(From Bill Baldwin, who is graciously helping out to pull off the BI!)
Surviving the Paladin’s Plague – a Battle Interactive primer
On March 14th, Megacon in Orlando will be hosting the Living Forgotten Realms’ first Battle Interactive; ADCP2-1 The Paladin’s Plague. As coordinator for the Battle Interactive at Megacon, I have compiled a FAQ for those of you unfamiliar with a Battle Interactive, or those just simply looking to get the most out of it.
1) What is a Battle Interactive?
A Battle Interactive (BI) is a challenging adventure that is run at multiple tables at the same time and where the actions at one table can affect those of another. As the name implies, it typically involves a battle or similar large event. As BIs typically represent major events, the results of BIs are often reflected across the entire campaign.
2) How long does a BI last?
The Paladin’s Plague is a two-round adventure, meaning it takes double the time to play as a normal adventure at a convention or game-day (about 8-10 hours). You will be expected to be there the whole time. There will be short breaks after each encounter while DMs tally the results and a larger break about half-way through the adventure.
3) What is different about a BI from a regular adventure?
How a BI differs from a regular adventure depends on the particular BI. For purposes of this document, we will focus solely on The Paladin’s Plague. When the BI starts, you will be mustered and seated as you would for any other LFR adventure. An introduction will then be given by the BI coordinator to all players of the BI. This will be followed by some additional information from your DM. After which, the first encounter will begin. All encounters will be timed and will begin and end at the same time. You have until the end of that time period to accomplish whatever goal you have. The results are then tallied by the DMs (during which you may take a short break) and the process repeats itself until the adventure is complete.
4) What is so challenging about the Paladin’s Plague?
During The Paladin’s Plague you will be challenged in two ways. First is the difficulty of the encounters. Monsters will be tougher than is typical for an LFR adventure and just killing them won’t always be the goal. The second challenge is that each encounter will be timed. You will have a set amount of real time in which to accomplish your goals and your rewards will depend on how much you succeed in during this time. So bring your ‘A’ game.
5) Will there be much ‘role-playing’ in The Paladin’s Plague?
As the name, ‘Battle Interactive,’ implies, the focus of a BI is primarily on combat. It is an opportunity for you to show off those mad D&D skilz you keep bragging about to everyone. But D&D is still a role-playing game, so some opportunities may arise to show off your more subtle RP skilz.
6) So it’s mostly just combat then? No real story?
The Paladin’s Plague has one heck of a story to it. In fact, the story will start the night before when Megacon runs SPEC2-1 The Blue Fire Chronicles. The missions in this adventure lead directly into the BI, so playing this adventure first will really help put you into the story. If you want even more story, read the novel The Edge of Chaos by Jak Koke. Characters and events in this novel appear in The Paladin’s Plague.
7) What about The Paladin’s Plague is actually interactive?
There will be several points during the adventure where individuals, tables, and the entire body of players at the BI will be asked to make decisions. These decisions can and will affect the course of the adventure for everyone playing. In addition, tables of players that find themselves being particularly successful during an encounter can offer to help those who are having a hard time of it.
8) Do you have any tips for helping me get the most out of The Paladin’s Plague.
As has been stated before, the Paladin’s Plague will be very challenging, so bring you’re A’game. Timed rounds are the issue that most players will be unfamiliar with, so here are some tips for helping to speed up game-play at the table:
a) Know your character. Be familiar with all of your powers and how they work. You won’t have a lot of time to be studying your rulebooks during the encounter.
b) Know your teammates. While this can sometimes be difficult at a convention where you never know who you are going to be seated with, try to become familiar with what the other players can do and with their tactics. Coordinated teams are usually the most effective ones in a BI.
c) Be prepared. Make sure you have your dice, paper, pencils, miniature, and updated character sheet with you before you sit down at the table.
d) Stay focused. You will be under the clock. While D&D is a social game, you will have time after the encounter for chit-chat, off-topic conversations and deciding what magic item your character should pick from the previous adventure
e) Plan your turn. Don’t wait until it is your turn to decide what you are going to do. Pay attention to what is going on at the table and be prepared with a plan when it is your turn.
f) Have a plan ‘B.’ The best laid plans oft go astray and sometimes what you planned to do on your turn won’t work because of something that occurred just before it. Have a backup plan for what you are going to do if you can’t do what you originally wanted.
g) Roll attack and damage dice at the same time. This doesn’t always work for some powers but it usually helps speed things up to do this.
h) Don’t get bogged down in a rules argument. No one is going to care if your character should have done 5 more points of damage to that Ogre if the table failed to reach their encounter goal because you wasted 15 minutes arguing about it. If you disagree with the DM and cannot find proof quickly, just accept his/her ruling and bring it up with him after the game.
i) Don’t wander off during combat. Your character’s involvement in an encounter doesn’t end when his or her turn does. Be available and attentive even when it isn’t your turn. There will be breaks after the encounter that you can use to catch up with old friends, take a bite to eat, use the facilities, or smoke a cigarette.
9) So how can I get in on The Paladin’s Plague?
In order to play The Paladin’s Plague at Megacon you must have a ticket for Sunday for the convention. You may get tickets here: http://megaconvention.com/.
Once you have tickets you can sign up for the game at: http://warhorn.net/megacon2010/.
If you are interested in DMing The Paladin’s Plague at Megacon, please contact me at: trollbill@...
DMs for the BI will get a free Sunday only admission wristband. DMs that work four slots (the BI counts as 2) will get a weekend badge for Thursday to Sunday. All BI DMs get first pick from the swag for judges, along with the swag for attendees. DMs will be expected to attend a Slot Zero (test run) of the adventure prior to the convention.