Dungeons & Dragons Starter Set Misc. Supplies – July 15, 2014
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CHOKING HAZARD -- Small parts. Not for children under 3 yrs.
From the Publisher
Products are hard—they have to straddle quality, price, fidelity, and approachability. They need to remain true to the rules while being easy to learn. They need to provide a good representation of what the product line is like while remaining an impulse buy. The D&D Starter Set does this well, with rules that can be grasped quickly balanced by a price that's hard to argue with.
From the Designers
Get started playing Dungeons & Dragons with the Starter Set! Containing everything you need to leap into a D&D adventure, this boxed set is designed for five to six players, with one of you taking on the role of the game’s lead storyteller, the Dungeon Master.
Join thousands of other D&D players who have experienced the exciting adventure in the box: 'Lost Mine of Phandelver,' a 64-page booklet for the DM to read.
If you’d like to learn even more about D&D, the Starter Set is a perfect jumping-off point, leading next to the main Dungeons & Dragons books: the Player’s Handbook, Monster Manual, and Dungeon Master’s Guide.
About Dungeons & Dragons
An innovator in providing contemporary fantasy entertainment, Dungeons & Dragons is the wellspring for the entire modern game industry, digital as well as tabletop. Fifth edition D&D draws from every prior edition to create a universally compelling play experience, and exemplifies the true spirit of a game that holds captive the hearts and minds of millions of players worldwide.
- The set includes all the dice, spells, monsters, and magic items you need to play the adventure.
- D&D rules are distilled into a 32-page rulebook that’s focused on playing characters of levels 1–5.
- Choose one of these characters: a dwarf cleric, an elf wizard, a halfling rogue, or a noble fighter.
Inside the Dungeons & Dragons Starter Set:
Five Ready-to-Play Characters
In D&D, you create characters and play their roles in a story. Choose from a halfling rogue, seeking revenge against a traitorous ally. An elven wizard, called to duty by the god of knowledge—these five characters are ready for adventure, and great models for future characters.
In-game outcomes are sometimes determined by chance. Does the ogre believe your outrageous bluff? Does your dagger pierce the dragon’s scales or merely scuff them? These six dice help decide.
In D&D, the story is guided by your actions, and your actions are guided by the rules.
'I hurl the brazier of hot coals into the monster’s face,' a player says. What happens next is up to you, the Dungeon Master, and this book.
Adventure Book: The Lost Mine of Phandelver
This book is for the Dungeon Master. As the Dungeon Master, you’re the game’s narrator and referee. You’ll play the roles of the monsters and villains your players encounter as they battle and plunder their way through Never winter.
|PLAYER’S HANDBOOK||MONSTER MANUAL||DUNGEON MASTER’S GUIDE||STARTER SET|
|Get this to:||Learn to play D&D, create characters, expand your skills||Create monsters, discover lore to inspire your adventures, get guidelines for using monsters in-game||Run and modify your adventures, encounters, and campaigns, discover lore to inspire your stories||Learn to play D&D, join your first adventure, get pregenerated characters|
|Audience:||New & experienced players, new & experienced Dungeon Masters||New & experienced Dungeon Masters||New & experienced Dungeon Masters||New players & Dungeon Masters|
|Contents:||Walkthrough of building D&D characters / Rules for roleplaying and combat / Directory of 350+ spells with descriptions and illustrations||Guidelines for populating your adventures with iconic D&D monsters / 150+ monsters illustrated in vivid color / 400+ tables with rules for each monster / History and lore to inspire your adventures||Rules and inspiration for running your adventures / Guidelines for non-player character creation / 240+ magic items with desciptions, lore, and illustrations / Dozens of tables to inspire in-game outcomes||Adventure book with everything the Dungeon Master needs to get started / Rulebook for playing characters level 1–5 / 5 pregenerated characters, with character sheet / 6 dice|
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The Starter Set’s got a rulebook, the adventure Lost Mine of Phandelver, some character sheets (a few pregenerated characters AKA pregens and one blank sheet), and a set of dice (1 each of d4, d6, d8, d12 and d20 and 2 of the d10s, one of which has the double-digits marking it as a percentile die).
I could maybe argue about this set missing character creation, but…no. It’s perfect for the name Starter Set. Let’s take a deeper look.
Starter Set Rulebook
The Starter Set Rulebook is a 32-page instruction manual for playing Dungeons & Dragons. There aren’t any character creation rules in this rulebook; basic level advancement tips specific to the pregenerated characters are listed on the individual character sheets. Since pages 23-31 cover the spells available to Wizards and Clerics and page 32 is a summary of the Conditions, this book is a very slim, very concise rules reference for understanding the mechanics of D&D.
