News Archive | 6/11/2014
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Finding Your Game: D&D Adventurers League
Chris Tulach

W elcome back! This week, I’m going to give a little insight on where and how you can play, Dungeon Master, or organize your D&D Adventurers League adventures. This article is part of an ongoing series that discusses the experience of our new Organized Play programs; make sure you check out the other parts in the series too!

First off though, if you happen to be attending the Origins Game Fair this weekend in Columbus, Ohio, I’ll be there along with Mike Mearls and Rodney Thompson. We have four panels planned, running from 2-6 pm on Friday and Saturday. Check out the list, and stop by to hear more details on the future of D&D!

Where to Start

When the D&D Adventurers League begins with the Tyranny of Dragons storyline, you’ll have three paths you can take to begin on the road to adventure with a new character.

  • Play Hoard of the Dragon Queen. This is recommended for casual D&D players or those that want to experience the main storyline through game play. If you finish the whole adventure, surviving characters will be around 15th level! You can do this as a part of the D&D Encounters program in stores, or play at home. Either way, as long as you track your play sessions on a D&D Adventurers League log sheet (available in this summer), it’s all official. Note that if you play it as a part of the D&D Encounters program, your DM will get the first few episodes of play (about 14-18 two-hour sessions’ worth) complimentary as a part of the program, which will take characters through their first few levels.

  • Play Lost Mine of Phandelver. This is recommended for new D&D players and DMs. It’s a great way to introduce folks to D&D, and is found in the D&D Starter Set (which releases this July). Playing through the whole adventure will take surviving characters to 5th level. You can play this at home, or as a part of an in-store play event if your store has one. It will take several play sessions to complete it. Once again, tracking this adventure on a D&D Adventurers League log sheet makes it official -- you get to keep all your rewards no matter where you go next!

  • Play Defiance in Phlan and other D&D Expeditions adventures. This is recommended for more experienced players that want to be immersed in a “living style” campaign. Defiance in Phlan is a very short introductory adventure (it takes about an hour to play one of the five mini-adventures contained within it). It debuts at Gen Con Indy and will be available for stores and conventions in September. It’s also one of the first adventures of the D&D Expeditions program, which contains mostly four-hour self-contained adventures that showcase how the Tyranny of Dragons is affecting the Moonsea region of the Forgotten Realms.

How to Get a Game Going

To play in the D&D Adventurers League, all you need is access to a few things.

  • The D&D Basic Rules, available this summer.

  • The D&D Adventurers League Player’s Guide (or the Quickstart Guide), available this summer.

  • A D&D Adventurers League Log Sheet, available this summer.

  • At least 3 players and one DM. (A legal D&D Adventurers League table consists of 3-7 players.)

  • A place to play. This can be your local store, a public event (like a convention or game day), someone’s home, or even online. There are restrictions on what sorts of adventures can be run in certain locations at certain times.

Where to Play

D&D Adventurers League play is focused on in-person public play. This means that in order to maximize the selection of adventures available to you, play should happen in a space open to the public.

Game stores are supported through the Wizards Play Network, and receive kits with great materials in them to enhance your game. (We’ll talk more about those materials in an upcoming article.) D&D Encounters (our weekly Wednesday program) and D&D Expeditions adventures are both available for your local game store to run.

Conventions describe any in-person public play that does not happen in a game store. This can include actual gaming conventions, as well as a one-off public gathering or game days. The public must be able to participate in an event in order for it to meet the standards of qualifying as convention play (it can’t be a private or invite-only game). It’s best for a convention to partner with a game store, as the store can sponsor the show and provide kit materials to enhance the experience. Conventions can contact Game Support to request access to D&D Expeditions adventures on their own.

Private play includes home play and online play. Adventures themed around the current D&D storyline are considered official for D&D Adventurers League, so folks playing at home and online can participate by picking up these adventures (for the first storyline, Hoard of the Dragon Queen and the Rise of Tiamat are available). They can then bring their characters to a store or convention to participate in D&D Expeditions adventures.


Dungeon Mastering

If you’re a DM, the D&D Adventurers League is a great way to run D&D games without having to spend time creating your own campaign world or adventures for it. As a DM, not only are you a guide to weaving a fantastic shared story, you also act as an official for the table you’re running, providing your players with their characters’ experience points and rewards at the end of each session. Our adventures provide guidance on how to DM for the D&D Adventurers League.

D&D Encounters sessions use our official published adventurers tied to the annual storyline as the play experience, and you can get a complimentary digital portion of that adventure right from your store. In addition, running games at the store gives you access to great materials for you and your players to enhance your game. This is a great way to break into Dungeon Mastering for the D&D Adventurers League.

D&D Expeditions sessions are typically the length of one of these adventures – usually about four hours. They’re a great way to get involved in a more “campaign style” game in an episodic manner. Each storyline, we’ll release many adventures (most months, at least 2 adventures) that are available to be run in public. If you’re an experienced DM, running D&D Expeditions is probably a good fit for you.

D&D Epics sessions are one-off events at a major convention selected by Wizards of the Coast. They typically are run only for a short time, and represent important events during the annual storyline. Our organizers recruit the DMs for these events from some of the best out there.


Organizing

While the D&D Adventurers League program is not up and running yet, here is how Organizing will look when it does start later this summer.

If you're looking to organize your own D&D Adventurers League events, there’s a great resource available to you at dndadventurersleague.org. It’s a hub for organizers to get information on what’s going on with the D&D Adventurers League, and to ask questions from the administrators. To get the best selection of adventures for your players to choose from, you’ll want to be partnered with a store or a convention. Alternatively, you can create your own public event to run adventures.

Later this summer we’ll provide you with specific contact information for requesting those adventures.

After you’ve contacted us and we’ve approved your request, you’ll receive access to the adventures you’ve requested. These adventures are available digitally. For requests further in advance, you’ll receive access to the adventures once they become available. If you have an upcoming event, you can find a schedule of what will be released on dndadventurersleague.org as well as on the soon-to-be-available D&D Adventurers League page on DungeonsandDragons.com.


Links and Contact Information

We’re in the process of setting up a presence on Google+ and Facebook, and we have the following up and running:

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