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5E Sing to me of Box Sets, what cool things have been in them, what cool things do you want in them?

darjr

I crit!
The speculation threads made me think about what kind of things I want. And I want box sets. I love em. The Dark Sun setting box set from 2e was cool. So was the Gardmore Abby one with the deck of many things in it. I think the king of box sets are the Call of Cthulhu classic boxed sets.

I want card decks, more player handouts. Maps that are art that I can hand out to my players that illustrate room or scene but have enough info so the players could draw a tactical map if needed. Revealed secrets as hand outs. Unique dice. Though if they came as separate products to be used to gether that might be cool.

The Beedle and Grimm box sets seem to be the current champion of box sets however.
 

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GlassJaw

Adventurer
Oh man I loved boxed sets from 1ed/2ed era. I sold a big chunk of my RPG collection kept all the boxed sets. I have a TON.

Favorites:
Greyhawk From the Ashes
City of Greyhawk
FR City of Splendors (Waterdeep)
Night Below

For me it's all about the maps. The Ad&d maps were so evocative and immersive. The City of Greyhawk even had multiple versions! One was a standard top-down map and another was an isometric artist rendition. The CoG boxed sets also has 8x10 poster board sheets with short adventures on them.

I absolutely love them but I also believe they were one of the (many) reasons TSR fell apart. They were very cost-prohibitive to produce.
 


Dausuul

Legend
What I'd want in a boxed set depends on what the set is. An adventure? A setting? An introductory "welcome to D&D" set?

Since Dark Sun is the boxed set that would most appeal to me, I'll go with that one. I am assuming that this would be a luxury product based on a Dark Sun setting book. What I'd want in it:

1. The setting book split up into a player book (subclasses, races, feats, psi rules, etc.) and a DM book (monsters, magic items, guides to running a Dark Sun campaign).

2. Maps, maps, and more maps. A big hex map of the Tablelands, plus a detailed map for each of the city-states. (The details of city geography come up surprisingly often in urban adventures.)

3. A handful of minis for iconic Dark Sun monsters. Bonus points if they can find a way to include a Huge or Gargantuan mini for the Dragon.
 



Boxed sets are mostly useful for the fiddly bits: maps, tokens, cards, handouts, etc. I've seen boxed sets without few, if any of these, and it feels like its a product waste (except starter sets, where the box makes it a gift idea).

I want a big ol' version of Darlene's Greyhawk maps.

Absolutely giant.

I guess a book would be nice, too, but kind of superfluous compared to the big ol' maps!
Ohhh maps! I love maps, especially hers :love:
 


Voadam

Hero
Fold out maps, for setting products, it was nice to have a container to put them in when not at the table.
Tarroka deck for Ravenloft.
Monster counters from Monster Vault were super useful.
 



Eltab

Hero
A map inspired by the "Economy of Faerun" map page in 3e FRCS would go well with a Dune Traders of Athas Campaign box set. Show who makes what and who wants it.
Schley does nice forests; has anybody seen desert maps / sketches that make you think you are looking at the real thing?
 


Mercurius

Legend
The thing for me about box sets is that while I love them, I actually prefer hardcovers for most products. They are just more...handy.

That said, I've waxed on before on the type of box sets that I'd like to see. In my "musings" thread I mentioned "Deluxe" Greyhawk and Dragonlance box sets, and by deluxe I mean deluxe: big, thick boxes, lots of material, and probably (unfortunately a price-point in the $75-100 range. But consider...

Greyhawk Box Set
  • 128-page World of Greyhawk Gazetteer.
  • 96-page City of Greyhawk book.
  • 96-page Castle Greyhawk adventure book.
  • 64-page Greyhawk Player's Guide.
  • Cloth re-print of the classic Darlene map.
  • Cloth map of the Anne B. Meyers Flanaess map.
  • Map of the city of Greyhawk.
  • Cards of iconic NPCs and other Greyhawkisms.
  • 32-page "Gygax's Greyhawk" booklet. Some kind of homage to Gary Gygax, perhaps an essay on the old days and development of the world. Possibly reprinted to look like the OD&D manuals.

