If you use “Monstrous Adventurers” from “Volo’s Guide to Monsters” for a PC, do you use a background?

I was looking at “Volo’s Guide to Monsters”, the section on “Monstrous Adventurers”, and wondered whether you include a background when you use that to create a character of one of the species listed there. It doesn’t say in the section, and there aren’t any sample characters. I think that many of the backgrounds listed in the PHB wouldn’t be applicable for some of the species.

Is an Adventurers League DM allowed to adjust an encounter to max out the combat XP reward?

I DM an AL group of four. They agree to create new level 1 characters (they are experienced), but ask me to adjust the combat to give maximum possible XP in an adventure, in case they miss out the non-combat XP reward, so they can advance more quickly.

The easiest to do this is by increasing the number of enemies, especially the less threatening ones, like kobolds, zombies, etc.

I try to search AL DMG and found this part (emphasis mine):

You can also adjust the adventure on the fly, beyond the guidelines given in the adventure, or make other changes as you see fit in order to insure your players have a good time.

AL FAQ (emphasis mine):

Sometimes characters fall behind the adventure’s expected level. In these situations, there are two main methods of supplementing character experience. […]

Random Encounters. You can’t grant players roleplaying experience to make up the deficit; however, they may add random encounters as needed (assuming the adventure provides a list of random encounters). See below for more guidance on random encounters.

[…]

The FAQ states that to give more XP to players, you can only use two methods, one of them is giving random encounter, if the adventure has a list of random of encounter.

This makes me think that adding more enemies (or changing the enemies with more XP ones) for the sole reason of guaranteeing maximum XP for each adventure is not in line with the spirit of AL, and wondering if this is ever within the bounds of AL DM “empowered to alter an encounter”.

Is giving more enemies than the guidelines (for very strong) or changing the types, for the reason to guarantee max XP, allowed for an AL DM?

Relevant: What are Adventurers League DMs empowered to do for encounter scaling purposes?

How is PC experience calculated when higher level CR allies help in Adventurers League?

The recent adventure Tomb of Annihilation released by WotC includes allies that can join the party. As an open-world adventure spanning multiple PC levels and Tiers, PCs could potentially gain allies more powerful than themselves such as the NPCs below.

Spoilers:

How does one calculate awarded experience when the PCs have allies that are more powerful than themselves in Adventurers League?

We are wondering if there is an official formula – something like:

$ $ \text{Awarded_XP} = \text{Received_XP} \times \frac{\text{Expected CR}}{\text{Actual CR}}$ $

As opposed to the answers to the question Determining "level" of an NPC ally for purpose of budgeting encounter XP, we are looking for official Adventurers League guidance or acceptable practices — not homebrew suggestions.

What is the reason Adventurers League games don’t allow DMG variant rules, such as Flanking?

Our home games have been running with the Variant Rule: Flanking while playing on a grid. It came to a surprise to us, when we first played in the Adventurer’s League, that Flanking is not allowed in AL play.

I’m considering adapting the no-flanking rule in our home games now, and was wondering what comment or statements WotC have said about why they don’t allow flanking in AL. I am hoping to gain insight on which to base a decision.

To be clear, I’m not looking for an answer on whether I should or should not allow flanking (this would obviously differ from table to table), neither am I inviting speculation as to the reason why AL doesn’t allow it. I am looking for a WotC-representative (or similar) commentary on why the DMG rule variants, especially flanking, is not allowed in organized Adventurer’s League play.

Who is the narrator of Sword Coast Adventurers Guide?

Some of the Sword Coast Adventurers Guide appears to be written from an in-universe character in first person. Evidence of this can be found throughout, but as an example, from the section on Evereska, p. 82:

I would be remiss if I didn’t mention Evereska, but I will be brief for I have no desire to publish all its secrets. I shall endeavor to describe my own homeland in as unbiased a way as I might, but I must warn: I am a daughter of the Greycloak Hills, and its mists yet roil through my soul as surely as elven blood does through my veins.

So from the above we can assume the narrator is a female elf or half-elf. However, I have been unable to find any mention by name, such as an intro like the one at the beginning of Volo’s Guide to Monsters.

Who is the narrator of Sword Coast Adventurers Guide?

Does the Adventurers League’s “PHB+1” rule also apply to received magical items?

Yesterday, I was playing an Adventurers League game with a Bugbear character (from Volo’s Guide to Monsters). I am aware of the Adventurers League’s PHB+1 rule, which prevents me from using material from other D&D 5e sourcebooks, like Xanathar’s Guide to Everything.

However, I received a magical item that comes from Xanathar’s Guide to Everything, and I’m wondering if I’m now violating the PHB+1 rule or not.

Does the Adventurers League’s “PHB+1” rule also apply to received magical items?

Paying for my character’s raise dead in D&D Adventurers League

In Adventurers League, Level 1-4 characters can be typically returned from the dead by a faction boon.

At Level 5 and up, they’re required to pay for their own raise dead-type spell.

If I have a character who is (for example) Level 7, with 700 GP, and this character dies, what options do I have for returning this character to play after the session in which they died?

I’m asking for both DM and non-DM options (DMs get DM Awards from running adventures, so they’ve got different options potentially available).

Can I sell starting gear in Adventurers League play?

I’m starting a new AL game (as a player) and I have a question that’s not addressed in the AL material.

According to Adventurers League Player’s Guide (page 4)

When you create your D&D Adventurers League character for the current season, take starting equipment as determined by your class and background. You cannot roll for your starting wealth.

Meaning I can’t start with whatever I want. However, I am playing a ranged-focused fighter, so the second gear option is of no use to me:

  • (a) a martial weapon and a shield or (b) two martial weapons

Can I choose any two martial weapons and sell them for half price to use for purchasing other gear before play? And is there a restriction on how much gold I can get?

For example, two hand crossbows (martial ranged weapons) can net me 75 gp when sold, or two greatswords nets me 50 gp when sold.