Playing Community Advocate Catch-Up

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Hey everyone!

Sorry I haven't been very active 'round these parts of late.  The short version is, work has near overwhelmed me of late - and taking care of my daughter at home in the evenings so my wife can finish her homework and things. . . well. . . I've been a bad CA.  

That said - I'm here today, and I'm working on some thread clean-up - though in skimming most threads I stumble across it looks like Dragon9, Kenobi65, and Pedr have done a GREAT job in answering questions and keeping discussions going.

To that end - if there's anything that's been missed, or that needs a clearer answer, please post here so I can shoot things up the chain for the LFR Global Admins and/or Chris Tulach.  

Thanks again, everyone, for being so patient and always making this a happy "home" to return to.   
WolfStar76 Community Advocate (SVCL) for D&D Organized Play, Avalon Hill, and the DCI/WPN LFR Community Manager DDi Guide

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Questions besides the obvious backlog of mods?
I don't have any news on the backlog, but I have overhead the Globals discussing bits and pieces of the problem.  I'll ask for an official quote on the matter, but I know it's something that's very much on their minds right now.
WolfStar76 Community Advocate (SVCL) for D&D Organized Play, Avalon Hill, and the DCI/WPN LFR Community Manager DDi Guide

Created by MyFitnessPal - Free Calorie Counter

It isn't a big deal for me, but I would be curious if there is a date for the next CCG. There was supposed to be a new version and then we just had a small update instead.

I think there is still big confusion for a new player/DM as to where they sign up for rewards, what the rewards are, when they are sent out, etc. Even what to do with their new RPGA # is confusing to them (and a lot of the guides now miss a few screens that have changed). The main web site is just overall confusing to new players (and even experienced ones) and needs more refinement.

On the CCG are a few questions that are big questions requiring analysis by the admins, such as whether an author can play a mod they have written. Just pointing it out in case they need a reminder of these larger discussions.

I think the lack of H2 and H3 support at GenCon raised some eyebrows and caused some grief, which may be worth noting if you report on such sentiments. The delay for Origin and the delay in mod releases has some people in our area worried about the higher-level planning. Along similar lines, I think PAX being just non-LFR had some issues. Doable from the limited perspective of seating all the tables, but not in the interest of a lot of the core players, who are also often the more experienced judges for such events. I hope that WotC/RPGA takes in context the success of D&D Encounters but also realizes that such a program does not please a lot of the core living campaign base. (I can imagine a scenario whereby WotC sees it being successful and lower cost and maybe even thinks it drives more sales, but fails to see the importance of strongly supporting a living campaign for the vast majority of the RPGA players).

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Last I know about the CCG:

community.wizards.com/lfr/blog/2010/04/2...

(you may have missed it - I only noticed the blog yesterday)
It isn't a big deal for me, but I would be curious if there is a date for the next CCG. There was supposed to be a new version and then we just had a small update instead.



There is no firm date, but it will be out before Origins. I am compiling the new CCG now and will then release it to the Regional Admins to review and edit first. Then I hope to have a public review before releasing a final draft. So no specific date, but definately by Origins.


On the CCG are a few questions that are big questions requiring analysis by the admins, such as whether an author can play a mod they have written. Just pointing it out in case they need a reminder of these larger discussions.



I think that may actually end up in the new Writer's Guidelines, which we hope to release after the CCG (probably between Origins and Gen Con).

I think the lack of H2 and H3 support at GenCon raised some eyebrows and caused some grief, which may be worth noting if you report on such sentiments.



I'm not going to address this right now, but I will say it's more of an announcement than something that will be in the CCG. I do have it on my radar and likely we will post a Blog post discussing it on the LFG group (community.wizards.com/lfr). If you aren't a member, you should sign up today! I am trying to move all of the Globals towards using it for announcements, so like Gomeztoo, we are posting there and its easy to miss if you don't check it every so often.


