Looking Ahead to Legacy of the Crystal Shard

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I have to say that it was a big dissapointment to find out that next season is once again starting over at level 1. I have looked at the supplemental material that was in the latest packet and I have discussed it with the other DMs at our store and we have chosen to run the adventure at level 4-6. In fact, this season looks like an ideal opportunity bump the adventure to the next level tier.

 

Most of the enemy stats look like they can be easily bumped with a few exceptions such as the Witch and Dragon. Opponents like Human Warriors and Thugs are easily bumped. Monsters like Orcs, Zombies, Wolves and Green Slime can be substituted with Ogres and Wraiths, Dire Wolves and Ochre Jelly. In fact, it opens up possibilities for the DM to be creative with other options as well.

 

I don't know about you guys, but my players, currently getting a taste of level 3, are ready to test out all of the cool abilities they can see in the next few levels, some of them want to continue playing their current characters. I also have a feeling that Scourge of the Sword Coast will again start at level 1. 

 

Fair warning, doing this will obviously imvolve a little extra work for the DM, so it may not be wise if you are a DM that doesn't have time to do the adaptation justice. I'll probably use this thread to post some of my modifications though.

Our players have also expressed a desire to continue their characters into higher levels, and as Encounters is their only game at present both myself and the other DM are looking at "levelling up" the season once it arrives.

 

I shall watch this space eagerly

"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/

Given the barebones plot only nature of the new adventures it shouldn't be much harder than it already is to come up with the encounters at a higher level.

 

3rd and 4th already have advancement rules for higher levels and for Next for can use higher levelled creatures or re-fluff from higher level creatures.

 

I'm hoping Crystal Shard isn't as political/shades of gray as Baldur's Gate.

I'm also looking forward to this. If all goes right I am going to try my hand at DMing this adventure using the Next playtest rules. It will be my first attempt at DMing so I'm hoping for a more adventurous/action based story too.

 

I have two main things to say:
1. What new materials?
2. According to James via twitter there is no problem with running the adventure for higher levels.

I hope WotC will publish a web supplement with guidelines for running the adventure with characters of higher levels.

Warder

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Warder17 wrote:

1. What new materials?

In the latest playtest packet that was made available in mid-October, there was a new file in the Adventures folder that is meant to server as a supplement to the upcoming adventure for the next season of Encounters. It is simmilar to the supplement file from last season that had all of the monster stat blocks.

In preparation for the Launch Event I have made some Yeti standees - Large ones for the adult and smaller for the young yetis - feel free to use them if you wish.

"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/

Has anyone received the Launch Event material?

@feetz_grande on Twitter

Crystal Shard should hit the premier stores Nov. 8th (standard is 11 days before).  I expect the materials may arrive a couple days before that (at least that's the schedule from August and MiBG).

 

So ask back November 7th.

 

If I run it we're definately scaling it up.

My LGS informed me the Launch Event materials and Legacy of the Crystal Shard arrived today. I'll pick them up tomorrow.

@feetz_grande on Twitter

Our packs arrived last week, so have begun working with my fellow DM to level up the Launch Event in prep. Will post our suggestions here once we've finalised them.

"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/

My store owner forgot to put in for it so I am going to contact another store that WPN says is having it and seeing if they have a spare copy they are willing to give up. Last time they sent him the wrong thing and had to overnight us the Launch packet which arrived ten minutes before we started.

I would like to have my players re build their characters because of the confusion caused by switching between packets. I cringe every time my one player uses his Bastard sword and tries to use ranger powers that no longer exist or insists that taking a defensive action gives him a +4 to AC. Reading the packet is too much work for some people. I think I will start every one at level 3 or 4 with rebuilds, even if they want to keep the same characters.

Had a thought while at work today, I'm thinking of modding the goblins in the adventure to be similar to the Frost Goblins from the 4e adventure "Icy Spire" as I felt they would fit with the theme of the campaign.

