There's no FLGS near me running Encounters anymore, but when there was, the quality of the adventures was generally very poor.
Even a good adventure designed for the Encounters format wouldn't be worth paying for, IMHO, especially as there's no way to look at it and evaluate its value first. But all of that is based on the first couple of seasons' worth; I hear that it has gotten better since.
I thought the whole point of D&D Encounters was to attract new players. It seems to me that asking dms to pay for the advertising they're doing for WotC for free is going to alienate some of them. I realize that the Encounters material costs money to produce, but I have misgivings about the future of the program if they're going to start asking the dms volunteering their time to pay to play. (Why not just run something homebrewed instead, if your itch to run the game is so strong and Encounters is your only option?)
This D&D Encounters season uses the Murder in Baldur's Gateadventure product that is sold through your store. Instead of providing an adventure in the kit, Dungeon Masters now use the for-sale product as the play experience! The quality and breadth of the adventure experience is greatly improved, and as the group plays along, they'll have the ability to go wherever they want, and act upon whatever motivates them to aid the city!
from http://www.wizards.com/wpn/News/Article.aspx?x=2013_06_10_DDEBaldur[h=2]Kit Contents[/h]This season, the kit contains the following contents. One kit has enough materials for 2 Dungeon Masters. As a reminder, the kit does not contain the adventure – it is the Murder in Baldur's Gate adventure that's purchasable at your store!
- A poster promoting Murder in Baldur's Gate, Launch Weekend, and D&D Next
- 2 packs of non-player character cards for the DM
- 20 exclusive player maps
- 20 exclusive Murder in Baldur's Gate d20s
- Instructions document
I think they want someone to pay for it.Do we have official word that DMs are meant to pay for it? It would make a bit more sense if stores were meant to give a free copy to the DM as a reward for advertising the game, bringing people into the store, etc.
How many sessions are encounters? They are supposed to be two hours vs the four so it would need to be about 18 sessions? I think mine have run about 8 or 9?
I don't know much about D&D encounters but Pathfinder Society Scenarios are $3.99 each and there are 2 released a month. If this is a one shot adventure that you are supposed to play in one sitting, I would thing this too high.
If they're offering me some nice bonuses to take home (maps, NPC cards, etc.), I'd love to run Encounters. But if they want me to pay for it, I might as well just buy it and run it for my group. And, honestly, I'd rather pay an extra $5 to get the maps and cards in the box.