This is Sidney, one of the two Dungeon Masters for the Bates Extra Life Challenge (and a player for the other half of the event). It's currently half an hour past midnight - I've spent the evening so far getting ready for the adventure the next morning.
Being a Dungeon Master for an event like this is mostly going to be a test of stamina. I've signed up for the even-numbered episodes of Hoard of the Dragon Queen, and my co-DM Ben Campbell recently noted that they're a lot longer than their odd-numbered counterparts. I've prepared for an extensive infiltration scene, a long road journey, and a raid on not one but two fully-garrisoned castles. I think I'm ready for this.
Being a player for the event, however, will require a mixture of cunning and luck. Reports abound of groups of six or seven player characters getting decimated in the first episode (note: not one that I'm running), and with only two other players in our group our ability to breeze through fights is extremely questionable. Now, do I have an advantage because I've read the adventure? Of a sort. I know exactly how dismal our odds are. In preparation, I've created a survival-focused character:
- Zasheir Khalid is a human noble who serves the god of bravery, carefully crafted to help the party (and himself) survive many tough fights.
- Kerri Windreaver is a barbarian outlander. Her grandmother was a famous dragon slayer, and she's following in her familial footsteps, focusing on a grappling fighting style.
- Thamior Nightbreeze, a Wood Elf archer with a shady past. He's on the lookout for a childhood friend kidnapped by dragon-worshipping cultists.
- Kellen "Badger" Timbers, a gnomish potter who studies magic in his spare time. He's having apocalyptic dreams and travels to the small town of Greenest looking for answers.