RPGCrate August Review

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Recently, I was lucky enough to get signed up for RPGCrate in time to get the inaugural box. I was excited to find a subscription service that catered to my interests. Services like Loot Crate, Nerd Block, and the like are all great for the general geek, but I’ve been looking something that specifically had to do with RPGs and my wish was granted by Chris Hinson of Lost Tomes when he created RPGCrate. Here’s what I received in the first box:

  • Kobold Press and EffinCoolMinis Dragonborn Elementalist pewter miniature from the new Tome of Beasts.
  • 2 plastic Reaper miniatures – I got one kobold and 1 wizard.
  • 2 full sets of Chessex dice and dice bags – 1 full set of red and 1 full set of green dice and matching bags.
  • Etch Master photo-etched brass set for miniature customization.
  • 3 Tales from the Bloody Bucket adventure cards – These cards are designed to run adventures set in the Tales from the Bloody Bucket adventure setting designed by RPGCrate. The setting can be downloaded for free.
  • A Forgotten Evil – An adventure module for Advanced Dungeons and Dragons published by Mischief Inc. The crate includes a download code for the illustration booklet to go along with the module.
  • Download code for the audio and e-book version, including maps, of Brian Rathbone’s Call of the Herald, first book in the Dawning of Power series.
  • BattleBards audio pack download code – some free sounds and tunes for use in campaigns.
  • 1 layer of DragonFoam Pick & Pluck foam.
  • 2 OSR magazines – I received an issue of Judges Guild Journal and an issue of The Dungeoneer, both from 1979 and in pristine condition.

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As soon as I’d opened the box, the sheer amount of items packed into this first RPGCrate astounded me, and that doesn’t even take into account all the downloadable materials. At just under $30 plus shipping, I feel like I more than got my money’s worth out of the August box. I was fortunate to get one of 100 limited crates (which I think is why I got plastic Reaper minis as well as the pewter one). The plastic miniatures are great; they’re of good quality and are figures that I will actually use in my campaigns. The petwer mini from Kobold Press and EffinCoolMinis is amazing and the Dragonborn Elementalist is perfect for the Dragon theme of this month. I love this figure so much, I’m going to have to join a new campaign just to create a Dragonborn character.

The dice are standard fare and a bit plain for my taste; however, the red and green colors and matching bags fit the theme well. I’d have preferred to have a single set of nicer dice, or some kind of exclusive die, but both of these sets will see some use at my table. I may even use one of the sets as a gift in an attempt to lure one of my non-gaming friends into the fold. And let’s be honest, you can never have enough dice!

I really like the idea of the Etch Master photo-etched brass set. I’ve been interested in enhancing and modding my miniatures for a while, but I haven’t gotten around to it yet. This set might just be the boost I need to try my hand at adding a little flare to the minis I already have. I’m also a fan of the BattleBards sound set. Some of the sounds are situational, so not all players or DMs will get use out of them, but it’s nice and served as an introduction to BattleBards, a service I will definitely use in the future. The DragonFoam is another cool little addition to an already cool box.

I think one of my favorite parts of August’s RPGCrate is the Tales from the Bloody Bucket adventure cards. This month’s crate came with 3: A Midnight Snack, Ruins of Spire Keep, and Monastery at Dragon Rise. Each is designed to go along with the Tales from the Bloody Bucket adventure setting published for free by the makers of RPGCrate. The cards are awesome and include the adventure details and map. They’re awesome for one shots or those times when you want to give you players something a little different. I’ve already made plans to make The Bloody Bucket tavern a regular haunt in our campaign.

A Forgotten Evil, the Advanced Dungeons and Dragons module by Mischief Inc, is very cool. It has the same format as the original modules published for the game. The nostalgia comes free with the module itself. The module is of awesome quality and is an all-encompassing adventure. My biggest complaint is that the module is designed for AD&D. I came to D&D pretty late in the game, and the majority of my group is fairly new, having started playing with 5E. If I want to use this adventure, I’d have to convert everything to 5th edition, which isn’t difficult but is time-consuming. I personally won’t get much use out of the module and wish it was geared more towards modern players. The same is true of the OSR magazines, The Dungeoneer and Judges Guild Journal. They are very cool and I will definitely read them and scour them for material, but they’re more for fans who have been playing much longer than myself.

RPGCrate is an amazing new product that provides cool and useful items to RPG players and fans. The value of the items in the crate far exceed its cost and I would recommend it to any gamer interested in trying out an RPG subscription service. I hope that in the future, more of the items will be geared towards modern players and that we’ll see more exclusives as the service becomes more popular. I’ll be maintaining my subscription, so be sure to check back next month when I review September’s crate!

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