WotC DMs to pay for D&D Encounter materials?

Morrus

Well, that was fun
Staff member
I've seen various reports around the web (such as this one) that D&D Encounters is changing soon in that DMs will no longer receive the adventures for free. This apparently starts in August with Murder in Baldur's Gate which will cost volunteer DMs $34.95.
 

darjr

I crit!
I'm not sure what to do about this one. How many here that are running encounters are going to pick this up?
 

Morrus

Well, that was fun
Staff member
I've not got an Encounters store near me, so it's not something that'd ever affect me (and so I'm a bit uninformed on the whole thing) but I can't imagine the hosting store would object to paying for the adventure? It strikes me that in practice this would end up as a non-issue, unless there are other factors in play.
 

kitsune9

Villager
This is kind of like, "We'll publish adventures that people buy and then play in our tournament games." Given the material that they will provide for the module, I think it's okay.
 

thepriz

Villager
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.
 

darjr

I crit!
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?
 

darjr

I crit!
Oh and there is still a lot of stuff in the kit.
  • 2 copies of the short introductory adventure
  • 2 packs of non-player character cards for the DM
  • 20 exclusive player maps
  • 20 exclusive Murder in Baldur’s Gate d20s
 

the Jester

Legend
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?)
 

Blackwarder

Villager
Considering that the nearest LFGS to me is 267 miles by a boat I'm happy that I'll be able to participate in the first s underling adventure, I would have DM in a store for the play aids though.

Warder
 

darjr

I crit!
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?)
The season I started with was fantastic, "Against the Cult of Chaos". I don't have issues paying for adventures, I run Pathfinder Society, but it's more than I expected and all at once. I imagine others are struggling with justifying the purchase. I think I'll do it this first go around and see how it is.
 
If I've understood what's going on properly (it's entirely likely I haven't), the product is being taken entirely too seriously; DMs aren't intended to pay for Encounters adventures to run as part of Encounters. But because they are metaplot adventures (like the Time of Troubles) you can choose to buy them separately. That's the hardback release for people who want to follow the metaplot rather than the format that will be sent to gaming stores.
 
I actually run the Wednesday night Encounter at my local shop, and I can't see paying $35 for them. Hopefully what Neonchameleon said is correct; that tie in products are what's going to cost money. For the most part the encounters are very basic one fight scenarios that link together to form a sort of meta-plot. I've enjoyed running it, and it's good for new players to get their feet wet, but they aren't really useful outside of encounters (other than the maps, the maps are nice).
 

darjr

I crit!
In the document from WotC the only adventure material for free in the kit is the first intro adventure. The rest are from the hardbound book that must be purchased.

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!

Kit Contents

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
from http://www.wizards.com/wpn/News/Article.aspx?x=2013_06_10_DDEBaldur

also see http://www.wizards.com/ContentResources/Wizards/Sales/Solicitations/2013_06_08_DDBaldur_Solicitation_en_US.pdf

I might pay for Encounters adventures if the quality goes up and is consistently up.
 
Last edited:

GX.Sigma

Villager
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.
 
Last edited:

Obryn

Villager
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.
I think they want someone to pay for it.

I'm actually happy that it will be available for sale, though a lack of poster maps is a down-side for me. Encounters happens to be on my standing D&D night, so I don't go.
 

GX.Sigma

Villager
I think they want someone to pay for it.

I'm actually happy that it will be available for sale, though a lack of poster maps is a down-side for me. Encounters happens to be on my standing D&D night, so I don't go.
Same here.

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.
 

MerricB

Eternal Optimist
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?
It varies. The last few seasons have been 8 sessions each. 12-13 is more of a standard. As I recall, they did one that was 20, which was probably a bit too long.
 

MerricB

Eternal Optimist
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.
The Encounters season this supports will run for 13 weeks. Sessions are typically 1-2 hours each.

Note that it's a 32-page adventure book and 64-pages of setting material.
 
Last edited:

MerricB

Eternal Optimist
Same here.

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.
Everyone can buy the adventure/setting. They don't need to run Encounters with it.

However, if you run it as part of Encounters, although you have to buy the adventure... you'll get bonus stuff in addition (20 promo dice, 20 player maps, 2 packs of NPC cards). The Encounters kit is meant to be split between two groups.

What is significant about this adventure is that there are 64 pages of setting material. This is not standard for Encounters adventures. The closest to it was the brilliant Against the Cult of Chaos, which had four-five pages of setting material and a significantly non-railroaded plot.

Cheers!
 

Advertisement

Top