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View Full Version : Should I buy the D&D Starter Set?



Drakeburn
2017-06-20, 09:52 PM
My sister's birthday is coming up, and I'm wondering if I should get her the D&D Starter Set (for 5th Edition).

Should I get it or not?:smallconfused:

And if not, what should I get for her instead? (preferably around a 20-sh dollar budget).

Honest Tiefling
2017-06-20, 10:00 PM
Does she play 5e, or expressed an interest?

If money is tight and you are not sure she is into 5e, consider offering to run a game for her using the Basic Rules (http://dnd.wizards.com/articles/features/basicrules). Prepare a nice game for her and a few friends. Maybe get some snacks or dice.

Drakeburn
2017-06-21, 12:13 AM
The answer would be C: None of the above. I don't think she knows much about 5th edition.

She likes D&D, and she enjoys playing it with her friends. So I'm thinking I could get her a Starter Set that she can play along with her friends, since it does come with an adventure.
And it probably wouldn't be as slow as D&D 4e (which is the edition we have).

EccentricCircle
2017-06-21, 03:47 AM
Honestly the 5e starter set isn't very good. It doesn't include the 5e rules, just telling you that they can be downloaded for free online. All the pregen characters included in the set are also available online. Thus all you are really paying for is a rather short and uninspired adventure and a set of dice. There are no tokens, larger maps or anything of that sort.

The adventure is very much a "learn to DM" exercise. designed to walk a new DM through running the game. It certainly teaches you the basics of 5e, but not in a very efficient manner. For someone who has never DMed before it is worth getting, but if you are wanting an introduction to the new rules it is rather a long winded and awkward way of getting that.

Compared to the 4e and pathfinder boxes, which have lots of props and adventures as well as the requisite dice it feels rather skimpy.

Grod_The_Giant
2017-06-21, 08:17 AM
The answer would be C: None of the above. I don't think she knows much about 5th edition.

She likes D&D, and she enjoys playing it with her friends. So I'm thinking I could get her a Starter Set that she can play along with her friends, since it does come with an adventure.
And it probably wouldn't be as slow as D&D 4e (which is the edition we have).
If she's been playing a different edition and hasn't been talking about wanting something new, I don't think I'd go for a 5e set-- it's a whole new set of rules and such to learn, and it isn't particularly close to 4e. Instead... maybe a good 4e module?

Whyrocknodie
2017-06-21, 09:59 AM
Yes. Proceed.

Honest Tiefling
2017-06-21, 01:09 PM
From what I gathered from this (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ec8ZCsePq2Y) video, the starter kit is really better for people who have never touched an RPG of any type in their life and might be a bit lacking compared to 4e's starter kit.

If she is dissatisfied with 4e, I'd get her the 5e PHB. If she's happy where she is, I'd get her a 4e adventure, perhaps look around for a highly rated third party one that she might not have done yet.

When in doubt, get figures, since those are mostly edition neutral. More dice or a nice dice bag cannot hurt.

Drakeburn
2017-06-21, 02:12 PM
My sister already got a dice bag and two sets of dice as Christmas presents, and I got a grid mat as a birthday present (I have no problem of letting her borrow my things).

Anyways, I'm starting to realize that the D&D Starter Set might not be the best gift idea. Which means it is back to the drawing board. :smallsigh:

- My sister likes Dungeons & Dragons.

- She likes to play D&D with her friends.

- And when they play, my sister is usually the Dungeon Master.

What would be a good idea for a gift for her?

Or should I make it from scratch (homebrewed adventures)?

Spookykid
2017-06-21, 02:20 PM
5th ed players handbook, though that might be over $20

Honest Tiefling
2017-06-21, 03:09 PM
How well do you know 4e? If she's always the DM and you two seem close enough to borrow each other's things, what about letting her be a player for once?

A homebrewed adventure available in PDF form with a lot of work and effort put into it seems like a good idea to me. It might not cost you much more then your time, but it's a thoughtful thing that you put effort into. Heck, getting some nice printing might not be a bad idea. If money is tight, don't print out the whole thing, just a few sheets of information like NPC statblocks and maps.

