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D&D Encounters Q&A
D&D Play Spotlight
by Chris Tulach

We’re keeping the D&D Play Spotlight short and sweet this month. Gamma World Game Day is wrapping up, and we’re deep into our Essentials-filled D&D Encounters season, Keep on the Borderlands. With the new Essentials books hitting the shelves and players bringing their own characters to the campaign this season, we want to provide some clarity as you race headlong into Chapter 3 of “A Season of Serpents.”

Last time, we addressed a question regarding Dragon magazine options, but since then, we’ve decided to add an important feature on the magazine article side to help clarify what content is legal for characters this season. Now, each article in Dragon magazine will have text tying it to the product or products it supports. That way, when you read an article about the pyromancy school or the Earth domain, you’ll know those articles support the rules material in Heroes of the Fallen Lands.

So, let’s dive into the question one more time, reworded a bit for clarity:

What rules sources are legal for characters in the D&D Encounters: Keep on the Borderlands season?

  • The following rules sources are legal for D&D Encounters: Keep on the Borderlands.
  • Heroes of the Fallen Lands
  • Heroes of the Forgotten Kingdoms (legal at the beginning of Chapter 3)
  • All Dragon magazine articles supporting the above products

And now, the other questions…

How does leveling work in the D&D Encounters: Keep on the Borderlands season?

Your character earns experience points (XP) for each encounter, which should get you to 2nd level by the time you start Chapter 3, and to 3rd level when you begin Chapter 5. Of course, this assumes you’ve played all the sessions successfully. However, at the beginning of Chapter 3 and Chapter 5, all characters level up to the minimum XP needed for 2nd and 3rd level, respectively. If you’ve been playing since the beginning, you’ll probably have slightly more XP than a character that “auto-leveled,” but you’ll definitely have more treasure and Renown Points.

When can I retrain?

You can retrain any and all options from your character, except your race and class, when you level up to 2nd or 3rd level (so, at the beginning of Chapters 3 and 5). If you want to change your race and/or class, you should make a new character.

I want to make a new character. What level do I start at?

If you’re still in Chapter 2, you start at 1st level. If you’re playing in Chapters 3 or 4, you start at 2nd level. And once you get to Chapter 5, you can make a 3rd level character.

We’re in the process of having a central rules posting for character creation for D&D Encounters when we start the next season in 2011. We’ll continue to update the information there, but I’ll let you know when there’s important changes through this column and the D&D Community page.

See you next month!

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.

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