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Adventures League’s Makeover – Part 1

The start of Adventure’s League Season 8 brought it some changes that I’ve found aren’t exactly liked by many. However, that is just our opinion and there’s some interesting changes that make didn’t change the game much. As a warning, I will say that many of this information can change in the near future and I’ll sure to bring the update on those changes as well. So now, without further ado, let’s get this makeover rolling.

Players No Longer Receive Experience

The whole experience system in previous seasons has been completely removed. Instead, players receive advancement points for every hour played. This advancement point is given if the Dungeon Master (DM) deems that the party spent that hour working towards the overall goal. There is some pros and cons to this new experience makeover.

  • Pros – The DM doesn’t have to tally up all the experience at the end of the session and divide it among the players. There’s no calculations involved, and this does save time on cleaning up after a session. For players, I believe, it is easier to keep track of advancement points than the experience. There’s also the fact that experience doesn’t have to be split between anyone. All players at the table gets the same amount of advancement points as everyone else.
  • Cons – The biggest problem I have with this change is that there is no point in having encounters anymore. As a player and as a DM, I don’t see much use in having players fight enemies anymore. Eventually I believe this sort of experience reward system will get repetitive after a while.

In the Adventures League Dungeon Player’s Guide Version 8.2, we find the following information.

Simplified, to level up, in Tier 1, players must receive 4 checkpoints before leveling up. Only 8 checkpoints are needed between Tiers 2 – 4 for players to level up. However, in Adventures League makeover, players can opt for a slow progression in character level up. As noted in the table below, players can opt to take half of the advancement checkpoints, downtime days and renown so that their characters don’t level up as quickly as they would.

Experience Conversion Formula

In this new AL makeover, for those who are coming into Season 8 as a veteran, as a player, you must convert your existing experience to advancement checkpoints. I have added the formula below.

However, I didn’t really want to figure out all that math. Luckily, fellow DMs found a web calculator that players can use to convert their existing experience to the new system. You can find the calculator here. This calculator lets you know how many checkpoints you have and, using that information, you can figure out how many you need to level up. Gold is now a valuable commodity

Gold is now a valuable commodity

In many Adventures League games, players find loot such as gold and items. With Adventures League new makeover, this is no longer the case. Players can no longer keep any of the gold or items that they find. The items become unlocked for everyone but more on that later. The only time players receive any gold is when they level up as mentioned up. I’ll discuss the new level up method later as well. The table below lists the gold awarded when players level up.

Gold has been reserved to be used for buying potions, spell casting services, spells, and the creation of scrolls. The classes most affected by these changes are Wizards as well as Clerics. Wizards need gold to copy spells into their spell book. Without enough gold, they can’t copy spells. They are no longer a versatile class. Keep in mind that Wizards also need gold to buy consumable components for their spells. Take for example the spell Chromatic Orb. The component needed for this spell is a diamond worth 50 gold pieces. If said diamond is not available, the Wizard can’t use this spell.

Clerics, especially use a lot of gold for spells like resurrection that costs 1,000 gold piece diamond. If said diamond is missing, the Cleric can revive the dead character. The group now has to find a spell casting NPC in a town and pay this NPC to bring back their friend. Oh wait, they don’t have 1,000 gold pieces. Seems like that dead friend is staying dead.

  • Potions and scrolls can still be given out to players if an adventure has those items listed.
  • Pros – Honestly, I can’t think of anything nice to say.
  • Cons ­– Players need gold. Without gold, they can’t play their classes correctly or buy consumable magic items like healing potions.
  • I believe that it’s better to have a lot of gold than having little to no gold.

Gold = Treasure Points

You’ve read my thoughts on Adventures League’s makeover concerning gold. While it is still awarded to players upon level up, one has to wonder about what players get for playing. As mentioned before, players do receive advancement checkpoints. They also get treasure points.

To clarify, players earn on treasure points for every one-hour played towards the adventure’s goal. These treasure points are accumulated to buy magic items from certain lists. Some magical items are always unlocked as shown in the table below.

The different tables are available for different Tiers. The cost of these items also depends on your Tier and which table you’re buying from. I like to also include that players can only use items based on their Tier. If you’re Tier 1, you can buy or used items from Tier 2, etc.

  • Pros – I honestly kind of like the new magic item system. This way it prevents players from killing your major bad guy in one turn with their legendary magic item. Everyone’s weapons and items are Tier appropriate and game play is balanced.
  • Cons – I find it a bit unfair that players won’t be able to keep any magic items that they discovered in the adventure. While these items do become immediately unlocked to players, if they don’t have enough treasure points, players can’t buy them. However, let it be clear that these items do become permanently unlocked and they can buy it later.

Banned Items

Lastly, in Adventures League’s makeover, players saw that some items have been permanently banned. These are referred to ‘problematic’ items. You can exchange this items for 24 treasure points (TCPs) or for a different weapon as noted on the table below.

As someone whose paladin went through the hardcover adventure Cure of Strahd, I received the Sunsword. I no longer have the Sunsword. Instead of trading it for 24 TCPs, I have the Sunblade.

There are some items like the Sunsword that are needed for the adventure. This item is a party item essentially. Players can use the item only if they remain in the campaign. When they leave the campaign, the item remains behind. The items are lost forever.

There are some items that were never legal in Adventures League in the first place. The table below shows this information.

  • Pros – I do agree that there were some items that shouldn’t be in some games. As a DM, there are time when I had trouble giving my players a challenging enoucter because of such a powerful weapon. I’m looking at you Hazirawn. For those you aren’t familiar with the weapon, enemies hit by this weapon had to make a 15 Constitution save. On failure, they can’t heal for one minute. One minute in combat is ten rounds. Each round lasts 6 seconds. It’s how I killed my brother’s character but that’s beside the point.
  • Cons – Many players who had a problematic item for a long time are affected. I was lucky because my Sunsword was turned into a Sunblade. However, for those who weren’t so lucky they lost that weapon. There’s also the fact that, even though you do get Treasure Points, whatever you buy might not be as great as what you had to begin with. If anything, I think they weapons should have been adjusted in their statics rather than simply replaced.

Closing Thoughts

As I mentioned at the beginning, these rules might change. There’s also so many other information that is not listed on here. I’ll be making another list and including my thoughts on these changes as well.

Overall, I do welcome Adventures League’s makeover even though I’m not happy with some changes. I believe that in order for something to improve change must happen. Currently, I will remain opened minded through season 8 and see where the new direction leads. As of now, I can’t say whether I’ll continue to run Adventures League games, but I’ll leave that path open.

For those who have been aware of Adventures League new makeover, what are your thoughts on these new changes? Do you like some parts or no part at all? As always, thanks for reading.

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