Murder in Baldur's Gate Information

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The article and solicitation flyer.

Highlights


  • Can be run in 3.5, Next, or 4e.

  • The for sale adventure is what you use for Encounters. The kit does NOT have the adventure. Stores have to order it.

  • 13 weeks

  • Intro adventure to be run at Launch event on Aug 17-18.

  • Player maps, NPC cards, exclusive d20s

  • Part of the Sundering event for Forgotten Realms

  • Report results and influence outcome



The article mentions that the next 5 seasons of Encounters will involve the Sundering. I wonder if the adventures will serve as a campaign or will reset each time.

@feetz_grande on Twitter

So, for the dubious pleasure of running 13 weeks of public play, our DMs can shell out $35 for the module as well?

That's it. I'm done. It was fun while it lasted, but we already ask a lot from our volunteers. I'll tell the Pathfinder Society guys they can take over Wednesday nights at the shop.

My thoughts and opinions on these changes summed up at Dungeon's Master.




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I'm going to talk to my LGS owner during Game Day but I'm not opitimistic about the prospects.

@feetz_grande on Twitter

Thanks to some mailing snafus of the Neverwinter campaign, I haven't been using the Encounters adventures, but I've still been showing up once a week with a short encounter and an on-going campaign since January. I've got plenty of pre-made materials already to keep this party going with or without free adventures, but it still doesn't sit well with me.

I'm not going to be indignant and boycott this. Heck, I probably will buy MaBG, but I may or may not run it, especially if it's level 1. My group has a nice history going with our adventures in Faerun, and I'd like to see how far it goes.

I think the changes are certainly... interesting. I didn't see the 3.5 twist coming, but I can see why they wanted to tie it in with product they were selling. Still, it could have been a "free-to-play" approach. Back in 2009, I DMed a monthly Dungeon Delve program that was four laminated pages of combat encounters with a thin story to connect them all. WotC could have made a cheap string of interaction/combat/exploration encounters based around Baldur's Gate, and put a big ad in the Kit saying "If you want to enhance this free adventure, buy our new product and use it to impress your group!"

I suppose I'm most disappointed in how haphazardly they're managing the Encounters program. From what I've seen, it's one of the most successful in-store programs for RPGs. Like ever. It got people into stores on a weekly basis, promoting product that was currently in stores. Even with the changes occuring with DDNext, you'd think they'd respect Encounters' success and use it for the new edition. But ever since the DDNext playtest began, they've been altering the Encounters format back and forth and out there again, and been very unclear on what they want to do with it. I guess this is the answer.    

"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

I wouldn't over-react to this just yet. We have had 14 seasons of free Encounters adventures. It's possible that that this first season is being charged for because they are coupling the campaign guide with it and it's the first real D&D Next product to hit the shelves. This is not a huge deal breaker in my book. All of the upcoming seasons will be using this same campaign guide as well, so I can't imagine them trying to package that with each season. It's probably their way of saying that you really need this guide to supplement the upcoming seasons properly, but there's no way we can give everything away. Just take a deep breath and give it a chance and allow them to support their retail stores out there a little bit too.
All of the upcoming seasons will be using this same campaign guide as well, so I can't imagine them trying to package that with each season.



Then they should let us know that. The product and kits have to be ordered in advance. That type of information would be invaluble when I talk to my store owner and players about the future of the program.

@feetz_grande on Twitter

I'm not too thrilled about it either, in addition to paying $35, those of us who are running Next will have to do a paste-up job on the module anyway because Next stats aren't included.  

If this is not the changing of the trend and subsequent encounters seasons' modules will be provided I might be OK with buying this one but if it's the new normal I probably won't be continuing to donate my time to prepare and DM in the store. 
So, for the dubious pleasure of running 13 weeks of public play, our DMs can shell out $35 for the module as well?

That's it. I'm done. It was fun while it lasted, but we already ask a lot from our volunteers. I'll tell the Pathfinder Society guys they can take over Wednesday nights at the shop.

To play in the Pathfinder Society campaign, don't you have to buy the adventures? At $4 per adventure? So 10 weeks of Pathfinder would cost [pulls out calculator] $40, right? Who pays for those?

Now when you buys those, can you buy them from your local game store, so they can get some profit? Or are they only available online from the Paizo website?
I don't know how PFS does it, and I don't care. I don't play Pathfinder. Our local PFS guys have a bunch of adventures already.
As far as I am aware the Campaign Guide is specific just to the Murder in Baldur’s Gate adventure/season as having sanctioned the following season (Legacy of the Crystal Shard) and its Games Day event it appears that each subsequent season will follow suit.

As a huge Forgotten Realms fan I will most likely buy the products anyway but as our FLGS is more wargame and MtG orientated they struggle to order in D&D stock, so I may have to rely on Amazon and such.

Even though we were late to the Encounters party (joining with season 8 – Elder Elemental Eye) and this has introduced over a dozen new customers to the store itself, with numbers currently dropping off and our group being down to a single table each week, I do think that this may well be the final nail in the coffin that sees the program die in our store, which will be a real shame as its the only one in our city.

If the adventures are going to be on general sale there will be no incentive for players or dm’s to attend anything other than the Games Day events for the freebies and then just run games at home whenever they wanted rather than the regular Wednesday sessions.

"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/

All of the upcoming seasons will be using this same campaign guide as well, so I can't imagine them trying to package that with each season.



Then they should let us know that. The product and kits have to be ordered in advance. That type of information would be invaluble when I talk to my store owner and players about the future of the program.



