D&D Adventurer's League: Checkpoint System? - Myth-Weavers


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D&D Adventurer's League: Checkpoint System?

   
D&D Adventurer's League: Checkpoint System?

So last Wednesday at the nearest game-shop to me, our regular DM had to sit this one out due to being sick. And while one of our new players stepped up to take over for him, there was another player that was aiming to play at the Tier 2 level (lvls 5 to 10) adventures and was looking for volunteers. Now, this girl was fairly new to the area, was a collage student from L.A. and I didn't want to alienate her to our Berkeley game, so I took on her offer, even though it meant I wasn't playing with my usual group. Apparently the game stores near her down south were in close proximity to convention centers, so she was used to VERY strict and stringent adherence to WoTC's league rules (No "unearthed arcana" stuff, PHB + 1 Supplement, etc.) It was... different, to say the least, seeing how our group is fairly insular and has never even thought of taking the characters we played to different tables, due to our regular D&D players could only fit on 1 1/2 tables compared to all the M:tG players that took over the entire store. However, when we got to the end of our 2 1/2 hour game, we found ourselves not with gold or EXP but.... Treasure & Adventure Points.

wat.

So, Season 8 of Adventure League has introduced this Check Point system from Xanathar's Guide to Everything (XGE), along with a semi-complicated formula for converting your current character's number of Adventure Points to replace your experience and the giving out of gold based on when you level up, and at what level you level up on. Along with that was "Treasure Points" allowing your to spend a certain amount upon certain tables from the magic items list at different tiers and costs-per-point.

I have issues with this...

ONE: Unless your have a DM who will go over this new system with every new player that arrives or is even aware of the option, every new player will come to the table expecting to have everything they need out of the Player's Hand Book (PHB); at least one player has to have a copy of the XGE at every table to know how the Checkpoint system works. While the system for leveling is fairly easy (Levels 1 to 4 require 4 Adventure Points to level, 5 and higher require 8,) things like money gain per level and what tiers and amount of treasure points they require to buy from whatever magic item columns from the Dungeon Master's Guide (DMG) will be essential. To me, this seems to boil down to WoTC making any player who wants to even try out Adventure League to have the PHB, DMG AND XGE to even sit at a freakin' table!

TWO: The Treasure Point system seems designed to take out the mystique of magic items once more and just "opens up the mall" again. Now we're back to 3e and 4e where magic items are back to being expected and simply part of expected character growth. One thing that made me go "Wow! They really went there!" when first opening the PHB was that magic items were not only no longer expected as normal equipment going forward but that the rarity of said items were enough that you couldn't buy them or even SELL them, so exotic and rare that not even the most fabulous merchants could afford them and could only make trades for OTHER magic items. It meant that on any adventure, when you came across a pair of boots or unique ring with a magical aura about it, it became a hushed moment at the table because you FINALLY came across a magical item. Now, even Boots of Water Walking or a Driftglobe were considered something to be treasured and something to be proud of to show off to other players. Now, however, I can only imagine them being regulated to the side as everyone saves up for the requisite "+1/2/3 Weapon & Armor" and another round of players calculating out what items they're going to get buy a different times at every level like clockwork.

I don't know, that's what I get out of all of this at any case. Has any other Adventurer's League players out there come across this system yet? Am I not getting something out of this change?

I am guessing that you are unaware that there's a whole pack of us here on the weave who indulge in AL games. In fact, we've got a whole sub-forum for the games, and some threads specifically related to Season 8. Such as this one:

https://www.myth-weavers.com/showthread.php?t=448098

You aren't alone. The changes introduced weren't met with a whole lot of good feelings, and there's still some confusion over them.

It sounds like this is some kind of semi-organised play thing, like that Pathfinder one or Living Whatever?

Personally, I don't much care for them, but the sorts of rules you describe probably work better for something like that. Sure, you lose out on the mystique of discovering weird magic items, but being able to plan what your character will have at each level is a big plus in organised play - not so much for the players, but for DMs and adventure designers, since they more reliably know what people are going to have and hence how to balance it. In this kind of play, DMs don't have absolute power at the table because they have to abide by the rules shared with all the other organised play DMs and so having strict guidelines is easier for them, plus they don't have the ability to fudge stuff if players are under-equipped or over-equipped.

It's just the price you pay for playing something like that - it's the same with all the other rules, really. In a regular game a DM can just invent a monster, give you a new homebrew spell, whatever. That's why I've never seen the attraction of the organised play type thing (well, I see the benefits for being able to travel table to table and have some consistency, I just don't care). It's just not for me, and maybe it's not for you either.

@Popestar Ah, I actually wasn't aware. I thought this site was almost exclusively homebrew or campaign book games, so that's good to know. And also good to know I'm not the only one who's concerned by the changes.

Quote:
Originally Posted by darknight910 View Post
@Popestar Ah, I actually wasn't aware. I thought this site was almost exclusively homebrew or campaign book games, so that's good to know. And also good to know I'm not the only one who's concerned by the changes.
Some of the changes that they made aren't all that bad. I personally like the Advancement Checkpoints; you get rewarded now for actually RPing the mod instead of whether or not you killed all the bad guys. So those character options that are built on CHA and bluffing and such are now just as viable as the walking tank.

The biggest change that has been met with the most criticism - a lot of it loud and rather angry - is the gold mechanic. You can no longer, in league play, get paid for doing chores, nor can you stumble across and find gold. Which becomes a major problem, especially for spellcasters. This mechanical change has actually caused a rather large, vitriolic voice to be cast at the AL admins, some so angry they are splintering off into their own "league" for organized play. To me, this mechanic takes away one of the best parts of the game, and that's finding stuff.

I haven't played any of the Season 8 mods yet, so I've got no real input on the changes from that perspective. But I can tell you that we are all still learning the new rules, and in a game I'm in here on MW we had a session break and the awards had to be changed a couple times to make sure we were in line with what the new rules are. It's a learning curve for sure!








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