The upcoming movie Dungeons and Dragons: Honor Thieves generated a lot of enthusiasm in the J&D community, and many fans of the game are eagerly awaiting the adaptation of their favorite TTRG to the screen. While the movie aims to be enjoyable for any viewer, the game itself has considered itself a bit more niche.
With many stats and rules, not to mention the ability to play as a dungeon master, it can take a long time for someone to fully understand J&D. For players with a lot of experience, these are some of the toughest preset campaigns overall.
The Curse of Strahd
The Curse of Strahd is one of the best campaigns in 5th Edition and has grown in popularity over the past year for its gothic and vampire adventure. Although the story, like any campaign, can be changed based on the DM’s assessment of their players’ abilities, this module contains many difficult encounters that even experienced players would find challenging.
Death House is one of the hardest parts of Curse of Strahd. This introductory dungeon subjects players to dangerous encounters early in the campaign and has historically caused the deaths of many characters and even TPKs. There’s also no shortage of fearsome enemies, like Baba Lysaga and his creepy hut, which are known to be difficult to defeat.
out of the abyss
out of the abyss is a unique campaign set in the Underdark. While not a breeze for gamers, the mod has proven to be particularly challenging for DMs, as it contains a complex, open environment that can be tricky to run.
With its large amount of towns and dungeons, out of the abyss also includes a particularly high number of NPCs, which means the DM has to voice many characters. Overall, the campaign requires a lot of preparation and understanding, which can be confusing for an inexperienced dungeon master.
Waterdeep: Dragon’s Heist
deep water is a two-part adventure module based in one of the Forgotten Realms regions, which is also the known setting of honor among thieves. His first campaign dragon heistwas notoriously difficult for several reasons, one being powerful NPCs that can be particularly threatening to characters.
Although this adventure is not too complex, it can be difficult for DMs to manage. There have been some criticisms of the game’s writing, which many players feel needs some extra DM work and balancing to run smoothly.
Waterdeep: The Mad Mage’s Dungeon
The second module for deep water better suited for more experienced players, just like the first one. Mad Mage Dungeon has a perilous setting, and its vast mega-dungeons can be difficult for DMs and players to navigate.
Mad Mage Dungeon is less story-based and more prone to testing players. Its 23-level dungeon isn’t for the faint-hearted and wouldn’t suit players who aren’t well versed in the game.
Icewind Dale: Rime Of The Frostmaiden
Rime of the Frostmaiden is a horror adventure set in the arctic tundras of Icewind Dale. This is known to be reasonable for players but very difficult for DMs, who have to enforce a lot of their personal decisions instead of just spoon feeding story.
Rime of the Frostmaiden doesn’t even start with a clear intro, but with various hooks to choose from. The story itself has been criticized as being hit or miss, requiring lots of ideas and DM control in order to have a successful adventure for players.
Baldur’s Gate: Descent into Avernus
Descent into Avernus is a campaign that is a prequel to the J&D video game inspired Baldur III Gate. This mod takes players through the first level of the nine hells, and while it’s not the most difficult campaign, it’s certainly better suited to more experienced players.
The Dungeon of the Three Deaths of this module is known to be particularly brutal. Without the adjustments of an experienced DM, encounters in Descent into Avernus may prove unbalanced and too difficult for players.
Tales from the Gaping Portal
Tales from the Gaping Portal is a collection of modules for the 5th edition of J&D, and is technically more of an anthology than a single campaign. While its collection of adventures vary in difficulty, its more challenging stories are perfect for players who have plenty of gaming experience.
One of the modules of Tales from the Gaping Portal is an updated version of Tomb of Horrors, one of the deadliest adventure modules to date. It’s both difficult to learn as a DM and difficult to play, and its many traps have earned it the title of one of the hardest adventures of all time.
Storm King’s Thunder
Storm King’s Thunder is a highly rated 5th edition mod that focuses on interactions and combat with giants. It is better suited to more experienced players for several reasons, one being its combat. Of course, a giant is not an easy target for a J&D character, and the mod is known to have difficult encounters throughout the adventure.
Storm King’s Thunder can also be challenging for DMs, as its sandbox style leaves a lot of control and planning for a dungeon master. Some giants are also notorious for being unbalanced, calling for tweaking from an experienced DM.
Sometimes finding a campaign that fits J&D masters means looking into past editions. In 1988, The Bloodstone Throne was released as the end of a 4-part adventure series. It is known to be incredibly difficult, as it is packed with intense monsters that create a very high-stakes adventure.
To understand the campaign, a player should have a thorough knowledge of J&D, since it was created long before the 5th edition. It couldn’t even be played in the latest edition without serious adjustments. For example, this mod is for characters level 18-100, and 5th Edition only goes up to 20.
Tomb of Annihilation
Tomb of Annihilation is considered one of the most difficult J&D campaigns to date. He was inspired by Tomb of Horrors, what original J&D creator Gary Gygax wrote to be an ultimate test for gamers.
This campaign features many deadly forces, from the disease called Deathcurse to a deadly jungle setting. Tomb of Annihilation holds the title of the most tested adventure module to date, because Wizards of the Coast was afraid that it would not be possible to survive.
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