1. How to Play
The first chapter quickly explains what the D&D roleplaying experience is all about, featuring an example of play nicely mixed in with the descriptive text, then goes on to explain the dice used to play the game, how character abilities work, and the ability, skill, and saving throw checks that players will be making during play.
I won’t get into what D&D is — you should know if you’re here, or you’ll figure it out very quickly once you pick up the Starter Set or the Player’s Handbook, or if you watch Critical Role, or…well, let’s just leave it at that if you’re reading this review ??
How it plays, though, is something worth talking about, whether you are entirely new to D&D or just the 5th Edition of the game. Let’s break it down as simply as possible:
*Your character has six Ability Scores — Strength, Dexterity, Constitution, Intelligence, Wisdom, and Charisma — rated 3-18 (with some potential exceptions), and a table tells you what the modifier is for each score (i.e. a score of 12-13 is a +1 modifier, 14-15 is a +2 modifier, etc.).
*Your character has a Race — elf, dwarf, human, or halfling — that provides those potential exceptions I just mentioned, increasing certain Ability Scores favored by that specific race, and thus also the modifier.
*Your character has a Class that tells you what sorts of skills and abilities they are especially good at. Their Level tells you how experienced they are in that class, and thus gives you an additional modifier that pertains to those class skills and abilities called the Proficiency Bonus.
*Whenever you need to roll a “check” — rolling a die to see if you use a skill or ability successfully or not — you roll 1d20 and add the Ability and Proficiency modifiers to the roll to get a result.
*The Dungeon Master has a difficulty class (DC) set — very easy is 5, easy is 10, medium is 15, hard is 20, very hard 25, and nearly impossible 30 — and if the result beats that number, you succeed. (The DC is often set by existing conditions in the rules or for a monster, so the DM is rarely just pulling this number out of his or her butt.)
Best of all, D&D sums up beneficial or detrimental circumstances — darkness, getting sand kicked into your eyes, special combat maneuvers that set you up to surprise or double-team an opponent with the help of an ally, ambushing opponents from a hiding spot — through advantage (rolling a second d20 and taking the better result) or disadvantage (rolling a second d20 and taking the worse result). You can’t have both advantage and disadvantage (they negate each other), and getting multiple sources of either doesn’t “stack” in some way: you either have advantage, disadvantage, or you roll straight-up, that’s it.
The various Skills are technically available to everyone, but your class (and maybe your race) and your Background (which is sort of like a former occupation, already filled in for the pregenerated characters) tells you which ones you are better at. You also have Saving Throws, which are just ability checks that represent reflexive defenses against certain types of attacks, traps, spells, or environmental factors like poison gas, falling off the edge of a cliff, or the like.
All of that may sound complicated, but really you’re just getting a list of things you are cool at, and the Proficiency Bonus you add to any rolls is the same for every character at every level (+2 up through level 4, +3 at level 5, and so on up to level 20, which doesn’t appear in this Starter Set anyway). The only true variable here is your Ability modifiers and whether or not you are actually Proficient in a given skill or saving throw.
For reference, the skills (and the Ability Score modifier you’d add to rolls using them) are:
*Athletics (based on Strength)
*Acrobatics, Sleight of Hand, and Stealth (all based on Dexterity)
*Arcana, History, Investigation, Nature, and Religion (Intelligence)
*Animal Handling, Insight, Medicine, Perception, and Survival (Wisdom)
*Deception, Intimidation, Performance, and Persuasion (Charisma)
Constitution doesn’t get any skills, probably in some small part due to the fact that it forms the basis of some other traits, like a character’s Hit Points, or HP (how much damage they can take before being knocked out and potentially dying), and comes up as a saving throw quite often against things like poison, many spells, and a special check by spellcasters called a Concentration check that allows them to keep a spell effect in play even if they are getting beat on.
For those of you that have upgraded to the full Player’s Handbook, you’ll find that this chapter is an abbreviated version of the Introduction, followed by the Using Ability Scores chapter. The example of play is ever-so-slightly different in wording from the PHB, showing that it may have been an early edit, but otherwise this is almost a word-for-word reproduction.
The chapter on combat covers one of the most common occurrences in the Dungeons & Dragons game: a battle of wits and skill against opponents, often monstrous in nature, where you employ weapons — swords, axes, bows — and spells against them, and they try to get around your armor and shield (if any) or magical defenses to damage you. The rules are clearly spelled out, showing how the combat round works, how order (Initiative) is established so you know who goes when, and all the permutations attacks and damage available to all, as well as covering various special abilities and how they interact with all of this. In a quick 5 pages, you have everything you need to understand and run combat that can be both tactical and narrative.
