Missing D&D Encounters already

Tonight begins the new season of D&D Encounters… and I’m not running a game. The story behind this is twofold.

First, my wife and I are in a bowling league on Wednesday nights. The league starts up on August 31, so I won’t be able to run Encounters after that. Thus, I can’t be a regular DM this season (though I will occasionally be a backup, running a 5:00 PM table if the regular DM is not available).

Second, my friendly local game store wasn’t planning to run this season of Encounters until recently, much to my surprise. They’ve been running Encounters every season so far, and I thought things had been going well, but with Lair Assault starting soon the store owner was planning to just run that and skip Encounters. He changed his mind when the Encounters players last week got upset that there wouldn’t be a game.

So, he belatedly ordered materials for this season of Encounters, but they haven’t arrived yet. We’ll probably be running the first two encounters in a single session next week.

Has anyone else seen a store that was dropping Encounters in favor of Lair Assault? I was shocked when I heard this suggestion, since they’re aimed at completely different groups (casual and new players versus hard-core optimizers).

6 thoughts on “Missing D&D Encounters already

  1. I will miss your commentary on the season. Wish we had gotten a clearer answer on the Encounter material being released Print or PDF after some period of time. A lot of people would like to have the material, but do not feel it is worth $75US+ via Ebay.

    • Sadly, I think we HAVE gotten a clearer answer on the Encounters adventures being released for sale; WotC isn’t going to do it. I think they should sell the adventures a year after they’re finished in-store, but they’ve said that’s not what they’re doing. Encounters is designed as an exclusive for game stores, period.

      Maybe they’ll change their mind some day (I think they definitely should), but not any time soon.

      And thanks for your kind words about my commentary – I didn’t know anyone actually read it! I’ll still comment when I can; I imagine I’ll get to run at least a few sessions here and there.

      Also, it turns out that WotC is open to stores running Encounters on nights other than Wednesdays, so perhaps I can someday run again even during bowling season.

  2. How do I get set up with running my own encounters group in an area that doesn’t have a hobby store but people want to try ti out?

    • Sadly, I think the answer is “You don’t”. From what I understand, Wizards of the Coast only allows Encounters to be run via participating hobby stores. It’s partly intended as a way to draw business to those stores, and they do that by making the Encounters adventures unavailable through other routes.

      It’s kind of a bummer. There was a group last year that attempted to create D&D Encounters for home games (D&D Home Encounters) but not a lot of people were using them, so it fizzled out. One of the people involved is at least going to finish that adventure for publication (I’m actually going to be helping with the process), but it won’t be rebuilt with the “one encounter per week” focus.

Leave a Reply