Even tho9ugh we don't know the schedule for Origins yet, I suspect it will have mor elower level play.  I could be wrong, but I wouldn't be surprised if the summer cons got split up like that.
Sorry WOTC, you lost me with Essentials. So where I used to buy every book that came out, now I will be very choosy about what I buy. Can we just get back to real 4e? Check out the 4e Conversion Wiki. 1. Wizards fight dirty. They hit their enemies in the NADs. -- Dragon9 2. A barbarian hits people with his axe. A warlord hits people with his barbarian. 3. Boo-freakin'-hoo, ya light-slingin' finger-wigglers. -- MrCelcius in response to the Cleric's Healer's Lore nerf

There is no firm date, but it will be out before Origins. I am compiling the new CCG now and will then release it to the Regional Admins to review and edit first. Then I hope to have a public review before releasing a final draft. So no specific date, but definately by Origins.


I just wanted to make special note of the bolded text: that is flat out awesome and I thank you for that decision.

I mentioned these before, but let me repeat, and not be dilatory.

1) We really need to know the Q2 plan. Even if its the Q1 schedule of backlog, plus a little, or even if the dates are going to be vague, it at least gives TO people like me a chance at offering events. I have three months to play these for conventions and its nice to be able to plan these ahead.

2) (EDIT) see below

3)  The PAX situation has me very worried. Can someone calm our fears?

(reedit) NVM put it in the right place...
1) We're working on it; having some staff issues at the moment so it seems likely that the schedule won't be out until next week at the earliest.

2) Not anything the LFR staff controls (the con support being down) as its all run by WOTC, but at this point it seems unlikely we're going hand out any special story objects for conventions.

3) Again, not anything the LFR staff controls or in fact, has input on.  
1) We're working on it; having some staff issues at the moment so it seems likely that the schedule won't be out until next week at the earliest.
 



This is awesome, and handles my immediate problem,


2) Not anything the LFR staff controls (the con support being down) as its all run by WOTC, but at this point it seems unlikely we're going hand out any special story objects for conventions.

3) Again, not anything the LFR staff controls or in fact, has input on.  


Fair enough...

I'm not going to address this right now, but I will say it's more of an announcement than something that will be in the CCG. I do have it on my radar and likely we will post a Blog post discussing it on the LFG group (community.wizards.com/lfr). If you aren't a member, you should sign up today! I am trying to move all of the Globals towards using it for announcements, so like Gomeztoo, we are posting there and its easy to miss if you don't check it every so often.



Until members can receive a report on changes (posts/wiki edits/new threads/blogs/etc.) to a group, please also announce it on these forums. Otherwise, most of us won't know. I mean this in the nicest way, but I really can't click on every group I've joined every day to see if it changed.

Even tho9ugh we don't know the schedule for Origins yet, I suspect it will have mor elower level play.  I could be wrong, but I wouldn't be surprised if the summer cons got split up like that.


I know you mean this well, but outside of PAX (and arguably for PAX), it is a really bad idea. PAX is at least a con(s) that have as their target a much wider audience. Thus, excluding the experienced player is somewhat permissible... though you have to wonder why you want to do that. At anything other than PAX (Gen Con, D&DXP, Origins, etc.), I see no value in excluding a demographic. "Oh, you are an experienced player that loves LFR? Sorry, you should not play at PAX. We will have no LFR. Oh, you are a new player? Come to Gen Con and play this cool MINI series. But, don't come next year, because we won't support H2."

The last Gen Con was really close to getting it right. An ADCP allowed less prep-work and scaled to all playable tiers. You had new mods for every tier. You had specials for all tiers. You had premieres for the newest tier. Then you had the delves and other one-shots. I think that could be pared down and adjusted and would work well. The key is a sliding scale rather than a hard stop, plus having something that is flexible. I would argue:

PAX:
  • 1-2 Non-LFR one-shots to introduce new worlds, new programs, new products. (Example: one-shot showcasing new minis, tiles, and a book.)

  • A few sessions of latest D&D Encounters program. (To get them hooked on the new program).

  • 2-4 H1 LFR adventures, of which 1-2 are new and the rest are really good recent releases. Or, a linked series. MINIs are ideal. (Get them hooked on LFR)

  • 1 single scalable ADCP or scalable Special LFR adventure that can serve all current tiers. (Flexible, keeps judges happy and attracts experienced and new gamers).


Gen Con / D&DXP:
  • 1-2 Non-LFR one-shots

  • 1 Board game or non-D&D product demo or intro session

  • D&D Encounters on demand (basically open system for a slot or 2 - name the session you want, and have fun. Could even be played as the Delve, replacing that effort.)

  • LFR play for every tier. Study play demographics and shape the number of adventures at each tier to reflect that. Always provide at least 2 H1 adventures suitable for new players.

