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Question about cheating

thethain

First Post
I am not really looking to report a dm/players. But I want to know what I am supposed to do as a player if I participate in a game that I do not feel like the rules of AL were followed. I joined a game that was supposed to be a chapter from a hardcover and it seemed like we were extremely rushed through it and basically most of the encounters were avoided.

The game was listed as a continuation, and I know DM's are given more leeway on hardcovers to adjust for the variances that may have happened in the campaign. But it felt like a loot grab.

I know there's a section in the guide for DMs to remove cheaters from their game, but is there anything officially available to just not record a game for a player if you feel like it was in violation of the rules?

At the end of the day I know its just the honor system so no one knows if I just remove it from my log, I would just like to know if that is officially an option. My view is that the game wasn't actually an AL game since it didn't follow AL guidelines, so it shouldn't be on the log.
 

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Pauper

Explorer
You've hit on a solid solution -- there's really no 'official' way to report this kind of play (which seems, from your description, to be a way around the rule that you only get rewards for playing a full chapter of a hardcover rather than individual encounters), but if you're uncomfortable getting the benefit of such play, refusing to take the benefits from the session isn't something that's considered 'illegal' by AL rules, as far as I'm aware.

You should still log the session with the specific encounters you played through, since your character wouldn't be legal to take rewards from the same encounters you played in that session at some other time. (In a hardcover adventure, it's a bit harder to enforce the 'you played this, thus can't play it again' than it is in a stand-alone AL adventure, and it's kind of defeating the spirit of what you're trying to do here if you say 'well, I didn't get rewarded for that one time I played these encounters, so it's OK if I get the rewards now'.)

Just my $0.02US, though.

--
Pauper
 

...to be a way around the rule that you only get rewards for playing a full chapter of a hardcover rather than individual encounters...

Where is this rule (I searched the DDALDMG, DDALPG and DDALFAQ for the word chapter)? I agree that rewards need to be earned. But some of those HC chapters are honking huge - SKT Chapter 3 comes to mind.
 

thethain

First Post
Where is this rule (I searched the DDALDMG, DDALPG and DDALFAQ for the word chapter)? I agree that rewards need to be earned. But some of those HC chapters are honking huge - SKT Chapter 3 comes to mind.

Read the latest faq 6.1 P14:

Can I run Single Chapters of a hard cover as a one off?
Yes. You may not, however, run individual encounters as one-off adventures. This rule is designed to facilitate play—not teh lewtz.

Basically a single chapter is the smallest you can run of a hardcover. That said, some chapters are simple impossible to run as a one off. They simply aren't designed around it. Also worth mentioning, is if a chapter is a particular area, theres nothing forcing the players to continue after they get to the part they care about.
 

Undrhil

Explorer
In other words, if the other players were aware of the way the DM was running and they were ok with just steamrolling the encounters or skipping them, then it was a legal session. Just because you weren't happy with how it turned out, doesn't mean it wasn't legal.

What was it about the gameplay or the session that makes you think it shouldn't be considered a legal session?
 

thethain

First Post
In other words, if the other players were aware of the way the DM was running and they were ok with just steamrolling the encounters or skipping them, then it was a legal session. Just because you weren't happy with how it turned out, doesn't mean it wasn't legal.

What was it about the gameplay or the session that makes you think it shouldn't be considered a legal session?

Specifically, we encountered NPCs that were not in the hardcover, and every encounter beyond the boss was removed or changed to be neutral. (IE a Wizard who is written to attack intruders on sight just talks to the players, without the players even attempting to talk first)
 

Pauper

Explorer
Where is this rule (I searched the DDALDMG, DDALPG and DDALFAQ for the word chapter)? I agree that rewards need to be earned. But some of those HC chapters are honking huge - SKT Chapter 3 comes to mind.

Thethain found the reference in the current FAQ.

Ultimately, the question is, 'can I refuse to take the rewards from a game I consider sketchy?' I see no reason that the answer can't be 'yes, as long as you log the game regardless'. Simply saying, 'I'm going to pretend I didn't play this game' opens up a number of possible abuses, IMO.

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Pauper
 

Saw the reference but it doesn't compel the play of entire chapters, just prohibits cherry picking individual encounters as I read it. Definitely some shenanigans going on out there, though.
 

thethain

First Post
Saw the reference but it doesn't compel the play of entire chapters, just prohibits cherry picking individual encounters as I read it. Definitely some shenanigans going on out there, though.

