Are you ready to tangle with the Clasp? Or maybe to shop at Gilmore’s Glorious Goods? How about undertaking a dangerous quest at the behest of the Tal’Dorei Council in Emon?
Come play a Living Tal’Dorei adventure, where all that and more are possible!
Players have it pretty easy. All you need to do to join in the fun is make a character, grab your dice, find a game, and play. In our experience, finding a game is the hardest part in all of that–and one of the big issues we’re hoping to fix with Living Tal’Dorei!
If you don’t already have a group to play with and would like to find a group or to locate an event happening in your area, join us in our Facebook Groups to connect with others who are interested in playing Living Tal’Dorei. Don’t be shy. We want this community to grow and thrive, spreading nationwide so that no Critter is unable to find a game!
WHAT DO YOU NEED TO PLAY?
Playing is relatively simple, and really only requires a handful of things:
- Player’s Handbook (Dungeons & Dragons 5E)
- You need to know how to play, plain and simple.
- Living Tal’Dorei Handbook Supplement (Click for PDF download or continue reading below)
- A set of dice, pens/pencils, and paper.
- People to play with!
CHARACTER CREATION NOTE
Creating a character for Living Tal’Dorei is just as simple as creating a character for any other Dungeons & Dragons 5E setting and follows the same general creation structure. However, not all feats and features are available to start so please read through the FAQ Section before creating your characters!
LIVING TAL’DOREI HANDBOOK SUPPLEMENT
Version 2.0 (Updated 3/27/19)
What is Living Tal’Dorei?
Living Tal’Dorei is the organized play system for Matthew Mercer’s world of Exandria. Players can create characters and participate in any adventure allowed as a part of the Living Tal’Dorei system. As characters adventure, players track those characters’ experience, treasure, and other rewards, and can take those characters through other adventures that will continue their personal story.
Living Tal’Dorei play is broken up into storyline seasons. When players create characters, they can continue to play their characters after the storyline season has finished, possibly participating in a second or third storyline with those same characters. A character’s level is the only limitation for adventure play. A player must use a character in the same tier as the adventure they are in.
Factions in Season 1
The Clasp, The Council of Tal’Dorei, and Arcana Pansophical are the first to open up membership to adventurers. Other factions will become available over time and we are aware that people want to make characters for them. We highly recommend planning for a Season 1 faction first and saving those characters for later seasons. This season is planned entirely around those factions and involves them directly. All tier one modules are broken up into 2 mod arcs for each of the factions. 1-2 offers Clasp Membership, 1-4 offers Council of Tal’Dorei Membership, and 1-6 offers Arcana Pansophical faction memberships. You can start without a faction or already be one of the offered ones.
The first Trial of Heroes in season 1 will only be accessible to members of those factions. Being factionless or declared for a non season 1 faction will make you unable to play the first trial. As part of the story the factions are recruiting among themselves to participate secretly in the Trial and putting that information out to every adventurer kinda messes up their plan. You can play season 1 as whatever faction you wish or none at all and be legal but that event will be closed to you. As part of the story there will be no adventure hook for the first trial if you are not in the Clasp, Council of Tal’Dorei, or the Arcana Pansophical.
Trial of Heroes
This is a multi table event we run at conventions. Players will have a chance to make moves and influence the plot of the rest of the season and beyond. Signups on warhorn will be available as events are scheduled.
Living Tal’Dorei season one adventures are set in the city and surrounding area of Emon. Adventures created for future seasons of Living Tal’Dorei play will focus on different or multiple areas of the continent of Tal’Dorei. Going forward, the adventurers created to compliment the current story will be able to pick their home region based on the areas that have opened up for play.
Living Tal’Dorei League Play
Game Masters and players can engage with the story in many ways. These currently include Living Tal’Dorei introductory adventures, Season modules, Season Epics and role playing through the official faction Facebook Groups. This list of options may continue to change to meet the needs of fans and event organizers. GM’s are encouraged to value Role play over Roll play and ensure a fun table for all participants.
