Have You played In An Official D&D Adventurer's League Event?

D&D has always had an Organized Play program of some kind. Right now it's the D&D Adventurer's League, but there have been different iterations throughout different editions going back to the RPGA, focused in 1980 by Frank Mentzer at TSR. These days, you can join in official D&D Adventurers League at many game stores around the world. But what about you? Have you personally ever played in an official D&D Adventurer's League game at a store, convention, or other sanctioned event?



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Russ Morrissey

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thorgrit

Visitor
Never have. The WotC locator tool is useless - it shows over a dozen stores in my area that participate in Adventurer's League, but most of them actually don't. When I call to check, half of them haven't heard of it before, and the other half said they used to, but stopped a year ago or more. There is one store in the next town over that has an active running game, but it's a 45 minute drive away, and happens right in the middle of my workday. My normal gaming group once tried to run a home AL game, but we found the restrictions too restricting for no benefit.
 

Jer

Adventurer
Yes actually - I've played at events at Origins a few different times. Last year I know it was "Adventurer's League" but I've played previous years under different names (all the way back to when it was the RPGA branded play - whatever that was).

They're fine. They're convention games where some people bring their own characters. They're never the best games that I play at the con, but they're usually not the worst either.
 

guachi

Visitor
Yes.

The nice thing about AL is the can't turn you away, barring tables being too big/small or your PC not being of the appropriate level for the adventure. It's great for people like me at the time in 2014. I had the 5e books and no one to play with. I hadn't played D&D in years and didn't have a group. Though given my job there are lots of people at work who play. So I went to the FLGS, had some fun, quit because the DM used houserules when he shouldn't have (and basically ruined my PC), but at least I had some players for my campaign. Great place to recruit.

Recently, about six weeks ago, I went to a different FLGS a bit farther away that had recently opened up and needed another DM for AL as their games had too many players - 13 showed up one time. There are a lot of people that only show up for a session or two, so it's frustrating to DM and the adventures have no momentum as players come and go.

However, I like roleplaying enough that I'd hate for someone to buy the rules and have no one to play with. Like last Tuesday where a young girl (junior high, maybe?) showed up and just watched us play for a bit. When we took a break, everyone was really nice to her and encouraged her to show up next week.

The FLGS and AL was a great place to recruit PCs for a store-hosted campaign (which the store also needed a DM for). That's what I really wanted to do. DMing AL is just a means to an end (two ends - my campaign and ensuring new players don't feel completely left out).

EDIT: I can't fathom why anyone would play in AL as a regular (or, only) way to play D&D. It's fine if you have nothing else, but that's about it.
 

Ricochet

Explorer
No, but I have run something akin to it in coordinance with AL, getting materials to use from WotC with their blessing.

The rigamarole of tracking and logging has prevented me from participating, aside from the fact that almost no stores or community centers have anything of the sort here in Denmark, outside of the largest cities. :)
 

Sacrosanct

Legend
Yes, but 90% of my gaming is with my group and not AL.

Interesting observation though. So far it's 2 to 1, and even many of those "yes" votes are people like me, who play outside of the AL as well. I'm immediately thinking of all the "But it's not AL legal!" responses to why 3PP is not good and/or has no value. Seems that excuse appears to only affect a small % of players.
 

tsalla

Visitor
I gotta say I love AL, and play it pretty much exclusively now. Why? Well, what's not to love? First of all, ALL 5e WotC published adventures can be played as part of AL. But better than that are the dozens of 2-4 hour adventures you can play in a game store, order from the DMs Guild and play at home, or "binge-play" at a convention. Most of them are great (if in need of a bit more editing), and they are better than the sum of their parts, with a different theme each season, recurring NPCs, etc. Best thing is you can play as much or as little as you can/want, with a regular group or with strangers (and a regular DM or a variety), all with the same character or handful of characters. I play monthly at a store, monthly in an AL home game, and once or twice a year at a con.

The "restrictions" are minimal and just help keep power levels balanced when playing with new people. (Pretty much no races that fly at 1st level and keep track of the adventures played and rewards earned for each character.)

If you have a home group with a DM that creates content just for you, great! But for most adults that's rare, and different folks have different availability. AL lets you play when you can and still have a through-line.
 

not-so-newguy

Explorer
I play at a store that has been designated as an AL store by WOTC. I started playing there over two years ago. At first, there were 2-3 tables running a campaign and every game was AL material. Nowadays, there are 3 tables going and none of them are AL content. Most of the same people have stuck around through this time. I still happily fork down $5 for use of the table, which gets saved as credit for in-store purchases. DMs are gifted $5 credit for each session by the store.