Combat really boils down to ability checks like above, but instead of using skills you utilize the Proficiency Bonus you receive from being skilled with certain weapons or spells you employ. A character or monster’s Armor Class (AC) is the difficulty class for the rolls to determine if you hit them (or in some cases, like lots of spells, the opponent rolls a saving throw to avoid the spell’s effects). AC is often determined by armor, whether or not you have a shield equipped, and your Dexterity modifier, though spells, magic items, and the natural hide of some monsters can all modify it.
It should be noted that characters and monsters/Nonplayer Characters (NPCs) die a little differently. When a monster or NPC hits zero (0) hit points, they are dead, unless a DM (rarely) wants to make the call that a particularly dramatically important one follows the rules for Player Characters (PCs). For the PCs, they die at zero hit points only if there is damage leftover that equals or exceeds their hit point maximum. Otherwise, they go unconscious, and if the opponent was trying to kill them, they begin making a special saving throw called a Death Saving Throw on their following turn (unless they are healed of course!). This saving throw doesn’t get the usual Ability Score or Proficiency modifiers: it’s a straight d20 roll vs. a DC of 10, and you tally successes and failures each round until you get either 3 successes (you stabilize and are just out cold until healed) or 3 failures (grab a new character sheet, because your PC is dead!).
The only thing missing is taking the tactical nature of combat to the next level by adding a battle map or using a grid and miniatures to establish positioning, but the nature of the rules themselves — everything is measured in feet, most grids conform to 1? squares = 5 feet — sets players and DMs up to easily integrate those things without any loss of fidelity in the rules.
If you have the PHB, you’ll find this chapter is a word-for-word reproduction of the combat chapter. The only things the PHB adds are additional sidebars that elaborate on the using grids, describing actions and damage, more depth regarding interacting with objects during combat, and improvising actions. Basically, you get some pro tips and some expanded guidelines, but you’re only missing rules on mounted and underwater combat with the Starter Set (which are pretty easy to extrapolate from the system anyway).
The chapter on adventuring in the D&D game covers travel — a risky prospect in a world of fantasy monsters! — healing, experience rewards that boost your character’s ability by leveling them up (this covers Levels 1 through 5), and adventuring gear, including arms and armor. These may seem like disparate topics, but they show that the D&D game is not just one about killing monsters with karate kicks and maybe spells: it’s about being prepared to cross wild country to find new dungeons to loot, resting and restocking your gear so you can take on the next dragon.
This chapter pulls from Adventuring, Equipment, and a little from the Step-by-Step Characters (specifically Beyond 1st Level) chapters of the PHB. The text is pretty much verbatim, but it does skimp on deeper environmental/survival rules, the particulars of detailed overland movement (foraging, forced march, using mounts and vehicles), and that’s about it.
This chapter covers the rules of casting spells and how the mechanics within spell statblocks work. Unlike some games, there’s never really a “check to see whether or not you cast the spell” because in D&D you pretty much just say it and it happens. However, the mechanics of each spell — the descriptions of which take up pages 24-31 — are pretty detailed in how a spell works.
For example, casting a spell like bless is going to effect three of your allies within 30 feet of you, and grants them +1d4 added to their attack rolls to hit an opponent or their saving throws to avoid some detrimental effect cast upon them. This benefit lasts as long as you concentrate on a spell up to 1 minute, so as long as you don’t cast a different “concentration” spell, or pass a check whenever you take damage, or avoid getting killed or incapacitated, you can keep the spell’s effects going. Meanwhile, a spell like magic missile immediately fires darts of energy at up three opponents within 120 feet, dealing 1d4+1 force damage (a special type of damage) with each missile; there’s no attack roll to hit the opponent, unlike some other spells, or when using a weapon like a bow or a sword to attack.
This section is word-for-word from the Spellcasting chapter in the PHB, though once again the PHB features a few more sidebars (such as one about the Forgotten Realms’ Weave explanation for magical power) or additional explanatory pictures (such as for the areas of effect, which get a fun diagram in the PHB). The spells in the Starter Set are pretty much word-for-word from the PHB, too, though admittedly I didn’t check every single word to see if they might have been earlier edits.
Referred to in some spells and on the pregenerated character sheets under certain special abilities are things called Conditions, which are like a “rider effect” that you place onto an opponent (or rarely an ally) that invokes certain mechanical benefits or hindrances for that character so long as they are affected by the condition. For example, a character suffering from the Poisoned condition has disadvantage on all of their attack rolls and ability checks so long as they remain Poisoned.
The best part of this Appendix is that it takes up only the very last, back page of the Starter Set Rulebook, meaning that you just flip the book over and you’ve got a reference for every condition right there. This makes it extremely useful during play.
