A new season begins tonight. No, tonight is the first session of the new 13 week adventure, Dark Legacy of Evard. The constraints of module play makes Encounters or other organized play, like Pathfinder society modules an excellent first step for GMs. I never ran a lot of premade modules—I always prized my own creativity too much, particularly the ability to tailor a campaign to the players and the specific characters at the table.
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Many years ago, Evard came to Duponde to destroy his rival Vontarin, a powerful wizard who lived in a manor at the edge of town. The two mages met near the walls of the abbey of St. Avarthil and dueled all night long with black spells, laying the old monastery in ruins with their magic. Vontarin was never seen again.
It was released for play in Spring Discussions of this adventure began in Summer The Encounters season was still three-quarters of a year away, but the designers had to come up with a name for the adventure—although all they knew about it at that point was that it would be linked to the upcoming Heroes of Shadow supplement. Baker pushed for the name "Dark Legacy of Evard" because he felt that it was evocative, but not specific enough to "tie his hands" when he got around to writing the adventure.
Baker knew early on that the adventure would involve the Shadowfell. More details were settled in a concept meeting with Mike Mearls and Greg Bilsland. Mearls came up with the ideas of a villain pulling a town into the Shadowfell, with the town itself being the main location for encounters. Baker built on this seed to produce the finished adventure. Continuing the Encounters. Each week of play is meant to be a single encounter, taking 2 hours or less to play.
Characters can take short rests between encounters, then extended rests at the end of each chapter, each of which contains several encounters. In "Dark Legacy of Evard," the chapters are 4, 5, and 4 sessions long respectively, for 13 total weeks of play. The entire season of play was published in one book, for Encounters GMs only.
About the Encounter Format. In "March of the Phantom Brigade," Wizards had begun focusing on encounters that included more than just combat.
That trend continued here, with Baker including frequent skill challenges that had a real impact on the combats that followed. Baker also continued to experiment with how individual encounters were linked, something else that had been innovated in the previous season of play; thus, weeks 2 and 8 both include decision points that directly impact the following week's gameplay. Baker had wanted to go further, creating a "sandbox" where players could move freely between four or five possible sessions.
He ultimately decided that the Encounters program couldn't support that idea because the program would involve groups at different tables being at different points in the adventure—yet Encounters would return to this precise idea in Season 12's "Against the Cult of Chaos" About the Product Tie-In. As a result, the pregenerated PCs are all Essentials builds—the exact same characters from "March of the Phantom Brigade," as it happens.
However, this season of Encounters also ties in with Player's Options: Heroes of Shadow , which was Wizards' first post-Essentials release, supporting both Essential and classic 4e builds. Heroes of Shadow featured Evard as the creator of shadow magic in the Points of Light world, so he was a natural focus for this adventure. That supplement had included a "Despair Deck," which could be used in this adventure.
Three more cards were made available to players as they gained renown: Cunning Plan, Lack of Scruples, and Countering Fate. About the Homage. Evard had first been mentioned as the originator of "Evard's Black Tentacles," which dated back to Dragon 67 November That changed a bit with the release of 3e.
Expanding the Points of Light World. This adventure largely focuses on the town of Duponde. Unfortunately, the placement of Duponde within the Points of Light world is somewhat problematic, primarily due to contradictory information within the adventure about what river Duponde sits upon, and where it's located.
It appears that Duponde should be located where the White River and the King's Road intersect but that necessarily ignores references to Duponde being on the Nentir River and to Duponde being a few days north of Harkenwold.
The remaining problem with this placement is that the "Reavers of Harkenwold" adventure from the Dungen Master's Kit says that the town of Albridge is located in the same place. Clearly, GMs will need to ignore one of the two towns or decide why one town has two names or why two towns are extremely close together.
Future History. Evard was simultaneously receiving some attention in Wizards' online magazines. About the Creators. However, "Dark Legacy of Evard" and Heroes of the Elemental Chaos were his last two major products for the company before he was let go in December He has since been working as a freelancer, where he returned to the Encounters program with Season 14's "Search for the Diamond Staff" Please feel free to mail corrections, comments, and additions to shannon.
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Dark Legacy of Evard
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The first episode of Dark Legacy of Evard
Many years ago, Evard came to Duponde to destroy his rival Vontarin, a powerful wizard who lived in a manor at the edge of town. The two mages met near the walls of the abbey of St. Avarthil and dueled all night long with black spells, laying the old monastery in ruins with their magic. Vontarin was never seen again. It was released for play in Spring Discussions of this adventure began in Summer The Encounters season was still three-quarters of a year away, but the designers had to come up with a name for the adventure—although all they knew about it at that point was that it would be linked to the upcoming Heroes of Shadow supplement.
D&D Encounters: Dark Legacy of Evard – Preview
This article is spoiler free, even though I am sharing some exciting tidbits. I want to begin by thanking Wizards of the Coast for listening to feedback. This adventure is no exception. The players are given a lot more choice. Last season there was one encounter that had three possible scenarios depending on what the player did the week before. This time around, there are a lot more encounters that play out that way. In one case your actions in chapter 1 significantly affect an encounter in chapter 3.
The small town of Duponde has a haunting legacy, for they claim to hold the final resting place of the infamous mage known as Evard! It is said that whoever disrupts his slumber will be cursed with an endless. Will the sleepy plot of land be consumed by shadow or will the light find a way to liberate the encroaching darkness? In addition, a blurb is included on the Forgotten Realms, Eberron and Ravenloft settings.