Review copy courtesy of Wizards of the Coast.
- Includes a comedy adventure that can be a lot of fun. It’s a dungeon delve style where each encounter has some comedy element to it.
- Whoo, more dice!
- Quite a lot of Rick & Morty style art. If that’s your thing. I always like new art. It even extends to the Dungeon Master’s screen (contains all the same rules that previous screen included).
Could Go Either Way
- It’s the basic D&D rules as you’ve seen before. You can even find them for free on the website. What you’ll be missing is the comedy included along side them. This is again a double edged sword, because you need to be aware that the blurbs are entertainment, and not necessarily good advice. Can be very dangerous for the wrong new Dungeon Master.
- There’s not really any extra reusable.
- This is a comedy adventure. Comedy is fun the first time, but if you’re the kind to get bored when hearing the same joke a second time, running the same joke is probably even worse. That's assuming you found it funny the first time, as comedy is subjective.
- No PDF*
* Denotes nitpicking.
|The set in all of its glory.|
Like D&D? How about Rick & Morty? Well, good news for you! There was a newish D&D starter set released that is heavily influenced by Rick & Morty. In practice that means that the adventure is written like it’s actually made by Rick, and the rules themselves have blurbs of “advice”. Much of this I wouldn’t actually follow but it’s there for the entertainment value. That’s the high level overview. Look below for a closer look.
New Player Options
I mean, it’s a starter box. So no. Closest we have to new player options is 5 new pre-made character sheets.
Once again the answer is nope. The descriptions for many have been Rick & Morty-ified, but that’s about it. And when I say that, I mean there’s more humour in them. It’s not that they’ve been massively changed in terms of gameplay. Because they haven’t.
What You Need to Play
You know how I always complain that you need to refer to the Monster Manual for adventures? Well, all of the creatures are included! The basic rules? Are included! Dice? Included. It is a starter set, so this is what I’d expect.
|Nice looking critter, eh?|
The Adventure Itself
The adventure itself takes the form of a dungeon delve. You enter and go from room to room, experiencing encounters that all have some comedic twist. Some involve combat, some less, but there is generally some joke or punchline to every room. I ran through it with some friends and we had quite a few laughs. That said, in the nature of D&D, quite a bit of that laughing wasn’t written in the adventure’s script. It was spontaneous because a bunch of friends were playing D&D.
Now, this being a humour adventure, I think it’s very hard to describe and talk about. Humour is very subjective. However, because of how it’s structured, I don’t think it’s very repayable. If you do, it’s more like going through the same stand up comedy set. This is in opposition to adventures such as the classic Ravenloft, where elements would be randomized, and as a result allowing you to replay it every year at Halloween if you so wanted, with differences every time.
Alright. Fine. You won’t run it more than once for the same group probably. Well, I think most Dungeon Masters wouldn’t run it more than once for that same reason. They don’t want the same jokes again, and it doesn’t have a creepy atmosphere you could use for Halloween, or to see how someone new would go through Mines of Phandelver. If they do, it’s to be a joke teller like I described before. That makes it more niche than many other adventures. That said, there’s not many adventures in this niche, and basically no official ones. At best you’ll find traces of it in the full blown adventures.
|Example of the what the new art looks like.|
The Art and Book Build Quality
The pages themselves are the thinner type we’ve come to expect from starter sets. If you saw the original starter set, you know what to expect. It’s glossy and thin, unlike the full hardcover books. This also extends to the screen. It’s not thick card like the one from the Christmas set a little while back, which felt like it was made from book covers. It’s thinner card.
The art itself is a mixture of art from previous work, and new art in the style of Rick & Morty. The old art still looks good, but anyone who has been around this edition for a while wouldn’t get exited from seeing it again. It’s limited to only the rules section of the book. The new art is quite common, both throughout the
It’s the standard start set price of $29.99 USD. No surprises here.
What I felt was Missing
As far as low priced starter sets go, it has just about what I’d expect. What I would really like to see, however, is something reusable in general campaigns like dungeon tiles. Here, you can reuse the screen, and dice obviously, but some more would go a long way. Here’s an idea: let’s have a big zip of random stuff to help Dungeon Masters prepare. One example would be pages you can just add text to for handouts. Just print it out, and write on it with black pen. It’d go a long way if a starter set also helped players with the building blocks of their campaign for elements such as battle maps and handouts.
I’d also like to have seen some handouts we could show our players so they could see what the room looks like. Some old TSR era adventures did this, and given that it’s in the style of Rick & Morty, it’d be great to be able to show scenes to players in that style. Instead, a lot of it is in the rules and adventure itself, which will probably end up only seen by the eyes of the Dungeon Master.
There we have it. It’s a self contained box that has everything you need to run the adventure. The adventure itself is a dungeon delve where each encounter has a comedic twist or punchline to it. This makes it unique and fit a different niche, but I’m afraid that the replay value isn’t as high as other published adventures for this edition. As a general recommendation, I’d still suggest the original starter set to new players. That said, there’s enjoyment to be had here if you’d prefer a more comedic game. The other thing is that comedy being subjective, it's hard to say if a particular person or group will find it funny. I just wish it had more replay value, and more tools were provided for the Dungeon Masters of the future who pick it up.