The PHB features an Appendix for the conditions, but it includes several funny illustrations depicting victims of each condition. Spreading it over multiple pages like that, however, reduces some of the utility compared to the presentation here in the Starter Set.
Lost Mine of Phandelver
The Lost Mine of Phandelver is an exceptional adventure that will take several sessions of play (practically a mini-campaign) to complete, and offers an excellent walk-through of what D&D is all about. There are plenty of opportunities for combat, roleplaying encounters with NPCs and monsters, exploration of wilderness areas (admittedly the weakest link in the adventure), and a heap of advice issued via sidebars for using stealth, bluffing, disguises, and other means of completing quests or defeating opponents without necessarily having to raise your swords or cast combat spells.
The adventure follows this simple outline:
*Introduction. The party is hired by a dwarf named Gundren to drive a wagon of goods from Neverwinter to Phandalin, where they’ll meet him and his bodyguard Sildar and offload the supplies so he can sell them in town.
*Part 1: Goblin Arrows. On their way, the party finds Gundren’s ride got jacked (i.e. his horse was killed) and they track Sildar down to a goblin hideout (the first of two); the goblins sold Gundren off to someone else.
*Part 2: Phandalin. The party heads to the town of Phandalin, and discovers a bunch of bullies have taken the place over. They dispense some Wild West justice and figure out that there are bigger stakes at play.
*Part 3: The Spider’s Web. The party roams around the wilderness completing sidequests and gathering information on their enemy, soon discovering that Gundren had a map to an abandoned mine at Wave Echo Cave, but his captor — The Black Spider — is planning to take control of it.
*Part 4: Wave Echo Cave. The party heads into Wave Echo Cave to save Gundren and stop The Black Spider, but finds the place is a haunted site, hostile to everybody.
While fairly linear, this adventure provides a simple framework that actually has a lot going on, and will test the party with encounters of all types. The free-roaming nature of Part 3: The Spider’s Web opens up some cool, varied side quests and plenty of opportunity for the players to gain Experience Points (XP) for story-related successes and roleplaying encounters, rather than combat and “kill everything in sight” style of play, often known as “kick in the door” style.
The advice throughout is awesomesauce. The core stuff you need to run the adventure as a Dungeon Master is presented throughout when and where appropriate, so it’s not like you just have a story and are told to tell it to the players; you have all the rules and tools you need to adjudicate gameplay, combat, and roleplaying encounters as they crop up. Some sidebars tell you things like What the Goblins Know so if goblins are captured and interrogated you aren’t at a loss to figure out how far into the adventure you should have read but didn’t before the session.
Some other great sidebars and bits of advice:
*NPC Party Members, which explains what to do if and when Sildar (or other NPCs) might join the party for short spurts.
*Various sidebars or sections detailing how to roleplay various NPCs, especially in Phandalin, which can be almost completely a roleplay area rather than a combat area.
*Developments for various sections detailing what happens if the players fail, use stealth or disguises, and other methods of handling alternative or off-the-wall tactics.
You know who doesn’t get roleplay notes? Gundren, the main guy that hires the party and that is the impetus for the adventure. Same with a green dragon involved in one of the side quests, which is kinda messed up given that this is game of Dungeons & DRAGONS.
Although there is a metric ton of roleplay notes throughout, there are some rules from the Dungeon Master’s Guide for determining and modifying NPC attitude that are not in the Starter Set, so there’s a decent amount of DM fiat in any non-combat encounter. A dick DM is going to play their NPCs as dicks, and there’s no mechanics to guide them, just some (admittedly very, very solid) advice.
The freeform section of the adventure often sacrifices good exploration-based encounters and rules for “let’s just move it along.” This leads to a few encounters where the party might get in over the head without much advice for the DM to rein things in, or other areas where exploration involves a string of ability checks with no interesting consequences for failure, retrying, or taking loads of time. Random encounters have existed in D&D for years as a pacing mechanic, and it is all but ignored in this section.
These are very minor nitpicks: the adventure is very, very strong overall, and these issues are not going to break it. They are easily ignored or remedied with a bare minimum of work. (We’ve even talked at length about this in other articles; see the Resources section down below!)
The adventure book closes out with a sampling of critters from the Monster Manual featuring all the creatures and opposing NPCs that crop up in the adventure, and a short list of magic items that the party can come across in their journeys through the various encounter locations. I won’t go into great depth here about individual entries, but suffice it to say that this stuff gives you enough to build your own adventures if you want, and is a good sample of the lower-end of the power cur that you’ll find in the complete game via the real Monster Manual and Dungeon Master’s Guide. (…or the D&D Basic Rules, for that matter.)
