How to Join Encounters at 3rd level?

11 posts / 0 new
Last post
Sorry folks, late to the party. I just played my first encounters game last wednesday and had a blast. The DM said if I wanted to make my own 3rd level character for next week I could. Are there directions for making a new character to join encounters mid-game? Even on-line in the Encounters Forums I find different versions of the 3rd level Pre-gens (some with magic items...some without...) What is the "official" word on how to make a 3rd level character. I tried out the character builder and under the encounter's setting when I had it auto choose my equipment it added magic items. I think what is throwing me is the 3rd level pre-gen I played last wednesday had no magic...just mundane equipment, so I am not sure which way it is supposed to be.

Any help would be very appreciated.
Sorry folks, late to the party. I just played my first encounters game last wednesday and had a blast. The DM said if I wanted to make my own 3rd level character for next week I could. Are there directions for making a new character to join encounters mid-game? Even on-line in the Encounters Forums I find different versions of the 3rd level Pre-gens (some with magic items...some without...) What is the "official" word on how to make a 3rd level character. I tried out the character builder and under the encounter's setting when I had it auto choose my equipment it added magic items. I think what is throwing me is the 3rd level pre-gen I played last wednesday had no magic...just mundane equipment, so I am not sure which way it is supposed to be.

Any help would be very appreciated.

First off, Welcome! If I am incorrect in this someone else will correct me.  Regular character creation rules apply for Encounters, just make sure that you are using 'Essentials' in the Builder. or the core Essentials rulebooks.

As far as magic items and gold, they are based on the following:
3 Magic Items:
1 = Your Level
1 = Your Level +1
1 = Your Level -1
(* I don't have the Essentials books on me, I am assuming these are for 'Common' items, I would have to check later, hate new rules ;))

Gold valued at the equivilant of a magic item of 'Your Level - 1'.

If you have any other questions, please let me know.

Scott

Advanced Level TO
I would agree with allgeek above except that I dont agree that you should give yourself magic items.  The magic items are handed out within the module and someone just showing up with magic items would/could put others that have been playing from day 1 behing the 8-ball so to speak.

Ahhhhh, and now you see my problem.

The rule book for D&D says how to make a 3rd level character (the rules that allgeek pointed out) and the character builder supports that design (under encounters if I click "automatically give the the equipment I should have" I get magic items). BUT! But I can't find anyone to support that and in fact most people I talk to give me Mith's position (no magic items, it would not be fair to the people who have played from day 1). I could trust the character builder (or the pregens someone leveled with magic items), but wanted to double check with the rules.

I suppose I could ask Customer Service, I just kind of assumed that there were offical rules for running encounters and I didn't know how to find them 

My 2 cp on this is, generally speaking, consult your DM. If your willing to print two sets of character sheets, bring both and use the one the DM allows. Or, try to contact your DM before the next Encounters session.

Ahhhhh, and now you see my problem.

The rule book for D&D says how to make a 3rd level character (the rules that allgeek pointed out) and the character builder supports that design (under encounters if I click "automatically give the the equipment I should have" I get magic items). BUT! But I can't find anyone to support that and in fact most people I talk to give me Mith's position (no magic items, it would not be fair to the people who have played from day 1). I could trust the character builder (or the pregens someone leveled with magic items), but wanted to double check with the rules.

I suppose I could ask Customer Service, I just kind of assumed that there were offical rules for running encounters and I didn't know how to find them 




The CB is not a rules source.  Just because it does one thing does not mean its correct in your situation. But as was noted above I would ask the DM or the Organizer how they would like you to handle it. I know that no one here made a character that doesnt have a magic item given out in the modules.
Wouldn't you use the Encounters option instead of the Essentials one in the character builder?
RS: 60/60 CS: 60/60 RotS: 60/60 U:60/60 CotF: 60/60 BH: 60/60 A&E: 51/60 TFU: 53/60 LotF: 37/60 KotOR: 37/60 CW: 26/40 IE: 31/40 JA: 17/40 G@W: 7/40 DT: 7/40 Good trades with: Lily_Wan, creme_brule, suki_jedi_apprentice, Ephant_Mon
This has always been a problem for 4e; actually, it's always been a problem for D&D of any edition, but let's focus on 4e.

