Being a N00b at D&D Adventurers League
By Erin Neuman
How many times can I confuse a D20 and a D12? How many times do I need remind myself that a D6 is just standard dice? What on Earth (or some other planet??) does an attack of opportunity mean? Why can’t I wear heavy armor if I am rogue? Why can’t I wear metal armor if I a druid? Well in my defense, a D20 and D12 are shaped very similarly… but a rogue cannot wear heavy armor due to the known fact that they need to be light on their feet and sneaky.
For my first foray into Dungeons and Dragons, I decided it would be Adventurers League.
It was the fantasy aspect that sold me to try Dungeons and Dragons myself for the first time. I had always watched my brother and his buddies play in our parents' basement when I was…. well, a child, and at the time I didn’t quite understand what made it so special. But it is! I could actually be any character of my choosing for that short 3-5 hour period of the campaign (Adventurers League campaigns usually finish within a shorter time frame), and I could keep that character and develop it, level up, have tons of fun with it bringing it back every time and going on to Tier two or three… or I could play different every time. I, personally, liked the options.
I decided my first character would be very different than myself: a halfling rogue (Chaotic neutral).
The best part was building my character the night before with some of my friends, but I quickly learned that I didn’t have to prepare a character for the league: many base characters are available online and available to print out.
The first time I played was with the maximum group of seven. It was apparently a well-balanced group… we had two rogues, a fighter, a bard, a druid, and two wizards. An ideal bunch for adventuring.
We played the campaign Harried at Hillsfar. There were puzzles, there were battles, there were demon goats… what more could I ask for? One of the wizards got too drunk and couldn’t remember his spells (in real life as well). The druid changed into a massive bear. A BEAR! I got to two-handed attacks with +5 damage for sneak attacks. At the time I didn’t know really what that was, but it was pretty cool to roll for attack, make a hit, and then get to stab some imaginary red demon goat to death.
Basically, I had a blast! And I came back and played with a different group in a different campaign where chalk played no role, but we still bought a barrel of it and stuffed our pockets with it for no reason.
If I had to give advice to anyone going into Dungeons and Dragons AL blind is:
1. Read a little bit about the traits of your character… it might help?
For example: What are you carrying? I apparently had rope in my thieves kit the WHOLE TIME DANGIT! Sometimes language plays a decent part of the campaign and can be used to benefit the group’s mission. Also, seeing in the dark (night vision) is a must! I didn’t have it and I was completely blind!
2. Don’t confuse a D20 with a D12… otherwise you can’t roll above a 12!
Rolling good dice numbers are imperative! If you cannot roll above a 12 and a monster only can be hit at 15, you are screwed!
3. Don’t forget to add initiative!
Adding your initiative and bonus to your dice rolls will help you and your team immensely… DO IT! DON’T FORGET! Otherwise it will be like rolling a D12 instead of a D20 (which you don’t want to do).
4. Ask for help or advice from more experienced players or your Dungeon Master if you are confused.
Yeah, sometimes people are not helpful when it comes to new players. But what I have experienced in the league is that they want you to love D&D! Thus, they are usually nice and helpful if you get confused so you can ease into being the best rogue you can be!
5. Don’t separate from your group in the middle of a battle… you will die! Or at least come close.
This happens! Don’t do it if you can avoid it! You will die, and you might even cause others to die!
6. Have a blast and don’t be that guy… you know the one. Just don’t.
Don’t be the one that is of no help. Don’t be the one that gets too drunk and can’t even talk. Don’t be the one that is too focused on doing their own thing. Don’t be the “Lone Wolf.” Do be considerate to other players! And do have a blast!
7. Be nice to your Dungeon Master, they do a lot!
Ultimately, your DM puts up with a lot…and do a lot to make the game fun and on task. Thank them at the end, offer to buy them a drink, just be a decent human to them. Also, they are in control of who is going to attack you, so that might be a bit of incentive too?
So… if you are thinking about bouncing into D&D, I hope you have some fun and think about giving AL a shot!
Interested in trying Adventurers League? We have open play AL at 7:00 pm every single night at Pawn & Pint! Hop over and join game, or run one yourself as a Dungeon Master and play free!