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@  Rycochet : (27 April 2017 - 06:00 AM)

Allspark is one of the first Transformers sites I've been to where there's no weird hero worship of the staff or two or three staffers who are weirdly agressive about certain transformers related topics and never fail to show it. This is probably the first site in my near two decades in the fandom I can post and not feel I'm falling afoul of some unwritten rule that will turn people against me, so yay Allspark.

@  LBD "Nyt... : (27 April 2017 - 05:31 AM)

*pops in* "Hm, I wonder where the conversation has gone since last night..." *reads* "...huh. I did not see any of that coming."

@  MEDdMI : (27 April 2017 - 05:26 AM)

*apart!

@  MEDdMI : (27 April 2017 - 05:26 AM)

This board has provided me with the only RP campaign that didn't fall a

@  SHIELD Agent 47 : (27 April 2017 - 05:17 AM)

So what? We're disciples of Primus and they're disciples of Unicron?

@  lastmaximal : (27 April 2017 - 04:26 AM)

I'm really not surprised.

@  Nevermore : (27 April 2017 - 04:16 AM)

Well, the users over on TFW in return accuse the Allspark of being an elitist clique that ostracizes everyone who doesn't act like they do (i.e. civil), whereas TFW is more welcoming to everyone regardless of their views.

@  Pennpenn : (27 April 2017 - 03:23 AM)

Hard G. I don't give a solitary shit what the creators call it, the first word in the acronym is "Graphical". I have no idea why they'd think any sane human could, would, or should pronounce it any other way.

@  SHIELD Agent 47 : (27 April 2017 - 03:13 AM)

I acknowledge what the creators say, but whether I remember to use their pronunciation or not is hit or miss. Heck, I think I usually think of it in my head as "gee-i-ef", in parallel to "JPG" and "PNG".

@  Waspinator : (27 April 2017 - 02:50 AM)

Let's heat things up: what are everyone's opinions on how GIF should be pronounced?

@  Diecast : (26 April 2017 - 11:11 PM)

But I will say that a lot of fandom forums are generally more tolerable nowadays because most belligerent types stick to Facebook groups

@  Diecast : (26 April 2017 - 11:09 PM)

I do like their hard no-politics rule. Now that I do the occasional freelance writing for some local politics and I like zero percent of it my hobby space now. But holy cow, do they replace it with neck beard drama.

@  LordGigaIce : (26 April 2017 - 10:30 PM)

like Noideaforaname I posted on TFW for a while. I came here after I got harassed for daring to suggest that Play With This Too was run by unoriginal hacks, and yeah. This place so much more preferable.

@  Nutjob R/T : (26 April 2017 - 10:15 PM)

And you're turning us on

@  Nutjob R/T : (26 April 2017 - 10:15 PM)

The terrible secret of the Allspark: We all have this twisted fetish for rational thought processes

@  lastmaximal : (26 April 2017 - 10:13 PM)

Not everyone likes everything, and people aren't blind to shortfalls or annoyances resulting from constraints of how the brand is handled. We make many a joke out of these things. But it's a rare thing when entitlement replaces logic on here, where that seems to be poster raison d'etre everywhere else.

@  lastmaximal : (26 April 2017 - 10:11 PM)

It's utterly weird how these here boards seem so impervious an oasis when it comes to that depth of idiocy. Worshipping 3p and demanding the official companies "step it up" and stop being so lazy? Insisting the movies be done THEIR way, crapping on every single thing revealed about the films or toyline, then whining that they can't find (insert hot movie to here) or the official release of a movie figure doesn't capture the look in the film they hated? Etc

@  lastmaximal : (26 April 2017 - 10:09 PM)

It's not even a "brand pissing contest" or "board loyalty" thing, not least due to the fact that those don't really even happen here all that much. I'm just happy to be with levelheaded people who've outgrown the usual fan dumb tropes. You can have a civilized conversation here and people don't shit on things only to hide behind "but but but to each their own right?" when their myopic BS is challenged.

