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Ghosts of Saltmarsh is releasing on May 21, 2019!

Saltmarsh will be considered a Season 0 (season-agnostic) release, and is not tied to any particular DDAL storyline season. The hardcover book will carry the DDHC00-GSM adventure code, and will be available for Tiers 1 through 3 (characters level 1 through 16).

The introductory adventure sent to stores for play — Salvage Operation — will be AL-legal under code DDIA00-GSM.

Ghosts of Saltmarsh combines some of the most popular classic adventures from the first edition of Dungeons & Dragons including the classic ‘U’ series and some of the best nautical adventures from Dungeon magazine:

— The Sinister Secret of Saltmarsh
— Danger at Dunwater
— The Final Enemy
— Salvage Operation
— Isle of the Abbey
— Tammeraut’s Fate
— The Styes

In addition, Saltmarsh will tie into Dreams of the Red Wizards, the new non-seasonal campaign introduced in Issue 25 of Dragon+. Dreams won’t be attached to a specific storyline season in the Forgotten Realms campaign, and players will have the opportunity to impact the narrative based on the decision their characters make.

DDAL-DRW01, Breaking Umberlee’s Resolve, will be Tier 2.
DDAL-DRW02, Blood in the Water, will be Tier 2.
DDAL-DRW03, Saving Silverbeard, will be Tier 3.
DDEP-DRW01, Assault on Myth Nantar, will be Tiers 2 & 3.

The nautical Dreams trilogy is authored by Ashley Warren, DMs Guild Adept and author of DDAL00-05 Winter’s Splendor, and the Dreams epic is authored by James Introcaso, DMs Guild Adept and Dragon Heist designer & Amy Lynn Dzura, one of the Adventurers League Community Managers.

Guidance from Wizards of the Coast for tying together Ghosts of Saltmarsh and Dreams of the Red Wizards can be found in this DM resource document.

See you on the high seas, adventurers!

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The following post is a recap of information written by Chris Lindsay for the April 2019 issue of Dragon+.

D&D Adventurers League play is divided into story seasons. Since the beginning of the program there have been eight story seasons, each one focusing on and supporting a given adventure product(s) released by the D&D team.

In addition to the content offered by the D&D team at Wizards and the supporting adventure content created by the D&D Adventurers League administrative team, there is also Community Created Content (CCC) created by and for specific events, by authorized event organizers.

As we move forward, we’d like to offer cool and unique play opportunities for each story. Sometimes this might take the form of variant character creation guidelines, sometimes it might involve specialized magical items as treasure, and sometimes it might even include unique play opportunities.

To facilitate this in a manner that provides equal opportunity to everyone, starting with DDAL Season 9 (beginning in September 2019) we’re going to ask players to create a new character (or new characters, for those of you who play more frequently) at the beginning of each season.

Your new characters will be able to play ALL the content from the new season, they may play any Community Created Content (CCC), and they may participate in the Dreams of the Red Wizards non-seasonal campaign. In all such play, your character will receive rewards (story awards as well as treasure and advancement checkpoints) normally. (You can also read the announcement of Dreams of the Red Wizards in Dragon+!)

While you can certainly play that Season 9 character in an adventure from an older season, the character may not gain access to story awards or magic item unlocks from those earlier seasons. They may only gain story awards and magic item unlocks from the season for which they’re built. Treasure and advancement checkpoints will be earned as usual.

Likewise, story rewards received during a given season can only be utilized when playing content from that season, and if your character has a story-based magic item, we will provide an alternate version for use in adventures that are not part of the season your character was built to play in. This includes CCC and Dreams of the Red Wizards adventure content.

For answers to a few Frequently Asked Questions regarding Seasonality, and to learn about a bonus for new Season 9 characters, read the full article in Dragon+.

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Welcome to Detect Thoughts!

Detect Thoughts is a living document that collects official clarifications, guidance, and rulings from the Admins and AL community.

Each installment will review the additions to the document in a blog post, as well as compile them into a PDF that can be kept with your Adventurers League materials. The information that we round up here will find its way into the appropriate documents when the next revision of our documentation comes around.

You can find the latest printable version of Detect Thoughts here.