The following pregenerated characters each have a character sheet in the Starter Set (race/background/class):
*Human Noble Fighter
*Hill dwarf Soldier Cleric
*Lightfoot halfling Criminal Rogue
*High elf Acolyte Wizard
*Human Folk hero Fighter
You get to fill in the gender and name, but the backstory, personality traits, and everything else is already filled in for you, complete with explanatory text for all their special abilities, so the lack of character creation info in the Starter Set Rulebook won’t hold you back.
The back of each sheet includes the backstory in full, a quick explanation of your race, class and background (both how they fit into the world of D&D as well as the Lost Mine of Phandelver adventure), and enough info on leveling up your character to reach Level 5. Sample names are also listed, so you can just pick one and go.
Also included is a blank character sheet for photocopying in case you’ve got players itching to build their own character with the D&D Basic Rules or the full rules from the Player’s Handbook.
The D&D Starter Set comes in a cardboard box reminiscent of RPGs of yesteryear and board games of…all years? It’s sturdy, mine withstanding 5 sessions of constant use and then untold sessions being loaded down with the hardcover Player’s Handbook and plenty of print outs and looseleaf notes. One corner ripped after I dumped about 10 pounds of books on it by accident, but that’s it; not too shabby. If you plan to haul other books with this box, it’s great because of the extra room, but if you don’t plan to do so, it’s just gonna eat up that much more shelf space.
Why you’re not buying more D&D books to toss in it is beyond me, though.
The two books come on thick, glossy paper that’s very sturdy; they are stapled in the seams, so they aren’t exactly winning awards on the binding, but the sturdiness of the paper suggests this won’t really compromise them. In fact, this setup helps the books lay flat so you can oogle the amazing artwork, fantastic Mike Schley map work, and reference rules or adventure material without wrestling with the book. The books are well organized, the table of contents all you need for navigation (except maybe for a few sidebars), and the adventure gives you everything you need to understand up-front, so you’re not left wondering what the hell an adventure is, what this one is about, or any other major details, something later adventures (Out of the Abyss, I’m looking at you!) didn’t learn from.
The character sheets are thick cardstock, and are also well laid out for easy referencing for the players. I could totally see using them as-is, but they are so nice I’d suggest photocopying them or just downloading the PDF and printing it out. Wizards has released more pregens through Dungeon Masters Guild, and I have a couple in my FREE STUFF! section.
The blank character sheet is the generic Adventurer’s League version (available here as well), and is on a glossy, thick paper similar to the rulebook and adventure, which makes it absolutely useless for daily use, but it’ll last forever, so you can photocopy the hell outta it for the rest of your natural life if that’s what you wanna do.
The dice are a solid blue color with white numbers that are large and easy to read. Mine didn’t roll particularly well, allowing my players to steamroll through Part 1: Goblin Arrows of Lost Mine of Phandelver, but them’s the breaks.
After spending a few hours perusing this set, I was impressed with the detail. I was expecting something a lot more dumbed down. This goes in depth with four different types of character classes, several different races, the basic mechanics of the game, and even pointers on how to approach some of those aspects.
If you are a beginner DM, it really takes you step-by-step through the entire Adventure even giving alternate paths that can be taken by the Player Characters. There are lots of tips on how to approach the many different encounters in the campaign.
If you are thinking about playing Dungeons & Dragons, I highly recommend starting with this Starter Set. It's a very nominal investment that charges you right into battle so to speak. It spells out almost everything you need to determine whether the game is really for you.
Even if you are already an experienced player I feel it's worth it for the Lost Mines of Phandelver campaign alone.
We started the Lost Mine of Phandelver campaign included in this Starter Set. The current party consists of my 10 year old son, my son's friend of the same age, my son's friend's Father who is my age, and a 13 year old whose family is friends with all of us. I am the DM which I was reluctant to do but realistically I always new this was best for the group.
We have spent approximately 30 hours in game play and I estimate that we are 80% complete. So far everyone seems to be having a blast. Everyone created their own characters for this campaign rather than using the pre-generated ones that came with the set. We did however use the Rogue as a second PC for the other Father until the 13 year old joined us about half-way into the campaign.
I have to admit that I am having more fun as the DM than I thought I would. It does take some preparation for each game session as you need to make sure you are fully knowledgeable of the relevant material so that everything runs smoothly and without lags. There are also some aspects of the campaign that you may feel you need to adjust or improvise from what is provided but I am learning that a good DM should be able to do that. Some of that is purposely left to the DM to fill in the gaps and some of it is that you simply can't always know what actions the players are going to take in any given situation. That's really part of the beauty of this game. Everyone has a part in telling the story.
