1. Do you actually read the adventure and do you care if we die or not. Or what do you do to make sure we know what's up every week because I missed two weeks and had no idea what was going on.
(Lauren) Every DM is expected to have read the entire module before Session 0. We have a DM meeting at the start of every season where we throughly discuss the entire story and plot.
Death is part of D&D. No Twenty Sided Store DM seeks out to intentionally kill PCs (in fact they actively try not to), but sometimes players swing first and ask questions later. There are consequences in every decision a DM or a player makes, for good or bad. If every fight was a walk in the park, they would be much less interesting. I feel the best fights are when players feel they could die at any moment. Players start to work together better to overcome their situation, and walking away from that battle means so much more.
Every week we post a recap to the blog, written and video. Every week durning announcements I give a recap. At your table, durning character introductions, the players and the DM recap what has happened so far. You can also go to Wizards of the Coast's website and get the official D&D Encounters recap each week in written and comic form. DMs arrive early and stay late for players to ask them questions, we have provided hook groups to give you an opportunity to play out something you might have missed or get filled in on key information, and we have a RPG Google Group where links are posted and if you asked anyone in the community including Team DM would be glad to fill you in on what happened durning the weeks you missed.
2. Other than the hooks, did you guys tweak the season at all from the written book? I'm curious about the inner editing.
(Lauren) No, the adventure module is provided by Wizards of the Coast and every Wednesday every store in the world running D&D encounters is running the same adventure on the same day. We want to stay in sync because players visiting from out of town might search the WOTC location finder for D&D Encounters running in the area and we want to make sure they catch the weeks session and go back to their local store and it wasn’t like they missed anything. Just like if you were away on business in Tennessee and didn’t want to miss the final session, you could find a game store in that area and jump right in!
The hooks were presented in the module for Session 0 Character Creation. The weekly hook group meetings are a Twenty Sided Store exclusive experience. It is not part of D&D Encounters, it is just one of the ways Twenty Sided Store goes above and beyond to support the needs of its community.
3. What did the DMs think of the Next characters (Balance, playability etc)?
(Lauren) I think the balance is really great in the returning character builds like the Fighter, Rogue, Cleric, Wizard, & Paladin. The Druid was new this season and I only had a druid at my table once so it is hard for me to say. One of my great mottos is " Tried and True" in that, you have to go too far to know what works and what doesn't. WOTC can always reign something back, but if they don't test it out they will never know if it worked or not. Good ideas in theory, are not always good ideas in practice, and vice versa.
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