Master, Dungeon Master #8


masterduengeonmaster-logo#8 : The Fourth Council of Waterdeep

Planning the Finale of Tyranny of Dragons

At Twenty Sided Store, players began Hoard of the Dragon Queen in August of 2014. The campaign began when the adventurers approached Greenest, the small town centered in the green fields of the southern Sword Coast, and found it was up in flames.

As sessions progressed the Heroes made their way North following leads, and a hoard of gold that was being collected and transported by the Cult of Dragon.

We continued the campaign into the second published book in the Tyranny of Dragons storyline, Rise of Tiamat. The Adventurers soon learned that the Cultists sought to bring the five-headed chromatic dragon god named Tiamat, back from the Nine Hells, into the mortal world. In order to stop the Cult of the Dragon, the Adventurers needed to gather many allies. Knowing who to trust was becoming increasingly more difficult as the Cult had already swayed powerful entities to their side.

After six months of playing every Wednesday, with only three sessions left in the season, Team DM turned the adventure planning over to the players. During the Fourth Council Meeting we guided our players, they inspired us, and together we created our own, unique, epic finale. In this article I will explain how we pulled it off.

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FAQ Update 2/26/2015

Image courtesy of Lauren Bilanko

While the D&D Adventurers League admins, Regional Coordinators, and Local Coordinators are all over the internet answering questions and facilitating games of D&D, some questions come up often. This article aims to tackle a few of these questions at a time. To see previous questions please review the FAQ Wiki.

Are the articles from Unearthed Arcana on the official site able to be used in Adventuers League?

The only content allowed for Adventurers League Play will be listed in the Players Guide for the current season.  Any content not shown in that resource would need to be on a limited-edition certificate and provided by an Adventurers League admin or other approved party (ex: the “Cleric of Death” certificate was handed out during the Tyranny of Dragons storyline to a small number of players, and unlocked the death domain from the DMG for a single character of the recipient’s choosing).

Thus the articles in the new Unearthed Arcana are not playable in the Adventurers League. As stated in the article the rules are written in pencil and not ink. Feel free to use them in your private home games though.

Do Dungeon Masters have to assign the DM rewards they earn for running an adventure to one of their characters immediately, or can they merely note that the rewards were earned and apply them to one of their characters later, essentially banking them to use at a later date?

When DM rewards are earned, a Dungeon Master only needs to keep track of them. Look for the separate logsheet that the campaign is preparing for that purpose. Thereafter, the DM can apply the rewards to his or her characters at his or her convenience. The rewards do not expire and need not be applied to characters within any certain period.

If my item certificate has powers that do not match what is shown in the DMG, can I use those powers or abilities, or do I have to play it exactly as shown in the DMG?

Yes, the adventures often have quirks for the items, but the full item abilities are not always shown on the certificate.  Any other powers that might be indicated on the certificate are in addition to the normal description of the item – the elven cloak from Tales Trees Tell, for example, has a permanent endure elements effect on it (and thus, the wearer).


“Yes, And” : How Improv Makes You a Better DM


half_orc_spot med

One of the coolest parts about DMing for Dungeons & Dragons is that it requires you to wear many hats: referee, storyteller, mathematician, etc. Among these is the improv theater geek hat and, even if you never joined your local college’s theater group and haven’t seen a single episode of Who’s Line is it Anyway? every DM has had to wear it at one point or another. (Usually after your party has completely destroyed your carefully constructed campaign plan.)

Despite being responsible for controlling many of the game session’s moving parts, sometimes, we just aren’t—and couldn’t reasonably have been—prepared. For those situations, having some actual experience with improvisational theater comes in handy. It teaches us many skills that we as DMs will find serve us just as much at the table as on the stage. Continue reading

Winter Fantasy D&D Adventurers League Panel and Q&A


D&D Adventurers League Q&A, February 7, 2015 (at Winter Fantasy)

At Winter Fantasy 2015 a panel was held featuring Chris Tualch, Organized Play Program Manager and all of the D&D Adventurers League admins. This post consists of notes taken from that panel in which the campaign managers talked about the next storyline, the future of reporting the adventure results, the open call for adventure designers, the future of online play and many other topics.

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Open Call for Adventure Designers

Open Call for Adventure Designers

Only 8 days left for the Open Call! The design test is only 2 encounters, give it a go, you never know if you’ve got what it takes unless you try!

Have some great ideas for adventures? Want to hear all the great stories your friends will tell about the time they played that amazing adventure you designed for the D&D Adventurers League? Then take the first step towards being a D&D Adventurers League adventure designer! Check out the instructions in the Adventure Design Application and send your submission to Resource Manager, Bill Benham at We will be accepting submissions for this open call until February 28th.

You do not have to have previous design credits, but it helps!

