Good sources of free online D&D adventures?

Jam WarriorJam Warrior Registered User regular
edited December 2006 in Critical Failures
I was just wondering if such a thing exists? I've been playing 3.5 D&D for a few months now and am this weekend having my first stab at DMing for three mates, two complete novices and my g/f who has played as much as me. They've created first level chars (Dwarf Barb, Elf Ranger, Human Sorc) and I'm going to hit them with this from the wizards site as it seems like a nice simple game mechanics intro:

http://www.wizards.com/default.asp?x=dnd/oa/20050329a

Between the three of them, if I throw a random bear at them on the way home and give them 100xp for forming their adventuring party, this will just get them to level two in order that the new guys can see the fun of character development.

Thing is, if all goes well and they come back for more I still lack the confidence to completely make up an adventure from scratch and the wizards site lacks in meaty level two adventures, so back to original question...

Good sources of free online D&D adventures? Do they exist? If so, where?

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Posts

  • VoraciousAardvarkVoraciousAardvark Registered User regular
    edited November 2006
    Theres always the possibility that you can run things from adventures other people have written, but if you really want to get started with dm'ing, sit down with a pencil and a notepad, and just brainstorm. Seriously, write down every single thing you think of that you could incorporate into a campaign. I just started running a new eberron campaign about 2 months ago, and I had about 12 pages of just random fluff notes before I ever wrote word one about an actual adventure.

    I know thats not the information that you wanted to hear, but all in all, its really not that hard to make up your own adventures. Half of a good adventure is throwing in stuff on the fly, basically having a rough mock up of how things would go if they ran perfectly, and adapting on the fly. PC's have a tendancy to rain all over your best laid plans, so being able to ad lib and steer the adventure on the fly will take you a long way.

    I'm REALLY not sure where to find a good source of pre written material for free though, sorry.

    VoraciousAardvark on
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  • Jam WarriorJam Warrior Registered User regular
    edited November 2006
    I am looking forward to getting into my own creations! Just want to make sure I don't scare off my potential new players by making a huge hash of my first DMing and pre-written adventures provide a good safety net as far as that is concerned.

    Edit: Actually, checking out the Burning Plague adventure that others have mentioned, that seems more than enough challenge for three level 2 characters. I may go with that.

    Jam Warrior on
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  • Der Waffle MousDer Waffle Mous Blame this on the misfortune of your birth. New Yark, New Yark.Registered User regular
    edited November 2006
    Didn't WOTC have this huge online repository of written adventures?

    I could've sworn I signed up for it, and I got this badly laminated card in the mail with a picture of a Red Wizard on it.

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  • Aroused BullAroused Bull Registered User
    edited November 2006
    Here's a few: http://www.dndadventure.com/html/adventures/adv1.html

    You can't run a campaign based on discrete adventures, though; if you want an overarching plot you pretty much have to design it yourself.

    Aroused Bull on
  • Alexan DriteAlexan Drite Registered User regular
    edited November 2006
    One shots are extremely important early on as they get people into character creation, as well as allows them to understand a variety of situations and importance of certain rules. Consider running them as One Shot campaigns, where “The world ONLY has this in it, please make some characters that shows one interesting aspect of the rules. We’ll run two-three sessions on this, then throw it away, or move onto another one of these one shots”

    For instance, the plague adventure offered by Wizards covers rules on how disease works, and why those random Dwarf bonuses are good. Sometimes it's stuff that just helps the DM learn the game better, such as how you can use your existing resources in new ways.