After a few game sessions, we all had purchased a copy of the Player's Handbook. Not because we felt the Starter Set didn't include enough information to play The Lost Mine of Phandelver , but because we had become so excited through playing it that we just wanted to be exposed to more. I have also purchased the Dungeon Master's Guide and the Monster's Manual so that we can continue playing beyond this campaign. I'm not suggesting that anyone do this before finishing this Starter Set campaign. I am simply warning you that you could get so excited once you start playing that you will want more.
Top international reviews
5e comes with some pre-filled character sheets, an extremely basic rule book with no real explanation to anything other than when to take your turn and a campaign book you can play through to understand how DMing works. Once you've finished these two pamphlets you're on your own. Oh and you get some dice.
This set is adequate for players who are already familiar with D&D, but if you're already familiar you'd be better off spending your money on the Player Handbook (not included) and printing off some blank character sheets from the internet. The fact that you can't create your own character using anything in this starter box should be enough to point you towards something better.
The starter pack contains a few guided character sheets (which we are using for our first quests to get the hang of the rules), a DM playbook and rule book, and a set of nice navy marbled dice for the DM. The best part of the set is the pre-made quests: it allows the DM to get the hang of their role and start storytelling and embellishing whilst also giving some guidance and an end to the quest.
Me and 3 of my friends have played for a few hours each time and are finding the starter kit really helpful - though I also recommend printing or downloading the player rulebook guide that can be found on the DnD website (it's much more helpful for accurate magic rules and how to play as a magician/elf/etc.).
Really glad we bought this - hours of fun ahead!
This really does come with everything you need (except enough dice, you can never have too many dice) & is excellent. I've role played for years, but never run a campaign & this really does give you everything you need to run one.
Can't recommend it enough
Having said that, after watching hours of tutorial videos on the side, I feel confident enough to play the story with friends. The story is well written and exciting so makes for hours of fun.
This box is padded out with a large card insert and contains only a stripped down rule book some character sheets that anyone could print off at home and a pack of generic cheapo dice, the sort you can buy for about two quid.
for 5gbp I could go to my local print shop and have a higher quality version of these rules printed on a pdf, buy more dice, and still have some change left over.
If you are looking to start D&D this box is more or less a con, and your better off looking up a PDF of the rules and printing a few character sheets untill you can afford the full books.
- a 32 page Rule Book : contains all the essential rules pertaining to combat, roleplay and rollplay in d&d 5th edition. The 5th edition is very streamlined , and you'll be up and ready after a read or two.
- a 64 page adventure : Lost Mine of Phandelver. This is a very well made adventure, easing you into its world, introducing you to different rules and scenarios in a step by step manner, and all the while staying exciting and entertaining. It is straightforeward and railroaded in the beginning (which is good, since you're supposed to be beginners), but starting with the second chapter it becomes totally sandboxy and will allow the players a lot of choices and creativity. All the creatures and monsters that you shall encounter through the adventure are also depicted inside, and the art is mostly very beautiful. And yes, there is also a dragon encounter.
6 polyhedral dice : very good quality dice. Any one i show these dice to, is amazed at the quality, especially of the d20 (20 sided dice). Now , the cheapest set of polyhedral dice on amazon is 295 bucks, and i am pretty sure they will NOT be close to these dice in quality. Quality matters here, not only in terms of looks, but also because unbalanced dice could possibly ruin your game ! So you're getting a really good deal here.
5 pregenerated character sheets, 1 blank character sheet : you'd be best off getting out photocopies of these. Though even if you loose them, they're available online for free.
Ok, that's it. That's all there is in the box. No minis or anything. It does seem too little in-the-box for this price point, and physically, it is. But don't worry. What is inside the box, promises you hours and hours and hours of fun. Say, if you play weekly with friends, for a few hours everytime, this adventure is going to last you a couple of months !! And even then, the campaign is very replayable. It doesn't end there ! There are some more adventures available for free online.
Once you have sqeezed dry this awesome package, it's time to buy the Player's Handbook, (and also the Monster Manual), and then you'll be ready to craft your own adventures !
Paper and Pen Spiele sind "so tun als ob" wie die Phantasiespiele, die man als Kind im Kindergarten gespielt hat - bzw. wie interaktive PC-Abenteuerspiele. Eine Rahmenhandlung wird vorgegeben (man kann sich auch selbst eine Geschichte ausdenken) und die Spieler begeben sich unter Anleitung eines Game Masters in das Abenteuer. Die Würfel dienen dazu, vorhandene Fähigkeiten zu "evaluieren" - festzulegen, wie stark, schnell, gescheit, geschickt, überzeugend usw. - ein Charakter ist. Die Charakter-Sheets beschreiben die grundlegenden Charakterzüge einer Spielfigur und dessen Herkunft/Rasse und Klasse (Oger, Zwerg, Halbling, Elf, Mensch, Magier usw.) sowie seine Fähigkeiten und Begabungen.