@  lastmaximal : (26 April 2017 - 10:07 PM)

With each time nonsense like this flares up on tfw or on local discussion venues (and it does quite a bit) I'm just reminded of why I've essentially been allspark bound for the last... Fifteen or so years.

@  Noideaforaname : (26 April 2017 - 10:07 PM)

On the plus side, tho, TFW has "appreciation threads" for practically everything, even stuff like Kre-O and PCC. And their toy database is quite handy.

@  Noideaforaname : (26 April 2017 - 10:03 PM)

I've been happily posting on TFW for years. Then, after being *here* for a few months, I look back and wonder how the hell I even bothered with it. I mean, my ignore list had hundreds of people on it. Literally HUNDREDS of ignored people. I even showed off said gargantuan list once (with a small thumbnail that you couldn't read any of the names on, mind you). That... that really should have been a warning sign, I suppose...

@  WorkbenchManiac : (26 April 2017 - 08:03 PM)

Thanks, I enjoyed reading the nerdrage. I should hang out over there more often.

@  Diecast : (26 April 2017 - 07:07 PM)

I mean, Reveal Your Shield. That gets complained about too.

@  Diecast : (26 April 2017 - 07:04 PM)

One of the reveal the shield news threads at TFW has movie fans and G1 fans arguing over who has it worse

@  WorkbenchManiac : (26 April 2017 - 06:49 PM)

You got me awfully curious. What thread ware we talking about?

@  Diecast : (26 April 2017 - 02:17 PM)

That was a quality read. Both sides of that thread's argument went pretty crazy.

@  Noideaforaname : (26 April 2017 - 02:11 PM)

"When Beast Wars made Optimus a monkey nobody complained" ~ someone desperate for a 'gotcha'

@  Diecast : (26 April 2017 - 02:05 PM)

I want to find the rock they've been under that there isn't constantly complaining about something.

@  Diecast : (26 April 2017 - 02:04 PM)

For the lack if a better word, it baffles me when someone starts a discussion somewhere that's like "Does anyone else not like the movies?"

@  TheMightyMol... : (26 April 2017 - 12:13 PM)

Careful, it might have something to say about that.

@  MEDdMI : (26 April 2017 - 12:13 PM)

I'm gonna have to check your opinion out real good to make sure.

@  TheMightyMol... : (26 April 2017 - 11:55 AM)

Oppinions are like assholes. Everyone has one, but mine is better so shut up.

@  ▲ndrusi : (26 April 2017 - 11:08 AM)

To clarify on point 1 since I was typing early in the morning again, "you must hate exactly what I hate" and "you msut like exactly what I like" aren't actually the same statement but they're the same thought process which is "my opinions are objective facts." If you see someone espousing one, they're probably thinking the other, too.

@  lastmaximal : (26 April 2017 - 10:57 AM)

... what.

@  Bass X0 : (26 April 2017 - 10:15 AM)

Andrusi, I imagine to some people online, there isn't that much of a world of difference, at least going by the venom they post; although not at RiD specifically.

@  unluckiness : (26 April 2017 - 08:55 AM)

The scale of liking and hating is an interval one so you can not like something but not hate it. Pretty sure there's apathy and dislike in between there at least.

@  wonko the sane? : (26 April 2017 - 08:07 AM)

And humans are perfectly capable of hating things in unison while being divided on liking.

@  ▲ndrusi : (26 April 2017 - 07:34 AM)

On the other hand, there's a world of difference between "I hate RID" and "I hate Nazis."

@  ▲ndrusi : (26 April 2017 - 07:27 AM)

On one hand, "hating what I hate" IS "liking what I like." One of those cultures can't be worse than the other because they're literally the same culture.

@  ▲ndrusi : (26 April 2017 - 07:26 AM)

I think that comparison is both an oversimplification AND a meaningless distinction.

@  wonko the sane? : (26 April 2017 - 07:16 AM)

That's the internet effect. Distance and anonimity make for easy and consequence-less extremism.

@  Bass X0 : (26 April 2017 - 06:58 AM)

I think the aggressive "How dare you not hate exactly what I hate" culture online is worse than the aggressive "How dare you not like exactly what I like" culture.

