Remember that “4e Red Box” that was in the works? You can see more of it here.
Using the older boxed set’s art is a really strange choice here, especially since the rest of the art that I could see in that video podcast is new. I wonder what the thinking there was.
It looks like a pretty nice introduction to the latest edition of the game though, along the lines of Mentzer’s edition of BD&D.
I’m calling “blatant marketing plot.” Everything I’ve heard is that it’s just the 4E Rules, parsed out for multiple sets and repackaged to a) try to entice the “OD&D” crowd with a “See… it’s just like OD&D… it’s the Red Box!” approach, and b) try to entice the “Dragon Age” crowd with a “See… it’s just like Dragon Age… it’s in a Box!” approach.
I think TSRWOTCHASBRO missed an opportunity of offering a descent rules-lite variant of 4E that *might* have brought some of the OGs back to the brand and lent it some credibility. I could be wrong, but I doubt it… this has been the game WOTCs been playing with the property since they got a hold of the license, constantly trying to reinvent the wheel.
They will be releasing two different covers for the boxed set, one new and the retro cover.
From the rumors I have read, it doesn’t sound like such a bad idea. The new “essential” version of the rules is both a slight revision of the 4.0 rules (that will not nullify previous rule books) and a bite size introduction to the game, which I think is good for getting new players in.
Trying to get someone into the game with a 4E PHB is kind of a ridiculous proposition if you are new to RPGs. The previous 4E starter set was a wiff because it didn’t let you make any characters.
Frankly I don’t think the redbox design of the new set is any more nefarious other than a little homage to everyone’s origins and reminding some mature players that haven’t played in a while that they can still buy d&d in the store with a minimum price to entry.
This is so sad to me.
First, the way it claims to BE the original game.
These guys don’t seem to realize that the Basic Set this thing is aping used to be the standard way to get into the game. (Or even that there were 3e introductory sets.) This isn’t a new idea by any stretch of the imagination.
These guys don’t seem to realize that 3e was a height of complexity for the game. The older Basic Sets weren’t needed because the game was too complex. It didn’t take a whole session to create a character before 3e. (Although, I suppose you can sub “late 2e” or even “late 1e” for “3e” depending upon the group. The point is that it is sad to me that their idea of “old D&D” is 3e. They don’t know the history. They don’t know that they don’t know the history.)
Sigh. I am an old fogey now. ^_^
This box does look very close to what I’ve always they should be making as an introductory set.
So, once you’ve generated your automatic-18-on-the-most-relevant-ability-score character, stacked your deck of cards next to you on the table and spread your pogs out on the battlemat…do you at least get to battle the guy who made the blasphemous decision to slap the Mentzer box art on this monstrosity?
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