Thursday, March 16, 2017

Adventurer's League Season 3 part 1 (Lower Level Track Pt 1)

DDEX 3-1 Harried in Hillsfar


All right Game Fans, Season 3 of Adventurer’s League (The Rage of Demons Story Arc) kicks off with DDEX 3-1, Aptly titled Harried in Hillsfar.  Like the 1st module for prior seasons, 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 Demonic Instability, and introduces some of the major players around Hillsfar.  Let’s dig into the mini adventures and see what sort of trouble a party of fresh adventurers can get into.  


Like most of the  introductory adventures, DDEX 3-1 is designed for 1st thru 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 5th 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.  


Note 2:  This adventure starts with the characters coming into possession of a written note containing a prophecy/ramblings of a mad man.  Each one has a few notes attached to it, and with some thinking, the characters can find their way to one of the five mini sessions included with this adventure.  They can be played in any order, but you might find some challenges easier to manage if they are played in sequence.  

Part 1:  The Birth



Following the ramblings of a lunatic, the characters make their way to a farmstead outside of Hillsfar.  Populated by a lovely family of nonhumans (including a pile of adopted orphans), things are about to take an extremely ugly turn for the demonic.  The characters will have to think quick in order to save some nice folks from trouble.  


Part 2: the Growth



The second adventure in this bundle reminds you that there are very few good people around Hillsfar.  The adventurers come across a farmer who’s come into hard times, and the local town guard are being astonishingly hostile.  Further, there’s something else afoot that involves denizens of the Underdark.  The characters have a lot of ugly choices ahead of them, but there are several solutions to the mystery surrounding this farmstead.  


Part 3:  The Life



The next mini adventure in this section is a escort encounter where the characters find some recently attacked pilgrims on the road.  Tracing these folks leads to an interesting encounter with a fey denizen of the woods and some nefarious nogoodniks who are using the pilgrims.  The characters are going to have to do some thinking to figure out what’s going on before they get themselves into heavy trouble.


Part 4: The Death



This mini adventure takes the characters on a bit of a tour of some of the area’s historical points of interest.  The farm they characters end up at has a connection to the distant past of the elves in this region, and it’s a past they’d prefer to keep amongst themselves.  However, there is something evil afoot, and the characters have the best chance to deal with that evil before it becomes a threat to the wider world.  


Part 5: The Afterlife



The finale of these mini adventures focuses on one of the more insidious truths about Demons and the effects they have on the living.  Some of the most powerful Demons are worshipped by hidden cults across the world, and the lingering effects of these cults can cause terrible harm to the world around them.  Even the long dead are not immune to the effects of demon worshippers.  


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:  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 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 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 Harried in Hillsfar, check your character, level up if you need to, pick up additional gear and get ready for the next adventure.



DDEX 3-2 Shackles of Blood



Season 3 of the Adventurer’s League continues the Rage of Demons story arc and picks up with Shackles of Blood.  People are disappearing in the Hillsfar region and the factions of the Forgotten Realms are extremely concerned.  The Red Plumes move through an area, and people seem to vanish.  Some brave adventurers are going to have to look into these disappearances



DDEX 3-2 is designed for 1st thru 4th  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 5th level or higher are not playable in this adventure.  This adventure is built with an introduction and 3 parts, and should take about 4 hours start to finish.  Remember to bring your D & D Survival Kit with you when you show up to game.



Note 1: This is a 3 part adventure with an introduction, so you can pace yourself accordingly.  


Introduction: The Puppeteer’s Offer



The adventurers find themselves at a theater northwest of Hillsfar and are treated with a puppetshow.  After spending the evening enjoying the show, the adventurers are approached by a higher ranking member of one of the factions that characters can join.  They are offered a job by said person, who offers them money and renown for following up on the “incidents”


Part 1: Tinfellow Valley



The adventure kicks off properly with the adventurers exploring the Tinfellow Valley and the farmers that are its primary residents.  The situation is more investigation heavy than most new players are likely to want to interact with, but the direction this adventure takes is fairly straightforward.  I am not particularly happy with the way that this part of the adventure concludes, and if you’re playing with folks who you know aren’t going to like the way this encounter ends you might consider skipping this adventure completely.  


Part 2:  The Road to Hillsfar



So through no fault of their own, there’s a 90% (give or take) chance that your adventurers have been kidnapped by the Red Plumes and press ganged into slavery in Hillsfar.  Like i said before, this isn’t the best possible direction to take with adventure design, but the characters can learn a great deal of valuable intelligence about what’s going on in Hillsfar.  The hard part of course is to find a way to get out of the city again, hopefully with their equipment.  Things aren’t going to be that easy though, and there’s a complication.


Part 3: The Bell in the Depths



So, we’ve gone from slaves to gladiators, and the characters are up against a particularly complicated encounter area.  If you’re DMing this adventure, make sure you read up on the encounter details and understand how all of the moving parts work together.  If the characters make it through the first series of complications, things get a lot worse before they get a chance to make good their escape.  Once they’ve made it out, it’s time to conclude the adventure and count up the treasure and the xp.

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:  Completing this adventure will net your character between 900 and 1200 experience points.  If you’re playing this after DDEX 3-1, you’ll have between 1,275 and 1,800 experience points.  Either way, you’ve got a 3rd level character and could be halfway to level 4.  


·         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 10 downtime days for playing through each mini adventure.  If you play through each of these, you should end up with 35 Downtime Days.  


·         Renown:  Each character is going to get one point of renown, and Harpers can gain an additional point of renown depending on how they end up handling things.



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



And those are the first two adventures in Season 3.  We’ll be back next week to take a gander at the next two adventures on the lower level track.  For those playing along at home, that’s Bane of the Tradeways (DDEX 3-5) and No Foolish Matter (DDEX 3-6).  Game on, Game Fans.

 

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