If you love dungeons and dragons, you may be looking for inspiration as to what adventures to run next. If you’re hoping to play older an older dungeon module from the second edition, this can be hard to research.
Dnd was split into two branching paths with the basic set of rules labeled as simply Dungeons and Dragons and the other call Advanced DND. All of these sets came out before the internet was a common resource, so it isn’t the easiest thing to find information on. Most often, 2nd Edition refers to the 2nd edition of ad&d. The third edition and all later editions of the game come from this ruleset since basic D&D had been discontinued.
The Dungeon Modules we will be discussing are pre-made adventures and settings. These have been carefully playtested, and are great for dungeon masters who don’t want to do a full homebrew setting and adventures. They can also be customized or combined to create a storyline for your players.
If you are looking for more ideas for modules, look into the first edition. There are plenty of great adventures that are fairly easy to port. 2nd edition was noted as not having as many stand-alone adventures, since most were created to tie into a setting or continue an ongoing adventure. However, it is possible to strip out the setting and use the adventure for your own setting. An experienced dungeon master shouldn’t have too much trouble with many of the modules on this list.
If you can find the Dungeon magazine, this included many fun adventures to play for the 2nd edition. While they aren’t the easiest to find in the modern-day, they come highly rated from players who enjoyed them back in the day. In fact, many gaming magazines of the time offered adventures and ideas to help create unique campaigns. If you are lucky enough to encounter these magazines, flip through and see what you can use for your own games.
Overall, any of these modules can be a great way to learn how to structure an adventure. Look for ones that will appeal to your players and decide how best to incorporate the ideas you like into any campaign you are running. If you are still inexperienced, there are plenty of friendly experienced players online who can help point you in the right direction to create a fun game.
You can also easily move the ideas up to more modern editions by taking the ideas and changing up the encounters. Since AD&D is the ancestor of the modern 5e system, you can bring any adventure you like up if you feel like your players will enjoy it.
This list will include both modules meant for lower-level characters and the high-level adventures designed to push seasoned adventurers to the brink. This list is in no particular order since each one is meant for different levels and frequently play styles. If you love detective work and roleplaying, you may not love a heavy dungeon crawl.
1. The Dancing Hut of Baba Yaga
The Dancing hut of Baba Yaga is a classic adventure sure to appeal to any player who wants an inventive dungeon crawl experience. This is meant for characters between 7 and 20 in level.
Written by Lisa Smedman, this unit will take you inside Baba Yaga’s hut. The layout of the dungeon is impossible to chart, and each room can send you to many different dimensions filled with unique challenges.
Players who have enjoyed this noted that this is the rare module that will send you to an alternate universe version of Tokyo where you will be pitted in battle with Godzilla.
This is a sillier campaign, so serious players may not enjoy it, but if you want some silly fun in 2e, you can’t go wrong with this book.
2. Night Below
Night Below is a great option if you want to start out at level 1 and end up much higher by the end. This is a great choice if you’re looking for a longer campaign. This should end with 4 to 8 players leveled all the way up to 14.
The game draws you in with a simple courier mission that will reveal a sinister plot to the players. This is a boxed set that consists of three books with plenty of supplemental materials like maps for miniatures and more.
One of the most interesting parts of this is just how much help there is for the dungeon master. It not only includes towns and NPCs, but even mini-adventures to help boost levels if your players are lagging behind in experience levels.
This also includes things like physical handouts to help clue your players onto the ongoing mystery that will draw them underground and to the eventual final encounter in a subterranean city.
Even if you don’t want to use the whole campaign, this can make a great way for a dungeon master to learn how to structure an adventure.
3. The Lost Caverns of Tsojcanth
The Lost Caverns of Tsojcanth is meant for players between 6 and 10 in level. It is a classic monster-filled labyrinth that sees your players fight through waves of encounters all grouped based on where the encounters are located.
It is based on an old tournament adventure created by Gary Gygax for WinterCon V in 1976. It is considered to be part of the World of Greyhawk setting, even though it was not published with the others set there.
Many monsters familiar to players of 2e got their start in the unpublished original version of this adventure. It also included many spells that would be added to later editions of the monster manual.
This adventure actually has one other starting from the events of it, The Forgotten Temple of Tharizdun. This can be a nice way to continue the adventure smoothly if you want to stick with published adventures.
4. Labyrinth of Madness
The Labyrinth of Madness is another great choice for dungeon crawling. This is a hard campaign meant for characters at least level 15, but it can accommodate players up to level 30.
This unique dungeon requires backtracking to place runes that will change the layout of the dungeon once activated. This means that your players need to keep careful track of what is going on.
Any dungeon crawl like this can be brought into an existing campaign if your players are hungering for combat and loot. Every dungeon master has dealt with players wanting cool new items and challenges and this can put high-level characters to the test.
This is a fun choice if you’re looking for a mystery full of great roleplaying potential. It is not particularly combat-heavy, unlike others on this list.
You start off accompanying a convoy as a guard and will fight in the woods. After this, you arrive in the Free City of Dyvers where your players must solve the mystery of a series of burglaries carried out by tiny criminals.
It was originally created for tournaments, and this can show since each half is different. It is held together by being set in the World of Greyhawk setting. This makes it a great choice if you want to try out this setting.
Reviewers from the time it was published noted that the ideas of the adventure could easily be transported to any setting. This can be a great way to learn how to run a mystery campaign.