In the interim, the Dungeons & Dragons 5th Edition Starter Set was enough to get me intrigued with the direction Wizards was taking with the game in its newest iteration. 4th Edition, while initially fun as an entry-level player back in 2008, was completely demolished from my mind after experiencing 3.5 Edition afterwards and realizing how confined and restrictive its gameplay was. 5th Edition seems to be an ode to the past, opting to use the best parts of previous editions and aggregating them into one collective works.
For about the price of a movie and a popcorn (in most metropolitan cities), you can instead use that money to jump into a deeply-engrossed world of fantasy and magic, armed with only your wits and a trusty weapon at your side for an adventure that will keep you satisfied for days on end.
The Starter Set is a great jumping off point for new users, too, by holding the hands of not only the players, but beginner DMs, by painting a wonderful world with such attention to detail and answers to most questions. It’s like the box wants you to see it for an intended message; “Here’s how to play, you nincompoop. Now go off and make your own when the Advanced Playbooks come out throughout the rest of the year.” Knowledgable players can adapt within the starter set, yet learn how the new rules congeal with each other in a standard play setting. You could even continue the adventure yourself beyond the book’s pages, if you really wanted to.
However, in the long run, the Starter Set is just that; a starting point to sate your appetite before the books drop. With no battle map or miniatures, once each book becomes available (Player’s Handbook, Monster Manual, Dungeon Master’s Guide) the starter set can become easily abandoned and never to be touched again. With the basic rules set being online, established players could even sidestep this box altogether and buy the books when they felt ready. There’s a very select timeframe in which the Dungeons & Dragons Starter Set is extremely useful, and with the Player’s Handbook less than a week before release and the Monster Manual headed for a late-September release , it may be leaving the window. The $20 price tag, however, makes it easy to at least get a taste of what you can experience if you don’t want to drop an estimated $50 on each book.
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Whether you have never seen a character sheet or have min-maxed all the stats for dozens of Dungeons & Dragons characters, the 5th Edition Starter Set has something for everyone. For about the price of a movie and a popcorn (in most metropolitan cities), you can instead use that money to jump into a deeply-engrossed world of fantasy and magic, armed with only your wits and a trusty weapon at your side for an adventure that will keep you satisfied for days on end.
A warning, though, to those that are hard-set on buying the Advanced Playbooks; this Starter Set may not be worth your time if you want to create the world of your own with all the fixings at a later point in time. There’s never been a better time to jump head first into Dungeons & Dragons, and the 5th Edition Starter Set is an easy means of learning about the excellence of tabletop RPG’s in the 2010’s.
(A copy of this product was provided to GameSided for the purpose of this review.)