Dungeons & Dragons players who want to go on a grand adventure in 5e should take a look at these pre-made campaigns.
Pre-made adventures in Dungeons & Dragons 5e can be a great way for new Dungeon Masters to get a feel for how to run a campaign. Pre-made adventures are also perfect for experienced DMs looking to try out a new storytelling style or just take their players through one of the many legendary pre-made campaigns.
There are dozens of pre-made adventures for D&D, including official content from Wizards of the Coast and content shared through fan-made tools. Here are five of the best 5e adventures directly from WotC.
1. Curse of Strahd
Curse of Strahd takes players through Barovia, a depressing and gothic region of death and mist where the citizens are tormented and stalked by Barovia’s vampiric ruler, Strahd. This campaign stands apart for a few significant reasons. The setting, for one, is much different than the typical D&D fantasy land with its darker tone and cruel environment that isn’t always on the players’ side. The plot is also unique, in that the players aren’t just there to kill Strahd — they’re also fighting for their own survival and potentially fighting each other, depending on how things shake out.
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Strahd is also tons of fun to for players and DMs alike. Strahd is an entertaining villain who can appear at any time, forcing players to stay on their toes and giving the DM some fun surprises to pull out during sessions. There’s a lot to do in Curse of Strahd, and it’s one of the most well-known and beloved campaigns in Dungeons & Dragons history.
2. Baldur’s Gate: Descent into Avernus
Fans of the Baldur’s Gate video games should check out this campaign while waiting for Baldur’s Gate 3‘s next story update. Descent into Avernus is actually considered to be a prequel to Baldur’s Gate 3, but what makes the adventure so notable is its length. Most pre-made campaigns will only lead players through a few character levels, but Descent into Avernus will actually take level one characters all the way to level 13.
As for the story content of Descent into Avernus, players will journey into the Nine Hells during the Blood Wars. This campaign has a very heavy metal vibe, and the main goal is to prevent a city from literally being dragged into Avernus. Although this is one of the more linear campaigns, DMs can still give players plenty of freedom to explore this campaign’s incredibly interesting setting.
3. Storm King’s Thunder
Storm King’s Thunder is massive and takes place in its own region. The campaign book is 256 pages and requires some serious planning and dedication from a DM. The big appeal with Storm King’s Thunder is its level of detail, which is more intense than most other pre-made campaigns or adventures.
The story of Storm King’s Thunder is much more open-ended than other adventure campaigns, though there’s still a fairly clear plot. In the region of Storm Coast, giants have begun to emerge and threaten the survival of civilization. Norse mythology fans, in particular, will get a lot of enjoyment out of this pre-made campaign.
4. Tales from the Yawning Portal
Tales from the Yawning Portal is a collection of deadly dungeons meant to challenge players with some old-school dungeon crawling. Among these is the infamous Tomb of Horrors, a dungeon that has gained a near-legendary status among Dungeons & Dragons players. Tomb of Horrors will lead players through the tomb of a Demilich, though many don’t make it to the end.
There are also six other dungeons for players to run, either individually or as part of a larger campaign. White Plume Mountain features a mad wizard ruler creating tons of magical horrors and Sunless Citadel sends players on a quest for a very unique treasure. There’s a little something for everyone here, proving the versatility of a classic dungeon crawl.
5. Tomb of Annihilation
Much like the Tomb of Horrors dungeon in Tales from the Yawning Portal, Tomb of Annihilation is an incredibly difficult adventure with a legendary status in the tabletop community. Tomb of Annihilation has references to other Dungeons & Dragons adventures, unique monsters and interesting races that keep players on their toes.
Annihilation puts players on the island of Chult, which is filled with tropical jungles and, eventually, the brutal Tomb of the Nine Gods. What makes this adventure stand out is the Death Curse, which removes one of the biggest tools the players have to turn fate in their favor. Resurrection spells will automatically fail on this island due to the Death Curse, making it a great permadeath adventure for players looking for a challenge in their next D&D game.
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