Dungeons & Dragons is more popular than ever, which makes it a great time to start playing. Or StartPlaying, in this case, as we have a friendly group of expert GMs ready to run a variety of beginner-friendly sessions. But with so many different settings, hardcover campaigns, and play styles out there, it can be hard for both player and DM to pick the right first time game.
Dungeon Masters Guild is a great resource as it presents customers with a library of modules, mini-adventures made to be completed in one session. DMs Guild modules are especially compatible with Adventurers League, the standardized organization of D&D play. AL-branded mods are created with a 4-hour maximum playtime in mind so that players can fit them around their busy schedules. Below I’ve listed several of my favorite DMs Guild modules for beginner players.
Peculiar Case of The Selptan Felines
I’ll get my biggest bias out of the way first; Selptan Felines establishes a bizarre mystery around a town controlled by cats - not sentient cat people, but actual cats that have bent the populace to their will. This mod is great for beginners because it gets them using all three of D&D’s core pillars: there’s combat against bandits, exploration used to locate important clues, and roleplay to communicate with the new cat overlords. Upon completion, players will also get a memorable reward that they will want to carry with them for the rest of their adventures.
In The Face Of Fear
The best way to introduce people to D&D is often with a very simple story, a quest with a straightforward goal. Then, if they want more, you can end the adventure on a cliffhanger, with their goal just out of reach. In the Face of Fear is the perfect example of such a story.
The player characters are hired by servants of the lawful god Torm to retrieve the Tenets of Bane, discs that carry an evil god’s power. They face hard travel, combat, and a test of character on the way. There’s enough excitement in this mod to give players a satisfying D&D session, but the true joy is how it connects to 7 other mods. If players like, In the Face of Fear can extend into a mini-campaign centered around the party’s battle against Bane cultists.
The Black Road
Keeping up with the theme of straightforward quests, The Black Road has players escorting a caravan on a desert road plagued by monster attacks. This mod is the perfect mix of classic D&D and creative encounters. Players will face the standard goblin attack (always great as a tutorial fight) as well as more open-ended challenges like a sandstorm that threatens to sweep their goods away. The final encounter comes down to a branching path, which always makes it more fun for DMs.
A Dragon’s Breath
If your players are more into the roleplay, this is the mod for them. A Dragon’s Breath tells a very touching story about an aged dragon who would like to make amends with an old friend. This more personal quest has tugged at the heartstrings of many reviewers, proving that an adventure doesn’t need world-ending villains to weave a compelling yarn. There is plenty of epic adventure to be had, however, with tough monster battles, an airborne chase, and a dramatic ending that sets up for future quests.
The Lost Caravan is the mod you want to play if everyone at the table is a beginner. The setup is both flexible and extremely simple: there’s a trade route with a cave full of goblins off to the side. It’s a “dungeon crawl” in the most basic of terms, with its structure existing to show new players how to deal with traps, puzzles, and the flow of combat. The creator even included pre-generated characters and notes on how to play them. This one is perfect for getting a group of kids into D&D.
You could also just have a professional run you through their tried-and-true beginner adventures. We have quite a few of those on StartPlaying, click here to learn more!