Laeral Silverhand’s Explorer’s Kit was released on the 17th of March 2020.
In Greece, these arrived a tiny bit later, as usual. I had pre-ordered them but wasn’t able to get them due to the lockdown and me spending it in a military base. So now I got the time to check them out and write a review about them. Here we go.
By the way, there is also a video review!
The kit contains a set of eleven dice, a felt inlined box that can work as two dice trays, twenty double-sided cards that feature information on places, factions, and NPCs of the Forgotten Realms, and a double-sided map of Waterdeep and the Sword Coast. This means that it follows the same content pattern as the previous dice release, “Baldur’s Gate: Descent into Avernus Dice & Miscellany”. More on the pattern later. The MSRP of the product is $24.95.
The dice set consists of two d20s, one d12, two d10s (one of them is a percentile), one d8, four d6s, and one d4. The dice are semi-transparent and their color is a light blue with soft silver swirl like patterns. The numbers are colored silver.
The size of the dice is regular, except for the two d20 who are larger than normal. Whether that is a positive or a negative trait depends on the preferences of the individual. Personally, I like them because I like having dice that vary in sizes. Though, if I use them in a session they may feel a bit unnatural at first since I’m used to a different size.
There are 20 cards in this kit. Actually, there are 21, with the 21st containing a message from Laeral Silverhand. Their dimensions are 13.3cm x 13.3cm (or 5.2” x 5.2” for the friends using imperial units) and can easily fit into the dice tray.
The 20 cards can be broken down into three categories; factions, NPCs, and places. There are 3 faction cards, featuring the cults of the Dead Three, the Harpers, and the Zhentarim. The 7 places cards feature Baldur’s Gate, Candlekeep, Icewind Dale, Neverwinter, Port Nyazaru, and Waterdeep. The final 10 cards cover NPCs, and specifically Drizzt Do’Urden, Durnan, Grand Duke Ulder Ravengard, Halaster Blackcloak, Jarlaxle Baenre, Lateral Silverhand, Lord Dagult Neverember, Mirt, Vajra Safahr, and the Xanathar.
They are double-faced, with one side featuring art and the other a few paragraphs related to what’s being covered on the card. These insights are written from the perspective of Laeral Silverhand, so they may not be objective but give a very interesting flavor.
As for the information on the cards, I don’t think they provide anything that isn’t already known. The interesting thing about them, as I mentioned above, is that they come from the perspective of a notable character. This could prove to be a good source of inspiration. If you want to know exactly what it’s written on them, you can watch my video on the dice set, where I go over every card.
The double-faced map features the Sword Coast on one side and Waterdeep on the other. Its dimensions are 39.9cm x 26.6xm (also known as 15.6” x 10.4”). The Sword Coast map is the one featured in the Sword Coasts Adventurer’s Guide, though parts of it have been cut to fit better into these dimensions. The map of Waterdeep is the one provided along with Waterdeep: Dragonheist, though that one is larger and has more annotations.
As a lover of cartography, I don’t mind the relatively small size of the maps. They can be used in a session but, personally, I would keep them as decoration.
The Dice Trays
The box itself is very beautiful. It is blue and features some really beautiful designs. Also, each side has a phrase about Faerun printed on it. The material must be cardboard, making it quite durable. Of course, however, it can get damaged if you aren’t careful with how you transport or store it. The inside of both parts of the box is inlined with felt, giving them a nice feeling and an extra reason to use them as dice trays.
The dice kit of Wizards of the Coast has gone through a few versions. The Tomb of Annihilation dice set had a really cool tin box but the dice were a bit disappointing, color wise. Also, there was no second d20.
The Guildmaster’s Guide to Ravnica and the Waterdeep: Dragonheist dice sets are the second version of the content pattern. The Ravnica dice featured a stunning tin box and a guild die, while the Waterdeep dice had no tin box but contained a second d20 and a life counter.
Now we are in the third content pattern, which includes the latest three dice sets; Baldur’s Gate: Descent into Avernus, Laeral Silverhand’s Explorer’s Kit, and Icewind Dale: Rime of the Frostmaiden (for this one I’ll be talking in a future review). They feature 11 dice, dice trays, a map and info cards related to the book they have been released alongside with (an exception being Laeral), and a box that is durable and can also double as a dice tray.
To be honest, I like this version. The dice are getting more beautiful with each release and the maps are a nice bonus for me. However, I’m really missing the tin boxes so, I’d like to see a set featuring one, especially if there are going to be at least two dice set releases each year.
Laeral Silverhand’s Explorer’s Kit, along with all the other dice sets, isn’t really an essential product in order for you to run your game. However, it features some really beautiful dice and two dice trays, which can be very handy if you don’t have one. If you want to get one of the dice sets of Wizards of the Coast, this isn’t a bad choice because it also features the map of the Sword Coast, which is the current main setting for D&D.
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