D&D Encounters: Dark Legacy of Evard – Pre-Generated Characters

by Ameron (Derek Myers) on April 29, 2011

D&D Encounters: Dark Legacy of Evard (season 5) begins on Wednesday, May 11. Although the pre-generated characters provided are the same ones from last season, we’ve created a few of our own.

This is the first time since D&D Encounters began that Wizards of the Coast has not provided six new pre-generated characters. For season 5 we’ll be seeing a lot of familiar faces in the party, namely the six heroes that were introduced when March of the Phantom Brigade began 13 weeks ago. Belgos, Brandis, Fargrim, Jarren, Keira and Valenae all return for another season of D&D Encounters. Just to be clear, these aren’t leveled up versions of the pre-gens, these are the exact same level 1 versions.

Remember that D&D Encounters is designed for level 1 PCs. Everyone starts the first encounter with 0 XP. So even if you played one of the pre-generated characters during March of the Phantom Brigade, found some magical treasure and leveled up, that’s too bad. If you want to keep playing that character you have to press reset and go back to the very beginning.

Looking at this from Wizards’ point of view, I can guess at a few reasons why they opted to go this route. I’m sure that saving a few bucks wasn’t the only reason they went with the same old stock pre-gens, but it’s hard to overlook the cost savings that this represents. By not providing new pre-gens Wizards of the Coast essentially forces returning players to create brand new character this time around. I don’t begrudge them for wanting to do this either. After all, they’ve been pushing players to create their own characters since the very beginning. And since you pretty much need character builder to create 4e characters this means more DDI subscriptions in the long run. Again, I can’t really blame them for taking this approach.

Regardless of why Wizards of the Coast chose to use the same six pre-generated character again, they really missed a tremendous opportunity to showcase their latest release, Player’s Option: Heroes of Shadow. I was really looking forward to seeing some pre-gens that used the new classes: Executioner (Assassin), Blackguard (Paladin), Vampire, Binder (Warlock) and Necromancer (Wizard). Instead it was like going to a new place hoping to make new friends only to get there and find six guys you already know waving you over to join them. They’re not a bad group, but you specifically came here to meet new people. If you wanted to hang out with these guys you’d have stayed where you were.

D&D Encounters: Dark Legacy of Evard – Pre-Generated Characters from Wizards of the Coast

PDFs of the stock card pre-generated characters Wizards of the Coast provided last season are available for download, see D&D Encounters: Pre-Generated Character. These characters are also available in character builder.

D&D Encounters: Dark Legacy of Evard – Pre-Generated Characters from Dungeon’s Master

If you’re interested in trying something new and don’t have time to create your own character, we’ve created four new characters that we think you might enjoy. All four are built using materials from the Players Option: Heroes of Shadow.

A big thanks to Captain Spud from Lost Hemisphere for converting the CB files into character cards that so closely resemble the ones Wizards of the Coast uses.

UPDATELevel 3 versions of these pre-generated characters are now available.

Byshir
Female Vryloka
Blackguard (Vice of Fury)
Difficulty **
Download High Resolution (1.7 MB)
Download Character Builder file
Download PDF
Dolora
Female Tiefling
Cleric (Death Domain)
Difficulty **
Download High Resolution (1.7 MB)
Download PDF
Drenda
Female Eladrin
Vampire
Difficulty ***
Download High Resolution (1.7 MB)
Download Character Builder file
Download PDF
Miranna
Female Shade
Binder (Gloom Pact)
Difficulty **
Download High Resolution (1.7 MB)
Download Character Builder file
Download PDF

Visit the Dungeon’s Master D&D Encounters Archive for all of our ongoing weekly coverage as well as other great D&D Encounters articles and resources.

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{ 22 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Sentack April 29, 2011 at 9:52 am

I was thinking, while the pre-gens you provide are nice, they are in the Builder format. Could you create some kind of 1 page PDF version of these characters much like the original pre-gens? You don’t need to come up with a fancy background or character image but I was thinking, it would be nice to be able to pass out simple 1 page character sheets that list all the powers in a consolidated format, plus provided space to scribble notes, HP’s, and loot.

Just a thought.

2 Ameron April 29, 2011 at 10:00 am

@Sentack
My intent was to also provide these alternate pre-gens as PDF files. However, after last week’s update, I haven’t been able to create PDFs from character builder. I like your idea of just creating a home brew one-page summary. I’ll work on that over the weekend and get something posted before the first game on May 11.

If anyone can convert these CB files into PFDs for me I would be greatly appreciative.

3 froth April 29, 2011 at 10:15 am

i havent played encounters since they started the inane player restrictions, and reading this just validates my decision. terrible idea

still waiting on that alternate organized play they mention months and months ago. you know, the one where you are allowed to play 4e pcs

4 Liam Gallagher April 29, 2011 at 11:58 am

@froth – You’re allowed to play 4e characters in D&D Encounters. Who has been disallowing you? For this past season there has been a 4e character at my table every single night. You should check out the podcasts at http://www.shatteredsea.com … perhaps.

5 Ragnarok April 29, 2011 at 12:22 pm

I guess it is close to a year now of Encounters and I think the biggest complaint is that you have to start at level 1 every time.

6 Ameron April 29, 2011 at 12:42 pm

@Ragnarok
I absolutely agree. In fact I may even let the players at my table play leveled up versions of their character for season 5. It’s easy enough to scale the encounters. The real trick is to keep things simple for brand new players and not require them to jump in with a character above level 1.

7 Lahrs April 29, 2011 at 1:20 pm

@Liam – I am under the impression, and I will look at my materials when I get home from work to confirm it, that officially only Essentials are allowed and this is the new format they will use for all Encounters programs. However, I am also under the impression that this is a rule commonly tossed at the game store and since Wizards has no way of confirming it, this will likely not change.

