New Information About D&D Encounters: Dead in Thay

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For those who don't follow Greg Bilsland on Twitter, here are a few Tweets he posted yesterday revealing a few juicy tid-bits about next season's adventure.

 

Greg Bilsland ‏@gregbilsland
If you liked Vault of the Dracolich, you're going to enjoy the next season of #dnd Encounters, Dead in Thay. It's VotD on a bigger scale.

 

Ameron (Derek Myers) ‏@ameron_dm
Bigger than Vault of the Dracolich? Is that even possible? What else can you tell us? Did @Alphastream or @mshea write it?

 

Greg Bilsland ‏@gregbilsland
Actually @scottfgray worked on it, but he was also involved in VotD.

 

Greg Bilsland ‏@gregbilsland
The dungeon has to sustain up to four groups across 13 weeks, so it's big.

 

Frank Foulis ‏@DarthJerod
How does that play with a store that only has 1 group? Lame?

 

Greg Bilsland ‏@gregbilsland
It should still be great. It's a giant Undermountain-like dungeon that you can explore at your leisure.


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cave2626 wrote:

 

For those who don't follow Greg Bilsland on Twitter, here are a few Tweets he posted yesterday revealing a few juicy tid-bits about next season's adventure.

 

Greg Bilsland ‏@gregbilsland
If you liked Vault of the Dracolich, you're going to enjoy the next season of #dnd Encounters, Dead in Thay. It's VotD on a bigger scale.

 

Ameron (Derek Myers) ‏@ameron_dm
Bigger than Vault of the Dracolich? Is that even possible? What else can you tell us? Did @Alphastream or @mshea write it?

 

Greg Bilsland ‏@gregbilsland
Actually @scottfgray worked on it, but he was also involved in VotD.

 

Greg Bilsland ‏@gregbilsland
The dungeon has to sustain up to four groups across 13 weeks, so it's big.

 

Frank Foulis ‏@DarthJerod
How does that play with a store that only has 1 group? Lame?

 

Greg Bilsland ‏@gregbilsland
It should still be great. It's a giant Undermountain-like dungeon that you can explore at your leisure.

 

 

rubs hands 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/

These unstructured massive adventures are too much to get through in the Encounters format.

 

The first two were doable if you forced the party to stay on pace.

 

Currently I going to have to cut out locations on SotSC to be ready for Dead in Thay, but if DiT is going to be too much for one group then it will be a letdown to run the first half and then have the second half to be VotDL format.

 

It was fine for Game Day but I may run something else for the Summer.

 

Traditional Encounters was nice in that if you had a 8 or 13 week season, you got 8 or 13 weeks worth of material.

^agreed

while it sounds like a cool adventure I dont think it will fit in with everyone's encounters experience.

 

JodyJohnson wrote:

These unstructured massive adventures are too much to get through in the Encounters format.

 

The first two were doable if you forced the party to stay on pace.

 

Currently I going to have to cut out locations on SotSC to be ready for Dead in Thay, but if DiT is going to be too much for one group then it will be a letdown to run the first half and then have the second half to be VotDL format.

 

It was fine for Game Day but I may run something else for the Summer.

 

Traditional Encounters was nice in that if you had a 8 or 13 week season, you got 8 or 13 weeks worth of material.

 

You aren't supposed to get through everything. These new adventures are not designed for groups to be able to consume all of the material within the allotted season. Rather, they are designed to give the DM enough material and story that players choices are meaningful enough that each group can create a unique story.

 

This format change is an adjustment for everyone, but it's harder if you try to force the new format to conform to the old Encounters program format. Those adventures were very "railroady" and didn't give the players or the DMs many choices. I have to admit that I didn't like it at first either, but I have definitely warmed up to it. It makes the replay value much higher. If you play these adventures with another group, the odds are that it will be a completely different outcome and story line. With the old adventures, once through was all you needed to run it exactly as it was intended and it will go that way everytime. Persoanally I would rather have more material than I can play, than so little that there is only one possible course of action. 