People still walk in expecting AL. Most of them stick around for awhile at least, since we’ll find them a spot at an available table. Some don't. From what I have done and witnessed at the table, we do our best to accommodate newcomers.

If the goal of AL is to give folks a place to meet and play some DnD, then they have succeeded at my store. If the goal was to play AL exclusive content and rules, then they’ve failed.

I have never attended an event or convention, but a handful of people at the store regularly do.
 

Grimjack99

Visitor
I run Adventure League at a game store, I have played at other game stores, and in homes. I've run at conventions, and played at conventions. Not only the current Adventure League, but RPGA events back in the day (took the test, and got certified, too). I also play in two other home brew 5E games. Games are what we make them. The Adventure League has started giving DM's greater latitude to put their stamp on a session to insure fun for the table. I consider myself a casually serious gamer with little else better to do. ;)
 

DEFCON 1

Legend
I played AL last year at PAX East when it was available, whereas in years past the con has had D&D, but not I think technically AL. Although now that the regional and local coordinators are gone for AL, who knows who (if anyone) is going to run D&D at all at the con this year.
 

JonnyP71

Explorer
Played in one 3 hour session at a convention as I had nothing else planned... the adventure itself was pretty dire (a low level CoS scenario), but the DM was very competent and the group were a pleasant bunch.

I've yet to find a local Gaming Store which supports AL play - but I would give it another go if the opportunity was there.
 

Weird Dave

Explorer
Since GenCon 2014 I've run games at conventions for Adventurers League and I've had an absolute blast doing so! It coincided with a realization on my part that if I wanted to play games at conventions, I needed to be the one running them - fighting registration systems and timeouts was too nerve-wracking. GenCon 2014, Gamehole Con 2014, Winter Fantasy 2015, Origins 2015, GenCon 2015, Gamehole Con 2015, and PAX West 2016 have been my AL-focused cons and it's been a blast. Most of that was with Baldman Games, and I've run epics, 1 hour slots, 2 hour slots, and 4 slots for those cons, and I've had a great time doing it - I don't think I've had a single bad or disgruntled player at my tables!

Locally, the AL games are actually too full for me to DM! I run my own home game for D&D 5E that's been a lot of fun so I don't sweat it, and it's been nice to meet and chat with the DMs and organizers that make the big conventions run behind the scenes!
 

Ralif Redhammer

Adventurer
Yes, I've done so at cons, and have generally enjoyed myself. The most recent D&D Open at Origins left me really dissatisfied for a number of reasons, but other than that I've had mostly great experiences.

I've never run anything though, and that's something I'd really like to work up the nerve to do some time.
 

Desh-Rae-Halra

Explorer
Yes, I played at GenCon when 5E debuted and it turned me off to the system for about a year.....such a bad experience: some level 6-8 NPC just killed the party off, one per round as they got 3 attacks per round.

I tried it earlier this year at a local store and although the scenario was good, I was level 1 running with others who were level 4 or 5, so after almost dying twice even though I was standing back in combat, that was enough. On top of it, the other players just had stacks of magic items which made it feel more imbalanced.
 

gkramer1

Visitor
I've played in them at local cons and the D&D Experience track at Origins. My overall impression has been mixed. I've had a few good sessions (once with Rodney Thomson as DM!) and then some real clunkers (DDEX3-02 Shackles of Blood comes to mind). In retrospect, most of the adventures seem railroady. I know it's tough in a short block of time to make something open-ended, but it seems more like they try to force a "story" at all costs, with some cringe-worthy plot points. Even at Origins, the experience was just "ok" - I'm recalling a villain that was telegraphed early on, but we were given no chance/choice to confront until the end.

And I echo the comment above about other players having "stacks of magic items". At origins, the others at my table who played every week were loaded up; me who brought my player from a year ago looked meek in comparison despite us being of the same level-tier. And I have had AL DMs who, on day 3 of the con, seemed to be phoning it in.
 
Whenever my home game starts to unravel because of scheduling (we are all doing the middle aged parent thing), I consider switching over to DMing an organized play game to ensure enough players. The problem is that, as a player, it is really hard to get into the community in my gaming-active city. When I show up once in a while, it always seems like my presence is a burden to the ongoing players. The last time a I scheduled a game through the store I showed up and none of the four tables wanted to take me on. I was 1st level and they were all in the middle of a higher tier story.
Other times, at a different FLGS, new players are shipped off to the table with kids and new players if there is a DM available to take that on. There is nothing inherently wrong with kids playing, but the lack of (play)experience or maturity at those tables makes it a less entertaining experience than it could be. Organization to prevent cliquishness and encourage integration should be key.
I still don't know who to talk to about being a DM for a location or where to check about the hierarchy since it seems region organization is ad-hoc. Hard to get into.
 

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