D&D Encounters: Search for the Diamond Staff (season 14) – Preview

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The adventure takes place in the Dalelands of the Forgotten Realms. The events of this season’s adventure happen right after the events of the D&D Game Day adventure Vault of the Dracolich.


This season’s adventure begins when the PCs are hired to accompany a sage on an expedition to the ruins of Uvaeren in the Cormanthor Forest near Mistledale. He hopes to gain access to the Vault of Song, one of the lost ancient libraries. He plans to use the Staff to bypass the magical wards and gain access to the library and its secrets.


The Staff is stolen during week 1 before the PCs realize that there is any real danger and spend the rest of the adventure tracking it down and fighting against three different factions that all want the Staff for their own nefarious purposes – the Shadovar, the Zhentarim, and the Cult of Dragons loyal to Dretchroyaster.


PCs begin this adventure at level 4 and will advance through to level 6 by the end.


For more details visit Dungeon's Master.

Visit Dungeon's Master.com – The D&D Resource Blog For DMs and Players.
http://dungeonsmaster.com
Follow me on Twitter @ameron_dm

Looking  good so far.  Read most of the module right now and can't wait to play this season.
twentyfootradius@gmail.com Alton - @TwentyFoot 20ft Radius - 20ftradius.blogspot.ca
With no announced new playtest packet to coincide with this season and game day, are the Next conversion notes for the season included in the packet or is there a download link?

"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!

Follow me on Twitter @Vobeskhan or check out my blog http://vobeskhan.wordpress.com/

Conversion notes are not provided, just NDAs. It's clear that a conversion kit will be made available by the time the new season begins. I'm guessing around the time of the Game Day (June 15).

Visit Dungeon's Master.com – The D&D Resource Blog For DMs and Players.
http://dungeonsmaster.com
Follow me on Twitter @ameron_dm

The adventure takes place in the Dalelands of the Forgotten Realms. The events of this season’s adventure happen right after the events of the D&D Game Day adventure Vault of the Dracolich.


This season’s adventure begins when the PCs are hired to accompany a sage on an expedition to the ruins of Uvaeren in the Cormanthor Forest near Mistledale. He hopes to gain access to the Vault of Song, one of the lost ancient libraries. He plans to use the Staff to bypass the magical wards and gain access to the library and its secrets.


The Staff is stolen during week 1 before the PCs realize that there is any real danger and spend the rest of the adventure tracking it down and fighting against three different factions that all want the Staff for their own nefarious purposes – the Shadovar, the Zhentarim, and the Cult of Dragons loyal to Dretchroyaster.


PCs begin this adventure at level 4 and will advance through to level 6 by the end.


For more details visit Dungeon's Master.


FYI (for other organizers as well): The sales flyer for Diamond Staff says it starts at level 1. Glad to see that was changed.

Vault of the Dracolich (Game Day, June 15) sales flyer is also level 4.

If Diamond Staff starts at level 4, I'm guessing one could use Vault of the Dracolich as a prequel adventure, then? I suppose you could even convert D&D Next characters over to 4e if people wanted to play in Game Day but felt more comfortable in 4e.

As of last week, we didn't have our packet yet. I expect it'll be there when I get to the shop tonight.
Conversion notes are not provided, just NDAs. It's clear that a conversion kit will be made available by the time the new season begins. I'm guessing around the time of the Game Day (June 15).



Only downside of that is that its after Session 0 (Character creation night) for the season Surprised - my packs havent arrived as yet (was at Encounters this evening) but here in the UK we're usually late getting them Embarassed.

"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!

Follow me on Twitter @Vobeskhan or check out my blog http://vobeskhan.wordpress.com/

Vault of the Dracolich is indeed the prequel to Encounters season 14. I'm going to allow players who play both to use the same character. However, the Game Day event is only D&D Next. 

