In Praise of WotC Organized Play
by , 02-14-2011 at 08:01 PM (4002 Views)
I have been missing D&D Encounters. Since it's beginning approximately one year ago, I was a DM for Encounters. This addition to Wizards organized play came right at a time when I wanted to become more involved in public play. It seemed like a perfect opportunity. It was a once-a-week, short game so it wasn't too much of a time commitment. It would offer me a chance to polish my skills as a DM by working with different groups to find out what is effective and what is fun. On top of it all, there was a new gaming store opening not too far away that was looking for DMs - a store that wasn't so big and popular that it would be intimidating to lead a game at.
Since the end of the "Keep on the Borderlands" season, I have been unable to attend D&D Encounters. This is because I received a short-term teaching job at a school whose band teacher is on maternity leave. Since the school is located three hours away from my home, I have temporarily moved out. So, I haven't been able to stop by the store for Encounters.
Imagine my surprise when I was chatting with the guy who organizes public play at my store and he said: "By the way, there's a package from Wizards waiting for you at the store. I'm jealous of the stuff you DMs get." When Wizards had announced that they would no longer send DMs rewards directly and that we'd receive our rewards through organized play events, I figured it was pretty much the end of DM rewards altogether. I thought they'd throw some Condition Cards in the Encounters supplies like they did first season and that'd be it. The package waiting for me at the store piqued my interest. Last Friday, I packed up a duffel bag and went to visit my family, stopping at the store on my way home. I waded through a slew of M:TG players to the counter, grabbed a giant envelope with my name on it, chatted with the owner for a few minutes, then continued the trek home to crack open my loot.
Our organizer wasn't kidding; the package had a ton of great stuff in it. First of all, it had a thank-you note from WotC. I then pulled out two large pieces of cardboard, which were sandwiching a 2011 calendar full of D&D/Fantasy art. Second was a small pack of condition markers from Gale Force Nine. Finally, I pulled out two packs of Fortune Cards, plus a promo card.
I was really happy with what I got here. It'll be cool to try out the Gale Force Nine tokens, and I get some free Fortune Cards to start up my collection. And who couldn't use a calendar, especially one that features such awesome art. If we take a second to do the math here, considering that the pack of tokens lists at $11.99 and the cards cost $3.99, for the short amount of time I invested in playing a game, I received $20 worth of merchandise, plus two items that are essentially priceless since they are not available in stores (well, lets be honest, the promo card will start showing up on the secondary market eventually). Not a bad take, considering that I'd do the job for free anyway.
Anyway, I was pretty happy about receiving such a reward, and I'm hoping that I can get back into DMing Encounters again once I'm done teaching out in the middle of nowhere, if not for the rewards then simply for the fun of playing the game.