Regarding DDAL00-05 Winter’s Splendor
The Content Catalog guidance that states “if [the familiar] is destroyed, dismissed, or leaves, it will not return without other campaign guidance or rulings” refers to permanent dismissal, not a temporary dismissal of the familiar for safety’s sake.

Regarding DM Quests
For DM Quest “Hell of a Deal”, the free casting of augury or remove curse at the beginning or end of a session is applicable for multiple sessions.

Regarding Admin Rulings
Can a spell scroll be purchased at a higher-than-base (upcast) level?
No, spell scrolls can only be purchased at the spell’s initial level.

Are items able to be unlocked twice? My understanding was that unlocks cannot stack.
Players can have multiple unlocks for the same item. This will be fairly common for things like consumable items, since when a consumable is found in an adventure, one character gets to keep it, and the entire table unlocks it. Separate adventures may also unlock the same magic item.

In the case of White Plume Mountain and the Level Up DM Quest: do DMs receive the extra TCP awarded to players for turning in the named weapons?
DMs do not receive the additional TCP awarded to a character for turning in WPM weapons as a result of Level Up.

The AL Content Catalog currently offers guidance for magic items in the Season 7 section, but nothing about checkpoints. Do ACP, TCP, and unlocks transfer from surrogates to either original or new characters?
Rewards earned by a surrogate are transferred to the original character in the event of their resurrection, or to a new character in the event that the original character’s soul is devoured. These rewards include ACP, TCP, magic items and unlocks, and gold. Any references to a magic item count are to be ignored.

Is reading a Tome or Manual (which takes 6 days) an AL-legal Downtime activity?
Reading Tomes and Manuals is not an approved Downtime activity.

Can magic items that grant permanent stat boosts be immediately used in-game without expending TCP?
If you find a magic item that tries to permanently adjust your stats during a game, be aware that the benefit expires at the end of the session and the item does not recharge. If you wish to make the effect permanent, you must purchase that item with TCP (consulting the ALPG for such costs).

Do spell effects carry over between AL sessions?
The AL guidelines do not currently hold an official position, so this will be a decision between players and their DMs.

In modules that specify choosing an item based on rarity, from a table or of a weapon type, do all the players get the same unlock or does each player choose?
If the text calls for “each character”, then each character can select a single unlock (each character’s unlock is theirs alone).

If the text calls for 1 item on Table X and 1 item on Table Y, all characters present gain those unlocks.

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Welcome to Detect Thoughts!

Detect Thoughts is a living document that collects official clarifications, guidance, and rulings from the Admins and AL community.

Each installment will review the additions to the document in a blog post, as well as compile them into a PDF that can be kept with your Adventurers League materials. The information that we round up here will find its way into the appropriate documents when the next revision of our documentation comes around.

You can find the latest printable version of Detect Thoughts here.

Regarding Downtime Activities
Guidance is provided in Waterdeep: Dragon Heist for Running A Business. This activity remains available to characters once they adventure outside of Dragon Heist, provided they maintain ownership of the business.

Regarding DM Quests
If a DM Quest awards a consumable, +X ammunition is awarded in bundles of 20. Any other magical ammunition (such as an Arrow of Slaying) is awarded in single pieces.

DM Quest awards are limited to ammuntion found in the PHB. Other ammuntion (such as pistol bullets) must be unlocked prior to awarding.

Regarding Story Awards
If a character holds a location-based story award that enables them to spend downtime in that location, they do not need to be adventuring near that location to use it, as the downtime day expenditure is representative of traveling to that city.

Regarding Magic Items
Currently, common items are not tradable, as they are not assigned to a Magic Item Table.

Regarding Admin Rulings
Can a character trade in a magic item they have outgrown? For example, I have a +1 Shield, but I want to purchase a +2 shield with Tier 2 Treasure Checkpoints. Can I exchange my old shield with some other unlocked item on the same table?
As a general rule, magic items can’t be sold for treasure checkpoints. Items that you’ve “outgrown” can, however, be traded using the rules for the Magic Item Trading downtime activity found in the ALPG.

For the rank 2 renown benefit, can the piece of equipment be a gem or other spellcasting component that is consumed when casting?
Items received as renown benefis are specifically mentioned in the tables and lists in Chapter 5: Equipment.

