A blog about tabletop hobby and or strategy games, with a side order of electronic turn based goodness here and there. Now with tons of retro gaming content both electronic and tabletop. Also with 20% more self loathing douchebaggery!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

[Review Corner] Dungeons & Dragons Essentials Dungeon Master's Kit First Look

Yep.  Got the DM's kit hot off the presses and I shall share the contents with you fine folks so you can see if its something you need at least at first glance.

Well gang, now you know what your 40 bones gets you.  If you consider each adventure book worth 10 and including a map, the 3 sheets of monster tokens worth another 5, the screen worth 10, and the book being 20 bucks it adds up to a damn fair deal.  The problem is I don't quite think the DM's book stands alone, which is why they bundled it like this.  But for someone who just would want the DM book and not the adventure or screen its kind of a raw deal too.

Honestly if the DM book just didn't have so much repeated from the 2 other existing Essentials books it would be better.

All things said and done I am estimating around 150-200 pages between the 5 Essentials core books is repeated material.  If Combat is covered in the Rules Compendium why cover it in slightly less detail in the DM and Heroes books?  The section on the gods is in every book so far.  Nentir Vale is covered to some degree in most of them.  (The DM book having the biggest coverage.)

Its as if WOTC had a pricepoint to hit per book and to make the value seem better they did a lot of cut and paste.

Still good deals, but it makes for some space being wasted, and just reducing the convenience/look up fast factor of the books...


Jay said...

Nice review, I appreciate the visual walk-through style. Amazon seems to be the place to get the box sets. My FLGS really can't compete once retail reaches $35+.

This one is going for $26--which is nice because that means free shipping!!

Captain Rufus said...

This is true. But I try to support local businesses (in this case Borders who had it in stock when the funnybook shop I play Encounters in hadn't got it in yet. And Borders had the big Dungeon Tiles set in which they STILL don't have!) whenever possible even if I have to pay a few more bucks.

Plus I always believe in reviewing things taking their MSRP into account and not online discounts.

(Though I pretty much ONLY buy FFG's 40K RPG books online or when Borders sends me a coupon. Those books are absurdly expensive.)

This makes me a bad person by RPGnet standards but they are kind of dumb over there.

Gimme more cheap as chips books like the Essentials line.

I could honestly care less about pretty full color hardback coffee table books. I'll take cheap and small black and white softcover any day.

Spiral Bound is even better. Being able to leave a book lying flat and open is AWESOME.

I think the price is half the reason I will be getting almost every product in the Essentials line. (Except the Premium Dice)

The asking price is very fair.

I have listed some of my concerns though. (Seriously WOTC? Do we REALLY need the new 4e era pantheon of gods listed in EVERY SINGLE MAIN BOOK?)


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