• COMING SOON! -- The Awfully Cheerful Engine on Kickstarter! An action comedy RPG inspired by cheerful tabletop games of the 80s! With a foreword by Sandy 'Ghostbusters' Petersen, and VTT support!
log in or register to remove this ad

 

Beadle & Grimm's Legendary Edition of Curse of Strahd: A Review

From the start, Beadle & Grimm's has set a high standard for their luxury editions of D&D adventures. With its Legendary Edition of Curse of Strahd, they just exceeded those standards, and I don't say that lightly. To explain why, let's start with the box.

BnG Strahd Box.jpg

No, I don't mean the product box. That is a gorgeous glossy black with a blood-red-and-black embossed design and lettering, and a red interior. It's also heavy because it's packed with the many components of this set.

The box I actually mean is the shipping box, which is over-sized because in addition to the actual Legendary Edition product box it also contains a 25-inch tall, 4-inch diameter custom poster tube to hold the maps as well as padding to ensure that both arrive safely. Packaging the maps in their own poster tube is impressive, but it's also practical since the Legendary Edition contains 38 color maps, printed on heavy, textured paper, and scaled so that they can serve as battle maps.

BnG Strahd map8_480x480.jpg

Those over-sized maps don't just reprint the ones from the original Curse of Strahd. Mike Schley's maps for the Wizard of Wines, Death House Basement, Coffin Maker Shop, and Church are included, also scaled up by Schley for this set. The other 33 maps include Jack Badashski's maps for every inch of Castle Ravenloft.

A full map of Barovia by Devon Rue completes the map set. In addition to these over-sized maps, LEoCoS contains a folder containing reprints of all the maps in the book so they can be easily handed out to players. The poster tube also contains two Barovian deeds of property, rolled up and tied shut with twine, ready to be handed to your players.

And that's just the start. As with prior Beadle & Grimm's D&D sets the content of the adventure is divided into five lay-flat versions that are easier to manage behind a DM screen. Speaking of a screen, the exterior art was commissioned specifically for this set and Sidharth Chaturvedi is appropriately moody and epic. The inside of the screen has a map of Barovia, random encounter charts, Barovian names, a key reference to the book, a chart of the areas by level, and a list of NPCs with key details as a handy reference.

Another staple of B&G sets is their encounter cards, with art on one side and DM information on the other so the card can be hung on the DM's screen. LEoCoS contains 61 encounter cards plus 17 double-sided art handouts so you don't have to hold up a book while hiding confidential information. Since Strahd is both the entire reason for the adventure and his presence overshadows everything in Barovia the vampire gets his own extra large, black encounter card.

B&G also created and includes five pre-gen characters – a ranger, a rogue, a paladin, a cleric, and a warlock. Four new supplemental adventures give your players additional ways to explore Barovia. “Hunger of the Wolf” requires teamwork to stop a group of werewolves. “Scout Party” involves saving a kidnapped child from scarecrows. “The Third Gem” addresses a question many DMs have wondered after reading CoS. “Tarokka Too” demonstrates how power can cut both ways. A full set of Tarokka cards is also included in LEoCoS.

BnG Strahd StrahdLettertoDurst_crop-e1596180612659.jpg

Another thing B&G is known for are their original handouts, in-world items, and artifacts. LEoCoS doesn't disappoint. In addition to the deed scrolls I already mentioned the set includes a flyer for the Festival of the Blazing Sun, wine bottle label stickers, journal pages, excerpts from Tome of Strahd, Strahd's invitation to dinner, fancy paper and envelopes, and even wax seals. To aid the DM while roleplaying that dinner you're given information that can be used for dinner conversation with the vampire, gleaned from B&G's own CoS play-throughs.

BnG Strahd Coins.jpg

As for artifacts – wow. Three metal Barovian coins with Strahd's face on one side are packaged in a velvet pouch with an embossed raven. The holy symbol of Ravenkind is beautifully designed in metal and heavy, much like the amulets in prior sets. But what really impressed me was that they made finger puppets to go with the Blinsky's Toys part of the adventure.

BnG Shrahd puppets.jpg

The idea was inspired by a conversation B&G's designers had with D&D staffer Chris Perkins who talked about a Strahd hand puppet Holly Conrad had made for him. The five finger puppets are equal parts cool and creepy. The Faceless Bride, Werewolf, and Marionette Jester all echo the adventure and the Strahd finger puppet is just required. The last one – the Zombie Cleric – is included as a way of teasing the party's cleric.

The finger puppets are smartly designed and well made. Strahd has a small satin cape like a classic vampire and a cute face that the dark lord of Barovia would probably hate. The Zombie Cleric has a tiny, shiny holy symbol on its chest, the Faceless Bride has a sparkly veil. The Werewolf is soft and fuzzy. The tiny bells on the Marionette Jester's hat ring. It's that kind of thought and creativity that earned B&G its excellent reputation and ups the ante from their normal sets to this legendary one.