  • 1 series of Special or ADCP adventures. Preferably a series (like the Elturgard specials) so it can be played several times by the same player or provide a seat for a certain tier of play, but a single scalable adventure like ADCP1-1 can work.


Origins: I don't know the con, so I won't hazard a guess at what works here.

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  • LFR play for every tier.




Short of the LFR open play, I can tell you this isn't going to happen. How do you support 9 tiers of play (H1-E3)? If we did something like that, there would be 9 regional or adventures, which is already more than we want for a major convention, and that doesn't even count any special events.
Sure, once we are going all the way to E3, it is harder to do. But it can be done well enough (not necessarily with one adventure for each tier).

At Gen Con last year, we had:
  • D&D For Beginners

  • D&D Delve

  • D&D Ultimate Delve

  • D&D Championship (used to be called the Open)

  • ADCP1-1 Jungle Hunt (1 adventure H1 - P1)

  • SPEC1-3 (4 separate adventures, H1 - P1)

  • CORE1-13 (H1)

  • MINI1-1 (2-round H1)

  • IMPI1-5 (H2)

  • LURU1-5 (H3)

  • CORE1-14 (P1)

  • LFR Midnight Madness Open Play


That is a lot being offered! It covers non-LFR extensively while still covering all the tiers of play at that time.

Now, I would guess that the Ultimate Delve takes about as much work to write as the ADCP. In theory, you could convert that into a second part of the ADCP so you had two ADCPs covering all tiers. Change the 4 specs to be 3 specs, each covering a range of heroic, paragon, epic. Have two H1s as before, and then have the rest target tiers according to the reigning demographics.

The campaign can also use the MYRE concept to double-dip. If you look at last year's Ultimate Delve, you could lower the encounter levels to normal LFR levels and be able to run a MYRE shell in addition to being a competition for non-LFR players. Encounter 1: remove x and y. Etc. This season's D&D Encounters would also make a fine LFR MYRE, and could be fun in that format. Add a bit here and there and cut it off at 4 hours. Good times.

This Gen Con isn't far off. If it just had a scaling adventure that could meet the needs of all current tiers, it would be in good shape. Or, having the Specials bridge the gaps (SPEC 1 does H1-H3. SPEC 2 does P1 and P2. SPEC 3 does P3) could work well to give greater flexibility.

Follow my blog and Twitter feed with Dark Sun campaign design and DM tips!
Dark Sun's Ashes of Athas Campaign is now available for home play (PM me with your e-mail to order the campaign adventures).

I know you mean this well, but outside of PAX (and arguably for PAX), it is a really bad idea. PAX is at least a con(s) that have as their target a much wider audience. Thus, excluding the experienced player is somewhat permissible... though you have to wonder why you want to do that. At anything other than PAX (Gen Con, D&DXP, Origins, etc.), I see no value in excluding a demographic.



No one's talking about excluding.  The major Cons (which for the discussion of this is really DDXP, Origins, and GenCon) have been described as being either acuisition or retention cons.  In Dave's own words: GenCon is an acuisition con, DDXP is a retention con, and Origins is a mix.

Now, I wasn't suggesting it was only going to be low level play.  And I should have been clearer in my intent and said "heroic tier."  Not low level play.  Heck, lower level play woudl have been clearer. 
Sorry WOTC, you lost me with Essentials. So where I used to buy every book that came out, now I will be very choosy about what I buy. Can we just get back to real 4e? Check out the 4e Conversion Wiki. 1. Wizards fight dirty. They hit their enemies in the NADs. -- Dragon9 2. A barbarian hits people with his axe. A warlord hits people with his barbarian. 3. Boo-freakin'-hoo, ya light-slingin' finger-wigglers. -- MrCelcius in response to the Cleric's Healer's Lore nerf
Meh on titles. I don't mean to be disrespectful at all, mind you, but "Acquisition" is a lovely bit of business speak. Sure, you want to attract new players... but we had brand new players at D&D XP. We just had far fewer than at Gen Con last year (tons of new RPGA cards handed out) or at PAX Prime (incredible ratio of new players and walk-ins). So, sure, let's acquire new players.

