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In this short video, I’m unpacking the recently released Dungeons and Dragon Essentials: Dungeon Master’s Kit

I’m putting this video up as a reference so other DM’s who are thinking about buying this kit can have some idea of what they are getting.

In summary, you get:

1 272 page book
1 DMs screen
2 adventure booklets
2 double sided battle maps
3 sheets of tokens

The Book

You get the D&D Essentials Dungeon Master’s Book.

At a glance this appears to be basically an abridged version of the DM Guide.

It discusses combat concepts, summarizes other game rules, gives notes on setting up an adventure’s background, and it also has a few special items listed in back (though I don’t know if they are unique to this book or not).

I’m assuming some of the rule updates and clarifications issued since 4.0 Dungeon Master’s came out are included in this book.

The Dungeon Master's Screen

There’s nothing special about the included DM screen as far as I can tell.
It appears to be the same one I already have.

*** UPDATE ***

Turns out this DM Screen is pretty crappy.  The content and art, as far as I can tell, is the same as the current standard DM Screen; but the material, though,  is not.  The standalone DM Screen is made out of firm, thick, and sturdy cardboard; whereas the DM Screen included with this kit is very thin, flimsy, and flexes way to easily.

Reavers of Harkenwold

The two included booklets comprise an adventure called Reavers of Harkenwold, parts 1 and 2.

Part 1 is subtitle: The Iron Circle
It looks like you can play this adventure with just the battle maps included

Part 2 is subtitled: The Die Is Cast

It makes use of the maps included with the kit,  but appears to include battle scenes where no map is provided.  I’m assuming those will have to be conducted on a blank battle map.

The Battle Maps

There are two double sided Battle Maps

The first battle map has two full poster size maps covering each side.  One one side is small farm, and the other side is a small castle.

The other Battle Map has two half poster size maps on each side. On one side half the map a small tavern and stable, and the other half is cave

On the flip side there a map of an outdoors scene with some sort of Stonehenge type ruins set next to an abandoned cart.  Opposite of that is a dungeon scene that seems to cater to some sort of wizard.

Tokens and Counters

There are three sets of Tokens.  Two sets of tokens appear to be player and NPC tokens.  The other set is a collection of monsters. Some of these tokens I’ve seen before in various other D&D starter sets I’ve picked up

What You Get

And that… petty much sums up what you get (unless you want to count the include flyer that advertises more upcoming D&D Essentials products).

As we actually start to put these items into play, we may post further comments and reviews on these items.