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Archive for July, 2014

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.

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