Last week I finally bought a one year subscribed to Insider just so I can level up the monsters easier, as like Ameron, I plan on allowing my players to either continuing using the current characters (most midway through level 3) or allow them to bring in new characters starting at level 3. After four seasons, my regulars are quite tired of restarting. Again, against Wizards official stance, but I am sure they are more pleased I am bringing new people to D&D than they would be if I disallowed 4E and only allowed level 1.

As a side note, I am running the first LFR campaign in our town specifically designed to so people can play an entire career and I am quite excited to get it started. Not sure how familiar everyone is with LFR, but I am starting off with SPEC2-1, The Scourge of Scornubel. Very excited.

8 Captain Spud April 29, 2011 at 1:48 pm

@Ameron – “If anyone can convert these CB files into PFDs for me I would be greatly appreciative.”

I may be able to turn them into pregen-formatted blocks for you if you can wait until Sunday.

I’ll shoot you an e-mail.

9 Ameron April 29, 2011 at 2:07 pm

@Captain Spud
That would be great! In the mean time I’ll print hard copies from CB, scan each page, and then post them as high-res downloads some time this weekend.

10 Kenneth McNay April 29, 2011 at 4:13 pm

are we certain that they are not releasing new pre-gens? where is the reference for that?

I’m planning to allow players to choose PC options from any published material as long as it doesn’t detract from the flavor of the setting, but I’m making characters as a back-up collection using only Essentials as the guideposts. newcomers without a character can look at the pre-gens or the back-up collection.

this last season we stuck to the rule of Essentials only, but are not very pleased to be lacking Bard, Barbarian, Sorcerer, Monk, Ritual Casting, Brawler Fighters, Beastmaster Rangers, Marauder Rangers, Assassins, Warlocks, Warlords, and all sorts of other published material not available through Essentials content.

11 Ameron April 29, 2011 at 6:14 pm

@Kenneth McNay
I picked up my DM’s Kit yesterday. The pre-gens provided were the exact same as the ones provided in season 4. There was no indication that any other new pre-gens would be provided. In fact Fargrim and Valenae are on the cover of the new Adventure.

Visit Dungeon’s Master tomorrow for a preview of what’s in store during season 5, Dark Legacy of Evard

12 Alton April 29, 2011 at 7:19 pm

got mine yesterday also. Looks kind of cool, but right now, seems nothing will be topping season 4. I thought it was well written from the first read. This one will take some planning. I have thought to also let my players start level 3. I get mostly all the same players every week and they are tired of 1st level characters also.

13 Kenneth McNay April 30, 2011 at 12:20 pm

too bad. thanks for the confirmation. I’ll drop by my FLGS to pick up my organizer’s packet today.

14 Feeroper April 30, 2011 at 11:38 pm

Hey Ameron – I sent you PDFs of the character sheets . I sent both Essentials style character sheets and the CB style sheets in case anyone has a preference.

15 Lahrs May 2, 2011 at 12:49 am

The cards are fantastic, very well done. Normally I would be excited to print them and use them in my campaign, but we will definitely be going the level three route this season. Still, I am going to file them away for a Game Day or LFR session in the future, I am sure someone will wish to try their hand at a Heroes of Shadows character and these will be great to have on hand.

16 Captain Spud May 2, 2011 at 12:10 pm

@ Lahrs – I can whip up an alternate set of level 3 pregen cards toward the middle of the week.

17 Lahrs May 3, 2011 at 6:26 pm

That would be great, thank you.

18 Astrolounge May 5, 2011 at 6:06 pm

Those character cards look awesome, I especially like the quote on the vampire’s card. Although I think the Vampire’s initiative bonus is wrong, it should be +4 not +0 since it’s based off of Dexterity.

19 Astrolounge May 5, 2011 at 6:19 pm

Sorry for the double post, but I just noticed that the vampire’s regeneration should be equal to her charisma modifier at 2, rather than 3, and Dark Beckoning targets Will not Fortitude. And Blood Drinker is a “no action” power that works as a rider on another attack, not a standard action. Also Blood Drinker should have range “Personal” not “Ranged 10″. Also, the death warpriest’s Tenebrous Blessing gives a -3 to damage rolls not attack rolls. Also …A number of other things on all of the characters now that I read them over – oh… wait a minute, you crafty fellow you! Are you making a subtle dig at all of Wizards of the Coast’s pregens from all the past seasons that have always had swaths of errors? That’s actually a nice touch if it was intentional.

20 captainspud May 5, 2011 at 10:57 pm

Nope, I just got really confused by all the spam of numbers on the cards when typing them up, which resulted in a couple (yes, I’m calling that A COUPLE. :P) mistakes. I sent Ameron versions with a few corrections, but I definitely didn’t catch all that. Looks like he’s getting yet another zip file tonight. :D

21 geekofelvenkind May 9, 2011 at 6:27 pm

Any chance there’s a template available somewhere that could be used to create more of these? Thanks!

22 Seb Wiers May 27, 2011 at 8:13 pm

@Ameron – have you considered setting sample character sheets up more like monster statblocks? By this I mean having a section for each action type (Standard, Minor, Free, Reaction, Move – leaving out ones they don’t have, of course).

When deciding what to do what the source of a power is (utility, attack, etc) but what sort of action it takes it makes a HUGE difference.

I did this for my (3rd level Druid Sentinel) PC, and find it makes play much faster; when I have a minor “left over”, I’m not scanning in the middle of all my power descriptions to see if they are a minor action. It not only makes play faster, but it makes me more effective, since I can plan out synergistic combos of move / standard / minor (+ AP) much more easily, and almost never end up “throwing away” a move or minor.

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