"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/

Vobeskhan wrote:

Had a thought while at work today, I'm thinking of modding the goblins in the adventure to be similar to the Frost Goblins from the 4e adventure "Icy Spire" as I felt they would fit with the theme of the campaign.

 

Are there confirmed goblins in the adventure (not that I am doubting it)? If so, that is a pretty good idea using the Frost Goblins. I never played that module but giving it a quick look I don't see why it wouldn't work out.

 

I have already read through my launch event packet and am pretty geeked to start throwing some Yetis and other fun IWD creatures at my group! I was always a cRPG player and loved Buldar's Gate & IWD so this season and MiBG having been a real stand out for me, plus makes it easier to break into DMing an encounter season for the first time when I know a lot of the source material already.

SublimeBW wrote:

 

 

Are there confirmed goblins in the adventure (not that I am doubting it)?

 

Check the D&D Next playtest packet for the bestiary.

@feetz_grande on Twitter

Vobeskhan wrote:

Had a thought while at work today, I'm thinking of modding the goblins in the adventure to be similar to the Frost Goblins from the 4e adventure "Icy Spire" as I felt they would fit with the theme of the campaign.

Are you referring to the Menace of the Icy Spire from Dungeon Mag.?

 

https://www.wizards.com/DnD/Article.aspx?x=dnd/duad/20081008

 

Yes Spykes, thats the one

"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/

My store recieve the kit today , going to read it tomorrow, looking forward to it.

Does anyone have the books for next season yet? How many weeks are there suppose to be in the Legacy of the Crystal Shard season? Dungeon's Master says 13 weeks if you include week 0 (character creation).

 

The WotC solicitation says this season runs from 20 Nov through 12 Feb. Figure 25 Dec and 1 Jan are dead days. That should give us...

 

Week 0 - Nov 13 (Character Creation)

Launch - Nov 16/17

Week 1 - Nov 20

Week 2 - Dec 4

Week 4 - Dec 11

Week 5 - Dec 18

Week 6 - Jan 8 

Week 7 - Jan 15

Week 8 - Jan 22

Week 9 - Jan 29

Week 10 - Feb 5

Week 11 - Feb 12

Week 12 - Feb 19

 

So is it 11 weeks of encounters ending on Feb 12?

Session 0 of Legacy of the Crystal Shard starts 11/20. Murder In Baldur's Gate is sanctioned to end 11/13.

 

11/20-2/12 is 13 weeks. It's up to each group to decide if they'll play on the holidays. While nearly everyone will skip 12/25 I plan on playing 1/1 assuming my players are available. By 5:30pm, when we start, everyone should be good to go.

@feetz_grande on Twitter

DaMacGuy wrote:

Does anyone have the books for next season yet? 

 

This is a great question. Our WPN store is running next season as its first one and we're a bit anxious whether our pre-order was succesful. We have already received materials for Launch weekend but nothing for Encounters. When are they usually delivered?

We received the Encounters pack at the same time as the Launch weekend materials. Need to remember though that the pack is only the Reward Dice and map handouts, as with last season (Murder in Baldur's Gate) the DM's need to purchase their adventure themselves.

 

The Monster stats for use with the D&D Next playtest rules were included in the last playtest packet download (which I believe is still available via the main website).

 

There is no official support for running this at higher levels, but several of the members on these forums are planning on doing so and will be posting their ideas here.

"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 picked up the adventure from my local shop yesterday, so some stores are rolling them out early. FYI

 

Also, as I stated in the OP, we are running this season at Level 4-6. I've made the conversion that we will be using for the Game Day event and you can see the stat blocks at the following link. Obviously, when you start to do conversions and/or level bumping, there is going to be some grey areas and opinions get involved, so take thse with a grain of salt and adjust them if you don't agree. It's pretty subjective. when start down this road I think.

 

Some notable changes: Armor Class was bumped using a trait and Dex. I gave the cat a magic resistance trait and a 1/day reaction to match the side bar description on page 9 of the statistics supplement. 

