Fury of the Wastewalker questions

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Well, just two, actually.



First off: I really want to DM this. I know DS pretty well, but what else do I need?


Second: Anybody know what the premade characters are?
Shaman: "Why doesn't the squirrel shoot the wizard?" DM: "Because the last squirrel who tried to shoot the wizard missed, then was pulled out of his tree and incinerated." Wizard: "He has a point."
From what I can tell in the materials we've got so far, the following are the pre-gens. No way to tell race, no way to tell anything else really.

Show

Barcan: Sorceror
Phye: Ardent
Castri: Ranger
Shikirr: Battlemind
Jarvix: Psion
Yuka: Fighter

So we have two defenders, two strikers, a controller and a leader.
I think it would be cool if players would be able to access the pre-gen characters a week or two before the season starts.  That way we could figure out our favorite beforehand.  I'm excited!
Now, to DM, would I need to do any fancy-pants registering, or just check in with my local shop?
Shaman: "Why doesn't the squirrel shoot the wizard?" DM: "Because the last squirrel who tried to shoot the wizard missed, then was pulled out of his tree and incinerated." Wizard: "He has a point."
Now, to DM, would I need to do any fancy-pants registering, or just check in with my local shop?


if you're not going to be the organizer of the program for the store, you just need to:

a) make sure the store is actually running the program (DDE: DS)

b) get in touch with the organizer and volunteer to DM a table


the organizer is the person who is actually in charge of running the program at the location.  if the store does not have an organizer to run these events, you might want to step up and become the organizer.
I think it would be cool if players would be able to access the pre-gen characters a week or two before the season starts.  That way we could figure out our favorite beforehand.  I'm excited!



Preivews are a possiblilty.  I know WotC is discussing them.  I'll be sure to pass along your interest.  

FWIW the characters will be the standard Game Day style 1/2 sheet characters that we've been seeing.  The goals is that these are going to be easier to re-use with wet erase or dry erase markers. 
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

wolfstar, considering that next season is all pre-gen only, and we know exactly which characters get what new feats/powers when they level (thanks to the info packets), AAAND they'll be sending the kits for this new season out incrementally per chapter (not as a single kit, like this season, but 3 kits over time as the adventure progresses):

i think it would be a really good idea for them to include the updated character sheets (1/2 sheet, dry erase cards) in each new chapter's kit.  maybe you could put the word in the right ear to get this considered.
My guess, since they already mentioned level bumps with each kit, there will be new pregens with levelled up heroes.  This is particularly important given we won't have access to DS material for a while.
My guess, since they already mentioned level bumps with each kit, there will be new pregens with levelled up heroes.  This is particularly important given we won't have access to DS material for a while.



the "already mentioned level bumps with each kit" that you refer to are presented in the kits as cut-out cards and are accompanied by the preceding text:

"DM or Organizer: Cut out the level up information below and hand it to each player before they begin Chapter 2 (Session 6)."

i'm gonna go out on a limb and say that i don't think they are intending to send out new level-updated character cards with each new chapter's kit.  i really hope they will hear about the idea and consider it, though.
I think it would be cool if players would be able to access the pre-gen characters a week or two before the season starts.  That way we could figure out our favorite beforehand.  I'm excited!



Preivews are a possiblilty.  I know WotC is discussing them.  I'll be sure to pass along your interest.  

FWIW the characters will be the standard Game Day style 1/2 sheet characters that we've been seeing.  The goals is that these are going to be easier to re-use with wet erase or dry erase markers. 



Thank you Mr. Wolfstar.  What I'm seeing (as a player) at my Encounters table is that people are getting really excited about season 2.  So our players are already talking about who wants to be what character for next season.  So it's to be expected that excited players would love a little character preview.

   
My guess, since they already mentioned level bumps with each kit, there will be new pregens with levelled up heroes.  This is particularly important given we won't have access to DS material for a while.



the "already mentioned level bumps with each kit" that you refer to are presented in the kits as cut-out cards and are accompanied by the preceding text:

"DM or Organizer: Cut out the level up information below and hand it to each player before they begin Chapter 2 (Session 6)."

i'm gonna go out on a limb and say that i don't think they are intending to send out new level-updated character cards with each new chapter's kit.  i really hope they will hear about the idea and consider it, though.



