With Stranger Things season 3 in full swing, I could not think of a more perfect time to share what might be one of the most amazing starter sets for Dungeons and Dragons. The Stranger Things: Dungeons and Dragons starter kit by Wizards of the Coast and Netflix features the adventure Mike Wheeler (Finn Wolfhard) wrote for his friends in the very first episode of season one. This one story helped kick off an adventure full of twists and turns for the group as they fought to save their friend from the upside down. Grab your closest friends, your character sheets and a set of your favorite dice as we dive in. Oh, and be careful because there are spoilers ahead!
What’s in the Box?
The very first thing you see when picking up the box is the demogorgon mini staring back at you. The box holds two of these, one painted for quick use and the other for you to get creative with. The box also includes a set of dice, five character sheets with characters based on those from Stranger Things, a Dungeons and Dragons rule book, and the Hunt of the Thessalhyrda adventure book. The character sheets are all filled out, so all you need is for the dungeon master to read through the adventure and prep a bit and you guys are ready to go!
Hunt for the Thessalhydra
The bread and butter of the starter kit is the adventure right? And believe me this one is great. The players have been summoned by Sir Tristan whose realm is being attacked by the evil thessalhydra. It went into hiding within the caverns and it is the job of the heroes to search it out and bring its’ heads to Sir Tristan. The players will travel through the caverns before finding a cursed labyrinth. If they are able to prove they are worthy to a knight, he will let them pass into the Upside Down. Guess who lives in the Upside Down guys? The demogorgon! Survive your fight with him and you can make your way to the thessalhydra’s lair to slay the beast. The adventure itself is well written and includes enough information between the adventure book and the rule book to allow even a new dungeon master to thrive.
Artwork and Design
What sets the Stranger Things: Dungeons and Dragons starter kit apart from others is the attention to the detail that was put in. This isn’t just anyone’s adventure, this is Mike Wheeler’s adventure. So it is only fitting that the entire adventure book is written as if it was pulled from the pages of his notebook. This can be seen in the cover, the drawings within, and even the font used for the words. The maps are hand drawn as if they were scribbled into the small corners of a notebook filled with ideas. The real treat is the note written by Mike himself that includes a small pep talk for the dungeon master in the beginning, reminding all of us to enjoy the game and focus on allowing the players to lead the way.
Do I love this starter kit? Yes! As a fan of Stranger Things and Dungeons and Dragons who wouldn’t want to play such an iconic adventure? Not to mention it features something for everyone! Exploring new and amazing places? Check. Fighting evil monsters? Check. Saving the world? Check! The only thing I was a bit disappointed with was that the character sheets are not really reusable. An easy way around this would be to photocopy the sheets so you can have multiple games. Or get your friends to create their own characters and set off on their own.
Pick up your own copy of Stranger Things: Dungeons and Dragons starter kit online or in stores now!