Living Tal’Dorei Introductory Adventures
These adventures are three one hour modules and are meant to introduce you to the content of Living Tal’Dorei and advance new players to level 2. This free content typically should run about 3 to 6 hours. Past that additional modules are being released over time with the intent of getting players to high Tier 2 or even Tier 3. It is important to note that there will be an introductory adventure for each new season. These will always be available for free download.
Living Tal’Dorei Trial of Heroes
Trial of Heroes will be additional season content designed for convention and larger scale store play. They will be made available to organizers. Trial of Heroes are not limited to conventions. Anywhere with enough tables to accommodate the necessary amount of players are venues that can apply for sanctioning. Events can take place anywhere, both at a public venue such as a local hobby retail store, or privately in your home or other location of your choosing. The only requirement is prior sanctioning through Living Tal’Dorei admins and adherence to the code of conduct.
Being a Game Master
Playing Living Tal’Dorei adventures as the GM is easy and fun. The adventures can be prepared in a short period of time, and you don’t have to worry about creating background material.
What You Need to Run a Game
In order to run a game as a GM in Living Tal’Dorei, you’ll need the following.
- A square grid map.
- Miniatures or dice to represent monsters.
- A Living Tal’Dorei Module.
- Dice, Pens or Pencils and Paper. Not everyone uses apps!
- Optional Items.
- A copy of the D&D 5E Player’s Handbook, Monster Manual and Dungeon Master’s Guide. All are helpful as a reference but any items dropped and all monsters encountered have their relevant information listed within each module. Note that the variant rules in the DMG are not legal for Living Tal’Dorei play (This includes flanking).
- Note Cards. A helpful GM tool that you can use for commonly needed information such as passive perception, pre rolled initiatives, character names, Armor Class or other things you need as a quick reference.
- A GM screen. This one is largely up to the GM. Some prefer to roll behind the screen and some do not. Either is fine and legal.
Before Each Module
If you are new to being a Dungeon Master, here is a useful guide to preparing. Before you start the adventure, spend some time familiarizing yourself with the locations, events, and characters. Take some time to learn what the Social and Exploration rewards are and how they are applied. You’ll also want to review the relevant statistics for any monsters or nonplayer characters (NPCs). After introducing yourself to the players, ask them to provide you with a small amount of relevant character information. This typically includes (but is not limited to) the following.
- Character name
- Character race, class, and level
- Character faction
- Passive Perception—the most common passive ability check
- Anything notable as specified by the adventure (such as backgrounds, traits, flaws, and so on)
Add the total level of everyone playing the Adventure and divide it by the number of players rounding up. That is the APL (average player level) of the group.
To figure out the party strength for the adventure, consult the following table and compare to the intended level for the adventure. Average party strength indicates no recommended adjustments to the adventure. Each sidebar might or might not offer suggestions for certain party strengths. If a particular recommendation is not offered for your group, you don’t have to make adjustments. However, a good rule of thumb is if it seems too hard or too easy in the course of play, you can totally make adjustments one way or the other in order to present an appropriate challenge to your players. In higher tier play it is acceptable to add additional monsters at GM discretion to account for additional powerful magic items. There will be guidelines for that in the printed modules.
Determining Party Strength
- 3-4 Characters APL less than (Very Weak)
- 3-4 Characters APL equivalent (Weak)
- 3-4 Characters APL greater than (Average)
- 5 Characters APL less than (Weak)
- 5 Characters APL equivalent (Average)
- 5 Characters APL greater than (Strong)
- 6-7 Characters APL less than (Average)
- 6-7 Characters APL equivalent (Strong)
- 6-7 Characters APL greater than (Very Strong)
Players that have characters outside the adventure’s level range cannot participate in the adventure with those characters. If you’re playing a tier one (levels 1 – 4) adventure, players with ineligible characters can make a new 1st-level character.
