DDAL Adventurers League seeks your input, even if you do not play AL.


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tetrasodium

Legend
Supporter
I have played in AL games, and have run AL adventures (but in the latter case not as AL games). I DM professionally and the main reason I don’t run AL is that I don’t encounter demand for it. It would be a case of me having to introduce it to players, many of whom are completely new or new to 5E, and having to explain an additional set of rules and restrictions that in some cases contradict what DNDBEYOND is telling them (DNDBEYOND, the main tool we use for character building and campaign management, has no AL integration).

I wonder if this is partly regional? In the NYC area, D&D is extremely popular but there are very few game stores and the ones we have don’t seem to use AL. Also, the NYC area has no large conventions. But there seem to be places where AL is a big deal?
Ran a lot of AL at a nearby flgs precovid & can confirm the same experience. AL is good for getting people in the door, but any gm with even a modicum of skill & stability is likely to develop a stable group unless steps are taken to avoid such a thing like randomly assigning players to gms or similar nonsense. The stable group doesn't usually give a fig if the game is strict AL legal & someone looking to find a game who shows up with an AL legal looking character doesn't likely care much either.

The only exception that seem to care about how strictly AL legal it is right down to "what's your dci number?" type stuff are problem players that bizarrely present a lot like " commercial gold farmers" in mmos who tended to abuse the fairness things built into AL loot distribution exactly like you'd expect "gold farmers" to do in an mmo until wotc redid the AL rules to make treasure more like a point buy thing.

The "log sheets" were a well meaning but misguided idea though. A newbie joining might zealously fill them out for a while until realizing that nobody cares much. Unless it says GMbob gave out a holy avenger & bob is across the room running another table to say "hey gmbob did you give out a holy avenger to a level 5 pc a month ago? wtf?" it's not like the log sheet tells me anything useful when I could just look at the character sheet & say "yea this all is cool but ixnay on the holy avenger if you want to join my level 5 group".

Those log sheets are even worse for not actually being anything notelike about the session. If a player came to me with five levels of session notes filled with things like npc/place names details plot hooks etc & things like this I don't care if every page was forged that very day because if it keeps up once they are at my table I'll feel like I won the freaking lottery with that player
 


DEFCON 1

Legend
Supporter
Filled out the survey. Seemed fine. Nothing major or surprising of note that they were asking for, although the questions asking whether we've played AL within the last 12 months due to COVID are probably going to be their most informative (if they have noticed any drop-offs in AL play and wanted to confirm why.) All of my AL play is at conventions, which explains why I haven't played AL in the last year, and I'm sure that is the same for many people.
 

Retreater

Legend
My response was similar in that I played AL at conventions, but didn't this year obviously. In virtual games I've played PFS one time just to try PF2 as a player. The only thing that would make me more likely to run AL is that if the adventures were readily available on Roll20, which is how I'm playing now.
 

Bravesteel25

Baronet of Gaming
Filled it out. I haven't DM'd AL in over two years. I didn't like how decentralized the program was in terms unified tracking, rules enforcements, and logs. I'm not sure what the answer would be to fix it, but it made it so that AL at one store could be VASTLY different from AL at another store simply because one store has a cohesive organization of DMs that enforce logs and tracking and the other does not.
 


HawaiiSteveO

Blistering Barnacles!
Was there a season for it is a kinda sorta, embers from the last war was made by the community published to dmguild & ran in parallel to... I forget. All of them are showing platinum or mithral medals & generally well recieved by the eberron community. I ran all of them AL & my players enjoyed themselves

The omission can also mean than an eberron product is in the plans & this is looking to see what levels of interest that other setting have or what settings have a lot of shared interest together
Playing Eberron Oracle of War AL series with my 'home' group right now on Shard VTT, having a blast really well done! We're on Part 6, Part 14 was just release on Dmsguild and it is scheduled for a total of 20. New adventures usually come out first Tuesday of every month but sometimes delayed a week (well this month anyway).

Adventures really capture the vibe of Eberron, some memorable sessions so far. The more straight forward nature of AL modules suit my group well.

Did survey - Oohh classic settings..!
 