Visit Dungeon's Master.com – The D&D Resource Blog For DMs and Players.
http://dungeonsmaster.com
Follow me on Twitter @ameron_dm

I've just got the Vault of the Dracolich booklet to read in preparation - it looks fab! Really looking forward to running it.
Another Encounters season with 3 different groups of bad guys? I'm going to need some strong characterizations to make them distinct. Seems to have a tone of "It's a mad mad mad mad mad mad mad world".

Looks good. Since we've got some continuity from previous seasons, I might re-flavour some of the groups to be factions they're familiar with. 

"Ah, the age-old conundrum. Defenders of a game are too blind to see it's broken, and critics are too idiotic to see that it isn't." - Brian McCormick

Help! My FLGS didn't order the next encounter season in time. We only found out today! We usually run three tables and now we have nothing. The store manager is trying to get in touch with their distributor on Monday, but it doesn't look good.

We're talking about pulling an older Encounters season, but several of our players want the next season. Some may even walk.

Is there anything we can do? Cry
Unfortunately I've been there myself.  We're still waiting on our packet for next season but supposedly everything is signed up correctly so I've got my fingers crossed.

Talking to your WOTC rep is the first step - maybe they can do something.

Next, check with other local gaming stores.  Since the kit comes with two copies, maybe one store will have an extra they can spare.

 Finally, if your players are hot for the next season, and all else fails, take up a collection and hit eBay.  It's a last resort we've had to turn to twice - it's not cheap, and not always easy, but it's an option.
Quick question about character creation. Since we are creating characters at 4th level, IIRC, and the site says to use the "standard" character creation method does this mean we are to use the inherent bonus system or get items of level -1, level, level +1 and your starting gold? Or, do we just start at level 4 with whatever mundane gear we purchase.
Still awaiting our packs arrival too. game day one arrived a week ago.

"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!

Follow me on Twitter @Vobeskhan or check out my blog http://vobeskhan.wordpress.com/

I'm right there with you, Vobeskhan! It's a nail-biter every time. At least the stress burns some calories...

Not happy with the look of the new forums? Check out the Skin Your Forums thread for a solution.

D&D Next: VALOREIGN Home Game Development, Kalani's Homebrew and Original Content | General Campaign Stuff: Bawylie's Budget Dungeons

"D&D is an elf from Tolkien, a barbarian from Howard, and a mage from Vance fighting monsters from Lovecraft in a room that looks like it might have been designed by Wells and Giger." -- TiaNadiezja

Packs arrive depending on the wave your srore registered in. I don't know officially how it works but i signed my store up during the first days it was available for registration and we got our packs last week. You should see your pack at the latest on Tuesday, which will be fine for your character gen week one. We actually sat down as a group this past Wednesday to go over what we would like to play.

We decided to go for a "Fey Themed" party.
Brothers(Sort of)-
Hengyokai(Tenuki) Monk
Hengyokai Carpman Hexblade (Feypact/Sihde Lord)
Brothers-
Eladrin Bladesinger
(Me) Eladrin Skald(or Regular Bard|Swordmage). 

BAND OF BROTHERS.
@ezrider23: Hmmm... I believe you, but I schedule Encounters as soon as I get the email announcing the next season, and we never have the packs arrive more than 1 week before the Session 0 character gen. Maybe we're just lucky?

Not happy with the look of the new forums? Check out the Skin Your Forums thread for a solution.

D&D Next: VALOREIGN Home Game Development, Kalani's Homebrew and Original Content | General Campaign Stuff: Bawylie's Budget Dungeons

"D&D is an elf from Tolkien, a barbarian from Howard, and a mage from Vance fighting monsters from Lovecraft in a room that looks like it might have been designed by Wells and Giger." -- TiaNadiezja

@ezrider23: Hmmm... I believe you, but I schedule Encounters as soon as I get the email announcing the next season, and we never have the packs arrive more than 1 week before the Session 0 character gen. Maybe we're just lucky?

Just a thought on my part.

