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Introducing Seasonality!

The following post is a recap of information written by Chris Lindsay for the April 2019 issue of Dragon+.

D&D Adventurers League play is divided into story seasons. Since the beginning of the program there have been eight story seasons, each one focusing on and supporting a given adventure product(s) released by the D&D team.

In addition to the content offered by the D&D team at Wizards and the supporting adventure content created by the D&D Adventurers League administrative team, there is also Community Created Content (CCC) created by and for specific events, by authorized event organizers.

As we move forward, we’d like to offer cool and unique play opportunities for each story. Sometimes this might take the form of variant character creation guidelines, sometimes it might involve specialized magical items as treasure, and sometimes it might even include unique play opportunities.

To facilitate this in a manner that provides equal opportunity to everyone, starting with DDAL Season 9 (beginning in September 2019) we’re going to ask players to create a new character (or new characters, for those of you who play more frequently) at the beginning of each season.

Your new characters will be able to play ALL the content from the new season, they may play any Community Created Content (CCC), and they may participate in the Dreams of the Red Wizards non-seasonal campaign. In all such play, your character will receive rewards (story awards as well as treasure and advancement checkpoints) normally. (You can also read the announcement of Dreams of the Red Wizards in Dragon+!)

While you can certainly play that Season 9 character in an adventure from an older season, the character may not gain access to story awards or magic item unlocks from those earlier seasons. They may only gain story awards and magic item unlocks from the season for which they’re built. Treasure and advancement checkpoints will be earned as usual.

Likewise, story rewards received during a given season can only be utilized when playing content from that season, and if your character has a story-based magic item, we will provide an alternate version for use in adventures that are not part of the season your character was built to play in. This includes CCC and Dreams of the Red Wizards adventure content.

For answers to a few Frequently Asked Questions regarding Seasonality, and to learn about a bonus for new Season 9 characters, read the full article in Dragon+.

Amy Lynn Dzura
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Author: Amy Lynn Dzura

Amy is an obsessive baker and avid gamer who thrives when herding cats and answering their questions. She wants all gamers, new and veteran, to feel welcome at their tables and works to promote inclusivity and safe spaces in the gaming communities. Amy lives outside of Philadelphia with her favorite DM and their adorable catastrophe of a dog.

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  1. I truely hope the Admins and MR Chris Lindsey is seeing all the feedback all over social media fomr the player base. Its almost 100% hate for these new rules and restrictions. Hopefully you all see that and think about it.

    • I agree Gizmo19d. In Addition to the ridiculous season 8 rule change now we got to separate what characters -played in what season: like players in seasons 1-8, then players in season 9, then players in season 10, etc for the character to get the story awards and magic item unlocks now. It is obvious these AL Admins have no idea and forethought as a player and/or DM with the consequences and confusion of these rules.
      Can we go back to the old rules: Gold is given in the adventure; XP should be given the same amount whether you dungeon crawled, parleyed, or avoided the scenario as long a the mission was accomplished. To remove some of the loopholes in magic item under the old rules, have the hardcover adventures be tier appropriate in their chapters. For example, this would make a tier 1 character not being able to play SKT chapter against the dragon that is really designed for high tier 2/ low tier 3 characters. Maybe even have further restrictions on the hardcover chapters like a +/- 2 lvls from APL. I played with a DM when I did theHhidden Shrine of Tamoachen, he was only allowing characters between lvl 5-7 to play. Next, the magic item in the adventure should be given priority to those who can most use it for free, if they do not want it, let the person with the least magic items get it for free. Also, have this magic item unlocked for others to purchase it with gold, in the case when 2 or more people wanted it.
      Outside this, Can we have PHB+2 and lets bring the fun back to DnD now?

      • I completely agree with the notion of PHB+2. From what I can gather, it appears as if the desired outcome of these changes is geared more towards players who consistently show at tables, and leaves new flare out players behind. If that was the intended goal, then it negates the original purpose of the PHB+1 rule which was designed to simplify rules for the new players coming. It becomes a thing of what do they actually wish to accomplish?

