Plans for AL season 9 starting in September

The AL Admins have started publishing plans for the future season. As it stands now it looks like they will introduce something they call Seasonality, which would mean a character can only gain magic item unlocks in adventures published for the characters season and season agnostic content (e.g.: a character created once season 9 has started can’t gain magic item unlocks from any of the content we are playing at the moment except for the couple of CCC adventures that mulog and some of the others have been running)

To be honest if they keep this new rule unchanged it will probably the end of me running AL legal content, i will continue to run adventures 1-2 times a month, but it won’t be as part of AL then, rather it will be AL modules but without the strict limitation of AL rules (probably XP instead of ACP, no TCP instead normal item rules, you’d get to earn gold again, probably no PHB+1 restriction, but for ease of use i’d keep the other character creation restrictions so it would be Pointbuy/Standard array, class and background equipment, and so on)
I don’t have any definitive plans so far as I do hope that they rethink their decision on these new rules after the outcry of AL DMs in the facebook group and on other social media platforms (though after seeing that they deleted over 400 comments that where badly worded criticism, i’m not sure that hope has any chance of surviving)

This post is mostly meant to give advance warning and maybe so other DMs can check out the new draft rules in the dragon+ magazine

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I’ve read about the changes too. And I think what they try to accomplish and fix is not something that concerns us a lot, since our groups don’t really go for the loot the best item runs and stuff, so we don’t have a lot of power level differences. Also we don’t have a lot of higher tier players anyways.

I think if you make the decision to leave the AL Rules behind it might be worth considering if all DMs do that so that at least the groups here can do a drop in drop out style. And not whoever plays at your table is locked to that now. Because that’s I think the biggest plus of AL. to just show up build a “random” group and play.
But I guess, what that would mean and which rules should be kept and which ones should be changed, would have to be up for debate then by the regular dms?
Anyways. Let’s see what the official rules will be in the end. But i am for sure pro switching to “definitely not” adventurer’s league rules if the official ones make it more complicated to play.

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yeah that’s one of my big concerns with these changes, the problem doesn’t concern us at all, but the solution hinders us even more than the no gold thing already did …

that reminds me, i do plan to have a DM meetup before season 9 (once the rules are pretty set in stone, so probably end of october, start of september)

I am open for both ways but would like it to be a group decision so we can keep a system that allows people to move between tables.

It would also matter to me how players think about these things.

I felt pretty restricted by the AL rules, especially because I have the feeling that levelling speed and loot are badly controlled at least in the HotDQ and the one shots I played. The loot and gold in AL takes some of the fun out for me(unlocking stuff :frowning: ) as I love the weird items and the ways players use them for more or less useful but usually very entertaining purposes.

On the other hand I like the balance AL provides by restricting the amount of combat items people get per level and point by/fixed hp on level ups.

So I am okay either way but I want people to be able to switch tables on demand. I am also in for an initial meeting.

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I am in agreement with you guys and I would be up for a meetup of course, once the time comes.

I think we all agree that the most important aspect of our AL games is that they are so easy to join, especially for new players and switching tables is easy. I think by dropping some of the AL restrictions we could make it even easier for new players. But as @Martin said we should all have the same rules.

Here are a few ideas:

  • Bring back gold, but limit the total gold a player can get per designated hour of play time per tier (so for example roughly 20 gold per hour played in a tier 1 adventure). No gold for leveling up. So DMs can have a bit of leeway when players negotiate a better reward for the quest etc. but things don’t go out of hand.
  • Switch to (group) XP, since I agree with @Toni that leveling up, especially in HCs, is way too fast.
  • Allow all sources for character creation, but keep point buy, hitpoint average, starting gold from background etc. So basically no roles for anything character related.
  • Get rid of renown, unless it is part of the story (like in the Waterdeep: Dragon Heist HC).
  • Encourage (but not enforce) players to use separate characters for the respective HCs they are playing.
  • Keep the rule that you can change everything about your character as long as you haven’t started a game at level 5 or higher.

It would become very simple for new players:

  • Point buy
  • Average for HP
  • Gold from background
  • 1 potion of healing
  • Level 1 or 5
  • Use all sources

More wild ideas:

  • Let DMs on a per session bases decide, if they want to use the optional flanking rule.
  • New characters can be level 1 or level 5 so we can run more tier 2 stuff.
  • Allow non AL adventures, for example we could playtest @SheVa’s works.
  • Call it VALUE (Vienna’s Adventurer’s League Ultra Edition)

Questions:

  • Downtime? I’d be in favour of getting rid of it… Only downtime activity would be copying spells (no downtime cost, just material)
  • How would (magical) item distribution work?
  • DM rewards?

I LOOOOOVE V.A.L.U.E
im sharing my opinion as a Player mostly but also as a (1time) DM.

and i like a lot of your idead @Mulog but i agree that there should be a meet up to decide where to head from here.

I actually think that we should have some System like Downtime because i feel that sessions would be more clunky if Players had to spend in session time bying the stuff they wanted.

