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5E Laeral Silverhand's Explorer's Kit: A Review

Let's be honest—dice are gamer bling. To support our habit, Wizards of the Coast has released another “dice and miscellany” set, Laeral Silverhand's Explorer's Kit. Much like its predecessor, Baldur's Gate: Descent Into Avernus Dice and Miscellany, the new set features dice, dice trays, a map, and other material.
DnD Laeral's set.png
The dice portion features the standard set of seven polyhedrals plus a second d20 for advantage/disadvantage rolls, and three more d6s for those who like to roll their stats. The dice are a lovely blue with swirly silver undertones. The numbers are inked silver with the stylized ampersand from the Dungeons & Dragons logo on the 20 side of those dice.

Once out of the plastic packaging you have a two-piece box that doubles as two velvet-lined dice trays. Navy blue with iridescent silver ink—what else, considering the name?—the lid has a very pretty compass point design inscribed with “Together in harmony our stories are told.” The bottom half is equally charming though the phrases on it are as if Laeral wrote material for a tourism campaign. “Faerun, World of Adventure, Birthplace of Heroes,” “Wondrous Creatures, Boundless Magic,” “Greatest heroes, Boundless Villains,” “Lost Civilizations, Ancient Mystries,” and a “label” signed by Laeral that reads, “The path to Faerun's wonders is endless and fraught with danger, but one you'll never walk alone.”

The kit includes a folded, full-color, two-sided map with Waterdeep on one side and the Sword Coast on the other. A note from Laeral speaks lyrically of Faerun past and present in a way that, of course, also applies to Dungeons & Dragons itself.

In addition to the dice, the kit includes 19 full-color cards, with art on one side and Laerel's commentary on the topic on the other. It's a mix of people, organizations, and locations that would have been quite handy if it had been released along with Waterdeep: Dragons Heist. I like it, but it seems rather random. The Harpers and Zhentarium get cards but not the other factions. The conceit of being written by Laerel shouldn't change that. She would have opinions about the Order of the Gaunlet, Lord's Alliance, etc.

Similarly, Vajra Safarh, the current Black Staff, Durnan, Mirt, Grand Duke Ulder Ravengard of Baldur's Gate, Halaster Blackcloak (the “mad mage”), Jarlaxle Baenre, Lord Dagult Neverember, Drizzt Do'Urden, and Xanathar get cards, but that brings up my personal disappointment with this product. When I got the notice that WotC was releasing something called “Laeral Silverhand's Explorer's Kit” I thought it was going to be a book like Mordenkainen's Tome of Foes but focused on notable NPCs in Faerun as well as information useful for explorers and adventurers. As much as I love the aesthetics of this product and the dice, I still think a guide to people in Faerun (and beyond?) would be a great addition to what they've done so far.

The final cards are for the locations Baldur's Gate, Candlekeep, Neverwinter, Port Nyanzaru, Waterdeep, and Icewind Dale. Again, it's interesting, but could have included other notable locations, though these are the major human-run areas.

Overall the cards are good but would have been much more handy during either Waterdeep adventure. I love dice. Those and the dice trays are very pretty and most likely the part I'll use the most. I wouldn't call Laeral Silverhand's Explorer's Kit a must-buy, but if you have money to burn and like accessories or just love pretty dice, it's a worthy choice with high production values.
 
Beth Rimmels

Beth Rimmels

Sketchpad

Explorer
It looks to be a nice set, but, like Beth, I was also disappointed to find out that a product called "Laeral Silverhand's Explorer's Kit" was a dice pack with some goodies. I was hoping for something more like the old 1e Survival Guides to be honest.
 


Envisioner

Explorer
With the current economic situation being very hard on luxury industries, this seems like the wrong time to be releasing "gamer bling". Most people can't even congregate publicly, so who are you even going to play D&D with, physically in a room, let alone show off your new swag?
 

Scrivener of Doom

Adventurer
With the current economic situation being very hard on luxury industries, this seems like the wrong time to be releasing "gamer bling". Most people can't even congregate publicly, so who are you even going to play D&D with, physically in a room, let alone show off your new swag?

As this would have been designed etc... about six months ago, it's fair to say that it wasn't designed with the knowledge that everything was about to go awry....
 

aco175

Legend
For $20.00ish, may be ok for people who need dice and a tray to roll them in. The cards may be handy for showing the pictures to the players on people and places they may go. Maybe Christmas or birthday present. I can see new players wanting it more.
 

EthanSental

Adventurer
After purchasing the Avernus set, I wasn’t going to purchase this set...but ended up buying it to buy something from my local comic game store since comics aren’t being released for a bit. Overall I’m pleased with the purchase, dice, tray and other contents.
 

ddaley

Explorer
After purchasing the Avernus set, I wasn’t going to purchase this set...but ended up buying it to buy something from my local comic game store since comics aren’t being released for a bit. Overall I’m pleased with the purchase, dice, tray and other contents.

Unfortunately, my "local" game store is about 30 miles away in the middle of a big city. As much as I would like to drive down there to browse, I probably won't get there for a while :(. And, unfortunately, they don't have much of an online presence.
 


I don't know how they could make a more generic version of one of these kits, but as someone who doesn't use the Forgotten Realms, but would love to get a nice set like this, I wish they would.
 



murquhart72

Explorer
I found the d20s to be a bit too large, but I'd love to see something like this for Mystara or Greyhawk. I do like the map and dice box set up. Not sure how useful the cards are though...
 

robus

Lowcountry Low Roller
Supporter
My question is: who is this for? (Beyond collectors I guess?).

Edit: And is there really anything left to explore on the Sword Coast? ;)
 

Dire Bare

Legend
Supporter
My question is: who is this for? (Beyond collectors I guess?).

Edit: And is there really anything left to explore on the Sword Coast? ;)

People who need/want pretty dice with a pretty box that doubles as a dice rolling tray?

Seems kinda obvious to me.

I have tons of dice, I don't need this product. I'm tempted, the dice and box are pretty. The map and cards are nice extras I might or might not keep.

But there are plenty of newer players who don't already own buckets full of dice, this is a great product for them.
 


Von Ether

Adventurer
The numbers are inked silver with the stylized ampersand from the Dungeons & Dragons logo on the 20 side of those dice.
That's cool. Also because the opposite is a pet peeve of mine, especially rolling the top spot is a special benefit. It's also great marketing. I see your logo and something cool happens at the table.

The only reason to put a symbol on the "1" spot is if something happens when you roll a one.

I found the d20s to be a bit too large, but I'd love to see something like this for Mystara or Greyhawk. I do like the map and dice box set up. Not sure how useful the cards are though...

Maybe that's the solution for WotC, people are not going to stop talking about Mystara and Greyhawk so why not come up with a cool color scheme, reuse some of the best art and then put out accessories.
 

I don't know that Mystara and Greyhawk sets would do much to mollify people by themselves.

Now, if they were coupled with making both settings fair game in the DMs Guild, maybe with a few Adept-written titles to accompany the announcement, I could see it working.
 
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Tazawa

Explorer
My question is: who is this for? (Beyond collectors I guess?).

Edit: And is there really anything left to explore on the Sword Coast? ;)

Not everybody plays the adventures as soon as they come out. As many people have noted, there are a plethora of adventures set on the Sword Coast.

This would be the perfect gift for a new player in any Sword Coast campaign.
 

Zabalorf

Villager
I’m just disappointed we don’t get an awesome book cover that matches it. I love that the Alt cover of Avernus matches the dice box. Still getting this though.
 
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