Thursday 10 May 2012

Retrospective: D&D - The Adventure Begins Here!

My introduction to roleplaying was 3rd edition D&D back when I was in high school. I'd been reading Fighting Fantasy books for a few years and I'd began dabbling in Warhammer 40K, but I'd never really thought about roleplaying games, mostly because I didn't really know what they were yet I knew that I would probably like them. It was from a conversation I was having with my oldest friend, Steve, who is still part of my gaming group (and runs Leaping Wizards), that the idea to play D&D came to be. 

To our young minds we envisioned D&D to be more of a board game, which is still a common misconception held by the uninitiated. One day we went to the local gaming store and proceeded to route around for D&D. At this time, 3rd edition had only just launched so AD&D 2e was still all the rage. After speaking with one of the clerks, we were pointed in the direction of the 3rd edition beginner's set called 'Dungeons and Dragons Adventure Game - The Adventure Begins Here!'. Little did I know how poetic that tagline would turn out to be.

We eagerly absorbed the rules in one of the two grey booklets that came in the box. I decided to be DM and we both chose characters from the 8 pre-gens provided before beginning the first adventure I would ever play. It involved the PCs heading to a 'haunted house' where a handful of goblins had taken a unicorn for some reason. The little push-out cardboard counters had some fantastic art on, even if they were a bit monochrome. We got used to the 'funny' dice quickly enough and before we knew it we were powering through adventures, fighting hobgoblins, gelatinous cubes and of course- a dragon. The box also came with a big fold-out glossy dungeon that was split off into sections for most of the adventures.

This box brings back great memories and the pre-gen characters are branded into my mind, such as Tordek the fighter and Mialee the wizard. Soon we had bought the Player's Handbook and Monster Manual; thoroughly absorbed into the game. Those were simpler times and part of the reason why I want to get into playing Pathfinder.


  1. If you want to start with Pathfinder get the box while it's still like $23 at Amazon. There's a lot of goodness in that box and you can start adding material from the core books as you go.

    I mean a buttload of 'pawns' as they are called, a very decent flipmat, a set of dice (including 2 d10s-numbered for 1s and 10's-nice), character creation rules, the ability to add material as you go (check out the PRD to see what books you might like) and that new Distant Worlds Campaign Setting for $13.50 is awesome (I would rec the big Inner Sea (revised) book for a more complete setting book...depends on your you like a lot of detail ready to go or prefer to add your own tweaks at the 'ground level').

    You have to understand I really don't care for most modern 'heavy' games but these guys have captured my attention.

    And that new Bestiary Box coming in goodness...

    But you can't beat a complete 5 levels of play with a slimmed down rules set (that is completely compatible with the main system) for $23.

    Oh, and Hero Lab has a free version of their character creation software just for the Beginner Box.

    Plus folks are developing for the box (both fan and pro-approved by Paizo by Sean K. Reynolds himself on the forums).

    I could do this for a full screen...but I gotta save a little for the first issue of my Classic Realms of Adventure ezine. :)

    Yeah, it's ten pounds of awesome in a five pound bag. :)

  2. That is a good beginner set (I have it, though I started playing with 2e). Character creation rules, miniatures, dice, a reusable map, and so on.

    I hope the starter set they come out with for 5e, assuming there is one, is more like that and less like the one Wizards created for 4e (the "new red box").

  3. It's's like WizBro is afraid of making money and truly just don't like their fans...but expect you to give them money anyhow. I don't even trust these guys at this point.

    I mean come on. I would never lay claim to smartest man on earth but even I can figure out how D&D = $$$. I'm a capitalist. Make money...make a LOT of money. It's cool.

    Just try selling your customers what they want for a change and get off the EPIC FAIL train.

    The series of videos out at Youtube of Erik and Lisa (The Future of Paizo 2011) is EXCITING. They ENJOY what they do. They LOVE their customers. I'm a little more into Boardgames than RPGs right now (curse you FFG! :) but if they start making boardgames I might die of happiness. I have watched fans screw up BAD when building fan sites (infringement matters and such) and they just ask them to stop. God, how many cease and desists have WizBro issued in the last year or so...jeeez...

    You can get their whole game for free and you feel compelled to buy stuff from them just because their not being a d*** about things.

    Paizo and FFG I rec to ANYONE who wants to have fun and deal with companies that at least are TRYING. Everyone else I rec tend to be Indies and OSR folks. (Not saying there aren't other good companies. Just my experiences.)

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