Essentials starter: ambushed by goblins!

The choose-your-own-adventure used for character creation/rules walkthrough is quite well-executed. You’re on a wagon with a dwarf merchant. Your embryonic, any-color hero is ambushed by goblins. Based on how you react, the game recommends a character class to you. You make choices first, and then learn mechanics.

Your four potential character classes all lead through the same goblin battle. If you’re like me, you’ll try all the classes; and furthermore, you’ll read all the text blocks to see the options you didn’t choose. Luckily, the options are sequenced by character class, so reading the book in order doesn’t give you a confusing mess; it gives you, in order, the slightly-branching but easy-to-follow stories of a fighter, wizard, rogue, and cleric each fighting goblins.

The adventures for the different classes each have to provide much of the same game information, so there is a lot of repeated text; but there are a few surprising differences for each class.

Before we get to the classes, though, the game asks us some role-playing questions. “Think for a moment about what your character hopes to achieve. […] Are you setting out on a life of adventure on purpose – or about to stumble into one by accident? Are you heading to the town to see someone you know, or perhaps to pay your last respects to a relative who has died?”

I think my character hopes to achieve fame and fortune as a merchant prince. He needs trade goods, so he’s hoping his merchant companion will have a tragic accident on the road. He doesn’t have the guts to murder the merchant in cold blood, but maybe if there’s a fight… weapons can slip…

More Red Box thoughts…


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