Dungeons & Dragons Game (1991 boxed set)
|Media type||Boxed set|
The New Easy-to-Master Dungeons & Dragons Game is an introductory set for the Dungeons & Dragons fantasy role-playing game, published by TSR, Inc. in 1991. It was a replacement for the previous Dungeons & Dragons Basic Set, serving to introduce new players to the game, using the rule set previously established.
The rules are presented twice, once in a 64-page rule book and again in the Dungeon Card Learning Pack. Inspired by the SRA reading program, the pack is a set of 48 cards that also includes four-page supplementary mini-adventures. The front of each card features a discussion of a single facet of the rules, such as non-player characters, hit dice, or initiative rolls. The back of the card describes a brief scenario to illustrate the rules discussed on the front. The four-page mini-adventures that pop up in the card pack at regular intervals incorporate the rules discussed up to that point into a linked series of encounters that give a beginning Dungeon Master a chance to hone his skills. The encounters include directions for setting up character pawns on the map, boxed text to be read to the players, and a list of responses to the probable actions of the PCs. The set also includes a Dungeon Master's Screen, fold-up cardboard pawns, a color map sheet, and dice.
Design was by Troy Denning, and the rule book written by Timothy B. Brown. The cover was by Jeff Easley, with interior illustrations by Terry Dykstra. It was reissued in 1994 with different cover art and box shape. This version was entitled The Classic Dungeons & Dragons Game.
Rick Swan reviewed the Dungeons & Dragons Game for Dragon magazine #184 (August 1992). He describes the set: "Lavishly packaged, logically organized, and lucidly explained, this is as close to a perfect beginner's package as I've ever seen. Anyone who can read can now learn to play the D&D game as it was intended." He found the game's system of explaining the rules to players "a remarkably efficient and entertaining method of instruction". According to Swan, "The new rule book tightens up and reorganizes the material in the original D&D set, though the fundamentals are left intact. The tone is less formal, and there's more emphasis on character classes". He concluded his review with this evaluation: "Whether you find the D&D game's approach charming or anachronistic depends on your tolerance for adventures that focus almost exclusively on dungeon crawling, treasure grabbing, and monster bashing. As for me, I'm solidly in favor of the D&D game; I've never met a new player who didn't get a kick out of a basic dungeon crawl, and I've GMed everybody from grade school kids to Ph.D.s. The revised D&D game is an excellent introduction to a fascinating hobby, recommended for curious newcomers and nostalgic old-timers alike."
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