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Season 9 ALPG & ALDMG Preview

Hello, adventurers!

As we gear up for Season 9, the Admin team is revising and updating some of the League’s core documentation. Today we’re presenting draft versions of the S9 AL Player’s Guide and AL Dungeon Master’s Guide here for the community’s review.

In about two weeks, we’ll be sharing a survey link where the community can make their opinions on the ALPG and ALDMG updates known. Chris Lindsay and the AL Admin team will review survey feedback for corrections and small adjustments.

Highlights to the changes include:

Monetary Rewards. Your character keeps an equal share of whatever treasure your group found during the session up to the session’s gp cap; anything in excess of the gp cap is lost. The gp cap is determined by multiplying the number of treasure checkpoints you earned at the end of the session by the multiplier for your character’s tier (see table, below). For example, if a 3rd level character’s share of the gp found by the group is 150 gp, and they earned four treasure checkpoints for the session, the character would keep 100 gp (4 checkpoints x 25 gp per checkpoint); the remaining 50 gp is lost. Any treasure found during a session can’t be spent until the session ends and the gp cap has been applied.

Seasonality. All Adventurers League characters have a designated season. Characters that existed prior to Season 9 are “Legacy” characters — belonging inclusively to Seasons 1 through 8. New characters created after the onset of Season 9 are either a Season 9 character or a Legacy character.

Legacy characters may play all Adventurers League content, and will receive full checkpoints, story awards and magic item unlocks from Season 1-8 adventures, CCC modules, and any season-agnostic content, including Ghosts of Saltmarsh, Dreams of the Red Wizards, and “Season 0” adventures. Legacy characters may play Season 9 material and will receive full checkpoints but will not unlock magic items or receive story awards.

Season 9 characters may play all Adventurers League content, and will receive full checkpoints, story awards and magic item unlocks from Season 9 adventures, CCC modules, and any season-agnostic content, including Ghosts of Saltmarsh, Dreams of the Red Wizards, and “Season 0” adventures. Season 9 characters may play Season 1-8 material and will receive full checkpoints but will not unlock magic items or receive story awards.

We’ll have more information on the Season 9 changes and answers to many of your questions in the coming weeks! Stay tuned!

Amy Lynn Dzura
Latest posts by Amy Lynn Dzura (see all)

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. So….now we are heading into season 9…..and the chart above looks great and all….but….it seems that all the comments that have been made over the past year about gold and how badly it has been nerfed seems to have fallen on deaf ears. With your example, the gold you get might go up a little…but then again not by much and we still have the expenditures for armor (for fighters) and spell components (for casters) and for scribing spells into your spellbooks (for some casters).

    You have explained “seasonality” a bit better and that is appreciated but it seems like you are trying to get to where people just create new characters every season. If that is your goal, just say so. It seems like you are trying to phase it in with the “legacy” characters. Still not too sure on how GMs can get credit for modules and be able to get magic item unlocks since you do not allow them the unlocks from modules they run but guessing that is under the yearly GM credits for what you run (never has been that great).

    Finally, I am not sure if anyone else has stopped doing it but our groups no longer fill out sign in sheets. We discovered that they did ABSOLUTELY NOTHING for Adventure League people so it just became a waste of time. I think this was a real shame. Would have been nice if they had gone back to giving out folders or some sort of reward that the stores can pass on to the AL players. The folders in the beginning were nice and would even consider buying them if we could give them out to judges who run mods. We get it….Magic brings in more money than AD&D and Adventure League but do not use us just to beef up numbers for magic and rewards for magic.

    Best of luck but expect the backlash to start soon. Sorry, but it is inevitable

  2. My main concern: I’m sad that I won’t be able to get story awards & items for each new season without creating a brand new character. Since I only get to play at conventions plus a game once in a while at my LGS, my choices are:
    1. Continue to play my existing characters (after 5 years of play, I have 1 of each tier), but forget about truly participating in the stories, or
    2. Start a new character each season, but never make it past T2 with any of those new characters.
    I’m not thrilled with either of these options. I’m also curious what your envisioned play progression is for people like myself, who don’t play so often but still like to be immersed in the storylines while playing a character that develops from level 1 to 20.

    On a different note, consensus seems to be that the season 8 gold changes made the game less immersive. The season 9 gold changes hint at improvement, although they still seem far too divorced from in-game actions. Here is just one example of what I consider an immersion-breaking rule: “Any treasure found during a session can’t be spent until the session ends”

    If you tell the AL community what specific problems you are trying to solve with the Seasonality and gold changes, perhaps we can suggest some alternate solutions?

