More D&D Adventurers League Q&A

I’m a Local Coordinator with the D&D Adventures League. I’m not the ultimate arbiter of What Is Legal in the League, but I have been paying attention. So, if you have a question or two, I’m happy to answer them. However, you might want to initially check the Official FAQ and see if your question is already answered. I might get something wrong in my answers; and I’ll correct it if I learn about it!

Magic Item Certificates

Magic item certificates are given out to players of some adventures when they find magic items. You do not need a certificate to own a magic item. When you find a magic item, note that on your log-sheet. The advantage of possessing a magic item certificate is that you are now allowed to trade the item.

Magic items can only be traded twice. When you make a trade, you fill out the trade log on the certificate: with the character name, player name, and player DCI# of the person you’ve traded it to. You can only trade items of the same rarity: a common for a common, a rare for a rare. You can’t just give away a magic item; it must be traded like-for-like.

If a magic item certificate doesn’t have a trade log on it, you can’t trade it. This is generally true of Legendary items, which can’t be traded.

When you trade an item, you must also mark down the trade on your Log Sheet.

Can I just be given a Magic Item if the store has a spare certificate?

No. You must earn it in an adventure (and it must appear in that adventure!)

Are the certificates tied to characters or players?

Certificates are tied to characters. At present it is possible for a player to trade magic items between characters.

What happens to certificates “left on the table”?

Magic items that aren’t taken by any player are lost. The certificates should be given back to the organizer. There’s a finite number of certificates – generally we only get them when the adventure first debuts – and so spares can be used for players who DO take the item in a later playing.

I’ve been told to try and trade certificates online – but where/how can I do this? How are these trades audited or verified anyway?

Basically, this would be based on an honor system. You fill out your certificate with the details of the player & character who you’re trading it to and send it in the mail, and trust they’re doing the same with the certificate they’re trading you. Note that it has to be between two items of the same rarity!

For obvious reasons, I urge caution with any such scheme. It’s very easy to lose your certificates!

Can I lend a magic item to another character?

Although you can’t just give an item to another character, it is legal to lend an item for the duration of a session (assuming both of you are playing in the same session!)

DM House Rules

What if the DM uses some odd or optional rules, like “it takes an action to get up from prone” or “flanking gives advantage to attackers on opposite sides (even without a grid)”?

It’s pretty hard to play anywhere without encountering some house rules. That said, officially D&D Adventurer League games should be run according to the D&D rules as given in the Player’s Handbook. The variant rules for “Playing on a Grid” in the D&D Basic Rules and Player’s Handbook can be used if you and your players wish (AL Player’s Guide, page 10), but that and a couple of variant creation rules (Human variant, Point Buy) are the only variants to the game rules that should be used.

Actually dealing with this is exceptionally tricky. If your DM doesn’t want to stop using their house rules, then you should talk to your Store Organizer. They are the person on the ground who is able to help. Levels above that – Local Coordinator, Regional Coordinator and Admin Staff – may be able to offer advice, but it’s unlikely we can do much more. Really, it’s the DMs and the Store Organizers who are the people who should be dealing with this.

What happens if I go along with the rules of the table and accept trades and a later table baulks at them. Do I just cross off the items and carry on?

You should keep your Adventure Log current and complete. That way, you’ll have a full record of where all your XP, Gold and Magic Items came from. DMs are allowed to audit Adventure Logs, and can disallow the use of items that haven’t been properly accounted for. If you think you gained the item in error, then you should probably delete it from the log. If you think your DM is in error, don’t alter the log – just don’t use the items in that adventure – and see what your next DM says. You can also talk to your Store Organizer.


  1. Peter

    “Can I just be given a Magic Item if the store has a spare certificate?
    No. You must earn it in an adventure (and it must appear in that adventure!)”

    If my store is out of copies of the certificate that says it’s for that adventure, but we still have copies of certificates for the same magic item that lists another adventure, can we use them as replacements? (In other words if we’re running the current season and we have run out of Out of The Abyss +1 Daggers but we still have +1 Daggers from last season, may I use them as replacements?)


    • MerricB

      Huh. That’s a really good question. Sadly, I think the answer is “no”. (That’s because the certificate lists the adventure it comes from, and so wouldn’t match the log sheet). I’ll inquire further.


  2. Fred Kessler

    There is a facebook page for trading magic item certificates. I disagree with this articles’ author that it is risky. I have done 3 trades and watched several dozen others with no cases of anyone getting ripped off. Anyone interested can find the page by searching facebook for d&d 5e adventurer’s league magic item cert trading page.


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