D&D Starter Set Released

The new D&D Starter Set has been released, providing a simple entry into the world of D&D for new or lapsed player, and coincidentally, making a great gift in time for the holidays. (If I had young relatives who were interested in D&D, I’d definitely get one of these for them.)

According to the Previews column, the set contains:

  • A 16-page Quick Start Rules booklet
  • A 64-page Dungeon Master’s Book
  • 3 sheets of double-sided Dungeon Tiles
  • 50 tokens, to represent characters and monsters
  • And of course, a set of 6-dice

The DM’s book contains not only quick start rules for a new Dungeon Master to get up and running, but also stats for a suite of monsters appropriate to lower-level play, as well as the short adventure: Beneath the Village of Harken.

According to someone on ENWorld that has received his copy, the rules introduction is almost word for word from the Keep on the Shadowfell introductory rules, and the characters are similar as well. The Dungeon Tiles are from the Halls of the Giant King set, so if you’re looking for new tiles, you won’t find them there.

However, it sounds like there’s a good monster selection in the tokens, with each one being double-sided so there are plenty of different monsters to choose from. The token stock sounds like it’s the same as the Dungeon Tiles, making them pretty darn sturdy. And they wisely chose to include a Gelatinous Cube, since that’s the only monster you’ll ever need.

WotC supported the release with a retrospective of previous boxed sets, which seems to have pleased some old school fans.

About Dave

Dave "The Game" Chalker is the Editor-in-Chief and Co-Founder of Critical Hits. Since 2005, he has been bringing readers game news and advice, as well as editing nearly everything published here. He is the designer of the Origins Award-winning Get Bit!, a freelance designer and developer, son of a science fiction author, and a Master of Arts. He lives in MD with e, the Geek's Dream Girl.


  1. Woot! Now THIS is exactly what Keep on Shadowfell should have been! A great starter pack that contains everything you need, including tokens.

    I’m going to get mine as soon as it hits the UK.

  2. OK, I stand corrected.

    Reading through the ENWorld thread and I just discovered there’s no Character Generation for 1st level characters – there’s just pregens.

    FFS Wizards! When will you stop screwing up like this!?!!?!

    The one chance they have to bring back the classic Red Book feel to 4th Edition and give us a terrific starter pack to get new budding role-players in on the game, all in a kid-friendly and appealing package that’s perfectly times for Christmas, and they miss out a huge part of the game.

    Assuming the pregens are double-sided sheets and there’s 5 of them, that’s 10 pages which could instead have contained information about a handful of the races (Human, Dwarf, Dragonborn and Elf, say, just 1/2 a page each) and four classes (Fighter, Cleric, Wizard and Rogue, maybe) at 2 pages per class – more than enough for a handful of Powers from 1st-3rd level. Add a sidebar of equipment, and it’s done leaving plenty of reasons for the (now hooked) player to want the full blown PHB/MM/DMG package for the rest of the races, classes and Powers.

    How. Hard. Could. It. Be?


  3. I take it back: old school fans aren’t quite as happy. :)

    I disagree about needing character creation, but I also am a bit too young to remember the earlier boxed sets. Pregen characters seem the norm to me. I’m also loathe to make suggestions on what they should have done in terms of content without seeing it. Maybe I’ll try to get a review copy, then give it away somehow.

  4. I saw a friend’s copy, and thought it was pretty cool. It’s a really good value for new guys, even if just for the tiles, tokens and die that they can use once they “grow up” into rpg nerdom.

    Wyatt´s last post: I’m Doing Stuff, You Just Can’t See It

  5. Sounds like it could be useful I suppose.

    The 50 tokens + dungeon tiles are probably a heck of a lot cheaper then 50 miniatures and the dungeon tiles, especially if you buy over Amazon.
    Certainly something I’d think of buying rather then carrying on with miniatures pot-luck.

    Hammer´s last post: Fallout: Glasgow – Part 1

  6. Tokens and Tiles do not a game make, nor pregens an RPG.
    I have not touched D&D for decades (literally, over 2 decades, though I have been running games since Tunnells and trolls 4th edition came out), but I am still a big fan of an introductory version. I love the idea, but I prefer games that focus on the roleplaying end. I play all skill-based stuff, but any introductory version of D&D I’d want to give my kids would focus on creating characters, not the video-game combat substitute that this game has been moving towards.

    LordVreeg´s last post: Knighthoods and fighting schools-Igbar

  7. As someone who can’t afford all the minis I’m interested in seeing what the tokens look like. Cooler than bottlecaps and erasers, I’ll bet.


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