Outgrowing Adventurers League

Originally, I wrote this post to talk about all the things I dislike about the changes to the Adventurers League rule set. Most of it comes down to treasure. Magic item counts in the previous rules had their problems, but folks could understand; now you need a cheat sheet just to understand what you get. Gold is confusing and barely available.

Artwork made for Ray Stannard Baker's (nome de plume David Grayson) Adventures in Contentment.

But as I’ve talked to friends I made in AL during earlier seasons, a realization hit us: lots of us just outgrew it. During Season 7 alone, I ran over 300 hours of AL games as a Dungeon Master, including two full hardcover campaigns and lots of modules, both online and at local game stores. Small communities grew and flourished and led to friendships. Those things don’t go away just because some of us stopped enjoying a particular play style.

As Jim Murphy pointed out recently, Adventurers League is, in many ways, RPG 101. And for folks who enjoy it, great! I’ve made my peace with it, though, and moved on from AL. It just stopped being fun for me, and so I’ve left organized play for now. Maybe I’ll go back in the future; that’s hard to say.

Now, I’m running parts of Dungeon of the Mad Mage with Variant Roles, plus Lost Laboratory of Kwalish for other friends. Outside of D&D, of course, my Dungeon World game set in Krevborna continues. I’ve been playing in Eberron and Star Wars 5e games, plus some more Dungeon World and even Blades in the Dark. Lots of new friends have come along in addition to the ones from before.

I still look back fondly on what AL used to be. But, like many other games, we just grew apart.

And that’s okay.

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