D&D Encounters – Only On Wednesday

by Ameron (Derek Myers) on September 30, 2011

I was contacted by Wizards and asked to clarify and correct some details I recently posted in my D&D Encounters articles and the follow-up comments; specifically details about playing on nights other than Wednesday. I was asked to post a correction and clear up any confusion my comments might have caused.

During the D&D Public Play seminar held at GenCon this summer there was some discussion about playing D&D Encounters on nights other than Wednesdays. I wrote in my articles that although D&D Encounters happen in most locations on Wednesday, Wizards understand that this will not always be the case for every store. Where I was mistaken was in saying that Wizards was ok if your FLGS runs D&D Encounters on a different night. Apparently I misunderstood the intent of what was said.

Wizards wants to be very clear that they are “committed to our program’s structure, and we do not want stores to think it’s OK to run on nights other than Wednesdays.” Wednesday is the mandatory day to run D&D Encounters. Wizard does periodically check to ensure that stores run D&D Encounters sessions on Wednesdays. If they discover that a store is not compliant, it can lead to punitive action (such as pulling the program from the store).

Stores can run whatever other D&D events they want on any other night and schedule or report their sessions under the “D&D Game” sanction rule. If the store organizer has any questions about it or how it’s done, they can contact their WPN representative.

I realize that my comments about it being ok to play D&D Encounters on other nights of the week, comments that I now realize were made in error, may have caused some confusion. Hopefully this post will clear up any misunderstandings and set the record straight.

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 Eric Paquette September 30, 2011 at 7:48 am

When we can’t run a game on a Wednesday (usually holidays), we have in the past run 2 sessions on the next available Wednesday. We haven’t done so in a while but as the holiday season is approaching, we might do that again.

2 froth September 30, 2011 at 8:03 am

That’s crazy

3 Thorynn September 30, 2011 at 8:28 am

Boo to encounters nazis. WotC sure does love to alienate their dwindling fan base.

4 BeanBag September 30, 2011 at 8:34 am

Your overlords are pleased by your lack intransigence.

Such is the price for suckling at the Teat of Knowledge.

5 Ameron (Derek Myers) September 30, 2011 at 8:41 am

Before this becomes a forum for slamming Wizards let me jump to their defense. They made a very reasonable request. I’d incorrectly stated in more than one article that you can play D&D Encounters any night you want when that’s not in fact the case.

The last thing I want is for your FLGS to get in any trouble or loose their D&D Encounter program all together based on advice you got from Dungeon’s Master. This is not an official Wizards of the Coast website, but we do have a lot of readers that play D&D and a lot that come here specifically for our D&D Encounters write-ups.

One of the reasons Wizards asked us to make this clarification was because they know we reach a lot of gamers who play D&D Encounters. I was actually a little bit flattered that Wizards felt our website had suitable credibility and influence for my statements to possibly impact how people run D&D Encounters.

6 Ameron (Derek Myers) September 30, 2011 at 8:43 am

@Eric Paquette
Running a make-up game the following Wednesday is allowed according to the email Wizards sent me. So you’re not bending the rules.

7 Blake Withers September 30, 2011 at 8:58 am

wow wizards… way to make yourselves look sympathetic….

8 Eric Paquette September 30, 2011 at 8:58 am

For those slamming Wizards for their decision regarding Encounters, please note there are other programs available any day like Lair Assault and Living Forgotten Realms.

Personally, I find having a program dedicated to one day is easier to manage and advertise.

9 froth September 30, 2011 at 10:11 am

Ameron does this mean you’re cancelling your other game, or just not talking about it?

10 Thorynn September 30, 2011 at 10:18 am

The first rule of sunday encounters is no one talks about sunday encounters.

11 Ameron (Derek Myers) September 30, 2011 at 10:41 am

@froth
I’m going to talk to the organizers at my FLGS that run D&D Encounters on an alternate night and remind them that they should run it Wednesday if possible. But I think Thorynn’s comment sums up the reality nicely. ;)

12 Pedro Rodrigues September 30, 2011 at 10:46 am

@Eric Paquete:

If you mean that its that or nothing, then ya, its easier.

I personally know at least a store (a better one that the current where we play) and half a dozen players (which means another table at least) that wont do Encounters because of that inflexibility from Wizards, and im myself have to do quite some rescheduling to play; this will just be another reason why i wont play next season.

That, coupled with the fact that they wont release past seasons, are doing more harm than good.

They said plenty in Gen Con, but this just proves they were just blowing up air; very disappointing.

13 Eric Paquette September 30, 2011 at 11:10 am

@ Pedro Rodrigues

No, I mean that it easier to advertise “Game on Wednesday” and thus people show up on Wednesday as they know it is game night. Also, you get the marketing power of WotC behind it.

