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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars D&D 5e—The quintessential dungeons and dragons experience.
The D&D 5th edition starter set is, without a doubt, one of the best Dungeons and Dragons products which has been produced in a very long time.

Fifth edition, (which the company usually refer to as just "Dungeons and Dragons" now) is a near-perfect ruleset, and the starter set is a brilliant introduction to the system for old an new players alike...
Published 2 months ago by Luke Bunger

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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Okay for what it is but not really a "Starter Set".
As a starter box this is inferior to the Pathfinder Beginner Box; as a game system I'm still in two minds; as a boxed fastplay scenario it seems pretty good. Whether its worth while all depends on how much you pay for it and what you want from it.
If all you want is to try out the new edition then its probably fine, if you actually want to start playing then I would...
Published 8 months ago by G. Steele


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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars D&D 5e—The quintessential dungeons and dragons experience., 4 Feb. 2015
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This review is from: Dungeons & Dragons Starter Box (D&d Boxed Game) (Misc. Supplies)
The D&D 5th edition starter set is, without a doubt, one of the best Dungeons and Dragons products which has been produced in a very long time.

Fifth edition, (which the company usually refer to as just "Dungeons and Dragons" now) is a near-perfect ruleset, and the starter set is a brilliant introduction to the system for old an new players alike.

The set contains several key pieces, and everything you need to start playing the game. It includes a simple rulebook—just around 30 pages—which contains all of the core mechanics of the game, a (nearly) full set of polyhedral dice, a set of five pre-generated characters, and, most importantly, a 70+ page adventure, "The Lost Mines of Phandelver"

The rulebook is amazingly succinct, but surprisingly complete. The text of the rulebook is, primarily, taken directly from the Basic Rules and Players Handbook (PHB), and covers all of the basic mechanics for playing the game. Instructions are clear, and the new system is amazingly intuitive. Unlike the Basic Rules, (a 100+ page free PDF available from the WOTC website) and the PHB, the basic rules contain only the mechanics for playing the game. What is missing, then, is all the aditional information for creating new characters, lots of class-specific information, instruction advanced, and non-standard playstyles like multi-classing, and only a limited set of spells and attacks for casters. It also includes only enough information to take a character from first, to fifth level, but since the included adventure doesn't really give players the option to advance much beyond this anyway, this is not particularly a problem.

Almost any rules which will come up during normal play in this game are covered in this rule book, which can be read, cover-to-cover in only around 15 minutes, and will give even complete novice players all of the information that they need to play the game.

The box also includes a nearly complete set of RPG Dice. It contains the 6 basic dice, a D4, D6, D8, D10, D12, and D20. It lacks the D10 Percentile dice, but rolling percentages can still be achieved by rolling the D10 twice, and multiplying the first roll by 10. This comes up so infrequently as to be inconsequential. However, while passing around a single set of dice is certainly possible, most players will want to purchase their own dice in addition to this, to significantly speed up play. The dice are quite nice marbled blue dice, and seem of good quality, similar to that of Chessex matched sets—in fact, it wouldn't surprise me to learn Chessex actually make the dices for the starter set.

The pre-generated characters make picking up, and playing this set really easy. The five characters feature the typical common D&D races—Human, Dwarf, Elf and Halfling—and Classes—Wizard, Cleric, Rogue and two fighters, a ranged fighter, and a "tank".

While it is entirely possible to create your own characters for this adventure, using the free, basic rules (though you would still be limited to the same race/class combinations) or PHB, the pre-generated characters actually have a great and well thought out backstory, and plenty of adventure hooks, and so it is well worth using these, at least during your first play-through.

The adventure itself is wonderfully written, and amazingly deep. The adventure book is a combination of adventure, Dungeon Master's Guide (DMG) and Monster Manual (MM) and contains not only the adventure itself, but also great tips for new DM's, additional advanced rules, and stat-blocks for all monsters featured in the adventure.

Wizards' decision to split the adventure and the rules into two separate books is an inspired one. This means that players can read through rules, and this can be a resource on the table, without the possibility of players spoiling the adventure, and seeing things they shouldn't.