But, PAX East did exclude people. 0 LFR support will exclude people. While I am a strong believer in playing a lot of things at Gen Con, my schedule is more than 50% RPGA and many people do choose a near 100% RPGA/LFR schedule. I suspect that the demographics of casual play have a good number of players that have just one PC in the 5-10 range. Those players are excluded by this year's Gen Con. My old DC group narrowly avoided being excluded. They have been fairly clear to me that they prefer not to create a second PC, but I'm doing my best to bring them into more LFR play. Luckily, we can play the three MINI mods and not level out... barely. To do so, we have to play our midnight madness LFR only after the three MINIs, which is a bit inconvenient. If we ran them earlier, as we normally would do, then we would be unable to play the last two MINIs. And that would drive us (because we are excluded) to play more Spycraft, Eclipse Phase, L5R, etc. instead of D&D.

At the end of the day, you look at what to offer and it will cater to some more than others. Having two PAX and one Gen Con be all about "acquisition" is a huge amount of exclusion. 3 out of 5 cons exclude. That's too much.

Moreover, it is too much when it doesn't have to be that way. Gen Con last year would have been in bad shape had it not had ADCP1-1, which really provided a lot of flexibility for organizers. Camp 13 was flooded, but ADCP1-1 could handle overflow and still please everyone else. Exclusion was very low. Awesome! ADCP1-1 ran at PAX Prime, again providing flexibility, in addition to several Gen Con specials. While it takes more effort to make ADCP1-1 scale than not, it is vastly easier than writing x mods. That sort of flexibility should be there.

And, there are other ways to create flexibility. How about a MYRE showcase, with prizes to the mods that are ranked highest? You could even have a celebrity table play the winning adventure at the end of the con. (And yeah, easy for me to sit back and dream up ideas when others are buried by real work. I know. I'm just saying that Gen Con and PAX Prime should have more options for more players. However that can be achieved, I just suspect it can be done.)

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They do have Open Play, so if all you had a mid heroic tier chartacter you wouldn't necessarily be excluded.  Sure, it's not a shiny new mod, but if all you have is a mid tier character at this point, chances are good you would play something in open play that you haven't played before.  You show up, group with others in the same tier, get assigned a judge who says he run mods x, y, or z, and you go from there.  So, I'm sorry, but I'm not seeing the exclusion.
Sorry WOTC, you lost me with Essentials. So where I used to buy every book that came out, now I will be very choosy about what I buy. Can we just get back to real 4e? Check out the 4e Conversion Wiki. 1. Wizards fight dirty. They hit their enemies in the NADs. -- Dragon9 2. A barbarian hits people with his axe. A warlord hits people with his barbarian. 3. Boo-freakin'-hoo, ya light-slingin' finger-wigglers. -- MrCelcius in response to the Cleric's Healer's Lore nerf
I do not view Open Play as a great "solution". It is offered once a day at Gen Con. As a person who gets to play LFR at most once a month, my characters are mostly in the 4-7 range now. I come to Gen Con (the only con I get to go to) to get 4 days of LFR and use it as an opportunity to get some significant progression for my main character (who's level 6). With the lack of slot with new adventures and a small number of slots with old adventures for the level ranges at which I can play appearing at Gen Con, my motivation to go is diminished. I'll make the best of it, I guess, but I think it sucks. I guess I'll take the bone that was thrown to us and play the Open play at night and play the MINI twice.

For those of you who say, "It's Gen Con, go play something else." I don't want to. I have no desire to play another system or campaign. Gen Con = LFR for me, and I think the lack of new H2 and H3 material sucks. I suppose next year, if I manage to get into P1 with a character or two, that level band will be phased out in order for new E1 material to be played and I'll still be stuck waiting for Open Play to play those character while more than likely playing H1 adventures for the rest of the Con. Woo Hoo! I feel all warm and fuzzy about that.
-Sartredes
For those of you who say, "It's Gen Con, go play something else." I don't want to. I have no desire to play another system or campaign. Gen Con = LFR for me, and I think the lack of new H2 and H3 material sucks.



Every time I hear a player say something like this, I die a little inside.

There's a LOT more to roleplaying than what WotC publishes.

Especially at Gen Con, which is STILL a showcase for the entire industry. Travelling all the way there just to play one system seems a massive waste to me.



To each his own, I guess.

But honestly, if you are making the deliberate choice to play only a very narrow area of content, is it really other people's fault if you don't find much to play?



