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View Full Version : Starter Set 7/15, $20



obryn
2014-05-12, 09:55 PM
... assuming this isn't a well executed troll, this matches the B&N information a while back.

http://www.enworld.org/forum/showthread.php?p=6299576

Stock number is WOC A92160000

Copy pasting my thoughts from there...


Yeah, calling it a litmus test is a bit much, but if they fumble this one, I'll be a lot more skeptical about the final product.

I mean, D&D hasn't had a good starter set since the early 80's. That's crazy. It needs to have...

* good character creation rules, with the understanding that it's going to be narrow and somewhat limited
* at least 3, but preferably 4 or 5 full levels.
* a good adventure which shows off the system
* advice and rules on how to run the game
* a good list of both monsters and treasures, enough to keep things exciting for a while
* and most importantly a big section on how to run the game and make your own adventures.

Basically - is it a half-assed advertisement for something else, or is it a full, simple, playable game, suitable for both kids and adults for dozens of hours of play as opposed to, like, four?

Stubbazubba
2014-05-13, 12:22 AM
Copied from the ENWorld thread, another source of verification: http://www.lionrampantimports.com/product.htm?Product=WTCA9216&Source=Category&Category=PRE%20ORDER

So, I'm thinking it'll cover levels 1-3, no character creation, 5-6 pre-mades, and hopefully an adventure or two that can actually take you through that much. It'd be great if they had some basic chargen rules, but that would have to be limited to about a 5-6 step process. If you have more than 6-7 decisions to make about your character, it's probably too much for a "starter kit." Something like Race, Class (including abilities), Class Package (themed bundles of feats, skills, and/or spell selections), Background, and Equipment, Name, go. Or something. More than that and it might be a little too intimidating.

I hope it contains all the dice, maps, and tokens you would need, as well.

On that note, what if WotC pushed that angle: they sell pre-packaged adventures complete with maps and pieces that build on the starter game, continuing the same adventure path or starting new ones. Each one runs about $25. I know the internet wouldn't like it, because we're the die hards who want to make everything on our own from scratch, we want to master the rules and be able to improvise and adjudicate on the fly. But I think most tables would just appreciate the ability to buy another 3-5 levels' worth of play every month or two without worrying about preparation or improvisation.

Person_Man
2014-05-13, 08:48 AM
I think it's a very good thing. My ideal box set has:


Rules-light manual explaining how the game is played, roleplaying and DMing advice, a pre-made adventure, rules for randomly generated dungeons, and a link to a website with other free pre-made adventures.
6 pre-made characters, with a really good miniature for each character.
dice
interlocking dungeon tiles, which can be put together like puzzle pieces to create new dungeons.
monster, trap, and treasure tokens


Don't bother with character creation rules. They're too cumbersome for a boxed game, and too difficult to balance well. I should be able to hand it to my 10 year old cousin, he should be able to start playing with 1-6 of his friends in 5 minutes, and he should have fun.

1337 b4k4
2014-05-13, 09:02 AM
On that note, what if WotC pushed that angle: they sell pre-packaged adventures complete with maps and pieces that build on the starter game, continuing the same adventure path or starting new ones. Each one runs about $25. I know the internet wouldn't like it, because we're the die hards who want to make everything on our own from scratch, we want to master the rules and be able to improvise and adjudicate on the fly. But I think most tables would just appreciate the ability to buy another 3-5 levels' worth of play every month or two without worrying about preparation or improvisation.

I've argued previously that I think that's the only way for WotC to make money selling TTRPG stuff going forward. Let's face it, selling rule books these days is increasingly a dead end. Between the increasing publishing costs, the increasing shipping costs, the availability of hundreds of rules and thousands of variations online for free or cheap, I just don't see selling core rule books as a viable model for much longer. OTOH, selling premade adventures, complete with some basic maps / handout materials would go a long way if they were:

a) High quality
b) Cheap enough to be an impulse buy ($25 is about right)
c) Modular while still retaining continuity.

That last one is the tricky bit. They need to be self contained enough that a DM could pick one up and throw it into their own campaign without too much trouble, but they should have a degree of continuity that allows them to be strung together. In my perfect ideal world, that continuity would be something akin to a "choose your own adventure" book, where each module has 1 or 2 major goals to be accomplished and whether they were or weren't accomplished (did you kill the rat king? did you save the prince?) would determine which book would be the next adventure in the series.



Don't bother with character creation rules. They're too cumbersome for a boxed game, and too difficult to balance well. I should be able to hand it to my 10 year old cousin, he should be able to start playing with 1-6 of his friends in 5 minutes, and he should have fun.

B/X and BECMI D&D both included char gen rules in their starter sets. No reason you couldn't in Next. It's not like the ones in the playtest are that confusing. The biggest thing would be to have pre-gens and to stick the char gen rules at the back of the book. Seriously. Put the pre-gens up front, then the how to play, then the starting adventure. Follow that up with basic equipment and monsters list and then at the back include the character generation rules because they'll be a whole lot easier to follow after you've played the game.

obryn
2014-05-13, 09:24 AM
Without the ability to make your own character, even if it's all or almost-all rolled, I don't think the new Starter/Basic set will be successful at all.

Pregens are great for a start, but if you're not able to make your own character with a simple set of rules, half the charm and appeal of D&D is lost.

JediSoth
2014-05-20, 08:47 AM
According to the Amazon pre-order page (20% off, currently):

Ideal for a group of 4 6, the Dungeons & Dragons Starter Set includes a 64-page adventure book with everything the Dungeon Master needs to get started, a 32-page rulebook for playing characters level 1 5, 5 pregenerated characters, each with a character sheet and supporting reference material, and 6 dice.

According to Mike Mearls on twitter, there will be rules for making characters, though I can't say whether or not they'll be as robust as the rules in the PHB.

Addendum: Follow up tweets from Mearls confuses the issue:

Mike Mearls @mikemearls
For a DM running the starter set, there will be pregens to hand out. Players who want to make characters will be able to do so.

Mike Mearls @mikemearls
To clear up the Starter Set - it's aimed at DMs, so no PC creation in the box. But players will be able to make characters without it.

Now my finger is hovering over the "cancel order" button, because I want a boxed set with which I can make characters. If I have the box and am trapped in a cabin with a few friends, no Internet and no pre-gens, can I play this game?

Leewei
2014-05-28, 08:39 AM
The other materials are priced at $50 a pop -- roughly $20 over the price point of most of my gamer friends. Those books had best be huge, handy, and gorgeous for that price.