Are there any plans to make the D&D Encounters materials available to D&DI subscribers? I live in Asia and have no access to a FLGS, but am introducing my children to D&D and the Encounters set-up seems ideal for them. Given the amount of resource and effort that must have been required to craft the encounters over 4 seasons (and counting) it would seem to make economic sense for this content to be released as part of the D&DI experience or monetised in some other way?
Unfortunately, Wizards hasn't released any season of Encounters for use outside of the program, most likely as an incentive for players to participate at their FLGS and a reward for those who DM.
However, there are still some other options. If your children are a bit younger, I would recommend trying The Heroes of Hesiod. If they're older, then obviously you can start with something like Keep on the Shadowfell, Khyber's Harvest, Bloodsand Arena or the Kobold Hall adventure from the back of the Dungeon Master's Guide, which you can get in a nice, properly-scaled map thanks to NewbieDM. Or, if you have particularly imaginative/creative/zany kids (think Axe Cop), then perhaps Gamma World might be a good fit for you. And if you've purchased some of the Essentials products (Red Box and Dungeon Master's Kit), there's an adventure line presented in the introduction to this article, although some are solo adventures and will need some adjustment for multiple players.
There are also plenty of pre-gens floating around in case you'd like to save character creation for a later point in time.
(Please note that Season 3 characters have some errors/omissions and Red Box characters will need to be converted for continued play)
Thanks for the helpful feedback GMM. It got me thinking about other ways to approach this, and running Keep on the Shadowfell one encounter at a time seems as good a way as any to replicate the 'Encounters' approach. There are 20-odd encounters so playing once every week or so would take several momths (assuming the kids stick with it!).
Yeah, KotS would have made a great adventure for Encounters. If the program ever folds, maybe I'll run it for my store.
Another idea is random encounters. If you have Dungeon Tiles, randomly choose one tile of each size and put it together as a room. Then put some slips of papers with level appropriate monsters in a hat, and start drawing.
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