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We were formerly participating in an Adventure's League at a local gaming shop, but had to step away for the last 2 months for personal reasons. Our situation has changed - but now the backlog of players is so high that there are 20+ individuals in the league, and we'd be put at the end of a wait list if we were to join as players again.

Fortunately, there is another route for us. My wife has been practicing online as a DM for several months, and I have years of RP experience myself (though less DMing experience than as a player). We know the system fairly well, and so we've volunteered to become DMs, and the people who run the Adventure's League have agreed to bring us on as well - with my wife taking on most of the DM responsibilities for story-telling and player guiding, and me taking on responsibility for math, stat blocks, and NPC voice acting.

We both have a single Player's Handbook and Dungeon Master's Guide. We don't have the Monster's Manual yet, but we're probably going to buy one for this very purpose. We also have some dice - about 3 sets between the two of us - though not a plethora of spare dice. And of course, we have notebooks and pencils.

What additional resources do we need to run an Adventure's League campaign as DMs, both in an official capacity and as recommended tools for DMs?

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  • \$\begingroup\$ @KorvinStarmast Very strongly considering it, considering this position. The way our previous participation in the league worked, we have a sizable amount of store credit we could use to pick it up. Plus, a discount for Adventure League DMs. I'll add that to my question actually, just to avoid 50 answers that just say "Get the MM". \$\endgroup\$ – Zibbobz Mar 15 at 19:58
  • \$\begingroup\$ Good idea; published adventures assume the MM as given. Definitely add that. \$\endgroup\$ – KorvinStarmast Mar 15 at 20:00
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    \$\begingroup\$ Hardcover adventures assume the MM. DDAL modules do not - they include all the referenced statblocks. \$\endgroup\$ – T.J.L. Mar 15 at 20:57
  • \$\begingroup\$ @T.J.L.not always, and even then, sometimes not consistently. \$\endgroup\$ – Penanghill Mar 22 at 9:22
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Besides the core 5e rulebooks, to be a successful AL DM, you should be familiar with the following:

  • AL Player's Guide
  • AL DM's Guide
  • AL Logsheet
  • AL FAQ
  • AL Content Catalogue
  • Rewards Announcement document
  • Renown Benefits document
  • "Detect Thoughts" document

All of the above, except for "Detect Thoughts," can be found here. "Detect Thoughts" can be found here.

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I carry my Monster Manual with me but I have never used it at an AL game, because I always look up and print out the stats for each monster during preparation. The Monster Manual will be needed if there isn't enough time to prepare like this. It's also useful if you have to change, add or replace an encounter for any reason.

You should have a screen because even if you are using a laptop you'll want to roll your dice out of sight. You can make a screen or purchase the Dungeon Master's Screen.

A plain and simple gridded battle map is essential, it really helps with communication and speeds up the combat so that each player knows where exactly their enemies and characters are at all times. A whiteboard marker helps you to define the layout. Figures or tokens are necessary to track each character. Dice are useful for tracking opponents as the numbered faces can be used to identify each one. You might collect a small selection of character miniatures for male and female adventurers to choose from to use in your game.

Use of electronic aids such as DnD Beyond for character sheets and rule sets, War Horn for scheduling games, registering a Wizards account DCI, and Adventurers League online logs will make your adventuring more fun.

Finally, it's useful to have some Adventurers League materials printed for players who are new to AL. You can prepare a handout summarising the information for new players. You might want to include your own table rules such as what should a player do if they are uncomfortable with the content. For each adventure, players will want to know details such as your DCI and the adventure rewards. It might be useful to have these printed out for players to take with them.

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    \$\begingroup\$ "You must have a screen because even if you are using a laptop you'll need to roll your dice out of sight." - While it's true that many/most DMs do make their rolls in secret, this is not a requirement, and is up to individual DM discretion (even in AL, as far as I know). \$\endgroup\$ – V2Blast Mar 22 at 3:24
  • \$\begingroup\$ @V2Blast changing must to should \$\endgroup\$ – Penanghill Mar 22 at 9:20

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