D&D Encounters Season 4?

11 posts / 0 new
Last post
I am wondering if WOTC plans a Season 4 of D&D Encounters.

Does anyone know yet?  If so, what would be the nature of this season?

The reason I ask is that I am trying to plan for after Season 3.  I have run the game for all of Seasons 1, 2, and soon 3 and may consider taking a break if Season 4 is not compelling.

But by "break" I actually mean potentially converting my DDE DMing into running my own campaign at the same store.  I actually am thinking of using a campaign concept that would be fairly friendly to new players, and could easily involve multiple DMs, so it might retain a DDE style opportunity to play for folks who express and interest in learning the game, thus still supporting the store in that way.

Anyone got any info, thoughts?  Thanks...
They probably will, but I doubt we'll know for sure until January/February.
Wizards is releasing an expansion for Gamma World in February. Any bets that the next Encounters series will be for Gamma World and not D&D?
While I'd love it to be Gamma World, I'm not holding my breath...
Whatever they do, it needs to be something more innovative, dare I say, Perkinsian.  The first season, hey dungeon crawl, new program, no one's expecting miracles. Second season, dungeon crawls with no character builder and a new player deterring difficulty curve.  Third season starts with no character builder, partial credit for bringing it back, not that I'm into it, pnp 4 life.  But they're still 4-5 room per extended rest dungeon crawls.  The third season grinds my gears with this because chapter 1 is a crawl occurring in a cave, street, house, and ruin.  Then the book for chapter 2 goes and says now we're "engaging in a traditional D&D dungeon crawl." If it takes place in different locales, is it still a crawl?  I'm afraid so.

So how could we hope to change season 4?  First, we acknowledge and come to peace with the goals of Encounters - Promote New Material, Hook New Players.  Whatever gets proposed has to fulfill those two commandments.  As far as new product, the next 6 months are pretty sparse.  The Class Compendium accomplishes something that long time players are already doing for themselves.  And I know this isn't the place, but presenting PHB classes in that god awful "Essentials Format" where my wizard features from my school or implement are at the end of the chapter isn't going to do it for me.  Then you have Heroes of Shadow.  Will season 4 be "Evil Character Season?"

As for hooking new players, I'd really like to see some statistics on this one.  WotC has to be checking.  What are the percentages spread between New Players, Regular Players, Wannabe Players without Games (Table Refugees), and Long Term Players Who Still Aren't Taking to 4E (Curmudgeons).  If the amount of new players is small or shrinking, its time to ditch the dungeon crawls.

The key here is justifying that railroading does not a dungeon crawl make.  Any published adventure railroads.  Especially with an in-store event with low prep time, there's little way to give your players choices, wind up at the prepared encounters for the evening, and make it seem like they've crafted the narrative.  And the only cure for that is innovative encounters.  Take the 3.5 Eberron adventure Whispers of the Vampire Blade.  It's a railroad, too much in fact because the narrative as written is overly reliant on PC failure rather than heroism.  But hey, its got a chase, a masquerade ball.  Throw in at least one really innovative encounter per chapter and I'm a happy player.

Vampire Class/Feat in 2013!

I prefer Next because 4E players and CharOpers can't find their ass without a grid and a power called "Find Ass."

Whatever they do, it needs to be something more innovative, dare I say, Perkinsian.  The first season, hey dungeon crawl, new program, no one's expecting miracles. Second season, dungeon crawls with no character builder and a new player deterring difficulty curve.  Third season starts with no character builder, partial credit for bringing it back, not that I'm into it, pnp 4 life.  But they're still 4-5 room per extended rest dungeon crawls.  The third season grinds my gears with this because chapter 1 is a crawl occurring in a cave, street, house, and ruin.  Then the book for chapter 2 goes and says now we're "engaging in a traditional D&D dungeon crawl." If it takes place in different locales, is it still a crawl?  I'm afraid so.

So how could we hope to change season 4?  First, we acknowledge and come to peace with the goals of Encounters - Promote New Material, Hook New Players.  Whatever gets proposed has to fulfill those two commandments.  As far as new product, the next 6 months are pretty sparse.  The Class Compendium accomplishes something that long time players are already doing for themselves.  And I know this isn't the place, but presenting PHB classes in that god awful "Essentials Format" where my wizard features from my school or implement are at the end of the chapter isn't going to do it for me.  Then you have Heroes of Shadow.  Will season 4 be "Evil Character Season?"

As for hooking new players, I'd really like to see some statistics on this one.  WotC has to be checking.  What are the percentages spread between New Players, Regular Players, Wannabe Players without Games (Table Refugees), and Long Term Players Who Still Aren't Taking to 4E (Curmudgeons).  If the amount of new players is small or shrinking, its time to ditch the dungeon crawls.

