My Thoughts on the D&D 4e Red Box Starter Set

hello fellow gamers!  i’m pleased to be part of the GamerGrrls community as an author so that i may finally get to share my thoughts on, well, gaming!  and i can also share with you what its like to be a newbie gamer and my learning process as well as my insane and unconventional love for 4th edition d&d.

let me first start off saying that, unlike my partner in crime here, i do not have a pair of tits but i do game and i do love girls.  in fact, i owe it to the GamerGrrl herself that i started tabletop gaming in the first place.

1 year ago almost to the date, in passing conversation, i found out that GamerGrrl played rpgs, and not just video game rpgs of which i have been a fan of since i first played zelda on nes.  she actually played games like dungeons and dragons, vampire the requiem, and others.  after many questions later, i decided i was going to get my own set of d&d.  granted, i’ve always heard about it but had no idea exactly what it was, what you did, what you needed, nor how to play.

thats when a lucky trip to a megastore shined upon me.  there it was, the D&D Red Box Starter Set in all its glory.  for 20 dollars, you get everything you needed to play D&D.   this was amazing for someone like me who didn’t know anything about the game or where to start.  the back of the box said it all..

-a DM guide

-a players book with hero creation rules and a solo play adventure

-monster and hero tokens

-character sheets and power cards

-a double sided battle map

-and my favourite part: 6 polyhedral game dice.

-embarrassing enough, i didnt even know you needed dice to play at the time.  long story short, i purchased it.

so, what do i think about it?  well, i know i’m quite late to the party, 4e came out around 2008 and i started playing in 2011.  but all the same, this goes out to all the future 4e players.

i’m glad i purchased it.  it wasnt expensive, it had everything i needed to start, i didnt even have to play with other people right away, it had solo adventures to practice with which, by the way, was actually very fun to do!   the guides were abridged and easy to read and learn, it included monsters from the monster manual and all their stats.

player creation is really easy with a kind of “choose your own adventure story” guidelines that teaches you how to play and create your character.  a goblin hits you, you just took 4 damage!  lets see how much HP you have as a fighter/wizard/rouge, turn to this page.  if you’re a wizard here’s the spells you can pick, and here’s some cards to keep organized.  easy, fun, simple.

the dice are great looking, the map useful for a few adventures, you can even cut em up and arrange them for your own dungeon.  the downloadable Ghost Tower of the Witchlight Fens pdf was also very fun to play a solo adventure before i could convince my girl to play with me.

which leads me to my one issue with the box that i have been dealing with until today: the powers included.

so, i picked to become a human fighter named Tantalus Relm.  everything was great until i picked up the actual players handbook and a WotC character builder.  you see,  Tantalus was given two at-will powers.  one was called poised assault which gave you a bonus to your attack rolls and the other was battle fury which gave you a bonus to damage.  they are really nifty powers, but, they never made it past the Red Box.  i looked high and low, nothing.  no mention of either power.  the same happened with my sister’s wizard and my girl’s elf fighter.

why include powers that you cannot use?  i have no idea.  also, the Red Box can get you going but only to your 3rd level, after that, you have no idea how to level up and what happens to your stats.

but for about 20 bucks, it was well worth it.  its just a shame that we had to scrap some powers when we went to the official rules.  it did make things a little confusing.  By the way,  Tantalus is still with me and going strong!


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