Next Season Starting at Level 4 (Well For Our Store)

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A lot of the players don't like the idea of starting at level 1 all over again next season so myself and the other DMs are talking about adjusting next season's Encounters to start at level 4.  This isn't a definite but we'd really like to let the players continue on with the characters they've gotten attached to.  

I'll post again on this thread with any updates if anyone is interested.

This is similar to what is happening at my store.  I am planning out a solution with the other two optional DMs and it is likely we will have one or two tables simple doing higher level adventuring and keep the option for a Lvl 1 DDE table.

The players desire to play higher level characters, also matches my own desire to run my own adventures.  The challenge I see is making sure that the DDE program remains for those who choose it, come specifically for that, or are new to the game (in which case the Lvl 4 idea is not ideal).

So essentially the core group (who have played DDE for the past 2-3 seasons) wants move into a regular campaign, so we will see if we get enough new players to support regular DDE as well.  The tough part for me personally is that I am logically the "primary" DM for both since I am the best one to teach the game, but I'd rather someone else do the DDE table in the up-coming season.  At the same time I really want to support the store and the program, so I think I'm going to have to basically follow the energy here and juggle a little of both as needed (possibly while encouraging someone to try their hand at DMing the DDE material).
What I've been doing is encouraging the people who are there to form their own groups and start playing outside of Wednesday night.  I think this is more true to the idea ehind the Encounter concept.  Players have come together because they have played at Encounters. In many cases they have become friends, and now a few of them have gone on to form their own groups.

As for kicking it off at Level 4 we haven't really talked about that as an option r even really discussed the next series all that much.  The biggest thing is we are still getting a lot of new players on a semi regular basis. So I would hate to jump the level like that.
With our tables we have about 20 regular players that always play together at their own tables with a regular DM.  So each DM usually has the same players except for a few new people who flow in.  For me as the coordinator I need to keep the interest in D&D for these people as high as possible, which means possibly adjusting things to keep their interest.  We have a little bit of time so perhaps each individual table may choose something they want.  I was even thinking of running the Tomb of Horror module that DMs got in the mail.  So we'll see.  Also broadening the range of levels (or modules) may entice other players to come in.
I try to have players join our LFR stuff once they've gotten the hang of lower-level stuff in Encounters.  Had some success with it - and even better, they're still doing Encounters once they start LFR.
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I try to have players join our LFR stuff once they've gotten the hang of lower-level stuff in Encounters.  Had some success with it - and even better, they're still doing Encounters once they start LFR.

That's exactly what I did. I made a first level character for Encounters, and then got invited to join the local LFR group. Of course, I still play Encounters, but I don't mind starting over from first level again. It gives me a chance to try different character ideas/builds, which I intend to feed into regular LFR rotation.
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At our store many of the new players voiced a similar request. We will honor it by "upping the game" at two tables to level 3-5 for the new season.

The players are excited about keep playing with their by now familiar (and somewhat loved) characters, the DMs get the additional challenge to tweak the game (they are excited about that) and the coordinator I get a more complex and diverse group to manage (which is exciting for me too).

I hope we will keep the excitement going when the Season takes of.

For a smooth transition we DMs think about letting the heros see wanted posters in the town square of the Restwell Keep asking about able bodied persons willing to push the borders of civilisation further in the Nentir Vale.
My group from Season 3 will be continuing on with appropriately leveled Chaos Scar (or other) adventures on a bi-weekly schedule, with Season 4 running the opposite weeks.

I might start steering them into the LFR direction, as it has plenty of material available for their level. 
One of our GM's is going to try and run another session right after our normal Encounter's one to continue with the other characters.  So it'll be an offering in addition to standard encounters.

Always a GM, never a player (not really but sometimes feels like it).

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