Another Look at the D&D Essentials Kit - Page 5
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  1. #41
    Orcus on an Off-Day (Lvl 22)

    Join Date
    Sep 2014
    Quote Originally Posted by Mercurius View Post
    So let me get this straight: the Essentials Kit is basically an updated/improved version of the Starter Set and an expansion of it at the same time? Seems like a win-win. Five years is a lot of time to learn how to improve the starter set; seems like a good time to come out with something new. And I haven't looked at in awhile, but didn't the Starter Set only have pre-gens?
    Yup, the Starter Set only had pregens, no PC creation rules (though it did refer folks to the online Basic Rules, and there was a blank PC sheet).

    At this point, Lost Mines might be one of the most widely played adventures, too, a classic in it's own right. Expanding the sandbox makes sense.
    XP ddaley gave XP for this post

  2. #42
    Myrmidon (Lvl 10)

    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Mission Viejo
    I wonder how many copies the Starter Set has sold?

  3. #43
    Minor Trickster (Lvl 4)

    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Quote Originally Posted by ddaley View Post
    Surprised you missed hearing about this. There were multiple articles about it on enworld and it managed to garner over 8200 backers.

    You might want to take a look at it:
    I mean okay, cool, I guess that's nice, but that doesn't change what I said: The Lost Mine of Phandelver is being overused, and the fact you're recommending it to others to get into D&D doesn't help. Even if they're getting into it through something that isn't using the adventure, they're going to learn a lot about that adventure and many intro/impromptu events will be ruined because this is the one adventure anyone wants to run without making their own.

    I bought the starter set; I read it so I can run D&D for friends. Then I go to a D&D event at my local game store one day and SURPRISE it's the Lost Mine of Phandelver, gotta pretend I don't know this adventure so I don't ruin it for everyone else. A year later it seems like I'll finally run D&D for friends, and then it doesn't happen, but that's okay 'cause AS IT TURNS OUT the Lost Mine of Phandelver was used in the first arc of The Adventure Zone, a podcast that at least two of these said friends are really into, so it's not a terrible loss. Two years after that, work has a D&D night and I get into a game and GUESS WHAT the DM decided to run Lost Mine of Phandelver, which at least 2 other players were familiar with for varying reasons.

    At this point I feel like this adventure is only useful if your players have been living under a rock and intend to stay there for the rest of their lives.

    (Also, Odyssey of the Dragonlords is based in Greek mythology, which means I was over it before I even learned about it).
    XP Prakriti gave XP for this post

  4. #44
    Quote Originally Posted by Vexorg View Post
    I am sort of shocked that Target gets to sell these a full three months before hobby stores. It seems to be a sudden and major reversal of a long standing policy of putting FLGSes first.
    The target consumer is that person who has never played Dungeons & Dragons before and very likely doesn't play too many games in general so a mass market store like Target makes sense. I'm skeptical that there are a whole lot of starter sets and the like moving through most FLGSes, which seem to be focused mainly on people who are already avid gamers.
    XP Prakriti, Parmandur, MNblockhead gave XP for this post

  5. #45
    Defender (Lvl 8)

    Zarithar's Avatar

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    Jan 2008
    Lost Mines is this generation's Keep on the Borderlands. That's not a negative comment by the way, but it really has become the default intro adventure for many. Also Greek mythology is frakking awesome!
    XP Parmandur, collin, Lidgar, darjr gave XP for this post

  6. #46
    Enchanter (Lvl 12)

    Join Date
    Apr 2002
    crestview, Fl
    Quote Originally Posted by lostsanityreturned View Post
    And cannot get it in Australia till september... The wizards store advantage stuff was bad enough (they don't seem to exist over here, regardless of how many AL games are run, MTG tourneys or sales... at least not when I was looking back when volos released)

    But why? It isn't like WotC needed target's shilling to do this. It would have sold well and not competed for the third quarter adventure sale... -groans-
    New audience arguments don't work either, as Target would have sold it without it being an exclusive product.

    Also, DM screens are great. I don't fudge rolls (I have, but it is increeeedddibly rare... single digits still in 15+ years of DMing)

    I don't roll openly in 5e though, players don't need to know what the rolls are as it becomes way too clear as to the mechanics of foes. Which hinders the roleplay element imo.

    Giving DMs a choice is always better than going the "BADWRONGFUN" route imo.

    Target doesn't sell MOST of the D&D products. There needs to be a lead in.

    Frankly, the key audiences this is intended for are seen to be more at large retail than at the FLGS. This is intended for those who are looking to be introduced to RPGs. It also feeds a key dynamic that the Starter box was not feeding and helps them make the leap from simply trying out the starter to actually creating characters they are attached to.

    Most of those at an FLGS already are aware or know all about the 3 rulebooks and are ready to jump in feet first by buying the rulebooks rather than a box that gets one started into the hobby of D&D. Those at Target (or other retail areas) who have never played an RPG...not so much. I feel that those are the key targets of this new product.
    XP Parmandur gave XP for this post

  7. #47
    Defender (Lvl 8)

    Join Date
    Feb 2015
    I wonder if or when we can pre order it from target? I looked at their website and its not listed yet but I noticed target also has great prices for the various hardbacks....around $31.72 which is competitive with amazon.
    Last edited by EthanSental; Thursday, 23rd May, 2019 at 04:55 AM.

  8. #48
    Acolyte (Lvl 2)

    Join Date
    Aug 2015
    Quote Originally Posted by darjr View Post
    I roll in the open but still use a DM screen. Keep it folded on the table for quick reference.
    Yep. Use mine as a GM flat for ref etc. Roll in open . This kit looks like a must buy for me

  9. #49
    Novice (Lvl 1)

    Join Date
    May 2013
    County Durham, UK
    I'm going to reserve full judgement until I've read the included adventure, but this looks absolutely fantastic at first glance.

    A few sheets of cardboard pawns as per the Pathfinder box would have been a nice inclusion, but keeping the end product "pocket money" priced is key. It's certainly not a glaring omission given the 5e rules don't require minis. I'm more impressed with what they have included - more dice, a DM's screen, maps and the various cards for conditions etc.

    Basic character creation rules are a very welcome addition. I've walked new players through how to create a character and the step-up in complexity from simply using pregens to grappling with the wealth of options in the PHB can be a bit daunting for some. A simplified or condensed section on chargen would be a better step up for many first time players I think.

    Creating a new adventure around Phandelver that can be used before, after or alongside LMOP is a smart move. It seems like they've tried to minimise the amount of overlap between the new box and the current one to make sure there is value in buying both.

    I can't wait to get a copy.
    XP MNblockhead, Panda-s1 gave XP for this post

  10. #50
    the included adventure, Dragon of Icespire Peak, introduces a new 1-on-1 rules variant.
    This is what I'm most intrigued by. I'm assuming this means running games with DM and one PC. My gaming group can't regularly get together, but my best friend and I hang out on a fairly regular basis, so getting some sort of rules for running smaller games would be great so I can run sessions more often.

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