Posted by : David Guyll August 19, 2014
I have however read quite a few in my time: In Search of the Unknown, that one adventure with the crashed space ship, Expedition to Castle Ravenloft, every single goddamn adventure from the Age of Worms, Savage Tide, and Rise of the Runelords adventure paths, all of the official WotC ones for 4th Edition, a bunch from Dungeon (from 2nd to 4th Edition), and more.
Some are okay, but most are pretty forgettable when they aren't terrible (though there are some "memorable" stinkers in the mix), which is just part of why my favorite would have to be H1: Keep on the Shadowfell, aka a shining example that Mike Mearls has no fucking clue what to do with 4th Edition (which would explain his "warlords shouting wounds closed" statement).
To be fair it's not the worst published adventure out there, but between the fucking nonsense plot, confusing motivations of the utterly inept villain (who also left letters on his hired help, and was trying to open a portal to a plane that was in fact not inhabited by the guy he was trying to summon), and seemingly random assortment of monsters it comes pretty damned close. So if it's not the worse, and certainly not the best, why the hell am I choosing it?
Because ironically it is the adventure that I have simultaneously run the most, and put the most work into improving (as well as converting it to 5th Edition and doing a post on running it in Dungeon World). My group was barely able to get through it the first time because of how retarded it was, so after that I started just pulling shit out of my ass and largely make it up on the fly, only keeping the general idea that there were kobolds doing kobold things, and a death cult doing death cult things.
I blogged numerous times about the changes I made, and eventually compiled all of them into a document that changed virtually every aspect about the adventure, from the kobold lair (which featured a young green dragon as the "end boss"), to the ruins of Shadowfell Keep, to the catacombs underneath (which featured a pair of skill challenges to represent exploring the catacombs and trying to seal the gate). When I started converting it to 5th Edition some areas got improved maps, or maps at all, and both Sir Keegan and the ghost of his wife got more meaningful roles.
Call it a frustrating, sometimes disappointing labor of love. Call it something akin to Stockholm Syndrome. The main point is that in the end this terrible, confusing adventure has given me a lot of laughs (at the writing's expense), and eventually after a lot of work even some good times, and that's why it's my favorite.