 

https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B8bFNMq_PApNblR0cTMwNHdhcVk/edit?usp=sharing

AAARGH!!  Email from Amazon UK this morning advising that delivery delayed till Dec 30th-Jan 13th - no use what so ever. Trying to source copies for myself and our other DM from other stores now.

 

This is a real downside to having the Encounters adventures on sale, release dates the day before supposed to start and terrible distribution outside of US :-(

"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/

Regarding the zombies in the event and monster supplement, the author says this in the sidebar on page 11:

After one or two such attacks, even innocuous encounters will put the characters on edge. Is the strange, bent shadow hanging from the tunnel ceiling really a broken beam? Or is a zombie’s claw ready to catch unwary passersby?
Uh, he is aware that we're running this as a tabletop game, and not live-action? That pretty much all of us will be running this in (hopefully) crowded game stores? Usually there's Magic: the Gathering and a few Warmachine or Warhammer 40K games going on at the same time, on the same floor as my table -- keeping the players engaged with my table is challenge enough, I don't have the ability to create the kind of atmosphere this would require.

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AlHazred wrote:

Regarding the zombies in the event and monster supplement, the author says this in the sidebar on page 11:

After one or two such attacks, even innocuous encounters will put the characters on edge. Is the strange, bent shadow hanging from the tunnel ceiling really a broken beam? Or is a zombie’s claw ready to catch unwary passersby?

Uh, he is aware that we're running this as a tabletop game, and not live-action? That pretty much all of us will be running this in (hopefully) crowded game stores? Usually there's Magic: the Gathering and a few Warmachine or Warhammer 40K games going on at the same time, on the same floor as my table -- keeping the players engaged with my table is challenge enough, I don't have the ability to create the kind of atmosphere this would require.

That's awesome! I love to see descriptions like that because they are leaving it up yo the DM to be creative and interpret what that means for the party. For I'd probably tell them how creepy it is as expressive as possible and have them make a Wis check DC and those that fail suffer disadvantage on initiative and are probably easier to surprise since they are over reacting to everything. Those side bars are gold IMO. 

Generally I'd agree, but this one's going to require some finesse. And an unusually quiet Wednesday evening at the hobby shop.

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"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

I just want an opportunity to have my Frost Goblins riding on the slightly smaller Crag Cats so that I can shout their Battle cry in the store.

 

Tundra

 

Tundra

 

Tundra Cats

 

Ho!!

 

 

 

(I'm sorry but its got to be done)

"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've created a battle map for the Crag Cat encounter. You may want to run that one useing TotM, but I'm all about maps and minis, so I went ahead and made one. I created this one using Photoshop and scanned images of tile sets. It's a pretty huge file and suitable for printing if you have access to a large scale printer. The grid markings are not perfect in some areas, notably on the crag, but it's good enough. I plan on using the Armored Guulvorg for the Crag Cat mini.

 

Enjoy. 

 

https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B8bFNMq_PApNYlRVVHZsLS1PdFU/edit?usp=sharing

 

 

I like what I've read so far (the Launch Weekend adventure and most of the scenario book). It's got the flexibility of MiBG, but more action and fewer morally-ambiguous patrons.

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"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

My LCBS won't have the sets til this Friday.

 

My local game store only half-heartedly supports D&D Encounters. This is the second adventure in a row that they didn't put in early for, despite being a WPN store. I'm going to be picking up the adventure the day of the season start for the second season in a row. Is there any way to lay my hands on an adventure earlier?

 

Other DM's are read through the adventure already and I'm sweating bullets here.

jpprichard wrote:

My local game store only half-heartedly supports D&D Encounters. This is the second adventure in a row that they didn't put in early for, despite being a WPN store. I'm going to be picking up the adventure the day of the season start for the second season in a row. Is there any way to lay my hands on an adventure earlier?

 

Other DM's are read through the adventure already and I'm sweating bullets here.

