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Sell me on one of these Starter Boxes...

jack hooligan

Registered User
Validated User
Interested in possibly running a game for my 9 year old son and some friends. Of the more recent starter boxes, which seems to be the best (in whatever way you want to qualify it):

D&D 5e
Lone Wolf Adventure Game
The One Ring (wasn't there a box set for this?)
FFG Star Wars (which one - isn't there like 3-4 of these?)
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Viral Marketing Shill?
Validated User
The One Ring box set is out of date. There is a 2nd edition that is not part of boxed set. It may be worth picking up cheap for the maps and dice but you would want the current rules. (It is a great game that captures the Tolkien feel BTW).

Doctor Crunch

Registered User
Validated User
All of the Star Wars starter sets are amazing. I am deeply tempted by the forthcoming Force Awakens set, but they are all amazing.

The D&D set includes the best adventure, and the adventure is an expandable sand box that can be extended to an entire campaign using the free basic rules.

Darth Bathrobe

Large Herald at Large
Validated User
Seconding the praise for the Star Wars starters. In addition to the included stuff, they also have additional characters and adventures for each one, carrying on from those included in the boxes. Each one currently available is for one of the lines, so you have one for Edge of the Empire (Smugglers, Bounty Hunters, and assorted scoundrels,) Age of Rebellion (the Galactic Civil War,) and Force and Destiny (Force sensitives.) The fourth one, not yet released, will be based on The Force Awakens.

The One Ring box wasn't so much a starter box as it was the entire core game plus dice. A wonderful game, but, as previously mentioned, the game has been revised into a hardcover book incorporating clarifications and errata, and is out of date.

The Lone Wolf Adventure Game is similar. It's essentially the entire core game at this point, everything you need to play a Kai Lord. Oh, and it's fully compatible with the old game books (available for free legal download at Project Aon,) and I've used it to replay them solo.

Matt Drake

Time-Wasting Nerd
Validated User
I would also really recommend the FFGSW starters. They come with the dice you need, they do a great job walking you through the rules, and the adventures are solid enough to be entertaining. Plus there's expansion material available online for free, so you can play for several sessions out of that one box. If you're OK with the pregen characters that come in the box, you may be a long time before you need to upgrade to the full rules.


Validated User
If you're looking for a bit of self-directed exploration of the game, Lone Wolf is the best.

If you're looking for maximum playability, D&D 5e Starter Set is the bomb. The FFG Star Wars sets and the Pathfinder Beginner Box have more neat stuff but don't have the sandbox of the Starter Set. FFG does have free add-ons on its website, though.

The One Ring is a great game. At present, there's no introductory set for it, but I would not hesitate to teach the game to an interested nine-year-old; it has a bit of crunch but all they really need to know is how their own stuff works and what they can do to help their friends (which is another benefit of TOR, a clear moral stance).

David Artman

Designer and Producer
Validated User
Are you interested in any other licensed properties than those?
If so, I can wholeheartedly recommend the Mouse Guard 2E Boxed Set as both beautiful and useful. One must like playing anthropomorphic mice (or drift the basic concept A LOT), but the system is marvelous, and you'd be supporting an independent game designer.
If you wanna got WAY in the opposite direction, the Gamma World RPG Boxed Set is nice looking, though I've not perused the rules for changes since its original in the 80s (which is when last I played GW).
If you are willing to hunt (and, perhaps, pay a premium) the Black Box D&D (1991) or Torg box set are excellent and good for a LOT of game play before needing to buy or create more stuff (post-level-5 D&D info; campaign books or scenarios). You can get Torrg on Amazon right now for $20, apparently (but I cannot find a whiff of 1991 D&D; good hunting!).

But really... Mouse Guard.


Doom Priest of Peace and Happiness
Validated User
They are all pretty awesome honestly.

I would suggest the Lone Wolf or the Fantasy Flight boxed sets. The Lone Wolf is a pretty awesome setting (my first foray into fantasy honestly) and the system is simple to pick up for kids. The Star Wars boxed sets have everything you need, great production values and just all around good stuff to start things.


Registered User
Validated User
The Mouse Guard boxed set is great if you are at all into Mouse Guard, or Redwall etc. The art is also amazing. Playing Mice in a realistic world takes a bit of getting used to. A summer thunderstorm can easily lead to a TPK, and a snapping turtle is a Godzilla class monster.

I have gotten good play out of the FFG Star Wars beginner games. The adventures are a bit railroad, but you get dice, tokens, maps, etc which you can use in continued SW adventures and they provide a very good introduction to the mechanics. It is worth noting that the pre-gen characters and starter rules do not strickly follow the core book rules. Nothing game breaking, but something to be aware of, especially if you play with rules lawyers or find yourself later thinking "but, I thought this worked differently".

The Doctor Who: Adventures in Time and Space game had two boxed set versions before converting to the current hardback version, featuring Doctor's Ten and Eleven, if the players are Dr Who fans they include everything needed for play. The game mechanics are pretty simple to boot.
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