The Essentials

This month's Ampersand article discusses a ten-product lineup referred to as Essentials, italics and all. Its designed to be a kind of stepping-stone path that allows players completely new to D&D to gradually transition from barebones rules to a more comprehensive structure. My understanding is that it kind of worked like this for OD&D, which had like, four different rulesets. Does it work well? I'm not sure since I started out with 2nd Edition.

Logically it makes sense. Start new people out small. Very small. The "Red Box" will have limited options and only get you to 2nd-level. Aside from rules, its got a lot of other shit like dice, an adventure, tokens, and power cards. I might pick it up for the tokens alone, which will prolly look a lot better than coins. >_> After that, players can pick up additional rules as they go, adding more and more until they shell out for a core set.

I think that this lineup is good for getting players in that are completely new to the scene and dont know a guy (who might know a guy) that can guide them through the process. While initially cheaper to get in the game, players will end up spending more to get the core rules, and in the end spend more than if they just splurged on the core books in the first place. That being said, there's something attractive about spending a fraction of the money to get into a game you arent sure I can see where they are coming from.

Mostly I'm looking forward to the Dungeon Tile sets, since I hear they're gonna go 3D (meaning that I can stop buying Dwarven Forge and save a couple hundred dollars).


  1. Holy shit you made your layout awesome.

  2. Actually, Victor (Megrim) did! He loves this stuff. :-3 But, thanks for the compliment!

  3. Shit, his title is Elminster, here. XD seems to change...

  4. lol yeah i go back and forward with Elminster and Megrim... both the same person! ^_^ suggestions to the layout can be made. Now about essentials... i guess it would benefit those completely alien to the game. my current group, well, we learned on our own so we don't really care about this product but sure understand its usefulness!

  5. Actually, when TSR came out with the original Basic box set in the 80's it was a huge success...but it had the drawback of polarizing the fanbase between people who played Advanced Dungeons & Dragons and those who played Basic.

    It might work out better here, wherein we'll have the basic introductory level set, and the larger, more advanced game...but this time it's the exact same game with different representation.

    Also, in the Ampersand article there was a mention of "Heroes of the Fallen Lands" and "Heroes of the Forgotten Kingdoms" which are to feature new builds for classes like Fighters, Rogues, Wizards, Clerics, Rangers, etc.

    I wonder if these will be all new, all different options or reprints of what e've already seen in the powersource books?

  6. Builds are just like Shadowrun archetypes: they arent new mechanics, just pre-planned concepts. For example, check out the Scourge warlock build in PH.


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