Lost Mines AL

kalani

First Post
With that being said however - I don't even know why this is a debate in the first place. If a DM needs an encounter, there are plenty of random encounters in each hardcover (and even in Lost Mines) that can be substituted legally - with no issue. Simply pick a random encounter that fits the situation, and run that. Problem solved, and without the need to change creatures or create encounters from scratch.
 

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Coredump

Explorer
Since the early days of Hoard and onwards, Ive always made sure Ive never Added new monsters that arnt in the module/scenario only added more of the same (or less).

Hey, if that is what works for you, great. But you are missing out on a lot of oppotunities for improving the game and experience for your players.
Just last week there was an encounter with 2 Drow Spore servants and a named bad guy. With a full table (6-7) of 5th level PCs... it was going to be an uneventful cake walk. I could have just added another *two-three dozen* drow spore servants.... but that would have changed the flavor of the encounter, and been kind of boring. Instead I swapped for 1 Chuul and 1 Hook Horror spore servant. Same *type* of creature, same flavor of encounter.... but not just a huge wave of bodies. (which can also be fun, as an option)

A while back, they were to come across some zombies.... needed to get buffed up. I could have just added more and more of the same basic zombies.... but instead I added a few Ogre zombies (reskinned to something more appropriate to the area)

Also worth noting, is that using more and more weak creatures does not provide the same XP to the PCs as the same difficulty of stronger creatures. Which is an eternal problem with the hardback adventures already...

I think it is good advice to keep the replacement creatures as close to the original as possible.... the exact same is safest, and different versions of the same creature would be next safest. But if I did decide to go with just more and more basic zombies, I can almost guarantee I would have mixed in some skeletons... and maybe something else.

This does not mean its a good idea to swap out a bunch of zombies for a vampire spawn..... with DM power comes DM responsibility....
 


Coredump

Explorer
Actually, in respect to the 6-person tent situation - that was never my opinion (my opinion would have been to allow mundane gear with no rules associated with them, thereby allowing other DMs to determine how they functioned at their table). I was actually quoting numerous comments from RCs and admins on the matter at the time. At some later point, that decision was relaxed or the stance changed and once I learned of this fact, I adjusted my responses accordingly.

Rules in AL are not static. They do change (usually with each new PG - but sometimes because an unwritten rule was altered). The issue with the 6-man tent was an unwritten rule (keep in mind I am also very active on the FB groups and so catch most of these comments/and adhoc rulings, although I don't always have records of them - esp. if they occurred months previously). Again, I was not making an opinion on this matter... I was referencing clarifications by the articles author which had been made on FB.

With that being said, this article was written in season 1, and as such - many of the guidelines suggested in it are liable to change over time, if not outright contradicted by later FAQs, if not the PG itself. The ruling for Rise of Tiamat partially contradicts the guidelines in the article (and the FAQ has precedent in the case of a rules conflict between itself and another rules source, including the PG). In respect to that ruling in particular, it too has been clarified on FB by the admins, in respect to whether the ruling was specific to RoT or general..... (it is a generic ruling that applies across the board, and is echoed frequently by admins and RCs on FB and other social media platforms).

As with most FAQ rulings - while the ruling itself may be in response to a question about a specific product, the ruling itself is generic and applies globally (except where contradicted by other, more specific sources). The RoT ruling for example, applies to all published adventures - including Out of the Abyss. Specific still trumps general however, and the Out of the Abyss ammendment document trumps the RoT ruling for those specific entries (and defaults to the RoT ruling otherwise).

Either way, this matters little in the grand scope of things.

While DMs have the right to audit character and logsheets at their table, the AL itself does not police or audit individual players or tables. It is built on trust. If one DM is giving out more XP than another for the same adventure, it only matters to those players and any future DMs they may have. Now, with that being said -that doesn't mean I am endorsing the idea of DMs giving out maximum Xp in an Expedition (regardless of whether they earned it or not), nor am I suggesting DMs handwaive XP and give arbitary amounts. Players should still earn every XP they get. But if one DM throws an extra encounter or two in a hardcover adventure, it really doesn't impact the greater community at large.

