Kate Welch sits in as co-host with Shelly this week and discusses her very first experience being a Dungeon Master! Later, we debut a new segment, How To DM! Shelly Mazzanoble interviews D&D game designer, as well...
I bet you thought we weren’t listening. Since we originally released this article the D&D Adventurers League admins and I have been filtering through your questions and concerns and based on those we’ve made some adjustments to our transition plan. Collectively we’d like to thank those of you who provided valuable insights and constructive criticism. Its important to know that we have your support, and that you’re willing to adjust to change to make the game, and this organized play program, fun for all fans, existing and new.
In addition to this article, have a look at the updated Player’s Guide and DM’s Guide documents… and now for the first time, you can see a version of those documents for our upcoming exploratory Eberron campaign too!
Master Raconteur & Guildmaster
The D&D Adventurers League is a great way for players and Dungeon Masters to find new people to play with while interacting with the ongoing storylines published in adventure books released by the D&D team. If you are new to the Adventurers League and would like to know more, check out dndadventurersleague.org. That page has everything you need to know to get started!
Experienced D&D Adventurers League players are excited about the debut of Season 8, which will revolve around stories and adventures set in the City of Splendor to coincide with the release of Waterdeep: Dragon Heist in game stores on September 7th. Season 8 is also exciting because the admins can incorporate many of the mechanics presented in Xanathar’s Guide to Everything. The document below and the resources available at the bottom of this page will give experienced D&D Adventurers League players an overview of the changes to come!
Xanathar’s Guide to Everything (XGE) presents our campaign with a number of exciting possibilities, including the chance reconceptualize and simplify how we handle rewards. With the start of season 8, the D&D Adventurers League (DDAL) will be undergoing a sweeping overhaul of many of our rulesets and here we focus on how we can make our system of rewards fit more styles of play and give players more choices. Let’s take a look at the new changes regarding rewards.
Starting with Season 8, the DDAL will be using the Experience Check Point system described in XGE with some slight adjustments (see below). This system rewards every character (and player) for taking part in a play session. For published hardcover adventures, a character receives 1 advancement checkpoint for each hour played that DM deems the characters are making progress toward their goals. For all other types of Adventurers League adventures, a character receives a maximum of 1 advancement checkpoint for each hour of the adventure’s projected playing time, rather than the actual time spent at the table, with those checkpoints being awarded for achieving specific goals listed in the adventure.
The Fruits of Success and Price of Failure
Some adventures may award or subtract an advancement checkpoint based on the level of success. For example, your party might complete an epic quest and save all the land, receiving a bonus advancement checkpoint, or they might choose to let all the innocents burn in favor of sleeping in, losing one advancement checkpoint from their total for playing that adventure.
Playing Out of Tier
The DDAL does not allow characters to play outside of their tier. References to rewards for playing above or below a character’s tier should be ignored.
Slow Progression Option
Each time you play an adventure, you may choose to gain advancement checkpoints toward your next level at the normal pace, or slow your progress granting more opportunities to play your character at the current level. If you choose to slow your progression, your character receives half the number of advancement checkpoints that would be awarded and you also receive half the number of treasure checkpoints and downtime days awarded by each adventure. Do not round, but rather track half points. Using the slow progression option does not halve the gold received for gaining a new level.
Converting Your Current Experience
To determine the number of Advancement Checkpoints your characters currently has, follow these simple steps.
- Find the experience your character has in excess of that which is required for their current level by subtracting the experience needed to achieve your current level from your current total.
- Find the experience you need to achieve your next level by subtracting the experience needed to achieve your current level from the experience needed to achieve your next level.
- Determine how far into your level you are by dividing the result of step 1 by the result of step 2.
- To determine the number of advancement checkpoints you now have, multiply the result of step 3 by the number of experience checkpoints needed to achieve your next level.
- If the result of step for is not an integer, round the result down or up. (Your choice.)
- If you wish to use the Slow Progression, divide your result by 2.
Example: Your character is currently level 6 with 17,000 xp and you’ve chosen not to use the Slow Progression option.
- Your character has 3,000 xp more than the 14,000 xp needed to achieve level 6. (17,000 xp – 14,000 xp)
- Level 7 requires 23,000 xp; 9,000 xp over the amount needed for level 6. (23,000 xp – 14,000 xp)
- Your character is 33% of the way to level 7. (3,000 xp / 9,000 xp = 0.33)
- In the new system, it takes 8 check points to gain 7th-level. You currently have 2.64 check points (0.33 * 8).
- You choose to round up. Your character has 3 checkpoints of the 8 that they need to make it to level 7.
DDAL adventures reward and use treasure checkpoints as describe in XGE, though the costs have been changed (see the FAQ, below). These points are spent on the item list. Some DDAL adventures may also include unique or particularly thematic items that are unlocked when you find them. These items and their associated cost are added to this list of items available for your character to purchase. Items unlocked for a season that are not found through play are only purchasable during that season.
Spending Treasure Checkpoints
Unlike the rules given in XGE, DDAL does not require you to spend your treasure checkpoints immediately. You may bank them on your logsheet and spend them as desired. However, treasure checkpoints may not be spent on items above the tier at which the checkpoints were earned. Thus, treasure checkpoints earned at tier 1, may only be spent on items earned on tier 1 items, while tier 2 treasure points could be spent on tier 1 or 2 items.
Converting Your Current Treasure
Your character keeps all of the gold and items they currently have except as listed below under Problematic Items (below). Rules for trading items are not changed.
Treasure previously available for purchase from your faction, if you had one, is no longer available. Any items you have purchased by this method are retained.
Some items currently in the campaign have proven disproportionately disruptive and are immediately removed from play (see the FAQ, below). If your character has one of these items, they receive the listed compensation. If there is a choice of items or treasure checkpoints, you must choose one of the options. If you gain treasure points, you must spend immediately on items of your character’s tier or lower using the Treasure Points lists above. If you’re still playing the adventure from which the items were awarded, immediately convert it to a Story Item (see the FAQ, below) instead of gaining treasure checkpoints and begin earning treasure checkpoints as described above.
Problematic Items that Advance a Story
Some items on this list, such as the Icon of Ravenloft or Tinderstrike, are found in hardcover adventures where the item is needed to complete the goal of the adventure. These magic items become a special kind of Story Award that is bound to the party. Once the characters find one of these items, the party is considered to have it whenever they are playing that adventure—so long as one of the characters that found it is present. If a character leaves the party to participate in a different adventure, the item stays behind for other members of the party to use and does not go with the traveling character but is available to be used by them should they return. When the adventure is completed, the story award expires, and the item is removed from play.