@  MEDdMI : (26 April 2017 - 06:19 AM)

And now that song/scene and its many many parodies are running through my head.

@  unluckiness : (26 April 2017 - 06:18 AM)

Patrick Swayze didnt!

@  MEDdMI : (26 April 2017 - 05:58 AM)

lol. As long as they knock first.

@  LBD "Nyt... : (26 April 2017 - 05:57 AM)

Or as ghosts. I guess ghosts would be acceptable.

@  LBD "Nyt... : (26 April 2017 - 05:57 AM)

For now, I'd just find some small comfort in knowing those who have passed actually are in some sort of better place.

@  LBD "Nyt... : (26 April 2017 - 05:56 AM)

I'd find comfort in knowing that one way or another, that suffering would eventually end and a new, potentially happier beginning awaits.

@  MEDdMI : (26 April 2017 - 05:54 AM)

@LBD At the same time, I can't imagine wanting to stay in even a happy afterlife when fleshies are still suffering.

@  2017 : (26 April 2017 - 05:49 AM)

Celebrating and welcoming death just gives them more ideological hoops to justify killing others. So yeah, no thanks.


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Dungeons and Dragons 4th Edition Starter Set Review


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35 replies to this topic

#1 Kalidor

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Posted 08 September 2010 - 12:10 AM

As resources allow, one thing I'm going to start introducing on the site is a more general side of things. This will include anything from new games (video or otherwise), DVDs or anything we generally talk about here.

To kick it off, here's a review of the newest offering from Wizards of The Coast -- the new Dungeons & Dragons Fantasy Roleplaying Game: An Essential D&D Starter (4th Edition D&D) released today (Sept 7th)

http://www.allspark....t/view/7778/18/

#2 Joker

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Posted 08 September 2010 - 06:56 AM

It sounds pretty solid.

Me and my friends have been playing 4th since it came out and our campaign is almost at the point of winding down. I might get this just as a novelty and I may run a one shot adventure with characters made using the method presented in the box.

#3 Vestras

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Posted 08 September 2010 - 08:09 AM

Sounds decent enough. How much gameplay would you expect the box to provide? Is it a single encounter/quest beyond the tutorial, or is it enough you could start making your own campaign without having to buy a couple hundred bucks in game books?

I admit, I would like to give 4e a shot, I hear it's pretty streamlines and MMO like in terms of player rolls now which has some appeal to me.
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#4 Kalidor

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Posted 08 September 2010 - 08:40 AM

There's a pretty well fleshed out adventure in the DM book that picks up where the solo adventure leaves off. It's a straight dungeon crawl with about 7 or so encounters, along with tips for creating your own adventures, encounters and a mini-monster manual filled with the stuff you find during your dungeon adventure.

It's enough to get you started. Of course, as with any D&D game it's going to be limited by how much you put into it. I'd say it wouldn't take too terrible long to outgrow what's presented. I think the highest level thing you fight is level 5 or so.

But there is a dungeon, and there is a dragon, so it lives up to its name icon-hotrod.gif

#5 Esser-Z

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Posted 08 September 2010 - 09:24 AM

Essentials is something I still need to look into. I generally play more 3.x (mainly modifications like Pathfinder, now) than 4e, but I do enjoy 4e. From what I've read, I don't like Essentials as a replacement for the other 4e stuff, but it's not supposed to be. Could be an interesting addition to the available options.

#6 ultra magnus13

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Posted 08 September 2010 - 11:28 AM

I hear 4th edition is pretty much pen and paper WOW. Is this true? What about 3rd? I've only ever played AD&D 2nd.
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#7 Esser-Z

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Posted 08 September 2010 - 11:30 AM

Not WoW, no. Not really. However, it does have a very much more gamist outlook on previous editions. For example, all effects from spells and the like are in square areas, for ease of mapping. This results in fireball being a cube.

