Creating a Rage of Demons character

It’s time for the next season of the D&D Adventurers League to begin. So, it’s a good time to review the guidelines for creating a legal character to play in the program. This character will be able to be played in any adventure of the D&D Epics, D&D Encounters or D&D Expeditions lines.

All of these guidelines can be found in the D&D Adventurers League Player’s Guide – Out of the Abyss. That is the primary source; this is simply an interpretation of what’s in the guide. This version of the Player’s Guide is in effect from July 23, 2015 to March 15, 2016. After that, you’ll have to look for a new set of guidelines.

Character sheets, Log Sheets, Basic Rules and suchlike can be found on the D&D Adventurers League Resources page.

Story Origin

All characters must have a story origin that indicates which rules sources you can use for your character. The new story origin is “Rage of Demons”, but you may choose any of the three origins for your character.

Rage of Demons:

Elemental Evil:

  • D&D Basic Rules
  • D&D Player’s Handbook
  • Monster Manual Appendix A (Beasts only)
  • Mulmaster Bonds & Backgrounds
  • Choose one of these options:
    • Appendix A and B of Princes of the Apocalypse, and Elemental Evil Player’s Companion (all rules except aarakocra – you can’t play an aarakocra in DDAL).
    • Sword Coast Adventurer’s Guide

Tyranny of Dragons:

  • D&D Basic Rules,
  • D&D Player’s Handbook,
  • Monster Manual Appendix A (Beasts only),
  • Sword Coast Adventurer’s Guide, 
  • Appendix A of Hoard of the Dragon Queen.

You may use any of these origins regardless of which adventure you play. Using the Elemental Evil story origin still allows you to play Out of the Abyss.

Some certification may lift some of the limitations or provide additional options.

Beginning Level and Experience

All characters begin at Level 1 and have 0 Experience Points.

Some D&D Expeditions games require a character of higher levels. You won’t be able to play those adventures until your character has reached those levels – but there are lots of other adventures you can play!

You can gain experience points by playing adventures. You can also gain experience points for your characters by running adventures! Talk to your local organiser about helping out!


Characters start with equipment determined by your class and background. You do not roll for starting wealth.

In the first edition of the Player’s Guide during the Tyranny season, characters could start with maximum gold and select their own equipment. This is no longer the case: all new characters just start with the background and class equipment packages listed in the Player’s Handbook or Basic Rules.

Ability Scores

Players do not roll their character’s ability scores. They may use a default array (such as 15, 14, 13, 12, 10, 8) or use the point-buy system described in the rules.


Players may choose any non-evil alignment for their character. Members of the Zhentarim or Lords’ Alliance may choose to be Lawful Evil. No-one can be Neutral Evil or Chaotic Evil.


It is generally recommended you choose a faction for your character. The five factions are:

  • The Harpers – A scattered network of spellcasters and spies who advocate equality and covertly oppose the abuse of power.
  • The Order of the Gauntlet – Faithful and vigilant seekers of justice who protect others from the depredations of evil doers.
  • The Emerald Enclave – A widespread group of wilderness survivalists who preserve the natural order by rooting out unnatural threats.
  • The Lord’s Alliance – A loose coalition of established political powers concerned with mutual security and prosperity.
  • The Zhentarim – An unscrupulous shadow network that seeks to expand its influence and power throughout Faerûn.

You may find your faction sending you on special or secret missions during adventures!


Humans may use the variant human traits from the Player’s Handbook. All races in the Player’s Handbook are legal; you have additional options if you have the Elemental Evil background: Goliaths, Deep Gnomes and Genasi, which can be found in the Player’s Companion. (Aarakocra, despite being in the Player’s Companion, may not be used).


Most characters in the Forgotten Realms follow a deity. Choose one from the Forgotten Realms or Non-human Deity list in the Player’s Handbook. Here’s an overview of the gods commonly worshipped around Hillsfar and Elventree for if you’re playing the D&D Expeditions games. Note that you still have to worship a deity in the PHB appendix – other gods that are described in those articles are not yet available.

Sword Coast Adventurer’s Guide

UPDATE: With the release of this book, it was added to all the Story Origins and is legal with all. However, you may not use it with another substantive rules addition – you can only use one.

Creating a character for Out of the Abyss

The main storyline adventure this season is Out of the Abyss. It is likely to be featured in many stores’ D&D Encounters play every Wednesday. When creating a character for that adventure, you may want to take the Rage of Demons story origins and use the special Bonds in Appendix A of Out of the Abyss. That will help give your character the right motivations to be involved in the story. However, there’s nothing stopping you from using another Story Origin if it works better for your character.

Creating a character for D&D Expeditions

The adventures in this season of D&D Expeditions revolve around the city-state of Hillsfar on the Moonsea. A number of variant backgrounds and bonds are now available for them (they can only be used with the Rage of Demons story origin). Find them here!

Creating a character for D&D Encounters

D&D Encounters is the play program that runs in stores every Wednesday. Consult with your local store to find out what adventure they’re running. Many will be using the complimentary portion of Out of the Abyss, but they might also be playing Lost Mine of Phandelver, a D&D Expeditions adventure or still playing through Princes of the Apocalypse.

If you’re playing Out of the Abyss, adventure specific backgrounds can be found in Appendix A.

Pregenerated Characters

I have a selection of pregenerated characters on my main Rage of Demons page. The D&D Adventurers League campaign staff will soon be releasing more!

What adventures can I play with my character?

If you have a D&D Adventurers League character, you can play it in any D&D AL adventure. Just make sure you keep an up-to-date log sheet of any and all experience points and gold you gain!

At present, legal adventures (and where you can play them) are as follows:

  • The Lost Mine of Phandelver (Starter Set) – anywhere
  • Hoard of the Dragon Queen – anywhere
  • The Rise of Tiamat – anywhere
  • Princes of the Apocalypse – anywhere
  • Out of the Abyss – anywhere
  • D&D Epics – conventions only
  • D&D Expeditions – any season – anywhere

You can find a list of the D&D Expeditions adventures on my individual season pages.

Your character can move between the adventures as you like (although it’s strongly recommended you finish one adventure with your character before starting a new adventure).

If you’re interested in online play, here’s the official facebook group: D&D Adventurers League Online Play.

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