OotA Magic Items AL Legality *spoilers*

kalani

First Post
As far as the certificates go however, it is my understanding that WotC merely asks the authors to provide them a list of magic items contained within the adventure, after which they print certs for the list of magic items provided. It is my personal belief (and this is pure conjecture), that these lists are requested prior to the final draft of the adventure, and that any magic item that is added to the adventure after that point will lack a cert.

WotC likely doesn't know when/how each item will be made available within the adventure. All they wanted to know was what items were included so that they could create their print order for the adventure certs and have them ready for shipment by X date.
 

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RulesJD

First Post
[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]

1. Players do exactly that.
2. You can grappled and restrain her (Once it was a failed Suggestion save) then loot her room before killing her.
3. You can kill her and the DM doesn't read the text correctly and hands the cert out anyways. This happened at 2 of the tables I was at.

Honestly the above poster nailed it though. Just because something is supposed to happen one way, doesn't mean that it will. When it comes to magic items, players will find a way to make it happen, which I don't think is a positive feature of AL. Especially given that if the intent is for the items not to be received, then just remove them from AL certs.
 

kalani

First Post
The Black Dragon Mask is intended to be lootable (I never said otherwise). I simply said that Resmir herself isn't in possession of it (and so you can't loot it from her disintegrated body). You can however, loot the sword from her corpse. If a DM incorrectly reads an encounter, that is a forgivable situation (although steps should be taken to correct the mistake once it is identified, if possible). Mind you, I ran this encounter. It clearly states that she doesn't have it on her person and I quote:

[sblock]Resmir's Chamber (p79):If Resmir is killed, the contents of the iron chest on her desk teleport away, leaving the chest empty.

Treasure (p79-80):......In addition, the chest here is locked and magically attuned to Rezmir so that if she dies, its contents are teleported to the Well of Dragons and out of her slayer's hands.
[snip]The chest contains the black dragon mask as well as Rezmi'rs private collection of gems, jewelry and coins.[/sblock]I find it very hard to believe that a DM could misread that section, esp. given the fact that the teleportation effect is mentioned twice in easily-found locations (sentence directly beneath her picture on p79 and first paragraph of the Treasure section on p79).
 

RulesJD

First Post
I fully agree that the BDM shouldn't have been given out at all 6 tables that I was at. Yet it was. Same will happen here. DMs don't read the adventure thoroughly before running it, which means paragraphs get skipped over as they hurriedly look for stat blocks and room references.

But if AL says it's okay, my level 15 toon just might have to make the trek down to dwarventown and slaughterhouse that area to pick up that tasty, tasy loot.
 

^^^ 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.

I counter your logic by stating that the authors' inclusion of said items in a creature's stat box shows clear intention that such items are meant to be lootable by the PCs. This is all a simple matter of Specific vs General. The items appearing in the creature's inventory and the AL Admin response to the WoC are Specific rulings that trump the General norm of the creature's stat box and the AL rules of item acquisition. Seeing that the book goes far enough to provide stats for a possible fight against DK, it's perfectly within my DM fiat to provide an opportunity for it to happen. It's still ultimately up to the party to decide what to do. I'm merely creating a playthrough experience that is in response to the murder hobos that make up my table. Planting the seeds of a potential TPK scenario is me using their own play style against them to teach a lesson in the importance of using the other two pillars of D&D: Social and Exploration.

[sblock]Hell, another possible way for a party to obtain the Deepking's gear could be by curing his madness. One could make the argument that his gear was made during his madness, thus they violate the "Function over Form" design philosophy of duergar crafts. The Deepking could reward the PCs by asking them to remove such offensive items from his realm.[/sblock]

I think that we need to focus less on "OMG! The party is getting all of the phat lootz!" and more on "Did the party acquire the gear in a memorable fashion?" The latter is far more important for campaign longevity than the former.
 

Eltab

Lord of the Hidden Layer
When my group faced off against Rezmir, the party split: most of them ambushed her in a barracks while one PC was pre-placed in her chamber (by our outgoing DM). The single character was a replacement for another character, killed in the previous Ep.
Despite my expectations (I thought the background was: Harper agent with a mission to gather intelligence / maybe-assassinate the Black Wyrmspeaker and acquire high-value CotD mission-critical magical equipment) - and the character's James Bond-style arrival in the campaign, the player just sat still and would not touch the treasure chest until after the rest of the group came into the room.

I later (behind the scenes) put Hazirawn in Arauthator's hoard. The dragon mask is at the Well of Dragons.
My Paladin picked up the chest - nobody else wanted it - and is trying to unlock its magical secrets.
 

kalani

First Post
Hazirawn was on Rezmir's person. Unlike the mask, it does not disappear on her death and instead falls at her feet as she disintergrates.
 

CapnZapp

Legend
Why not instead question the practice of hosing the players for doing what PCs do, ie kill the baddies?

