Adventure Shorts Volume 1 is a 20-page PDF released by R&D D&D Adventures for the new edition of D&D. It contains five short adventures for the game, each designed for 4-5 level one characters.
In practice, it contains five two-page adventure, reproductions of the maps suitable for handouts or reproduction as a battle grid, and an introduction and title page. The whole is very nicely formatted; the maps are basic but entirely functional (which is not always the case – I put a high premium on useable maps).
The first adventure, “Forgotten Tomb” is also available on DriveThruRPG as a free download, so you can get an idea what you’re in for with this product. Basically, each is a single-combat adventure with a small amount of exploration.
The initial release of the product has a problem: Adventure #3 is printed twice and Adventure #2 does not appear. Due to the glories of the electronic product, fixing this will not likely cause much of a problem. I hope it happens sooner rather than later!
The adventures in this release are:
#1: Forgotten Tomb
#2: missing (should be Ambush)
#3: Abandoned Mine
#4: Old Cottage
#5: Black Tower
There’s not really that much to say about the adventures. They’re all perfectly competent, although their structure is basic to say the least. You find an adventure location, you defeat the bad guys, explore a little, and take the loot. It’s the stuff of many D&D campaigns. There’s a good amount of descriptive text and a number of things to poke. The fifth adventure even has a riddle (although I found it extremely basic). The main problem with this product is due to how short each adventure is; there’s no time to really develop the ideas and expand them into an entire session. I think you’d be lucky to get an hour out of each adventure. Each individual adventure doesn’t even fill two pages!
Shawn Merwin set the bar high for short adventures with his Defiance in Phlan adventure for the D&D Adventurers League. These don’t get close to the quality of that set of adventures. There’s potential here, but I’d really like the adventures to be a little bit longer with more exploration and interaction. They’re perfectly fine adventures; I am just hoping for more.
At $5, Adventure Shorts, Volume 1 is likely over-costed, but you may find it of value.