    Lastly, I have a specific question:
    1. I have an Aasimar character built before season 9. I’ve played a few games with that character, and am not interested in ‘rebuilding’ (starting from scratch at lvl 1) the character for season 9. As I understand it, the new racial option (wings) and not having the race count against PHB+1 are not available to me. This makes me sad. It also makes me wonder:
    2. What happens to season 9 Aasimar characters once season 10 arrives? Do their wings suddenly get clipped? Or can they continue to make use of their season 9 wings and (presumably) Xanathar’s Guide options despite no longer being in season 9? If the latter, do you consider that fair to players who were unfortunate enough to create an Aasimar character a few weeks before season 9 was announced? Or to put it another way, is there some problem with allowing all players to enjoy the S9 racial changes?

  3. Balance is hard, and usually results in needing to prune back elements that have grown out of control, and the people in the path of the shears are not going to be happy about it. Gold seems to be the thing everybody has been upset about, but since the price of consumables was published in XGE, something has to be done to prevent the folks who play hardcover content from showing up with an inexhaustible supply of consumables. Unfortunately, characters who did so prior to Season 8 are often already wealthy beyond the dreams of avarice, and without forced retirement, that cannot be undone.

    I see two main points of having an organized play system – first is so that people can take their characters to conventions and play them, and balance is an important part of making that work. Second is having something going on at game stores that serves as a good introduction to new players. That requires a supply of Tier 1 games with open seats. Forced retirement of higher level characters at the end of a season would serve both goals, but it would also be a pretty big change from what AL has done so far, so it would be sure to upset current players.

    • If gold is the problem why not make it a buy in or a percent taxed for your character to play new seasons depending on your character level? as far as consumables go if you were to add that to your total gp as in whatever the consumable msrp was and take your sum of there cost and gold in possession then tax a percentage based on level to even things out would that not fix both problems?

  4. I applaud Adventurer’s League in addressing the community concerns regarding gold accrual. I totally understand that the days of playing White Plume Mountain in 2nd tier and then Tomb of Horrors in 3rd and having 100,000 GP riding on a couple of flying carpets is long gone. At the same time I wasn’t really comfortable with running an older module and stating that: “For completing this task, your benefactor has agreed to pay you the amount as agreed upon in the collective bargaining agreement for guild adventurers.” Honestly, I was simply giving them stuff like inn stays, drinks, and contract passage for no charge.

    Do you know something about the seasonality rules for magic item unlocks? I honestly don’t believe that’s going to ruin the game. Story awards are meh. The only time it really meant something was in season 4. A lot of players wouldn’t remember a specific story award, or simply not tell the DM if she/he had them if they thought it would nerf their character.

    Racial unlocks? I’ll take them or leave them. I’ve always found ways of playing the characters I wanted to play race/class and still have a fun character. I will say this, though. In the home games I’ve played where I could play a Zolo race with a Xanthar subclass, that character was NOT over-powered. Honestly, the +1 rule is garbage.

    Adventurer’s League officials: Keep the +1 rule, create race unlocks, throw it in the trash, it really doesn’t matter. All you’re doing is restricting experienced players from playing around with new builds. I don’t know if that hurts the game or not. Rather than focusing on tweaking the rules all the time, perhaps more time could be spent writing fun and interesting content that is cohesive and adds to the story of any given character. Some rule changes last season completely destroyed some classic adventures. Do you need an example? I used to love running Assault at Maerimydra which was heavily faction based. Now I don’t even give the players choices anymore, so much as run them from combat to combat in a linear sequence until the main bad guy is gone. I give them their advancement check points, treasure check points, unlocks and ask them to enjoy the rest of their day. It became bland at best without the players having to make choices based on their faction interests. That adventure is one that should be rewritten based on the current rule set, and it isn’t the only one.

    Adventurer’s League players: Stop bellyaching about the +1 rule. It exists. You can’t build a Firbolg Shepherd Druid. Meh. If you want to play a character like that, join a home game that will grant you freedom to do such. You’ll find that it really doesn’t give you an over-powered character in tier one or two. Instead of complaining about the +1 rule, try a build for a character you’ve never done before. Run a divination wizard that will only cast divination spells, run a pacifist barbarian, or run a character where you optimize one ability other than their primary. You get the idea. Having unlimited race/class combos doesn’t necessarily translate to more fun builds so much as experimenting with the way you play a specific build. Do you constantly build characters for maximum combat effectiveness? I guess that hasn’t gotten old yet.

  5. I have a question about GM rewards. I GM’d a bunch of Ebberon in Season 8 and will likely not fet to play Ebberon at all. What can I do with my GM rewards amd Quest Rewards for Season 9?

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