Monday, December 12, 2016

Adventurer's League Season 2 (Starting up and DDEX 2-1)

All right game fans, we’re hoping you’re having a pleasant and passable holiday season as we shoot the straights between Thanksgiving and Christmas (and every other holiday that falls in and around the November-February period). We’re going to take a pretty close look at the 2nd season of the Adventurer’s League for the 5th Edition of Dungeons and Dragons.  This is tied in with the Princes of the Apocalypse Campaign book, and features a full range of adventures, some new options, and some other trouble to get into.  Today we’re going to take a closer look at the things you’ll need as a player to get into the fun of Season 2.  

The Big List of Stuff

  • A Character:  I know, this one seems like a hard sell but in order to play Dungeons and Dragons, you are going to have to have a character to play the game. I liken this to being an avatar for you to interact with the game world (if that metaphor works) or the point of view that you see and engage the story going on around you (If that metaphor works better).  Either way, you need a character, but you’ve got some things that you’re going to need to build a character.  
    • A Character Sheet:  This is where you record all the biographical and game information that your character is going to need to play the game.  There are dozens of different options for sheets out there, but if you are playing in the AL, try and grab one that has an option for your DCI number.  
    • Log Sheet:  This is an auxiliary character sheet that will track the adventures your character participates in and what changes from session to session.  Keep in mind that you can record up to three sessions per log sheet, so you may end up with a log book.  Each character needs his own, and you can’t play without your logs.  
    • Player’s Handbook:  This is the essential reference for a player.  It’s got all of your character creation rules, the rules for how the game is played, spells skills, optional cool stuff and is just absolutely necessary to play D & D.  (Also comes in a basic verson as a .pdf file that has less options, but still a complete game).
    • Adventurer’s League Player’s Guide (The most recent version as of this writing is 5.0).  This is a necessary book for anyone putting together an Adventurer’s League character and gives you the rundown on all of the essential information you’ll need to make a character that conforms to the Adventurer’s League.  
    • Background packet (For this season, the Mulmaster Document):  The Mulmaster document gives you background on the city that hosts season 2 as well as the environs immediately around it.  This is a handy reference for the information you should know for a character from this region.  
    • Elemental Evil Player’s Companion:  This is a small character options packet that contains three Adventurer’s League usable races (Sorry Aarokocra), new spells and some new options.  
    • Sword Coast Adventurer’s Guide: A wonderful resource full of useful information about the Sword Coast region, this book also contains new spells and options for several classes.  
    • Volo’s Guide to Monsters:  Ostensibly a Monster book for the dungeon master, this book also contains nearly a dozen new racial options to help you create the character you want to be for Adventurer’s League.  
      • Note:  With the current AL rules, you can only use one of the extra resources (Elemental Evil Player’s Companion, Sword Coast Adventurer’s Guide and Volo’s Guide to Monsters) when building your character.  
  • Dice:  Everybody needs a set of their own dice.  A set includes:
    • 1D4 (4 sided die)
    • 1D6 (6 sided die, and that’s a bare minimum, I would suggest at least 2, and upwards of 10 if you’re playing a rogue or a spellcaster)
    • 1D8 (8 sided die)
    • 2D10 (10 sided dice, they often come as a percentile set, with one die serving as a 10s place and the other as the 1s place)
    • 1D12 (12 sided die)
    • 1D20 (20 sided die, probably the die that will be rolled the most)
  • Pencil: You need something to be able to write with
  • Storage:  You’re going to have stuff (at least one book, probably a couple of printouts, dice, pencils, etc and you’ll probably want some place to transport this stuff when you’re getting to the game and when you aren’t using it.  Go nuts, there are tons of options.
  • Miniature:  If your game uses a play map to describe rooms and battles, you can happily invest in a miniature figure to represent your character on the tabletop.  
  • Imagination:  Remember, Dungeons and Dragons is a game of fantasy adventure where you take on the role of a character experience things, places and situations that most of us only dream of.  Bring your imagination and go a little nuts with it.
  • Courtesy and Respect:  Dungeons and Dragons is a social activity, so you have to do it with other people.  Be friendly, be courteous, and be respectful of other players at the table with you.  They are here to have just as much fun as you are, so be nice.  

Continuing on from Season 1

Now some of you might have played Season 1 of Adventurer’s League and helped the city of Phlan try and escape the Tyranny of Dragons.  If you completed Season 1, start to finish, you should have a fairly cool character that you’ve been playing for a while.  This character, barring any unforseen death events or missing sessions, should be around 7th level.  This means that you’re not going to be able to participate in the first few adventures of season 2 are for lower level characters (DDEX2-1 amd DDEX 2-2 are both for characters level 1-4, and DDEX 2-3 and 2-4 are written for characters level 5-10), so you’ve got some options.  

If you’ve been itching to pick up a new book like the Sword Coast Adventurer’s Guide or Volo’s Guide to Monsters, you have a wonderful reason to make a new character using the options from those books (You’ve also got the freely downloaded Elemental Evil Player’s Companion to work with as well_.  If you’re a player that looks at Dungeons and Dragons (and specifically the Adventurer’s League program) as a weekly social activity, than the prospect of missing a session or two because you don’t have a character that’s the right level probably isn’t a serious barrier.  Take some time, draw up something new that you’ve been wanting to play, and give it a spin.  

