Oh gods not another Red Box review

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10 Responses

  1. Crose87420 says:

    Hey, like the review and the style it was written in.

    I have a question since you have the Red Box in hand, well two sorta; Did they happen to include a list of monsters per dungeon level and terrain type as the Mentzer edition did? Also, are there random treasure tables or lists for placing loot on the fly?

    Thanks,

    Chad

    • greywulf says:

      Thanks!

      Unfortunately there’s no Mentzer style monsters per dungeon level & terrain type table. I’d have loved to see one in there though.

      Note to self: Build one!

      For treasure, there’s a short list of just nine treasures the adventurers should find while they’re 2nd level (the placement is entirely up to you), and there’s a small random treasure table in The Twisted Halls adventure. Enough to spark the imagination though.

  2. Pobman says:

    I have been debating whether to get this so I could show my 10 year old niece what fun I have with D&D. I think you have pushed me into getting it.

  3. DarkTouch says:

    When it comes to open licensing there is a distinction that is often thrown around. ‘Free as in Speech’ vs ‘Free as in Beer’. I think there needs to be something similar to this statement for breaking down what ‘Essentials’ means.

    A more clever mind than me might do better but I’m going with: ‘Essential as in Baking’ vs. ‘Essential as in Camping’. If you’re making a recipe then you need flower and eggs and milk. Without them you can’t make the cook. On the other hand if you’re going camping you bring just the essentials like your toothbrush. You may already have a toothbrush but you’ve narrowed down what you’re bringing to ONLY the important things.

    The essentials line is like camping. You have your electric toothbrush at home but for the purposes of camping you’re just bringing your little fold up toothbrush. You have your tricked out Sorcerer, Shaman and Barbarian classes but for here you’re just bringing your Fighter and Cleric.

  4. RetroThomas says:

    Very good review. Thank you for writing it. While my time with 4th Edition is done, I’ve been curious about this fabled Red Box. Perhaps its existence is a good thing and that its availability will allow some young people to get in on the hobby.

    Then again, can you imagine what might have been if you started with 4th Edition? I guess I have a much warmer feeling when I think about gamers that have young kids playing Mouse Guard or Swords & Wizardry with them. Thanks again :)

    • DarkTouch says:

      While I am not currently a 4e player, (Pathfinder instead) I am rather suspect of the implication that kids whose first RP experience is 4e are in some way getting a sub standard introduction to the hobby.

      • RetroThomas says:

        It’s funny you say that, DarkTouch, since I did not. However, since you pointed it out, I do agree with that statement. I think 4th Edition D&D would be a substandard introduction to the RPG hobby.

        However (and make that a BIG however) this is coming from someone who prefers the more imagination-centered type of gameplay as opposed to using grids, miniatures, powers, and crunchy tactical rules of 4th Edition. Since that’s my preference I would rather pass along that type game because I personally just enjoy it more and find it more immersive. It would just be my starting point for exposing new players and it’s where my values lie.

        My original point was this, though: I feel that starting with 4th Edition will be a very *different* introduction to the hobby than 2nd Edition (which I started with) or what the guys in the seventies started with. You’re getting a different experience than you are with a game where combat and exploration are centered in your imagination rather than on miniatures and grids. It is simply a different focus. That’s all I meant to say with my original post.

        • DarkTouch says:

          I think your use of the phrase ‘warmer feeling’ was enough to make your implication clear.

          Funnily enough, my very first introduction to RPGs was Marvel Superheroes (FASERIP) and what I most clearly remember about it was moving my little Collosus cardboard standee around the grid of the danger room. Of course that was pre-high school. I didn’t start playing RPGs heavily until college when I joined in with a group playing Live Action Vampire. You’d be surprised how tactically minded you can be with just Rock Paper Scissors.

  5. Elton says:

    * My original point was this, though: I feel that starting with 4th Edition will be a very *different* introduction to the hobby than 2nd Edition (which I started with) or what the guys in the seventies started with. You’re getting a different experience than you are with a game where combat and exploration are centered in your imagination rather than on miniatures and grids. It is simply a different focus. That’s all I meant to say with my original post. *

    I fully agree. When I read the PHB 1, I felt . . . that it was incredulously different than what I started with (Mentzer Box set). So much so, that I vowed I’d start my nephews on D&D with that old red box when they are 12 and 10. My other nephew I can’t start the game with since his autism makes communication nearly impossible.

    But, I’m receiving a copy of this boxed set so I get to, hopefully, approach the game from a new perspective. Lets see if it resonates the Old Professor when he was telling the story of the Hobbit to young Christopher. :)

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