Tabletop Roleplaying is a very involved hobby. You need the rulebooks for the game, you need dice, and you need at least 3 or 4 other people interested in playing the game, and that's just for starters. One of the things which a lot of players miss when they first start RPGing is a decent set of dice and a notebook, two things which often times can help a session to run more smoothly. The Dungeoneer's Pack, by deadmyth, is a set that hopes to make the all-important essentials easier to get for new players.
Each Dungeoneer's Pack contains, one notebook, one spell card book, a set of 7 polyhedral dice, and a fountain pen. The notebook is the largest part of the set and is made of faux leather, decorated with a nicely embossed compass rose on the front. The notebook also features a small sword made of real metal which acts as a bookmark and a cloth strap which is ended in a small metal dragon head.
The notebook is a nicely made little booklet, perfect for tracking initiative, health or even just notes about your campaign. The pages are kept on a round-ring-binder-style clasp, so you can swap them out once you run out of pages, which is great since this way you get to keep your fancy notebook once the pages are all filled up. The paper quality of the pages in question is pretty average. It's quite rough paper, but in a way that works better for this fantasy-themed product, and overall it's nothing special nor a particular problem against the item's quality.
The 'spell book' is actually a small folder with space for around 24 spell cards, and comes with a metal rune on the front. The only issue with the spell book in question is that no pre-made spell cards come in a business card size, because most spell card decks are printed at standard card size. Obviously, it's entirely possible to make your own cards and use those, but it does seem like something of an odd choice.
The final two pieces of the collection are a small felt bag filled with your 7 dice and a quite nice fountain pen with a wooden finish. The dice bag if finished with small metal dragon heads, just like the book was, which brings the set together with a central theme of Dragon's and killing them.
The dice are easily the weakest part of the set. They're very light and very cheap-feeling, but they don't actually look too bad. Like everything else is the set the dice are color coordinated, so in my case, they're black with a white marbling going through them. Most importantly of all the dice do roll well, and only very occasionally hit a natural 1 forcing their user into some sort of lava pit.
The fountain pen works surprisingly well and has a really good feel to it. There's a lot of weight behind it, and the screw cap is made of a really solid piece of metal which you know is going to keep the nib of your pen nice and safe. I even took it with me and used it during UKGE this year and it didn't come off or open itself and explode in my bag. A nice bonus feature is that the fountain pen actually comes with a reusable cartridge, meaning you can cut down on waste if you have any inkwells hanging around the place.The thing that really makes the set worth using over a standard set of notebook and dice is the atmosphere this set will give off at the gaming table. When you sit down to a fantasy RPG and you pull out a faux leather-bound notebook, complete with a dragon head and sword it really helps to set the scene. This set works because it feels like something that might actually exist inside of a fantasy universe. From the felt feeling of the pouch to the metal dragon heads on the edge of each of the ties, it all makes the set feel like something that you would use to note down the important facts in an adventure. Possibly the best example of this is the rune on the spellbook. Having a small tome filled with spells, emblazoned with a heavy metal runic sigil just feels right, it really fills like you're flipping through your spells when you bust this thing out to locate your most powerful fireball.
The Bottom Line:
Overall the quality of the set is pretty high, barring the dice set and possible the paper. Everything is well-themed and it all feels like a purpose-made set thanks to the decoration which the creator of the set, deadmyth, has added to each piece. While the necessity of making your own, correctly-sized spell cards is slightly annoying, it's only a little DIY. Besides, it's your own fault for playing a spellcaster in the first place.Get This Set If:
-You're looking for a complete D&D Set in one package
-You don't mind making your own spell cards
-You enjoy a well-themed set with a decent pen
Avoid This Set If:
-You're working on a budget
-You already own a spell card deck
-You want high-quality dice
NOTE In the interest of fairness, it should be pointed out that the item is not handmade. This is not a fault with the seller Deadmyth, who has assured us that the "handmade item" tag is store-wide and cannot be removed. He has no intention of lying about the origins of the set and hopefully with some help from Etsy things can be made more clear for his consumers.What do you think of deadmyth's Dungeoneer's Pack? Do you like the additions he has made? Let us know what you think in the comments below.
TechRaptor reviewed the Dungeoneer's Pack with a copy provided by the seller.