And now comes the second stage... where you start explaining that what you explicitly said, isn't what you really explicitly meant. And of course you were right because some unnamed, unquoted, unlinked "RCs and Admins" really said it.

Of course, at one point you also insisted that RCs had the power and authority to make and change policy for the AL.... I don't know if you still stand by that claim.

You have made these claims repeatedly.... and each time you are unable to provide any evidence..... and then it is shown that your assertions were wrong....and each time you keep insisting that you 'were' right and the only problem is everyone else changed their mind. Then claim how magnanimous you are by finally going along with the rules...

You were *very* adamant that the rules did *Not* allow for winter clothes... you did not agree with those rules, but you very explicitly insisted that you were not allowed to buy a 6 person tent. Luckily for you, the WotC forum has been taken down.

I also find it enlightening that you are very quick to quote the Severance article when you think it supports your assertions, but once it is shown to say something very different.... you start with "well its old" an "the rules could change". You can't have it both ways. Yes the rules *could* change.... but they haven't. The article is still up on the website, nothing else on the website has invalidated anything it says, and nothing has changed in the ALPG regarding what the article says. All we have is your interpretation of what you claim Art said to you..... and historically, I have not found your 'interpretations' to be overly reliable. I think it is far safer to trust the *written* rules that are actually published on the official website, rather than something you may or may not remember correctly.

Again, I don't know you personally, I can only base this on the numerous times you make claims that are much stricter than the Admin or ALPG rulings.

You ask why this is even an issue....??? Because you keep making it an issue, because you continue to express your opinions as rules and facts instead of advice. It doesn't seem to matter how often your assertions turn out to be erroneous.... you continue to try and enforce a top-down control based on your interpretations....
 

Byakugan

First Post
Coredump has some valid points, but he is also overly blunt, to the point of insult.

The argument about creature types is highly poignant...AL imposes a bunch of rules based on creature type, and it is a defined term. Odd that the rule hasn't been 'fixed' in 2 years if it was their intent that they mean identical. IF they did in fact mean 'identical' then suddenly several other rules don't make sense...It says you can swap out spellcaster spell slots...but that should be illegal now because it would change the creature 'type'? Does not pass the smell test.

Many of the 'rules' do contradict themselves. Do not change the rewards, but DO change rewards. Do not change rewards, but do delete then if they happen to be magical ones. Is it legal for a DM to just MOVE rewards? It would appear so since the rules tell you to.

Lots of other rules are effectively unenforceable because there is no real way to audit another DMs awards. They are very likely different even if the same DM runs the exact same adventure. It is the DMs job to determine how much xp the PCs gain. Sometimes that just means he realized the next chapter is xxx level so he gives the PCs enough xp to level up. You could call it an additional reward...or you could call it correcting the universe to get the PCs to where the designers explicitly meant them to be. You could even call it rule O.

Technically, there is probably no such thing as an actual 'purely' legal AL character once you get a fee levels in. My character got a free sticky bun once and ate it...dang that was an extra reward! A while bunch of DMs use flanking rules, or have critical hit tables or fumble charts. Some things just arent worth fighting over as long as people are having fun.
 

kalani

First Post
The FAQ will be getting an overhaul some time in the near future. I expect many of these contradictions will be addressed at that time (as the FAQ was put together piece-meal as each new entry came out). Still waiting on a response from an admin which is why I have not responded for a few days.
 


Pauper

That guy, who does that thing.
It says you can swap out spellcaster spell slots...but that should be illegal now because it would change the creature 'type'? Does not pass the smell test.

I'd agree -- I don't see any definition of 'type' (beast, dragon, etc.) that relies on a creature having a specific spell list prepared. This doesn't mean you should just swap out an innate spell for another spell ("My gnomes fly!"), but yeah, if you've got a priest in your AL module, nothing stops you from swapping Dispel Magic for Counterspell if you think it would make for a better, more interesting encounter.