-karma
LFR Characters: Lady Tiana Elinden Kobori Silverwane - Drow Control Wizard Kro'tak Warscream - Orc Bard Fulcrum of Gond - Warforged Laser Cleric
Karma's right. I get the desire to really do nothing but LFR all weekend -- I go to quite a few cons with that in mind. But Gencon's a bad choice for that purpose. Seriously, do DDXP once a year instead. It's tailored for pure LFR play.

Especially at Gen Con, which is STILL a showcase for the entire industry. Travelling all the way there just to play one system seems a massive waste to me.



To each his own, I guess.



My sample size is pretty small, but in the one GenCon that I (just one player) went to a few years back, I played 3-4 non-RPGA/non D&D games, and they were all terrible.

I would steer far far away from non-RPGA RPGs at a big con, unless I knew something specific about a single game (such as knowing the GM personally, or hooking up with online friends).  I would NOT again go through the schedule of events picking out ones that look interesting based solely on the description (once bitten twice shy).

I'd be up for some Warhammer, of course, but the time investment is so big that cons for me are either RPGs or Warhammer, not a little of both.

There's a LOT more to roleplaying than what WotC publishes.



 I totally realize this. I have played other systems/campaigns (NASCRAG, Blackmoor, miniature games, etc..) in the past, but I enjoy LFR more, so I have focused on this for the last couple years. I don't have the time or money to invest in playing other systems regularly, so I  play what I know interests me. Some free time I left myself is spent demoing browsing the other stuff.


Especially at Gen Con, which is STILL a showcase for the entire industry. Travelling all the way there just to play one system seems a massive waste to me.



It is not just to play one system. It's to play with friends who I only get to play with once a year at Gen Con.


To each his own, I guess.

But honestly, if you are making the deliberate choice to play only a very narrow area of content, is it really other people's fault if you don't find much to play?

-karma



Until the events were posted this year (a couple days before event pre-registration), who knew? Last year lead me to believe that new content from all levels of play would appear. (At least specials or ADCP adventures that could be played at all tiers) By the time the catalog came out, my friends and me were committed to going (vacation time requested, hotels, etc...). I'm making the best of it, but I'm a bit disheartend that I'll probably never get my highest level character to a point where I can participate in new LFR material at Gen Con. Going to another convention like DDXP is not really an option for me at this point for various reasons, so I guess I'll just suck it up.

-Sartredes

 Last year lead me to believe that new content from all levels of play would appear.



Not to sound crass, but right there is your mistake.  I remember reading about the level banding before LFR was released an thinking how this would be a problem. I mean there are 9 tiers all together (or will be). There is just no way to offer enough  play oppourtunity to accommodate that. It is a built in problem with the system, a very large problem. I guess I am saying that you should not have been lulled by their optmististic attitude.

The mods that span several tiers is the best solution I have seen so far for this problem. But heck some of those were basically separate modules that just happened to have interconnected plots.
Personally I would prefer to see more mods for multiple tiers and have fewer mods released vs. more mods released with tighter banding.

 Last year lead me to believe that new content from all levels of play would appear.



Not to sound crass, but right there is your mistake.  I remember reading about the level banding before LFR was released an thinking how this would be a problem. I mean there are 9 tiers all together (or will be). There is just no way to offer enough  play oppourtunity to accommodate that. It is a built in problem with the system, a very large problem. I guess I am saying that you should not have been lulled by their optmististic attitude.

The mods that span several tiers is the best solution I have seen so far for this problem. But heck some of those were basically separate modules that just happened to have interconnected plots.
Personally I would prefer to see more mods for multiple tiers and have fewer mods released vs. more mods released with tighter banding.



To be completely fair, the Origins schedule does a much better job of providing play opportunities for all tiers. So it's still possible, even though it probably won't be as easy next year.


What might have helped is better communication. I don't know when this direction was set in stone, but at that point, maybe an announcement: Origins will be your comprehensive LFR con, GenCon will be a lighter schedule, etc. On the other hand, this might have been a fairly late decision based on the schedule problems we've seen.



A thought I had from reading Sartredes post leads me to a totally different question cause I have heard this before from others I have ran across as an event coordinator.

