Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Just How Essential is the New D&D Starter Set?

By now I'm sure you've already read a good half dozen reviews of the new D&D Red Box. If you've read what I've read, much of that is lamenting how much in fails in comparison to the D&D Red Box of old. Some folks are missing the obvious.

The old Red Box was a Basic Set... enough rules to get you going and playing for as long as you want within the range of levels 1-3. When you were ready, an Expert Set was awaiting you.

The new Red Box is a Starter Set. It is there to show you what a roleplaying game is (in this case, D&D 4e). It spoon feeds you the rules and concepts as if you were a neophyte, which is fine. As others have pointed out, it is not there for you to run campaigns out of the box. For that you need to go beyond the Starter Set.

4e is not my bag, but I can see the use of the solo / tutorial included to bring new people into the hobby. The fact that you can run it solo, before you even find a group is great... maybe WotC will see some value in further solo adventures.

Taking the New Red Box for what it is, and not what we as old timers expect it to be, is the key. Well, that and I got it for less then 14 bucks on Amazon. It's not going to turn me into a 4e player, but it might serve as a nice introduction to roleplaying for my girlfriend, and I really can't ask for much more then that.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad


  1. I'll admit it: I bought the new red box purely for nostalgia and, because I have never bought or looked at a 4e product, to see how WoTC is pitching the game to new gamers.

    I haven't had the chance to sit down and look through it yet, or try the player walkthrough. But overall, I'm not impressed with the design or the production value--everything in the box seems cheap and flimsy. And cards? Cards? Hey Hasbro: IT"S NOT A CARD GAME!

    Also: if you really want to introduce your girlfriend to roleplaying, try a hotel room, three bottles of wine, a bearskin rug, and a chainmail bikini. Trust me.

  2. eh, for the 14 bucks i paid for it i'm fairly impressed with what is included.

    i like boxed sets, and this is the most for the least with the C&C, S&W and LotFP WF boxed sets I have. The others are more likely to see use from me, but this set I can see the value of.

    as for the physical quality, its about par for the recent WotC releases.

    as for the suggestion, i think I'll be passed out before the third bottle of wine ;)

  3. Tenkar,

    The wine is not for you. While we are at it, neither is the chainmail bikini.


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