    The problem with the adventures at Wizards is that they're often incomplete or incorrect. They look like they have everything you need, but after you fill in the stats for Monsters, fill in the rooms, and completely connect all the pieces together, correct errors, and give dialogue, it can takes hours to put together. As much, if not more time can be spent fixing their adventures as it would have taken to just make one from scratch.
    You don't really see this in their early ones though, but I know from personal experience the Giants in the Mountain one had me up all night trying to get it to work. The "dark and storm knight" works good though.
    Make sure you've gone over any adventure at least once, and get an idea of what you need. If you have the core books with you (MM, DMG, PHB) and are familar with them enough to pull stuff on the spot without slowing the game too much down, you can maybe get away with some of them. Otherwise you'll go through it and see something like
    "Here is an Ice Hydra with 14 heads instead of the ones listed in the MM, please use rules 6a-11b to adjust its trip bonuses."
    Or something.
    You don't want to do what my friend did, sit down and go, "What the hell does THAC0 mean?" right when we're about to start this adventure we just printed out.
    (We ended up making up a conversion on the spot and it ended up 'working', and it was a fun session still, but it really broke the DM)

    What you may want to do is come up with a few ideas for adventure plans, such as 'this is my CAMPAIGN' idea, and it will just stew in and out of the player's sessions as they decide to go down that route. And "these sidebar adventurers are the backup plan. In case the adventurers are like 'eh that is boring I want to do something else.'".

    From a DM stand point I have found that having a plan B can be just as interesting and important as having a Plan A. I usually have "Combat, Dungeoneering, and treasure" as Plan B (Sometimes as simple as a randomly generated Dungeon using a Dungeon generation program), and "Adventure, plots, and Intrigue" as Plan A.
    Sometimes the party goes down Plan A, and sometimes they go down Plan B. Not to say there isn't role playing, combat, or adventure in both, just whatever the will of the party is determines which page of my notebook I open.

    It makes it feel like the world is more, 'robust', and that things aren't on rails. It also helps if you have a sense of time in your world, and properly use the distance and overland terrain rules listed in the DMG. Some possibilities for adventure close down by choosing one path, and some forces in the world advance that the players might not like to see advance due to their lack of presence. Time becomes the weight that will force the party on track. Deadlines and the like can also help.

    In short:
    If you'd like to see Calculon file this stack of Papers, please Press 1. If you would like to see Calculon race down a Hollywood set with lots of explosions, press 2.

    Alexan Drite on
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  • TotenkruzTotenkruz Registered User
    edited November 2006
    My tip is this:

    The terms 'good', 'online', and 'free' don't tend to run in the same sentence. The good complicated stuff requires money because all that coding isn't something most normal people like to do on their free time.

    In any case, if you want something good for campaigning, perhaps you should invest in getting Neverwinter Nights 2 and making maps and a storyline on your own.

    Other than that, start learnin' some Java or Flash, because the things you're asking for come in seperate pieces that don't like to relate to DnD.

    Imo anyway *cackles*

    Totenkruz on
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  • Aroused BullAroused Bull Registered User
    edited November 2006
    What the hell are you talking about, Totenkruz? This is DnD, not a computer game.

    Aroused Bull on
  • TotenkruzTotenkruz Registered User
    edited November 2006
    What the hell are 'you' talking about? NWN 2 'is' DnD. Or at least similar in aspect. Either way, Jam asked for an online version and that requires a computer at the very least.

    The tabletop version is usually played in a homely environment chock full of cheetos and mountain dew, last I checked anyway, and they only required a computer to type up their stories.

    Totenkruz on
    Laharl-Shoop-copy.jpg
    Yes, I played (and still play occasionally) Baldur's Gate II and yes, I love it dearly like a fond reminiscence of my youth to this very day. "Gots you a problems wif it?"
  • EchoEcho Moderator mod
    edited November 2006
    No, he asked for a place online to find D&D adventures.

    Echo on
    Echo wrote: »
    Let they who have not posted about their balls in the wrong thread cast the first stone.
  • Aroused BullAroused Bull Registered User
    edited November 2006
    He is asking for an online source of prewritten adventures for use in DnD, like the one in the link he gave. He is not asking for computer games. Read his post.

    Aroused Bull on
  • EchoEcho Moderator mod
    edited November 2006
    ...and it's not online, but those five issues of Dungeon I bought had pretty good stuff.