This is the first “legendary edition” at Beadle & Grimm's, and it lives up to its name. Beadle & Grimm outdid themselves. The only reason I hesitate to label it a “must buy” for Strahd fans is the price. The $399 cost is hefty but understandable due to the details and quality of the components. Still, that's not in everyone's budget, and it's not intended to be. For Curse of Strahd Revamped, WotC's deluxe version, the equation is easier. Combine the MSRP of the actual CoS book plus the cost of the Tarroka deck, and you're already in the ballpark of CoSR's $99 MSRP so if you're buying the adventure for the first time and also want the deck, it's a no-brainer.

For LEoCoS it really comes down to your budget, your interest in the CoS adventure, and if you'll be playing face to face to show off all of its well-crafted pieces. If Beadle & Grimm's sets are an option for you, the Legendary Edition of Curse of Strahd is sure to please. Since the original print run sold out quickly (the second print run starts shipping this month), it has both interest and demand --- and I can't wait to see what they do for their Silver Edition of Von Rickten's Guide to Ravenloft, which is accepting pre-orders now.
 
Last edited by a moderator:

log in or register to remove this ad

Beth Rimmels

Beth Rimmels

EthanSental

Adventurer
I just bought the wizkids Tiamat ... :\

not that I can afford it so some times its just poor choices in life. :p
I keep waffling on buying the Tiamat…I keep looking, adding it to my cart and then deleting it :). If I don’t pick it up initially, let us know what you think when she flies in September.
 

log in or register to remove this ad



teitan

Hero
I would never buy it cause i like to run homebree, but say 20 bucks a session if the campaign takes 20 sessions split between 5 players and a DM and your looking at 3 bucks and change per game night per participant.

Honestly if they did a version with minis for all the monsters at $850 and it brought the price to $7 a game that would be a good deal
That’s all assuming gaming groups have the cheddar to drop the money. Most do not. So while a good deal, short term it’s a bad investment when people need to pay rent, groceries, feed children, make car payments, etc. to break it down this way is classism really because it assumes people can afford, even as a group, to plop down about $100 or more on a luxury item as a group and then what happens when the group breaks down? Who keeps it?
 

TheSword

Legend
Supporter
I've run the original Ravenloft many, many times and the maps are what interests me the most. Full sized maps we can just plop some miniatures on and go to town? Yes, please.


We've all got to decide what we value. I just spent $70+ dollars from Reaper Miniatures for a bunch of cowboys to use in an upcoming Deadlands campaign. In the last year I've dropped a lot of money on miniatures (Games Workshop), paints, brushes, and other supplies. In the grand scheme of things, $400 isn't really that expensive to me. Don't get me wrong, it's a chunk and I'd have to think twice about whether or not it was worth the purchase. But I guess I'm the targeted demographic for this product.
$400 is definitely within the budget. It’s just value for money is more important to me than price.

$400 dollars for the maps just isn’t worth it. Not when Mike Schleys maps cost $20 for the entire high res pack. Now if they released the maps as a B&G pack for $120 i’d probably buy them. But then again why would anyone buy the set? For a bit of pewter or brass?
 

EthanSental

Adventurer
the classism stuff or social economic discussion is hard to read as it sounds like whining to me. When I was 20-30, married, house, car, lower income job 20 years ago, I would have pined the same jargon cause I wanted it but couldn’t afford it. I wouldn’t have looked at it as some social construct of capitalism cause I couldn’t afford it. 20 years later, income is higher due to age and time with the job but I find it hard to pull the trigger like The Sword and other has mentioned…the maps are want I would find useful and maybe even the monster card to hang on the DM screen with stats facing me but a visual for the players…still on the fence but probably slide off the fence on the Not purchase it side.
 

The $399 cost
WOOOOOOF ouch oooof damn.

I'm not saying it's not justifiable. If you're going to play the entire campaign at least once and definitely it's going to be helped by these bits and bobs I could see it but daaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaamn.
the classism stuff or social economic discussion is hard to read as it sounds like whining to me. When I was 20-30, married, house, car, lower income job 20 years ago, I would have pined the same jargon cause I wanted it but couldn’t afford it. I wouldn’t have looked at it as some social construct of capitalism cause I couldn’t afford it.
Dude, that's because you had a house (not a rental, from the sound of it) and car when you were 30, 20 years ago. That means you got in before house prices spiralled upwards, and whilst even a "lower income job" was, economically-speaking, far more powerful than a "lower income job" or even some "middle-income" jobs now. It sounds like "whining" to you because you benefited from being on the right side of it, and don't understand how it works nowadays. It's not a matter of opinion either, it's a matter of demonstrable, mathematical fact. Prices now are far higher (particularly for housing, including rental). Incomes have not risen. Purchasing power has declined. Mortgages have become harder to get and less favourable to the mortgagee. Interest rates on savings of all kinds are pathetically low compared to 20 years ago. I could go on. It's not even politics, it's too easy to demonstrate as fact. If you're above a certain age and you managed to get on the housing ladder before it went to hell, you're well-protected from this. So for basically anyone 40-downwards (and some people in the 40-45 age range) now, it's a big (and growing) problem with no obvious solution.
 