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tetrasodium

Legend
Supporter
Playing Eberron Oracle of War AL series with my 'home' group right now on Shard VTT, having a blast really well done! We're on Part 6, Part 14 was just release on Dmsguild and it is scheduled for a total of 20. New adventures usually come out first Tuesday of every month but sometimes delayed a week (well this month anyway).

Adventures really capture the vibe of Eberron, some memorable sessions so far. The more straight forward nature of AL modules suit my group well.

Did survey - Oohh classic settings..!
every week I usually have my players spend a couple minutes doing a recap of the last session to jog their memories & then give something* to the person they decide had the best recap. I forget which of them had the sharn chicken plot they were recapping, but one player stood up, held his hands out flailing a bit, & sorta mock yelled "aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa crash aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa ohcrapaaaaaaaaaaaaa ohhhh nooooo featherfall we win!" putting everyone in stitches" :D

*inspiration, a buff, a single use trinket, whatever
 

Stormonu

Legend
I’ve tried RPGA and the Pathfinder version years ago and was rather unimpressed with the whole thing. I don’t know if the FLGS has an AL group, but because of Covid, there hasn’t been any in-store gaming to even check. Don’t feel like I’m missing anything, but I’d hate for it to influence the direction of what they put out for us home groups.
 

pogre

Legend
I ran a lot of AL for Cons in the past. I am not against doing it again, but some of the latest season's rules seemed silly to me. I really like the concept of organized play. It's a great way to get a few games in at a Con and check out possible new players for your home game.
 

I'm a fan of the number of adventures they've put out. Some are awful, but there's some that are very good. The reviews on DM's Guild have steered me well. They're basically what Dungeon has turned into. I wish they had more notes for non-AL play (like treasure placement), since that seems like a super easy way for WotC to add value to the adventures. I'm a little surprised there's never been a "best of AL" collection after 10 seasons.

In the end, I think the idea behind highly portable PCs is a flawed one. It's so easy to create a new PC to play at a new table and use the Basic Item rules to give out minimum magic items that I don't really think portability is that valuable as a focus for play. I'm sure there's a small handful of players who travel a lot... but that's kind of what VTTs are for.

Then again, I've never been the type of player who cared about competitive TTRPG gaming and don't really see any benefit to organized league play unless it's a Mega West Marches style game with 5 DMs, 40-50 players, and 100+ PCs.
 


I mostly like AL because I get to actually be a player for a change. But I did run a regular AL game for a while, before we decided to ditch the AL rules. This was when they introduced the ACP and TCP rules. While everyone loved the ACP, the arcane treasure rules like unlocking was not so popular.

One of the things I appreciate quite a bit is AL's attention to soliciting feedback. Of all the organized play groups I've been in, they're the ones that most consistently look for input, whether on the whole system or just each session.
 

Vael

Legend
Admittedly, what's really kept me out of AL play is simple lack of availability. Even though LGSs in my area do run regular DnD events, they aren't AL. I've only seen local AL events at Conventions.

So, this does bias me, but I do agree with @Bacon Bits that trying to have rules and tracking to allow portable PCs is a lot of squeeze for little juice. I'd sooner have more rigorous character gen rules (especially given Tasha's custom lineages) with a sort of "wealth-by-level" system so that I can make a character for any tier/level of play so I can sit down at a table and play a PC of the expected level that won't throw off the DM by much.
 

billd91

Not your screen monkey (he/him)
I took the survey and I've been DMing AL for the last few of years at a local convention (including online at the virtual convention in 2020). The adventures are not always stellar, but the groups are almost always fun.
 

guachi

Hero
I saw this survey as a windmill tilting exercise to get new settings for Adventurer's League. I chose Dark Sun and Mystara.

My major issue playing and especially DMing was the constantly changing players that would show up. It's a great intro for the game for players, though, who can't otherwise find a table to play at.
 

billd91

Not your screen monkey (he/him)
My major issue playing and especially DMing was the constantly changing players that would show up. It's a great intro for the game for players, though, who can't otherwise find a table to play at.
I know a lot of people have been playing home versions of DDAL and have since earlier living campaigns like Living Greyhawk and probably Living City, but conventions and other open events is where organized play can really shine by giving people a chance to try the game out or play when they don't have a regular group.
 

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