All right game fans, we’re hoping you’re having a pleasant and passable end of winter/start of the spring season. We’re going to take a pretty close look at the 3rd season of the Adventurer’s League for the 5th Edition of Dungeons and Dragons. This is tied in with the Out of the Abyss 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 3.
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 Hillsfar Document): The Hillsfar document gives you background on the city that hosts season 3 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. (This is only needed if you’re planning on using this resource for your character, otherwise you can skip it).
- 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 or Season 2
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 3 are for lower level characters (DDEX3-1 is written for characters level 1-2 and DDEX 3-2 is for characters level 1-4, and DDEX 3-3 is written for characters level 5-10), so you’ve got some options. The same holds true for players coming from season 2, though your level range is going to be different if you've played through all of the various adventures available. If you're looking to start off with an existing character, DDEX 3-2 is a good place for a tier 1 character, DDEX 3-3 is a good place for a tier 2, and if you've got a Tier 3, you can give DDEX 3-4 a shot.
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 are continuing from season 1 or season 2, make sure you familiarize with Hillsfar, as it’s a very different city from Phlan or Mulmaster. The biggest change that will come up during the game is the highly questionable legality of not being a human in the city proper.. (Read up on this if you’re a nonhuman, as there are some ugly consequences to breaking this law).
If you’re starting Dungeons and Dragons (and specifically the Adventurer’s League) brand new with Season 3, 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