


Palace of the Vampire Queen
Bone Hill
Castle Caldwell


White Plume Mountain was indeed...unique. What a crazy dungeon/module that was. Black Razor was probably the most bad-a** magic item I ever encountered in my D&D career.

That was one of the few higher level mods I ever played as our group usually only played low-level stuff, got bored with our characters when they got around 8-9th level and re-rolled new ones.


Really, you cannot go wrong with many of the "30 Greatest D&D Adventures of All Time" (circa 2004). I’d purchase Dungeon 116 just for that article if you don’t own it already. Here are some of my favorites from that list:

● G1-3 Against the Giants: Massive dungeon crawls featuring giants. Play it off as an invasion into your campaign’s key kingdom. Lots of fun to be had. (I didn’t much care for the rest of the Queen of Spiders series.)

● I6 Ravenloft: a classic dungeon crawl turned into a horror/love story.

● Return to the Tomb of Horrors: better than the original, recommended only if your group loves a ridiculously difficult challenge.

● Temple of Elemental Evil: if you can get a hold of the PC game they made for this and incorporate elements from it, it runs much smoother than the mega-dungeon it originally was.

● I3 Pharaoh: turns from desert survival into an epic quest. Again, I liked it more than the rest of the series.

● Forge of Fury: I thought it was the best of the 3E modules produced by WOTC. It has a lot going on in just one adventure.

● X1 Isle of Dread: If you love pulp exploration adventures, it doesn’t get much better than this.

● U1-U3 Saltmarsh series: really well done for its time, and you can drop these in about anywhere in your campaign world.

Here are ones I loved that didn’t make the list:

● UK7 Dark Clouds Gather: a very interesting adventure. I hate to say more without spoiling it, but it has “snow demons”, a cloud castle, and a flying ship. It is a lot of fun.

● Evil Unearthed: Dungeon magazine #82; basically it is the adventure that “inspired” Keep on the Shadowfell, but much shorter (and not 4E if that matters). Great for running at conventions as well.

● Night of the Walking Dead: A Ravenloft campaign module. It is pretty much a zombie survival game set in a Louisiana-style bayou setting, complete with French names and Vodou practitioners.

Finally, one of my favorite “adventures” came from my very first Dragon magazine purchase, #127, entitled ”Tucker’s Kobolds”. It’s how to terrorize mid to high-level players using the lowliest of monsters in the Monster Manual. Good stuff.

Sovereign Court

I hate the fact that Dungeon and Dragon were unavailable in my country. Allways. I WANT THEM.


  • First edition had Lawrence Schick's previously-mentioned White Plume Mountain with all its zany wackiness. My favorite modules to play in were the Slave Lords (A1 through A4), and I also enjoyed Allan Hammack's Ghost Tower of Inverness. Unlike many, I cannot recommend things like Against the Giants, simply because hacking through hordes of monsters was somehow a lot more fun in 1e than it is in 3.X/PF.

  • Bruce Cordell's Return to the Tomb of Horrors was, to my mind, the pinnacle of 2nd edition. I also got a lot of mileage out of Mobley & Brown's Greyhawk Ruins, but can't recommend it for 3.X because of the same issues as GDQ.

  • James Jacobs' "Into the Wormcawl Fissure" (Dungeon #134) was what finally convinced me to bite the bullet and switch over to 3.X. Later, I was able to play through Jesse Decker's "Spire of Long Shadows" (Dungeon #130) -- after multiple TPKs there, I hold it up as "The Tomb of Horrors of 3rd Edition." Loved every minute of it!

  • Liberty's Edge

    Sissyl wrote:


    The Eye of the Serpent - One of the best approaches to wilderness adventure dungeons I have seen.

    I second this. I didnt go to wilderness based adventures because he had asked for 'dungeons'

    But if we add wilderness/area based Id add

    1. Eye of The Serpent
    2. Forgotten City
    3. Feast of Goblyns (Ravenloft)
    4. Bone Hill

    and a big thumbs up to Sinister Secret of Saltmarsh, but it did not really fit either Dungeon or Wilderness.

    Liberty's Edge

    Kirth Gersen wrote:
  • First edition had Lawrence Schick's previously-mentioned White Plume Mountain with all its zany wackiness. My favorite modules to play in were the Slave Lords (A1 through A4), and I also enjoyed Allan Hammack's Ghost Tower of Inverness. Unlike many, I cannot recommend things like Against the Giants, simply because hacking through hordes of monsters was somehow a lot more fun in 1e than it is in 3.X/PF.

  • Bruce Cordell's Return to the Tomb of Horrors was, to my mind, the pinnacle of 2nd edition. I also got a lot of mileage out of Mobley & Brown's Greyhawk Ruins, but can't recommend it for 3.X because of the same issues as GDQ.

  • James Jacobs' "Into the Wormcawl Fissure" (Dungeon #134) was what finally convinced me to bite the bullet and switch over to 3.X. Later, I was able to play through Jesse Decker's "Spire of Long Shadows" (Dungeon #130) -- after multiple TPKs there, I hold it up as "The Tomb of Horrors of 3rd Edition." Loved every minute of it!
  • The Age of Worms stuff was wonderful. :)

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