StartPlaying and Wizards of the Coast are working together for a Dungeons & Dragons 50th anniversary event! As part of the event, D&D Beyond itself is sending players to StartPlaying for special one-shots with professional Dungeon Masters. How does one become one of these chosen DMs? And what kind of work does it entail? We’ve got all the details right here, so read on! 

What Exactly Is Going on? 

‍D&D Beyond is releasing Descent into the Lost Caverns of Tsojcanth as a free adventure for users starting on March 26. This classic dungeon is based on a Gary Gygax original and will appear in July’s Quests from the Infinite Staircase. When Tsojcanth is made available, D&D Beyond will have links ready that send users to StartPlaying for sessions run by pro DMs. 

When Does The Event Take Place? 

DMs can start scheduling sessions as early as March 26 when Descent into the Lost Caverns of Tsojcanth is made available. The special event period begins on March 26 and will last until April 29. 

How Do I Sign Up To Be A DM?

You’ll need to be a StartPlaying Game Master who has gone through onboarding and run some games through the platform before. If that’s you, please fill out this form to apply for this event. Note that not everyone who applies will be chosen. Those who are chosen will be notified by their provided email. 

Do I Need To Create A Special Listing On StartPlaying? 

You can create your Game Template and Adventure with the same methods you usually do. You can set whatever price you want for each session and schedule at whatever time of day works for you, as long as it fits within the event dates. Once your template is approved, follow this FAQ to see how to mark your sessions with the Special Event tag. 

 Will D&D Provide Me With Art? Do I Need To Sign An NDA? 

If you are chosen for the event, you will be provided with approved official D&D art to use. You must use the provided art or your own– rules against using copyrighted D&D art still apply to anything not given to you as part of this event. You will not need to sign any kind of contract with Wizards of the Coast to participate in the Descent into the Lost Caverns of Tsojcanth event. 

via: WotC

Will Dungeon Masters Get Early Access To Play Materials? 

Unfortunately, no. Descent into the Lost Caverns of Tsojcanth is being run as a competition for GaryCon over the weekend of March 21. In order to keep things fair for competitors, no previews of the module were given outside of those running it at GaryCon. DMs will get the adventure when it goes up on D&D Beyond. For future events, however, D&D Beyond may look into giving StartPlaying DMs early access. 

Do I Need To Use D&D Beyond? Do I Need A Subscription? 

Descent into the Lost Caverns of Tsojcanth will be available as a free D&D Beyond product. You will need a D&D Beyond account to claim it and read it. You do not need a subscription to claim it, however, it will be free for all users. 

Furthermore, this version of Descent into the Lost Caverns of Tsojcanth is compatible with the Maps feature of D&D Beyond and will already be prepared in that format. Pregenerated D&D Beyond characters will be included. You are not required to use Maps to run this adventure for the event, however. You can use Roll20, Foundry, theater of the mind, or any other platform.  

What Kind Of Adventure Is Descent into the Lost Caverns of Tsojcanth? 

In Descent into the Lost Caverns of Tsojcanth, a party of 9th-level adventurers delves into the former lair of legendary archmage Iggwilv the Witch Queen. Expect a classic dungeon crawl filled with traps, monsters, and major loot at the end. It’s recommended to be run in four hours. 

An optional scoring system will be included should groups wish to compare results and have a competition. If run tournament-style, players are encouraged to use the pregen characters to maintain fairness and consistency. For non-competitive play, DMs can allow for player-created characters.

This session is allowed to be run as an Adventurers League game. Players can use the pregens or bring in their own AL character. If run as an AL game, any Tier 2 character is allowed. However, the adventure is optimized for levels 8-10. While level 5-7 characters are allowed, they will have a more difficult time. Players should check with their individual DM to see if they will be running under AL rules. 

What Does Wizards Of The Coast/D&D Beyond Get Out Of This? 

While StartPlaying does not speak in any official capacity for WotC or the D&D brand, there are many ways this event can serve the game and its community. For one, StartPlaying’s professional Dungeon Masters have made the platform a success. These DMs have earned over $18 million since StartPlaying started in 2020. In partnering with StartPlaying, WotC knows it has a place to send players where they will find quality games in abundance. And what’s a better way to celebrate D&D’s 50th than with a series of event games run by amazing DMs? 

As for D&D Beyond, they will be collecting surveys about desired features and improvements. Both new players attracted by the event and seasoned DMs with longstanding accounts are bound to be full of good feedback.

How Will D&D Advertise This Event?

You’ve probably already seen it! Posts have appeared on various social media sites announcing the partnership. A front page D&D Beyond post points readers towards StartPlaying and even offers a discount link.

What's In Store For The Other Three Events? What About A Way To Link My D&D Beyond And StartPlaying Accounts? 

We’ll reveal more about the other three play events in time. For now, enjoy running Lost Caverns of Tsojcanth! As for deepening the connection between StartPlaying and D&D Beyond, that is certainly a goal for the future of the partnership. At the moment we are in stage one: putting on a great event for the players D&D Beyond sends our way. Stage two and beyond is possible, especially if our DMs knock this out of the park like they’ve done with previous events!

Mar 17, 2024

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