Best Level 1 Adventures for 5e DnD

In a world of mighty dragons and great giants, many if not all would say it would be a great feat to bring down. But with every hero starts a story of a humble adventurer and their party. Delve into such a journey through your first adventure and reap what it has to yield as you progress.

General Information

What to consider when making a level 1 adventure?

  • Simplicity and Focus: Level 1 adventures should be straightforward and focused to introduce new players to the game mechanics and allow them to learn and make decisions without overwhelming complexity. Try keeping the story and objectives clear and concise so that players can have more freedom to explore what they can and cannot do.
  • Low-Level Challenges: Remember that level 1 playable characters are still inexperienced and have limited abilities, so it may not be the brightest of ideas to put them up against an ancient dragon or deep into the depths of the Nine Hells. It’s important to assure that the challenges they face should be appropriate to their level. Design encounters with low-level monsters, traps, and puzzles that provide a sense of accomplishment when overcome. You can even use an encounter calculator to assure that the difficulty is reasonable for your party.
  • Varied Gameplay Elements: Incorporate a mix of combat encounters, exploration, role-playing interactions, and puzzles to engage players in different ways. This helps create a well-rounded adventure and appeals to different player preferences.
  • Clear Objectives: Provide the players with clear goals and objectives from the start. This could be a task assigned by an NPC, a treasure to retrieve, a mystery to solve, or a threat to eliminate. Clear objectives give players a sense of purpose and direction.
  • Hooks and Motivations: Develop compelling hooks and motivations to get the players invested in the adventure. Consider personal connections to the story, emotional stakes, or appealing rewards to engage the players and encourage their investment in the adventure. By also incorporating your players’ backstories into the mix of your adventures, it can further motivate them to delve deeper into the world that you have created.
  • Opportunities for Role-Playing: Level 1 adventures are an excellent opportunity for players to develop and build more onto their characters’ personalities and backgrounds. Include NPCs with whom players can interact, allowing them to engage in role-playing and decision-making that can have an impact on the story.
  • Progressive Challenges: Create a sense of progression and growth for the players by gradually increasing the difficulty of encounters or introducing new challenges as the adventure unfolds. This allows the players to see their characters evolve and develop over the course of the adventure.
  • Rewarding Progress: Ensure that players are appropriately rewarded for their accomplishments. This can include experience points, treasure, unique items, or new allies. Rewards help to reinforce a sense of achievement and progression.
best level 1 adventures

Level 1 Adventures to Try

Try out these adventures for you and your party! Whether you want to start with official material or explore more with something more experimental, these adventures are suitable for a level one party. Feel free to adjust these short adventures as needed to suit you and your party’s tale and preference.

1. The Lost Mine of Phandelver

The Lost Mine of Phandelver is a game dedicated to real beginners as it’s an included treat in the official Dungeons and Dragons Starter Set. In this adventure, the adventurers are tasked with finding the lost mine of Phandelver, which is rumored to be filled with valuable treasures.

They start in the town of Neverwinter and follow clues to the nearby town of Phandalin. Along the way, they encounter goblins, bandits, and traps as they navigate through a series of dungeons and wilderness encounters.

The adventure culminates in a climactic battle against a powerful villain who seeks to claim the mine for themselves. So, if you are looking for an introductory piece to bring your players, especially newbies, into the world of Dungeons and Dragons, this might be just for you!

2. Curse of Strahd

The Curse of a Strahd is a classic gothic horror-themed adventure module where your party members can start humbly at level 1 and progress up to level 10. The adventure first takes you to the village of Barovia, a region located in Ravenloft.

The players must navigate the treacherous landscapes, haunted villages, and foreboding castles of Barovia to unravel the secrets of Strahd’s curse and find a way to escape. Throughout their journey, the players encounter various non-player characters, each with their own stories and motivations.

