Thursday, October 13, 2016

Adventurer's League Season 1 (Part VIII, the finale)

All right Game Fans, we’re back with our final look at the first season of Dungeons and Dragons organized play, The Tyranny of Dragons.  We’ve had a heck of a ride so far folks, but we’re at the final adventure in this season, DDEX 1-14, Escape From Phlan.  We will still be covering the Rise of Tiamat Hardcover adventure and take a bit of a break before we start the write up for Season 2.  We have looked at this from the perspective of participating in the Adventurer’s League organized play campaign, so we’ll focus on it from that and go from there.    Let’s see how this particular adventure season ends, and prepare to bid a fond farewell to the city of Phlan.  

If you’re playing these adventures in order, you should be somewhere around level 6 or 7, depending on how your previous adventures have gone.  If you’re playing out of order, check our previous article for ideas to get your character ready for the tribulations of level 5.

DDEX 1-14 Escape from Phlan
Escape from Phlan is the fourteenth and final adventure in the Tyranny of Dragons season for Dungeons and Dragons 5th edition.  Three Important citizens of Phlan have decided they can no longer lead the fight from Phlan itself, and now they must abandon the city.  I hope they’ve got a party of adventurers on standby to make good their escape.

This adventure is written for characters between levels 5 and 10, (and if you’ve read the other articles in this series) Adventurer’s League puts this as a hard cap (so you’ll have to find something else for your lower level hero to do).  Adventurer’s League is for a group of three to seven players, with five being the optimal number.

Now that we’ve got the number crunching out of the way, let’s talk about the story you’re looking at.  The Maimed Virulence has been transforming the city of Phlan into its lair and has almost finished turning the city into an impenetrable fortress.  The players are basically the last hope for getting some important VIPs out of the city.  By morning’s light, the city will closed off and there will be no way out.  This adventure takes place in 3 parts, and this is the conclusion of the Tyranny of Dragons Storyline as a part of Adventurer’s League.
Part 1:  Ghosts in the Night
The Welcomers Thieves Guild has been hosting the remaining citizens of Phlan in a variety of underground locations.  Emerging from one of these locations, the party has to navigate the recently ensorcelled city streets.  The vines and vegetation have taken over the city, and now stranger things are haunting the rapidly abandoned streets of the city.  The Thicket, the manifestation of the Green Dragon’s Lair effects have a variety of interesting effects that the DM should be ready for.  Remember, in the Dragon’s Lair, it can usually perceive things moving around in it, and this particular Dragon can talk to people inside its lair.  There are a few surprising monsters to deal with, and the possibility of trouble amping up.  Once the players have gotten through this particular thicket of thorns, they can move to the next challenge.

Part 2: To The Rescue
Once the players have made it to the safety of Madame Freona’s Tea Kettle, the enormity of the task before them becomes apparent.  After a fighting rescue, the players are tasked with tracking down three specific npcs that are important to the city of Phlan and escort them out of the city before the Dragon’s control over the city is complete.  Every adventurer dreams of the opportunity to sneak their way through a Dragon’s lair and encounter its magical defenses and the Dragon’s guards while it provides color commentary, right?
Each of these NPCs has different information and attachments to the players through prior adventures in the season.  The party has to work quickly to recover the NPCs before dawn.  Each one has a specific quest to follow and all are rescuable, none of these are bait choices to lead to instant death and doom.
Part 3: Holding Court
First note, this entire part of the adventure is optional and completely skippable if the players decide they want to.  If they decide that in their infinite smartness they can take a Green Dragon that’s aware of them in its lair, hit them with the wrath of a formerly amused, mightily irritated Dragon.  After the players have escaped the Jail with their prisoner, they can flee the castle, and the city proper.  This concludes the adventure, and the season.  If you’ve been playing this adventure season from the start, take a minute, congratulate yourself on a job well done, and let’s take a look at your rewards.
Aftermath:  So as a character in the adventurer’s league, you have three primary rewards you’re aiming for, and the occasional extra bit of stuff.  Let’s go over your Downtime Days, your Experience Points, Your Gold Pieces, and your renown.    If you’re not playing in an Adventurer’s League group, you don’t need to track these on your log sheet, but keep an eye on your numbers.
  • Experience Points:  Experience points for this adventure will vary depending on the path you take through it.  The minimum amount of experience you’ll earn for this expedition is 3,000 experience points, while the maximum is 5,000 points.  If you’ve just hit 5th level from using any of the options we’ve mentioned above, this means that you should be sitting at somewhere between 9,500 and 11,500 experience points.  Since you need 14,000 to hit level 6, you’re halfway there.  If you’re continuing from Raiders of the Twilight Marsh, those numbers are more like 25,500 and 31,500, which puts you at 7th level, and could be closing in on 8th level, depending on how things have gone..
  • Gold Pieces:  This one’s a little trickier, because GP is calculated based off of the number of players at a table.  There’s enough treasure available that you should certainly be able to pick up some extra supplies or replace ones that you expended during the adventure.  Keep an eye out for any handy magical items that may show up.
  • Downtime Days:  This one’s easy.  Everyone gets 10 downtime days for playing through this adventure.  If this is your fourteenth Tyranny of Dragons adventure, (and you’re playing them in order) you should have 155 downtime days.  If you used the catching up option to hit level 5, then you’re at 135 days.
  • Renown:  Everybody should earn a point of renown, and if you completed a mission for a faction you may be a member of, you’ll get an additional point.
So now that you’ve completed Escape from Phlan, check your character, level up if you need to, pick up additional gear and get ready for the next adventure.
This brings the first season of adventurer’s league to a close.  You’ve been playing for about three and a half months solid to finish the story you began at level 1 and have become a mighty adventurer (around 7th level) if you’ve played the whole thing through.  Take a minute, catch your breath, and get ready for Season 2, which has a new city to adventure in, and a whole host of new monsters and challenges awaiting for you.  Next week we’ll cover Rise of Tiamat, the conclusion of Hoard of The Dragon Queen.  The week after that, we’ll start prepping for season 2 of Adventurer’s League.
Game on, Game Fans.

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