“Game on whenever” leads to confusion. People don’t know when the game is till it is announced and usually at the last minute.

Additionally, it is not that or nothing. As I mentioned before, there are variety of programs available (ie. Lair Assault, Living Forgotten Realms) . I just can’t tell you when because they are on a ” Game on whenever” schedule.

14 Pedro Rodrigues September 30, 2011 at 11:29 am

@ Eric Paquette

Game on whenever?! Only a very dumb store manager wouldnt announce the game sessions, and they should set them at a regular time (this would not be a group gathering at the store instead of at home); the problem is Wizards insisting on setting themselves a regular event schedule that should be done by the store manager, that knows best his and their clients schedule.

As for find such schedules, there is a central database on the Wizards site itself, with a friendly “Find your nearest store/session” web app, with the link right on the homepage and major pages.

I have no problem with Wizards setting a date for a specific event like D&D Day, that has a completely different logistics and reason of being.

But having Wizards dictate when a regular event should run, without alternatives, is limiting the audience of the event, something that goes totally against the intent of the event.

And its that intent (and respective audience) that differentiates it from LFR and especially Lair, so they cannot be considered valid alternatives.

15 Pedro Rodrigues September 30, 2011 at 11:32 am

@Eric Paquette

One point i forgot: those “Encounters at Wednesday” banners can easily be replace with a link to that nearest store/session page: there once were such banners.

16 Randilin September 30, 2011 at 2:32 pm

I’m more then a little surprised by their reaction and threats to punish non-compliant stores. WOW! But at the same time they do provide the modules and a lot of promotional material so that does mean they get to make the rules. One of the local stores is considering turning that into a D&D night and just encourage people to come play D&D in the store on that night.

Things like the Games Days have always had a set release date so it isn’t like this is really anything new.

17 Skeeter September 30, 2011 at 2:44 pm

I totally understand where Wizards is coming from. WOTC provides all the advertising, promotion, materials, etc at no charge. In my mind, that gives them the right to control logistics such as what day the game is to be played. WOTC wants to assure current and future players that this is a Wednesday event.

THis is analagous to CBS national telling CBS local affiliate when to play a particular TV show. If the show is for Wed night, then the local affiliate has to play it Wed night, even if the local affiliate thinks Tuesday or Thursday might work out better.

18 OnlineDM October 1, 2011 at 1:46 pm

Poop. I was all excited about the prospect of being able to DM encounters in the fall/winter/spring months when I have bowling league on Wednesday nights. The store owner was interested in switching to Tuesdays instead of Wednesdays, in part so I could run it. So much for that idea.

19 Astrolounge October 1, 2011 at 11:45 pm

So… WotC remain morons. Noted.

20 Sunyaku October 2, 2011 at 9:35 pm

NO ONE EXPECTS THE WOTC INQUISITION!!! We shall run our public play program with ruthless efficiency! Encounters shall be Wednesday, and Wednesday shall be the day of the Encountering.

Ah well, our FLGS has always run the Encounters program. Once a day is stuck into everyone’s schedule, and other gamer events are scheduled around it, the schedule becomes very difficult to change.

21 DM October 3, 2011 at 5:58 am

So we can’t run Friday Night Magic on Tuesdays??? Oh no, WotC are the Gestapo!!

I expected that old, fat, bald, bearded virgin bastard Greyhawk Grognard to pick up on this and start jerking off his chain at you, Ameron (from http://greyhawkgrognard.blogspot.com/2011/10/fun-shall-be-had-on-wednesdays-only.html):

“But what’s even more chilling is that WotC is seemingly monitoring gaming blogs and making sure that The Official Line is being properly disseminated. It should be pointed out that Dungeon’s Master is an obsequious 4E slobbering love-fest*, so WotC is possibly more likely to pay attention to that blog than others who have a less “tow the company line” philosophy”
“* From another recent post on the same blog: Before proceeding I must admit that my gaming experience is limited. My introduction to D&D (and RPGs) was in 2009 shortly after 4e launched. My gaming knowledge and experience has grown considerably in the past two years, but I come to the hobby without preconception of previous editions or the baggage that often accompanies it.”

Why do the RPG Bloggers Network allow this old loser to spread such bile about other gamers on their blogs list? Just to let you know, this is a guy who is trying to sell “OSR” (Old Sod Reunion) stuff via BRW Games. Just so you know what products to boycott/illegally download in order to ruin their business.

22 Dethand October 6, 2011 at 3:39 pm

WotC makes decisions that are not always taken in the best light. Many people feel it justifies their particular point of view considering the way in which WotC conducts themselves in regards to their player base.

It is WotC’s event and they are welcome to do whatever they feel like with it.

Either play or don’t.

Personal slurs and calling for illegal downloads of a persons self publishing efforts shows that you have little place in this hobby or in any other gaming environment outside of FPS’s.

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