That's interesting.  So do you even keep track of experience points? 
That's interesting.  So do you even keep track of experience points? 

nope!  unlike the season 1 player tracking sheets, the season 2 player tracking sheets have no place for starting exp, exp gained, or exp total. 
Why would you keep track of exps when everyone levels at the start of each new chapter.
Thank you Mr. Wolfstar.  What I'm seeing (as a player) at my Encounters table is that people are getting really excited about season 2.  So our players are already talking about who wants to be what character for next season.  So it's to be expected that excited players would love a little character preview.

   



One of the things I'm looking forward to, with the pregens, is that players won't *have* to pick and choose their character.  Play one character a few weeks and want something different?  Great!  Swap!  Get a feel for a new race/class.  

Added bonus - swapping around should make it easier to earn the role-based bonus renown points as well.   
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

Thank you Mr. Wolfstar.  What I'm seeing (as a player) at my Encounters table is that people are getting really excited about season 2.  So our players are already talking about who wants to be what character for next season.  So it's to be expected that excited players would love a little character preview.

   



One of the things I'm looking forward to, with the pregens, is that players won't *have* to pick and choose their character.  Play one character a few weeks and want something different?  Great!  Swap!  Get a feel for a new race/class.  

Added bonus - swapping around should make it easier to earn the role-based bonus renown points as well.   



That's an idea I hadn't thought of!

I probably wouldn't take that direction myself because I want to feel like part of a continuing story and it would be distracting to change characters.  And I also like finding a cool magic weapon and sticking with it.  But that's just me -- I'm sure you're right that some players will enjoy the option of switching characters to keep the game fresh and have a new experience.

One of the things I'm looking forward to, with the pregens, is that players won't *have* to pick and choose their character.  


That may be a detractor for people who are actually playing...

One of the things I'm looking forward to, with the pregens, is that players won't *have* to pick and choose their character.  


That may be a detractor for people who are actually playing...



I see it as a "to each their own" kinda thing.

If you want to play the same character every week - great!  But if you want to try something different, well. . . that's great too!

This format will support both options equally well, while also making sure characters all remain at the same level.

I think it's win-win.

Added bonus - since the PCs will be the same each week, I'll have a greater familiarity with them, and can then, as the DM, help new players know what powers they have, and even guide them in when to use them.   
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

So, do you think the best thing to do in the upcoming season is to simply apply all treasure gains to each of the six characters, and that's what those characters have continuing forward no matter which player comes and plays that character?

As opposed to awarding treasure to players as such. 
Assuming that the adventure/instructions don't have another way of handling it?  That is what I will probably do, yes.

Characters get "stuff."  Players get Renown Points. 
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

DMs new to Dark Sun may want to check out my blog and twitter feed. No promises of excellence, but I'm experimenting with a combination of short (duh) Twitter tips on the Dark Sun environment, followed by a weekly blog that pulls the various tips together into an article on the subject. This week I'm focusing on the harsh environment of Athas and how those that must cross it deal with the dangerous conditions.

My hope is that you will have a reason to think about Dark Sun every day and gain a greater understanding of this very different campaign world.

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).

Awesome, that rocks Teos.

I love Dark Sun so much.  It's always been my favorite setting.

Really excited about the upcoming DDE season. 

 
From what I can tell in the materials we've got so far, the following are the pre-gens. No way to tell race, no way to tell anything else really.

Show

Barcan: Sorceror
Phye: Ardent
Castri: Ranger
Shikirr: Battlemind
Jarvix: Psion
Yuka: Fighter

So we have two defenders, two strikers, a controller and a leader.



how accurate is this list?

I have made the stipulation already to my group that every player will be using only the pre-gen and that each week they need to RSVP and reserve the Pre-gen they want to run that week. I'm using Meetup.com to handle RSVPs.

Thus, having an accurate list which can also display race and possibly a few powers is very important right this moment. I've already spoken to the play organizer and he is trying to get the material as fast as possible for me.
Those are the names taken from the preparation materials and the classes I'm guessing based on the powers listed for the 2nd and 3rd level updates. ie - if they get an Ardent power at 2nd, I'm assuming they are an Ardent.

I can't speak to whether I made any mistakes or whether the authors made any that would make this list incorrect.

