The new D&D Essentials Kit introduces a revamped starter adventure with a broader focus on getting new players into the game.
This is an unusual one folks–D&D has a new starter kit out, one developed after the first five years of 5th Edition to replace the Lost Mine of Phandelver as the intro to the game for the thousands of new players that D&D is reaching thanks to the golden age of RPGs and streaming that we’re currently in. But rather than the past, where such a product might be the exclusive purview of your friendly local game store–this one is set for Target, of all places.
This move seems to indicate (much as GW’s earlier release of Space Marine board games) a desire to reach an even wider base. With a mass market release like this they’re going for the customers who don’t already know gaming necessarily. But it’s a move that tentatively hurts traditional gaming stores, in that they won’t have the product available until after summer. With the rise of D&D in schools (thanks to the efforts of gaming organizations and individuals like Mr. E, who have done a great deal of work introducing a new generation to D&D), it makes sense that WotC and Hasbro would be targeting (hah) stores that are likely to see a broader audience. Soon you’ll go to Target in the summer to get your water guns, school supplies, and a new D&D Kit.
What does this mean for WotC’s relationship with FLGSes? It’s uncertain, though the days of local gaming store exclusives do seem to be at an end, at least where WotC is concerned. That said–the new starter kit does look well designed. Boasting a redesigned introductory adventure aimed at teaching new players not just how to play the game but make characters–rather than throwing them in the deep end–as well as featuring a new 1-on-1 ruleset, the Essentials Kit is precisely that.
via Wizards of the Coast
Everything you need to create characters and play the new adventures in this introduction to the world’s greatest roleplaying game.
Dungeons & Dragons is a cooperative storytelling game that harnesses your imagination and invites you to explore a fantastic world of adventure, where heroes battle monsters, find treasures, and overcome quests. The D&D Essentials Kit is a new introductory product meant to bring D&D to audiences interested in jumping into a fantasy story.
This box contains the essentials you need to run a D&D game with one Dungeon Master and one to five adventurers. A newly designed rulebook on-boards players by teaching them how to make characters, and the included adventure, Dragon of Icespire Peak, introduces a new 1-on-1 rules variant.