Else, I'd go with figures. Never can have too many of those.

Pugwampy
2017-06-21, 04:32 PM
Instead of a Starter set why not buy her 20 bucks worth of cute miniatures . She might appreciate that more .

Vitruviansquid
2017-06-21, 04:57 PM
If you play RPGs with her at all, don't give your sister anything RPG-related.

This would create the perception that you bought her a gift that is actually kind of a gift for yourself as well, which is a faux pas in gift-giving.

2D8HP
2017-06-21, 05:16 PM
Last I looked, you could get the Starter Set for $10 at Half Price Books on Shattuck Avenue in Berkeley.

Great art, some of the rules, dice, and a rockin' adventure.

You can download some of the other rules for free.

Except for the bibliography (which is good in both), I actually find the DMG more interesting reading.

A lot of the races, classes, and spells in the PHB you can skip.

A good game can be played just with the free content. Free content + Starter Set is even better.

If you're really option hungry, sure get the PHB (and the SCAG), but you don't need it.

Psikerlord
2017-06-21, 09:55 PM
I think the starter set is the best 5e adventure they've made so far. It's quite sandboxy and not too long. Recommended.

I would consider running it with a grittier system, however.

Anonymouswizard
2017-06-22, 01:44 AM
Okay, first idea, have you tried talking to her about this? My brother is getting back into roleplaying and I got him into Gate by pointing out how almost everything is PWYW. I would have got him hard copies, but he's admitted to rather running it of PDFs, so I asked him what he wants and eventually got him a copy of Munchkin Cthulhu (conversely I sent him links to like six different RPG books I wanted for my birthday because he asked what I wanted, and let him pick).

Otherwise, if she dislikes the sites of 4e (and you tend to not play in her games) the 5e PhB might be a good idea. Another might be Savage Worlds, is fast, generic, and I got the latest edition for under 10, the only problem is that it tends to be pulpy (not a problem if you like pulp). SW is generally my go to these days for Fantasy, although I don't really like it's treatment of Space Opera. Fate is also an interesting idea, but it's a very narrativist game (it's designed explicitly to model stories).

Minis are always good, as are things like GM screens (although I've personally stopped using one).

Does she have any other hobbies? I know that the hardest bit of buying presents for siblings is knowing what they're into, but don't fall into the trap of just thinking of one hobby.

goto124
2017-06-22, 02:13 AM
OP, do you know which editions of DnD she prefers or dislikes? Or which settings she likes? Playstyle? DnD is a huge game.

Drakeburn
2017-06-22, 01:44 PM
It might be a good idea to not just focus on one hobby. Thanks, I really needed that advice.

FreddyNoNose
2017-06-23, 02:07 PM
Does she play 5e, or expressed an interest?

If money is tight and you are not sure she is into 5e, consider offering to run a game for her using the Basic Rules (http://dnd.wizards.com/articles/features/basicrules). Prepare a nice game for her and a few friends. Maybe get some snacks or dice.

Great answer!

FreddyNoNose
2017-06-23, 02:08 PM
Instead of a Starter set why not buy her 20 bucks worth of cute miniatures . She might appreciate that more .

Great! He should paint them too!

Pugwampy
2017-06-24, 10:13 AM
Great! He should paint them too!

Dude !! Its the 12st century . Chinese wage slaves prepainted them for us already :smallbiggrin:

Anonymouswizard
2017-06-24, 10:47 AM
Dude !! Its the 12st century . Chinese wage slaves prepainted them for us already :smallbiggrin:

Actually it's the 21st century, where painting the minis is the best part.

Pugwampy
2017-06-24, 12:11 PM
Actually it's the 21st century, where painting the minis is the best part.

I would hate to mess up an awesome looking sculpt with a kek paint job by my hand . I will buy a colouring in book if i feel like doing something of that nature .

Anonymouswizard
2017-06-24, 02:24 PM
I would hate to mess up an awesome looking sculpt with a kek paint job by my hand . I will buy a colouring in book if i feel like doing something of that nature .

