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With Hoard of the Dragon Queen releasing as the first part of the Tyranny of the Dragons storyline I was wondering what guidelines and rules exist for players looking to create and run characters for organized play.

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All of the guidelines for organized play can be found in the Adventurer's League Player's Guide. In general, all of the content from the Basic Rules, Player's Handbook, and Hoard of the Dragon Queen supplement are fair game with a few specific exceptions.

Here is a brief summary of the character generation rules for organized play:

  1. All characters begin play at level 1.
  2. You cannot roll for ability scores. You must either use the standard ability score array (15,14,13,12,10,8) or point-buy (as described in the Basic Rules or Player's Handbook).
  3. At level 1 and each level thereafter, you always take the constant average hit point increase for your class. Rolling your hit die for hit points is not allowed.
  4. All races and sub-races present in the Player's Handbook are acceptable. Also, the variant Human rules are allowed. Side Note: There seems to be some discretion here available to venues, as my FLGS has house-ruled that Dragonborn will not be a playable race at AL games held there.
  5. All classes and class customization options present in the Player's Handbook are acceptable, except for the Death domain of the cleric class. The Death domain is not allowed unless that rules option is available for your storyline season.
  6. All backgrounds present in the Player's Handbook are acceptable.
  7. Any clerics or characters with the Acolyte background must choose a deity from Appendix B of the Player's Handbook. For clerics, this deity must match your chosen domain.
  8. You can either take the starting equipment for your class and background, or you can take the maximum amount of gold for your class's starting wealth (as noted at the beginning of Chapter 5 of the Player's Handbook or Basic Rules) and purchase your equipment piecemeal.
  9. Your starting lifestyle is automatic and dependent upon your background, but can be changed during play.
  10. All alignments are acceptable except for Neutral Evil and Chaotic Evil. Additionally, the Lawful Evil alignment is restricted to only two factions: The Lord's Alliance or The Zhentarim.
  11. You may join a faction during character creation, or at any time during play. Joining a faction is optional. You can only be a member of one faction at a time. Changing factions causes you to lose all renown and benefits associated with your former faction.
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All of the information for organized play can be found on the official D&D Adventurers League website.

Specifically, there is a guide for new players available as a PDF.

The primary changes are:

  • Point-buy or standard array must be used (no dice rolling for abilities)

  • Lifestyle is determined by background

  • Neutral Evil / Chaotic Evil are not allowed, and Lawful Evil is restricted to certain characters

  • You must choose a faction from those outlined in the PDF

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