Can you purchase spiked armor without SCAG as your +1 resource?
You can purchase mundane equipment from any resource that’s available as a +1 regardless of whether you actually chose it as your +1.

As always, feel free to reach out to us at community@dndadventurersleague.org, on Twitter at @DnD_AdvLeague, or via our shiny new Facebook page.

We also have a large community that can be found in the Facebook Adventurers League and Adventurers League DM groups.

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Thank you to all the adventurers who celebrated Midwinter 2018 and who made our Adventurers League community shine bright the whole year. Thank you to our organizers, our Dungeon Masters, our players, our Friendly Local Game Store owners and managers, our writers, our support on the D&D staff, and everyone who helps make the Adventurers League happen for so many gamers around the country and around the entire world. This Midwinter slideshow – full of smiling and diverse gamers of all different ages, experience levels, genders, backgrounds, and more, with a love of the Adventurers League in common – is dedicated to you.

Onward to 2019, adventurers!

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As Midwinter comes to a close, it is time to cook and bake nourishing treats to help our fellow adventurers weather the long winter nights… by storing the joy of Midwinter in a collectible cookie tin! This downtime activity allows players to bake Midwinter cookies and “exchange them” with their party members to fill a cookie tin certificate. This activity costs 3 Downtime Days, in which adventurers will collect ingredients, bake their recipes, and meet to exchange their treats.

The Dungeon Master also can choose to receive a tin of cookies matching the one their players create and assign it to any of their characters, but note that any player, including DMs, is allowed one tin/certificate.

This downtime activity can be used any time before the Midwinter Cookie Tin Certificate expires.

Download the Midwinter Cookie Tin Certificate Step One: Choose a recipe and collect ingredients

Characters choose which cookie they would like to make for the group from the Midwinter Cookie Tin certificate. Then, go around the table and have the characters describe three ingredients they need for the recipe, including at least one unexpected surprise ingredient. Depending on their creativity and storytelling, the Dungeon Master can opt as always to give a character Inspiration.

Step Two: Add the secret ingredient

The spirit of Midwinter imbues these cookies with their magic if they are baked with care, thoughtfulness, and intention. As characters bake their cookies, they must think about a time they demonstrated the Ability Score associated with the cookie they chose. Go around the table and have the characters each share a story to demonstrate this.

Step Three: Get Ready, Get Set, Bake!

Using any Inspiration they earned during this activity, the characters now bake their cookies. They accomplish perfect magical Midwinter cookies with a successful DC 13 ability check using the Ability Score associated with the cookie they chose. If a character is proficient with Cooking Utensils, they can add their Proficiency Bonus. On a failed check, the cookies are mundane but tasty, if slightly burnt. Each character receives one cookie each of the successful bakes, including their own, and should mark these on their Midwinter Cookie Tin certificates.

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Learn more about the authors behind the Vampire Hunt Trilogy that sends adventurers on a mission for the Baron of Blood.

BJ Hensley

BJ Hensley is the the founder of Playground Adventures and the Vice President of Lone Wolf Development, the makers Hero Lab. She is a fan of family togetherness and is dedicated to ensuring that both her family and others have creative outlets they can share together. She wholeheartedly believes that RPGs are capable of being an interactive classroom for problem solving, arithmetic, reading, writing, social skills lessons, and more. When she isn’t hard at work furthering the goals of LWD/PGA she can be found working with multiple charities and other publishing companies in a variety of capacities. Her most recent projects include work for Gallant Knight Games, Green Ronin, Kobold Press, Metal Weave Games, Rite Publishing, RCRF, Room to Read, and Wizards of the Coast. She’s also the proud leader (parent) of a six-person adventuring party and their two furry companions.

Fun fact: BJ presented the Ennie for Best OP Adventure to Admin Greg Marks.

BJ designed DDAL08-07 Into the Dark. When one of the Lords of Waterdeep asks you to root out a threat to the city, you respond to the call. Prepare for a foray into Undermountain. Part One of the Vampire Hunt trilogy. A 2-4 hour Adventure for Tier 2 Characters. Optimized for APL 5.

