D&D: the Next Generation

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Meet David Kopelev. This sharp kid DMed four adventures for the D&D Adventurers League at Gamex 2015 (Los Angeles, CA) over Memorial Day weekend. He runs a home game with his family and regularly DMs at game days throughout the Los Angeles area. David is a straight A student, an avid reader, and is trained in Brazilian Jiu Jutsu. He is also an actor who has been in several short films and is currently training with Los Angeles improv troupe, the Groundlings.

I had the pleasure of having him as a player at one of the tables I ran on the first day of the con, where I learned that he was DMing almost as much as most of the veteran DMs at Gamex! So, I caught up with him after the con ended to interview him about his experience at Gamex and about DMing in general. Continue reading

Mise en place

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A French term mainly used in the culinary trade, it means “putting in place”. It refers to the practice of having everything one needs for a work space in a kitchen, organized and arranged to be most effective and efficient.  I use this practice all the time in my life as a chef, and I feel it can be applied to the area behind a DM’s screen as well. For D&D purposes I include the items that a DM needs to bring to the table to ensure a fun game, with a good flow and minimal interruptions and distractions.

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Tutorial for D&D Adventurers League Logsheets

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This tutorial will guide you through the process involved in setting up, updating, and maintaining your D&D Adventurers League (AL) Logsheet. Follow along as we go from start to finish – as close as we can get to the finish of an ongoing experience, anyway. We’ll make our initial entries, add experience and downtime days, record gold lost and spent, acquire and trade magic items. Continue reading

Roll Initiative! How to Set-up a D&D Adventurers League at Your FLGS

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There is a magic that comes with the hobby we all know and love. Sometimes you can put a finger on just why, and sometimes you can’t. One thing is clear, it’s the community and group setting that helps make that magic happen. Where better to capture that community than your Friendly Local Game Store? It is here that we dice-chuckers congregate to gather our supplies and share in the many games that flow through their doors.

I get excited about organized play – on any level. The fun to be had is endless and, if done right, rewarding to the hilt! If you are the leader of such events, the satisfaction of gathering players, both new and veteran, and providing them a quality venue is second to none.

I get a little giddy when I think about how well the D&D Adventurers League has tailored its machinations to promote Dungeons & Dragons, the stores that promote the game, and also the community that plays it. This is where the focus lies: the FLGS brings players together. The way in which games are conducted, including access to content, record keeping and the all-important loot, promote the growth of a healthy, quality gaming community. The D&D Adventurers League will help you grow as both a player and a Dungeon Master. Captain the play, run a game, or just play. You are going to be better for doing it.

Now that you are convinced, let’s figure out the very best way we can get a D&D Adventurers League party started at your FLGS. Continue reading

D&D Expeditions Premiers for July

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July brings us three new Expeditions and a reprise of an Epic.

DexCon will host DDEX2-14 The Sword of Selfaril and DDEX 2-15 the Black Heart of Vengeance.  Pre-registration remains open until June 26th. San Diego ComicCon and Gam3rCon will debut DDEX2-16 Boltsmelter’s Book . ComicCon has been sold out on badges for some time. Fortunately, tickets are still available for Gam3rCon!  Finally, those of you who missed out on the Origins debut of DDEP2 Mulmaster Undone have one final chance to join in on the fun at GenCon, as a capstone for the end of the season, just in time for the beginning of Rage of Demons.

July Premieres

Convention Exclusive

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Master, Dungeon Master #13

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#13: Princes of the Apocalypse, part 4

This week I will be covering Twenty Sided Store D&D Encounters sessions 6 & 7. If you are reading for the first time, you might want to read the articles in consecutive order starting with #10 Princes of the Apocalypse, part 1.

Intro

This article will focus on how to incorporate an overarching story that is in flux, planting seeds, and how to use foreshadowing when the immediate outcome is dependent on the players interaction with the game. I will also be covering some of my own personal obstacles working with Team DM this season. Continue reading

DnDAL and PHB Errata

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The recently released Player’s Handbook errata may have affected some of your Adventurers League characters. In general the errata includes mostly clarifications rather than complete changes.

The Adventurers League does not generally support rebuilding characters above 4th-level, but what if those changes result in the unlikely event that the errata made your character illegal? In such a case, in the presence of your DM, you should make the minimal changes necessary to make your character conform to the rules. So for example, if your character is currently a 12th-level monk who chose eternal mountain defense as your 11th-level tradition feature you might note that the errata changed the minimum level requirement for that feature to 17th-level and so your character is illegal. The minimum change would be to select a different, legal feature; for example flames of the phoenix. The Adventurers League would not allow you to instead rebuild your character to have 12 levels of fighter, as that is not the minimum change necessary to make your character legal.

Another example: if you were a bard/warlock and had previously been using your total character level to select your invocations, the rules have been clarified that only your total warlock level is used. If you have an invocation with a level requirement that is higher than your warlock level allows, you must make the minimal change of selecting a legal invocation, not converting your warlock levels to bard (or vice versa).

If your character was affected by the errata so that it is less optimal, but still legal, you are not granted a rebuild. So for example: if you were a sorcerer that had been using elemental affinity and twinned spell to get extra scorching rays and applying the extra damage to every bolt, the errata clarifies that the elemental affinity is only added to one damage roll (not all three) and you cannot twin scorching ray because it can target multiple foes. This clarification does not make your character illegal, and so no rebuild is warranted.

Thank you for playing in the Adventurers League and Good Gaming!

FAQ Update 6/12/2015

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This article aims to tackle a few of these questions at a time. To see previous questions please review the FAQ Wiki.

Do you have questions about D&D Expeditions or D&D Encounters? There are fan maintained documents with advice and fan suggested errata for all Tyranny of Dragons (published adventures and D&D Expeditions) and Elemental Evil D&D Expeditions, as well as Princes of the Apocalypse.

April Survey Results

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The results from April’s survey are now available. Check out the April Survey Results for the summary of responses to questions about play style, campaigns, playable races, and the D&D Adventurers League.

Here’s what most of you had to say about the D&D Adventurers League:

Overall, as a group you’re quite happy with the Adventurers League. The Adventurers League staff has done a great job in producing adventures that people have been happy to play and run. The adventures designed specifically for the Adventurers League mostly scored higher than the adaptation of the Tyranny of Dragons adventures for D&D Encounters. There is definitely a tension between creating an adventure that covers levels 1 to 15 and is meant for weekly, home play, versus the more episodic approach taken with the rest of the Adventurers League content. It’s a topic we’ve talked about and brainstormed some ways in which we can improve on an already strong program.

While you’re at it, participate in the latest survey.

If you have a little extra time, study Unearthed Arcana Waterborne Adventures article beforehand as that will allow you to provide informed feedback. Though Unearthed Arcana rules are not legal for D&D Adventurers League play, they present some fascinating options for your home campaign.

Master, Dungeon Master #12

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#12: Princes of the Apocalypse, part #3

Intro

This week I will be covering Twenty Sided Store D&D Encounters sessions 4 & 5. If you are reading for the first time, you might want to read the articles in consecutive order starting with #10 Princes of the Apocalypse, part 1.

At this point in the story, it is very important to begin revealing major clues to the players so they can start to make informed decisions about what direction they would like to go next. I want to start building this up over several sessions so that Team DM has enough time to prepare subsequent sessions based on the choices the players make, rather than railroading the direction. This method does create quite a bit of work on the part of Master DM, but it does have a great pay off for your players and DMs in the end.

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