My Favorite of the new old school adventurers

Uh … Hello all you new people, whoever you are. While these are my favs there are a lot of good adventures not mentioned here. Ask away and I can point you at a few specific to your interests.

I’ve been a bit lax in updating my list of favorite modules. I’ve linked to my RPGGEEK entry where you can get all of the my reviews, archived, rated, and ready to sort, but I should do something on the blog also.

So, here’s my list of my favorite adventures from the OSR:

 

Anomalous Subsurface Environment 1-3 Gonzo City & Dungeon with a bit of Gamma World thrown in.
Stonehell 1-7 One of the few good megadungeons in existence, in the innovative 1–page format.
F3 – Many Gates of the Gann 5-6 A weird dungeoncrawl, like days of old!
Rappan Athuk 1-99 The closest thing to the platonic ideal of a megadungeon.
Demonspore 3-6 A damn fine example of an OD&D feel. Everything seems fresh & new again. Matt Finch is one of maybe three people in the OSR who I trust to consistently turn out good adventures (Bowman, Gabor Lux, Finch.)
Beneath the Ruins 1-3 A great ODD feel in a small package. WMLP has the next two levels.
The Shadowed Keep 1-3 Kramers take on an evil overlord fortress. Kramer is very good.
Ychyrn The Tyrant 1-3 Kobolds in a cave, Kramer style.
Arachnophobia 3-5 Bug infestation under a church, ala Aliens.
The Shattered Skull 2-4 Orcs tribe in a cave. Kramer is good at everything he does.
Shadowbrook Manor 1-3 A haunted house, a bit on on the goofy side.
Tower of the Stargazer 1-3 Slow paced exploration of a wizards tower.
Death Frost Doom. 1-3 A great, if slow, crawl in a cult temple. Then your campaign ends
Barrowmaze 1- Megadungeon features lots and LOTS of undead.
Wheel of Evil 3-5 Fungas men always deliver an OD&D feel.
The Thing in the Valley 3-5 A nice pace and and an evocative environment for a horror like adventure.
Voyage to Plague Island 4-6 A Weird and wonderfully idiosyncratic adventure.
Tomb of the Iron God 1-3 There’s two gods and like 500+ monsters in this FIRST level adventure. Good Stuff!
Gone Fishin’ 3-5 Great folk tale feel and free to boot!
Monastery of the Order of Crimson Monks 5-9 Good expansion of the sample dungeon in the 1E DMG.
The Inn of Lost Heroes 3-5 Very evocative. Very horror. Some of Spahns best
Ironwood Gorge. 2-5 Better than B2, despite what Benoist says.
The Ruined Hamlet/Terror in the Gloaming. 1-3 Interesting situations and evocative detail.
A2 – The Slag Heap 2-4 Three examples of failed villages. A nice look at a borderlands village environment.
AA#12 – The Barrow Mound of Gravemoor5-7Barrow. Atmosphere. Weird.
The Bonegarden12-14Subplots galore, but suffers from major bloat.
Red Tam’s Bones3-5Fey, for a more civilized time.
Challenge of the Frog Idol3-5It’s free. Why haven’t you downloaded it yet?
The Melford Murder.1 A mystery that doesn’t suck and a good adventure to plunder for ideas.
Systema Tartarobasis.3-5An evocative journey through a hellish Orwellian society.
The Maze of Nuroman.1 Classic tropes. Best for n00b players but could use some gonzo or OD&D weirdness. On the cusp on not making by B cutoff.
Tomb of the Bull King.3+ It does Greek Epic right.
Tempus Gelidum3-5A small gonzo lair in which all of the elements work together.
Obelisk of Forgotten Memories1-3ASE1 graveyard with factions.
Garden of the Hag Queen2-5A mini-setting with a outpost of an evil kingdom.
Prison of the Hated Pretender0-1A nice quiet little intro scenario.
The Red Demon of the Vile Fens3-4Gonzo ASE1 adventure in an old giant tank.
Fight On!Magazine. Generally very good.
Nod MagazineGreat Stater hex crawls.
Hex Crawl ClassicsLine. More great Stater hex crawls.
Blood of the Dragon1-3This is Swords & Sorcery done right.
The Spire of Iron & Crystal5-6A classic Finch work.
The Purple Worm Graveyard1-3! Bryce luvs monster guts!
My Design Contest! The Six Thousand Steps, Hive of Giant Bees, To Rob a Witch!
Tomb of the Sea Kings5+ is all about the players.
Valley of the Five Fires4-9 gives you a nice mongol environment and adventure.
Beneath is Windowless Tower5-8And it’s free!
MCMLCXX1-4 … or whatever. I think it’s charming.
The Hidden Tomb of Sloggoth the NecromancerLow is a nice baseline for “decent adventure.”
Tower of the Scarlet WizardAny is one of the new old things from Jim Ward.
Blood on the Snow8-10 is some kind of Viking mayhem.
SlaughterGrid2?A great example of dynamic encounters.