Claire Hoffman

Claire Hoffman, along with numerous dragons, a few cats and an indulgent husband, resides in a home atop of a very small hill in Ohio. She had the privilege of shepherding the Living Death Campaign for ten years. After a brief hiatus from campaign management she assisted the LFR campaign first as a Co-Writing Director (Waterdeep) and then as a Global Admin.

Fun fact: Claire is FULL of fun facts. McDonald’s, Disneyland, and Claire all got started in the same year. The Hoffmans’ inside cat collection is 6, and there are another 6 outside. Claire puts corn out in the woods in the winter to bribe the deer to leave the bushes near the house alone.

Claire co-designed DDAL08-08 Crypt of the Dark Kiss. Are there actually vampires in Undermountain? The Baron of Blood demands that you find out! Part Two of the Vampire Hunt trilogy. A Two-Hour Adventure for Tier 2 Characters. Optimized for APL 8.

Toni Winslow-Brill

Toni Winslow-Brill is a sassy supermom by day and a villainous, elven half-dragon by night. When not navigating the treacherous seas of having a preteen, she is the Director of Research for a mergers and acquisitions firm in the frosty reaches of northern Wisconsin. Toni has long been involved in the D&D Organized Play community and has worked as an adventure author, event organizer, game master, meta-organization representative, and more.

Fun Fact: Toni rides real dragons in her spare time – or more precisely, paddles in the modern equivalent. Dragon Boat Racing is one of her favorite summertime activities.

Toni designed DDAL08-09 Fangs and Frogs. Your chase to wipe out the vampires of Undermountain leads to the Slitherswamp. The master vampire is close at hand! Part Three of the Vampire Hunt trilogy. A 2-4 hour Adventure for Tier 2 Characters. Optimized for APL 10.

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Welcome to Detect Thoughts!

This series is something that I have wished for as a resource, particularly since my favorite DM does not use Facebook, and as such does not have access to the official Facebook groups for the Adventurers League. This makes it hard for him, and others, to stay up-to-date and consistent with their tables. It my intention to maintain a living document, inspired by the one that Lysa Chen put together for DMs transitioning their rewards to Season 8, that collects official clarifications, guidance, and rulings. Hosting it here on the AL website ensures that more community members will be able to access it, and it will be easier to find guidance when you need it.

Each installment will review the additions to the document in a blog post, as well as compile them into a PDF that can be kept with your Adventurers League materials. The information that we round up here will find its way into the appropriate documents when the next revision of our documentation comes around.

You can find the latest printable version of Detect Thoughts here.

Regarding DM Quests:
To determine the eligibilty of CCC adventures for “current season” play for DM Quests, please reference the “added to catalog” date on the CCC’s page on the DMs Guild.

DDAL 08-07, 08-08, and 08-09 had their descriptions updated to “A DMM adventure” from “A WDH & DMM adventure” in version 8.07 of the Content Catalog. This does not impact the current DM Quests, and the Quests will still be valid as written.

Regarding DDAL00-05 Winter’s Splendor:
The enduring spellbook is a common magic item that can be unlocked and then purchased for 2 TCP.

Regarding Animal Companions:
Certed animal companions are normal, non-magical animals that can be revived using Raise Dead, given that there is a body to raise.

Regarding Dungeon of the Mad Mage:
Story Items obtained in Waterdeep: Dragon Heist may carry over and be used in Dungeon of the Mad Mage.

Regarding Magic Items:
Common magical weapons or suits of magic armor obtained via the “This is Your Life” tables are of the same type of the armor or weapon obtained as starting equipment for your class. This magical item replaces the mundane version you would have obtained as starting equipment.

Regarding Admin Rulings:
Older adventures sometimes include magic items with additional quirks, such as the wolfskin cap (Hat of Disguise) from a Season 4 adventure. Upon completion of the adventure, do characters unlock the item with quirks or without?
Items are unlocked specifically as they are found in the adventure.

How do I award Season 8 rewards for mixed-tier parties?
Characters receive rewards based on their tier. If a group of T2 and T3 characters spend 4 hours adventuring, the T2 characters receive 4 treasure checkpoints, while the T3 characters receive 8.

