D&D Essentials Kit Offers a New Place to Start - Page 7
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  1. #61
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    Waghalter (Lvl 7)



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    Quote Originally Posted by Parmandur View Post
    Interesting: @NewbieDM observed the opposite, that the rules never mention miniature usage and assume They're of the Mind entirely.
    Oh, the rules don't ever mention minis. But every single adventure area is given a gridded 5'/square scale map, which certainly was not the case with LMoP, where several locations weren't mapped at all and others used a 10'/square scale.
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  2. #62
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    Superhero (Lvl 15)

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    So, the big double-sided map is just a town map on one side and regional map on the other. I was hoping for a 5ft grid dungeon map of a few locations.

  3. #63
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    Enchanter (Lvl 12)

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    Got my copy last night at Target. There were two copies of the Essentials Kit left on the endcap in the Toys and Games section of the store. They also a bunch of the Starter Sets in the gaming section.

    Target does not stock any of the books or accessories that FLGSes have, they will only stock boxed games in shrink. It makes sense to hit a mass market venue like target to reach a ton of folks that otherwise might not have access to or know of a FLGS in their area.

    I especially liked the unlock code for the adventure on D&D Beyond. That was a nice touch.

    There is also a web page that gives a great intro to the game linked in the promotional materials in the box...
    https://www.dndbeyond.com/essentials

  4. #64
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    Quote Originally Posted by doctorbadwolf View Post
    No, on several levels.

    1st, there was no Essentials Kit.

    2nd, The Essentials line was a broadened and more varied take on the 4e mechanics, where a class might gain a passive feature instead of a power at a given level, some classes focus on basic attacks and multiple uses of a single encounter power, while others work very differently.

    3rd, the line went on after the Essentials line of products had gone out and stopped being the focus, with later products being a mix of E+ (a fan term) and PHB style options, depending on what the designers felt fit best.

    4th, some of 4es best books arguably came out in this period. The point was to bring people back into the fold without creating a new edition. That didnt work, even though 4e was quite profitable. DDI by itself made money comparable to previous edition PHB sales, most years. But the community was split, and the company (rightly) believed that healing that split would make the profitability and popularity of previous editions looks quaint by comparison.
    Thanks. So, this is the modern equivalent to the Red Box from the 1980's, then?
    T

  5. #65
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    Waghalter (Lvl 7)



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    Having finished reading the adventure, I revise my opinion upward - it's very good. First-timers will find it easy to run, and experienced DMs will find it easy to change and enhance. And because it's mainly a series of self-contained site-based adventures, it's useful to plunder for one-shots for levels 1-6 for other campaigns.

    Other stuff:

    While the rule book explains XP, the adventure doesn't use it at all. It's all milestone.

    Lots of minor magic items from XGtE are used.

    There is some potential for inexperienced groups to run into trouble quickly by undertaking quests that can be very challenging for their level. Also, there are a couple of adventures where just getting into the dungeon is unwisely gated behind skill checks - so if the characters fail those, they just turn around and go home, I guess. An experienced DM would find a solution there, but that's a design flaw that could frustrate newbies.

  6. #66
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    The Expert is such a good name for a Class / NPC / Sidekick. Not. Why not call all of them like Tank, Damage Dealer, Healer, etc? While we're at it, Let's rename all the classes...

    Other than this everything I've read seems interesting.

  7. #67
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    Magsman (Lvl 14)



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    Quote Originally Posted by stadi View Post
    The Expert is such a good name for a Class / NPC / Sidekick. Not. Why not call all of them like Tank, Damage Dealer, Healer, etc? While we're at it, Let's rename all the classes...

    Other than this everything I've read seems interesting.
    The Expert is the skill user so it makes perfect sense. We don't have to go quite that video gamey with names.
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  8. #68
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    The Grand Druid (Lvl 20)



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    Quote Originally Posted by Greysword View Post
    Thanks. So, this is the modern equivalent to the Red Box from the 1980's, then?
    T
    I dont know, neighbor. I dont really understand why it needs to be an equivalent to something from the past, but I do think its pretty cool!
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  9. #69
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    Every one of these you buy (at least in these first few weeks) is one some 10yr old likely wontand our titular enworld member buying scalped eBay editions probably belongs back in that alignment thread from last week...

  10. #70
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    I ran Phandelver years back and loved it, easily a classic D&D adventure. I picked Essentials up at Target yesterday. I haven't read through it all, but the pacing isn't as good as Phandelver, although the individual quests seem good enough. I'm thinking about merging the two scenarios into The Lost Mines of Icespire Peak. Or something like that. Maybe the Black Spider and the dragon Cryovain can have some connection, or maybe they don't. Yes, I think the designers should have devoted some words to showing how the two products can be combined as they literally share the same space and many similar NPCs in Phandalin.

    EDIT: Icespire also lacks the gorgeous maps included in the Starter Set, such as that wonderful Wave Echo Cave. On the plus side, the two sided map it does include is very useful.
    Last edited by Nebulous; Wednesday, 26th June, 2019 at 12:41 PM.

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