Last edited:

To add to the whining, I now seem to loathe Kickstarters with over-priced premium tiers. That just reinforces the economic class divides in Capitalist Socities and inherits them into geek spaces. Not cool, at all.
 

Burnside

Space Jam Confirmed
Digital copies of the maps are available on dndbeyond.

Also some of the map designers release their maps for sale, though not all the maps get released this way.

For Castle Ravenloft, DNDBeyond only has the isometric maps from the hardcover.

The Beadle & Grimm set has pre-printed, full-color, top-down mini-scaled battlemaps of the entirety of Castle Ravenloft. That's not something you can get anywhere else, and it's easily the best thing about this boxed set.

I agree with those saying I would happily pay $100-$200 for just those maps. The rest of what's in the box I really don't care about, and I actively dislike the puppets.
 

darjr

I crit!
The Beadle & Grimm set has pre-printed, full-color, top-down mini-scaled battlemaps of the entirety of Castle Ravenloft. That's not something you can get anywhere else, and it's easily the best thing about this boxed set.

I agree with those saying I would happily pay $100-$200 for just those maps. The rest of what's in the box I really don't care about, and I actively dislike the puppets.
Good point. Though I think flat maps are available in Roll20 and there are some in DMsGuild. These look good.

Also I think they’ve broken out some maps before, ping them they might again.

Or I just might be remembering them discussing it.
 

Burnside

Space Jam Confirmed
Good point. Though I think flat maps are available in Roll20 and there are some in DMsGuild. These look good.

Also I think they’ve broken out some maps before, ping them they might again.

Or I just might be remembering them discussing it.

Roll20 definitely does have top-down maps.

That DMsGuild set is very good, although more suited to a VTT than for printing. It will print, but having all of those printed out in full-color at high-quality will cost in the hundreds of dollars anyway.

My players actually collectively bought me the Beadle & Grimm set, which to me is probably the way it makes sense to buy a product like this - as a group, for the group to enjoy, or for several people to go in on it as a thank-you to a DM.

As a player, I went in with four other players to gift the B&G edition of Baldur's Gate: Descent into Avernus to our DM who ran Tomb of Annihilation for us (also a subtle hint that we wanted him to run that one next).
 

Jeff Carpenter

Adventurer
That’s all assuming gaming groups have the cheddar to drop the money. Most do not. So while a good deal, short term it’s a bad investment when people need to pay rent, groceries, feed children, make car payments, etc. to break it down this way is classism really because it assumes people can afford, even as a group, to plop down about $100 or more on a luxury item as a group and then what happens when the group breaks down? Who keeps it?

The DM should keep it. They put in hours of prep and deserves some reward.

Maybe whomever lands the killing blow gets the finger puppet?

I didnt want to start a capitalism debate. I wanted to point out that for many groups skipping a starbucks on game day could allow you to upgrade each session.

Its not for everyone. I wouldn't buy it because I run homebrew adventures. But i see the value.
 

Burnside

Space Jam Confirmed
That’s all assuming gaming groups have the cheddar to drop the money. Most do not. So while a good deal, short term it’s a bad investment when people need to pay rent, groceries, feed children, make car payments, etc. to break it down this way is classism really because it assumes people can afford, even as a group, to plop down about $100 or more on a luxury item as a group and then what happens when the group breaks down? Who keeps it?

I don't think anybody would argue that this is not a luxury item. If your point is that there should be no such thing as luxury items in general, fair enough.

Obviously, it's relative to your resources. There are some groups for whom even buying the standard D&D products is an unaffordable luxury. Does that mean those products should not exist?
 

tommybahama

Adventurer
So even in the throes of a pandemic, we are not all equal, and some are richer than others, able to spend on luxuries. :-(

A decent GM can earn $90 running a three hour session on Roll20. Do that for a month and you can almost afford the B&G boxed set. I personally know a GM that was running six campaigns on Roll20 to make up for lost income when he was laid off from his managerial job at the start of the pandemic. I've heard of similar stories from about other people as well. They are able to feed their families because some people are willing to pay for the luxury of a paid DM online.
 