Dragonlance Box Set
  • 128-page Krynn Gazetteer.
  • 64-page Dragonlance Player's Guide.
  • Set of three 64-page War of the Lance adventure path books.
  • Map of Krynn.
  • Map of Ansalon.
  • Cards of War of the Lance characters.
  • 32-page Dragonlance 40th anniversary booket, with art and describing the creation and evolution of Dragonlance.

I'm not sure you could fit the entire War of the.Lance into three 64-page books (in fact, I'm fairly certain you couldn't), but I think 400+ pages is already somewhat implausible.

I'd love to see a similar treatment of Planescape and/or Spelljammer, and some kind of mega-dungeon and/or adventure site in great detail (e.g. Myth Drannor).
 

3catcircus

Adventurer
City of Greyhawk.

1e AD&D City System boxed set (this is actually the City of Waterdeep, and far more gigantic maps than the 2e boxed set).

If not limiting ourselves to D&D - there have been great boxed sets for many different TTRPGs - TORG, Twilight:2000, Paranoia, Ghostbusters, just to name a few.
 

Honestly, I am not a fan of box sets. Box Sets in D&D history, typically meant a map, loose pages of information, of various unusual sizes, and a softcover pamphlet or two.

In practice, the boxes made it difficult to store, the boxes got destroyed or damaged and then of course the loose items, became/got lost.

In the current reality of Social Distance/ Online play, the nice props in a Beadle and Grimm box are being viewed over a Zoom or other conference platform. So that Soul Coin you want the player to ohh and ahh over....the physical impact is not going to translate on a video call.

That custom DM screen, not even needed or used, in virtual play.

There are enough great depictions of monsters online, that the Stat/Artwork cards in a Beadle and Grimm box set, are superseded.

Box sets just don’t make a lot of sense in the foreseeable future.

Sorry, to be the thread naysayer. 😢
 
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Nebulous

Legend
What I'd want in a boxed set depends on what the set is. An adventure? A setting? An introductory "welcome to D&D" set?

Since Dark Sun is the boxed set that would most appeal to me, I'll go with that one. I am assuming that this would be a luxury product based on a Dark Sun setting book. What I'd want in it:

1. The setting book split up into a player book (subclasses, races, feats, psi rules, etc.) and a DM book (monsters, magic items, guides to running a Dark Sun campaign).

2. Maps, maps, and more maps. A big hex map of the Tablelands, plus a detailed map for each of the city-states. (The details of city geography come up surprisingly often in urban adventures.)

3. A handful of minis for iconic Dark Sun monsters. Bonus points if they can find a way to include a Huge or Gargantuan mini for the Dragon.
Wow, if WotC did a Dark Sun box set setting/adventure that would be a dream come true. Or a box set of Spelljammer too for that matter. Both please!
 


3catcircus

Adventurer
Honestly, I am not a fan of box sets. Box Sets in D&D history, typically meant a map, loose pages of information, of various unusual sizes, and a softcover pamphlet or two.

In practice, the boxes made it difficult to store, the boxes got destroyed or damaged and then of course the loose items, became/got lost.

In the current reality of Social Distance/ Online play, the nice props in a Beadle and Grimm box are being viewed over a Zoom or other conference platform. So that Soul Coin you want the player to ohh and ahh over....the physical impact is not going to translate on a video call.

That custom DM screen, not even needed or used, in virtual play.

There are enough great depictions of monsters online, that the Stat/Artwork cards in a Beadle and Grimm box set, are superseded.

Box sets just don’t make a lot of sense in the foreseeable future.

Sorry, to be the thread naysayer. 😢
Difficult to store? They're like any other book. Stand on end in between other books. Done.

Destroyed or damaged? Are you stacking box on top of box or letting a pet play with them? I've got boxed sets dating back to the Basic D&D purpleish box and they are all at least in fair shape - a torn corner here or there that careful application of scotch tape fixed right up.
 

delphonso

Explorer
The 3.5 starter box (or one of them, at least) was excellently made for starting players.

An adventure guide for the DM
4 (or 6?) Premade characters at level 1 with minis to match.
Rules on how to play both for DM and players
A players handbook so you could make your own characters too
Only one set of dice (to demand a second trip to the game store)
A full dungeon map including tokens for magical loot.
Enemy minis including a blue dragon.

This was when those mini figures were the real income stream for WotC. But I was real happy with that box set. Totally not overwhelming for new players, and left enough to be wanted to start your own campaign.
 

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