The Best One-Shots for Level 1 Characters in 5e DnD

One-shots in Dungeons and Dragons 5th Edition offer players a way to learn the game’s ropes, explore new classes and roles, and have fun within a shorter contained adventure as opposed to playing in a main campaign that can take more than a year to complete.

Many new players will find enjoyment in lower-level one-shots where they are able to exercise their strategies without worrying too much about logistics with the actual class themselves, and while level 1 can prove to be challenging in its own way, the enemies tend to not be as punishing as a mid or high-level enemy will be. Whether you are a new or veteran player, this article will guide you through the best one-shots for level 1 characters in Dungeons and Dragons

We will cover “The Lost Mines of Phandelver,” an iconic adventure to introduce players, “A Most Potent Brew,” a more whimsical setting for the lighthearted players, “The Sunless Citadel,” a serious setting with old-school D&D energy, “Wolves of Welton,” a mystery adventure with multiple options of play, “The Delian Tomb,” a classic heroes tale for beginner players, “Secrets of Sokol Keep,” an adventure for players that want to earn lots of loot for their rewards, and “The Master’s Vault,” an adventure full of puzzles and demanding of players’ skill to think critically and reason through logic.

Each of these will entice specific types of players, but all of them function the same as introductions to the game and as a means to gather players to a table.

The Best One-Shots for Level 1 Characters in 5e DnD

1. The Lost Mines of Phandelver

The tale of “The Lost Mines of Phandelver” unfurls as an iconic introduction for level 1 adventurers, set within the sprawling expanse of the Forgotten Realms. Envisioned to accommodate any class or character build, this one-shot whisks players away on an exhilarating pursuit—a quest to reclaim lost treasure while thwarting the sinister forces scheming for its control.

Due to the accommodations and simple nature of the adventure, players should be encouraged to experiment with ideas they have not utilized before or to work out of their comfort zone with the roles they choose to play. 

Balanced Encounters

The heart of this adventure beats with encounters meticulously calibrated to introduce fledgling players to combat mechanics. Facing an array of challenges, from wily goblins to lurking spiders, participants can also find themselves in a face-off with a menacing dragon. The dynamic nature of encounters tests the mettle of parties and imparts invaluable lessons on strategic cooperation.

Exploration and Role-Playing

Immerse yourself in the rich lore of the Forgotten Realms as the adventure unfolds, fostering exploration and interaction with a host of non-playable characters (NPCs). The intricate city of Phandalin beckons players to explore its nooks and crannies, offering a fully-fledged urban experience that enriches role-playing opportunities.

Engaging Storyline

Beyond combat and character mechanics, “The Lost Mines of Phandelver” casts a mesmerizing narrative that twists and turns with compelling mystery. From the enigmatic Rockseeker brothers to the shadowy Black Spider, every thread of the story weaves into an unforgettable tapestry that keeps players engaged from the opening moments to the climactic finale.

2. A Most Potent Brew

“A Most Potent Brew” extends a jovial invitation to novices, beckoning them to partake in a lighthearted and humorous foray into the realm of Dungeons & Dragons. The adventure’s whimsical setting comes alive as players traverse a town renowned for its affinity for potion brewing.

Vibrant Setting

Inhabiting a town pulsating with the vibrant hues of eccentric characters and comedic scenarios, “A Most Potent Brew” stands as a testament to the art of extroverted role-playing. As players engage with townsfolk, they unlock the gateway to extroverted character interactions, where diplomacy and persuasion reign supreme.

Unveiling Mysteries

Beyond the laughter-inducing setting, a mystery waits to unravel—a magical potion gone awry. The crux of this adventure lies in investigative problem-solving scenarios that transcend mere combat and dice rolls. Unraveling the strands of the potion’s puzzle sets players on a journey to rectify the chaos it has unleashed.

The Best One-Shots for Level 1 Characters

3. The Sunless Citadel

Venturing into the cavernous recesses of “The Sunless Citadel” transports fledgling adventurers into the heart of a forgotten stronghold now teeming with goblins, kobolds, and other malevolent creatures. This classic one-shot perfectly captures the essence of exploration and dungeon crawling, while illuminating dynamic factions and tantalizing rewards.

Dungeon-Crawling Experience

“The Sunless Citadel” serves as an epitome of dungeon-crawling escapades. Players navigate a series of interconnected chambers, each harboring traps, puzzles, and treasures. Whether experiencing the adventure in person or through virtual realms, the map resources available amplify the genuine feel of navigating a labyrinthine fortress.

Dynamic Factions

Within the heart of the citadel, two warring factions vie for supremacy. This intriguing dynamic fuels negotiation, alliances, and skirmishes against various groups of creatures. With prior knowledge of the adventure, Dungeon Masters can introduce challenges that enhance gameplay—be it a pacifist approach or a total elimination run.

Rewarding Exploits

A hallmark of this adventure is its offering of rewards, available at strategic junctures. Unlike other one-shots where treasures often become mere curiosities, “The Sunless Citadel” empowers players to harness these riches during the mission. The allocation of rewards is guided by decision-making, culminating in a dynamic journey that paves the way for potential campaign continuation.

4. Wolves of Welton

The “Wolves of Welton” adventure presents itself as an immersive and slightly more demanding one-shot for players’ level 1 characters. With a balance of mystery, moral dilemmas, and nonlinear gameplay, the adventure itself unfolds through the plot of a village dealing with inexplicable attacks on its people and animals. Players are thrust into an intriguing mystery enveloped in many unknown factors, and multiple perspectives can be found from just a single playthrough.

Intriguing Mystery

Delving into the heart of the wolf attacks, the truth remains shrouded in ambiguity. Players’ investigative approach and their interpretation of outcomes amplify the suspenseful storyline. The adventure’s twists and turns intertwine to captivate players and keep them engrossed.