The allocation of magic items to a brand-new PC can't match the suggested distribution of  items to those who have been adventuring a while. That's OK at higher levels, where roadworn PCs will typically have plenty of items, including a few of higher level than someone who's just joining. But at lower levels it can be an issue.

For example, going by the standard treasure parcels, upon reaching 3rd level a 5-person group should have 8 items between them of levels 2-6, averaging level 4 (not counting potions of healing). In addition, each character would have enough cash to buy a level 1 item. Is the possibility of having two items of level 4+, or at least one item of level 5 or 6, better than having 3 cherry-picked items of levels 2, 3, and 4, as a newly created PC would? It's a little uncertain, but most likely at least a few players who have poured their characters' blood and sweat into the game are going to feel a little shortchanged.

And it's worse in D&D Encounters, given the format. I don't know, but I would guess my experience is typical: we have some regular players that show up every week, others that show up now and then, and more that show up once and never again. Some of the folks who don't show up every week will get magic items allocated to them, which means that when they don't show, those items are out of circulation. Without handing out more treasure in an attempt to compensate, the actual number of magic items in the party, and thus the average number of items per character, will, on average, be less than expected. And since PCs all level up at the same rate regardless of how often they show, people with little actual play experience will have fewer magic items than expected given their level unless they keep creating PCs from scratch. Bringing a brand-new character into such a group, with his or her full complement of starting items, might seem a bit unfair to the rest.

Given the setup, there's no general solution to this other than careful DM fiat and/or accepting players.

Fortunately, it looks like next season is changing things for the better in this regard:

www.wizards.com/DnD/Article.aspx?x=dnd/d...

Leveling up PCs naturally according to experience gained in actual play instead of by chapter, and starting everyone at 1st level no matter when they join in the story, should keep character-to-character and level-to-item disparities in check. That still works even if later seasons allow for higher levels; if everyone starts at 4th level, for instance, they all start with 3 magic items no matter when they enter or how often they play, keeping the playing field level.
As I DM I would be fine if someone used CB and built and Essentials character and hit the "Equip Me" button and let CB dole out 3 magic items.  This works great.

When someone shows up with a new character and magic items, I just have to check and make sure it is a reasonable set (and not optimized equipment on an optimized build).

As folks commented, there is an issue with encounters in that there are not too many items in the module and, due to the change over of characters, some of these items do not return to the game so the net effect is everyone tends to have only 0-2 items amongst my regular players. 

I have started adjusting for this.  Last week I changed two items into four in order to make sure everyone would have something useful and account for new characters who joined at level 2 with no magic.   I have to continue doing this, but what I do explicitly is ask who has no items and then who has only one, or only Lvl 1 stuff, etc. and make certain stuff is going to those characters.  So by doing this, even if someone does show up with a nice set of items, it will just mean they exclude themselves from getting more until everyone is somewhat balanced.
I will bring both a version with no items and a version where the builder (set to encounters) picked my items for me through the "equip me" button. Even if you try to hand pick your items, when you set the builder to "encounters" your selection is very limited (like 3-4 different weaps or armor) so I am guessing that it is auto-equiping from this very select list. I will bring it both ways and let the DM decide how he wants to procede. It sounds like they have a much better plan for season 5.
Every time I had to make a Level 2 character for whatever reason, I defaulted to giving it a +1 Vicious weapon. (Casters got a simple +1 implement)

Rationale: Most everyone had a +1 something by chapter 3, so it's not unreasonable or unbalanced for them to have it.

It wasn't a basic item, but the bonus was inherently passive. No rules to learn or track.
AlexandraErin: If last season was any indication, I think Encounters is pretty much the elemental opposite of "organized" play!