Totally agree. I'm not defending their communication skills, I'm just saying that I doubt very seriously that it will be $35 every season. Hopefully with some backlash from the DM community, the community that they desperately need and have openly acknowledged their need to foster and grow, we'll get some answers soon. I'm sure this will be a hot topic at Gen Con, so hopefully they will try to put that fire out before it starts.
Gen Con will be too late to make or change decisions for that season, or probably even the one following it. Gen Con is when the Game Day event is.
If the adventures are going to be on general sale there will be no incentive for players or dm’s to attend anything other than the Games Day events for the freebies and then just run games at home whenever they wanted rather than the regular Wednesday sessions.



This is the crux of the matter in my opinion and is the point that I think WotC is missing.

Gen Con will be too late to make or change decisions for that season, or probably even the one following it. Gen Con is when the Game Day event is.


I doubt it will be too late for the following season. We just need to hear from them and their intentions for the upcoming seasons. I doubt they will be able to get through Gen Con without addressing that.

All of the upcoming seasons will be using this same campaign guide as well, so I can't imagine them trying to package that with each season.


Then they should let us know that. The product and kits have to be ordered in advance. That type of information would be invaluble when I talk to my store owner and players about the future of the program.


Totally agree. I'm not defending their communication skills, I'm just saying that I doubt very seriously that it will be $35 every season. Hopefully with some backlash from the DM community, the community that they desperately need and have openly acknowledged their need to foster and grow, we'll get some answers soon. I'm sure this will be a hot topic at Gen Con, so hopefully they will try to put that fire out before it starts.


The subsequent season adventure is also $35 with what appears to be the same sourcebook+adventure layout (as indicated by its page count). Given that, I am nigh certain that this will continue for the following three seasons (to close out the Sundering arc) as well.

I suspect that there are two reasons for the change, both economical:
1. By making it publicly available, they have more potential buyers for the material - all players, rather than just enough for a few stores - and thus can print more (and reduce print cost per book) in order to sell more.
2. Give retailers D&D product to sell, since - beyond reprints of old editions - there has not been truly new material to put on the shelves in many months. Stores may be having players show up for Encounters, but they're probably not selling much D&D stuff to those players.
The additional aspect is that the adventure would be available to non-retailer-based gaming groups/clubs who were excluded from the Encounters program.

Myself, not being a big fan of the Realms, I don't have much inclination to spend money on these books. I've been DM'ing at Encounters since halfway through season 2 and was taking a break this season to play, but now that looks like it'll be a much longer break...
“If the computer or the game designer is having more fun than the player, you have made a terrible mistake.” -Sid Meier
Concerned Dungeon Masters should engage their FLGS proprietors and attempt a workable compromise. If you are successfully bringing customers into the store as a byproduct of the D&D Encounters program, I see no reason why the store wouldn't sell the materials to you at cost (if not give it to you for free).

Danny



The additional aspect is that the adventure would be available to non-retailer-based gaming groups/clubs who were excluded from the Encounters program.



They won't be able to order the Encounter kits with additional material so it's really no different than buying any other adventure and running it on a weekly basis.

@feetz_grande on Twitter

They won't be able to order the Encounter kits with additional material so it's really no different than buying any other adventure and running it on a weekly basis.

This is correct.

Only WPN Gateway stores will be able to provide the promo twenty-sided dice featuring the Murder in Baldur’s Gate season symbol, the pre-printed player maps, or the NPC cards.

Danny

As far as I am aware the Campaign Guide is specific just to the Murder in Baldur’s Gate adventure/season as having sanctioned the following season (Legacy of the Crystal Shard) and its Games Day event it appears that each subsequent season will follow suit.



I don't see Legacy of the Crystal Shard available to sanction.

-------------------------
On a semi related note I only see 8 dates to sanction for Murder in Baldur's Gate. The material available says it's supposed to last 13 weeks.

@feetz_grande on Twitter

I don't see Legacy of the Crystal Shard available to sanction.

-------------------------
On a semi related note I only see 8 dates to sanction for Murder in Baldur's Gate. The material available says it's supposed to last 13 weeks.




Sorry mis-typed, meant have seen the sanctioning dates for Legacy - opens 8th September for its Game Day intro and the season. But you are correct - only 8 weeks on the schedule for Baldur's Gate.

"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/

Hmmm.. WotC may want to update their Encounters information page...

"D&D Encounters can’t happen without people behind the screen—the most important seat in the house. With D&D Encounters, DMing is easy. Your store organizer will have everything you need—the adventure, maps, tokens (for PCs and Monsters), as well as all the other game materials you and your players will want and need."
Hey, the store still has everything you need. You just need to pay $35 for it!

And then download the monster stats from home. 

"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

And provide your own maps.

And tokens. 
And tokens.

Token!? I love me some tokens!

Where did they say they were providing tokens?

Danny

They used to provide tokens with Encounters. Stopped doing it about 3 or 4 season ago.

My store owner has decided to eat the cost. He wants peole coming into his store. He's afraid the loss of exclusivity will hurt attendance though.

@feetz_grande on Twitter

They used to provide tokens with Encounters. Stopped doing it about 3 or 4 season ago.

Ah, I thought you were stating that tokens would again be provided.

I miss the tokens.

Danny

Any idea if the adventure will be available in pdf stores such as RPGdrivethru?
@Asare: I doubt highly that it will ever be available as a (legal) pdf. Wizards moved away from pdfs due to fears of piracy. While they've relaxed that recently, I haven't seen that for primary products, only for secondary stuff.
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