#8 Kalidor

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Posted 08 September 2010 - 09:04 PM

I just remembered why I feel like I got conned into buying the 4E books. When they came out, in 2007, the promise was that in a month or so after launch we'd have this awesome virtual tabletop to play on. Shortly after that, it was revealed there'd be a monthly fee to use it (wtf) and even 3 years later it still hasn't been developed.

The ONLY reason I bought the 4E core books (along with my friends) was due to the Virtual Gaming table. We feel like we got suckered into spending 90 bucks each and none of us were very happy about it.

We went from waiting until the tools came out to play to saying "Oh, I think I have those 'new' books somewhere, but whatever"

#9 Esser-Z

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Posted 08 September 2010 - 09:11 PM

When you could have downloaded Maptool for FREE!

#10 Kalidor

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Posted 08 September 2010 - 09:22 PM

Not really the point icon-waspy.gif but I will check it out.

#11 ultra magnus13

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Posted 08 September 2010 - 10:09 PM

Yeah I snagged a sweet virtual table top program someone one here posted awhile back, I think it was maptool.
I finally got rid of that big white box.

#12 Kalidor

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Posted 08 September 2010 - 10:31 PM

Find me one that looks as good as this and I'll be happy.

http://www.youtube.c...feature=related

#13 (Deactivated) BB Shockwave

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Posted 09 September 2010 - 06:44 AM

4E is a really streamlined, or - if I want to be (chaotic) evil - dumbed down version of D&D for today's younger generations, who do not want to bother with long and well-thought out adventures, they want fast combat and great rewards.

The new Monster Manuals are a great example of this. Being a biologist, I always loved to read about the monster's ecology, place in the world, behaviour... Instead, we now only have the descriptions of how the creatures attack, and you have short "Monster Lore" blurbs which is what you know of the things if you roll the dice right. Reducing the previously well-developed bestiary into grey-ish cannon fodder to be slaughtered for XP. The encounter groups also feel forced and (sorry) WOW-ish, like descriptions such as "You can encounter Balors together with Efreeti and Salamanders" - WTF, three totally unrelated monsters hanging around? Oh wait, they are all on FIRE. Makes sense now, no? icon-arcee.gif

Throwing out the Alignment system, and the totally free cast-choosing was something that already began during 3E, political correctness in D&D, I thought I'd never see the day, but apparently people wanted to play Elf Barbarians, Halfling Paladins and Half-Orc Wizards. Still the alignments are my main beef - now there are evil paladins too, and alignment is reduced to all creatures being Evil or Unaligned. A pity, because the 3x3 alignment system was one of the best in any RPG.

I wonder what 5E will be like - it's surely around the next corner, after all, ever since Hasbro took over, they are rebooting the franchise every few years just like they are doing with Transformers. You'd have thought Hasbro taking over D&D would have at least resulted in mainstream awesome toys, but nope, Orcus is a pricey exclusive now and Lords of Madness will most likely be the last D&D Mini booster.

Edited by BB Shockwave, 09 September 2010 - 06:46 AM.


#14 1stStageMidboss

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Posted 09 September 2010 - 07:02 AM

Essentials sounds interesting. Not something I want, already having the PHB, DMG, MM and a few other books (plus an Insider subscription, though it's a few months out of date now), but I think it's a great idea and I hope it gets more people into the hobby.

QUOTE(BB Shockwave @ Sep 9 2010, 12:44 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
4E is a really streamlined, or - if I want to be (chaotic) evil - dumbed down version of D&D for today's younger generations, who do not want to bother with long and well-thought out adventures, they want fast combat and great rewards.

The new Monster Manuals are a great example of this. Being a biologist, I always loved to read about the monster's ecology, place in the world, behaviour... Instead, we now only have the descriptions of how the creatures attack, and you have short "Monster Lore" blurbs which is what you know of the things if you roll the dice right. Reducing the previously well-developed bestiary into grey-ish cannon fodder to be slaughtered for XP. The encounter groups also feel forced and (sorry) WOW-ish, like descriptions such as "You can encounter Balors together with Efreeti and Salamanders" - WTF, three totally unrelated monsters hanging around? Oh wait, they are all on FIRE. Makes sense now, no? icon-arcee.gif

Throwing out the Alignment system, and the totally free cast-choosing was something that already began during 3E, political correctness in D&D, I thought I'd never see the day, but apparently people wanted to play Elf Barbarians, Halfling Paladins and Half-Orc Wizards. Still the alignments are my main beef - now there are evil paladins too, and alignment is reduced to all creatures being Evil or Unaligned. A pity, because the 3x3 alignment system was one of the best in any RPG.