You say that you only get to play LFR at conventions like GenCon but how often have you looked for regional conventions? When my wife and I attended GenCon in 2008 we asked around for places we could play LFR besides GenCon and we were told about Warhorn. its a website that lists regional events so finding a small convention to play lfr as well as possibly a gaming group in your region is easy.

All i can say is I know that there are alot more opportunities out there to play LFR than ance a year and it doesn't take alot of logistics to see it happen.

FYI I personally know of 2 conventions happening in Ohio that are centered around Origins and GenCon.
Without much more to go on than the example provided by Gen Con this year, I think the aquisition strategy (H1 and the current top 3 tiers) isn't particularly good.

It takes roughly 2.5-3 adventures to level, so roughly 28 adventures to get to the next tier (level 1 - level 11, 11-21). That means if a person plays the MINI with one character, they have 25 more adventures to get to the point they get to P1. So these aquisitions have to play LFR twice a month with only that character to have a hope of having something new to play at the following Gen Con with that character.  How many people just play one character? If these people are being aquired at a non-hardcore con three years after the start of the campaign, do we assume that these players are the "hardcore" that will have and spend the time to get a character up to the new content supported tiers (apparently the top three released tiers). I'm guessing a lot of these aquisitions will find that they are out of the provided new content bands next year with only limited options for play.

If open play using older adventures is the solution, provide that as an option in every time slot.
-Sartredes
A thought I had from reading Sartredes post leads me to a totally different question cause I have heard this before from others I have ran across as an event coordinator.

You say that you only get to play LFR at conventions like GenCon but how often have you looked for regional conventions? When my wife and I attended GenCon in 2008 we asked around for places we could play LFR besides GenCon and we were told about Warhorn. its a website that lists regional events so finding a small convention to play lfr as well as possibly a gaming group in your region is easy.

All i can say is I know that there are alot more opportunities out there to play LFR than ance a year and it doesn't take alot of logistics to see it happen.

FYI I personally know of 2 conventions happening in Ohio that are centered around Origins and GenCon.

I didn't say I only get to play LFR at Gen Con, I said I only get to play multi-sessions of LFR at Gen Con. I realize there are smaller regional cons, but I can only go to one con a year. Gen Con is the one distant friends and I meet at to play together. If I could afford the time to play more than once a month outside Gen Con (privately or at smaller cons), I would. Outside Gen Con, multi-day cons, heck, even a single multi-adventure day is just not in my cards in the immediate to near future. I've gone to some local cons, but it's almost always where I get to play one adventure and I leave. I know my situation is probably more limiting than many face.
-Sartredes
To be completely fair, the Origins schedule does a much better job of providing play opportunities for all tiers.



I'm not sure that I'd call it "much" better.

The Origins modules, by tier:

H1
DRAG 2-2
ADCP 2-2

H2
ADCP 2-2

H3
LURU 2-2
ADCP 2-2

P1
QUEST 2-1
EAST 2-2
ADCP 2-2

P2
AGLA 2-2
ADCP 2-2

So, it's better from the standpoint of "yes, there's at least one adventure available in each tier" -- I suppose that *is* an improvement from the GenCon schedule, which has absolutely nothing in H2 or H3. 

But, if you don't have a Paragon-level PC, you've got a total of 3 adventures you can play (not counting the fact that you *could* potentially play ADCP multiple times, at different tiers).  If you're just starting out in LFR, you have a grand total of two adventures available to you.
"Of course [Richard] has a knife. He always has a knife. We all have knives. It's 1183, and we're barbarians!" - Eleanor of Aquitaine, "The Lion in Winter"

I'm not sure you can play ADCP 2-2 at both H2 and H3, actually. But still -- there's something to do if you're H2 or H3, and that alone is a pretty big deal. There's also more than one adventure to play at P1 and P2. What Gencon offers over Origins: two P3 adventures, which is awesome, and the MINI 2 series, which is good but less flexible than the Origins H1 offerings if you care about playing 'em in the right order.



I'm not dissing Gencon; I'm going to Gencon, I've signed up for two LFR events, and I plan to have a great time for the rest of the con doing non-LFR stuff. I'm just saying that Origins has a richer schedule and I'd recommend it over Gencon if you were primarily focused on LFR.

I'm not sure you can play ADCP 2-2 at both H2 and H3, actually.



