Several months ago I backed the Adventures in the East Mark Kickstater by Extra-Dimensional Publishing on one premise alone, it was a variation of 80s D&D Red Box set that I grew up with. I was hopeful that it would be identical or at least similar to the Red Box. Finally, I got a chance to really dig into the book last night, despite having the box set here for more than a few weeks. I am very happy with what I have read. It is very much in the vain of the Mentzer Red Box set with some twist and turns that are wonderful.
What’s different and new?
– Measurements & weights are in Metric and not Imperial (US standards)
– There are some new classes (Explorer and Paladin).
– The Fighter is now the Warrior and the Magic User is now the Mage.
– The Monsters included in the book include many of the classic and run of the mill monster denizens, but there a many new creatures that are specific to the East Mark.
– Includes the basic framework for the East Mark campaign setting.
– Includes two short introductory adventures
– Unlike the Mentzer Box Set, it does not have a solo adventure.
– Includes combat rules for Defensive Fighting and Charging.
– The artwork in new and very evocative.
What do you get in the box set?
– A high quality and well printed/bound 136 page Basic Rule Set
– Game Master Screen in full color. It is very sturdy with a cardboard core for rigidity.
– A set of Game Science dice (just like the Mentzer set)
– One crayon to color in the dice.
– One pencil.
The origins of this box set and campaign setting began in Spain with Pedro Gil. The material was original printed in Spanish and distributed only in Europe. X-D Publishing was able to get the permission to translate and publish this material in the U.S. The team they assembled did a great job with the translation. I only noted a few oddities that could have been translated better or should have been caught by a continuity editor. I should warn readers that the box set is set at $59.99 MSRP. The price is a little steep especially when we compare it to other similar box sets on the market.
In summary, this is much like the original box set that I grew up with, but it has enough of different feel that really appeals to me. I am really looking forward to getting this to the table and running some players through the introductory adventures. The campaign setting has a great new feel to it and I think it will make a great basis for future games.