Eh, I always found alignment to be awkward and restrictive. There's no real need in D&D for a system which says if someone is good or bad, it just makes it harder to run intrigue and mystery when the Paladin can just Detect Evil on every villain. "Playing to alignment" is almost never a good thing, as shown by how many people have complained over the years about badly-played Paladins.

Overall, I think 4e's better because it knows it's a game and it focuses on that. It makes sense that the rules are about combat, because there's far more need for rules there. It is a shame having less fluff in the Monster Manuals nowadays, but that's never been a huge problem for me. There's nothing in the game stopping you from having "long and well-thought out adventures", just as the older versions could do "fast combat and great rewards". Hell, fast combat is generally not and advantage of 4e, especially if you're using the earlier monsters (newer ones tend to deal more damage and have less HP to prevent combat getting long and dull).

I don't play 4e at the moment, but that's because it takes too long for my group so we switched to Savage Worlds (which I might stop too because we're off to seperate universities and frankly I'm not a good GM.)

Edited by Amadeus Windfall, 09 September 2010 - 07:04 AM.

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#15 Esser-Z

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Posted 09 September 2010 - 07:03 AM

Free class choosing is a good thing. Alignment's importance varies by game--mine tend to just use it as a basic indicator. But, 4e's dumbing down was pretty bad, yes.

For Paladins, I definitely prefer the evil ones having a different name, even if they have the same features (With alignment based things mirrored). A paladin is supposed to be a champion of good, somebody you know to be reliable and heroic just based on their job title (Except the ones that are dicks, but that's not how I run them.)

I 100% agree with you on the monster manuals. Even the 3.x ones--my preferred edition, in general, if you include Pathfinder as 3.x--were starting to lose some of the glory of the 2e manuals. I tend to read the 2e Monster Manuals for flavor and plot hook ideas (the 'what part of this creature is valuable' and 'how this creature interacts with civilization' bits are GLORIOUS for that), then use the 3.5 ones for the actual stats--could do the same with 4e, in theory.

And don't forget the absurdity of some of those lore entries. DC15: Cave bears live in caves. DC20: BEARS MAUL YOU WITH THEIR CLAWS.

I resent rituals, as the replacement for non-combat spells, because they simply don't do the job well. There's no more on the fly utility--one of my favorite aspects of 3.x spellcasting.

The combat, though, I do enjoy. It's very much more gamist, such that I almost consider 4e more a Chainmail followup than a D&D edition. It's fun to play, yes. I'm not as fond of DMing it as previous editions, though--I don't like how NPCs and monsters are built completely differently from PCs.

I don't play it as my primary edition of D&D for a few reasons. The lack of utility bothers me. The skill system did make some good decisions--consolidating the stealth and perception skills instead of having several to take--but it dropped some stuff I like to take (like perform and craft), and I prefer skill points to a binary system. It also gives me a harder time than usual with suspension of disbelief. Things like Storm Pillar. This is a wizard spell that creates a, well, storm pillar that damages those near it. Sounds simple, right? Weeeelll... For balance reasons, it's errataed (HOW DO I SPELL THIS) to only hurt things that willingly move up to it. This way, the party can't use forced movement powers to rack up damage; back in my day, this wasn't unbalanced. It was a combo.

Or the spell Grease. Rather than simulate a slippery surface, it's more like Mordenkainen's Mischievous Gravity Vortex. The wizard gets to slide people around in any direction he wants! A viable spell, not so much a viable implementation of Grease. And then there's Firecube and it's ilk...