Moral Dilemmas

Ethical crossroads define “Wolves of Welton,” summoning players into the realm of moral choices. The adventure underscores the significance of role-playing and character evolution, making it a narrative haven for those who delight in philosophical exploration. The richness of experience extends to players of various temperaments, ensuring no one is excluded.

Nonlinear Gameplay

The adventure’s most notable trait lies in its allowance for nonlinear investigation. Players are bestowed with the freedom to chart their own course, forging multiple paths and possibilities based on their decisions. This distinctive feature contributes to an enriching challenge for Dungeon Masters and a delightful surprise for the adventuring party.

5. The Delian Tomb

As the sun casts its amber glow on a quaint village, whispers of an ancient tomb’s treasures stir the hearts of adventurers. “The Delian Tomb” beckons level 1 characters to embark on a journey of valor and discovery. Crafted by renowned Dungeon Master Matt Colville, this one-shot serves as an ideal initiation into the world of Dungeons & Dragons.

Rise to Valor

Amidst the tranquil village of Delian, a call to valor resounds. As novice adventurers, players must rise to the challenge, venturing into the tomb’s depths to unravel its mysteries and claim its hidden rewards. This quest for valor mirrors the essence of a classic D&D narrative.

Guiding the Novice

“The Delian Tomb” thoughtfully introduces players to quintessential D&D mechanics, offering a gentle learning curve for those new to the game. Through intuitive encounters and engaging puzzles, Dungeon Masters guide players on a journey of discovery, empowering them to master the foundations of gameplay.

A Dungeon Master’s Canvas

Beyond its role as an entry point for beginners, “The Delian Tomb” provides Dungeon Masters with a versatile canvas. With room for customization and expansion, seasoned DMs can infuse their creative spirit, enhancing the adventure to suit their group’s preferences and play style.

6. Secrets of Sokol Keep

As the sun casts its golden embrace over the realms, “Secrets of Sokol Keep” beckons aspiring adventurers to its enigmatic doorstep. Designed to introduce both players and Dungeon Masters to the art of role-playing, this one-shot evokes a sense of nostalgia with its old-school ambiance. For those seeking a taste of traditional fantasy quests, “Secrets of Sokol Keep” stands as a welcoming guidepost.

Narrative Journey

The adventure’s narrative prowess shines through as players embark on a classic mission—to retrieve a stolen item and restore it to its rightful place. Rooted in simplicity, this premise unveils an immersive journey that fuses traditional storytelling with modern dynamics.

Role-Playing Opportunities

Eager to weave the fabric of role-playing, “Secrets of Sokol Keep” introduces players to a host of NPCs, each with their own intricate stories and motivations. As the adventure unfolds, interactions with these characters cast a spotlight on diplomacy, persuasion, and the art of shaping narrative through character choices.

A Glimpse into Old-School Fantasy

Imbued with a touch of nostalgia, “Secrets of Sokol Keep” provides players with a glimpse into the essence of classic fantasy quests. Echoes of legendary tales beckon as players traverse the landscape, engaging with iconic elements that resonate with both newcomers and seasoned adventurers.

7. The Master’s Vault

The Master’s Vault grants players more puzzle work than most one-shots attempt to offer. For the sake of balance, combat and rest points are much more scarce, but players will still be able to make the most of their time in the vault by challenging themselves to think critically and abstractly within the adventure’s engaging puzzle mechanics.

Along with this, the arcane wonders presented via the Dungeon Master’s own flavoring as well as the dynamic exploration available will act as lures for players to sink their teeth into, creating interest and capitalizing upon intrigue. 

Engaging Puzzles

The allure of “The Master’s Vault” resides in its captivating puzzles that transcend the boundaries of conventional challenges. Delving into an enigmatic vault, players find themselves entwined in a web of magical enigmas that demand astute observation, deduction, and collaborative problem-solving. From deciphering cryptic runes to unraveling the labyrinthine secrets of the vault, every puzzle rewards tenacity and wit.

Arcane Wonders

Arcana comes alive within “The Master’s Vault,” offering spellcasters a stage to demonstrate their mastery of the arcane arts. As adventurers navigate the mystic landscape, they grapple with spells, glyphs, and enchantments that challenge their magical prowess. The adventure’s arcane tapestry extends an invitation to unravel its threads, inspiring awe and wonder.

Dynamic Exploration

“The Master’s Vault” embarks on a journey of exploration that transcends the physical realm. Venturing into the arcane vault, players traverse landscapes that seamlessly blend the ethereal and the corporeal. The narrative’s fluidity and flexibility grant players the freedom to chart their course, making choices that reverberate throughout the adventure.

A Nexus of Intrigue

Beneath the surface of magic and mystery lies an intricate web of intrigue and narrative depth. “The Master’s Vault” beckons players to embrace their inner detective as they unravel a tale interwoven with secrets, alliances, and unforeseen twists. Every interaction and decision peels back layers of a story that challenges perceptions and beckons exploration.

Conclusion on best lvl 1 one shots in 5e 

One-shots provide players with a vast expanse of new ways to play and experiment with how Dungeons and Dragons operates at the base level. Many players enjoy opting for homebrew content when creating their campaigns, but having a solid foundation in official content can support both players and Dungeon Masters alike, especially those new to their role. In this article, we covered multiple one-shots over a broad range of settings, themes, and focus points. 

You can pick one to use as an entrance into D&D by teaching the rules and flow of combat, as a prequel or starting point to a larger campaign, or even as a self-contained mission within the greater world of an existing campaign. Perhaps you opt for none of these, but even so, if you are hoping to play through a level 1 one-shot, these are the best the core content has to offer. With a multiverse of content in the palm of your hands, these choices will continue to act as the cream of the crop when creating unforgettable memories.