Deep Carbon ObservatoryMid is a master-class example of a good OSR adventure. This is a fine example of the best of the OSR dwarfing older material.
Maze of the Blue Medusa1-4/5-10 is what classic D&D is meant to be. One of the best dungeons, IMO.
The Gnomes of Levnec & A Thousand Dead Babies1 both provide nice little mini-regions with a TON going on.
Sleeping Place of the Feathered Swine1 is horror-ish and evocative without being grim.
Lapis Observatory? kicks so much ass!
Broodmother Skyfortres? is a great tutorial on how to be a DM.
Stealer of Children1 is another great Peter Spahn adventure.
No Salvation for Witches? is a great little LotFP-oriented thing.
Towers Two4-6 channels GWAR, in both a good and bad way
The Marionette1-4 is that rarest of things: A decent Adventurers League adventure.
The Globe4-5 is a nice little self-contained thing inside of a snow globe.
Curse of the Shrine Goddess1-3 (Content Partner) is a great little adventure with nice imagery and a player focus.
An Overwhelming Sense of Loss1-3 is a great little dungeon.
Mines, Claws, and Princesses2-4 cements Oswald as a master of the dungeon design craft.
Echoes from Fomalhaut #12-4 has a great 2-level cave from a master.
The Red Prophet Rises3-5 engages in some serious Conan-warrior cult fun.
Kidnap the ArchpriestLow (content partner service) is a great city/caper sandbox.
Operation Unfathomable1 is a underground system that is one of the most imaginative ever written.
Hyqueous Vaults3 proves that the old ‘standard’ adventure styles are great when done well, and it does it very VERY well.
Grave of the Heartless, Dragons Heart1-4 are good mini-campaign things.
Statues1-4 (content partner service) is a great urban caper/mad mad mad mad world adventure.
Dungeon Full of Monsters1- is a decent dungeon in spite of some hipsterism rando stuff.
Fever Swamp? comes from the always great Melsonian’s … and is set in a swamp.
The Submerged Spire of Sarpedon the Shaper4 does a great bringing brining the OD&D vibe of an underwater/alien environment.
Tower of the Weretoads1 is just … well … ooky!
Wyrd Ways of Walstock1-3 is about a cult taking over a town.
Fall of Whitecliff1- (content partner service) is a great collection of one-pagers that link to form a campaign.
The Ruinous Palace of the Metegorgos1-3 is … well … mythic? It FEELS Like a place of legend, forgotten.
Sacrebleu!1-3Goblins with world war one gear.
The Beholder Contracts3A formatting nightmare with good Stick
To Bring Down the Sky4Everything for a night of adventure!
The Vanilla Adventure1Vanilla don’t mean generic.
The Dark of Hot Springs Island?Mega adventure on a weirdo island.
The Barbarian King4-6More fun from Melan!
Writing with Style … advice for RPG WritersThe only design guide approved by Bryce.
(5) Saving Saxham3-5Social aspects in an adventure?!?! GASP!
The Dragons Secret1-7Jennell reenters the fray with a new adventure!
(5e) Rats of Waterdeep1Madcap detectives!
Kellerin’s Rumble3-5You inherited a warehouse!
The Sunken Fort1-4Funhouse!
(5e) A Night in Seyvoth Manor6
Through Ultans Door #1?I thought opium was illegal in the US?
The Castle that Fell from the Sky3-5Funhouse!
DAMN Magazine Spring/Summer 2018LowDCC weirdness with a 3e flavor!
Pollute the Elfen Memory Waters4Sandy in a fucked up city.
Dead PlanetJust what are you willing to do in order to break orbit in this spaceman adventure?
Welcome to Mortiston. Modern zombies, not OSR, but a perfect example of how to set up a social environment in which adventures can take place.
Fever Dreaming Marlinko & Slumbering Ursine Dunes  & Misty Isles of the EldAll great places to use to add to your own devices. You need a city, or a region? Use one of these!
The Fungus that Came to Blackeswell3Why is the village abandoned?
The Harvester from outer Space4Abducted to another world!
Dreams of the Lurid SacA truly alien environment.
Fight On!2, 35 and 6Anything by David Bowman, but these from Fight On! stand out.
Peril on the Purple Planet!4DCC-Invade another planet!
People of the Pit1DCC-Invade an ancient pit/cult/monster!
 Blades Against Death4DCC-Invade the afterlife to save a comrade!
The Emerald Enchanter2DCC-Invade the wizards tower!
Well of the Worm1DCC-Invade the well to stop the mother worm!
The One Who Watches From Below1DCC-Invade the gods cave!
Intrigue at the Court of Chaos,1DCC-In Courts of Chaos YOU are invaded!
The Chained Coffin1DCC-A more folklore based adventuring environment!
Bride of the Black Manse3DCC-Save the bride from the demons that carried her away!

