by charlesryan, Dec 8,2009
This page provides an overview of the Wizards of the Coast organized play (OP) programme, particularly as it applies to the UK and Ireland.
For more detailed information on the topics introduced here, you may also want to check out the [[DCI]], [[RPGA]], and Wizards Play Network ([[WPN]]) pages.

Introduction to Organized Play

Organized play is one of WotC’s methods of ensuring that gamers can easily find an opportunity to play their games and be rewarded for doing so. It’s most commonly associated with conventions and game shop tournaments, but WotC’s OP programme also supports and offers rewards for casual play in shops as well as players’ home games and campaigns.
OP establishes and maintains the working relationship between WotC’s games, their players, and the organizers of gaming events (whether convention tournaments or DMs of home campaigns) to facilitate those events and ensure they are run in a fair and (more importantly) fun manner.
  • Wizards of the Coast provides material and support to event organizers
  • Organizers (Dungeon Masters or tournament organizers (TOs)) host activities
  • WotC notifies and rewards the participating gamers

This is a relatively simplistic outline, but it illustrates a key detail: all focus is built toward you, the player. WotC’s OP programme is designed to minimize the impact of organizing and reporting, so that DMs and players can concentrate on one thing: playing the games!

The [[DCI]]

Wizards of the Coast uses a single sanctioning body called the [[DCI]] for all its games and products capable of supporting organised and/or competitive play. The [[DCI]] maintains a database of all players, organizers, and events, sets rules and procedures for tournaments and competitive events, maintains rankings and ratings (in the case of games, such as Magic: the Gathering, for which that’s appropriate), and helps organizers promote their events.

The [[RPGA]]

The [[RPGA]] (an acronym originally derived from "RolePlaying Gamers Association") is a venerable organization that has supported D&D for nearly three decades. It is part of the [[DCI]]; any member of the [[RPGA]] is automatically also a [[DCI]] member, and any [[DCI]] member can take part in [[RPGA]] events.
The [[RPGA]] supports not just tournament and in-shop events, but also home games and campaigns. Players can access the [[RPGA]]’s library of adventures, most of which are set in its Living Forgotten Realms campaign, and take advantage of the WotC [[DM Rewards]] programme, which sends free game materials to DMs.

The [[WPN]]

The Wizards Play Network, or [[WPN]], is a network of organizers and sites that support WotC OP. [[WPN]] members are screened to ensure they have the basic skills needed not just to host WotC games, but also adjudicate rules issues and adhere (particularly in the case of competitive events) to WotC OP standards and procedures.