01_Carousel3_ToD-Adventures_Background_140623_0Following several complaints about the offerings from the D&D All-Access event at Gen Con 2015, Baldman Games published a public apology to all attendees and is offering a physical copy of Out of the Abyss, the next campaign book for D&D 5th Edition by Green Ronin; and a code for a digital copy of Sword Coast Legends, the party-based RPG for Windows, MacOS, and Linux. All-Access players at Gen Con 2015 are requested to fill out the form at http://baldmangames.com/2015/08/gen-con-2015-all-access-update/ to get their packet.

The All-Access Program was a $150 event within the Gen Con convention, which promised a premium gaming experience. The pass gains access to reserved seats for all the D&D adventures in a separated gaming space. At 2014’s convention, attendees also received copies of the D&D 5th Edition Players Handbook and Monster Manual, two weeks before the book’s official release date. This year, several people commented that they received nearly nothing at all. “Another event offered the three autographed rulebooks plus two epics for $140,” wrote user Wisewolverine on the Gen Con community forum. “Everyone who purchased an all access package got royally screwed.” User wgmccanless wrote, “We did get a couple of [D&D Adventurers League (organized play)] Certificates, but none were worth anything. No book, no souveniers, no 2015 commemorative dice, no coupons for future purchases, nothing! I got more swag for ordering a sandwich at Scotty’s [Brewhouse]!”

baldDavid Christ of Baldman Games, discussed how giveaways impact the All-Access Package process. “Every year the program has provided different things and the attendees have valued them in their own fashion,” he writes. “Each year the [giveaway] items were better and better and that is just not a sustainable program.” To help bring the event back to something that is “more sustainable long term” and more of a value to the attendees, the company is considering several options such as a concierge service; custom exclusive adventure tracks for All-Access members; moving the event to a dedicated room to cut down on noise, and offer snacks and lunch items; and adding special guests to the event.

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D&D Adventurers League

D&D Adventurers LeagueIn support of its new Dunegons & Dragons game releasing this summer, Wizards of the Coast has announced a revamped organized play program, the D&D Adventurers League. The League, which launches this summer with the Tyranny of Dragons storyline, appears to be adopting more of a living-campaign approach than its immediate predecessor.

In fact, the Adventurers League is really a system for tying together three types of events: Epics, Encounters, and Expeditions. Rules for creating and maintaining persistent characters will be published in a Player’s Guide. Special treasures will be tracked through a certificate system. And all players will be invited to align their characters with one of several factions.

The performance of the various factions in the course of organized play will then influence how the overall campaign story unfolds in future events.

Wednesday night Encounters will continue as the primary vehicle for introducing new players to Dungeons & Dragons. But with the League, WOTC is also attempting to involve experienced gamers, as well as support those who wish to move beyond the introductory experience. Thus, another implementation of the League is D&D Epics, a program for event and convention-based games that introduce major campaign plot twists. D&D Expeditions will provide players an opportunity to explore the campaign setting and story in greater depth, including at higher level.

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