7 Easiest (& 7 Hardest) Premade D&D Campaigns for New DMs


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It may be intimidating for brand new Dungeon Masters to run their first Dungeons & Dragons game. Beyond remembering the entire guidelines, DMs want to inform an fascinating story, roleplay a number of NPCs, and preserve the gamers from utterly derailing the complete journey. Thankfully, Dungeons & Dragons Fifth Edition has various premade campaigns designed to be much less work to run.

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Few premade modules are really unplayable, however every of them has their very own strengths and weaknesses. In explicit, some are well-suited to DMs with little expertise, whereas others might very simply overwhelm them.

Updated October 20, 2022 by Isaac Williams: fifth Edition has numerous premade campaigns to select from, so we have expanded this record to raised cowl the big selection of choices out there to budding Dungeon Masters.

The Easiest D&D Campaigns For Beginners

The Lost Mines Of Phandelver Is Designed For New Players And DMs

The Lost Mines of Phandelver comes with the Dungeons & Dragons Fifth Edition Starter Set. It consists of pre-made character sheets, a well-written and accessible plot, and useful breakdowns for any DM. Everything one must play is available at an inexpensive worth and contained inside a single field.

LMoP is enjoyable with out being too sophisticated. It has an important mixture of roleplaying alternatives and action-packed battles in opposition to various basic fantasy enemies. Lost Mines of Phandelver is designed to rigorously ease each the gamers and the DM right into a surprisingly epic low-level story. DMs in search of a premade module for 5e could effectively discover Lost Mines of Phandelver the simplest marketing campaign to run.

The Wild Beyond The Witchlight Is Improv-Heavy, But Flows Easily

One of the extra distinctive campaigns launched for 5e is The Wild Beyond the Witchlight, a fairy-tale impressed journey that takes gamers into the Feywild. This journey can vary from gentle and kooky to darkish and nightmarish inside the similar session. The marketing campaign’s story is simple to comply with, is smart, and has a lot to enchantment to virtually any group of gamers, all whereas not loading a DM with an excessive amount of to study.

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The solely detriment to The Wild Beyond The Witchlight for a first-time DM is that it is extremely improv-heavy, with gamers being given much more selection in how they take care of encounters than in most campaigns. Almost the complete factor may be performed with out preventing. However, there is no such thing as a cause a brand new DM can not handle this – and it could even be a boon to those that are much less keen on operating fight.

Dragon Of Icespire Peak Is Pure Heroic Fantasy

In addition to the Starter Set, Fifth Edition additionally has the Essentials Kit, a pre-packaged assortment of quickstart guidelines and a marketing campaign designed to assist new gamers and DMs alike. Dragon of Icespire Peak can act as an alternative choice to the Starter Set or be used as an intermediate step between it and enjoying the game with the core rulebooks.

Dragon of Icespire Peak is designed for 2-6 gamers, pitting them in opposition to a younger white dragon that’s terrorizing the lands round Phandelver. The journey is carefully-geared to ease gamers into acts of heroism and is taken into account by some to be one of many best D&D campaigns to run, interval.

Waterdeep: Dragon Heist Is A Fun, Open-Ended Romp

As the identify signifies, Waterdeep: Dragon Heist takes the gamers by the intrigue-filled metropolis of Waterdeep in an journey that includes a daring and epic theft. It is notable amongst premade D&D campaigns for emphasizing crafty and inventive problem-solving fairly than direct fight.

Although Waterdeep: Dragon Heist‘s emphasis on artistic strategies and underhand dealings can catch new DMs off-guard, the e-book is written in an easy-to-understand vogue, with the results of most actions logically spelled out for the DM. While it’s going to preserve them on their toes, operating it needs to be a manageable activity.

Critical Role: Call Of The Netherdeep Tries Not To Overwhelm Newcomers

Critical Role has been partially accountable for elevating D&D‘s profile, attracting its personal fanbase and tempting lots of them to check out the game. As such, the present’s first official marketing campaign e-book, Critical Role: Call of the Netherdeep, makes an attempt to be comparatively accommodating to new DMs whereas nonetheless presenting a wonderful journey.

The most advanced a part of Call of the Netherdeep is that it duties the DM with holding observe of one other occasion of NPCs and their relationships with the gamers’ occasion. Past this, nevertheless, it serves as a gradual introduction to each Dungeons & Dragons and DMing that the majority gamers ought to be capable to sustain with.

Curse Of Strahd Is Simply One Of The Best Adventure Modules

Curse of Strahd has grow to be each well-known and notorious amongst Dungeons & Dragons gamers for its high quality and is taken into account top-of-the-line premade campaigns written for 5e. It is usually a activity for a brand new DM to run as a result of this can be very lethal for the participant characters. The DM has to steadiness a extremely harmful and dynamic adversary and a world that’s actively hostile to the characters. However, that is all well worth the effort.

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Once the preliminary prep work – together with randomly figuring out components of the plot – has been carried out, the DM ought to be capable to preserve observe of issues no downside. Curse of Strahd takes place throughout a comparatively small variety of areas all tied collectively by the interaction between Strahd and the PCs, so the DM does not need to preserve observe of an excessive amount of.

Hoard Of The Dragon Queen Is Designed With New DMs In Mind

Hoard of the Dragon Queen was the primary marketing campaign e-book to come back out for Fifth Edition. As such, it was written with new DMs in thoughts, as this is able to be the primary premade D&D marketing campaign that anybody DMing for Fifth Edition acquired to make use of. The story includes stopping a bunch known as the Cult of the Dragon who need to break the dragon god Tiamat out of Hell.

