Necromancy and AL

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Pauper

That guy, who does that thing.
And what about online games?

What about them?

I haven't seen anyone with an online game in their character log at my table. I suspect I'll treat those games like any other games for which I don't know the provenance: if the reward matches the listed module probably approve, otherwise play it by ear.

I mean, c'mon guys -- Adventurers League has never promised and cannot promise that every game played at every table runs exactly the same game. 'Expect table variation' is Unwritten Rule #1 for a reason.

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Pauper
 

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rooneg

Adventurer
What about them?

I haven't seen anyone with an online game in their character log at my table. I suspect I'll treat those games like any other games for which I don't know the provenance: if the reward matches the listed module probably approve, otherwise play it by ear.

I mean, c'mon guys -- Adventurers League has never promised and cannot promise that every game played at every table runs exactly the same game. 'Expect table variation' is Unwritten Rule #1 for a reason.

Wow, so anyone who happens to show up in your store on a business trip is all of a sudden going to be interrogated before they can use their magic items? Better hope you actually know the home game they play in otherwise they're assumed to be cheating? You must have some real problems with cheating players in your past, because to me it totally doesn't sound worth the effort. Seriously, I can't remember seeing a DM even bother to look at a player's log sheet at any AL game I've ever played in and you're double checking magic items and adventure names to make sure everything lines up? I guess if you've got the free time, whatever, but the rest of us just want to play the game.
 

Tyranthraxus

Explorer
Ive had to check Adventure Logs before. One guy in particular died in a 5-10 game and got himself raised at the end (Hes only ever in my AL games ). He did not deduct the money required to bring himself back (which would of reduced him to 50 gold and then next game went and bought a Warhorse).

This whole thread has widely deviated from its Necromancy route, it however does bring up a very valid point. I would hope it possible that some form of information sheet on the rewards given out at Cons run in the past could be created (for dm eyes only). This would alleviate a lot of dm concerns about just what has been awarded so far (for example 69 Death Domain certs were awarded at X). Specifics are good. As a DM, I want the surprises to come from my running of a game, not from my players Logsheets.
 

RCanine

First Post
Wow, so anyone who happens to show up in your store on a business trip is all of a sudden going to be interrogated before they can use their magic items?

This sort of attitude and strawmanning is really unnecessary. Literally nothing you said is in Pauper's post. It's fine to disagree but there's no need to be a jerk.
 

rooneg

Adventurer
This sort of attitude and strawmanning is really unnecessary. Literally nothing you said is in Pauper's post. It's fine to disagree but there's no need to be a jerk.

I'm sorry, but treating one set of players differently from others because you know the "provenance" of their characters is contrary to the spirit of organized play. If the AL doesn't bother to have some sort of tracking system for this games played, items found, etc than the honor system is all we've got, might as well get used to it. There are enough adventures out there with random story awards that most DMs won't be aware of (let alone stuff from epics or admin adventures where they have no reasonable way to know about them) so any sort of enforcement is going to be haphazard at best, with that in mind it's best just not to bother. You're more likely to "catch" someone with an honest mistake on their sheet, and in that case what have you seriously gained? It wastes time you could spend at the table playing the actual game.
 

Pauper

That guy, who does that thing.
If the AL doesn't bother to have some sort of tracking system for this games played, items found, etc than the honor system is all we've got, might as well get used to it.

Having an honor system doesn't mean that players will never make a mistake when writing down adventure awards. It doesn't mean players will never make math errors, or forget to mark off gold spent for spellcasting by NPCs, or simply write down a reward that doesn't exist because two weeks after the game they 'remember' that there was something in the module but they don't actually remember what it was, so they just write down whatever comes to mind.

Also, be aware that the ALPG expressly encourages DMs to review their players' character sheets and logs:

ALPG said:
If you have time, you can do a quick scan of a player's character sheet to ensure that nothing looks out of order. If you see magic items of very high rarities or strange arrays of ability scores, you can ask players to provide documentation for the irregularities. If they cannot, feel free to restrict item use or ask them to use a standard ability score array. Point players to this guide for reference.

Reviewing logsheets and character sheets does not violate the 'honor system' in the AL; if anything, it is precisely what makes the honor system viable, by ensuring that at least obvious errors and attempts to game the system can be caught and corrected. It is quite literally the least that a DM can do to help support those players who make an effort to abide by the honor system, to help ensure that doing so actually matters, rather than encouraging a view that the character log doesn't matter, since nobody ever looks at it anyway.

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Pauper
 

rooneg

Adventurer
Having an honor system doesn't mean that players will never make a mistake when writing down adventure awards. It doesn't mean players will never make math errors, or forget to mark off gold spent for spellcasting by NPCs, or simply write down a reward that doesn't exist because two weeks after the game they 'remember' that there was something in the module but they don't actually remember what it was, so they just write down whatever comes to mind.

