War of Everlasting Darkness Info

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The October: In The Works article has some new information about War of Everlasting Darkness.
www.wizards.com/dnd/Article.aspx?x=dnd/4...

Rather than a string of encounters, one per week, that form a linear adventure, this booklet presents a series of short adventures incorporating elements of exploration, interaction, and combat in roughly equal measure.

All the adventures offer much more flexibility than the linear adventures of the past, and each is designed to be played in a single session. Taken together, the adventures tell the story of the War of Everlasting Darkness—the conclusion to the Rise of the Underdark story that has played out throughout the year.


One of my concerns is leveling after every session. I can see it causing confusion when someone stops by for the first time with their level 1 character only to find out everyone is level 6. Also, how will pregenerated characters work? Before you could give someone a lvl 1 pregen even at the end of a season and they would do all right. I hope a leveling guide is provided for pregens.

@feetz_grande on Twitter

We're going to have a "character level help" session at 5:30, with the game starting at 6. If anyone isn't ready by the time we muster tables, they get a pregen to play.

We'll have a set of essentials pregens at all the levels, as well.

It sounds like the new season will be "sandbox," which means PCs can jump around in the adventure. If so, I would expect the sessions to be written in level bands, much like LFR modules, where you can play the same adventure at level 1 or level 4, with different monster stat blocks. 

Having run adventures with brand-new players, I can tell you it is very hard to teach new players the game when they're playing above 4th level. The options are more confusing, and more rules come into play as you progress in levels (mainly because different status effects change what you can/cannot do). 

Since I will be organizing this season, I will be very careful about how we manage the logistics of all this. 
What do you guys say to us organizers building up pre-gens for each level, based on the 6 level 1 characters that have been given out in the past?

I've still got a lot of those laying around, and I think making them into full sheets at each level could be a good way to handle the issue of picking up a new character in the middle. We would all be starting from characters that we are already familiar with, and if we do it incrementally, we can keep them simple enough for anyone to pick up. We can deliberately choose options that go for simplicity of play, rather than power gaming. Static bonus feats, and straight-forward power selections, with inherent bonuses instead of new magic items.

Even if we only do the cleric, that character alone would be able to fit into any party. 
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D&D Home Page - What Class Are You? - Build A Character - D&D Compendium

I'm willing to take on one character from the set-- don't really care which.
You can find the original pre-gens here: dungeonsmaster.com/2011/01/dd-encounters...

We should be ok just doing every other level, so you just need to make a level 3, level 5, and level 7.

I'll take Valenae, the Eladrin War Priest. She will fit in with any party.
Mortaine, if you would, take Fargrim, the Dwarven Slayer. He should be the simplest character, so he will be ideal for an inexperienced player.
 
That leaves
Brandis - Human Cavalier
Jarren - Human Mage
Keira - Elf Thief     -----> Taken
Belgos - Drow Hunter

Edit: Here is Valenae - docs.google.com/open?id=0Bxec94DrBL7BYkE...
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I'm on it. I'll set up a folder in Box today to store these and other useful information.
Anybody seen the module yet? Looks like its moving over to D&D Next rules...
It hasn't arrived at my shop yet. Do you have it? Can you confirm that?
From the bit of the article just before the bit Feetz quotes



The latest season of D&D Encounters starts up later this month, with Session 0 (for character creation) taking place October 24th. This season is something new for the D&D Encounters program. War of Everlasting Darkness is an exciting mini-campaign—and an opportunity to playtest elements of the next edition of the Dungeons & Dragons rules.


The most important element of the new rules that we have tried to implement in this season of D&D Encounters is the idea that you should be able to do more in an hour and a half of play than complete a single combat encounter. As a result, this adventure looks significantly different from previous D&D Encounters adventures.

Calimoakheart on RPGTableOnline
I can't confirm it on my end. The article from two days ago strongly, strongly suggests D&D Next is being implemented, but this flies in the face of past info released. Outside of seeing the module or getting confirmation from WotC staff, Im feeling very much in the dark on this.
My group wants me to run it, as Im read up on all the playtest packets, but I don't want to have to juggle everyone's Essentials characters if it turns out not to be true. The majority of our players don't have the builder and don't know how to level up characters. I really don't want to have to contend with weekly 4E level-up sessions that use the Players Option races and classes. "Next" is much faster in putting a character together and retooling them as they level.
The majority of our players don't have the builder and don't know how to level up characters. I really don't want to have to contend with weekly 4E level-up sessions that use the Players Option races and classes.



The point of Encounters (seems to) have been to teach D&D to new players and reveal new concepts to established players. Character creation and levelling is part and parcel with that. They should be learning this on their own rather than having their DM or one of their fellow players do it for them every time. Perhaps this would be the best time to learn levelling for them. And just because they CAN use the Players Option races and classes doesn't mean they SHOULD. Essentials lines everything out neat and orderly and should probably still be the go-to source for those having trouble levelling without the aid of the Character Builder.

My $0.02. 
smerwin29, one of the writers of this season, has confirmed it is 4e. The way I read the information provided by WOTC is the D&D Next element they are playtesting here is adventure design. They want players to be able to do more than have 1 combat encounter.

@feetz_grande on Twitter

My preview of D&D Encounters: War of Everlasting Darkness is now available and answers all your questions (except whether or not this is the last season).


D&D Encounters: War of Everlasting Darkness – Preview

Visit Dungeon's Master.com – The D&D Resource Blog For DMs and Players.
http://dungeonsmaster.com
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Very helpful information, thank you!

@feetz_grande on Twitter

I was hoping there would be pregens but with Ameron's preview I see that won't be the case. So I guess I'll bite the bullet and help level up a character. I'll take Kiera the elf thief.

@feetz_grande on Twitter

If I might make a suggestion on Pre-Gens...

I would only level them for odd levels (1, 3, 5, and 7).

This would accomplish two major things:

1) cut down on the work needed to level 6 pre-gens and the cost to print them out each week for 1 or more tables.

2) It would provide workable characters that at most are 1 level behind the rest of the party (not a major issue in play) and it would incentivise folks to make their own PCs if they wanted to play at level each time.

My store runs 3-4 tables (and sometimes running 5 tables). Printing 24 characters sheets on a single page would be a burden, hevens forbid they were 5-7 page character builder characters.

Just a thought,

Bryan Blumklotz
I think Ive worked around my dilemma. New players should all be attending Session 0, so Im bringing all the relevant books and having them make all relevant leveling choices right then abd there, for all 8 levels. Then, I'll provide a 5-step guide that will allow them to adjust their characters in between sessions.
Was anyone else's packet missing the pre-gens? 

The module says they are in there but I can't find anything.  
Was anyone else's packet missing the pre-gens? 

The module says they are in there but I can't find anything.  

Weren't in mine either, nor were the cardholder boxes - but have since been informed that the boxes were shipped seperately, maybe the pregens are with them - if not the wonderful guys on these forums have created the pregens for all relevant levels for this season.

"Well that encounter was easy....er, guys, why is the DM grinning?" (party members last words)

It's not a party till the screaming starts!

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Thanks for the quick confirmation.
There are no pregens for the new season. I'm assuming someone forgot to edit that out of the book before it went to print.

Here are the leveled up pregens we've been working on:

community.wizards.com/dungeonsanddragons...

@feetz_grande on Twitter