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Review/Unboxing: Stranger Things Starter Set

I picked up the Stranger Things Starter Set from my local gaming store, The Sentry Box, when I was their for my weekly Adventurer’s League (DDAL) game with my fantastic DM (shout out to Alison!)

Stranger Things Starter Set

The box set comes with:

  • Two exclusive figurines they call Demegorgon [but not really].
  • Starter Set Rulebook
  • Adventure Book “Hunt for the Thessalhydra”
  • Six dice [look the same as the first D&D Starter Set]
  • Five premade characters [level 3]

Figurines

The figures are made of a super durable and flexible coloured plastic. One is ‘painted’ [has a red wash], well the other is unpainted.

Stranger Things Demegorgon

Demegorgon: The creature itself reads more like a modified troll [less HP, Blood Frenzy ability, lower attack value, but everything else.

This is an excellent example of reskinning exiting monsters to fit other story narratives!

[Demegorgon CR 4 (Stranger Things Rulebook p.36); Troll CR 5 (Monsters Manual p.291); Demogorgon CR 26 (Out of the Abyss p.236)]

Starter Set Rulebook

Stranger Things Rulebook

There Stranger Things Starter Set and the original D&D5e Starter Set are very similar. A basic explanation of how the game mechanics work for D&D5e, which are only expanded on a little more with the Player’s Handbook (PHB). It does include Magi Items and Monsters for the DM to have both the adventure book and the monster stats open, instead of having to flip between sections of the same book repeatedly.

Adventure Book “Hunt for the Thessalhydra”

The adventure itself is written from the perspective of the person who created the adventure, in a large script font. There is one bit of gold:

Don’t worry too much about getting the rules right or bring perfect as a DM… Just relax, let things happen naturally, and enjoy playing the game.

Stranger Things Adventure Book

I had expectations that the story would be about combating the influence and effects of the Demegorgon, and they are a fearsome but the Player’s are actually after the defeat of the Thessalhydra, which sounds like a more fearsome Hydra – but is again a scaled down reskinned version [Thessalhydra CR 4; Hydra CR 8]

D&D Starter Set (2014)

The entire adventure pack is really short and doesn’t hold a candle to the content in the first D&D Starter Set with Lost Mine of Phandelver, which is really disappointing as the Stranger Things Starter Set is slightly more expensive.

Conclusion

The Stranger Things is not worth the box price. It’s not worth its cover price with no real new or interesting content. When I opened the box my nose was assaulted by the smell of cheep materials. The adventure would fit on 4 pages (2 double sided), including all images, if printed in a regular font.

This might interest kids for a few hours – but the original box set will keep them engaged for months. It’s the definition of Basic…

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