OotA Magic Items AL Legality *spoilers*

RulesJD

First Post
So I'm going to keep this as vague as possible to keep people from abusing knowledge about magical items within the adventure. But suffice to say, there is access to some AMAZING magical items in OotA, in theory. One example is the Wand of Orcus, which has been ruled to not be AL legal.

However, there are other fights that can potentially give out some ridiculously good things. One example is access to a +2 piece of armor that otherwise doesn't exist anywhere else in AL.

These encounters involving fighting NPCs that list the magical items as in their possession. Moreover, there are certs for those items. However, they are not included in any Treasure section like most other AL magical items. Not being listed in a Treasure section was the rationale for not letting players keep the Wand of Orcus. Lastly, the encounters are setup that there is no way physically possible for any rationale DM to let their players ever beat the NPCs holding those items, but I know certain...player friendly...DMs are going to give them out anyways.

So what's the ruling on this one?
 

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Pauper

That guy, who does that thing.
Also, the Wand of Orcus is not something anybody can actually keep -- the adventure states as much, if you've read it.

--
Pauper
 


kalani

First Post
As that is one adventure I have yet to purchase, I cannot be of much more help unfortunately. If you want a quick answer, might I suggest asking this in the official DndAL group. Otherwise, you could always wait until Greg or Robert notices your post here.

One thing I have noticed however, is that the hardcover adventures seem to make the assumption that magic items used by an NPC combatant are lootable. The list of certificates are consistent with this observation.

For example: Talis (an NPC from Hoard of the Dragon Queen) has two magic items in her possession that come with certificates. The same holds true for Resmir's sword. None of these items are specifically listed anywhere within the adventure as lootable treasure

The Wand of Orcus is a special exception however, as I am under the understanding that the adventure makes it plainly clear that the PCs are unable to keep this item.
 
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StinkyEttin

First Post
As a general rule, characters retain equipment, items, and treasure found in a given encounter's treasure section. If it's not found there, they can typically use it until the end of the session at which point it is lost.
 

RulesJD

First Post
As a general rule, characters retain equipment, items, and treasure found in a given encounter's treasure section. If it's not found there, they can typically use it until the end of the session at which point it is lost.

That's what I thought, but then see Kalani's post above where magic items (with certs) weren't in Treasure sections but are AL Legal.
 

kalani

First Post
The early modules (Tyranny of Dragons hardcovers and LMoP) are kind of an exception to the rule however, as they were written prior to the release of the MM or DMG (and were probably 90% finished during the 5E playtest). Later modules have been better about including lootable treasure in the treasure section of each chapter.

Were I to run these adventures today however, I would probably not allow players to loot these items as they were not specifically stated as being treasure in their relevant encounters. With that being said, I don't foresee running these adventures again as HotDQ is very stingy on the gear until the final chapters, and RoT is not well designed for AL (requiring a lot of DM cludgery).

Also, I am only speaking about the hardcovers (which the AL staff has no control over). When playing Expeditions, you cannot loot things that are not specifically stated as being treasure in the adventure's text. In a handful of cases, some of this lootable treasure has been missed on the table at the end of the Expedition (eg. full plate armor in one adventure), but is still lootable none the less.
 
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Pauper

That guy, who does that thing.
It does not appear to be addressed in the amendments. I am thinking the stuff on page 82 of the hardcover.

I'm guessing, as the intent of that encounter isn't to be a combat encounter, that AL simply doesn't consider the items lootable because they don't anticipate the party fighting, or at least not fighting the being holding the loot. (Given the placement of that encounter, the party would be unlikely to survive the aftermath, IMO.)

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Pauper
 

RulesJD

First Post
I'm guessing, as the intent of that encounter isn't to be a combat encounter, that AL simply doesn't consider the items lootable because they don't anticipate the party fighting, or at least not fighting the being holding the loot. (Given the placement of that encounter, the party would be unlikely to survive the aftermath, IMO.)

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Pauper

Agreed, but why have certs for it then? You know players are going to roll up to tables with those items, especially the dwarven one.
 