ETA: And as far as I can tell, there's no way yet to tell race. I suspect that in a week or so, the actual packets will arrive at stores and someone will be able to update this more completely.
The website says tokens will be provided. Is this true?
Shaman: "Why doesn't the squirrel shoot the wizard?" DM: "Because the last squirrel who tried to shoot the wizard missed, then was pulled out of his tree and incinerated." Wizard: "He has a point."
I think it would be cool if players would be able to access the pre-gen characters a week or two before the season starts.  That way we could figure out our favorite beforehand.  I'm excited!



Preivews are a possiblilty.  I know WotC is discussing them.  I'll be sure to pass along your interest.  

FWIW the characters will be the standard Game Day style 1/2 sheet characters that we've been seeing.  The goals is that these are going to be easier to re-use with wet erase or dry erase markers. 



I don't think Chris would mind if I post this information.  I saw Chris Tulach at Encounters last night and asked his thoughts about pre-releasing the characters for Dark Sun.  Chris said he was tossing around the idea of releasing the characters one week before the first session but hadn't yet decided. 

On one hand he wanted to give players a sneak peak at the characters to get us excited.  On the other hand he wanted a little bit of a surprise by having players show up and get a brand new character. 

My thoughts?  ... kinda like Christmas when we were kids.  Is it more fun to know what you're getting or more fun to be surprised? 

Chris also commented Dark Sun is going to be super fun and each pregen would have a little history and each pregen would be woven into the story plot.  I can't wait!!
Some organizer is going to post them shortly after they receive them I am sure anyhow.
I think it would be cool if players would be able to access the pre-gen characters a week or two before the season starts.  That way we could figure out our favorite beforehand.  I'm excited!



Preivews are a possiblilty.  I know WotC is discussing them.  I'll be sure to pass along your interest.  

FWIW the characters will be the standard Game Day style 1/2 sheet characters that we've been seeing.  The goals is that these are going to be easier to re-use with wet erase or dry erase markers. 



I don't think Chris would mind if I post this information.  I saw Chris Tulach at Encounters last night and asked his thoughts about pre-releasing the characters for Dark Sun.  Chris said he was tossing around the idea of releasing the characters one week before the first session but hadn't yet decided. 

On one hand he wanted to give players a sneak peak at the characters to get us excited.  On the other hand he wanted a little bit of a surprise by having players show up and get a brand new character. 

My thoughts?  ... kinda like Christmas when we were kids.  Is it more fun to know what you're getting or more fun to be surprised? 

Chris also commented Dark Sun is going to be super fun and each pregen would have a little history and each pregen would be woven into the story plot.  I can't wait!!



i don't need lots of details. I'd just like to know name (though that could be altered), class, build/theme, race (maybe gender, but that doesn't have a mechanical influence), and perhaps one topic of roleplay hook related to the character.

I would like to at least let those players that I know are regulars get the chance to think it over and possibly lay claim to a character they would most enjoy.

Maybe WotC would be willing to take a poll about what the DMs who will be running the Encounters would most prefer. I would defer to the majority vote if there were a vote offered.

personally, i never was much surprised by Christmas gifts. I preferred to know far in advance. I don't like surprises.
Any word on who wrote the module this time around?
If you want to play the same character every week - great!  But if you want to try something different, well. . . that's great too!

This format will support both options equally well, while also making sure characters all remain at the same level.

I have to assume that any well-designed campaign would already have taken this into account, but considering the first season, I suppose it's worth asking...

You have a game in which players could conceivably change characters from week to week, and in fact (though I think this will end up causing more harm than good), you are touting this as a benefit and something to be promoted.

In this game, the characters have some resources whose depletion in one week will matter in the next (daily powers, action points, healing surges).  It's likely that characters will also be able to gain resources in one week that carry over to the next (gold, magic items), but also are resources that can be spent (gold, potions, daily magic item uses).

Someone has taken the time to think through this whole thing and come up with rules for the best way to handle resource management and tracking when players may not be playing the same characters from week to week, right?
This came up in one of the threads. A good idea I heard was to treat each PC as having a set of resources, and to keep that static. The avenger has the potion. If you switch PCs, the avenger has the potion. If the avenger uses the potion, there is no more potion. Pregens give you more latitude to "fix" benefits on one PC vs. dealing with issues like "the guy (insert any of many possible race/class combinations) with the cloak didn't show up, should someone else have the cloak?".