Adventure Design Application (Word)

5E Template (Word)

Villains of Tyranny of Dragons



The Cult of the Dragon searches for the five ancient Dragon Masks needed in a ritual to raise Tiamat’s temple from the Nine Hells. The cult leaders believe that the Red Dragon Mask is buried in Icewind Dale. The cult’s supreme leader, Severin, has set out to retrieve the mask while his most trusted subordinate, Galvan, has contacted a Red Wizard name Rath Modar, living in exile nearby (in Luskan, specifically); Rath’s magic will prove useful to help the cult conceal its activities.

The cult has also reached out to its dragon allies in the North. An ancient white dragon keeps the people of Ten Towns holed up in their settlements, while red dragons harry the barbarian and orc tribes on the slopes of the Spine of the World and lash out at nearby settlements and wayward caravans.

With Icewind Dale at the mercy of dragons, the cultists begin their excavation…

Learn more about the villains of the Tyranny of Dragons at the site

President’s Day Weekend Conventions

Convention Map

Several great conventions going on this weekend. Are there any happening you don’t see listed here? If so, add them to the con map.

GenghisCon - Denver, CO 3155 South Vaughn Way, Aurora, CO 80014, USA

OrcCon - Los Angeles, CA

OrcCon is one of three premiere gaming conventions that takes place in Los Angeles each year, all of which are run by Strategicon. It offers a cornucopia of gaming opportunities, with board, card, computer, miniature, and roleplaying games at every convention and themes including historical, fantasy, and science fiction.

You can preregister for badges and receive a considerable discount at Do not forget to use the RPGA or DCI group discounts for more savings!

Players and DMs can sign up for D&D Adventurers League games at

OrcCon 2015 is offering the following D&D Adventurers League games:
DDEN1-1 Hoard of the Dragon Queen
DDEX1-4 Dues for the Dead
DDEX1-5 The Courting of Fire
DDEX1-6 The Scroll Thief
DDEX1-7 Drums in the Marsh
DDEX1-8 Tales Trees Tell
DDEX1-9 Outlaws of the Iron Route
DDEX1-10 Tyranny in Phlan
Hoard of the Dragon Queen: Castle Naerytar (Episode 6)
Hoard of the Dragon Queen: Hunting Lodge (Episode 7)
Hoard of the Dragon Queen: Castle in the Clouds (Episode 8)

At the convention, muster for these games in room Newport A.

In addition, there will be an informal D&D Adventurers League Q&A with regional and local coordinators in Newport A in the lunch break on Saturday, Sunday, and Monday from 1 to 2 pm. We are also working on a seminar for store owners and event organizers. More information to come!

The convention is in the LAX Hilton at 5711 West Century Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90045.
Added :Sun Jan 11 2015 16:17:30 GMT-0700 (MST)

DunDraCon - San Ramon, CA

DunDraCon 39 is February 13 to 16, 2015, in San Ramon, California! DunDraCon has all manner of games and events, including LARPs, board games, card games, miniatures games, RPGs, and anime. You can learn more and pre-register for DunDraCon at You will be able to sign up for D&D Adventurers League games at The convention will be held in the San Ramon Marriott, 2600 Bishop Dr., San Ramon, CA 94583.SA

Con of the North - Plymouth, MN

Role playing games (such as AD&D or Call of Cthulhu), collectable card games (Magic), war games (World in Flames), board games (Settlers of Catan), miniatures games (Warhammer 40K), computer games (Starcraft), and many more. In order to participate in the games you just register for the convention and then sign up for games, either in advance (by pre-registering), or at the convention. New or inexperienced players are usually welcome to play or watch as they prefer. Other activities at a games convention include costume events, auctions, volunteering, hanging out and talking, going without enough sleep and other good times. For a list of possible conventions to attend in addition to Con of the North check out our convention links. What Happens at Con of the North? Over 100 events free with your admission! All your favorite tabletop roleplaying games, including D&D, Call of Cthulhu, Feng Shui, and Shadowrun. Numerous board games, miniatures, and card game events and tournaments. Humorous and engrossing interactive/live-action roleplaying games. Three free computer rooms.

3131 Campus Drive, Plymouth, MN 55441, USA

US SouthWest Regional Coordinator


The current RC for the US SouthWest will be stepping down from the position due to work commitments. As a result, we’ll be looking for a new Regional Coordinator to fill the role as soon as possible. For details on the RC positions please see the RC page

If you live in the US Southwest (AZ, NM, OK, TX) and are interested in being the RC for the region please fill out the form below, the application window will be open until Wednesday February 18th. Continue reading

Tips to Help Shop Owners Welcome New Players to Organized Play

Image courtesy of Lauren Bilanko

This is the 4th and final in a series written from the perspective of a brand new D&D player. The articles are written with tips and thoughts for DMs, organizers, and shop owners who hope to welcome more new players like me to the fun of D&D Organized Play. Previous posts focused on organizers or DMs  so today our attention goes to store owners. Continue reading