        Another thought upon the PHB+1 rule is that while it made sense back when there was only 3-4 books to use. However years have passed and more and more books have been released, and as of now, it’s very frustrating how limited your options are. Let’s take for an example, an Eladrin BladeSinger with Absorb Elements at first level. You have MToF for Eladrin, SCAG for Bladesinger, and XGtE for Absorb Elements. That’s 3 additional books for 1 character (Excluding the PHB)! As it stands right now, your options are to take SCAG as your +1, mid game attempt to transcribe Absorb Elements during your downtime, and pray to whatever deity takes pity on you that you’re lucky enough to grab an extremely rare certificate before you hit level 5 so you can change!

        While that may be an extreme case, it still stands to fact that if you wish to build an ideal character, tough luck. Your choices are do you want your ideal spells, race, or class? Pick one. With that thought in mind, it comes down to one or two solutions: first being remove race from the +1 pool. Having your +1 book being used for a quarter page of information seems excessive. When backgrounds started getting out of hand, it was decided to remove it from the +1 pool, and everyone loved it. We are starting to encroach having races tied to 3 separate books or add-on’s, it’s time for consideration of throwing races into the exemption as well.

        The other as stated above would be to increase the PHB+1 to a +2. With the mindset of appealing to more consistent players, the +2 would encourage attempting new builds, as well as giving new players more options to start with. Using the earlier example, using your +2 for race and class, you get a great starting point and a character you enjoy, and finding the spell to be added would be a goal to achieve for extended play. For a new player let’s take the example of a Shadar-kai Horizon Walker. 2 books, and you have your ideal character race and class!

        I’m hoping that my thoughts do make sense, and that leads to further discussion about the state of the new season and the player base in total. Thank you for your time.

  2. There’s a point at which organized play becomes micromanaged play, and making characters not worth playing after the season they were made in is a sign of disrespect of other people’s time and their investment in the game. I get the impression you think people all start a season at the same time and then play all the season specific content to the end, through all the tiers – the local metas i know are nothing like that and this new ruling will make AL unviable for many.

  3. Let’s be clear: no one is excited about these changes.

    Tier 1 tables are always flooded, because Adventurers’ League is bringing in players. The game starts to suffer around Tier 3 and Tier 4 because of the time investment required to get up to that level. And now you want to make it so that people have to do that grind at least once every season?

    The idea that this somehow levels the playing field is nonsensical. Players who have highly advanced characters routinely create alts anyway, so this isn’t incentivizing anything. It’s just punishing long-term investment in your character.

    AL’s organizers are supposed to be facilitating what is best for the community. This has caused universal outcry from players, because none of us want to be saddled with this inane rule. I’ve already told my players that if Seasonality is not revoked, it will be ignored at my table. Dozens of DMs I’ve talked to are making the same plan. This game is supposed to be fun, not the forced slog you’re demanding of us.

  4. Well if history serves, they do not really tend to listen to us much even though they claim to. Case in point, if they were listening, for season 9 money might be brought back into play so that spell casters can actually copy spells and get spell components AND it will finally start to make sense again that when we are asked to go on a mission in a module, the money they offer will actually have some bearing again.

    As to this Seasonality stuff, are we going to be able to create characters that can be played in the past seasons or are you telling us that all the material for seasons 1-8 are now pretty much just junk and can only be used to get ACP/TCP? If this is true, expect to have even more jump ship after season 8 than you did after season 7 and the clusterfluck of a mess you created then. There needs to be a way to create a character connected to a specific season so that those modules are at least still relevant.

    As it stands right now ( till I can actually get the article from Dragon+ to open up and I can read it) I do not see this being received well considering you just told everyone that EVERY character they have is now obsolete and they should just discard them as they are not part of the current season. (why do I sense a magic the gathering theme here with the way they handle tournament play with current core set and last two subsets published….)

    They probably should have tried some form of playtest with others besides a core group they might deal with (Paizo actually did a one year playtest to get feedback from the players) to see how the changes might be taken.

    For now, I am on the fence on this till they can come up with some additional information.

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