Burnside

Space Jam Confirmed
A decent GM can earn $90 running a three hour session on Roll20. Do that for a month and you can almost afford the B&G boxed set. I personally know a GM that was running six campaigns on Roll20 to make up for lost income when he was laid off from his managerial job at the start of the pandemic. I've heard of similar stories from about other people as well. They are able to feed their families because some people are willing to pay for the luxury of a paid DM online.

There's a set of assumptions here too, mostly with regard to having high-speed internet, a paid Roll20 account, time & a quiet space to run games online, etc. This is not a given for everyone. (And I'm speaking as a pro DM who makes at least an extra $100 per week running games on Roll20 as a side job).

I think "this product shouldn't exist because not everybody can afford it" is a bad argument, but "stop going to Starbucks/get a part-time job so you can afford it" is the other side of the bad argument - and one you hear often in a variety of contexts from people making unfair assumptions about other people's circumstances.
 

TheSword

Legend
Supporter
Good point. Though I think flat maps are available in Roll20 and there are some in DMsGuild. These look good.

Also I think they’ve broken out some maps before, ping them they might again.

Or I just might be remembering them discussing it.
The best place for the other maps are definitely the artists website. Mike Schley. Same for Tomb of Annihilation. He sells them high res either individually or as a $20 pack. Which is great value for dozens and dozens of maps.
 

EthanSental

Adventurer
WOOOOOOF ouch oooof damn.

I'm not saying it's not justifiable. If you're going to play the entire campaign at least once and definitely it's going to be helped by these bits and bobs I could see it but daaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaamn.

Dude, that's because you had a house (not a rental, from the sound of it) and car when you were 30, 20 years ago. That means you got in before house prices spiralled upwards, and whilst even a "lower income job" was, economically-speaking, far more powerful than a "lower income job" or even some "middle-income" jobs now. It sounds like "whining" to you because you benefited from being on the right side of it, and don't understand how it works nowadays. It's not a matter of opinion either, it's a matter of demonstrable, mathematical fact. Prices now are far higher (particularly for housing, including rental). Incomes have not risen. Purchasing power has declined. Mortgages have become harder to get and less favourable to the mortgagee. Interest rates on savings of all kinds are pathetically low compared to 20 years ago. I could go on. It's not even politics, it's too easy to demonstrate as fact. If you're above a certain age and you managed to get on the housing ladder before it went to hell, you're well-protected from this. So for basically anyone 40-downwards (and some people in the 40-45 age range) now, it's a big (and growing) problem with no obvious solution.

wrong in my case but that’s ok. As far as mortgages being difficult now, I’d say wrong as well. We are, in America, sliding back to the crap of NINJA loans at many banks, like we had leading up to the crash in 2007-8 time frame where an average joe could walk in say they make 70k and get a loan since the NINJA acronym is for no income, no job assessment. Troubling times indeed if we continue down that path again for housing.
 

wrong in my case but that’s ok. As far as mortgages being difficult now, I’d say wrong as well. We are, in America, sliding back to the crap of NINJA loans at many banks, like we had leading up to the crash in 2007-8 time frame where an average joe could walk in say they make 70k and get a loan since the NINJA acronym is for no income, no job assessment. Troubling times indeed if we continue down that path again for housing.
I'm not sure I'm "wrong" except as to exactly when you got the house/car because you gave an age range rather than a precise date. So long as you got a house and a mortgage before 2008 (even better if 2004 or earlier), didn't get it called in by the bank, and thus didn't get hit by the horrible mortgage rates in the years thereafter, nor the insane house-prices increases which have happened since, you're in a good place that there's no foreseeable way for younger people to ever get to (doesn't mean some huge change won't let it happen, but there's no foreseeable one). If you're getting sub-prime-style loans back in the US that's extremely worrying, because that's just as bad as hard-to-get mortgages, if not worse in some ways, because it could lead to another crash, which will again hit the rest of the world even harder than the US.
 


teitan

Hero
I don't think anybody would argue that this is not a luxury item. If your point is that there should be no such thing as luxury items in general, fair enough.

Obviously, it's relative to your resources. There are some groups for whom even buying the standard D&D products is an unaffordable luxury. Does that mean those products should not exist?
Oh no that’s not my point. Thinking about logistics of such allowed and I’ve seen the argument made for various high dollar items repeatedly in various posts. It’s a good value assuming the group finishes the adventure for sure but it’s certainly a luxury item and breaking down dollar to entertainment value from it isn’t really a good breakdown. It’s like breaking down the cost of a Rolex to how often you will look at it over your lifetime. Is it worth it? Yes. Is it a good argument? Ehhhhhhh. But yes I understand the idea. Just thinking bout loud.
 

Visit Our Sponsor

Latest threads

An Advertisement

Advertisement4

Top