As my eyes drained with tears, asking for a break from the rapid-changing screens, perhaps some table top games would comfort my eyes but still keep my brain moving. What I came across was a human-height horrifying white dragon standing up straight, with bunch of people rolling a giant 20-sided die standing in front – it is the Dungeons and Dragons. Published by Wizards of the Coast, the world’s leading company of table-top gaming, Dungeons and Dragons is one of the earliest Fantasy Role-Playing Game dating back to 1974. Celebrating the long success of D&D, Wizards recently modified and re-published the Dungeons and Dragons starter box (red box), which is a D&D product from back in the early 80s. “People who played D&D long time ago that do not know it still exists, we want to let them know we still do,” said Liz Schuh, the brand manager of D&D.

As my eyes drained with tears, asking for a break from the rapid-changing screens, perhaps some table top games would comfort my eyes but still keep my brain moving. What I came across was a human-height horrifying white dragon standing up straight, with bunch of people rolling a giant 20-sided die standing in front – it is the Dungeons and Dragons. Published by Wizards of the Coast, the world’s leading company of table-top gaming, Dungeons and Dragons is one of the earliest Fantasy Role-Playing Game dating back to 1974. Celebrating the long success of D&D, Wizards recently modified and re-published the Dungeons and Dragons starter box (red box), which is a D&D product from back in the early 80s. “People who played D&D long time ago that do not know it still exists, we want to let them know we still do,” said Liz Schuh, the brand manager of D&D.

The new starter box captures the old-school spirit of the early D&D product with the same graphic and packaging of the original starter set. The marketing team is definitely doing their work because this starter box not only targets for newcomers but also experienced players (players from 80s would definitely love it just for old-times’ sake). As a starter box, it includes a Player’s Book, a Dungeon Master’s Book, hero and monster tokens, power cards of characters, a double-sided battle map and most importantly, dice. The box not only provides everything players need to get the adventure started, they are designed to be simple and straightforward so new players can enjoy D&D without struggling with complicated rules. Just compare the original 221-page Dungeon Master’s Guide with this 64-page DM Book. Hello? Easily, we soon headed to the world of goblins, kobolds and more, for the sake of treasure, fame and survival. With a 20-sided die and lots of imagination, you will be surprised how much can happen on the table in the magical world of Dungeons and Dragons.

       

After checking out the red box, my eyes got attracted by another box twice as big and with a fearsome vampire as the cover – the Castle Ravenloft. Well, it is just another campaign setting of D&D, right? Wait, is it a board game? Ravenloft is the first game of the new D&D board game series. Players, as brave heroes in the tower of Castle Ravenloft, fight werewolves and vampires in order to discover the secret of the castle. Unlike D&D the original, role-playing and story-telling features are minimal. It is an excellent game for people who are interested in miniature games but not quite a fan of role-playing. Not having a dungeon master, the game works by a fully randomized system. You draw for the dungeon tiles, encounters and monsters and fight until you reach the final boss. As this game runs without dungeon master or any preparation, I am surprised by how interesting it is because of the randomization of monsters, tiles and encounters. If vampire and werewolf is not your cup of tea, Wrath of Ashardalon, which is the second one of the series, is going to be released in November 16, 2010, providing you with new monsters and tiles but with the same excitement.

       

For anyone who is a fan of tabletop RPG, we all know that it is not easy to start because of all the complicated rules to learn and expensive books or miniatures to purchase. But with Dungeons and Dragons Starter Set and Castle Ravenloft Board Game, everyone from kids to grownup can enjoy TTRPG instantly with little to give up. As a matter or fact, it is great way to take your kids or friends away from the computer screen and actually sit down around the table too! So, let’s have your dice ready, and roll your initiative!

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