The Saving Throw
Dungeons and Dragons ~ Basic Game 3.5 Edition 08.27.2007
Saving Throw's review of Dungeons and Dragons Basic Game 3.5 Edition.

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Basic Game 3.5 Edition
published by Wizards of the Coast reviewed by Martin Drury
Box Set, 2006, $24.99
Content 10
Organization 13
Consistency 12
Intelligibility 13
Near Miss
Review Scoring

   Dungeons and Dragons: Basic Game is designed for new players and Game Masters alike. The game provides four double sided tiles, four player character miniatures and eight monster miniatures, four sample rule books for four classes, two books for Game Masters, and a set of dice. The Basic Game, as one would expect, uses a simplified version of the 3.5 Edition rules to introduce the game to new players. While this works well for beginners, experienced players teaching the game to new or young players may find the rule changes and omissions frustrating. Even more frustration can arise when it comes time to explain the more complex rules.

The four classes provided in the Basic Game are the fighter, rogue, cleric and wizard. This subset of the basic classes provided in the Player's Handbook provides the beginning player with an excellent sampling of the different playing styles available in the advanced game, while not overwhelming them with some of the nuances of classes such as Monk, Druid and Ranger.

The adventure provided is a short, five part delve that climaxes with a battle against the iconic dragon. It also provides the players with the first experience leveling up a character, albeit with simple character sheets that are partially completed for the gamer.

Unfortunately, the short adventure provided, while giving plenty of opportunities for gamers to try different skills (search, spot, open lock), is really too short for a new gamer to learn enough to be ready to dive into a more complex adventure using the full ruleset on just one play through. Also, without any followup "basic adventures", the basic game loses a lot of its appeal for teaching new gamers the rules of Dungeons and Dragons.

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