Many of the 'rules' do contradict themselves. Do not change the rewards, but DO change rewards. Do not change rewards, but do delete then if they happen to be magical ones. Is it legal for a DM to just MOVE rewards? It would appear so since the rules tell you to.

Well, let's not get too cute -- if you're playing DDEX 2-8, 'moving' the magic item out of that module and 'moving' the magic item from DDEX 3-10 in would be a pretty clear violation of the spirit of the rule. If you want to award the item in DDEX 3-10, run DDEX 3-10. With that said, see below.

Lots of other rules are effectively unenforceable because there is no real way to audit another DMs awards.

There is, but you might not like it -- it's not strictly true that there is no 'AL police'. YOU are the AL police for your characters. You're the only one with the authority to add or modify your character log, and you're the only one who participated in all the modules listed on that log, and listened to each DM as she awarded the XP, gold, and other rewards from those modules.

The idea is to be the sort of player for whom a DM doesn't worry about whether or not the player is trying to 'exploit' the system and thus doesn't have to bother auditing you. If the DMs award isn't clear, ask for clarity before you leave the table. If people are in a hurry, ask if you can catch up with the DM later at the convention or before the next session at the FLGS to clear up any misunderstandings. If you think a particular combination of rules would be exploitative, *don't combine those rules*.

The concept of an 'honor system' is not 'you can't accuse me of cheating unless you actually catch me'; it's 'we presume that players aren't going to try to cheat or game the system because they're only hurting themselves'. (Except, of course, we all know that isn't really true -- there absolutely is a portion of the player-base out there who will forge a log entry or mis-read a die, if it means they get to be awesome for four hours at a time. Don't play with that guy, and don't be that guy.)

Technically, there is probably no such thing as an actual 'purely' legal AL character once you get a fee levels in. My character got a free sticky bun once and ate it...dang that was an extra reward!

Well, sure, but you don't *have* to write down everything the DM tells you. Did you try to pick a pocket hoping to find a clue or a key but instead got gold? Don't write it down. The DM gives you a specific magic item that you know isn't in the module? Write down how the item was lost, stolen, or broken. That's what an 'honor system' is, after all, a system where you record the things you've earned, even if they're bad, and you ignore the things you haven't earned, even if they're good.

A while bunch of DMs use flanking rules, or have critical hit tables or fumble charts. Some things just arent worth fighting over as long as people are having fun.

This, too. It took me a while to figure out how to play at a table where things weren't going the way I thought they should go, but everybody else was having fun and I wasn't going to help matters by trying to brute-force my opinions on the rest of the table. So instead of exploiting the DM's misguided flanking rule, I left the flank open for the rogue. Instead of burning the Inspiration I got for fetching the DM a soda, I handed it to the heavily wounded cleric who had to make a save against a wight's life drain.

As has been commented on a couple of times already in this thread, being right is no excuse to be a dick.

--
Pauper
 

Steve_MND

First Post
There is, but you might not like it -- it's not strictly true that there is no 'AL police'. YOU are the AL police for your characters. You're the only one with the authority to add or modify your character log, and you're the only one who participated in all the modules listed on that log, and listened to each DM as she awarded the XP, gold, and other rewards from those modules.

Speaking of which (and to kinda tie this back into the original thread somewhat), does anyone know what the generally-accepted max XP is supposed to be for Lost Mines? Should it get new characters to 5th level? We participated in a somewhat abbreviated version of it the last few weeks while waiting for the next season to start up, and our DM has a tendency to round-up when dealing with XP at the end of each session. Which is fine, but we kinda got a huge amount of XP at the end of the final session, enough to push us up to just 5th level, and while we dealt with A Lot Of Bad Guys in the finale, in i'm reasonably certain that was... generous, so to speak. I don't mind, but I know at least one player had kinda still wanted to play his character in a low-tier Expeditions mod or two to get a crack at an item he thought would be amusing for his character, so i'm wondering where we should have been sitting at the end of it all, as opposed to where we did end up.
 


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