Both the adventure and the rule-book are printed in full colour, on glossy premium magazine type paper, and both feature artwork, both from the printed core rulebooks (PHB, MM, DMG) and some artwork created specifically for the adventure (primarily maps). It is typically very high quality, and very much in keeping with the high-fantasy setting of the campaign.

The Lost Mines of Phandelver takes place in the Forgotten Realms setting—the most popular D&D setting of all time—along the sword coast, primarily in and around the previously largely unexplored town of Phandalin. It starts as a fairly standard sort of adventure, an "escort the cargo" mission, but from the beginning, there are plenty of hooks in the characters back-stories which drives characters towards Phandalin, and that make this more than just a "you've been hired, so shut up and do the job" sort of affair.

It starts with a fairly standard ambush encounter, but this quickly opens up multiple branching adventure possibilities. Even the initial exchanges with basic monsters are challenging and feel rewarding, and while all encounters are winnable, success never feels guaranteed, and there is a real sense of danger and a constant possibility of failure at every turn.

The adventure has many options, which allow encounters to be overcome in a number of different ways, and encourages creative solutions to be considered. There is potential inter-player conflict baked into their back-stories, and the adventure gives the DM plenty of opportunities to test the bonds between players, simply by introducing multiple, mutually exclusive options that different players will want to explore.

The adventure is very dense. Our group is approaching 15 hours into the adventure, and barely feel like we have scratched the surface—we have multiple adventures we have been tasked with completing, and several others threads we are exploring which we don't even have enough information or skills to begin to think about tackling yet. There is more than enough in the adventure for several months of intense play-sessions.

While experienced groups may want to jump right in to creating their own adventures with the core rulebooks, this adventure is so well-produced that experienced adventurers will get just as much from this starter set as complete newcomers. This sort of adventure would be well worth the price of the starter set, and then some, if printed as a stand-alone product.

Fifth edition is the quintessential version of D&D, with all of the best things from previous editions, and a number of new innovations brought together in a perfect package, and the Starter Set is the perfect way to experience this new and improved version of D&D.

An easy recommendation for new and experienced players alike.
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53 of 55 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Well done, Wizards, 1 Aug. 2014
By 
N. A. Freeman "Heselbine" (West Sussex, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Dungeons & Dragons Starter Box (D&d Boxed Game) (Misc. Supplies)
Having played D&D since the Dungeon Master's Guide came out in the late 1970s, I've got quite a long perspective on the various editions. For me, 1st and 2nd editions were unplayable without severe house-ruling, and 3rd edition was the first version that was a playable game. 4th edition I played for a couple of years but I found it fairly problematic. For the last few years I've played Pathfinder.

D&D 5th edition is, for me, a real combination of the simplicity of 1st and 2nd editions and the playability of 3rd edition, with not very much of 4th edition featuring. At this moment, I think this version could be the best version of D&D yet.

The starter box is decent. The adventure is not spectacularly innovative - I would use the word solid. But (hooray) there are lots of roleplaying hooks built in - this is no longer the pseudo-computer game of 4th edition. D&D is about playing characters again, and the biggest statement of intent is that a full third of the character sheet is concerned with roleplaying.

The rules are short but to the point and demonstrate the simplicity of this game over Pathfinder. If you like all those fiddly +1 bonuses and so on for dozens of different reasons you're going to be disappointed with D&D 5th. However, the Advantage/Disadvantage system is a really clever replacement. Much simpler and more fun.

The 5 starter characters are decent too. And the dice...anyone who remembers the quality of dice you used to get in these sets will be very pleasantly surprised by top quality dice you'd pay a few quid for.

Why play this though?

1. Because Pathfinder is too complex.
2. Because you don't necessarily want to use minis and maps for every single encounter
3. Because it feels like D&D again
4. Because you hated the 'gaminess' of 4th edition
5. Because it emphasises role-playing and draws in ideas from other games about the mechanics of supporting role-playing

Why not play it?

