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Rolling Into 2011
D&D Play Spotlight
by Chris Tulach

January looks to be a big month around here in D&D Organized Play. We’re starting 2011 with a little housecleaning to make our programs and systems more accessible and easier to understand. Here are some of the changes in store!

Living Forgotten Realms Moves to Community

The Living Forgotten Realms (LFR) campaign is moving its “home base” fully to its Community Group on the Wizards Community site. That site has been established as the hub for all news, discussion, and events for the LFR campaign. In addition, it will also become the portal by which players, DMs, and organizers gain access to all new LFR content (adventures, campaign rules, etc.) going forward. If you’re not using the Wizards Community as your portal to talk about all things D&D, you should sign up now so you don’t miss out!

In addition, the LFR Community Group will be your way to access a large number of old LFR adventures through a file archive, which will be linked directly from that group’s page. The LFR information on the D&D Events site will also be updated to take you directly to the LFR Community Group for all information on the campaign going forward.

Easy Ordering for D&D Organizers

We’re cleaning up the ordering process for D&D organizers to make the system a little less confusing. The home or private play option for D&D organizers will be removed. The LFR content that was playable through private play will be accessible to all through the LFR Community Group. If you’re organizing a public event, you’ll now have one of a smaller, tighter list of options. For organizers unaffiliated with a store, you’ll be able to order the convention specials (a file containing some adventures suitable for convention use) or just choose the Living Forgotten Realms adventures option and head to the LFR Community Group to grab your choice of adventure content. Make sure that you report your games after you’re done with your event.

If you’re an organizer attached to a store that’s part of the Wizards Play Network, you’ll have access to order those programs (like D&D Encounters and D&D Game Days) in addition to the options available to an unaffiliated public organizer.

New D&D Play Options

We’re also adding new play options for organizers, so they can report play going on in their store or in another public venue. This will be particularly valuable to WPN organizers, because their store can now receive credit for all sorts of D&D play going on there. Just like the casual play options that exist for Magic: the Gathering, we’re establishing several new categories of D&D play that are very easy to report. They are broken up into the following options: D&D 4th Edition RPG, D&D older edition RPG, D&D board games, and D&D Gamma World.

Unlike reporting events under the convention play, LFR, or WPN program categories, you’ll be able to gather up all the DCI/RPGA numbers of your participants (whether they’re players or DMs) and report them as one big group. You don’t need to break out the play-by-table counts!

These changes will take effect with the January/February update to the Wizards Event Reporter tool (WER) and will also be reflected in the web reporting functionality as well. We recommend using WER whenever possible, since it makes the whole process much easier and allows you to save a log of all of your events.

D&D Encounters Marches On—New Season February 9th!

The March of the Phantom Brigade is an exciting 13-week season that finds the characters facing off against an ancient evil in an effort to save a newly-founded frontier community from its depredations! If you’re into D&D’s storied legacy, you’ll note the nods to classic locales such as the Ghost Tower and Castle Inverness. If you’re just starting your 4th Edition experience, D&D Encounters is a great place for you to get your weekly D&D fix as you learn the game. Characters begin at 1st level and advance normally, so you can jump in anytime with a 1st-level character and you won’t be overwhelmed.

Character creation is once again a breeze this season, with a focused set of rules options available for you to reference. You can use Heroes of the Fallen Lands and Heroes of the Forgotten Kingdoms to create your character. In addition, D&D Insider subscribers can use the Character Builder to generate a character that uses only the above rulebooks with the D&D Encounters campaign setting option, and get additional access to rules options presented in Dragon magazine articles affiliated with those books.

The biggest development next season is the introduction of D&D Fortune Cards. This new gameplay enhancement gives you the opportunity to alter fate as you face off against deadly foes week to week. Consisting of 8-card booster packs, D&D Fortune Cards are an evolution of the cards already given out in D&D Encounters kits, but they are usable in any D&D game. Decks can be constructed right before the weekly adventure begins. Rules on using the cards will be available online and in pack inserts when the cards become available in February.

We’ll have even more juicy details on the March of the Phantom Brigade, as well as information on our annual D&D spotlight show, D&D Experience, next month. Until then, stay warm and have a great holiday season!


About the Author

Originally thought to have been raised from a humble Midwestern family, Chris Tulach actually fell to Earth in a meteorite-shaped capsule flung from a planet far outside our galaxy. While under the yellow rays of Sol, Chris’s nerdity far surpasses that of any normal human. Using this precious gift only for good, he has become the D&D Organized Play Content Developer, responsible for the development and deployment of Dungeons & Dragons organized play programs. He is also the co-author of E2, Kingdom of the Ghouls.