Tyranthraxus

Explorer
Yeah, Im with RulesJD. THere is no logical reason to issue CERTS for items players are never expected to be able to obtain. If its classed as Treasure (and by default certed items are) then they are there for the taking.
 

Pauper

That guy, who does that thing.
Yeah, Im with RulesJD. THere is no logical reason to issue CERTS for items players are never expected to be able to obtain. If its classed as Treasure (and by default certed items are) then they are there for the taking.

Only problem is:

[sblock]The certed items in question belong to the duergar king of Gracklestugh, whom the party gets to meet once their 'fixing' of things in Gracklestugh is done.[/sblock]

If the party managed to obtain the items at my table, they'd have a difficult time leaving the area much less the city. *That's* why I say that the adventure doesn't expect the party to acquire those items.

It's possible that the list of items to be certed was put together by someone who just went through the adventure looking for magic items and didn't spend much time analyzing whether or not the party would be likely to acquire them -- it's also possible the items were included in the event some parties find a way to get ahold of them without being slaughtered in response.

Given that not every certed item in an Expeditions adventure is necessarily found by the party (I'm looking at you, DDEX 1-6), it's not unreasonable to have certed items where the certs are seldom given out. This isn't Living Forgotten Realms, where items were dished out like candy.

--
Pauper
 

RulesJD

First Post
Only problem is:

[sblock]The certed items in question belong to the duergar king of Gracklestugh, whom the party gets to meet once their 'fixing' of things in Gracklestugh is done.[/sblock]

If the party managed to obtain the items at my table, they'd have a difficult time leaving the area much less the city. *That's* why I say that the adventure doesn't expect the party to acquire those items.

It's possible that the list of items to be certed was put together by someone who just went through the adventure looking for magic items and didn't spend much time analyzing whether or not the party would be likely to acquire them -- it's also possible the items were included in the event some parties find a way to get ahold of them without being slaughtered in response.

Given that not every certed item in an Expeditions adventure is necessarily found by the party (I'm looking at you, DDEX 1-6), it's not unreasonable to have certed items where the certs are seldom given out. This isn't Living Forgotten Realms, where items were dished out like candy.

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Pauper

Couldn't agree more, IF that's how it worked. But that was sort of the logic behind the Black Dragon Mask and yet I saw dozens of those back in Season 1. Just seems that AL might want to take a closer look before dumping certs out if there are items that are clearly not intended to be acquirable by the players.
 


[sblock]I have actually planted the seeds of a potential battle against the Deepking at my table. I figured that since they're already siding with Themberchaud, let's see if the party can throw Gracklstugh into utter chaos. Plus, they're getting too big for their britches, so a potential TPK would be a nice slice of humble pie for each PC. If they decide to kill him and succeed, I'm going to give the party a single DC 20 group Charisma(Persuasion) check at disadvantage to convince the Stone Guard of the Deepking's madness. One success is all that's needed to not be charged with regicide. The Pokémon League Gym Badges that the party has will be of no use to this check.

If they succeed, they are free to go with all loot from the Deepking that the party can take, as the items would remind the duergar of the Deepking's succumbing to madness. If they fail, Themberchaud's coup will provide enough of a distraction to escape, but the party will forfeit the shopping spree quest reward they earned from the Stone Guard Captain and all duergar will immediately treat the party as enemy combatants.[/sblock]
 

RulesJD

First Post
[sblock]I have actually planted the seeds of a potential battle against the Deepking at my table. I figured that since they're already siding with Themberchaud, let's see if the party can throw Gracklstugh into utter chaos. Plus, they're getting too big for their britches, so a potential TPK would be a nice slice of humble pie for each PC. If they decide to kill him and succeed, I'm going to give the party a single DC 20 group Charisma(Persuasion) check at disadvantage to convince the Stone Guard of the Deepking's madness. One success is all that's needed to not be charged with regicide. The Pokémon League Gym Badges that the party has will be of no use to this check.

