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Soulbound Starter Set Unboxing and Overview

After opening dozens of box sets over the years, I rarely find one that surprises me. The Soulbound Starter Set (PDF) serves as the reason I still look forward to opening new RPG box sets. On rare occasions, like this one, they make me say, “Wow!”

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Cubicle 7 was kind enough to send me the box as part of my continuing coverage of their Warhammer RPG lines. I’d opened the PDF before so I had some ideas of the content, but a PDF does not do this box justice. As a note, Soulbound is my current favorite Warhammer RPG because it is not a new edition but a new setting and rules all together (still based on a Games Workshop miniature wargame of course). I like an RPG with no baggage. And the rules for Soulbound are a simple d6 dice pool that scales which I really like. The rules also don’t require minis and battle maps, which makes online play an easier option.

The box itself is heavy cardboard and the sturdiest box I’ve ever seen. You open the lid and see charts from the game inside. In the box itself on top are eight six-sided dice, a cardboard sheet of tokens to track in game resources, and a heavy trifold Read This First! pamphlet.

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One minor note here both good and bad. The tokens come out really easily, which means they won’t tear. However I opened this box on the couch instead of the table and nearly lost one as they fell out so easily. So open on a table! Once punched out I didn’t want them rolling around in the box. I took the plastic ziplock bag the dice came in and put the tokens in instead. They fit perfectly.

The read first pamphlet lists the contents of the box, what Warhammer: Age of Sigmar: Soulbound is all about (including explaining what a GM is), and a brief description of each of the Mortal Realms. The back is a party sheet to track the rules for the entire party of PCs.

Next up are five more heavy paper pamphlets of pregens. Full art on the back, RPG info on the front right fold, and inside are the rules, background, and rules explanations. Five species are covered. Each PC has a range of abilities and rules for most game stats are included in the pamphlet.

The two softcover books include a guide to the city of Brightspear and an adventure in the city. An 8 ½ by 11 double sided card depicts the city on one side for players to use and the surrounding lands on the other. The bottom box lid has a map of the entire world of the Great Parch.

The city guide is 64 pages (the last one is an ad) and has a GM map of the city with locations on the back cover. It covers locations in the city, the surrounding area, and threats to the city.

The adventure has a glossy paper cover and is 48 pages long. It is designed to be learn as you go introducing rules encounter by encounter for both the GM and players to learn the game. The GM still has plenty of decisions to make including determining which of the NPC in the adventure is a traitor.

The box wraps up with reference sheets for the rules, combat, and spells. This covers how to make a test, combat information like actions and order, how to cast spells and the price for failing to cast, basic spells, and more.

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This boxed set has value beyond the adventure and pregens. The city guide, reference materials, maps, dice, and tokens can be used over and over again as can the monster stats and location maps. If a GM does run the adventure virtually, she can keep track of the tokens and maybe have a camera view of the amounts for the players to see.

What I like best about this box is that it has everything needed to play including the dice and also has reuse value for ongoing campaigns. The rules in the box are the same as the rules in the main rulebook, just introduced a few at a time. If you have friends who play Warhammer video games or wargames this box set would be an easy introduction to RPGs.

My only small concern in that the adventure has a paper cover which may become worn over time. However, I’m sure this keeps costs down and with it shelved in the box it should store just fine. The box doesn’t have a poster map, which older box sets sometimes have. However, the price is only $29.99 and the poster maps Cubicle 7 offers are $19.99 each so I understand the financial reasons for not including any. Finally, there are no character creation rules but none were promised so I don’t consider this a negative.

I think this box is well worth getting. If you run the adventure you get to try out the rules. Four hours of entertainment for under $30. If you decide you want the main rulebook you’ll have plenty of references and trackers to help you set up a full campaign. A lot of careful design went into stuffing this box full of useful RPG material and I recommend it if you like fantasy RPGs and want to try something new. If you are already a Soulbound GM you will benefit from the reference material, dice, tokens, city guide, and new monsters.
 

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Charles Dunwoody

Charles Dunwoody





The flavor of Age of Sigmar just doesn't do it for me like the Old World. I haven't gotten into the fiction, the lore, or honestly the tabletop war game like I did with the classic stuff. That's the primary reason I haven't considered Soulbound.

The flavor is quite different I agree. In Soulbound, the world was nearly destroyed so the PCs are pioneers in the wave of rebuilding and protecting what is being gained. It is like a zombie movie of reclamation or like Earthdawn emerging into a hostile new world. The Old Word will always be awesome but it is cool to have new worlds to explore as well. With these RPGs we have both.
 

Marc_C

Solitary Role Playing
The flavor is quite different I agree. In Soulbound, the world was nearly destroyed so the PCs are pioneers in the wave of rebuilding and protecting what is being gained. It is like a zombie movie of reclamation or like Earthdawn emerging into a hostile new world. The Old Word will always be awesome but it is cool to have new worlds to explore as well. With these RPGs we have both.
I actually prefer less lore. The old WHFB lore was too deep to get into if you just have a passing interest and want to play a few games. Never played the miniature game either.
 

Paragon Lost

Terminally Lost
I actually prefer less lore. The old WHFB lore was too deep to get into if you just have a passing interest and want to play a few games. Never played the miniature game either.
Sounds like board games might be more your style? After all a solid segment of ttrpgs is setting. Which means lore, background, history and myth etc. As an aside I do see this type of statement frequently and I'm always befuddled by it.
 


I actually prefer less lore. The old WHFB lore was too deep to get into if you just have a passing interest and want to play a few games. Never played the miniature game either.

I think the RPGs have enough to get you started but not too much. This boxed set has the right amount, a small settlement and surrounding area to run a few games in. The bigger book has more lore for those who want more.
 


Crusadius

Explorer
The flavor of Age of Sigmar just doesn't do it for me like the Old World. I haven't gotten into the fiction, the lore, or honestly the tabletop war game like I did with the classic stuff. That's the primary reason I haven't considered Soulbound.
I like Soulbound, but for me WFRP will always be better. So I might pick up one or two supplements for Soulbound, but I'm planning at the very least to pick up the entire Enemy Within + Companion set.

But what is good about Soulbound? I really like how they include guidelines on how to create your own Archetypes, Species* and Spells.

* although all it says it that you just need to come up with a Species Bonus equivalent to 2XP or one Talent.
 
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