This situation would never have happened if the author didn't have poor taste to say "by succeeding you lose out"

Instead of asking for complex cert decisions, why not stop using cheesy loot-denial tactics that crafty players work around anyway?

Just a thought.
 

Pauper

That guy, who does that thing.
The challenge is that Rezmir's write-up includes abilities granted by the Dragon Mask, even though she doesn't actually have it on her person. This is less problematic when she is encountered in the final area, as she could have attuned to the mask that morning and still be attuned when the party finds her (you de-attune to a magic item if it is beyond 100 feet from you for more than 24 hours), but in Chapter 2, it's something of a problem.

If the DM is using Rezmir's Dragon Mask abilities in Chapter 2, it would make sense that she would likely have the mask on her person, despite the write-up later in the module.

--
Pauper
 

kalani

First Post
Agreed. She would have the mask on her in Chapter 2 (reflected in her stats). Then again, the party should not be killing her or obtaining the mask in that area (although I have heard of a few tables which the DM has allowed this). Doing so should be a suicide-attack, as even if you manage to defeat Rezmir, the hundreds of cultists and camp followers would quickly overwhelm you. The party would have zero chance for escape as you cannot move through an enemy square unless they are two sizes larger, so all the cultists would have to do is surround the party and kill them.

Not only that, but as soon as the fighting breaks out in Rezmir's tent, there would be reinforcements arriving as early as the 2nd round of combat (and would keep arriving each round thereafter). Cyanwrath herself would also be quick to respond (assuming she wasn't in the command tent at the time).
 

Endur

First Post
While I agree that the Wand of Orcus has balance issues and shouldn't be in a PC's possession in campaign like AL, why are people claiming the adventure takes the Wand away from the PCs?
[Sblock]
The adventure explicitly states that the Wand instantaneously attunes to the PC that picks it up. Chapter 17 and several of the other chapters lack a treasure and/or an XP section. So claiming that a treasure section is missing isn't really a statement of intent for the module, its more a statement of inconsistent adventure writing.
[/sblock]
 

felwred

First Post
While I agree that the Wand of Orcus has balance issues and shouldn't be in a PC's possession in campaign like AL, why are people claiming the adventure takes the Wand away from the PCs?
[Sblock]
The adventure explicitly states that the Wand instantaneously attunes to the PC that picks it up. Chapter 17 and several of the other chapters lack a treasure and/or an XP section. So claiming that a treasure section is missing isn't really a statement of intent for the module, its more a statement of inconsistent adventure writing.
[/sblock]

It is entirely possible that party members end up with the wand. There's a section detailing the wand forcing itself on PCs to fight Demogorgon. It's not spelled out what happens if the PC's keep it. This concerned me when I read the module and started DMing it that I'd run into AL tables where someone kept the wand. As a DM, you could just TPK the table since the wand's mission is elimination of all life (including PCs) and force and ego check that is virtually impossible to make.

Fred
 

Byakugan

First Post
Our DM awarded my character (a polearm fighter) a cert for Dwarven Plate last week. Everybody at the table was given something decent, but imo that one was the standout.

Before that, it was only a theoretical 'bet that happens at some point'. Well, it is a real thing in at least 1 state now.

Dwarven Plate is actually already an AL legal item from season 2...it just has no cert. It is one of the alternate Orcsplitter rewards.
 
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Byakugan

First Post
Regarding the Black Dragon Mask, I think only 1 person has it in my area. We looted it off Rezmir in Chapter 6, before she escaped Castle Naertar. Its not even normally part of the story, but it was the last session of the season for us and the DM made her the 'boss' encounter....and she exploded and revived a couple times WoW style.

But the Chapter 2 Scenario is easy. Lv 3 character casts Suggestion on her and says 'only by handing over your magic items and ordering us released can you ensure the final goals of your cult, and you REALLY wanna do that!' DM either does not notice the legendary save, or already used it...game over. Gratz on shiny mask and sword!
 

RulesJD

First Post
Our DM awarded my character (a polearm fighter) a cert for Dwarven Plate last week. Everybody at the table was given something decent, but imo that one was the standout.

Before that, it was only a theoretical 'bet that happens at some point'. Well, it is a real thing in at least 1 state now.

Dwarven Plate is actually already an AL legal item from season 2...it just has no cert. It is one of the alternate Orcsplitter rewards.

How did you get by the 200+ guards, WoF, etc?
 

How did you get by the 200+ guards, WoF, etc?

My party got past the guards by convincing Themberchaud to take over Gracklstugh. That provided a distraction for them to make their assault and escape. As for the wall, my players climbed nearby pillars and leapt over it. This is a combat that should be run in three dimensions.
 

RulesJD

First Post
My party got past the guards by convincing Themberchaud to take over Gracklstugh. That provided a distraction for them to make their assault and escape. As for the wall, my players climbed nearby pillars and leapt over it. This is a combat that should be run in three dimensions.

And there you have it folks, exactly as I predicted. Cup cake DMs ignore the encounter descriptions and hand players items. Same with Black Dragon Mask, Elemental weapons from PotA, etc.
 