 

The TLDR version is, you have to approach these adventures with a different mindset. Don't worry about getting through everything. Focus more on the story.

 

In locs I had 1 section of the party who never (and I mean never!) left the main town. They played red shirt aides when the stiry shifted to the countryside. I alternated the setting by having the main party go back to the town regularly where the townies would dominate the adventure. Each night everyone would tell me what their character was doing and whether he/she was at the location of that nights main encounter or elsewhere.

 

the players decided what they were doing - the storyline went on around them and they chose where and when to intercede. It worked for the most part. Side benefit was that the 2 alpha dogs had their own spheres of influence.

The party only ever really dealt with the town and the dwarven story line. The other settlements were never really explored due to lack of time. There was enough material for about 25 sessions, maybe more.

Vault centre 2014

We love Vault - its our favourite 5th edition module thus far.

 

more Like vault is a great thing!

 

we have run Vault 4 or 5 times since its release. It is a great con module where you can have drop in players, drop outs, and a big finale!

 

more vault! 

 VotD was my first experience DMing Next at the Games Day. It worked, and I can relate to it working with one party of players. I currently run VotD on roll20.net and people really like it !! I'm thinking of ideas on how to run the dungeon crawl with several groups online. As far as I am aware roll20.net (or any future D&D virtual table) would have to accomodate two DMs sharing a map, I think that's possible (although not currently). Sorry to go off topic.

 

 Scourge of the Sword Coast, is cool. I prefer the old format of Encounters, in general. But I like the new approach and how Dungeons & Dragons are trying to tackle several issues. Such as multiple parties, table bonding and story driven roleplaying.

 

I wasn't aware either that we, as DMs, don't have to complete every single story arch. I had someone else running LotCS because it was getting too much. Having more than one DM to run regular games,  is essential imho. (obviously not the case for home games)

 

I don't think Dungeons & Dragons have the "material VS  improvisation" quite nailed. I just try to read as much of the pdf as I can.

 

 Having a Asus Vivo touchscreen win8 is my saving grace.

 

Searching pdfs for words such as 'Ducal' or 'Jakk' is great, because I can find everything written about them quickly.

 

I am currently testing an Experience Format so that every new characters starts at level 2. XP is rewarded for actual play. :-)

 

 

rezpatriot wrote:

 VotD was my first experience DMing Next at the Games Day. It worked, and I can relate to it working with one party of players. I currently run VotD on roll20.net and people really like it !! I'm thinking of ideas on how to run the dungeon crawl with several groups online. As far as I am aware roll20.net (or any future D&D virtual table) would have to accomodate two DMs sharing a map, I think that's possible (although not currently). Sorry to go off topic.

 

 Scourge of the Sword Coast, is cool. I prefer the old format of Encounters, in general. But I like the new approach and how Dungeons & Dragons are trying to tackle several issues. Such as multiple parties, table bonding and story driven roleplaying.

 

I wasn't aware either that we, as DMs, don't have to complete every single story arch. I had someone else running LotCS because it was getting too much. Having more than one DM to run regular games,  is essential imho. (obviously not the case for home games)

 

I don't think Dungeons & Dragons have the "material VS  improvisation" quite nailed. I just try to read as much of the pdf as I can.

 

 Having a Asus Vivo touchscreen win8 is my saving grace.

 

Searching pdfs for words such as 'Ducal' or 'Jakk' is great, because I can find everything written about them quickly.

 

I am currently testing an Experience Format so that every new characters starts at level 2. XP is rewarded for actual play. :-)

 

Still not able to find them as quickly as someone with tape flags and a highlighter. But, oh, wait... To do that, I have to pay to print out my module. <opportunity to grumble cheaply at how even WotC doesn't like DMs anymore, and no player ever did to begin with>

58286228 wrote:
As a DM, I find it easier to just punish the players no matter what they pick, as I assume they will pick stuff that is broken. I mean, fight after fight they kill all the monsters without getting killed themselves! What sort of a game is this, anyway?