Das Set ist hervorragend für den Einstieg. Mehr muss der Anfänger nicht haben.
Ganz klare Kaufempfehlung! Super
- Un libro de reglas del juego (básicamente explican las características de los personajes, cómo añadir modificadores, cómo hacer tiradas de ataque y calcular daño, cómo lanzar conjuros y otros aspectos del desarrollo de aventuras).
- Varias hojas de personajes predefindos de nivel 1, justo para empezar sin tener que preocuparse de construir a los héroes.
- Un libro con una aventura bastante completa y larga. Los mapas y planos que trae la misma son sólo para el máster, por lo que si se desea acompañar el juego de elementos gráficos en la mesa, habrá que improvisar los escenarios con losetas, croquis dibujados a mano... Al final tiene un compendio de los monstruos que salen en la aventura, cada uno con su ficha para poder enfrentarse a él.
Si es la primera vez que leemos las reglas de D&D (como es mi caso), es conveniente ver vídeos o leer traducciones antes por internet para comprender perfectamente después todo el texto en inglés de los cuadernillos.
My experience is two booklets and some character sheets in a box, several hours watching youtube video, rereading the booklets, trying to play the mission, getting stuck and then rereading the booklets, then going online to buy the 5e Dungeon Master book, and then watching more videos, and rereading the booklets - seriously, I think we got through three bottles of scotch on holiday trying to work out this cursed game. The amount of studying you need to do is on par with a level 6 undergraduate assignment. It'll take you a week to understand 'combat', and another week to understand 'weapons', and a month to work out 'resting'. Jesus! Find a dungeon master and learn from them instead - whoever came up with the idea of a 'starter box' for this turgid monstrosity of a game needs it inserting in their behind.
- LA CAMPAÑA: No puedo resaltar suficientemente que este es el motivo por el que hay que comprar el producto. Es una campaña muy completa que tomará al menos una docena de horas en terminar.
- La campaña es perfecta para nuevos jugadores porque contiene una buena mezcla de combates y de interacciones sociales que irán incentivando a nuevos jugadores a hacer más roleplaying.
- Del mismo modo, no sólo aprenden los jugadores, sino también un DM que la vaya guiando aprenderá sobre todos los conceptos técnicos involucrados en guiar un campaña de D&D.
- Los jugadores predeterminados ayudan a entrar directo en el juego y vienen con contexto y guía de cómo nivelarlos.
- Las reglas básicas están bien estructuradas y en realidad no son tan "básicas" en que se comparan mucho con las reglas completas en los otros libros. Es decir, no tendrás que aprender de algún mecanismo oscuro o nuevo si continuas en otra campaña.
- Los manuales son de buena calidad y tienen buen arte pero sólo son hojas con grapas.
- Como contraste en tener a los personajes pregenerados, no hay ninguna referencia de cómo crear uno.
- No hay ningún mapa externo al manual de la aventura ni vienen tokens. Esto no es realmente algo malo porque D&D se puede jugar perfectamente en la imaginación de los jugadores pero a veces los nuevos jugadores aprecian tener más elementos de un "típico juego de mesa" como un tablero y minifiguras. Si esto es muy importante para tí, te recomiendo comprar la caja de Pathfinder.
Il tutto è in lingua inglese (si tratta di un inglese molto scolastico e fruibile, ritengo comunque opinabile la scelta editoriale di non tradurre nulla della nuova edizione di D&D).
Nel complesso per quel che costa mi sento di suggerirlo, scaricando gratuitamente il regolamento Basic in PDF dal sito della Wizard si può continuare a giocare anche oltre al 5° livello ed iniziando a creare avventure proprie.
Fifth edition, (which the company usually refer to as just "Dungeons and Dragons" now) is a near-perfect ruleset, and the starter set is a brilliant introduction to the system for old an new players alike.
The set contains several key pieces, and everything you need to start playing the game. It includes a simple rulebook—just around 30 pages—which contains all of the core mechanics of the game, a (nearly) full set of polyhedral dice, a set of five pre-generated characters, and, most importantly, a 70+ page adventure, "The Lost Mines of Phandelver"
The rulebook is amazingly succinct, but surprisingly complete. The text of the rulebook is, primarily, taken directly from the Basic Rules and Players Handbook (PHB), and covers all of the basic mechanics for playing the game. Instructions are clear, and the new system is amazingly intuitive. Unlike the Basic Rules, (a 100+ page free PDF available from the WOTC website) and the PHB, the basic rules contain only the mechanics for playing the game. What is missing, then, is all the aditional information for creating new characters, lots of class-specific information, instruction advanced, and non-standard playstyles like multi-classing, and only a limited set of spells and attacks for casters. It also includes only enough information to take a character from first, to fifth level, but since the included adventure doesn't really give players the option to advance much beyond this anyway, this is not particularly a problem.