A bit more positively, the game IS balanced, especially compared to the power level discrepancy nightmare that was 3.x. On the other hand... they go about it the wrong way. Rather than limit spellcasters some and raise up melee, they bring everybody to a level barely above the old Fighter, especially when it comes to ongoing effects (most (de)buffs only last a round or two at most!) and affecting the outside world. (I note that, in practice, I've never really had issues with the 3.x balance, either. In theory it's incredibly broken, but a good group does fine). Balance is a noble goal, but I feel too much was sacrificed for it.

To be ABSOLUTELY POSITIVE for a bit, there're some 4e things I absolutely love (and they go well together!): The implementation of Genasi, who I really need to look at the 3.x stats for sometime, and the Warlord class. The Warlord is an archetype I love: frontline tactician, inspiring and leading his/her team to glory. In 3.x, you could try the Marshall class, but it didn't work very well. A White Raven martial adept (Tome of Battle is a wonderful book) could do it to some extent, but not fully. The best option was really Bard, which doesn't fit the idea quite right. Warlords are awesome. I need to write up a 3.x version.

I also appreciate that it's actually possible to tank and protect the squishes viably in 4e. I like the design of the Fighter's class features quite a bit--I plan to take some inspiration from them, along with the glorious ToB, if I ever get around to writing the 3.x Fighter fix (other than just using Warblade) I keep meaning to do. The power system has its ups and downs, but for Fighters at least it does a very good job of differentiating combat tactics based on weapon choice. They really should get plate, though.

I can talk for a long time about this--if anyone wants to IM me, my AIM's on my profile. D&D is one of my passions, and I like analyzing what I like and dislike. I may sound quite negative about 4e, but that's simply due to it using a different game design philosophy than my primary tastes. I will definitely say it's a good game, and I enjoy it. I will also say that I prefer previous editions of D&D for my D&D playing.


QUOTE
There's no real need in D&D for a system which says if someone is good or bad, it just makes it harder to run intrigue and mystery when the Paladin can just Detect Evil on every villain.

Fortunately, there are ways to mask alignment, which any BBEG worth his or her salt will have access to. icon-hotrod.gif


Also, if anyone wants to try to get an Allspark D&D game (either 3.PF or 4e) going, I'm totally interested. Would even be willing to GM, though might end up going with published adventures if I do--already am running a weekly game, so.

Edited by Esser-Z, 09 September 2010 - 07:04 AM.


#16 Rhinox

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Posted 09 September 2010 - 09:23 AM

I run a 4th ed game every week. It does feel similar to an MMO, though ironically, DDO is based on 3.5 rules. I do have some issues where I feel they streamlined too much, but overall, I find it's a very good game, decently balanced, though it does tend to overfavor the players rather than the monsters. I've really had to go way above challenge rating to find monsters that are worth my player's time as they mop the floor with anything their level or lower.

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#17 Vestras

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Posted 09 September 2010 - 10:46 AM

I haven't been to an actual D&D game since AD&D2nd ed back around...sweet zombie jebus... 97...

I do want to scratch this itch, so what can you tell me about how things have changed since then in simple terms, and other than this starter kit, what's the best way to try getting up to speed for either 4e or 3.X?
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#18 1stStageMidboss

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Posted 09 September 2010 - 11:10 AM

I don't know if there's really a good way to get into 3.X these days... the Pathfinder core book maybe? I think this set is probably the best way to get into modern D&D, especially for its cost.
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#19 RAC

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Posted 09 September 2010 - 11:29 AM

Really dumb question: is that picture on the review page really what the box looks like? Because I may end up buying this if so, just for nostalgia's sake.

Edited by RAC, 09 September 2010 - 11:31 AM.



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#20 Esser-Z

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Posted 09 September 2010 - 11:37 AM

QUOTE(Amadeus Windfall @ Sep 9 2010, 12:10 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I don't know if there's really a good way to get into 3.X these days... the Pathfinder core book maybe? I think this set is probably the best way to get into modern D&D, especially for its cost.

Weelll... You can get in for free. d20srd.org and d20pfsrd.org, for 3.5 and PF respectively, plus a person willing to walk you through stuff to start with will work fine!