 

Does your store allow for pre-orders of items? Most seem to, and will give you the items like this typically 1 week before they put it out on shelves (just from my experience). If not, I hate to tell you to be disloyal to your FLGS but if they are not being supportive of you (and YOU are bringing business into them by having players come in) it might be time to either shop else where or explain how this affects you and the players to the owner. I am pretty lucky with my FLGS, the owner is in pretty much every day working and will sit and talk with our group for a few minutes before each session even though their main focus is board games and

DaMacGuy wrote:

Does anyone have the books for next season yet? How many weeks are there suppose to be in the Legacy of the Crystal Shard season? Dungeon's Master says 13 weeks if you include week 0 (character creation).

 

The WotC solicitation says this season runs from 20 Nov through 12 Feb. Figure 25 Dec and 1 Jan are dead days. That should give us...

 

Week 0 - Nov 13 (Character Creation)

Launch - Nov 16/17

Week 1 - Nov 20

Week 2 - Dec 4

Week 4 - Dec 11

Week 5 - Dec 18

Week 6 - Jan 8 

Week 7 - Jan 15

Week 8 - Jan 22

Week 9 - Jan 29

Week 10 - Feb 5

Week 11 - Feb 12

Week 12 - Feb 19

 

So is it 11 weeks of encounters ending on Feb 12?

 

I don't think this is correct. On the WPN site, it is showing the next D&D Game Day event for Feb. 15-16. That's means you need to have season 16 wrapped up by Feb. 5 so you can do character creation of Feb. 12th. That gives you a total of only 9 playable weeks! Double check me on this, but I think that's correct. 

 

http://www.wizards.com/wpn/Events/Event.aspx?x=DDGD1

 

Spykes wrote:

 

DaMacGuy wrote:

Does anyone have the books for next season yet? How many weeks are there suppose to be in the Legacy of the Crystal Shard season? Dungeon's Master says 13 weeks if you include week 0 (character creation).

 

The WotC solicitation says this season runs from 20 Nov through 12 Feb. Figure 25 Dec and 1 Jan are dead days. That should give us...

 

Week 0 - Nov 13 (Character Creation)

Launch - Nov 16/17

Week 1 - Nov 20

Week 2 - Dec 4

Week 4 - Dec 11

Week 5 - Dec 18

Week 6 - Jan 8 

Week 7 - Jan 15

Week 8 - Jan 22

Week 9 - Jan 29

Week 10 - Feb 5

Week 11 - Feb 12

Week 12 - Feb 19

 

So is it 11 weeks of encounters ending on Feb 12?

 

 

I don't think this is correct. On the WPN site, it is showing the next D&D Game Day event for Feb. 15-16. That's means you need to have season 16 wrapped up by Feb. 5 so you can do character creation of Feb. 12th. That gives you a total of only 9 playable weeks! Double check me on this, but I think that's correct. 

 

http://www.wizards.com/wpn/Events/Event.aspx?x=DDGD1

 

 

First, the top week outline by DaMacGuy is missing week 3, it goes 1, 2 skips 3 then goes to 4, so skipping playing on Holiday weeks would end on the 26th, not the 19th. Even if we play on Nov. 27th & Jan 1st (or some time those weeks) thats still means that the season will wrap up on 12th, leaving no time for a zero week. So that means players must play every week between now and the next event to get there in time and have a zero week.

I think its because they assume the groups are running the Launch Weekend adventure, which if run as written has your players create characters at the table.

"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/

Ugh turns out my LCBS got screwed and won't get any materials until Tuesday November 19. WTG WotC. Lame.

So when do you think they'll put up a forum for Season 16? This is cutting it a little close, no?

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They have one up, it is at the top of the list.

 

How did I miss that?! Thanks!

 

As far as the Dragon goes, I've taken the liberty of advancing the dragon here: https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B1gbLqXS723cWjZ4bVBjNlVzV2s/edit?usp=sharing

There are two versions. One is merely advanced by 2 HD (on the theory that since level progression slows somewhat after 3rd level, the characters will be at most 5th-6th level when it is confronted). The other is advanced, and also Legendary (for more on Legendary monsters, check out Mike Mearls' column here: http://www.wizards.com/dnd/Article.aspx?x=dnd/4ll/20130617)

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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