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Types of Dungeons & Dragons games you can play in Singapore

​As you start your adventure playing Dungeons and Dragons in Singapore, you may come across terms such as Adventures League (AL), Published Adventures, Homebrew D&D, Dungeon Delving etc.


These are the different types of D&D games you can play – and in this article, we go into detail to explain each type.


Adventurers League (AL)

The Adventurers League, also known as D&D Adventurers League, is Wizards of the Coast (WotC)'s flagship organised play program for Dungeons & Dragons 5E.


Adventures in AL are D&D's canon storylines, such as the Red War and the Siege of Parnassus.


AL is divided into modules and seasons

  • AL Seasons

    • Season indicates the timeline of the canon storyline.

    • Each season, a new set of rules are released that AL DMs are required to follow.

  • AL Modules

    • Modules are adventures designed for AL games

    • These adventures are typically tied-in with recently published books

We are currently in Season 11.


If you were to create or bring a character from previous seasons, your character is considered historic. Historic characters can play any module from any season, except the current season. The same works vice versa.


You can use a character created in the current season to play in a past module, but your character will be limited to playing historic modules from then on, and will not be able to take part in current season modules until a new season starts.


For example, if a character is created for season 11, that character can play in only Season 11’s Modules. But if a character is created for historic modules, it can be played in Season 7’s Modules, but never a Season 11 Module.


AL is extremely linear

This means that the players cannot diverge from the story at all. This may cause limited choices and forced combat, which may deter some players from AL completely.


The linearity is because of the canon storyline from WotC, thus players and DMs can't change it, they can only experience it.


Tiers and Epic Modules

In addition, players are segmented into Tiers according to their character level; this is to create a more controlled environment so a party wouldn't get destroyed easily.


That said, players and DMs have a large variety of AL modules to experience. A few of them are considered epic modules – large-scale adventures that can be played by multiple tables, groups and tiers of players.


It’s even more amazing because some epics do affect the outcome of the canon storyline in D&D. For instance, in one of the epics of the Red War – global players fought in the war with the power wizard guild “Red Wizards”, and each tier of players handled certain war efforts.


While the adventurers lost, this has shaped future modules as various groups deal with the aftermath of the war.


If crafting and combat are your favourite aspects of D&D, then AL is the game for you!


Published Adventures

​Published adventures are written and illustrated by adventure writers and released by WotC. They are full-fledged adventures for DMs and players to explore – many lasting anywhere from 3 to 6 months, some even years!


If raiding tombs and searching for lost treasure like Indiana Jones or Lara Croft is your thang, Tomb of Annihilation is a great adventure for you!


Or maybe you’d like to get involved in some Ocean’s Eleven storylines and search for the lost vault? In this case, Waterdeep: Dragon Heist would be a sure fit for you. Or that you’ve seen Castlevania and you want to go slay some vampires, then adventuring in Curse of Strahd would be your best bet.


There are many types of adventures you can experience in! You can even add your flavour and veer off-course and create a homebrew campaign out of the published adventure – that brings us to homebrew adventures.


Homebrew Adventures

Homebrew refers to stories that are written by the DM. They're exactly what the DM dreams up all day long.


Homebrew games are not recognised by WotC, with exception of Critical Role. Due to their popularity and influence in D&D, WotC has made Critical Role’s story a canon part of D&D.


​These games invoke creativity freedom, using the base rules for D&D, but with a completely new twist on the game!


Want to play a D&D adventure across multiple planes of existence? Or an adventure that happens on the sea, where you can live your pirate fantasies? Even an adventure takes place in Singapore, but instead of the conventional classes, you play as National Service soldiers fighting back the forces of evil that have emerged from Marina Bay Sands. The possibilities are endless!


Homebrew is not limited to just stories – you can also homebrew rules, magic items, and roll tables to help enhance the experience of the game.


For example, you can homebrew a magic sword-sword, where two long swords are taped together, dealing double the damage in one hit!


If long-drawn-out campaigns, character development and roleplaying are what you’re looking for, then I cannot recommend enough that you try out a homebrew game!



One-shots

​One-shots are D&D games that are usually played in one sitting. They are designed to be completed within 3 - 4 hours. Great for those who aren’t too sure of your commitment level or just want to drop in and complete to a game.


Short Adventures

Similar to one-shots, short adventures are great if you want to dip your toes in D&D and gain more experience playing, without the commitment. ​Short adventures are mini-adventures that typically last for only 3 - 4 sessions.


Tips for beginners playing Dungeons and Dragons in Singapore

For the Players

​If you’re experiencing D&D for the first time, it’s best you start off with some beginner-friendly adventures such as Lost Mine of Phandelver or Dragon of Icespire Peak, as they have very interesting storylines.


There are many D&D shops and studios in Singapore that run public beginner-friendly games. With a professional DM, new players can experience and learn the ropes of Dungeons & Dragons fairly quickly!


For the DMs

​For new DMs, expect your players to veer off-course from the story. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, as it will help you and your players create new storylines and highlights that will be remembered for a long time.


You might also face unexpected questions or situations created by the players. This will test your improv skills. But if it is too much, simply discuss it with your players, or hop on to any D&D community discord or Reddit page for advice!


​Thank you for reading, and I hope to see you around the tables to roll for initiative!


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