Based on Dave C's comment, I don't think you could play it at both H2 and H3 with the same character.  But, AFAIK, there'd be nothing keeping you from playing it with one PC at H2, and a different PC at H3...it'd be no different from replaying any LFR adventure with a different PC.
"Of course [Richard] has a knife. He always has a knife. We all have knives. It's 1183, and we're barbarians!" - Eleanor of Aquitaine, "The Lion in Winter"

I'm not sure you can play ADCP 2-2 at both H2 and H3, actually.



Based on Dave C's comment, I don't think you could play it at both H2 and H3 with the same character.  But, AFAIK, there'd be nothing keeping you from playing it with one PC at H2, and a different PC at H3...it'd be no different from replaying any LFR adventure with a different PC.




Oh, that's definitely so.
As I have said several times before.  They should have kept the APL system from LG.  The only difference from how LG did it that I think LFR should have done it is provide a 4th pdf in the module download, with that pdf being a pdf of the monsters for the module. 

i.e Tracker, Rewards, Module, Monsters

This way a GM could print out only the correct APL level monsters when he runs.  But oh well.
APLs... *shudder*  Good riddance I say.
Sorry WOTC, you lost me with Essentials. So where I used to buy every book that came out, now I will be very choosy about what I buy. Can we just get back to real 4e? Check out the 4e Conversion Wiki. 1. Wizards fight dirty. They hit their enemies in the NADs. -- Dragon9 2. A barbarian hits people with his axe. A warlord hits people with his barbarian. 3. Boo-freakin'-hoo, ya light-slingin' finger-wigglers. -- MrCelcius in response to the Cleric's Healer's Lore nerf
APLs were a nightmare from which I am glad we awakened.
It is an illusion to think that wider level bands help in this regard. First of all, it created odd story situations where you had simple bandits attack the farm at level 1 and fiendish tyranosauri at level 12. Secondly, it was a lot of work on the author and developers/reviewers and while monster stats are definitely easier in 4E than 3E it is still not instant work. It was also hard on DMs' preperation. Most importantly though, it only slightly lessened the table-forming/adventure availability issues, but it had its own problems (social pressure for PCs of widely seperate levels to join at the same table) and at mid-sized and smaller cons it was still very difficult to get tables formed. The only thing it did make easier was writing multi-part adventures, but in LG that came with its own issues ;)
It is an illusion to think that wider level bands help in this regard.



Just for the record I was reffering more to mods that include more than 1 tier.  Like Paladin's Plague. I may have been unclear by using the term level banding. I meant the levels of play available for any given mod.



First of all, it created odd story situations where you had simple bandits attack the farm at level 1 and fiendish tyranosauri at level 12.



Seriously? Your reasoning is the creation of odd situations. It would be easier to count the mods that do not have odd situations. Let's just hope you do not also rule out contived plots or rehashed story lines. Ther would be nothign left.


Secondly, it was a lot of work on the author and developers/reviewers and while monster stats are definitely easier in 4E than 3E it is still not instant work.



Fewer mods + wider range of play = a similar amount of work.



It was also hard on DMs' preperation.



Umm how do you figure? Preping a mod with 3 tiers (6 possible combats) is easier than preping 6 different mods. And preping one tier is the same as preping 1 mod.


Most importantly though, it only slightly lessened the table-forming/adventure availability issues,



So slightly lessening is worse than doing nothing and leaving the problem as is?



but it had its own problems (social pressure for PCs of widely seperate levels to join at the same table) and at mid-sized and smaller cons it was still very difficult to get tables formed.




As opposed to now, where at midsized and smaller cons it is very difficult to get tables formed. Oh wait that would be the exact same.



The only thing it did make easier was writing multi-part adventures, but in LG that came with its own issues ;)



I am assuming you are talking about storyline and plot. Yeah those were awful. *sarcasm*


The only thing it did make easier was writing multi-part adventures, but in LG that came with its own issues ;)



I am assuming you are talking about storyline and plot. Yeah those were awful. *sarcasm*



I was not, but whatever... (and considering the amount of plots and storylines I designed and developed for LG in my 8 years as Triad and Circle Member that would be rediculous to say.)



I'm pretty sure that fewer mods with wider level ranges isn't going to solve any problems.

- It would be a similar amount of work overall, but that work would be spread out over fewer people, putting a larger burden on a few rather than a smaller burden on many. If one of these mega adventures was late, it would have a much more significant impact.

