Winter Fantasy Roll Call


Largely depends on the adventure. For every 2 characters that have 1 of those feats, add "+1 character" to the encounter math. That said, if the adventure does not really use a lot of melee and 4 characters have GWF feats... I wouldn't be worried about it.

Huh...rough....but I like it. :D

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For my AO tables, I tried to make some encounter adjustment stuff clear. Especially at high levels, encounters can go sideways for both players and the DM very quickly, and the admins have been taking a lot of feedback and input on this over the last couple months. Personally, I generally keep the following in mind:

* simulacrum = +1 character
* GWF/ Sharpshooter feats = +1 character/ 2 feats
* sentient items (Hazirawn, Dawnbringer, etc) = +1 character/ 2 items (sometimes; depends on party composition and adventure structure)

All that aside, scaling is still a huge point and is not entirely/ flatly dictated by AL guidelines. Make the game fun for the players, but overall everyone - including the DM - is there to have fun. Be ready to adjust up & down as-needed to keep the flow going for your table.

We're not quite ready to launch the high-level spell guidance, but it's coming. Events like WF give us a great opportunity to gather that input - if you would like to share your own, please feel free to hit me with those thoughts here, on Facebook, or via Twitter. Emailing community@ will also get Robert's attention.

I think expectations of the players also needs to be spelled out.

"DMing Tier 4 is really hard. Please make things easier on your DM by doing the following:


It isn't player vs DM or DM vs player, but everyone should keep in mind that the game is a social contract. If what you want is to blow away an adventure, let the DM know. If what you want is a challenge, let the DM know. If, as a DM, you see spells or feats or something else damaging play balance or the enjoyment, stop and check with the table.

Feats like Sharpshooter, spells like Banishment and Hypnotic Pattern and Simulacrum, they all can have a big impact on the game. We all share the responsibility of being cool if an adjustment needs to be made. The easiest is on the player side. You don't have to banish the coolest thing on the map in round one... let it play out and see if it is needed and how the others at the table are enjoying things. Are you killing everything before the last player gets to go? Don't use Sharpshooter unless necessary.

The DM can also make changes, but those are tougher to do. There is no easy equivalent to on-the-fly bumping up an encounter for a particular build or spells. We can try as DMs, but it is hard. Make foes deadlier or higher AC or higher HPs, and we might mess with a less optimized player's enjoyment (for example, the optimized PC still kills things, the regular one barely makes a dent). We are also asking DMs to all be experts at modifying the encounter, which is a tall order for new and casual DMs. We want organized play to be welcoming for new/casual DMs.

It's always a give and take and we should all be okay with such adjustments, especially on the PC side. RPGs demand them.


I hope some improvements can be made to the Fai Chen system at WF this time around. It's brutal on the AL staff, it's brutal on those queueing. They are trying to get a couple of hours effort done in half that time. It should be a fun thing, instead it seems like [we] are trying to emulate Black Friday at Walmart.

The format limitations also lead to wailing and gnashing of teeth, but I'm not sure what can be done about that.

A lot of the issues revolve around people having to review what's available, so they are standing around, while people that know what they want, or just want to buy consumables etc, are also forced to wait. Having one or two more people do the sign-offs would help too.

So, just spitballing here, here are my ideas, which make no allowances for staff or space resources.

A poster-board of what's available (will be available), somewhere nearby. Obviously this wouldn't cover trades, but could cover a lot of the basic stuff.

Hell, even better would be a live screen so the people queuing know before they get to the table what is left / available.

A requirement for people to prep their logsheets before getting to the desks.

Multiple tables - one for consumables, one for season/event-specific stuff, one for trades. You can only look, you can't trade there. In order, you can pick an item and then move to the sign-off table.

Behind those "fore" tables, would be the sign-off table, ideally two of those, with one or more helpers.

Space for a queue between the item tables and the sign-off tables.

Anyway, just throwing some thoughts out there!
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First Post
Anyway, just throwing some thoughts out there!

I agree, just having a list of the purchasable items on the wall (voided copy) would go a long way. I've seen many people at cons wait and finally get there to be disappointed and leave without a purchase. Also, for longer worded certs, you are not spending time reading; just buying.

A completely separate table for just trades would also help.


First Post
Not letting people know what Fai Chen has ahead of time is the biggest issue. Players were not even allowed to look at the certs before lining up, so when players finally get to the table, they have to spend long minutes reading all the certs and making a decision, which dramatically slows down the process. Provide a few print-outs listing the certs available, with disclaimer for limited numbers etc, and pass them out into the line while people wait. We did this at our Epic's Fai Chen, and it made it dramatically more likely that players would know what they want before they came up.


I crit!
Uh from what I remember running it with an admin there, the content of fai chems is not to be advertised. They did that way for some reason. I don’t think they’ll change that. Hence my suggestion for having more “Fai Chen’s” at the table. Serving multiple customers at a time would speed it up and preserve the secrecy and surprise at the table, and sense of mystery, and the organic spread of word of mouth. Which is what I think they are trying to achieve.


That guy, who does that thing.
Uh from what I remember running it with an admin there, the content of fai chems is not to be advertised. They did that way for some reason. I don’t think they’ll change that.

My understanding is that Fai Chen doesn't advertise his wares as a way of trying to limit power-gaming -- "Oh, the Fai Chen's at HeavyDutyCon is going to have +3 rapiers? I know where I'm taking my swashbuckler rogue next month!"

I think having a placard or other on-site list of the 'common' items available (with the occasional surprise due to trade or admin influence) wouldn't drastically increase power-gaming any more than the mere existence of Fai Chen's already does, and it would help move the long lines we see at bigger cons. (The line at GenCon was also pretty huge, though there were a few admins there to help enforce decorum and keep things moving, which also helps.)


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