My group is playing through Candlekeep, which consists of 17 different 'Mysteries', each tied to a book that the party finds in Candlekeep.

Only one of us is an experienced DM, but we agreed it would be fun to spread out the DMing across the different 'Mysteries'.

So, we want to decide which of the Mysteries appeals to each of us, to run. But the published non-spoiler information that we could find isn't very helpful.

e.g. for the first Mystery we've got:

From the summary page of the CandleKeep source book

A book leads characters on a quest to find a missing sage.

And from here

the adventurers get stuck in a Mordenkainen's Magnificent Mansion.

So far we're most of the way through the first 'Mystery', and whilst the text from the above link is accurate, it wasn't very helpful for us to individually decide if it was a 'Mystery' we wanted to DM.

I would have wanted:

An escape-room-esque puzzle adventure, entirely set within a small mansion, found extra-dimensionally within the library. Moderately frequent minor combat. Very minor interpersonal interactions.

Could you please give a summary which outlines what sort of mechanics and type of adventure each 'Mystery' is giving (eg. the scale of the environment that the players are exploring? and the combat/social/exploration distribution?), but without anything that gives spoilers (for the players that don't end up DM-ing each 'Mystery').

Currently we've created a party of 3 level-5 PCs, and are looking at playing the first 4-6 Mysteries (in the knowledge that we should be drastically over-powered, giving the new DMs a nice big safety net). If anyone wanted to offer summaries for just the first few Mysteries that would still be very helpful.

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    \$\begingroup\$ If this isn’t shopping, it’s still entirely opinion based and should be closed. What makes a good summary? What criteria are voters supposed to use to judge answers? \$\endgroup\$ Commented Apr 20, 2021 at 10:35
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Brondahl No. I am suggesting that what you are asking for is something that is lacking from the publisher. I completely get what your problem is, to solve. What you are asking someone to do is spend their time and effort to read through all 20 adventures and then give you a summary based on your criteria. In my opinion, that's a little bit out of scope for SE sites, and that's why I made the comment that I did. This question might be a better fit at a discussion forum. That said, a number of the experienced users here are on the fence. Would you care to join us Role-playing Games Chat ? \$\endgroup\$ Commented Apr 20, 2021 at 13:48
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    \$\begingroup\$ On the other hand, some questions are hard to answer, and need to wait for someone who can rise to the occasion on their own initiative. Close vote removed for the time being. Might need some more focus: for example, what level is everyone now? Maybe scoping this to the first six would be an easier bite to digest? \$\endgroup\$ Commented Apr 20, 2021 at 13:51
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    \$\begingroup\$ How does this stack feel about community wiki answers? e.g. I post my example above for Mystery 1, then individual users who have played Mystery X can edit in their inputs for that single Mystery. \$\endgroup\$
    – Brondahl
    Commented Apr 20, 2021 at 14:27
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    \$\begingroup\$ There was a suggestion in chat to reframe your question to "we have this situation, we don't want to self-spoil the adventures. How can we solve this?" This would be significantly more stackable and allow for experience to contribute towards quality answers. I suggest you take this approach. I also suggest that this question should be closed until such an edit can be made, to prevent low quality or contentions answers. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Apr 20, 2021 at 17:28

1 Answer 1


Your problem, as I see it is:

You have a group running through a hardcover set of adventures with rotating DMs, who would like to preserve the mystery of each sub-adventure for those who will be playing, while also having enough information to make informed decisions on which sub-adventures each person who wants to is comfortable to DM.

Broadly, I can see two solutions to your conundrum:

  • Get, as you've surmised, spoiler free summaries that set expectations for each sub-adventure.
  • Find a trusted third party who knows you and the other DMs/players in the game and their stengths & weaknesses as DMs, to read through the hardcover in it's entirety and assign the adventures to individuals to run. As this person is a third party, the spoiler issue is resolved.

I can't help with finding a suitable third party, but I can use my experience as a DM and player to provide some summaries. As such my plan is to add to this answer in the future with additional summaries (time permitting), I'll start with the second.

Mystery 2 (2nd level):

A detective like adventure requiring investigation, exploration, travel and social encounters. Multiple significant combat encounters possible. Heavy social interaction expected. DM improvisation likely required.


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