 

An insightful observation about the nature of 4e, and why it hasn't succeeded as well as other editions. (from the DDN General Discussions, 2014-05-07)

Rundell wrote:

   

Emerikol wrote:

       

Foxface wrote:

        4e was the "modern" D&D, right?  The one that had design notes that drew from more modern games, and generally appealed to those who preferred the design priorities of modern games.  I'm only speculating, but I'd hazard a guess that those same 4e players are the ones running the wide gamut of other games at Origins.

       
        D&D 4e players are pretty much by definition the players who didn't mind, and often embraced, D&D being "different".  That willingness to embrace the different might also mean they are less attached to 4e itself, and are willing to go elsewhere.

    This is a brilliant insight.  I was thinking along those lines myself.  

 

    There are so many tiny indie games that if you added them all together they would definitely rival Pathfinder.   If there were a dominant game for those people it would do better but there is no dominant game.  Until 4e, the indie people were ignored by the makers of D&D.

 

Yep. 4E was embraced by the 'system matters' crowd who love analyzing and innovating systems. That crowd had turned its back on D&D as a clunky anachronism. But with 4E, their design values were embraced and validated. 4E was D&D for system-wonks. And with support for 4E pulled, the system-wonks have moved on to other systems. The tropes and traditions of D&D never had much appeal for them anyway. Now there are other systems to learn and study. It's like boardgamegeeks - always a new system on the horizon. Why play an ancient games that's seven years old?

 

Of course, not all people who play and enjoy 4E fit that mould. I'm running a 4E campaign right now, and my long-time D&D players are enjoying it fine. But with the system-wonks decamping, the 4E players-base lost the wind in its sails.

Season 18 Dead in Thay and its Launch Weekend are now available to sanction via WPN - tell your organiser to get them sanctioned so that your groups dont miss out

"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:

Season 18 Dead in Thay and its Launch Weekend are now available to sanction via WPN - tell your organiser to get them sanctioned so that your groups dont miss out

But if I do that, it'll cut off one way I can grumble!!! <grumble grumble>

 

Just kidding, Rood.Inverse's post just hit the right chord with me.

Not happy with the look of the new forums? Check out the Skin Your Forums thread for a solution.

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My store owner told me that he sanctioned the games. I'm a little concerned because he said there was only two designations... "12 players" and "More than 12 players". We need 5-6 kits for next season so I hope there's a way to specify.

There's no way in the Wizards Event Reporter tool to get more than 4 kits. However, considering that apparently store owners get multiple downloads of the module, maybe it won't be as much of a problem?

Not happy with the look of the new forums? Check out the Skin Your Forums thread for a solution.

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

Our problem is that we have players who end up at different tables each week, so if each table is running in different directions, the lack of consistent storyline and experience across tables just leads to confusion.  D&D Encounters was supposed to support drop-in style play, but with everyone pursuing their own plotlines, it makes it much harder on DMs to bring in new folks, or to catch up someone who showed up for week 1, missed week 2, and then ends up at a different table on week 3.

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Also, come play Encounters with me Wednesday nights in western Massachusetts at Modern Myths

JoeyLast wrote:

Our problem is that we have players who end up at different tables each week, so if each table is running in different directions, the lack of consistent storyline and experience across tables just leads to confusion.  D&D Encounters was supposed to support drop-in style play, but with everyone pursuing their own plotlines, it makes it much harder on DMs to bring in new folks, or to catch up someone who showed up for week 1, missed week 2, and then ends up at a different table on week 3.

That is definitely an issue at our shop as well. I finally just put in on the table with everyone that to build a proper session for each table from week to week, players were going to have to be flexible in regard to the story lines based on what table they get assigned. Don't get too married to the game you're in as it may change next week. Once you decide that part of the fun will be to adapt to and see different versions of what might occur in the adventure, then it's not that big of a deal. In fact, some people have found that they like it because they were able to see other adventure locations they may have missed had they not switched tables. It takes the right attitude from the player, but the right presentation from the DM doesn't hurt either.