Hoard of the Dragon Queen has its contentious components, specifically some very uneven fight steadiness as a result of components it being written throughout 5e‘s improvement. But it additionally has its redeeming components. In explicit, its guided story may be extra reassuring to a primary time DM, although the PCs do have to be on the identical web page because the DM in an effort to comply with it.

The Hardest D&D Campaigns For Beginners

Out Of The Abyss Takes A Lot Of Prep Work

Out of the Abyss is ready within the Underdark, drawing inspiration from a number of the best modules from older editions of D&D. Between its distinctive location and story, its excessive stage of problem, and its tense, harmful ambiance, it’s a worthwhile expertise for any occasion.

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However, there are two main issues with the Out of the Abyss that will likely be tough for brand new DMs. First, the e-book may be very concisely formatted and requires much more time getting ready for every session than is regular for a premade marketing campaign. In addition to its dense, convoluted writing, the e-book additionally touches on subjects of oppression and slavery. New DMs could not want to put additional effort into operating these sensitively whereas nonetheless attending to grips with the game itself.

Strixhaven: Curriculum of Chaos Adds A Lot Of New Systems

A crossover with Magic: the Gathering, the marketing campaign Strixhaven: Curriculum of Chaos takes a singular strategy to a game of Dungeons & Dragons. Rather than controlling epic heroes, the gamers as an alternative play a bunch of college college students attending the titular magical college, mixing adventures with extra mundane actions.

Strixhaven is extra holistic than many premade campaigns, focusing as a lot on the participant characters, their progress as individuals, and their relationships with others because it does on the destiny of the world. It provides a bunch of recent options, together with exams, lessons, social actions, and time skips to facilitate a faculty 12 months. This premade 5e marketing campaign is well-liked, however its distinctive construction could also be an excessive amount of for brand new DMs to study on prime of the common D&D guidelines.

Waterdeep: Dungeon Of The Mad Mage Is A Massive Mega-Dungeon With Confusing Maps

Waterdeep: Dungeon of the Mad Mage is a sprawling journey is an enormous delve by the labyrinthine dungeons beneath Undermountain. It is designed for an adventuring occasion beginning at stage 5 and it’ll take them as much as stage 20. This subterranean journey harkens again to older play kinds of D&D, taking gamers by an enormous mega-dungeon.

The downside with Dungeon of the Mad mage for brand new DMs is that a lot of the marketing campaign consists of huge dungeon maps. These all have completely different enemies, interactions, secrets and techniques, loot, and extra. In addition, this premade marketing campaign begins at fifth stage, being designed as a possible sequel to Waterdeep: Dragon Heist. Level 5 is much more sophisticated than stage 1, so it isn’t one of the best place to start out for a complete newbie.

Icewind Dale: Rime Of The Frostmaiden Can Be Brutal

Icewind Dale is the identify given to the frozen tundra within the far north of the Forgotten Realms that’s lower off from a lot of the remainder of the world by steep mountains and storm-tossed seas. It is a fan-favorite location that has impressed novels, video video games, and various nice journey modules. Rime of the Frostmaiden is a incredible horror marketing campaign, however it’s brutal on each gamers and DMs alike.

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Icewind Dale affords ten completely different attainable beginning journey hooks, forcing the DM to decide on once they would possibly nonetheless be attempting to grips with the fundamentals. It can be a high-lethality marketing campaign the place the occasion could endure quite a few losses, taxing much more of a DM’s abilities. These components, coupled with its vary of areas and quests, imply it could be finest for DMs with just a little extra expertise.

Baldur’s Gate: Descent Into Avernus Needs A Lot Of Work From The DM

Baldur’s Gate: Descent Into Avernus is likely one of the extra contentious modules for Fifth Edition. While it has some redeeming options, it’s well-known for its disjointed mechanics, its uneven issue, and neither the storyline nor the mechanics being solely constant all through the marketing campaign.

It is advisable {that a} DM make numerous modifications to the e-book fairly than operating issues as written. Experienced DMs could benefit from the likelihood to place their very own spin on a pre-written marketing campaign, however that prospect would seemingly be overwhelming for a newcomer to the position. As such, different campaigns could also be higher suited to first-time DMs.

Rrakkma Is Just Too Alien

The gith are one of many cooler however extra obscure races in D&D. In truth, they’re break up into two separate races, the githyanki and the githzerai. Their ancestors have been enslaved by the thoughts flayers, and after overthrowing their masters, the gith shaped these completely different factions. The journey module Rrakkma is about gith from each teams working collectively in opposition to the thoughts flayers.

Rrakkma is designed as a companion to the e-book Mordenkainen’s Tome of Foes and is stuffed with obscure monsters. Much of Rrakkma takes place within the chaotic airplane of Pandemonium or out within the Far Realm. Every a part of this journey offers with alien ideas and obscure lore, making it tough for nearly anybody to run.

Storm King’s Thunder Requires Lots Of Adjustments

Storm King’s Thunder is likely one of the extra epic premade D&D campaigns, pitting the gamers up in opposition to D&D’s many giants as the large beings start to wreak havoc within the surrounding space. It is sprawling and difficult, and offers the DM a good quantity of freedom for huge swathes of it while different components are carefully-guided.

However, Storm King’s Thunder has its flaws. Common steering includes skipping sure chapters of the e-book to make issues smoother for the gamers, and different chapters require the DM to maintain observe of numerous issues directly. Though it’s effectively price operating, it could work higher as a second or third marketing campaign.

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