Sometimes DMs need help. This is why there are adventure modules; to provide ready-made campaigns to play. Most of these are playable, but some of them are beyond epic in scope. Lord of the Rings…that’s for noobs. The Dragonlance Chronicles…not epic enough.
Most of the campaigns in this list are fairly recent creations, but a couple of them are classics from the earlier days of D&D. Do you disagree with the ranking, or think we left out a campaign that deserves to be in this list? Then don’t hesitate to leave a comment below.
10 Princes Of The Apocalypse
In Princes of the Apocalypse, the party must stop four prophets that serve the evil Elemental Princes. Each prophet is building a temple to their lord; which will bolster the power of these evil Elemental Princes. To stop the prophets the players must sever their links to the Inner Planes.
The path eventually leads the players into a confrontation with the Elder Elemental Eye. The whole adventure is similar to the classic Temple of Elemental Evil module. The campaign is designed for characters starting at level 3-4, and they will finish around their 14th level.
9 Lost Mine Of Phandelver
In ancient times there was a mine close to Neverwinter (in the Forgotten Realms). This mine was run by a cooperative formed by dwarves and gnomes; with the help of human wizards. At the heart of this mine was the Forge of Spells – a powerful relic that harnesses the mine’s ambient energies for crafting magical items.
An orc assault led to the mine collapsing, and its location being lost. It is up to the players to find the lost mine and the treasures within. The campaign is designed for 1st level characters and can be very challenging for beginning players.
8 Tyranny Of Dragons
If your group is looking for a campaign of epic proportions, then Tyranny of Dragons might be the module you’re looking for. This quest pits the party against the Cult of the Dragon. The Cult of the Dragon is best known for creating dracoliches, but in this campaign, they have a new goal – to bring Tiamat to the Prime Material.
The campaign is spread over multiple modules; with Hoard of the Dragon Queen being the first. This adventure sees the party traveling across Fearûn, so some Forgotten Realms supplemental materials might be required.
7 Tales From The Yawning Portal
Based in Waterdeep, and the dungeon beneath it called Undermountain, Tales from the Yawning Portal is a favorite among many players. The Yawning Portal is an inn in Waterdeep that offers an entrance to Undermountain for adventurers foolish enough to explore its dangerous corridors – while the patrons above place bets on when (or if) they will return.
Undermountain has portals leading to multiple other realms, so the adventure modules in this campaign aren’t confined to the Forgotten Realms. This is a very challenging campaign; so it might not be appropriate for beginning players.
6 The Rod Of Seven Parts
This is an older campaign, but the adventure is still one of the best. The players are questing for the seven parts that make up the Rod of Law. Trying to stop them are minions of the Queen of Chaos; including the criminally underused wolf-spiders. The Rod was used to imprison the Queen of Chaos’ general, Miska the Wolf-Spider, The Prince of Demons.
The adventure is far-ranging as the parts of the Rod have been scattered. The players must get to them before the Queen of Chaos’ minions, or track them down if they can’t. The party has help from the Wind Dukes, lawful immortals opposed to the Chaos Queen.
5 Temple Of Elemental Evil
This adventure module should be in every dungeons and dragons collection. This module was created by the legendary Gary Gygax and was converted into a great PC game in 2003. The adventure is based in the small town of Hommlet – in the Greyhawk setting.
Close to Hommlet is the enormous Temple of Elemental Evil. It is up to the party to enter the Temple and stop the forces of evil from releasing the demon queen of fungi known as Zuggtmoy. The campaign is for 1st level characters, but by the end the characters find themselves facing off against a foe that rivals a lesser deity in power.
4 Tomb Of Annihilation
A terrible affliction is causing people to become sick, waste away until death, and prevents them from being raised. The players must find the source of this plague and end its effect on the people of Faerûn. This campaign takes place in the jungles of Chult. Chult is an interesting setting; as it includes dangers not normally seen in D&D adventures – dinosaurs. This adventure has a ton of great, and powerful, treasures for the players to claim. The final dungeon is huge and presents a challenge for even seasoned players.
3 Out Of The Abyss
Out of the Abyss is another favorite among D&D players. This module starts with the players trapped in the Underdark. After their escape, the main goal is to return to the surface world. However, the party’s objectives change when they are asked to lead a war-band to stop demonic forces set to invade the surface.
This adventure is epic in nature and features everybody’s favorite enemy – the drow. Some of the demons the players must thwart include Demogorgon and Zuggtmoy. This is an extremely challenging campaign but is also sort-of an open campaign that is less linear than most. That means more prep-work for the DM though.
2 Curse Of Strahd
It is rare to find a Ravenloft campaign that is accessible for all players; as Ravenloft is not the most forgiving of realms. Strahd von Zarovich, a powerful vampire, was the first realm-lord of Ravenloft. The players find themselves victims of the Mists, and visitors to Barovia – Strahd’s domain.
They soon find themselves working for the Vistani gypsy, Madam Eva. The campaign is for characters of 1st level, and they will typically be around 10th when it is finished. This is maybe the most challenging campaign in this list, but not so difficult for beginning players.
1 Storm King’s Thunder
Set in the frozen Savage Frontier region of northern Faerûn. This campaign pits the party against the giant clans of the north. This is an epic adventure that includes raiding giant strongholds, battles against dragons, and a fight against a Kraken. The main goal is to help re-establish the caste system among giant-kind. Until the players can do this, the giants will continue to rampage the towns of the “smallfolk.” The players have many avenues they can take to achieve this goal; including allying with some of the giants. This is designed for 1st level characters and is challenging – but not too difficult for beginners.