The key here is justifying that railroading does not a dungeon crawl make.  Any published adventure railroads.  Especially with an in-store event with low prep time, there's little way to give your players choices, wind up at the prepared encounters for the evening, and make it seem like they've crafted the narrative.  And the only cure for that is innovative encounters.  Take the 3.5 Eberron adventure Whispers of the Vampire Blade.  It's a railroad, too much in fact because the narrative as written is overly reliant on PC failure rather than heroism.  But hey, its got a chase, a masquerade ball.  Throw in at least one really innovative encounter per chapter and I'm a happy player.

Bly, from the way it sounds your DM just isn't getting creative enough to keep the players entertained. I just started DMing after joining an encounters group at Chapter 2 last season. And moving 2-3 hours north between Season 2 and the Start of Season 3. Once I got here I found that there was no D&D Play like there was 20 years ago when we all played 1st and 2nd Editions. My point is that while the Encounters sessions are a guide and ment to draw in new players as well as old players who may have not played since 2nd edition, it is the DM's job to try and keen things entertaining and not let things go to borring or get too cookie cutter... For example... They could read up on the additional source material for the chaos scar region and also the various NPCs that make up the inhabitants of Restwell Keep. What are some of the outside adventures that could taking place in the area? Those could be a great source for rumors or current news in the inn and pub. A couple players were comment on weather or not they would get to meet and battle a dragon...Little did they know that they would in a few short encounters... so... I put forth a couple illusions in beleavable places to throw them off guard... Attacking something that's not there allows monsters that are there more time to do damage even if they are minions....
There is leway for adding an additional monster in or taking away at the DM's discression based on the parties strength or weakness of players. Now while this is regularly suggested as reducing or increasing the lowest level non-minion by one, a creative DM can throw some true fun into the mix by not only doing this but also timing when they appear; not at the start but near then end of the battle like a wondering monster stumbling in on the battle just as it's in the last round (1-2 hits) just before the party finishes off the original monsters.
Other meathods are preparing in advance for shipping problems... Having started last season as a player again when Chapter 2 was to have started we had a week we actually had a DM created encounter because chapter 2 had not arrived on time and we did not have the material to use. Based on this and issues getting our Encounters for Season 3 to post correctly, I prepared in advance when I started reading in the forums that various sites in the US had not gotten materials on time. We actually started Chapter 1 on the 3rd week of Encounters but we still played the 1st 2 weeks in encounters I had developed as encounters based on the novel Keep on the Borderlands. The fisrt being an ambush of a trade merchant on the way to the keep, the second an attack on the caravan at the keeps gates. Had we been forced to a 3rd DM prepared encounter I was prepared to run them thru the bandit camp encounter.
The point I am trying to make is that your DM has to be flexable and keep it fun and entertaining for all players. Problems happen, games get stale and players drift in and out. How we as DM's adjust for these events ultimately determines how good of a DM we are reguardless if it's our first real time DMing a campaign or weather we have been ding it since the games inception in the '70s.
I am wondering if WOTC plans a Season 4 of D&D Encounters.

Does anyone know yet?  If so, what would be the nature of this season?

The reason I ask is that I am trying to plan for after Season 3.  I have run the game for all of Seasons 1, 2, and soon 3 and may consider taking a break if Season 4 is not compelling.

But by "break" I actually mean potentially converting my DDE DMing into running my own campaign at the same store.  I actually am thinking of using a campaign concept that would be fairly friendly to new players, and could easily involve multiple DMs, so it might retain a DDE style opportunity to play for folks who express and interest in learning the game, thus still supporting the store in that way.

Anyone got any info, thoughts?  Thanks...

Shaadow,

Take the time to listen to the podcast done at GenCon on Encounters. Not only do they talk about the current Encounters season as well as quite a few Q&A, but they also break down some of what is to be expected in the comming months (2011) for Encounters. I will tell you that they do not get specific however they do list that it is going back to 13 week Seasons for 4 and 5 and they also did some talking in reguards to how Encounters and Game Day Events might tie in together and how it could be a benefit to players. They also listed some ideas to increase Player interest in the Encounters Sessions by offering "perks" for in-game play on certain nights for product purchases. It is sounding to be an Epic year.
I love my DM and they're putting an awesome spin on things.  I get that good DMs can make anything epic.  Just for the record.

Vampire Class/Feat in 2013!

I prefer Next because 4E players and CharOpers can't find their ass without a grid and a power called "Find Ass."

I love my DM and they're putting an awesome spin on things.  I get that good DMs can make anything epic.  Just for the record.



This.

This is what's happening at our tables.

This has been my favorite season thus far. The NPC interaction has been high and crucial in allowing the players to tell their own story that fits organically with the railroaded plot. 
I love my DM and they're putting an awesome spin on things.  I get that good DMs can make anything epic.  Just for the record.



This.

This is what's happening at our tables.

This has been my favorite season thus far. The NPC interaction has been high and crucial in allowing the players to tell their own story that fits organically with the railroaded plot. 

If only there was a way to teach DMs to run like this... 
There's a bit more information about Season 4 in this thread:
community.wizards.com/dungeonsanddragons...(Season_4)
- Rico
Sign In to post comments