Was a facebook post that said the smallest official unit of play was a chapter, its where the FAQ quote about lootz came from.

I do agree that things like that should be officially notated in documents, not just passing comments in fleeting message board formats.
 

Pauper

Explorer
Saw the reference but it doesn't compel the play of entire chapters, just prohibits cherry picking individual encounters as I read it.

You might want to re-read it:

FAQ 6.1 said:
Can I Run Single Chapters of the Hardcover Adventures as One-Off Adventures?
Yes. You may not, however, run individual encounters as one-off adventures.

Since you can't run individual encounters in a chapter as a one-off adventure, regardless of how many individual encounters you consider part of your one-off, you must run the entire chapter if you want to run an encounter from that chapter. You're right that you can't 'cherry-pick' specific encounters to run, but that directly means that, if you run an encounter in a chapter, you are committed to running the entire chapter, because otherwise you are 'cherry-picking' encounters. You can do one or the other -- there's no third option here.

The rule still isn't perfect -- what's the difference between 'not running' a part of a chapter and the PCs simply not going to a particular set of encounters in a chapter? -- but it's clear the intent is not to say 'hey, let's just play the encounter in Out of the Abyss with the sunsword (so I can get it) and then leave the Underdark'. If you want to run something "for the lewts" (a direct quote from the FAQ), then you have to run the entire chapter in which the lewts appear, not just a couple of encounters. Again, spirit versus letter of the rule.

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Pauper
 


Pauper

Explorer
So, what counts as 'not finishing' the chapter that doesn't qualify as 'running individual encounters' rather than the chapter?

Again, not seeing a rational third option here. Either you run all the encounters in a chapter, or you run not all of the encounters in a chapter, and the latter is explicitly not allowed. ("You may not, however, run individual encounters as one-off adventures." --emphasis mine) Note that the very next section in the FAQ deals with logging multi-session adventures, which doesn't seem like an accident.

I'll agree that there are ways a player or table can fudge that text, against the spirit of the rule, but I don't see that more detail is going to be very helpful -- and we get back to the OP's concern. If you play at a table that seems to be violating the spirit of this rule, log the session, but claim no rewards. That puts you on the moral high ground.

--
Pauper
 

rooneg

Explorer
Honestly, I think a "If it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck" approach is best here. If the one-shot you're running or playing in doesn't feel like an adventure it's probably not something that should be runnable as a one-shot. If it does feel like an adventure, then it should be runnable as a one-shot. Trying to say that you must run an entire chapter while still saying "players can drop in and out at any time and it's totally cool" while also accounting for the fact that some stores schedule really short time slots for these things just ends up with a lot of edge cases.

Like it's fine to coincidentally have a session of out of the abyss where the only thing that happens is the players encounter the dawnbringer dungeon (which is, let's be clear, at least as long as many 2 hour AL modules), and it's fine if it's someone's first time at the table, and they get dawnbringer and then never show up again (maybe they're traveling and just happened to stop in that week, or they start playing at the SKT table next to mine, or maybe they quit the game for a year because reasons). All of that is totally legal within the rules, but if I do it as a one-shot it's magically not ok?

That's a weird outcome, and it's just asking for abuse. The people who are willing to game the system win out, and the people who want to play by the rules feel like chumps when they sit down next to the guy who's got a dawnbringer on their character who just coincidentally happened to drop in to that particular week of an out of the abyss campaign.
 
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So, what counts as 'not finishing' the chapter that doesn't qualify as 'running individual encounters' rather than the chapter?

Again, not seeing a rational third option here. Either you run all the encounters in a chapter, or you run not all of the encounters in a chapter, and the latter is explicitly not allowed. ("You may not, however, run individual encounters as one-off adventures." --emphasis mine) Note that the very next section in the FAQ deals with logging multi-session adventures, which doesn't seem like an accident.

I'll agree that there are ways a player or table can fudge that text, against the spirit of the rule, but I don't see that more detail is going to be very helpful -- and we get back to the OP's concern. If you play at a table that seems to be violating the spirit of this rule, log the session, but claim no rewards. That puts you on the moral high ground.

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Pauper

Look, I'm just looking for a clear ruling. Individual encounters in a one-shot sounds like it could include 1 encounter (as in individual, singular) run as a 1-shot. Nor does the ruling seem to preclude running less than a full chapter (ie, "The chapter must be run in its' entirety..." is not stated).