In future seasons gear will shift the balance of encounters and will be an added sidebar for GM’s to adjust based on their party composition and skill.
While the adventure provides suggestions on how to adjust an encounter to provide an appropriate challenge for your players, they are just that— suggestions. You may, at your discretion, make other adjustments to the encounter by changing or removing monsters. While the monsters you add may be different from those listed in the encounter or the sidebar, they should be thematically similar. For example, if your players are encountering a group of rats, adding a bunch of mephits doesn’t make much sense. However, adding a giant rat or a swarm of insects might. Keep in mind that while the characters fight these new monsters, the amount of XP designated for combat does not change. Keep it challenging but do not aim to TPK(Total Party Kill). We do not want the GM to have an us versus them attitude. This is first and foremost a storytelling game and not a hack and slash fest.
A player character can only play each module once. Whether the party succeeds or fails each character is locked from repeating that module again. A person with multiple characters can run the same module once per character. There is no limit to the number of times you can GM a module.
All items, gold, and any other treasure is handed out at the end of a module. Each module has it’s own rewards and the details are contained within them. You may choose to extend the length of the module for roleplay or other reasons. For example. You are running a two hour module but it runs long and extends into 4 hours. The awards, downtime, treasure and xp remain the same as if it were run in 2 hours. GM rewards remain the same as well.
Gold, Flavor items and Treasure
Coin, Jewelry, and other forms of wealth are converted into gold at the end of a session and distributed evenly among all players. If someone would like to take an item (say a 25gp sword with a gem encrusted pommel) they may pay for it from their share of the wealth. If the cost exceeds their share they may buy the item from their personal wealth and that gold value is added and distributed instead.
Example: Player 1 wants to buy a 1000gp sword but each person’s share of the treasure is only 600gp. Player 1 pays 1000gp from their personal wealth and that gold is added to the treasure (replacing the sword) which is then split between the party. Some of the money Player 1 spent will be returned to them but the money being split among the players does not change. If the player in question does not have the money to cover the cost (including what they would have returned to them) they may not buy the item.
Consumable Magic Items
Potions, scrolls, and other consumable, non-permanent magic items are divided among the characters at the conclusion of a session, episode, or adventure. Most adventures will contain a small number of consumable items and it is up to the players how they are ultimately distributed. A player notes the item obtained by recording it on their log sheet. Encourage your players to proceed equitably in the distribution of consumables. If more than one player would like to own a specific consumable and they cannot resolve it the players roll a D20 and highest number wins.
Permanent Magic Items
Permanent magic items are distributed at the conclusion of a session, episode, or adventure. A player notes the item obtained by recording it on their log sheet. Permanent magic items have specific rules for distribution to promote equity. Each character’s log sheet contains a column to record permanent magic items for ease of reference. Follow these steps to determine how to distribute permanent magic items.
- If all players agree on who gets the item/items they log it on their sheet and that’s it.
- If Not all players show their log sheets and the lowest item count wins.
- If players are tied roll a non sequential D20 and highest roll wins. (No sequential dice)
Some permanent magic items have charges or limited use and are destroyed or otherwise rendered non magical when the last charge is consumed. Other items have very specific circumstances under which they can be recharged. If an item loses all of its magical properties when its last charge is consumed (i.e., Keoghtom’s ointment, etc.) or because it can’t be recharged because the criteria are otherwise unachievable (i.e., wingwear, balloon pack, etc.) that magic item no longer counts as a permanent magic item for the purposes of determining how many permanent magic items a character possesses.
Sometimes players cannot remain for the entirety of a module. If this is the case the player must log the session even if incomplete. All gold, Downtime, Renown and Experience rewards are to be handed out as earned. This likely means said player will not gain Downtime, Renown or a Faction Secret Mission. If a group wants to split a module between sessions that’s fine. Just record what spells/class features are used and current hit points. This way you can pick up where you left off next session.