D&D 5e Starter Set Review

So I got a D&D 5e (Next) starter set. What do I think and is it worth it given that you can download the basic rules for 5e for free and the starter set is $20 at your local store.

To start, what do you get with the starter set?

  • A starter set rulebook
  • A D&D Adventure to run (Lost Mine of Phandelver)
  • 5 Characters to play with
  • One set of D&D dice (d4, d6, d8, d10, d12, d20)

Here is a video if you need to see this in more detail:

To start let’s compare the Basic Rules with what is given to you in the Starter Set. The Starter Set rules tell you:

  • The basics on how to play D&D
  • How to fight
  • An overview on Adventuring
  • How to cast spells

These are basically the 4 chapters in the book and they give you enough info to get your pre-rolled characters to level 5.

The basic rules for free download give you all that, plus how to create your own characters.  So for the starter set you are stuck with the pre-rolled characters.  The basic rules give you all the details of your character class up to level 20.

As for the Adventure, it’s in 4 parts and per the introduction is enough to get the party from level 1 to 5 by the end of it.  It’s fairly long.

So did I get my $20 worth?  My answer is ‘What’s your goal in buying this?’

I have two kids.  I had a mixed success getting them into 4e, mostly because they and their friends were at a mixed level of maturity.  This is going to work great.  I can toss them a rulebook that will get them easily into the ‘How to play’.  The 5e rules, so far, are much more streamlined than 4e was for combat, but let’s see if that holds as the books come out.  The adventure itself looks to be great for a starting DM (if my oldest wants to try) and is big enough that it is worth the $20 bill on it’s own.

However, if you are an experienced gamer and just want to convert your current campaign at some point.  You should consider passing.  There is not enough here (or out yet).  Pick up the Basic rules and get ready for when the 5e Players Handbook and Monster Manual comes out.

This will be more than enough to get my kids (no friends for now) and wife back into D&D for the summer.

D&D Next (5e)

So I’ll be picking up the D&D Starter kit for 5e (Next) on July 3rd.

D&D Next Starter

This will be a good starting point for my kids who have interest in D&D and this will get them on the ground floor with the next edition. More soon.

Cosmos 2014 Episode 1

Like Cosmos, I feel I’ve been away too long… Let’s try to stick around a bit more.

I just watched the first episode of Cosmos. I’m going to try to give my thoughts on this series each week.

In today’s climate where religion is feeling the heat from Science more than ever as the Internet educates more people each day. It was hard to look at today’s show as anything but a slap at religion and the anti-science crowd.

At the start, I found the beginning of the show too quick. The show really assumes that we know about the first show from many years ago. That we know about this spaceship that Neil zips around in. The details of what the show was are touched but ever so briefly. Maybe I give the age of the Internet too little credit, but I would have liked to have seen a bit more.

However, once you dive in and get used to the water, Cosmos takes off.

Neil (our host), gives you the cosmic perspective, as he likes to do, and shows our place in the universe and beyond. Once we get there, he hits religion in the face with the story of Giordano Bruno. Bruno was a monk who was burnt at the stake for a number of religious reason which partly included some ideas the universe and our part in it that happened to be true. Cosmos falls here a bit, because it focuses on Bruno being killed for Science and that was only part of the equation.

However, I think in this day and age the point is a fair one. We live in an age where Science and new ideas are openly challenged by religion. The debate with Bill Nye and Ken Ham shows that:

We know the stories of the Bible can not be taken at face value and yet religion can not change. It dare not or the house of cards will fall. People like Ken Ham are the thought police.

Cosmos then turns around and looks at our place again in cosmic time. The effects are great and again makes you understand how small you are.

Overall I liked the first show even with the few stumbles. I would liked to have seen more details about the science, but I’m sure that is saved for other shows. It’s a solid start.

Day of the Doctor (Review)

If you don’t watch Dr Who, then this post makes no sense to you. Don’t read more if you haven’t seen Day of the Doctor.

*** Spoilers ***

First, I’m a big Dr Who fan. I’ve seen all the ‘old Who’ shows and most of the ‘new Who’. (I missed a few and I’m knocking those out now.)

I think Day of the Doctor took in a direction that few fans thought it would. I think a bunch of folks were expecting more Time War in the show to start with.

Most of the show was a ‘normal’ show. You had Zygons, they had a plan and the doctor (2/3 of them depending on how you count) foiled it. The events with the Zygons made the ‘War Doctor’ realize that he had to ‘push the button’. Everything so far make it an OK show…

Then everything took off…

The doctors coming back to be with the War Doctor to kill their own race was just moving and all the doctors coming back to save his race was epic. It was a great end to the story.

At the end, the War Doctor will be remembered as another doctor because he did not kill the Time Lords. He was accepted by the 10th\11th (now 11th\12th in my book) as one of them. Add him in boys…

War Doctor

And then Tom Baker came back…

Baker was a future Doctor who took on his old face (very clever) and was retired. He tells (in a round about way) Matt Smith’s doctor to go and find the Time Lords.

And with that the whole show changed…

The show since the ‘reboot’ has had the theme that the Doctor had killed his race the Time Lords and he has been wondering the universe sad and alone every since. Now that has changed, the Time Lords exist and he can save his planet Gallifrey and all the Time Lords.

In the end, for the first time, the Doctor saved himself and that makes this the best Doctor Who ever.

Night of the Doctor

I’ve been wanting to talk about Doctor Who and the coming 50th Anniversary, but watch this first and we will talk later.

The Best Scam Ever!

I haven’t tossed up a good Thunderf00t vid in awhile:

I have to admit I don’t get it either. I guess my brain is not wired that way. The good news is that the number of people with no religion is on the rise.

I really don’t care if you think you are an Atheist, Agnostic or a ‘None’. If you are not giving money to any religion, you are reducing their power.

Thanks Potholer54!

So the Golden Crocoduck is out again along with some happy and sad news…

So Potholer54 career is heating up and he will be taking a break from videos (follow the link to see his videos). This is both happy and sad news. Happy because this man has too much talent to be sitting around making these videos and sad because he will be making less videos.

Good luck Peter Hadfield!

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