Almost any rules which will come up during normal play in this game are covered in this rule book, which can be read, cover-to-cover in only around 15 minutes, and will give even complete novice players all of the information that they need to play the game.
The box also includes a nearly complete set of RPG Dice. It contains the 6 basic dice, a D4, D6, D8, D10, D12, and D20. It lacks the D10 Percentile dice, but rolling percentages can still be achieved by rolling the D10 twice, and multiplying the first roll by 10. This comes up so infrequently as to be inconsequential. However, while passing around a single set of dice is certainly possible, most players will want to purchase their own dice in addition to this, to significantly speed up play. The dice are quite nice marbled blue dice, and seem of good quality, similar to that of Chessex matched sets—in fact, it wouldn't surprise me to learn Chessex actually make the dices for the starter set.
The pre-generated characters make picking up, and playing this set really easy. The five characters feature the typical common D&D races—Human, Dwarf, Elf and Halfling—and Classes—Wizard, Cleric, Rogue and two fighters, a ranged fighter, and a "tank".
While it is entirely possible to create your own characters for this adventure, using the free, basic rules (though you would still be limited to the same race/class combinations) or PHB, the pre-generated characters actually have a great and well thought out backstory, and plenty of adventure hooks, and so it is well worth using these, at least during your first play-through.
The adventure itself is wonderfully written, and amazingly deep. The adventure book is a combination of adventure, Dungeon Master's Guide (DMG) and Monster Manual (MM) and contains not only the adventure itself, but also great tips for new DM's, additional advanced rules, and stat-blocks for all monsters featured in the adventure.
Wizards' decision to split the adventure and the rules into two separate books is an inspired one. This means that players can read through rules, and this can be a resource on the table, without the possibility of players spoiling the adventure, and seeing things they shouldn't.
Both the adventure and the rule-book are printed in full colour, on glossy premium magazine type paper, and both feature artwork, both from the printed core rulebooks (PHB, MM, DMG) and some artwork created specifically for the adventure (primarily maps). It is typically very high quality, and very much in keeping with the high-fantasy setting of the campaign.
The Lost Mines of Phandelver takes place in the Forgotten Realms setting—the most popular D&D setting of all time—along the sword coast, primarily in and around the previously largely unexplored town of Phandalin. It starts as a fairly standard sort of adventure, an "escort the cargo" mission, but from the beginning, there are plenty of hooks in the characters back-stories which drives characters towards Phandalin, and that make this more than just a "you've been hired, so shut up and do the job" sort of affair.
It starts with a fairly standard ambush encounter, but this quickly opens up multiple branching adventure possibilities. Even the initial exchanges with basic monsters are challenging and feel rewarding, and while all encounters are winnable, success never feels guaranteed, and there is a real sense of danger and a constant possibility of failure at every turn.
The adventure has many options, which allow encounters to be overcome in a number of different ways, and encourages creative solutions to be considered. There is potential inter-player conflict baked into their back-stories, and the adventure gives the DM plenty of opportunities to test the bonds between players, simply by introducing multiple, mutually exclusive options that different players will want to explore.
The adventure is very dense. Our group is approaching 15 hours into the adventure, and barely feel like we have scratched the surface—we have multiple adventures we have been tasked with completing, and several others threads we are exploring which we don't even have enough information or skills to begin to think about tackling yet. There is more than enough in the adventure for several months of intense play-sessions.
While experienced groups may want to jump right in to creating their own adventures with the core rulebooks, this adventure is so well-produced that experienced adventurers will get just as much from this starter set as complete newcomers. This sort of adventure would be well worth the price of the starter set, and then some, if printed as a stand-alone product.
Fifth edition is the quintessential version of D&D, with all of the best things from previous editions, and a number of new innovations brought together in a perfect package, and the Starter Set is the perfect way to experience this new and improved version of D&D.
An easy recommendation for new and experienced players alike.
I purchased this as an absolute beginner in order to get some basic game outlines and dice needed to join in a game, however I found that this set didn't actually have enough dice needed to take part, and the pre-made character sheets were only really useful as a reference (available from the official apps and such for free anyway), rather than to help me play. It would have been better if this box included blank character sheets and the stuff needed to begin playing, rather than acting as a taster.
On the upside, the empty box is useful for rolling dice and storing character sheets in once you actually buy those elsewhere