Alternately, you could just pool the benefits. The party has the pool and it grows as things are found. At the end of each session, decrease the pool if anything is used. At the beginning of the session, if any pregen is not taken, see what pool items need to be given out and make sure everything is accounted for. It should not be hard to determine (even looking at the undermountain magic list, it should be easy to do now).

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).


In this game, the characters have some resources whose depletion in one week will matter in the next (daily powers, action points, healing surges).  It's likely that characters will also be able to gain resources in one week that carry over to the next (gold, magic items), but also are resources that can be spent (gold, potions, daily magic item uses).

Someone has taken the time to think through this whole thing and come up with rules for the best way to handle resource management and tracking when players may not be playing the same characters from week to week, right?



This came up in one of the threads. A good idea I heard was to treat each PC as having a set of resources, and to keep that static. The avenger has the potion. If you switch PCs, the avenger has the potion. If the avenger uses the potion, there is no more potion. Pregens give you more latitude to "fix" benefits on one PC vs. dealing with issues like "the guy (insert any of many possible race/class combinations) with the cloak didn't show up, should someone else have the cloak?".

Alternately, you could just pool the benefits. The party has the pool and it grows as things are found. At the end of each session, decrease the pool if anything is used. At the beginning of the session, if any pregen is not taken, see what pool items need to be given out and make sure everything is accounted for. It should not be hard to determine (even looking at the undermountain magic list, it should be easy to do now).



I believe the documentation for the organizers suggests that the DMs/Organizers collect the Pre-Gens back after each session.  This both allows the DM to make sure that all the characters are there next week, even if "Bob" doesn't show up - and it also allows the DM to drop the characters into a folder/envelope/backpack to keep the stats (HP, Surges, Dailies Spent, etc) from being changed or forgotten from week to week.

I plan to use that system in my store - and to that end, as Teos suggests, each character is therefore a pool of resources.  It isn't *my* character "A" - it's the table's/party's character "A".
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

regarding this:
I believe the documentation for the organizers suggests that the DMs/Organizers collect the Pre-Gens back after each session.  This both allows the DM to make sure that all the characters are there next week, even if "Bob" doesn't show up - and it also allows the DM to drop the characters into a folder/envelope/backpack to keep the stats (HP, Surges, Dailies Spent, etc) from being changed or forgotten from week to week.


Hmmm.  I'm not sure I like that idea for three reasons.

1.  Our gaming location has had DM turnover, resulting in players dispersing to other tables and/or new DMs stepping up.  (In a very organized manner.)  If my previous week DM doesn't show up and was carrying "my" character, I'd be sorta frustrated as a player.  I would have no way of remembering how many hit points I had and healing surges used, etc.

2.  Let's say I'm a new player and I show up for the first time at session #3.  Let's say the character I get has already used all his healing surges and has 11 HP remaining.  I'd be a little upset.  I think that a new player should always start with a fresh character, even if it does unbalance table resources a bit.    

3. The joy of D&D for me is identifying with my character and growing him/her into something fun and powerful.  If I turned in my character at the end of each session, I'd feel like I lost a little ownership of my character.  I don't want to borrow a character.  I want to *be* that character.

Please don't take these concerns personally -- I know all the organizers and DMs are working hard to make Encounters fun.  I'm just throwing my thoughts out there.  Wolfstar - you are a great resource to this activity and I thank you for all your work.
Hmmm.  I'm not sure I like that idea for three reasons.

1.  DM turnover...

2.  New player and I show up for the first time at session #...    

3.  Identifying with my character and growing him/her into something...

Please don't take these concerns personally -- I know all the organizers and DMs are working hard to make Encounters fun.  I'm just throwing my thoughts out there.

can't argue much about the disturbance of DM turnover. That is something to absolutely discuss with the organizar at your location, however. I run as Dm applying rules differently than the other DM. That was a surprise to some players. (they had been given OA when a creature approached as well as moved away).

It would be difficult for a new player to leap in with a nearly dying character. In such a case, I might pull some deus ex for that player to help them enjoy the game and learn. But, personally, I don't want to see a player that takes home a character and then decides to build a new one for the next session that is fresh and full. It would be inappropriate and could become the habit to simply swap PCs when one was reduced to nearly dying (IMO). I'd rather that if the player wants to be swapping characters, it ought to be in a private game environment where the gaming group is arragning their party according to needs, playstyle, and story.

