D&D: The Best Starter Adventures For New Players
Are you new to D&D? Know someone who is? Here are five of the best starter adventures for any newbie to cut their teeth on.
D&D is waxing gibbous right now. With its popularity soaring to an all-time high, more and more people are sitting down to play D&D, or are coming back to D&D. Whether you’re a new player, or just someone looking to start a new game that won’t immediately crash and burn, here’s a look at five of the best starting adventures, so that you might know where to begin your next campaign.
Lost Mine of Phandelver
The Lost Mine of Phandelver was the original 5th Edition starter adventure. Included in the D&D Starter Set, this adventure takes players to the city of Phandalin in search of completing a job. As far as starter adventures go, it has a lot to offer new players, though the beginning is kinda clunky. Characters are expected to leap right into the thick of things, and the adventure keeps the party on rails for a fair chunk of it – which isn’t a bad thing. Having some structure, especially for a group of all-new players, is a great way to jump right into it. Dungeon crawling, roleplaying, it’s all there.
Waterdeep: Dragon Heist
But if you’d like your players to have a little more freedom, you might consider Waterdeep: Dragon Heist. Again, the adventure is kind of on rails, but you are given a great deal more freedom to play around with it and make it your own. Admittedly that’s still a bit of work for the DM, but even if you don’t, Dragon Heist is a great way to introduce players to the idea that they don’t have to fight even high level monsters head-on and expect to win. Rather, players are encouraged to seek out help from Waterdeep’s cadre of high-level characters as they rub elbows with movers and shakers and a million or so gold coins.
This is a perfect adventure for new players AND new GMs. The whole module is set up to teach the GM how to run it, as well as teaching the players how to survive it. As you venture into the dungeon section, it provides a lot of context and narrative, making sure that everything fits together thematically.
Dragon of Icespire Peak
This is the adventure pulled from the D&D Essentials Kit, which is the recent starter set put out by WotC. This one features an updated, slightly expanded character creation section that’s designed to get players right into making their own characters and their own decisions. Icespire Peak is interested in making sure that players have fun playing their characters over the course of the adventure, and that puts it near the top of our list.
Sinister Secret of Saltmarsh
But the top spot, for us, belongs to the Sinister Secret of Saltmarsh. Revamped for 5th Edition, this follows a series of modules from the old Saltmarsh modules, which sends players on a wide-reaching ride. This is such a fantastic adventure; the whole book it’s in is well put together. It doesn’t hide the fact that the lead on this book was a UX designer before she switched to working for WotC. Instead players are given a wide range of things to do, people to meet, and local town events to get wrapped up in. I love this adventure because of its sandbox-y nature, as well as the interesting, multipart story contained within.
What’s your favorite starter adventure? Let us know in the comments!