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Starter Sets

John R Davis

Adventurer
By crikey my Soulbound Starter set just turned up and for 18quid ( 25 dollars) it's brimming with stuff on really good quality paper/card and even the box internals have stuff on them.
I am a sucker for these things ( have star trek, cthulhu, all the star wars ones, both DND 5).
Will buy theDune one as well

Anyone else unable to resist
 

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By crikey my Soulbound Starter set just turned up and for 18quid ( 25 dollars) it's brimming with stuff on really good quality paper/card and even the box internals have stuff on them.
I am a sucker for these things ( have star trek, cthulhu, all the star wars ones, both DND 5).
Will buy theDune one as well

Anyone else unable to resist
I playtested the Dune one. Assuming your players don't declare war on their hosts, it's easily 4-6 sessions of material.
I have 4 FFG Star Wars ones, plus the free RPG day QS, and the FFG L5R one.
None of those above lead to corebook purchase, as I'd already purchased the betas, and based upon those, decided to buy in.

I got the starter for Sentinel Comics, as well... which lead to buying the full game.

I got the Decipher starters for both Star Trek and Lord of the Rings - neither of which inclined me to purchase... but I eventually bought the D-Trek books, and the LotR core... the latter due to a steep discount.
 

HorusZA

Explorer
I really appreciate Starter Sets that are useful beyond just providing an intro version of the rules.
The Soulbound Box is a good example of that as the "Streets of Brightspear" guide is really good even if you don't use anything else from the box. The upcoming RuneQuest Starter Set also seems to be packed with goodies useful even to grognards.

My favourite starter set is the Call of Cthulhu one. While it's squarely aimed at introducing new players it does so exceptional well: it provides a choose-your-own-adventure style solo investigation that teaches the reader the basic rules of the game as they go along. After that it ramps things up with a one-on-one (1 GM, 1 Player) adventure followed by several traditional multiplayer scenarios. All this in addition to dice and high quality handouts.
 


MGibster

Legend
I generally don't find starter sets for RPGs to be worth it for games I was already had an inclination to purchase. The Aliens starter sent came with some dice and a nice map which made it worthwhile to me to purchase.
 

Jaeger

That someone better.
I am far more a fan of "Quickstart" rules as a means to try out a new system than "starter sets".

Primarily because with the Quickstart I get a decent enough of an introduction to a rules system that I am confidently able to judge whether or not I find the RPG interesting enough to buy.

Quickstarts also tend to be outright free. If not, the cost is nominal.

My view on "starter sets" is heavily colored by the fact that my intro to RPGs was B/X D&D.

So get out your grains of salt kids...

IMHO: "Starter set" = cripple ware.

In ye olden times... You bought the D&D red box you got some beginning levels, two rulebooks and a module; more than enough to start a game. The you got the "expert set" and you then had a complete game. Yes, B/X was a kind of glorified sales pitch for AD&D, but it was also a complete game in and of itself. The only thing really driving you to AD&D was peer pressure... ;)

Modern starter sets tend to be outright capped at low levels, you don't have a complete game, you never will, and they cost actual money.

I their defense: modern day starter sets are explicitly driving you to the full rules sets. They are named honestly.

But for me they are just not not worth the ROI if I am already inclined to get the "full game". As a long time player and GM of many different systems I am honestly not the target demo for them.
 


MGibster

Legend
If they weren't, they'd be corebooks, not starter sets.
The beginner box for the latest edition of Legend of the Five Rings retails for $40. It does come up a set of dice which retail for about $15 (I think), a starter adventure, some pre-made characters & sheets you'll probably never use again, and some cardboard gaming tokens of dubious value. The main rulebook retails for $60 but odds are you're going to want the proprietary dice for the game so we'll call the total $75. The beginner box is of very limited value in my opinion and I don't think it's worth the cost when you factor in having to buy the main book as well. That said, I did purchase the beginner set, main book, and an extra set of L5R dice because I'm an L5R fanatic. But I didn't think the beginner set was a great value for what I spent. But I knew what I was walking into so I don't feel cheated or anything.

The Alien starter box is a pretty good value in my opinion. You get a pretty good adventure, an abbreviated copy of the rules, 10 base dice + 10 Stress dice (retailing for $40 total), a sweet map of a ship you might use again in the future, some tokens you might use in the future, and some equipment cards of dubious value. I think this starter box was a pretty good value in part because of the dice and the abbreviated rule book.
 


The beginner box for the latest edition of Legend of the Five Rings retails for $40. It does come up a set of dice which retail for about $15 (I think), a starter adventure, some pre-made characters & sheets you'll probably never use again, and some cardboard gaming tokens of dubious value. The main rulebook retails for $60 but odds are you're going to want the proprietary dice for the game so we'll call the total $75. The beginner box is of very limited value in my opinion and I don't think it's worth the cost when you factor in having to buy the main book as well. That said, I did purchase the beginner set, main book, and an extra set of L5R dice because I'm an L5R fanatic. But I didn't think the beginner set was a great value for what I spent. But I knew what I was walking into so I don't feel cheated or anything.
The map is quite useful; one side is the Rokugan map, the other is the Palace of the Emerald Magistrate. Given that the L5R 5e corebook includes an option for gridded combat, the tokens are actually rather useful. I've used the starter set adventure with players who had played the beta and others who had not; it's a well set up whodunnit and makes used of the included palace map. It's a good introduction to the mechanics, both for new to the system and new to gaming.
The follow-on adventure is a download, and needs nothing new. It even gives some feel of the experience system.
 

Mongoose’s starter set for 2nd ed Traveller is pretty great. Nearly the entire rule set, plus a pretty good starter campaign (in the form of a series of linked adventures).
 

darjr

I crit!
I've run A LOT of free rpg day mods, and bought a lot of games because of it. One of the things that I find very strange is when the game as presented in the Free RPGDay offering plays better than the full fledged game. There have been a few. Granting that those offerings don't offer longer term play.

Although a couple of them would have worked very well for longer term play. Strangely, some of the WH40K ones were among those, if you were willing to just play the pregens and make up all the adventures yourself.
 

MGibster

Legend
Mongoose’s starter set for 2nd ed Traveller is pretty great. Nearly the entire rule set, plus a pretty good starter campaign (in the form of a series of linked adventures).
It's not really a starter set in the traditional sense. Unlike the starter sets for Cyberpunk Red, Legend of the Five Rings, or Alien, the Traveller starter set was a whole complete game.
 

It's not really a starter set in the traditional sense. Unlike the starter sets for Cyberpunk Red, Legend of the Five Rings, or Alien, the Traveller starter set was a whole complete game.
The Classic Traveller Starter Traveller was a complete edition of Classic Traveller - it replaced the minis game ship combat with a range band system, and was missing the "drugs" page. It uses the layouts from The Traveller Book, but organized differently, with some being updated/errata-corrected. It's the only CT set that tells the difference (aside from price) in Bk2 combat terms between Pulse Lasers and Beam Lasers. (Two shots instead of 1.) Many pages are simply "replace the page number" from The Traveller Book, which is essentially CT2.1
(CT 1.0 is the 1977 LBB US printing, and is the GW UK :BB edition; 2.0 is the 1981 US version; 2.1 is The Traveller Book, and 2.2 is Starter Traveller. There is a reprint of 2.0 - the big floppy version, and I don't know which edition Hunter used for the QLI reprint of CT, but I suspect 2.0. The QLI reprint was primarily for the GRIP VTT Traveller edition.)

So, MGT2 Starter being a nearly full game is nearly an homage of CT's
 

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