Dungeons and Dragons Adventurers League Season 7 has begun! Already we have two individual adventures, DDAL07-01 City on the Edge and DDAL07-02 Over the Edge. Both of these resemble introductory adventures from earlier seasons in that they consist of five 1-hour scenarios. OtE differs a little in that it provides this type of introduction for Tier 2 (levels 5-10) characters, but the formula is pretty well understood by now. Having only run two of the scenarios from CotE so far, I don’t have a lot to say about them just yet. (Except that I love dinosaur races more than I thought I would…)
This also means updates to the AL documentation. You can get them for free at the DMs Guild, and while everyone who plays AL should get the Player’s Pack, in my opinion everyone should also get the DM Pack. Both are free, but having some insight into the guidance given to DMs can help in being a better player. (Plus, if you run a few games, you can get huge payoffs for your existing characters!) Make sure you get the update, as FAQ 7.1 has already been released.
Below, I will take a look at some of the changes in Season 7. You should still read the actual docs, but these things stood out to me.
- Players have always needed a log sheet but the format is not specified. This means you don’t have to use the specific PDF from AL. Personally I like AdventurersLeagueLog.com.
- It feels like Xanathar’s Guide to Everything (XGE) may update some existing races.
- Characters cannot purchase equipment listed in the DMG – unless it’s made available someplace else, I suppose…
- Characters must level up when they get XP at the end of a session or a long rest, whichever comes first. (Do other DMs commonly award XP in the middle of a session?)
- Weregeckos? Are this in Tomb of Annihilation (ToA)? I’ve only ever heard of these in Dwarf Fortress. Maybe it’s a new thing in XGE.
- Seems like true polymorph, wish, and the deck of many things cause tremendous problems.
- The admins provide minimal guidance on Shatterspike other than regarding the destruction of magical items.
- Updates to the downtime activity rules seem odd to me. Specifically, activities outside the PHB can only be used once, but the ALPG provides a grand total of three: Spellcasting Services, Catching Up, and Trading Magic Items. We can only trade magic items once, and only get one use of spellcasting services? This makes downtime even more pointless. I hope XGE adds some more here.
- Leaving early can be cheating in some cases, like going to a session and then ditching immediately just to get the minimum XP reward. Jerks.
- Keeping artifacts is a recurring theme in these questions, which I kind of understand because players want cool loot.
- ARMOR MADE OF BEES. WHAT. (insert cheesy Nick Cage shot here)
DM Quest changes
- Importantly, doubling of DM awards only applies to standard awards: experience points, gold, and renown. You don’t get to double things like “Bounty Hunter” or magic items.
- “First Timer” is per season. That’s cool.
- “Dedicated DM” hours roll over each season. As it should; I assume this is just a wording clarification.
- “Déjà Vu” adds story awards for the DM, which I really like.
- “Level Up!” is extended to running games within a week of your birthday. This actually affected me since I had my birthday in the season overlap.
- “Quest of the Week” is gone, although it’s still on the D&D AL site. Instead, all content from the current season provide double the (standard) rewards.
- “Ethereal DM” got a huge buff. For the Roll20 community, this changes a lot of things.
- “Martyr for the Cause” added a nice organizer benefit.
- “Slot 0 DM” got the clarification that had previously been issued on a ruling. This isn’t just a matter of having everybody DM at least once and then all subsequent games get the “Slot 0” reward.
- No more reward specific to the WPN store adventures. Some store folks might not like that, but AL has clearly evolved away from being store-centric already. Personally, I like that a lot, although I still play at my FLGS every week.
- As noted, all ToA content gets double rewards. More accurately, all Death Curse content gets double rewards, including CCC adventures. And if you run 100 hours of Death Curse content during the season, you get to create a Death domain cleric! That’s a major motivator for me, personally.
- XGE may not have a rebuild like Sword Coast Adventurers Guide (SCAG) did, since “Chultan DM” specifically reminds DMs that they might want a rebuild option when XGE comes out in November. That might suck for a lot of people.
- “Death’s Master” also provides a major option for character creation: aarakocra or winged tieflings, including starting at level 5. But that feels very aspirational, since that reward requires running all 18 DDAL07 adventures as well as the entire hardcover.
- CCC applies to a lot more now, including “Ethereal DM.” I wish it counted for “Dedicated DM” as well; if it did, I probably would be more interested in running them.
There are probably other changes of significance, but these all jumped out at me. It’s going to be a fun season, I think!