10 Beginner-Friendly Dungeons & Dragons Campaigns For Your Next Tabletop Adventure

Like a director crafting a movie or an author charting the next chapter in a novel, a classic tabletop adventure game cannot do without a Dungeon Master or DM to carve out the intricate details of an ongoing adventure, and organise multiple players and adventures within a game.

But not everyone has what it takes to guide a ragtag band of merry adventurers… or do they? With plenty of imagination and some guidance, it’s relatively simple enough to start small adventure, and if you’re a newly minted Dungeon Master looking to run a beginner campaign, or a new player wanting to try out playing Dungeons & Dragons (D&D), the sheer amount of adventures you can choose from might be intimidating – which is why we’ve compiled a list of beginner-friendly D&D adventures. 

As a gauge, D&D still goes up to level 20. Player levels 1 to 4 are for players just starting out their adventure and getting used to the world of D&D, while levels 5 to 8 establish players as frequent adventurers who could be regarded as folk heroes towards level 8. From levels 9 to 20 are the big, world-altering quests that pit players directly against gods and malevolent entities. 

Spanning across a range of genres, it’s time to choose your next adventure.

1. Phandelver and Below: The Shattered Obelisk

A good starting point into the world of D&D, the Lost Mines of Phandelver is set in the city of Neverwinter, where players are tasked with an escort mission to Phandalin. This adventure is specially designed for beginner players up to level 5, and introduces players to all the important mechanics of the game, with a few intriguing twists along the way. 

Most Dungeon Masters run Lost Mines of Phandelver for beginner players, and it was also previously included as an official Starter Set adventure, making it a good entry point to familiarize players with the rules and mechanics of the game. The newest edition of the adventure, Phandelver and Below: The Shattered Obelisk includes the Lost Mines quest, as well as a continuation of the adventure into the Underdark.

Recommended Levels: 1 to 5

2. Spelljammer: Adventures in Space

If the opening act to a grand space opera is more your style, Spelljammer: Adventures in Space teleports you to a vast galaxy where anything is possible. The introductory adventure, Spelljammer Academy: Orientation has a unique hook – it’s set in an academy in space, which gives you freedom to ‘sci-fi’ the setting, and create characters from any realm you want to pull them from. Players are new cadets attending Spelljammer Academy that eventually get caught up in a conspiracy with larger consequences for the academy, and might just become galactic heroes. 

Fans of Star Wars and Star Trek will enjoy this adventure, packed with plenty of role-playing opportunities for political intrigue, exploring new planets, and eventually, in the Light of Xaryxis campaign, space dragons. 

Recommended Levels: 1 to 5

3. The Wild Beyond The Witchlight

For those looking for a whimsical adventure, The Wild Beyond The Witchlight delivers a delightfully fun experience in the Witchlight Carnival, where players must retrieve something personal that they’ve lost in the carnival when they were children, only they’re adults now, and have a hazy memory of visiting the carnival. With an intriguing hook that draws players in, you’ll definitely want to add this one to your list.

Players new to the role-playing aspect of D&D can immerse themselves in it as the campaign is largely player-driven, and is relatively low-combat compared to more intense adventures. The official set also includes non-player-character (NPC) cards with information and dialogue prompts, perfect for Dungeon Masters who are just starting out and intimidated by roleplaying NPCs.

Recommended Levels: 1 to 8

 4. Dungeons & Dragons vs Rick and Morty 

Yep, you read it right: Dungeons & Dragons vs Rick and Morty is possibly one of D&D’s wildest adventures. The helpful guide is narrated by Rick himself, who gives insightful and hilarious step-by-step tutorials on rules and mechanics. In Rick’s words, “Roll the dice. Get stupid.” 

Explore the Lost Dungeon of Rickedness: Big Rick Energy, which takes players on a ride through a twisting maze of 39 dungeons, with familiar mechanics and characters from the show making an appearance, much like the show itself. The set also includes a folding Dungeon Master screen, pre-made character sheets, and dice, so you’ll be ready to go almost immediately.

