On September 1st (one week from when I’m writing this), the first three D&D Expeditions adventures will become legal to play in stores and public play events. We’re going to run one or two of them on that Monday, so I thought I’d share a bit of information on what they are and how they’re going to fit into the D&D Adventurers League play.
First of all, the Adventurers League is really broad. It’s all of D&D’s organised play in this edition.
A character is legal for AL play if:
- It is created using the guidelines in the D&D Adventurers League Player’s Guide
- It has kept a log of all adventures, XP, renown and magic items using the official Log
- It only plays official D&D Adventurers League adventures.
In addition, a character can only play each adventure once. However, the player may play the adventures as many times as they like; they just have to use a different character each time!
The Adventurers League is set up to support public play. Some home play is allowed, but the Encounters, Expeditions and Epics adventures must be played either in a store or in a public place (convention, library, etc.). Indeed, the Epics only take place at major, major conventions; they’re the most exclusive of the line. However, there is some cross-over.
At this stage of the program, there aren’t many adventures available. Come September 1, here are the adventures you can play as part of the AL:
The Lost Mine of Phandelver (Starter Set) – for levels 1-4. This adventure is legal to play at home and in public. Many sessions to complete.
D&D Encounters: Hoard of the Dragon Queen – For levels 1-4. This is the first three episodes of the full adventure, and is only legal in store. (Playing it in-store may allow you to pick up additional rewards). Many sessions to complete.
Hoard of the Dragon Queen – a published adventure for levels 1-7. This adventure is legal for play at home and in public. Many sessions to complete.
Defiance at Phlan
– a D&D Expeditions adventure for levels 1-2. This adventure is only legal for play in public. Five short missions, 1 hour each.
Secrets of Sokol Keep – a D&D Expeditions adventure for levels 1-4. This adventure is only legal to play in public. One four-hour session.
Shadows over the Moonsea – a D&D Expeditions adventure for levels 1-4. This adventure is only legal to play in public. One four-hour session.
You’ll notice there’s a lot of adventures there for levels 1-4. The restriction is hard; if you have a 5th level character, you can’t play in that adventure. Further adventures will be coming out later that cater for higher level characters; at present, you could only play Hoard of the Dragon Queen with a higher-level character.
There is another factor at work as well: if you took one character through all the available adventures, he’d gain entirely too many XP. Lost Mine is designed to take you to 5th level by its end. And, as more Expeditions adventures arrive (at the rate of 2-3 per month), there’s no way that you could do all of them and Hoard as well! To play everything, you’re going to need several characters.
So, if you’re playing in D&D Encounters and you want to also play some Expeditions, I’d create another character. Mind you, it is completely legal to move the character from event to event as you see fit; it’s just that at some point your XP will hit a point where you can’t participate any more. So, be careful!
Note also that all of the Expeditions adventures are set around Phlan, a city on the northern coast of the Moonsea. Hoard of the Dragon Queen is set on the Sword Coast, many hundreds of miles to the west. You can still use the same character in both, but they are geographically separate. (You’ll just have to suspend your disbelief as your character moves from place to place very quickly, but we sort of have to do that all the time in Organised Play in any case!)
Incidentally, if you were to play a character through the three Expeditions adventures currently available and all of the Encounters season, you’d end up in the middle of level 4, but you’d be pushing towards level 5… meanwhile just playing the three Expeditions adventures would put you at level 3.
These first few months are going to be odd. There really isn’t that much content available to play. Well, there is, but eager D&D players will probably be able to play through most of it pretty quickly. So, my advice is to make up a few characters and have fun exploring the system. Or, after you’ve played an adventure, offer to DM it for more people wanting the experience. (You get XP for DMing, which you can apply to any of your characters).
In a year’s time? There’ll be a lot more.