1. Because we don't yet know what resources Wizards are going to put into supporting it...are they going to drop it after a few years?
2. Because you've already invested in all those lovely Pathfinder books!
3. Because it's still, at the end of the day, D&D

I will be playing it. Well done, Wizards.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great!, 4 Aug. 2014
By 
Mr. C. J. Short "zace" (Lancashire, England.) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Dungeons & Dragons Starter Box (D&d Boxed Game) (Misc. Supplies)
Well this latest incarnation of the game is really something. Plays very well. They have moved away from the rigidity of 4th, and taken hold of their AD&D roots, but brought it into the 21st century. This starter set has all that you need to give it a go - combined with the online freely available rule, we have had a great time with this set.
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21 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars D&D is back on track, 24 July 2014
By 
Matthew D. Hayward (UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Dungeons & Dragons Starter Box (D&d Boxed Game) (Misc. Supplies)
First of, this is the Starter Set for D&D 5th edition. For anyone unfamiliar with the new 5th edition, Wizards of the Coast have listened closely to player feedback and have made an edition that feels much more like earlier editions but has the delivery and production quality of more recent products. It has been likened to 2nd or 3rd edition and it definitely has the imaginative feel of those well-regarded editions.

It's clearly aimed at new players but the adventure is of a very high standard and is worth getting the set for that alone. 'The Lost Mine of Phandelver" has plenty of choices for players in regards of where to go and what to do, with an array of side quests. It's clearly laid out and has a lot of small touches that the dungeon master will appreciate. The adventure is set in Forgotten Realms near the Sword Coast. I estimate the adventure has between 6 to 12 hours of play, depending on how many side quests the player's discover or choose to undertake.

The slim rulebook has the bare essentials for play and contains no character creation; 6 pre-generated characters are provided. Players would need to use the free online basic rules to create a character, or invest in the Player's Handbook to get all the race, class and ability options.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great starter set, 2 Sept. 2014
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This review is from: Dungeons & Dragons Starter Box (D&d Boxed Game) (Misc. Supplies)
Great starter set. Detailed adventure with lots to explore and all you need to create your own adventures. Reminds me of the good old D&D red box.
Should include character creation rules but you can easily download it from wizards website.
5th edition is looking pretty good for me. You can play without miniatures if you want and magic items aren't as mundane as they had become on previous editions.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Useful, Awesome and Easy, 12 Mar. 2015
This review is from: Dungeons & Dragons Starter Box (D&d Boxed Game) (Misc. Supplies)
I'm 13 years old and had never played DnD before. My friends and I had bought the character handbook just a week or two before I got the starter box and we had already built our characters, done our backstories, written our stats and skills etc. But I was amazed at how easy it was to get started and how fun it was.
The box comes with a few pre-generated characters so you can pretty much start playing immediately. The rule book is extremely helpful and the pre-made adventure you get with it is pretty fun and easy to play and Dungeon Master for a first game. We played for hours and didn't get bored. As DM it was awesome to play the adventure through, narrate etc. Overall a great kit to get me and my friends started, you don't need a character handbook at this point because you already have characters made for you. Great fun, awesome and the next games we played were pretty cool. However after a while you might want to build your own characters with the help of the handbook and start making your own adventures after you get used to playing, but the kit is very helpful. Comes with all dice and they're pretty cool.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A really nice fresh start for D&D, 5 Aug. 2014
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This review is from: Dungeons & Dragons Starter Box (D&d Boxed Game) (Misc. Supplies)
This starter set is a great investment for players new to D&D or those (like myself) a bit disillusioned with 4th edition.

I loved 3.5 and currently love Pathfinder so personally won't be jumping straight to 5th edition right now but based on what I have read in this set I could be convinced once my current campaign is complete.

