Looking through the Baldman Games list and the RPGA list (which are the same) I don't see any epics scheduled. Are there no epics for D&D this year or are they yet to hit the schedule or something else?
There is not but we do have special events running (just not 100 table insane epics - lots of reason for that).
Epic Season 4 was the kickoff event for that season. It makes no sense for us to run it again 7 months later in terms of the story (which wrapped up in June at Origins). Season 5 has not started therefore once again it makes no sense to have an Epic for a story that doesn't exist yet (but hopefully announced soon).
We will be running HULB 1-S and PHLAN 1-S which are show only specials as part of the D&D XP program and we will be running HILL 1-S which is also a show only special the two slots on Sunday (it should be played after HILL 1-1, 1-2, and 1-3 - so we want to give people time to play that trilogy first so they can enjoy the story in order).
Overall we will be running (counting on my fingers) I think 19 different AL events at Gen Con. That is more then you technically have time to play.
In the future I (Dave - owner of Baldman Games and decisions maker when my wife is not around) will be tackling Epics differently and especially so at Gen Con.
100 tables Epics suck. 150 table Specials suck. That is the feedback I get again, and again, and again from ours, and others, big events. Yes there are a few dozen people on the inter-webs crowing about how much fun they had but I am going through five or six times as many as that feedback forms and emails saying the opposite.
There are two really big reasons for this:
1 - There is a HUGE difference between DM # 1 thru 20 and DM # 130 thru 150. HUGE!!! (did I say Huge yet?). I wish there wasn't and we have training and seminars in place to try and shrink that gap but it will always be there. We all know it. So lucky players (or ones who know the good DM's and arrange ahead of time to get them when marshaling) have an awesome time. The ones in the middle have a decent time. The bottom third fill my inbox with how much it sucked. Running these events are very challenging and every DM is just not of the type to pull it off and make it rock. I would serve my players much better by running that special event 10 times throughout the show with my best 20 DM's (15 at a time rotating for 150 tables) then 150 at once.
2 - Noise / Communication Sucks. Half, or more, of the tables don't know what is going on. They are not of the caliber of DM (see #1 above) to just roll with it and make that fact invisible to the players and the tables start to suffer. You cannot have everybody feel like they are part of something giant and exciting when you have 150 tables and 30 know what is going on, 20 are just killing stuff and don't care, and the other 100 are wandering aimlessly through the event. The comment I hear a lot is "What is this? (from outside person) A giant interactive we're all storming the castle. Are you winning? Not a clue but it's really noisy and everybody else is cheering so I am to." - Smaller groups make communication easier.
So that is what we are trying out this year (trying - this is a test run). We are running HILL 1-S on Sunday at 8am and Noon. 10 tables each (that may expand based on demand and DM's hanging around on Sunday) in it's own room. The comes with a little extra cost but I think the players will find it well worth it. I think it is going to work really well and if so will expand to all shows next year (Epics, or other special events). Instead of running a 50 table Epic at Winter Fantasy we'll run two 25 table ones or even three 20 table ones (and you can play it twice if you want with different characters).
Sounds good! Thanks for the quick reply.
Not a problem (I know I answered a lot more then you asked but I figured others would be following so just got it all out there at once).
Is there an all-access adventure path this year?
There is. It was renamed earlier this year and relaunched as "The D&D eXPerience @ <insert show name here>". We have three tracks of it running this year, a complete story arc in each one, only available as part of the program, and ending in a show only special event.
What are the perks for signing up for The D&D Experience at $150?
The short description of the Hill adventures says for levels 1 to 4, but the long description says for levels 5 to 10. Based on the special Hill event Sunday it seems like the Hill adventures should say 5 to 10 in both the short and long description. I thought it would be good to let you know wavester/Dave.
So if I am reading the event catalog correctly The D&D Experience has been cutoff to anyone that does not have a level 5+ character. Is there are reason for this? I know there are non-experience 4 hour games but this limits my (and others) ability to throw money at you for a curated and private participation.
I answered a lot of the D&D XP questions in the other threads (will eventually have one started for DDXP and General D&D Events and pinned). Hillsfar is for levels 5-10.
D&D eXPerience is indeed for levels 5+ (reasons why in the other thread).
I can't tell you how disappointed I am to hear this. I loved doing the epics last year far more than any other D&D event. My roommate and I saved our characters and got custom miniatures of them in anticipation of doing them again this year. It's the only thing I was looking for in the event listing.
The closest thing we have an Epic this year is the Hillsfar Special that runs Sunday at 8am and Noon (HILLS 1-S). Recommended playing HILL 1-1, 1-2, and 1-3 first.