Dungeons & Dragons (D&D) is scrapping a character creation rule in its Adventurers League official play format.
The D&D Adventurers League Team recently announced that beginning with the Masters and Historic campaign documents releasing this week, players will no longer be constrained to the Player’s Handbook + 1 (PH + 1) rule, which has governed character creation and development since the fifth edition.
The PH + 1 rule states that players can only create characters using races, classes, subclasses, feats, spells, backgrounds, and other options found in the Player’s Handbook and in one additional fifth edition sourcebook of the player’s choosing. The rule was originally put in place to maintain character balance, as new rules options were only being playtested with the assumption a player only possessed a Player’s Handbook.
Some players, however, find the PH + 1 rule too restrictive that they’re having difficulty making ideal characters for Adventurers League play. To remedy this, the D&D Adventurers League Team has laid out new guidelines that aim to balance player agency over their character’s rules options with rules that are intuitive and easy for Dungeon Masters and players to communicate.
Rules options have now been broken down into different categories: big rules expansions, specific world rules options, and some assorted digital-only supplements. Big rules expansions like Player’s Handbook, Volo’s Guide to Monsters, Xanathar’s Guide to Everything, Mordenkainen’s Tome of Foes, and Tasha’s Cauldron of Everything will be legal in all campaigns.
Setting-specific Adventurers League campaigns, meanwhile, will additionally have access to books made for those campaigns. For instance, players in campaigns set in the Forgotten Realms can use options from Sword Coast Adventurer’s Guide.
Players in Seasonal Campaigns can also use options from the associated hardcover book. For the complete list of what sourcebooks players can use in certain campaigns, click here.
Because of the changes that the new guidelines bring to existing Masters and Historic characters, players are allowed to rebuild their characters using all options made available to them in those campaigns. The Seasonal Campaign will also update to this new system once the next storyline kicks off later in the year.