Update!

Hey, do you have impossibly high standards that make your life a living hell? No? Then maybe you’d also be interested in the ‘C’ rated-adventures! I have always felt a twinge of regret in these. They are good, but just not THE GREATEST THING EVER. So, here’s the list:

Bryce’s List of No Regerts adventures …

35 Responses to My Favorite of the new old school adventurers

  1. Rollinhand says:

    Cheers for theses recommendations…..just celebrated my birthday and got ASE1, stonehell and demonspore and am not disapointed.
    Bryce you are a godsend and have saved me from parting with my hard earned dosh (well the wifes actually) on the everyday inane crap that passes as an OSR adventure.
    Keep up the good work.

  2. Thanks for this great list.

    Is there a place where we could easily find other Bowman modules?

  3. 98mph says:

    Why can’t Jaquay publish something else?

  4. kim says:

    you need to add dcc harley stroh adventures here :p

  5. flexi says:

    You have been away for far too long Bryce. I miss your blunt and honest criticism, and the occasional sweaty rant! Come back soon! 🙂

  6. flexi says:

    Damn it , I meant sweary! Bloody auto-correct!

  7. Alan Skinner says:

    Sweaty rants are good too

  8. No Scourge of the Demon Wolf?

  9. Where’s The Islands of Purple-Haunted Putrescence?

  10. Kyle says:

    You might check out The Field Guide to Hot Springs Island and The Dark of Hot Springs Island; it’s a hexcrawl sandbox that I blind-bought them at GenCon 2017 because I was so taken with the idea of a player’s guide written in-universe and containing a mix of true and false supposition about the adventuring area. Based on your tastes above, I really think these might be up your alley.

  11. Lazy Litch says:

    this is a great list

  12. Philippe says:

    Hi Bryce!

    Any advice on what to run during an upcoming 3 weeks Holiday (probably playing every other evening)? I was thinking of Many Gates of the Gann or Barrowmaze I.

    Cheers!