That's fair, I just like painting minis. I only started a Warhammer Imperial Guard collection when I realised I needed a bunch of sci-fi soldiers, stopped playing the game(s) about a year earlier.

Actually, once I get access to storage space I want to start correcting minis again, I think I got rid of all of mine about a year ago, but I want to try my hand at some 15mm science fiction soldiers again, as well as get a few Victorians for a Victoriana game. Actually I find 15mm to be a really useful scale, if not using a grid it allows the use of a much smaller area.

The other reason I like painting them myself is that, if required, I can paint the same sculpt different colours for different characters or sides (when doing a science fiction wargame I had rocket launchers and SAWs user different models, but some models had different coloured helmets to easily distinguish rank at the table without buying more figures). Sure, I could just buy more variety, but I find the ability to use the save sculpts for wizards and cultists in the same scene liberating and it makes everything easier.

EDIT: then again, unlike a decent number of prepainted figures (the majority in my experience) I tend not to go for less than three shades on major areas (shade+normal+highlight) and two on minor areas (normal+highlight), and I can batch paint figures to a decent level. I remember being disappointed that the official D&D figures tended to just be block colour with no shading or highlights.

FreddyNoNose
2017-06-24, 02:25 PM
I would hate to mess up an awesome looking sculpt with a kek paint job by my hand . I will buy a colouring in book if i feel like doing something of that nature .

That is reasonable.

LordCdrMilitant
2017-06-30, 11:05 AM
I would hate to mess up an awesome looking sculpt with a kek paint job by my hand . I will buy a colouring in book if i feel like doing something of that nature .

Painting is, without a doubt, the best part of modelling. There's not much point in miniatures you don't get to build and paint.

My first figures are pretty terrible, with thick paint and no detail. Some of my latter figures are also terrible, for that matter, especially infantry I do en-masse. But there is little satisfaction greater than being able to put your own nicely painted miniatures on the table, and seeing your collection laid out in all it's glory.


Also, you can always strip and re-paint figures. I use Simple Green.

Pugwampy
2017-07-02, 08:27 AM
Painting is, without a doubt, the best part of modelling. There's not much point in miniatures you don't get to build and paint.

Yeah I bought my little brother a nice detailed overpriced metal female centaur . He made a half effort to try and get his tattoo buddy to paint it . Its still in its box unopened . What a waste .

Minis are cute and detailed nuff said . I am toy fan not a model kit builder or sculpt painter . I can appreciate a nicely painted mini without having painted it myself .

As we age our hands get more twitchy and our eyes become weaker for such small little things and thats before we argue that some folk are better artists than others .

Anonymouswizard
2017-07-02, 09:11 AM
Each to their own, it's just that to quite a few people who enjoy painting minis, the idea that they should be pre painted can be annoying
(also, in my experience pre painted minis tend to be less chunky and more flexible, which I'm not 100% happy with). Plus if there's a revolution in 3D printing and it becomes easily accessible I'm certain that the idea of licencing the design and then running off a few copies for yourself will be a thing, and it'll make it significantly easier for me to get the minis I need.

Plus in my experience pre painted minis are bad. Like, consistently as bad as my minis from my first months of painting (which had repaints before I got rid of them) where I hadn't even had the idea of batch painting. These days I can paint a better mini in five minutes (it took about twenty for me to finish a character model when wargaming, I plan to start again and paint my entire collection to that standard), and I'm bad. This is why you should start with the basics, minis with a lot of flat bits and minimal need for shading, and not a mini that'll require you to paint lots of creases.

(I mean, I mainly need to get back into painting minis because my next science fiction game needs a mixture of Caucasian and Asian people represented in combat, and I want to have a few of both for mooks and major players. It's primarily set in a sector between a European colony and a Chinese one several thousand years in the future, the fall of earth made the colonies independent and there's been a lot of cultural mixing at the borders but little immigration across space. Also I need a lot of ships that are spheres for space combat.)