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Adventure’s League Makeover – Part 2

(If you missed part 1 go ahead and take a look)

It’s been a little over a month since the start of Season 8 that implemented new changes for Adventure’s League. Since then, there hasn’t been any changes to those rules and gold is still only awarded upon level up. No new changes have been made so far but the hope is still strong. With this article, I’ll wrap up the makeover done to Adventures League.

No More Random Loot

This has to be my least favorite of all the changes that were implemented in Season 8. As a Dungeon Master who runs hardcover adventures with long campaigns, as oppose to modules that are just one shot, the loss of rolling for loot for my players is, to the least, devastating. With this new change, say good-bye to hardcover adventures like Storm King’s Thunder and Hoard of the Dragon Queen to name two.

I was running these two hardcovers when Adventures League makeover came into effect. (Spoiler Warning!) After defeating their own dragons, there was a large hoard. Other than consumables and certain, now, unlocked items, the party couldn’t take any of the gold and I didn’t roll on any of the random loot tables. Specifically, in Storm King’s Thunder, there’s an entire dungeon that players go through and the encounters give them random loot. Well, it would have but not anymore. I had to change up the last encounter because I didn’t think it was necessary for them to go through all the trouble for nothing.

[From Storm King’s Thunder]

Plus, I do have to mention that the table was eager to start a homebrew and so, we decided to finish the campaign that night.

Factions? Nope.

In previous seasons, characters chose one out of five factions to join. Based on these factions, players were able to receive rewards and an extra renown point for completing certain quests (I’ll speak more about renown later). Once a player received a certain amount of points, their tier with the faction increased and they were able to purchase faction and rank specific items.

With the Adventures League makeover, players can no longer buy any of these items. However, they can keep the items they have acquired using the old method.

Dark Gifts

This category on the list is specific as oppose to the other changed made to Adventures League. Dark gifts are available in Borovia, the main setting for the hardcover Curse of Strahd. If players visit a certain area, they have an option of choosing said gift. As someone who has played through Curse of Strahd and took one of the dark gifts, I can say that the loss of that dark gift had me rethink my playing style.

I won’t go too much into detail, but I took the gift that basically gave you immortality 3 times. This all sounds great. The only issue is that my character lost all her teeth and when she went down to zero hit points, she gets reincarnated. So, when a certain golem with a certain ability melee attacked my character, I failed the save and ended up with o hit points. The effect from the dark gift activated. My character went from one tiefling to another tiefling. Let me tell you, to get the same race as before is extremely lucky, especially since tiefling has the lowest percent chance of being rolled. After this happened, I needed to make sure that I didn’t drop down to 0 anymore because I really didn’t want to end up as a gnome or a Halfling (no offense).

It makes sense that the dark gift will be gone if you don’t stay in Borovia but I have to admit it was fun to have such a curse outside the hardcover. I will say that the attitude about this change all depends on the player.

Overall adjustments

In Adventures League Makeover, adjustments have been made to other hardcover campaigns and modules as well. I’ve included that information below. For the most part, it will serve as a summary of these adjustments. I’ll include the adjustments made to the first 3 seasons of Adventures League hardcover adventures. The link to find the information in full detail will be provided as well.

Elemental Evil

  • ‘Aftermath’ – This adjustment concerns the sentient weapon Orcsplitter. At the end, the Harpers, one of the five factions, will try to collect the item from the party. They first appeal to the adventurer’s sense of altruism. If that doesn’t work, the Harpers propose a trade. The player can use one option from a list of magic items.

Out of the Abyss

  • Quite a few adjustments are made to this hardcover. In Chapter 2, concerning Ambush Lair Discoveries players can find items and consumables.
  • There are also Mad Creature Possessions and Raider Leader Possessions where players also find a spell scroll and a magic item, and a consumable, respectively.
  • In Duergar Keelboat Cargo (Chapter 3), armor is available for discover.
  • Next we have Dawnbringer. This weapon has it so that if an evil creature tries to attune to it, they must succeed on Charisma saving throw, 14, or be possessed. If the save is failed, the weapon compels the wielder to find a new recipient.
  • Chapter 9: Drow Warehouse, Areas 4, 5 and 6 B. The treasure has been adjusted. In these areas, find exotic perfumes as well as spell scrolls, consumables such as potions of healings, magic items like a bag of holding and even a lantern of revealing plus other items as well.
  • More Treasure is adjusted in Chapter 16: Death Tyrant Encounter. For example, players can plunder a potion of stone giant strength as well as a chime of opening and other loot.
  • In Bruenor’s Service, the King offers characters titles, property, and even a single work from the Great Forge. These works can include the adamantine or mithral armor and this item is now unlocked for that character. If character refuse the item from the Great Forge, the King offers a clock of the Arachnida as an alternative.
  • Lastly, in the adventure labeled DDEX03-07 Herald of the Moon, the bow Shadowsong is no longer available. Instead, the players receives a +2 longbow or short bow. This bow is sentient and it glows dimly in the presence of humans.

Curse of Strahd

  • Chapter 1, Lords’ Alliance; Letter of Recommendation from the Eravien Haund. If the party find out that werewolves move around by Strahd’s will, they are rewarded based on what the adventure stated. This letter gives them the Position of Privilege from the Noble background. The letter of recommendation is only useful on the Sword Coast.
  • Chapter 1, Special Favor from Davra Jassur. For the head of Kiril Stoyanovich.

Special Favor: The Black Network
Davra Jassur commands much respect within the Black
Network, and dropping her name could yield favorable
results—even from those who are unaffiliated with the
Zhentarim. This story award may be redeemed for one of
the following: a common spell scroll (1st level spell), two
vials of poison, five flasks of holy water, or the service of
silvering one melee weapon (the weapon to be silvered
must be purchased separately). This story award is
removed when used.

  • Chapter 2, Tser Pool Encampment Treasure. There are 10 tents total and there’s a chance a magic item will be in them. Roll a d20 and if it’s 20, there’s an item. Roll d20 again for the result.

  • Chapter 4, Area K30; King’s Accountant. The Manual of bodily health requires 6 downtime days so that the owner can gain the manual’s benefit. After its usage, the manual is lost forever.
  • Chapter 4, Crypt 13. There’s a musket here. It can be purchased for 4 treasure points. It can’t be sold. With proficiency with smith’s tools, a character can spend 3 gold to craft 10 bullets. Smokepowder must be used. Once purchased the weapon is no longer unlocked and smokepowder packets are added to the character’s unlock list.
  • Chapter 13, Area X20; Architect’s Room. The Tomb of Understanding requires 6 downtime days so that the owner can receive its benefit. The tomb is consumed afterwards.
  • Chapter 13: Amber Sarcophagi Sidebar. The DM warns the players prior to them accepting a dark gift.

Closing Thoughts

I’m still holding on to the hope that the gold system will be change into a more preferable way. While, I continue to run Adventures League modules and hardcover campaigns, I’m finding myself keeping a distance from AL. I understand how change is needed for improvement, but I think that perhaps some things needed to be tweaked a bit better. As I mentioned, I’m really disappointment in the new loot system that was implemented but it makes a lot of sense (It doesn’t mean that I have to like it though). For now, I’ll continue to play despite Adventures League Makeover and see where it leads.

For the pdf version of all this information. You can find the page here.