Greg and Shelly welcome you to the show and take care of the introductions. Later, Shelly welcomes back author and professor of philosophy, Terrance MacMullan for a brand new edition of How To DM. This week, Terrance...
Hi there! The D&D Starter Set releases to select hobby stores through our Wizards Play Network Core+ program on July 3, and is out everywhere on July 15. Since that’s on everyone’s mind right now, we’re going to discuss the D&D Starter Set and how to use it in the D&D Adventurers League!
What It Is
The D&D Starter Set is a great place to start your journey with the new Dungeons & Dragons game. Inside the box, you’ll find a 32-page rulebook, 5 pre-generated characters that can be leveled up to 5th level through play, a set of dice, and the centerpiece of the experience: a 64-page adventure titled Lost Mine of Phandelver that can level characters from 1st to 5th if you survive and make it through the whole thing.
Since this product will be out over a month before any other playable D&D Adventurers League adventures hit, we know folks will want to play it and have it be official for their character. However, we’re not yet ready for prime time with the D&D Adventurers League Player’s Guide (due out at the end of July) and additional support to certify the magic items found within the adventure doesn’t become available until the Tyranny of Dragons D&D Encounters kit hits in August. Here’s what to do to capture that excitement while waiting on the rest of the D&D Adventurers League support to come online.
Organizing a D&D Starter Set Event
You can organize an event around the D&D Starter Set, using Lost Mine of Phandelver as the play experience. Here are the steps you’ll want to follow to do so:
- Choose a length of time for your event. If you’re going to run a one-off 3-4 hour play experience, you should be able to run the first episode of the adventure. This should get characters from 1st to 2nd level. Otherwise, if you want to run a recurring event to play through all of Lost Mine of Phandelver, you’ll probably need about five 3-4 hour sessions to finish all of the adventure.
- Advertise your event. If you’re a store, you can schedule it through Wizards Event Reporter by selecting “D&D Casual Event” on the right-hand side of the scheduling screen. This will ensure that it appears as an event in the Store and Event Locator. If you’re not associated with a store, you can run your event publicly, but it’s up to you to get the word out. You can use some of the D&D Adventurers League social media platforms to help with this – see the bottom of the article for more information.
- Get some Dungeon Masters. Make sure you have some DMs ready to run the game. Each should obtain a copy of the D&D Starter Set to prepare the adventure. If your DMs want even more rules information, they can pick up the digital D&D Basic Rules, available when the D&D Starter Set is released.
- Make sure to budget time for character creation (if applicable). If players want to create characters on the day of the event, make sure you have at least 45 minutes set aside to do so. Players should have access to the digital D&D Basic Rules to make a character. All character options in the D&D Basic Rules are legal for D&D Adventurers League play. Alternatively, players can simply use the pre-generated characters in the D&D Starter Set; you can photocopy these if you need extras.
Playing and DMing the D&D Starter Set
If you want to play or DM Lost Mine of Phandelver, here are the important bits you’ll need to know. Once the D&D Adventurers League Player’s Guide is released, more information will be available.
- Character creation in the D&D Basic Rules. The digital D&D Basic Rules will be available when the D&D Starter Set is available. You can create a character using the rules there. Alternatively, you can just use a pre-generated character from the D&D Starter Set.
- You can modify your character however you’d like until 5th level. Let’s say you create a character and later on, you don’t like it. Or you use a pre-generated character, but later want to make your own. No worries – you can change details about your character (race, class, background, spells, other features, etc.) after you gain a level anytime until 5th level. You retain your current level and all rewards (treasure and magic items) earned for your character, regardless of any changes made. (One exception – if you change your faction, you lose any renown with that faction and start at zero with the new faction.)
- Use a D&D Adventurers League logsheet to track your play. In order to maintain a record of your rewards and experience progression, use the new, handy-dandy D&D Adventurers League Adventure Logsheet! You won’t have to worry about choosing a faction for Lost Mine of Phandelver, but if you do, you’ll earn some renown. Make sure you write down everything you obtain each session, and keep your logsheet with your character sheet.
- DMing Lost Mine of Phandelver is easy! Everything is provided in the adventure. Make sure to help players record their rewards earned on the D&D Adventurers League Adventure Logsheet.
Rewards for Lost Mine of Phandelver
Most of the rewards are present in the adventure, but here are some guidelines to help you successfully track it on the D&D Adventurers League Adventure Logsheet.
At the End of Each Session
- Give out experience points for each character.
- Give out treasure (gold, etc.) for each character (divide wealth-based treasure equally).
- Give out magic items. Players should divide magic items as the group sees fit. If there’s a magic item in contention between two or more people, the player whose character has the least number of permanent magic items gets the item. If that doesn’t resolve the contended item, simply determine randomly who gets it.
- Record this information on the D&D Adventurers League Adventure Logsheet.
At the End of Each Episode
- If a character is a part of a faction, give out 1 renown point. Have the player record that information on the D&D Adventurers League Adventure Logsheet.
- Level characters as appropriate. Until 5th level, players can change details about their characters.
The D&D Encounters Tyranny of Dragons kit contains certificates for all of the permanent magic items present in Lost Mine of Phandelver. If you’re running your game in a store or it’s associated with a store, ask your organizer for the certificates in August. Players can receive certificates for any magic items earned in Lost Mine of Phandelver by showing their logsheet record with the item listed on it.
Character Sheets and Logsheets!
Print these out and bring them to your game! If you’re an organizer, you might want to make some copies for your players.
Links and Contact Information
Now with Facebook and Google+ communities!
Official Wizards D&D Adventurers League Announcements – DungeonsandDragons.com
D&D Adventurers League Organizers Page – dndadventurersleague.org
D&D Adventurers League Twitter – @DnD_AdvLeague
D&D Adventurers League Facebook Group – Click here!
D&D Adventurers League G+ Community – Click here!