  13. Bryce Lynch says:

    10 sessions? Maybe Gann and something else mid-sized also, or maybe DCO.

  14. Hunter Fox says:

    Being that you have so much experience, do you ever edit adventures before they are published?

  15. Jordan says:

    “He’s almost certainly the best living adventure writer who has a chance of publishing something else (which eliminates Jaquay.)”

    Not anymore! Will you review this, Bryce? https://www.drivethrurpg.com/product/247579/The-Dragons-Secret-Dungeons-of-Doom-edition

  16. Bryce Lynch says:

    Hey, public debate time. Anyone want to tell me I’m a POS for including affiliate links to The Best and No Regerts adventures? I’m thinking about something like that because I see occasional forum threads about “whats good on Lulu?” and so on.

    • Anonymous says:

      Anything that helps support your work. You have guided me through many great game nights based on your recommendations… whatever helps pay the bills.

    • The Official RPG Reviewer Review Body, Certified Comment says:

      I mean I could if you really want me to. I wouldn’t think to on my own though. Just don’t start selling herbal Viagra, weight loss tonics and pyramid schemes for colloidal silver vitamins.

  17. 71sullivan says:

    As long as you’ve identified the links where you have affiliate connections, it’s good by me.

    • Bryce Lynch says:

      Hey, I’m placed some in the Best Of list. It’s pretty obvious; the end of the URL is “affiliate=xxx” and I don’t obfuscate the URL’s. _I_ think they are identified, how’s that sit with you?

      • Sully says:

        Honestly, I can see some people not looking at the URLs. And I can see some people not knowing what an affiliate link is.

        You might consider having some boilerplate language at the bottom of every review: “The link to the product in this review is an affiliate link. If you follow the link and buy the product, I make some money. Just thought you should know.”

        For what it’s worth, I am at the point now where I check your site for a review before I buy any module, even the ones on sale at DriveThru. So it may be worth your time, at some point, to add affiliate links to non-best-seller modules, too. Or at least the ones that show up on the Deal of the Day.

        • Bryce Lynch says:

          Good point about my own echo chamber. Let me see if I can script up something to add that to the footer and/or update the url’s.

          • Is the worry that people might think you are just pushing products so that they will click the link so you make a little money? Is the worry that people that visit here may start to think you are biased? Honestly, I wouldn’t worry about it. I think people know you are a hard ass…and that’s why people come to your site to see the reviews. If you start getting soft (i.e. trying to push links), people are going to notice by buying the product, hating it…then after awhile may think your reviews are BS.

            You got the ‘thankless’ job of being the guinea pig and buying all the random stuff…..which saves us all money. And that’s just it–you are buying the product to review it….I can’t picture you saying nice stuff about a product if you feel ripped off. So may as well try to make a little back so you can continue to get more things to review.

  18. David Baker says:

    Bryce, I seem to recall an adventure or encounter, I think it was in a magazine, that featured some sort of sleeping/meditating monk, that if disturbed, produced some sort of field that slowly brought about the end of the world, unless the PCs found someone to take his place. It sounds like something Raggi would do but I don’t think it was in any of the LotFP modules.

    Does this sound familiar? I thought you had recommended it, but I couldn’t find it in No Regrets or The Best.

  19. nerdwerds says:

    Do you ever review campaign sourcebooks?
    And, do you have a favorite campaign setting?

  20. squeen says:

    Ooh! I like the new formatting. Seriously.

  21. Yolande d’Bar says:

    Hey, Bryce, you know what would be a great addition to this page? A top-five or top-ten list of your favorite adventures purely in terms of LAYOUT/FORMATTING. And maybe another top-five in terms of descriptive language. That would be a real resource for aspiring authors. I’d be real curious to see who’s gotten closest to the Brycean user-friendly ideal.

  22. Mimir says:

    I can no longer find Gone Fishin’ anywhere. Even your review is gone! Can you give any insight to what happened to it?

    I’m glad I managed to download it – even run it once – while it still was available…

Leave a Reply