    Echo on
    Echo wrote: »
    Let they who have not posted about their balls in the wrong thread cast the first stone.
  • TotenkruzTotenkruz Registered User
    edited November 2006
    Ah, okay then, I'll back off of this one, once again, speed-reading has diluted my intelligence to about an IQ range of 1 to 4. My apologies for my ignorance -.-

    If you want pre-made stories, I would either suggest you go to an RP site like the one I've got about DnD (Which will not be linked due to his saddened state of recent decay) or googlin' it.

    http://www.dndadventure.com/ has already been posted, so I'll take a look into something else for you to chew on.

    Totenkruz on
    Laharl-Shoop-copy.jpg
    Yes, I played (and still play occasionally) Baldur's Gate II and yes, I love it dearly like a fond reminiscence of my youth to this very day. "Gots you a problems wif it?"
  • TotenkruzTotenkruz Registered User
    edited November 2006
    Alright, as apology for my earlier incidence of idiocy, I found a couple that might intrigue you to meander through.

    http://www.planetadnd.com/dnd_stories/index.php

    http://www.fantaseum.com/stories/index.asp

    http://www.afn.org/~afn07998/webring/index.html *

    (*) Look into that one. I found it in my search and haven't the slightest clue if it contains the stories you're looking for, but it may hook you up with some folks who can give you their adventures.

    Totenkruz on
    Laharl-Shoop-copy.jpg
    Yes, I played (and still play occasionally) Baldur's Gate II and yes, I love it dearly like a fond reminiscence of my youth to this very day. "Gots you a problems wif it?"
  • Aroused BullAroused Bull Registered User
    edited November 2006
    http://www.rpgarchive.com/ appears to have hundreds and hundreds of user-submitted adventures, sorted by type, genre, system and rating. I haven't fully checked it out, but amongst all that bulk you're basically guaranteed to find something you like. Plus, you can skim through lots of adventures to get inspiration for if and when you decide to design your own.

    Aroused Bull on
  • Jam WarriorJam Warrior Registered User regular
    edited November 2006
    Cheers for the various links. I'll look into them for inspiration but after the first session went quite well I'm feeling up to trying to create something more of my own as was suggested.

    I believe fun was had by all in the first session but that doesn't mean thing went well for the PCs... They took out a couple of hobgoblins before the things could draw breath and bouyed on by that feeling of invincibility charged straight into the dungeon boss zombie bugbear. The Ranger and the Barbarian both bit it quickly and the Sorceress fled for her life back to town. Now the Ranger took things quite philisophically and was happy to roll up a new (better it turned out) character, however my girlfriend had inveested a lot of time and emotion into her dwarf barbarian and wasn't at all happy to see her bleeding to death on the floor. I was going to be happy to fudge the dice so that she stabalised whatever but I knew she'd know if I did that and would still sulk so I watched the recover rolls with baited breath... She stabilised on -9 hp. (-10 being dead) I believe that dice roll demonstrates the pure power of prayer.

    Jam Warrior on
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  • elkataselkatas Registered User regular
    edited November 2006
    elkatas on
    Hypnotically inclined.
  • OrikaeshigitaeOrikaeshigitae Registered User, ClubPA regular
    edited November 2006
    Echo wrote:
    ...and it's not online, but those five issues of Dungeon I bought had pretty good stuff.
    I had a subscription to Dungeon/Dragon for a while. They're quality magazines.

    Orikaeshigitae on
  • PiptheFairPiptheFair Registered User regular
    edited November 2006
    Dragon is a fantastic gaming publication.

    PiptheFair on
  • Scurvy StanScurvy Stan Registered User
    edited December 2006
    why wrote:
    Didn't WOTC have this huge online repository of written adventures?

    I was thinking of this page on the WOTC. It has free adventures in PDF format all the way up lvl 20.

    Scurvy Stan on
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