I had to knock one star off for the inclusion of a cardboard packer in the box set. Wizards, why didn't you include a poster map or something instead??
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5.0 out of 5 stars A perfect introduction, 23 Dec. 2014
By 
B. A. Chatzis "06bac" (London) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Dungeons & Dragons Starter Box (D&d Boxed Game) (Misc. Supplies)
I would like to iron out a few issues that some of the negative reviewers have had before explaining why I believe this product deserves the 5 stars I have given it.
People are complaining about a lack of counters and maps etc, but those are not required to play, they are just an added bonus that many DMs enjoy to use in their campaigns. There is no character generation either as it was designed with a "pick up and play" attitude for beginners. It seems that the ideal group to benefit from this starter set is made up of a DM with some experience in playing the game, spectating the game, or just prior knowlege of the game, and a group of complete beginners to play the characters. The pre generated characters are there to simplify the rather daunting learning curve, and to get players straight into the action. For further customisation, wizards of the coast provided a free pdf to download from their site with the character gen rules in. I was a huge fan of the lack of counters included as it forced my group to start the campaign using just our imaginations to portray the combat scenes. Sure it may have been slightly less accurate, but this edition is all about role playing and enjoying the game instead of "meta-gaming". I had a huge success introducing 4 friends into the world of dnd with this product. I believe this is due to the fact that they turned up, sat down, were given their sheets, read over them for five to ten minutes, listened to the rules and quickly got stuck in. The campaign itself is lots of fun with twists and turns in the story as well as being a great buffer to starting a hoard of the dragon queen campaign!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Good starter set for the beautiful world of imagination, 17 July 2014
By 
Denis Vukosav - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Dungeons & Dragons Starter Box (D&d Boxed Game) (Misc. Supplies)
Dungeons & Dragons Starter Set are few magic words which caused my generation heart to beat faster when we remember the days 30-odd years ago when we played it all the time (besides the time when we had to go at school, eat and sleep), even going through exciting adventures in our dreams.

Gathered in a party of four brave, diverse figures, our characters were going through mystical areas, struggled with horrible monsters, collect money and spend it on solid armor, heavy swords and magical wands.

The times are changing, now a lot more people are playing games in front of their screens, and much less physically gathered in one room, but some things remain the same because they are simply legendary.

One of these things is Dungeons & Dragons, or as we called D&D, which with its Starter Set offers today the ticket for this world as well as many years ago providing lot of fun, excitement and tension if you have imagination and some people around you with similar interests.

The new version of this D&D Set is based on 5th Edition rules, while providing user with the ability to download Basic rules PDF from Wizards of the Coast website for free.

Speaking about the rules, though that is always something that different people have different opinion, this fifth edition seems better than 4th, though it's still not so good as 3rd which in my opinion is still the best one.

The adventure which is included within is quite long and worth the price keeping you busy for (even if you are intermediate experienced players) around 20-30 hours of play. Those new in world of D&D for which this set is mainly intended will be nicely surprised with its nice artwork and maps which are entertaining and easy to follow.

Speaking about the characters this set offers decent set of them thought do not expect some graphics wonder except for the encounters which are really nicely designed. Inside the box players will find good set of dice therefore for some time there is no need to purchase additional ones. The box set is large enough to put extra material which you will for sure acquire if you decide to take part in more challenging adventures.

Overall, I'm looking forward for all other books scheduled to be released in following months and cannot more recommend this new edition, except to say that I can’t wait to bring together the old team and play a game or two, though I'm sure this will stretch long into the night.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars some fairly nice marble effect dice - And everything you need to ..., 25 July 2014
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This review is from: Dungeons & Dragons Starter Box (D&d Boxed Game) (Misc. Supplies)
Such an improvement over The Red Box from 4th Edition. This set includes 5 interesting premade characters for a 'default' party setup - An adventure that should last for several sessions, some fairly nice marble effect dice - And everything you need to play the game at a basic level.

I think the only thing I would really like changed is the layout of the spells section in the rulebook - You've got the Cleric and Wizard spells mixed together, and sorted by alphabetical order rather than order of level.

There's a good range of monsters included in the adventure - which takes players through a few different [albeit fairly standard] Forgotten Realms settings, and serves as a fairly good introduction to new players.

As for the core ruleset, the game has simplified since D&D4 with regards to combat, which now runs much more fluidly. Classes still seem to feel the same (though we'll see how far this goes when the Player's Manual comes out soon).

If you're new to RPGs and have some people itching to play too, this would make a great start. For more experienced players, the adventure provided is fairly standard - Nothing too complex - But most of the information included elsewhere won't be too relevant for you since you can just go and download DND basic.
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Dungeons & Dragons Starter Box (D&d Boxed Game)
Dungeons & Dragons Starter Box (D&d Boxed Game) by Wizards of the Coast (Misc. Supplies - 15 July 2014)
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