Yesterday a boxed set was announced by Wizards of the Coast.
It is a revamped (nice one) version of the Curse of Strahd adventure. It comes in a box that’s shaped like a coffin and has a few goodies along with it.
I saw a lot of people online are complaining about this box, especially for its price. The MSRP is set at $99.99. Let’s break down the contents of the box and calmly assess the situation.
Curse of Strahd, one of the most popular Dungeons & Dragons roleplaying game products of all time, split into three parts: a 224-page perfect-bound adventure for characters of levels 1–10, a 20-page Creatures of Horror booklet of new monsters that appear in the adventure, and an 8-page Tarokka Deck booklet.
The first item is the book itself. It’s broken into three pieces, the adventure, the monster booklet, and the Tarokka Deck booklet. Some changes have been made in the adventure, that tackle some wording that wasn’t accepted by the community. From what I understood, most of the changes come in the form of removing certain sentences.
So from this part I see two issues that can be connected to the price. First of all, the book isn’t a hardcover. This is a major issue for me and many others as well. I really enjoy the hardcover books by Wizards of the Coast and I haven’t missed any of the alternate cover ones.
The second issue, which is something I have seen being mentioned online, is that the changes are minimal. The most important changes, I believe, are about the Vistani and Ezmerelda. But these changes consist of removing certain parts of sentences.
SOLUTION: Make the book hardcover and give it an alternate cover. Having the monsters and the Tarokka Deck as separate booklets seems useful, but they could just make them free online supplements. Moreover, don’t just remove words. Give a bit of extra background. Give more context on the perspective of the citizens of Barovia and the Vistani when it comes to each other. At its current form, it’s not worth the $49.95 of the hardcover version of the adventure.
A cover sheet with Strahd von Zarovich’s image on one side and Strahd’s monster stat block on the other.
A cool thing but it adds little to the value of the box.
A sturdy, four-panel Dungeon Master’s screen designed for use with the adventure.
If it’s the same quality as the Dungeon Master Screen Reincarnated, it’s fine. Let’s say it costs the same with that screen so $14.95.
A double-sided poster map showing the domain of Barovia on one side and Castle Ravenloft on the other.
Maps are cool, can’t argue with that. But this map is included in the hardcover version already.
54 foil-stamped Tarokka cards, which help determine the heroes’ path through the adventure.
That’s cool, to be honest. If I understand this correctly, these cards will last longer and will be harder to damage. This is an upgrade I am happy about. The MSRP of the original Tarokka Deck is $10 so let’s just say this one goes up to $15. This is just a guesstimate so correct me if you know more about foil cards.
A tuck box to hold the Tarokka deck.
I really don’t understand why this is in a separate entry from the deck itself.
12 postcards (3 copies each of 4 different cards), which you can use to invite friends to your game.
Postcards are cool. I am considering starting a collection of them (because I have accepted my hoarding nature). However, this is just some bulk paper stuff that don’t really have a ton of value. Especially if it doesn’t feature new art.
I tried to be as objective as possible in the above breakdown. From what I see, I do not think this boxed set is worth that much money. And that comes from someone who buys all the WotC die sets. Maybe if the price was closer to $60 I don’t think it would cause such a debate. And if we had gotten a hardcover alternate cover version, that would be even better.
Maybe if Amazon offered it at a much lower price, like it tends to do with the D&D products, then maybe it could be an item you could get to complete your collection. Sadly, that’s not even possible for me so I guess I will have to pass on that one.
I hope you found this breakdown helpful. Let me know whether you will buy this or not, and the reasons behind your decision.
And until next time, have fun!
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