If you’re willing to wait, then it’s probably going to be a couple of weeks before your group is ready to run DDEX 2-3 or 2-4).  These are the first adventures in Season 2 ready for characters of that level, so as we go forward we’ll be running a dual XP track for those of you running a second character to play the lower level adventures while keeping your higher level character for the level 5-10 adventures.  

If you are continuing from season 1, make sure you familiarize with Mulmaster, as it’s a very different city from Phlan.  The biggest change that will come up during the game is the highly questionable legality of arcane spellcasting within the city.  (Read up on this if you’re an arcane spell caster, there can be serious consequences to blasting spells in the city proper).  

Starting New

If you’re starting Dungeons and Dragons (and specifically the Adventurer’s League) brand new with Season 2, congratulations and welcome to a fun new hobby experience.  Dungeons and Dragons (and Role-playing Games in general) is a wonderful social activity that lets you tell wonderful fantasy adventures, confront terrible monsters and explore lost ruins of ancient civilizations.  Refer to the first section of this article above for making sure that you have everything you need to play the game.  

If you don’t know what you want to play, that’s fine.  The Adventurer’s League coordinator/Dungeon Master at your local store should have pre-generated characters for you to pick up and play.  These are excellent introductions to the game and can get you into the action with the least amount of preparation.  Now without further ado, let’s dive into DDEX 2-1 (City of Danger)

DDEX 2-1 City of Danger

All right Game Fans, Season 2 of Adventurer”s League (The Elemental Evil Story Arc) kicks off with DDE X2-1, Aptly titled City of Danger.  Like the 1st module for season 1, this adventure is actually composed of five mini adventures.  Each one is designed to be played through in about an hour and a half, and gives brand new players their first interactions with Dungeons and Dragons in bite sized, discrete pieces.  Each one connects with the overarching theme of Elemental Evil, and introduces some of the major players in Mulmaster.  Let’s dig into the mini adventures and see what sort of trouble a part of fresh adventurers can get into.  

Like most of the  introductory adventures, DDEX 2-1 is designed for 1st and 2nd level characters, with an average party size of 5 suggested.  For Adventurer’s League play, the level range is a hard ceiling, and characters of 3rd  level or higher are not playable in this adventure.  This specific adventure is built to be run as five separate mini adventures, each of which is designed to take around an hour and a half at the longest.  .  Remember to bring your D & D Survival Kit with you when you show up to game.

Note 1: This is a 5 part adventure, so you can pace yourself accordingly.  

Part 1:  Hatred Like Clawed Wind

After finding employ in the city of Mulmaster (ostensibly at the estate of a local noble) the party is approached by a different noble who has a thing he needs done.  The party gets to explore around the city, encounter some trouble, and hopefully do a noble a good turn.  This is a fairly short adventure section, so you as a player can take your time and explore the setting a bit.  If this is your first time with a role-playing game, i encourage you to take your time and work your way through the encounters.  Remember, you are getting used to the game, so figure out how your rules work and how your character is supposed to work.  

Part 2: Love Like Raging Fire

Following the potential success or failure of the first part, the adventurers return to their “day jobs” and go back to work at the mansion of a local noble.  While at work, they are recruited for another side job.  This sends them on another interaction throughout the city and exposes them to another elemental issue.  Again, if this is your first experience with Dungeons and Dragons, take your time and get acquainted with the mechanics.  Try to have fun.

Part 3:  Envy like Crushing Earth

The next mini adventure in this section is an investigation through the undercity of Mulmaster.  The adventurers get to meet a new potential ally and run headlong into a variety of new and interesting dangers.  Again, take your time to look around and interact with the game world and figure out how your character’s stuff works.  This adventure has a potentially crazy boss type fight near the end, but you’re heroes, Right?

Part 4: Greed Like Fathomless Water

This mini adventure follows a similar formula to the previous ones.  The adventurers finish their daily job at the mansion and are asked by locals to handle a situation that has come up.  Mulmaster has a surprisingly high rate of common folk who have access to adventurers and siblings/family members/baby raisers that get themselves into trouble.  Today’s Elemental Theme is water, and this adventure does add a new wrinkle in the form of Puzzles.  There are two puzzles that can be tricky, so plan accordingly.  Also, try not to drown.

Part 5: Fear Like Dark Oblivion

The finale of these mini adventures brings the house down and ties the seemingly unrelated elemental issues together with a minor breach in the planar fabric of the world.  You’ve got an angry crowd, crazy magic, and bad stuff that keeps showing up.  Time to hero up and save the day, adventurers.  


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:  Each one of these mini adventures is worth a minimum of 75 experience points and a maximum of 100 experience points.  If you’ve played all five of them together you’ll have between 375 experience points and 500 experience points.  This will get you to level 2 at some point, and your Dungeon Master is likely to give you a break to level up after you finish the mini adventure you earn your levelling up experience points.  .  

·         Gold Pieces:  This ones’ 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 5 downtime days for playing through each mini adventure.  If you play through each of these, you should end up with 25 Downtime Days.  

·         Renown:  Depending on your faction, it’s possible for you as a player to earn a point of renown.  It depends on which faction you’re a member of, and which mini adventure you play through.  

So now that you’ve completed City of Danger, check your character, level up if you need to, pick up additional gear and get ready for the next adventure.


  1. You're incorrect about the appropriate character tier. 2-1 is for characters levels 1-2 ONLY. Characters of level 3+ cannot participate.

    1. You are absolutely correct, that's a holdover from the template version which was citing the info from another adventure that was levels 1-4. I'm fixing that right now