I can empathize most of all with the thrid comment. I like to really get into the character and understand how motivators will engage behaviors, choices, mannerisms, and habits. But, if the original player misses out on a few weeks of play, I don't think it will destroy things to have another player cover that PC as they see fit while gaining some notes of how the PC has behaved in the past.

however, one tool that I am using with the group is Meetup.com to follow RSVPs, and in those RSVPs each player should be able to make claim on the character of choice ahead of game time. This will also allow for each to make comments about the character after game also. It helps create a group community where everyone gets to participate somewhat outside of game as well as at the table.

In my experience, player turnover is just as common if not more common than GM turnover. Of course, each store is different, and you should do what works best at your store. I'd even consider letting the store/organizer keep everything.

 And, while I understand the desire to identify with your character and grow him into something... DDE just isn't really built for that. You play through a very abbreviated adventure with limited roleplaying opportunities, and then you start a new character next season. You likely won't continue playing all of your characters past their respective seasons. And, if this season is any indication, you might want to get used to the fact that your character will possibly die part way anyways. Have fun roleplaying, but don't get too attached. And, hey, there's something to be said about being a diverse enough roleplayer to jump into a different character each week. New players should seriously consider that in order to get a taste of each role.
Ok, gang, here's my situation. I come before the Forum for advice.
I have volunteered to DM at my FLGS for this, but I have to admit I'm a little nervous about DMing for total strangers, in a venue (DDE) that I've not been involved with before. It doesn't help that the store's Organizer seemed a little... disorganized. He didn't really seem to have any answers about how the whole Encounters thing is supposed to work. Any suggestions about what I should ask the guy? Like, do I get any material before game day, in order to prepare?
After reading through the adventure I notice a huge typo/typos in encounter 1-2. I'd rather not post details, spoiler tag or not but would really like to know what the authors intent was. Is there a way to contact Nicholas Tulach?
After reading through the adventure I notice a huge typo/typos in encounter 1-2. I'd rather not post details, spoiler tag or not but would really like to know what the authors intent was. Is there a way to contact Nicholas Tulach?



I am trying to track the author down to get him to do the same thing as the author of season 1 did.

In the meantime, if you think there is a typo, start a thread about it and post it using [ sblock] [ /sblock] (but without the spaces).
Mudbunny SVCL for DDI Before you post, think of the Monkeysphere
I've skimmed through the adventure, does anyone else see a lack of introduction to the adventure?  I see the starting text for encounter 1-1.  I can't seem to nail down any generic "here's what just happened and why you are here" text.  Is it a typo, or am I just missing something?  Are we the DM's supposed to make up our own (my thought as right now).
I've skimmed through the adventure, does anyone else see a lack of introduction to the adventure?  I see the starting text for encounter 1-1.  I can't seem to nail down any generic "here's what just happened and why you are here" text.  Is it a typo, or am I just missing something?  Are we the DM's supposed to make up our own (my thought as right now).



Read page 8.
I see page 8.  It has some past tense stuff I plan on working into Read Aloud Text.  But its not really in full shape as it is written, at least as I read it.

spoilerey  stuff

Submatron Galash of trading concern House Galash has brought in extra security for a trip to the "free city" of Tyr. The caravan left from Altaruk. and you have signed on with this Tyrward caravan. Travelling with a caravan isn't safe, but it's safer than travelling alone.

At the head of the caravan, Duma stops, holding up a hand. He passes the hand before him, as though feeling some hidden texture of the air. There are gasps from the assembled party, and much work calming the animals.


The black plates of the House litter fold back a crack, revealing the Matron within, who peeks out, her brow furrowed.


"We are meant for Tyr, Captain."


"Duma has stopped, Matron."


"Duma never stops, while the sun still shines," she says, "Never."


Dark shapes are beginning to form -- shadows of irregular size and shape. The party thinks of the old adage: When you see the shadow, look for the beast. Looking up, they see them -- or, they see something.


The ground shakes when the first one hits: a perfect sphere of obsidian. The force of it nearly throws them to the ground, though others are not so lucky. And this is only the beginning....


(Or something like this from the podcast...)





Under The adventure begins! on page 8 it explicitly states the events leading up to 1-1.  The last sentence occurs moments before the encounter and the encounter has the continuing text. You could even have the players roll the skill checks mentioned then read that whole section aloud as it doesn't contain any spoilers.
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