For example, I'm considering running Against the Giants for my FLGS AL group. However the characters they would bring are probably too advanced for Steading of the Hill Giant Chief and I'd like to start them at The Glacial Rift of the Frost Giant Jarl instead. However I apparently can't do that because it's not the whole chapter (as in Chapter 6. Against the Giants). So now I can't run it. Great.
 

nswanson27

First Post
I guess if I found myself in this situation:
Why do I think there was cheating - was it illegal or just not run well? Can I find out more info on what was supposed to happen to verify?
But at the end of the day, what makes an AL game an AL game is that they (players and DM) follow the AL rules - not that they just call it an AL game. At some point, despite the DM's claims, I would just simply conclude that it wasn't an AL game and treat it as such. You don't log non-AL games (not allowed by rules). Probably would re-consider playing with that DM/table again. It's on the honor system, so just make a good-faith attempt to reconcile things as best you can. You could just email the AL admins for guidance too.
 
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ccs

40th lv DM
Look, I'm just looking for a clear ruling. Individual encounters in a one-shot sounds like it could include 1 encounter (as in individual, singular) run as a 1-shot. Nor does the ruling seem to preclude running less than a full chapter (ie, "The chapter must be run in its' entirety..." is not stated).

For example, I'm considering running Against the Giants for my FLGS AL group. However the characters they would bring are probably too advanced for Steading of the Hill Giant Chief and I'd like to start them at The Glacial Rift of the Frost Giant Jarl instead. However I apparently can't do that because it's not the whole chapter (as in Chapter 6. Against the Giants). So now I can't run it. Great.

So....
You've got the desire to DM.
You've got the adventure & the time.
You've got the space.
And you've got players.
Why do you feel the need to run this as an AL game?
 

So....
You've got the desire to DM.
You've got the adventure & the time.
You've got the space.
And you've got players.
Why do you feel the need to run this as an AL game?

Excuse me? Why wouldn't I feel the need to run my Wednesday night AL group using AL characters my players want to continue to play and grow in a WotC HC adventure? Having just finished SKT I didn't want to overdose on Giants but they need something between their current level and Tomb of Horrors. Against the Giants is technically made up of three modules, G1-G3, which could be played as stand alone adventures and IMHO should continue to be playable as such in AL.
 

CapnZapp

Legend
I understand the lack of "clear rulings" here. It would be a nightmare to try to quantify the difference between "a few cherry-picked encounters" and "the lion part of a hardcover chapter".

So in the end you're simply going to have to rely on and trust individual DM judgement.

Sent from my C6603 using EN World mobile app
 

thethain

First Post
So, what counts as 'not finishing' the chapter that doesn't qualify as 'running individual encounters' rather than the chapter?

Again, not seeing a rational third option here. Either you run all the encounters in a chapter, or you run not all of the encounters in a chapter, and the latter is explicitly not allowed. ("You may not, however, run individual encounters as one-off adventures." --emphasis mine) Note that the very next section in the FAQ deals with logging multi-session adventures, which doesn't seem like an accident.

I think his point is this. And it is a completely valid one. You are 100% allowed to break up hard cover sessions. (you don't have to play Curse of Strahd in one sitting) If you do so you are required to award xp and distribute items at the end of each session (this has been specifically stated that you can't leave items "floating, or party loot" that isn't claimed by players).

Scenario:
I decide to run Chapter 6 of PotA. (which is already an issue as it is 11 completely disconnected dungeons/ecounters). I decide we will do them in the order players decide from a list of leads they got from a faction member. The first session they do 3 of the encounters in about 4 hours, we call it a day, reward XP/renown/items. Plan to meet up online to play next week at same time.

Next week rolls around, not enough people show up. I give up finishing the chapter as no new players want to start mid chapter.

This is a 100% legit and legal thing to happen. As a player or a DM you are not required to continue in any adventure, and you are allowed to split hard cover adventures over multiple sessions. But it can be framed to be very much against the spirit of the "No loot runs" rule. In this scenario, all the players would be prohibited from joining any game that contains that chapter in the future (except if they joined each other to continue the one they started)
 

thethain

First Post
Also to the original point, there are provisions in the AL that you are not required to take items or even gold (although your share of gold is still taken from the gold being split). I believe you are not allowed to refuse XP.
 

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