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Dungeons and Dragons Starter Set: Review

Starter Set for Dungeons and DragonsThe Dungeons and Dragons Starter Set is aimed at easing you into playing with a paired down rule set, easy to run adventure and pre-built characters. The set aims for as close to a plug and play kind of setup as you can get with a game as complicated as D&D and it does it well.

What it is

This setup includes an adventure with a decent variety of encounter types, some scenarios in which stealthy sleuth work can help you avoid encounters and some fun NPCs to meet along the way.

For a new DM it’s as simple as it can get. The rules are just what you need to know for a basic game, the characters are pre-generated so your players just pick them up and you can start playing.

The box comes with

  • A copy of the paired down rules
    • 32 pages which does not include how to build characters
    • It includes How to Play, Combat, Adventuring, Spell casting rules and a list of spells as well as conditions and what they mean
  • A copy of the adventure – The Lost Mines of Phandelver
    • The adventure is set up to guide a DM through playing.
    • It’s easy to figure out when to level up your characters and way the adventure is set up means that the adventurers can take on any number of adventure story hooks or paid for gigs from Townmaster Harbin Wester (who you also meet in The Dragon of Icespire Peak from The Essentials Kit.)
    • This adventure takes characters from 1st level to 5th level.
  • Five ready to play pre-generated characters. A Dwarven Cleric, Elven Wizard, Halfling Rogue, Human Fighter 1 and Human Fighter 2. They each have a full character sheet with detailed background and some game rules to help the players figure out how to play their characters. The detail on each of these is impressive and make it a lot easier to get going when you first start to play.
  • A decently made set of six dice including a d20, d12, d10, d8, d6 and d4.

What it is not

The Dungeons and Dragons Starter Set is not aimed at experienced players, not even folks with a little bit of experience. If you are looking to start DMing after being a player for a little while then I would recommend the Essentials Kit which has a paired down rule book but it includes how to build characters.

The adventure for The Lost Mines of Phandelver is free on dndbeyond so if you just want to experience the adventure then get it there rather than buying the box set.

Who will benefit from it most

Folks will benefit most from the set if:

  • they are super new to the game.
  • they want to start playing the game for the first time.
  • they are players who have played a handful of sessions but are still relatively new and want to try their hand at being a dungeon master.

Get the Dungeons and Dragons Starter Set here

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If you enjoyed this one then check out our reviews on the core rule books.


Rocket is a d&d super fan with a lot of thoughts on things

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