And there you have it folks, exactly as I predicted. Cup cake DMs ignore the encounter descriptions and hand players items. Same with Black Dragon Mask, Elemental weapons from PotA, etc.

So because I allowed the players to make a deal with a powerful ally and then had the world react accordingly to their actions, I'm a cupcake DM?

The players entered the throne room with the Blackskull as their escort. As the audience began, Themberchaud began his assault on the Hold of the Deepking. The party convinced Blackskull that they would guard the Deepking and that she should take all other available guards to fight off the dragon. It's not MY fault that RNGesus decided to bestow his favor upon the party, allowing them to make a DC 25 Charisma(Persuasion) check. Had they failed, then they wouldn't have been able to attack the Deepking without guard intervention.

As for the Wall of Force, it's not described in the adventure which shape of wall it was. Therefore, I had to make a field decision of which version best fits the physical description of the room. The wall of flat panels fit better than the dome. Once the party figured out the dimensions of the wall, it was all up to whatever RNGesus decided was going to happen on both sides of the screen.

RNGesus also decided that the Deepking's indefinite madness (which the adventure explicitly called for a roll on the DMG table) was that he doesn't care about what's going on around him. His apathy is what allowed the party to get the jump on him.

You forget that this is a game where DICE determine the outcomes of actions. The DM cannot be held accountable for what the dice say happens. I ran this encounter as close to the letter as possible. The dice decided that the players' impossible actions were going to happen and that the enemies were going to be ineffective.

Sorry that my table's experience ran contrary to what you want to happen at your tables. No need to immediately fault and insult the DMs when things don't go the way YOU want them to.

Expect Table Variation...
 

RulesJD

First Post
So because I allowed the players to make a deal with a powerful ally and then had the world react accordingly to their actions, I'm a cupcake DM?

The players entered the throne room with the Blackskull as their escort. As the audience began, Themberchaud began his assault on the Hold of the Deepking. The party convinced Blackskull that they would guard the Deepking and that she should take all other available guards to fight off the dragon. It's not MY fault that RNGesus decided to bestow his favor upon the party, allowing them to make a DC 25 Charisma(Persuasion) check. Had they failed, then they wouldn't have been able to attack the Deepking without guard intervention.

As for the Wall of Force, it's not described in the adventure which shape of wall it was. Therefore, I had to make a field decision of which version best fits the physical description of the room. The wall of flat panels fit better than the dome. Once the party figured out the dimensions of the wall, it was all up to whatever RNGesus decided was going to happen on both sides of the screen.

RNGesus also decided that the Deepking's indefinite madness (which the adventure explicitly called for a roll on the DMG table) was that he doesn't care about what's going on around him. His apathy is what allowed the party to get the jump on him.

You forget that this is a game where DICE determine the outcomes of actions. The DM cannot be held accountable for what the dice say happens. I ran this encounter as close to the letter as possible. The dice decided that the players' impossible actions were going to happen and that the enemies were going to be ineffective.

Sorry that my table's experience ran contrary to what you want to happen at your tables. No need to immediately fault and insult the DMs when things don't go the way YOU want them to.

Expect Table Variation...

And yet, somehow, magically all tables will RNGesus their way into the gear. Funny how often that works out.

I don't disagree with your table, I disagree with the premise that because an item(s) is written as being hard to get, that it will actually end up being rare. Want to know how many rare items there are in AL? 0, outside perhaps the Class/Race certs and some of the new DDAO stuff. Anything in the books the AL admins should automatically assume everyone will get access to.

AKA, don't allow something exceedingly powerful (*cough* Black Dragon Mask *cough*) just because the author thinks it will be tough to get.
 

And yet, somehow, magically all tables will RNGesus their way into the gear. Funny how often that works out.

I don't disagree with your table, I disagree with the premise that because an item(s) is written as being hard to get, that it will actually end up being rare. Want to know how many rare items there are in AL? 0, outside perhaps the Class/Race certs and some of the new DDAO stuff. Anything in the books the AL admins should automatically assume everyone will get access to.

AKA, don't allow something exceedingly powerful (*cough* Black Dragon Mask *cough*) just because the author thinks it will be tough to get.

I disagree that all tables will always get the gear. One of my FLGS' other DM's tables was unable to get the item from DDAL2-10, because the enemy carrying it ran away before they could stop him.

As for the items included in adventures, that's a decision that WotC makes, not the authors nor anyone from the AL. However, it's up to the authors to place them in positions that are deemed balanced based on the item itself.

The Black Dragon Mask is an anomaly because it was written alongside the PHB. At that point in time, having good CharOp gave parties a significant competitive advantage, because WotC wasn't completely aware of all of the combos they had written into the PHB. Notice that later adventures have placed these items in harder to reach locations than during ToD, with the Deepking's loot being a prime example of that. You want those three items? You better have a scheme that rivals that of Danny Ocean's crew.
 

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