Playtest campaigns disorganized? Suggestions for a fun Fan-made one?

First off I'll say I could be way off base but the playtest campaigns seem incredibly disorganized I run a few so far and the way its organized causes so much confusion for me especially if I need to get info on something quickly.

I've started to rearrange and rewrite the whole of the camapigns (the organizing of it I mean...attempting to get Isle of Dread ready) and taking the maps and monsters from the last pages and putting them with the relevant part in the story.

Is this just me or are they pretty unusable as is for others as well...especially for people who prfer to keep most info on their PC (I hate wasting ink on a pdf usually just print out handout stuff)

To clafiry normally I would have no issue spending time to clean up this stuff but the reason I'm using pre-mades for 5e is because I don't have time to create two campaigns nor do my players and I want to stop playing my current 4e campaign.

Oh and an alternative question, know of any fun custom campaigns for 5e people wouldn't mind me using? preferably lvl 1-4ish start

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I agree with you. I ran caves of chaos and isle of dread and both of them seemed pretty disorganized and hard to use as pdfs. I think that is the nature of the beast though. They are converted old school modules. If you have ever read through an AD&D module, its pretty rough (specifically thinking of the tomb of horrors right now).

As far as your best bet, the Mines of Madness seems well organized. Its for four third level characters. Its not a full campaign though, so it might not fit to your needs though it could be worth running or at least be an inspiration.
The sandboxy nature of both Caves and Blingdenstone did require some extra manipulation on DM/player part, but I think they worked really well.

I started with Caves and then turned it into a political/social set of adventures (mostly because that's how my players wanted to play it) that my group really loved.

After they defeated the Ogre that the goblins were paying off, they were able to parlay with the goblin chief. He helped them sneak into the Hobgoblin area. Then, when the party found the prisoners in the Hobgoblin jail, they released the Orc and made friends with him. He told them that the leader of his clan and another Orc clan leader were competing to unite the two clans under one leader. When the party went over to meet with the Orc leader, he told them that the other Orc leader had stolen a totem that would get all of the Orcs to rally behind him. Then he asked the party to get it back for him. They came up with a plan that had the Orc leader call for a big meeting with all of the Orcs, at which time the party would sneak into the other cave and look for the totem.

My players loved that set of games. I think we played 4 or 5 games with the first playtest to do all of that.

Then, I used the Blingdenstone material and I also futzed with it and added an entire expedition through the Underdark to get to the trading city. At the trading city, the PCs met with the Cloaked One (the Mind Flayer) and they felt his mind sift through theirs. It was really creepy. They did business with him, but when they left, he alerted the Drow that the PCs had dealings with Blingdenstone so the entire trip back to Blingdenstone, the PCs were hunted by Drow. That also made the adventure a ton of fun.

I do admit that the way the Blingdenstone adventure was written was really awkward and difficult to use. I had to make my own notesheet and flip back and forth through the adventure a number of times to match the NPCs with the quests, etc. That was a pain.

After those two adventures, I ended up just making my own for the current playtest. I think the Mines of Madness one looks very easy to run and a bunch of fun. It is more of a straight forward dungeon crawl.


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These sandboxes intentionally require DM input to draw connections between pieces (like Taboo Island and the rakshasas, or the Shrine of Evil and the gnoll warren). This means:
A) The adventure itself can easily vary from run to run.
B) The DM has wiggle room to rework one piece without affecting the rest (harder with Expedition to the Demonweb Pits, for instance, where all the connections are prebaked-in a certain way).
I prefer drawing my own connections among provided parts, personally. This is how I prepped the Caves.

Adventures with less factions may be easier to run with less prep, like Tomb of Horrors (dungeoncrawl) or Master of the Desert Nomads (wilderness). Mud Sorcerer's Tomb required very little prep.
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