- Now, when we play a "bad" adventure, we can move on - there are many more adventures to choose from. If we had fewer adventures but for multiple level bands, we'd feel more impacted by the bad ones. This is a double-edged sword - we'd also feel more impacted by the good ones.

- Fewer adventures for a wider audience creates the same number of play opportunities at all level bands, but it doesn't do a while lot for story depth. You have fewer stories overall, which reduces the flavor of the campaign significantly.

I could go on, but in short, I think the idea is an awful one. Furthermore, having both written and organized for LG, I fully support all of Pieter's points. Let's face it, the guy knows what he's talking about.
Dave Kay LFR Writing Director Retiree dkay807 [at] yahoo [dot] com


- Fewer adventures for a wider audience creates the same number of play opportunities at all level bands, but it doesn't do a while lot for story depth. You have fewer stories overall, which reduces the flavor of the campaign significantly.




No, this is what I vehemently disagree with. One of the biggest problems with LFR is that it is nearly impossible to play any sort of cohesive campaign. You are just playing a whole bunch of random adventures that have nothing to do with each other. Trying to have a character follow a plot line or story arc is next to impossible. (The few that exist) I had to stop playing my primary character for a long time just to keep him from leveling in order to play the (Zhent story arc) specials. I had to metagame XP rewards to make certain I could play the story arc with out leveling out in the middle.

The currently problem is that there are so many stories that the campaign has no flavor. There are no consistant NPC's and story rewards do not matter. Heck I quit tracking them a long time ago and it has never mattered, good or bad. How many time have you heard this? Anyone have story reward X? Yeah, but not with this character.

Actions by the PC have no impact. Why do they care if they upset (or please) Mr. NPC when it will never matter in the future. And without a story arc to follow there can be nothign to reveal and nothing for people to anxiously await.

These are the things LFR is missing. These are the things I am missing.


I see your point, but I think it takes time for these things to grow. Think of all of these adventures as planted seeds. Out of these seeds, a few great storylines can begin to develop. I've seen some of what's coming - there are definitely some concrete, compelling storylines developing in a few places.

Since you so fondly recollect LG, consider where LG was in Year 2 -- it was still pretty chaotic. It wasn't until Year 3/4 that things really began to take off.

Dave Kay LFR Writing Director Retiree dkay807 [at] yahoo [dot] com
Hey, even in year 2, Bissel was pretty fun. You had some genuine cohesive nature to your region, such as the intrusion of the Gran March, the threat of Evard, the role of outside influences, how much to contribute to Geoff, the recent changes with Ket... there was some serious stuff going down... and that's before it "got good"!

I do see good things happening in story in LFR. I truly don't know the answer to this, but I wonder how good it can get with the current system. I still fall back on my primary (do people even still use that term much?) PC being from the East Rift but only playing 5 out of 38 adventures in the East Rift.. and that's with a major concerted effort. I just don't see story being significant. Let's look at my distribution for Drom:
EAST = 5
LURU = 1
WATE = 3
IMPI=3
DALE=1
CORM=1
AKAN=3
MOON=3
DRAG=1
TYMA=2
BALD=1
CORE = the rest

Now let's look at the story arcs based on the bottom of this page. It shocked me to no end to find out that my main PC has played all of one story arc (SPEC1-1 and 1-2). I recall trying to get a few story arcs (I wanted to do QUES1-1, the MOON one, etc.) but it never happened. It is unbelievable to me. No wonder Drom feels so separated from his sworn mission to protect the East Rift. Not only is he not spending time there, but he has pretty much no reason at all to have been anywhere else! It's a grab-bag of nonsensical quests and random happenstance. It has not been very "campaign" for Drom, even if often it has been "living".

All of this to say that I go back to what I have said before.
  • We need to shed some regions. Shut 2-3 down and focus on story.

  • Fewer mods as well, because we do not need 160+ adventures. We just don't need that many when you can replay. The campaign should look at real demographics and not the needs of the vocal few. The real demographic is likely in the H2 or H3 range - those are the needs of the majority. And while some may not cry for story or RP, it is what retains players.

  • While I want to check out P3 as much as any hardcore player, it really isn't more important than quality adventures. I would be happy to shelve P3 and see a more inclusive schedule at Gen Con.

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