If they succeed, they are free to go with all loot from the Deepking that the party can take, as the items would remind the duergar of the Deepking's succumbing to madness. If they fail, Themberchaud's coup will provide enough of a distraction to escape, but the party will forfeit the shopping spree quest reward they earned from the Stone Guard Captain and all duergar will immediately treat the party as enemy combatants.[/sblock]

^^^ See what I mean? I'm sorry but the defenses in place are CLEARLY intended to prevent any way of an even remotely appropriately leveled party to gain access to that sort of gear, yet DMs are going to find a way to give it to them anyways. Same with the Wand of Orcus, etc.
 

kalani

First Post
The wand of orcus is specifically off the table, as per comments made by the admins. Not only is it not listed as treasure, but there is no cert for it in order to justify its possible inclusion as such.

In respect to the comment about the black dragon mask, that is definitely lootable - however the average party will fail to achieve this. Once they learn their mistake however, it is too late as the mask has vanished back to the Well of Dragons.
 

RulesJD

First Post
The wand of orcus is specifically off the table, as per comments made by the admins. Not only is it not listed as treasure, but there is no cert for it in order to justify its possible inclusion as such.

In respect to the comment about the black dragon mask, that is definitely lootable - however the average party will fail to achieve this. Once they learn their mistake however, it is too late as the mask has vanished back to the Well of Dragons.

Yeah except every single table that I have been on that has ran Chapter 8 of HotDQ (currently at 6 times) has been rewarded the BDM. I get that if tables worked how the author and AL organizers intended then this wouldn't be an issue, but they don't. DMs don't know the exact mechanics and are inclined to reward players with whatever certs they can, in combination with players know the adventure ahead of time and how to circumvent any rules, results in the real world result that those items aren't remotely as rare as they might have intended to be. Honestly, I think AL should just issue an errata and state that those items (in OotA) aren't lootable despite the certificates.
 

Steve_MND

First Post
Couldn't agree more, IF that's how it worked. But that was sort of the logic behind the Black Dragon Mask and yet I saw dozens of those back in Season 1. Just seems that AL might want to take a closer look before dumping certs out if there are items that are clearly not intended to be acquirable by the players.

Back in Living Greyhawk, one of our Triad had an important storyline NPC show up on the field briefly during a battle interactive premiere. He was only intended to be there momentarily as a means of providing extra tension and urgency to the fight -- to scare the players and then disappear back into narrative-land -- but by some bizarre twist of fate, the table he had appeared at got the jump on him and took him down before the Triad had the opportunity to have the NPC box-text his way out of danger.

Since then, we have had a saying in our group: "Don't put a piece on the board if you're not prepared to lose it." Same goes for certs and other elements added into a Living Campaign -- don't put something in the game you're not prepared for anyone to potentially have, even if you think "well, the players can't actually get that," or "well, only a meaninglessly small fraction of players could ever get that," because I guarantee that's not going to be the case.
 

kalani

First Post
Yeah except every single table that I have been on that has ran Chapter 8 of HotDQ (currently at 6 times) has been rewarded the BDM. I get that if tables worked how the author and AL organizers intended then this wouldn't be an issue, but they don't.
[sblock]The Black Dragon Mask is inside a chest in Resmir's private chamber. As stated in the adventure text, Resmir is deliberately goading the players into killing her in Ch8 as she wants the contents of her chest to teleport to the Well of dragons and out of the parties reach. The only way to obtain the BDM, is to first sneak into her private room, unlock the chest, and steal the item BEFORE confronting Resmir. [/sblock]
With that being said, I have heard tell of some DMs allowing the party to fight Resmir in Ch2 and obtain the black mask that way (despite the fact that it is never mentioned as being on her person in that scene; the fact that doing so should be a suicidal encounter given the 200+ camp followers and the location of Resmir's tent; or the fact that Resmir should easily TPK a L2 party without effort). Even in the event the DM allows the party to defeat her, the adventure crumbles to a halt unless Resmir has an obscure death, or is otherwise revived.

I repeat, the BDM is only found in one location, and should only be obtainable in Ch8. DMs should not feel obligated to hand out certs that the party did not earn, or items that they failed to acquire as a result of the actions taken by the party [sblock]such as killing Resmir before finding the chest[/sblock]
 

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