If I thought all you were advocating was just checking for math errors than I'd be fine with it. I'd still think it was a huge waste of time, but whatever. That doesn't fit with the other stuff you're objecting to though, and that's concerning to me. There are plenty of places where players can quite legally get access to loot or story awards that you're unlikely to be able to reasonably confirm. Have you played all the epics? In all the tiers? Have you played the various admin adventures? Are you intimately familiar with all the potential stuff that could possibly be acquired in every hardcover adventure WotC has published for 5e? Even if all that is currently true, will it continue to be so? Even more to the point, can you reasonably expect it to be true for anywhere close to the majority of AL DMs? Because without that sort of information any sort of audit inevitably just becomes your word against the player's word. I don't want to be in that position, either when I'm running a table or playing at one, so I don't think we should be doing it at all.

Fundamentally the game depends on trust. If you're adding a "but verify" step where you can't reasonably have enough information to actually verify anything you're just setting people up for unfortunate interactions where someone is accused of something they probably didn't do, and that's no fun for anyone.

Do I wish that there was some global tracking system for this sort of thing? An online log sheet that tracks your items and is confirmed by registered DMs after each adventure? Sure, that would be awesome. But lacking it I can't see a way to actually enforce the rules in an equitable manner, and if you can't enforce them in an equitable manner you might as well not bother and just trust that your players aren't trying to scam you. That's what every AL DM I've ever played with has done and it seems to work out just fine.
 

Pauper

That guy, who does that thing.
If I thought all you were advocating was just checking for math errors than I'd be fine with it. I'd still think it was a huge waste of time, but whatever. That doesn't fit with the other stuff you're objecting to though, and that's concerning to me.

You seem very concerned with what you perceive as my motivation for doing character audits. My recommendation is to not worry about it, as the odds you'll ever be at my table are slim, and if you don't make errors or try to game the system, then even if you do end up at my table, it won't matter.

The idea that if we don't have some sort of global tracking system then 'anything goes' is a false dilemma -- DMs can and are encouraged to check up on players to make sure both that honest mistakes don't cause problems, and to support players who do abide by the honor system by catching players who don't.

Just because some DMs choose not to do this does not make it 'inequitable' for other DMs to do so, especially when DMs are explicitly encouraged to do so in the campaign documentation.

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Pauper
 

Steve_MND

First Post
Lordy, has this discussion tanked.

The long and short of it, Rooneg and others, is that just because a DM says they'll check their player's logsheets, doesn't mean they automatically and inevitably will disallow anything they don't immediately recognize. All they are saying is that the AL allows DMs that option if they feel that it is warranted, which is the key phrase.

If someone sat down at my table and said they had an uncerted Wand of BFG from a module or scenario or hardback that I wasn't familiar with, and I thought it could have a serious deleterious impact on the table, I'd ask him about it. If he can back up the claim with an explanation of what or where, etc., fine. On the other hand, if he hems and haws and says stuff like "Er, I got it from that... big.... evil... thing in that one dungeon," I'm going to be much more suspicious about the legitimacy of that item. Since it's impossible to verify such an item in an honor-only system, I either have to take him in his word, or make a judgement call based on my suspicions, which is allowed to AL judges. Maybe I feel under the circumstances it wouldn't make a difference one way or the other to the enjoyment of the table. Maybe, however, I feel it would seriously impact the fun had by folks at the table.

That's all that's being said. It's an open-world OP campaign based off of purely an honor system, with, in most cases, little to no means to objectively verify anything at your table if you weren't privy to it yourself. That sort of system has got advantages and disadvantages. Sometimes, you have to take the one alongside the other.
 

jrothwell

First Post
Wow, this discussion totally devolved into something that had nothing to do with my original question. Take a deep breath everyone, after all it is in the end just a game. Since the original purpose of the thread is over, I will weigh in on the current topic.

Currently I run 2 types of AL out of a store (I do not work for). I run a campaign that occurs every Wednesday evening and you secure your seat in that by attending a character creation session at the beginning of each campaign (4 gms, 2 back ups, 25 players). Everyone's starting sheet is vetted by the GM at that time to correct any math or interpretation errors (usually changes are in the players favour). If they plan on using that character somewhere else they keep log sheets. Only if something really odd is noticed do the GM's check the sheets. I also run one-off demonstration style AL adventures (3 gms, 18+ players) once a month to teach 5th edition. Most times people take pre-gens so there is no issue. If someone brings their own character I vet it the initial time, if they keep coming back I don't bother as long as the character is within the level restrictions of the adventure.

I am currently in the negotiation process with 2 other groups to bring them into AL (8 more gms 47+ players) now that AL can be run any day and any location. This may mean a lot more oversight by GMs will be needed as players may play the same characters in multiple groups. I wish to err on the side of the players, I want to be able to trust them. In 99% of cases I do not think it will be an issue. But, there are always the special cases - however, I think those are easy to spot without taking a look at their sheets as they often have other suspicious behaviour (i.e. no one sees their rolls, they always seem to have purchased exactly what they need, they look up the monster stats to see what will best kill them during the game.) Those are the ones you have to check periodically.
 

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