I think one magical item needs to be looted like in ye olden days. It would give a cool reward for one of the players at the end of the session.

Don’t know how useful my opinion is here, but unlocking one item per table would drastically reduce the ammount of magic items in our AL community. This will not affect HC’z, but it will people playing the single adventures where the unlock items arent universally useful, which means if you as a wizard dont get an item from an adventure you wouldn’t know when you will get a next opportunity to get a magic item which would benefit you.

As a player I like to comment 2 things:

First: V.A.L.U.E. is a solid acronym - better still: an aponym. \m/>.<\m/
Second: Would love to start as a higher lvl Char :slight_smile:

Here are the draft versions of the rules for season 9.

Looks like they bring back gold (to a cap). A bit like suggested above…

Still, I think @Tersidian could/will come up with a much better rule system…

To be honest (and I know my opinion will count relatively little, considering my recent inactivity as DM in AL ^^), the final rules for Season 9 don’t look so bad… It’s basically Season 8 rules (which I personally thought were a great improvement), but with a reasonable amount of gold back (which is good). The only potentially bad thing I see is that it might become more difficult to provide variety in a large group such as ours has become, since seasonality rules block some content from being enjoyed to its fullest. So for the DMs, this might make it more difficult - as a player, however, I love the idea of seasonality, I must say. It was also more or less inevitable, with all the cherry-picking in terms of magic item unlocks that became possible with so much material available… Just my humble opinion on the Season 9 rules, at least from my first glance :slightly_smiling_face:

seasonality is the one point that simply kills it for me tbh, as a DM giving out rewards is part of the fun, taking away gold (season 8) was bad, taking away magic item (unlocks) (seasonality) even if we get to hand out minor amounts of gold again is just plain stupid

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Well, there is still season agnostic content, and it looks like they are going to expand that over time. The magic item unlocks don’t seem to matter too much, to me, as seasons usually start out with tier 1 and tier 2 content, which higher-tier characters from previous seasons won’t be able to play in any case. I think they probably want to encourage people to play through the AL content of a new season from start to finish. Cherry-picking of adventures to acquire specific items seems to have become a real problem, in some circles. The seasonality changes seem to be aimed at alleviating that problem.

I think I just like seasonality because it creates more uncertainty for a character - you just have to roll with whatever comes your way :grin: I love that, it feels much more like the life of an adventurer to me ^^

that might be true for the AL convention games, which don’t really happen all that much around here :slight_smile:
but for a community such as ours it does make it harder to play together outside of fixed groups, (though i think they did change it to be a bit less of a bother by only cutting it into season 9 and legacy, not into season 1 - 9 like they announced at first)

So basically how I read it: if we’d ignore season 9 content nothing would change really? Except for more gold with the new rules. And if we play season 9 content we wouldn’t get treasure unlocks that’s it right?
Imho it is not a big deal then for our community.
But i am open to loosen some rules up in general since I don’t know if many people take their characters to different AL Games anyways.

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I really like the idea of loosening up some rules. Like having the option to have new character start at level 5 in particular…
And I think we all agree that our community doesn’t try to exploit too much.
(Although I tried to give them a really strong magical item in the last adventure I ran… But they all died sadly :face_with_hand_over_mouth:)

Personally I’m not really a big fan of the AL rules which is the reason why I’m not playing it a lot or started DMing there so I would support a change. If we get our heads together I do think we can come up with a better system that still keeps the focus on being easily able to join on/off and switch between tables with their characters. If there are indeed people that try to exploit the system we can still deal with that on a case by case basis.

My 5 cents as a player:
I dont’t mind NOT unlocking anything if the evergreen list is big enough -> no problem with season 9 thus far
If we implement V.A.L.U.E, which I am not against, we should keep the magic item distribution of AL (I mean unlocks for everyone in the group - need to buy afterwards)
If we switch to XP and Gold, I would only allow party gold and xp - simply because I don’t like the arguments about magic items/gold xD
Making a lvl 5 character from scratch would be just peachy, all balancing issues aside from allowing all official sources (I would definitely not allow UA)

there will be a meetup in september to discuss what we’ll do
my personal preference is a system of our own that also would enable us to run non AL content (for example @SheVa’s dmsguild releases)

once we start organising that meetup i’ll post a set of rules i would propose so everybody attending (and those that can’t attend) can think about and comment on them, my tendency is to open up tiers to dm discretion, use the HC rules for progress (so a simply 1 ACP/TCP per hour played or 1 ACP/2 TCP at Tier3+), lifting some limits on ressources (mostly the PHB+1, probably just remove that limit but still only official releases, maybe add in fan favorites like the tal’dorei source book of matt mercer, and maybe allow cross play of different WoTC sources, like eberron and ravnica), probably allow character creation up to level 5 (with maybe the limitation that the players have some previous experience)
the one big change i personally would propose is that if a magic item is found it gets unlocked to buy for all and one player is allowed to keep it instead of unlocking it

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