Recommended Levels: 1 to 3

5. Waterdeep: Dragon Heist 

Combining ancient dragons and a thrilling caper, Waterdeep: Dragon Heist is an adventure filled with chaos and political intrigue. Players must mediate a conflict between rival factions, and embark on a treasure hunt, but the gold isn’t all that’s at stake. Packed with action at every turn, this adventure is for those who love a good heist.

It’s a more roleplay-heavy quest, and players will need to use their wit and stealth to defeat enemies rather than hacking and slashing (it is a heist, after all). There’s plenty to do in this grand city, and the limit is your imagination. 

Recommended Levels: 1 to 5

6. Journeys Through the Radiant Citadel

No adventure is the same in Journeys Through the Radiant Citadel, which is a mysterious city on the Ethereal Plane, a hub between worlds. With an anthology-style format, thirteen adventures tell different stories, and each adventure is tailored to the players’ current level. 

The first adventure, Salted Legacy, is a wrong turn into a night market which draws players into a conflict between vendors, and a mysterious saboteur, with a good mix of combat and role-playing opportunities.

Recommended Levels: 1 to 14

7. Explorer’s Guide To Wildemount

D&D stream Critical Role has also come up with its own sourcebooks, and Explorer’s Guide To Wildemount is the perfect introduction to D&D if you enjoyed The Legend Of Vox Machina, though this adventure is set in the world of the second campaign. DMs can choose from various adventures depending on player interest, and each adventure has different adversaries and plots in store.

The adventures included in the sourcebook are specifically written for beginner players, taking your party on a journey across the frozen tundra of Eiselcross or to a lively festival gone wrong in the heart of the Dwendalian Empire, visiting iconic locations in Exandria. 

Recommended Levels: 1 to 3

8. Candlekeep Mysteries

beginner friendly D&D

Solve seventeen mysteries in the massive citadel of Candlekeep or a mysterious library, as your party unravels the truth behind the walls of the city. Whether it’s stopping a curse or exploring a mysterious demiplane, this adventure allows for plenty of freedom to explore a unique setting without it getting too complicated.

The first Level 1 adventure, The Joy of Extradimensional Spaces, takes players on a quest to find a missing mage, set in a mansion where puzzles and enemies await. The combat in this quest is relatively easy, allowing plenty of opportunities to interact with the space around them.

Recommended Levels: 1 to 17

9. Dragon Of Icespire Peak

beginner friendly D&D

This adventure is included in the D&D Essentials Kit, so it’s a safe bet for Dungeon Masters running their first game. Set in Phandalin, this adventure will take your party on a quest of their choosing to various locations in town, or to the treacherous mines. The narrative is broken up into various ‘quests’, making stopping points and difficulty levels easier for first-time players to manage.

The starter set comes with dice, a Dungeon Master’s screen, maps, cards for magic items and pre-made character sheets, and is officially recommended for beginner players and new Dungeon Masters.

Recommended Levels: 1 to 6

10. Tales From The Yawning Portal

beginner friendly D&D

Your adventure will take you across seven of the deadliest dungeons across the history of D&D in Tales From The Yawning Portal, which features iconic adventures, and even more fearsome monsters. While that might seem like an intimidating challenge, there’s an adventure for every player level, taking players from levels 1 to 20. 

The first adventure written for the third edition of Dungeons & Dragons and updated for the current fifth edition, The Sunless Citadel, designed for 1st to 3rd level players is included as a starting point, where your party faces monstrous threats and ancient traps in a fortress lost to time. It’s great for continuity too, which ends in the legendary Tomb of Horrors.for seasoned adventurers. 

Recommended Levels: 1 to 20

Bonus: Curse of Strahd

beginner friendly D&D

The classic adventure might not be a first pick for new Dungeon Masters, it’s a surprisingly easy and interesting campaign to run. Dark themes and gothic horror run throughout Curse of Strahd, so if you’ve got friends who are horror enthusiasts, then it’s a great starting point. Dungeon Masters can choose from establishing adventure hooks to bring the player characters together, and then play the introductory ‘Death House’ adventure designed for levels 1 to 3, which has players explore an abandoned, haunted townhouse filled with spirits, rituals, and a dark tale.

Recommended Levels: 1 to 10

So, what are you waiting for? Your first Dungeons & Dragons adventure beckons in these ten unique and beginner-friendly D&D campaigns!