Perhaps there is no real rhyme or reason to how they get shipped out. I was just thinking back to my customer service call with Trevor and it was stated that the packets are sent out in waves "usually" depending on when your store set up the evnts through the WER. I'm not complaining and i'm more than happy for our DM to get an early peek.
Quick question about character creation. Since we are creating characters at 4th level, IIRC, and the site says to use the "standard" character creation method does this mean we are to use the inherent bonus system or get items of level -1, level, level +1 and your starting gold? Or, do we just start at level 4 with whatever mundane gear we purchase.



The standard character creation method is as follows. When you create a level 4 PC using 4e rules they get the following starting equipment:


  • level 5 (or lower) item

  • level 4 (or lower) item

  • level 3 (or lower) item

  • 680 gp (equivalent to a level 3 magic item).

  • Note: public play rules usually say you cannot purchase more than 2 consumables or magical ammunition with your starting gold. They also cannot be a higher level than the PC, so in this case level 4.


I don't ususally require PCs above level 1 to pay for mundane gear if it's within reason. If they try to take 1 of everything then I ask them to do the accounting.

Do not use inherent bonuses if you're using this method to equip characters. It's this way OR inherent bonuses; not both.

If you're playing D&D Next I don't believe you begin with any magic items but I haven't downloaded the conversion kit yet.

Visit Dungeon's Master.com – The D&D Resource Blog For DMs and Players.
http://dungeonsmaster.com
Follow me on Twitter @ameron_dm

Anyone know what the starting gold for Next characters above 1st level is?


On a semi related note I started a thread in the Game Day Events forum about running Vault of the Dracolich. If you have any questions or advice for running it your input is appreciated.

[spoiler DM eyes only ]community.wizards.com/dungeonsanddragons...(spoilers)[/spoiler]

@feetz_grande on Twitter

Ugh... I got my Encounters adventure, but still no Game Day material.
Actually, packets arrive according to the Wizards status of your store.  A Premier store will receive packets earlier than others.
Anyone know what the starting gold for Next characters above 1st level is?



Same as for 1st; likely because magic items are not considered necessary. (If there's a rule saying otherwise, it's hidden real good. [Or hiding in plain sight. Smile])

However, since they've probably found something by 4th level, I let my players start with either a common magic item, or one of the 500gp  (non-magic) suits of armor. It seemed to work ok in Neverwinter.
Well according to the D&D Next package for Search, they say that a common magic item is at the discretion of the organizer of the games. Though I upped that to either two common or one uncommon item at the discretion of the organizer.
Anyone seen sign of this Dalelands map that we're supposed to be able to download from dndencounters.com?
The official page (www.wizards.com/dnd/Event.aspx?x=dnd/4ne...) says the adventure is for characters level 4-6, but under the creating a character tab it says to build at 3rd level. Is that an error? Should characters be built at 4th level?
The official page (www.wizards.com/dnd/Event.aspx?x=dnd/4ne...) says the adventure is for characters level 4-6, but under the creating a character tab it says to build at 3rd level. Is that an error? Should characters be built at 4th level?

While the adventure still hasn't arrived here, I assume the website just did a copy paste from last season and forgot to change the 3rd level to 4th, since the preview on dungeonsmaster.com has the first 3 sessions at 4th level, the next 3 at 5th level, and the final 2 at 6th.

 
This season characters start at 4th level and progress to 6th level, and is set is the Dalelands of the Forgotten Realms. This is directly from the copy I recieved.
The official page (www.wizards.com/dnd/Event.aspx?x=dnd/4ne...) says the adventure is for characters level 4-6, but under the creating a character tab it says to build at 3rd level. Is that an error? Should characters be built at 4th level?


The level range on the cover for the actual adventure module is 4-6 so i would build a 4th level pc.
Argghhh!   It happened again!  I try to be patient, but when we get the Game Day stuff two weeks ago and nothing for Encounters by the week of the new season, I push the store to check.  Word back from Wizard's 'maybe it was packed with your gameday materials'.  Nope.  Twice before my players have had to submit to the inflated prices on eBay to get the adventures we signed up for but never arrived so they could play in the new season.

