Another Look at the D&D Essentials Kit

Here's a closer look at the upcoming D&D Essentials Kit.


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D&D Essentials Kit (September 3rd; June 24th in the US)
Boxed Set

Everything you need to create characters and play the new adventures in this introduction to the world’s greatest roleplaying game.

Dungeons & Dragons is a cooperative storytelling game that harnesses your imagination and invites you to explore a fantastic world of adventure, where heroes battle monsters, find treasures, and overcome quests. The D&D Essentials Kitis a new introductory product meant to bring D&D to audiences interested in jumping into a fantasy story.

This box contains the essentials you need to run a D&D game with one Dungeon Master and one to five adventurers. A newly designed rulebook on-boards players by teaching them how to make characters, and the included adventure, Dragon of Icespire Peak, introduces a new 1-on-1 rules variant.
 
Russ Morrissey

Comments

SerHogan

Villager
Is this going to replace the Starter Kit? Seems a bit confusing from a marketing standpoint. Maybe this is something new players can buy so they don't feel left out.

Curious about Dragons of Icespire Peak. Always welcome a new intro adventure. Phandelver was great fun.
 
I believe the intent is to replace the Starter Kit, without rendering it completely unsellable.

The main focus appears to be improving the clarity of the basic rules for the benefit of complete newcomers.
 

Parmandur

Legend
I believe the intent is to replace the Starter Kit, without rendering it completely unsellable.

The main focus appears to be improving the clarity of the basic rules for the benefit of complete newcomers.
Yeah, it seems to be a replacement, but Perkins also said he wrote the adventure to basically expand on Phandalin as a sandbox. So, somebody with the Starter Set can use this to extend the game.
 

Reaper Steve

Explorer
I love starter boxes, and I'm especially eager for this one. While I never had an issue with the "empty space" in the Phandelver box (more space to carry more stuff!), it looks like this Essentials box will be plenty full! (including dice that aren't in the above pic).
 
Yeah, it seems to be a replacement, but Perkins also said he wrote the adventure to basically expand on Phandalin as a sandbox. So, somebody with the Starter Set can use this to extend the game.
It's worth noting that you can buy Lost Mine of Phandelver on D&D Beyond, so it's not going away completly. I expect Icespire Peak will also be available on D&D Beyond (although the Stranger Things adventure aint).
 

Parmandur

Legend
It's worth noting that you can buy Lost Mine of Phandelver on D&D Beyond, so it's not going away completly. I expect Icespire Peak will also be available on D&D Beyond (although the Stranger Things adventure aint).
They announced that the Stranger Things adventure will be released on D&DB later this year.
 

Panda-s1

Explorer
Curious about Dragons of Icespire Peak. Always welcome a new intro adventure. Phandelver was great fun.
it probably doesn't help that Lost Mine of Phandelver has run its course after 5 years. almost every D&D night/intro to D&D DM will use it, and it also doesn't help most popular actual play groups have used it as well.

"oh man I watched my favorite streamer play D&D and now I want to play it too!" guess what adventure I'm probably gonna not use to help this friend learn D&D :U
 

sevenbastard

Villager
Most exciting thing I've seen this year. A true starter box for D&D with character creation rules. Much needed and long overdue. Hopefully this will be the Moldvay or Metzer basic set for. New generation.

My only complaint is the DMs screen. One DMs should roll in the open and a screen leads to fudging and that's not how the game should be played (or taught). Two it is probably an expensive add on and a small book of monsters and adventure design would be better add on. IMHO.
 

Vexorg

Explorer
It's going to be exclusive to Target for the first few months, so Amazon may not even be able to put a pre-order link up for it yet.

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.

in-store play is still the only games available for many people.
 

Morrus

Well, that was fun
Staff member
One DMs should roll in the open and a screen leads to fudging and that's not how the game should be played (or taught).
Now, now. "Badwrongfun" is so out of fashion these days. Let's not tell people how they should play, eh?
 

Jer

Adventurer
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.
Eh - this is a product designed for outreach to new audiences - the kind of product where you are snagging people who don't play these kinds of games. Having it on retail shelves is valuable to grow the hobby - it isn't like Target is going to be suddenly setting up shelves in their stores to sell the rest of the D&D line. Some of the folks who buy the set at Target will eventually become FLGS patrons (I know that's how it worked for me - I'm pretty sure that my mom bought my first Basic D&D boxed set from Target.)

I always smile when I see a Starter Set on the shelves at Target or Meijer when I'm out shopping - it reminds me that the hobby is in a growth phase again and it's not just a hobby for grumpy old men to complain about :)

in-store play is still the only games available for many people.
I suspect that's why they've put the 1-on-1 rules into the boxed set as well - to give folks who don't have a local store a way to play the game with the one other person they can find who is interested.
 

MartyW

Explorer
Eh - this is a product designed for outreach to new audiences - the kind of product where you are snagging people who don't play these kinds of games.
Regardless of the "intended audience", everyone knows this set is going to sell like hot fire to existing D&D fans too. The Target exclusivity cuts that sales spike completely out of the FLGS' bottom line.

By the way, for everyone else, there is nothing that says this box set will replace the Starter Set. Quite the contrary. Perkins even noted that this set can be used together with LMoP to enhance the adventure with other quest hooks and objectives. On the stream, they called it a "next step" from the Starter Set before a consumer might purchase the core books.

You can watch it here: https://youtu.be/Kk_S8jU3Hhc?t=3631

There's going to be the original Starter Set, the Stranger Things box set, the Rick & Morty box set, and the Essentials Kit all selling at the same time.
 

darjr

I crit!
I roll in the open but still use a DM screen. Keep it folded on the table for quick reference.
 
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.
 
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