A Brand-Spanking-New Encounters DM... help!

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I could use some help from those of you with more experience.  My local shop asked me to DM the Wednesday Encounters sessions.  I have DM'd 4E only about a year now but feel fairly comfortable with my knowledge of the rules, but it looks like the I will "encounter" a few new concepts with these sessions... fortune cards, Renown points and... registering DCI/RPGA numbers??

The store gave me a module to peruse...Lost Crown of Neverwinter... to get the feel for it... looks straight-forward enough, but I 'd like to learn more about the program.  I found the "Encounters Group" forum but all the info provided there appears to be for peoplewho are already knowledgeable about the program.  Can someone point me tomore general info about the program, like...

Does the DM register the players?  The store? the players themselves?

Do the players have to buy these fortune cards?  (I know they can earn them with the renown points after playing and achieving things, if they are registered)

Should I show up with level-1 prebuilt characters?

Wow - they really threw you into the deep end, didn't they?

Couple of things- to start, Lost Crown of Neverwinter was the Encounters season that just ended (two weeks ago).  Tonight is the first play session for the new season, Beyond the Crystal Cave.

As such, I almost didn't see your post, as most folks are posting in the Crystal Cave sestion.

Hopefully they have the new season for you, otherwise you'll be running last seasons game, whcih i don't think can be sanctioned with Wizards at this point.  You can still run, of course, maybe this store runs a repeat of last season as well as the new one?

The packet should have included the adventure (including 3 double-sided maps) and a sheet of monster/player tokens in case you don't have minatures.  And a set of pre-generated 1st level characters (on glossy cards) for casual players who just drop by.  Otherise they can build their own 1st levels using the essentials product and whatever book is new to that season (for Lost Crown it was the Neverwinter Campaign Guide, for Cave it is Heroes of the Feywild).

DMs should be given a sheet to record your start time/date, you as the DM plus DCI number, and your players names and DCI numbers.  But really, if you capture that info on a sheet of paper (or otherwise) that you can get to your store WPN organizer you should be OK.  There SHOULD be a store organizer who can report those sessions using the Wizards Reporter software so that both you and the store get credit for running a game.

Players don't necessarily need to buy fortune cards.  Some stores require some sort of purchase or fee to play, but that is a store rule, not one from Wizards (though Wizards allows for it, if a store needs to cover costs of hosting).

Hope that helps!

Thanks Jack... for discovering my hidden post! 

(Ahhh, weary traveller... you have discovered the hidden message amongst the overgrowth of verbage in this long-neglected sub-category... I grant thee a hearty "thank you" on this Thanksgiving Eve...)

Ahem.... seriously... thanks...  the store is new and just up and running in the past few days.  They are now looking for the new Beyond the Crystal Cave  module amongst their piles of stuff from moving, if not, will they have any trouble ordering it now?  I figured that if they could get it in quickly, we may be able to double-up on sessions until we could catch up, otherwise, we may just play the Lost Crown, unsanctioned of course, until the next season begins.

With no-one there in the know, guess I'll figure the administrative stuff out as I go along, hoping for patience in my players...   
As the season has now started, they might have some troubles ordering it.  Especially if they had last seasons and didn't run it - Wizards likes to have events run and reported on time whenever possible. 

Since it's a new store just getting ramped up, I would suggest they contact their Wizards rep asap if they can't find Crystal Cave among the stuff they already have to explain the situation.  Assuming copies are still available they should be able to straighten it out.

If you do end up running Lost Crown, there is plenty of good info in this section of the forum.  Expanded and clarified encounters, and questions answered by the adventure author.

Good luck!


Thanks Braniac,

Yeah... If my players didn't care about amassing renown points, I would actually benefit from running behind and reading how everybody handled the encounters... pitfalls to avoid, plot points to stress, etc...

But some savvy players might realize that we are behind and realize that they can get on the boards and spoil themselves to gain an upper hand...  always a catch.

Either way, we will eventually get in the groove I guess.  Thanks again for the info.

Just curious - was your store able to find the new season?
Yes... But a couple weeks late, so my players decided to just run with Lost Crown since we started it. None of them use fortune cards... Renown points don't matter much as far as amassing new cards. Are they missing out on anything by not playing the current game?
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