In groups consisting of mixed tier characters, DMs earn a number of advancement and treasure checkpoints equal to what the highest tier character would earn.

In cases such as an Epic that consists of multiple tiers of tables, all DMs will receive checkpoint rewards as if they ran a table of the highest tier that the adventure accommodates.

Is it ever AL legal for item trades between two characters of different tiers?
Yes, but note that both PCs still need to trade on a one-for-one basis for items of the same rarity and magic item table location, and both have to pay 15 downtime days assuming they are not at the same table (which is unlikely since they are different tiers).

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So OH MAN have I got some stuff to talk about today!

I recently kicked off Fistful of Platinum, our first AL stream. I’m running Waterdeep: Dragon Heist for some awesome players and we’re using the Platinum Edition by Beadle & Grimm. The core information about the game is over on imgur (mostly because the server gnomes were in full revolt when I tried to post it here). Aside from a couple tech issues early on and the nerve-wracking 30 minute delay we had, the game seemed to go over REALLY well and everyone involved was pretty pumped!

But why are we talking about it today?

Well, the game serves a couple purposes:

  • we wanted to demonstrate how a DM might run an AL game using the hardcover
  • we wanted to play with a mix of theatre of the mind and tactical combat (I tend to swing towards the former)
  • we wanted to mix live play with some educational moments
  • we wanted to have a game that mixes props with shared storytelling

In our first episode we saw trolls, Durnan, good ‘ol Volo, and more – and our players took it all in stride. The ever-honest Otter Thrud keeps inadvertently getting the party in trouble with the Watch, Agnus has a journal with 100 Rules of Roguery in it (and she cites them mid-game… because she actually wrote them down), Astrid just wants to hug everything as only a half-orc brawler can, and more shenanigans have begun to unfold. And let’s not forget the mysterious Picklewitz or the fashionista tiefling!

And you know what? It’s organic!

We’re not scripted outside of the fact that we’re running the hardcover adventure. This is a point that I think is especially important to broadcast as we embark upon this streaming journey – that we are normal gamers with day jobs and lives and kids and personal lives and all that jazz, and that D&D is a game and escape for us just the same as it is for so many others. Scripting just isn’t really part of the normal AL experience (though I suppose that a DM could work it out with their players to a certain extent).

We’ve got one episode down, and will be broadcasting our second episode on Saturday the 22nd. I’ll be honest, we actually pre-recorded this episode because it’s the holiday weekend and we just couldn’t all commit to being in the studio due to family obligations – but holy cow are there some pretty awesome things coming (I’m a big fan of the clown demons; I promise this will make sense if you watch).

What do you want to see from us? More obvious focus on rules in the AL? I mean, I could do the whole “pause” thing and make it painfully apparent, I suppose – but I’d like to hear from you all on this topic. Send me a message at community@dndadventurersleague.org or hit me on Twitter at @warfteiner if you have some ideas?

Catch us at 9am PST on twitch.com/dnd!

PS: yeah, my DM screen? I’m gonna be giving that away at the end of the show. Thing is, you’re gonna have to watch the show to find out how you can win it!

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Happy Holidays from Max Energy Games and our D&D family! We regularly run 5+ tables of 5e AL at our weekly “Tabletop Tuesdays” at our favorite game store, Gamers Vault in Medford, New Jersey.

A majestic elk dusted with snowflakes along its back gallops toward you. Its coat has a strange sheen to it, but before you can investigate, you notice the sealed scroll held gently in its mouth. It nudges the scroll toward you, and you discover… A MIDWINTER GIFT! CLICK FOR YOUR MIDWINTER GIFT)

More Midwinter Festivities!

Not sure what Midwinter is all about? Check out our original post about this fun December holiday here!

Have you accepted your invitation to the Midwinter Gala? Play DDAL00-05 Winter’s Splendor by Ashley Warren! Get this Tier 1 adventure free in Dragon+ Magazine (including an interview with the author) or purchase it on DMsGuild here. Don’t forget to check out some rewards clarifications in Detect Thoughts.

Don’t forget to share your AL group’s 2018 photos with community@dndadventurersleague.org for this year’s slideshow or use on our social media pages!

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