Recently, the admins of Adventurers League made a major rules announcement:
You can also read here for a detailed explanation as to why.
This a pretty exciting change after Season 10 introduced some pretty controversial changes (which have effectively been reversed) in 2020, which led to a lot of grumbling among D&D players on Discord. I remember some people talking about taking their business over to Pathfinder official play instead.1
The AL admin community evidentially did some serious thinking and finally, finally gave us an updated, compact, easy to understand set of player rules. I for one am genuinely excited to play again.
However, I also have a problem. When the transition from Season 9 to Season 10 began, a number of rules were introduced for character conversions, and such, and now with another move to a standard set of rules for the Forgotten Realms, some of my old characters are converting twice. Technically, no conversion is strictly required, but with the end of Season 9 players were encouraged to rebuild for either “historic” or “seasonal” and I did that for at least some of my old characters. Other old characters just got forgotten.
With the new rules, a lot of options opened up and rebuilding again is an option:
Whenever you could gain a level (even if you decline), you may rebuild any aspect of your character.Adventure’s League Player’s Guide for the Forgotten Realms
With this in mind, I’ve been looking at all my AL characters up to this point, old and new. Some were too old and haven’t been played in so long that I decided retire2 them. I decided to keep my oldest character, Qisandoral, after dragging him out of retirement in season 10 during a brief window when they allowed a one-time rebuild. Using the rule above, I tweaked him a bit more but adjusting his feats a bit (he uses ice magic a lot, so I gave him Elemental Adept). In one case, I decided to rebuild my favorite Nature cleric from scratch, new name, level one, etc.
For newer characters, I have also taken advantage of the rules above, plus new options for character backgrounds and such to rebuild them as well. My elf-samurai Heian Amakiiro got the Far Traveller background now, which fits his character better. In the end, I wanted to have at least 1-3 characters per tier (I have no tier-4 characters as of writing), and it has been nice to finally “clean house”.
I, like many other players, are excited by the new ruleset, which will hopefully stay somewhat stable going forward. I have seen the rules change a number of times since I started in Season 8, and keeping up with the changing rules has been exhausting. However, my sense is the the AL admins want to come up with a simpler, more flexible set of rules that can run on auto-pilot going forward. And I for one fully support that. 😄
1 Needless to say, I did Pathfinder once and don’t plan on doing it again. To some degree, I blame that particular DM, who just wanted cool combat campaigns without any real plot. But I also got tired of the complicated character creation, tracking feats, and pressure to min/max.
2 “Retirement” here isn’t as dramatic as it sounds. I just exported and backed up their character sheets from DnD Beyond, and saved their logs into a different folder. If I really wanted to, I could still bring them back. Unlikely, though. I would more likely build a fresh, new version of that character instead.