Supossedly they will look for a extra copy to send us (why not the ones we ordered?).  And today I will go forward with the character creation as if we will run something next week.  Shame, too, since we have a ton of new players signed up, and if we only get a single copy, I'll have to turn away a bunch (I'm going to ask the older, regular folks to sit this one out, I think - give the new guys a chance).  that's assuming we GET the extra copy.  if not... I guess it doesn't matter.
Our pack also hadnt arrived when we went to the store this evening - luckily due to the store being closed last week due to staff holidays we ran the season 13 finale but we're hoping something turns up before next week.

Its odd though, because our Games Day pack arrived over a week ago.

"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!

Follow me on Twitter @Vobeskhan or check out my blog http://vobeskhan.wordpress.com/

Anyone seen sign of this Dalelands map that we're supposed to be able to download from dndencounters.com?



It's up now
Has anyone read or heard someplace why they didn't put up an Encounters specific option in the Character Builder for this season? Do they plan to or is this becoming an obsolete tool due to the "push" towards D&D Next? It's not completely necessary but it would have been nice to see new options as far as themes and backgrounds for us who are playing the 4e version of Encounters.
Anyone seen sign of this Dalelands map that we're supposed to be able to download from dndencounters.com?

The maps are now available for download. (Note that if you went earlier, you might have missed the second map, which got added just today; there are now two versions of the map).

Also, the text regarding 4E character creation on the website is incorrect. It should say "build your own 4th-level character." I've requested that the text be changed. Sorry for the confusion.

Enjoy the map, and thanks for playing!

D&D Producer

Has anyone read or heard someplace why they didn't put up an Encounters specific option in the Character Builder for this season? Do they plan to or is this becoming an obsolete tool due to the "push" towards D&D Next? It's not completely necessary but it would have been nice to see new options as far as themes and backgrounds for us who are playing the 4e version of Encounters.


The 4E side of Encounters has moved to everything being legal for the game.  Thus, all you need to do is start up a new Home game character.
Has anyone read or heard someplace why they didn't put up an Encounters specific option in the Character Builder for this season? Do they plan to or is this becoming an obsolete tool due to the "push" towards D&D Next? It's not completely necessary but it would have been nice to see new options as far as themes and backgrounds for us who are playing the 4e version of Encounters.


The 4E side of Encounters has moved to everything being legal for the game.  Thus, all you need to do is start up a new Home game character.


Yeah, i really didn't think about it that way. 

Unfortunately I've been there myself.  We're still waiting on our packet for next season but supposedly everything is signed up correctly so I've got my fingers crossed.

Talking to your WOTC rep is the first step - maybe they can do something.

Next, check with other local gaming stores.  Since the kit comes with two copies, maybe one store will have an extra they can spare.

 Finally, if your players are hot for the next season, and all else fails, take up a collection and hit eBay.  It's a last resort we've had to turn to twice - it's not cheap, and not always easy, but it's an option.

The store manage was able to get a packet in the store from WotC on Friday!

Huzzah!

 Laughing
Phew!  Apparently our pack arrived on the 3rd of June but the store owner put it aside before going on his holiday and no-one knew.

Luckily he was back this weekend and gave me the pack at the Games Day event

"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!

Follow me on Twitter @Vobeskhan or check out my blog http://vobeskhan.wordpress.com/

 The store manage was able to get a packet in the store from WotC on Friday!

Huzzah!

 



Gives me hope, but still no packet as of today.  Store is calling Wizards again to check the status of their ticket.  In the meantime, we are proceeding with emergency plans for tomorrow...

Any ETA when the Season 14 forum will go live?

Have there been Season 14 pre gen's posted yet? If not I'm planning on reusing hte pregens from last season. 
Any ETA when the Season 14 forum will go live?

Have there been Season 14 pre gen's posted yet? If not I'm planning on reusing hte pregens from last season. 



Remember to level them up to 4, and choose appropriate magic items.



Remember to level them up to 4, and choose appropriate magic items.




There are level 4 pregens in the playtest documents. Next characters don't start with magic items at higher levels.

@feetz_grande on Twitter