They must gain their trust, forge alliances, and gather information to aid them in their quest. The central goal of the adventure is to locate and confront Strahd in Castle Ravenloft, his foreboding fortress perched atop a hill. Consider this module, if you’re looking to start out in a darker world filled with mystery and intrigue.

3. Dragon of Icespire Peak

Found in the official Dungeons and Dragons Essential Kit, Dragon of Icespire Peak, is an introductory adventure for both Dungeon Master and player newbies. The party is brought to the town of Phandalin where the players are tasked with assisting the townsfolk as part of a local adventuring guild known as the Order of the Gauntlet.

They receive a job board containing various quests, including investigating the mysterious disappearance of a dragon known as Cryovain, who has been terrorizing the area. As the adventure progresses, the party has the opportunity to uncover the secrets of the dragon and its lair, facing off against it in an epic battle.

The Dragon of Icespire Peak module offers a balanced mix of combat encounters, exploration, and role-playing opportunities, making it suitable for both new and even experienced players to enjoy. 

top Level 1 Adventures for 5e DnD

Homebrew D&D Adventures

The Haunted Manor

  • XP to award: 200 XP (50 XP each)
  • Quest Reward: 250 gold pieces 
  • Loot Reward: 1d4 zombified hands (Acts as an arcane focus when casting necromancy spells.)

A clergy is desperate for someone to investigate the supernatural phenomena going on in their neighboring graveyard on the outskirts of a village. They call upon the party for aid to put whatever monstrosity that has been lurking about to rest.

As the party explores the graveyard, they will encounter restless spirits, hidden traps, and puzzles that must be solved to uncover the truth behind the strange phenomena. The adventure concludes with a combat encounter against four zombies that have risen from their graves.

The Goblin’s Lair

  • XP to award: 200 XP (50 XP each)
  • Quest Reward: 250 gold pieces 
  • Loot Reward: 1d4 tattered scimitars, 1d4 tattered shortbows, and 1d8 goblin ears (acts as a trophy for bounty hunters and adventurers)

In a small yet rising settlement, the party has heard the word from the settlers that of a group of goblins that has been terrorizing the area. The party has gotten a tip that the group of goblins has taken over an abandoned mine nearby.

With a handsome award from the settlement’s leader to clear out the goblin infestation and reclaim the mine, the party must navigate the treacherous tunnels, facing traps, ambushes, and cunning goblin warriors.

The climax of the adventure takes place in the heart of the goblin’s lair, where the adventurers confront the goblin leader and free the village from their grasp.

The Bandit’s Hideout

  • XP to award: 150 XP (30 XP each)
  • Quest Reward: 200 gold pieces 
  • Loot Reward: 1d6 set of tattered leather armors, 1d6 tattered scimitars, 1d6 light crossbows, and 1d6 bandit codes (a password or symbol that allows entrance to certain circles)

The adventure begins with the players learning of a notorious bandit gang that has been terrorizing the region, raiding caravans, and kidnapping villagers.

The adventurers are commissioned by the local authorities to infiltrate the bandit’s hideout and put an end to their criminal activities in exchange for good coin. The party must scout the area and gather intelligence to find more information on the bandits and their hideout before they can plan their assault.

Inside the hideout, they face traps, guards, and six bandits. Success brings justice and rewards for their valor.

Best Level 1 Adventures 5e DnD


There are a lot of things to consider when bringing your level 1 party into the world of Dungeons and Dragons. In creating a homebrew adventure, there are things to take into account from setting up the monsters for combat to creating interesting puzzles for the Dungeon Master it can be sometimes an overwhelming feat to achieve.

Thus, it is important to start small when bringing in your friends to the world that you’ve created. But if you find starting out in a world originally made by you to be intimidating, don’t be afraid to try out the official Dungeons and Dragons content or even ones made by other creators.

Take your level 1 adventure as a pivot to start your story and have fun with it. The world that will unfold is for you and your dear party to enjoy and explore, so take it one step at a time.

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