Please excuse the terrible dice-pun when I tell you that I make no “bones” about the fact that I am a fan of Dragon Dice. I have previously written about it multiple times for other sites, as well as right here in The Rat Hole.
You can certainly read my previous review HERE, but to save time here’s a super-short history lesson. Dragon Dice was first released by TSR in 1995. TSR was soon bought by Wizards of the Coast, who continued Dragon Dice for a short time before scrapping the game. A small group of fans formed SFR Inc and bought the game, the remaining stock, and everything else; and is still going strong today.
In fact, it’s doing more than just going strong, it’s on the verge of a new era. The reprint Kickstarter campaign we’re discussing here is the start of that new era. The past few years have been a moderate challenge for SFR. Dragon Dice’s popularity is just as high as it has been for years, and while sales have been good much of the companies time and money has gotten tied up in the exceptionally expensive process of trying to reprint some of the older races from the game’s past. 2016 revamped how the starter sets were put together, expanding the number of dice included to give a better out-of-box experience. 2017 saw the return of the Undead, along with some new minor terrains for that race. 2018 is a year of firsts and a year of change. Out of print for over 10 years, the Swamp Stalkers will be the first reprint that has been done through a crowdfunding campaign. Coinciding with the campaign is the release of the 4.0 rule set that has been in development for some time. AS well, one of the already-unlocked stretch goals is a set of spell cards. Originally, TSR released these cards in a very limited number, with many players making their own over the years, and this new, official, set is finally coming out in all their 4.0 ruled goodness.
The campaign itself is fairly straightforward. $35 (USD) gets you a basic 2-player Kickstarter starter bundle: 2 Swamp Stalkers Kickers, 2 Treefolk Kickers, 4 Dragons, 4 Terrains, 2 paper play mats & the starter rules. A “kicker” is sort of like what a card game would call a booster pack, containing 15 health worth of dice. For comparison, the retail starter set (Treefolk/Firewalkers) is 30 health of dice for each race, along with everything else you get at the $35 tier for this campaign. $60 gets you the starter bundle, plus three more Swamp Stalker kickers, with $82 getting you six more, $120 getting you an extra dozen, and $200 gets you a whopping two dozen plus a special random die. $90 gets you 12 kickers by themselves, plus there’s a retailer buy-in for your FLGS to get in at appropriate prices.
If you want to add-on some of SFR’s existing Dragon Dice products, most of them are available at a discount from their normal webstore prices, and additional sets of the Spell Cards will also be available as an add-on.
Shipping is extra, but they have been able to provide an estimate from their three fulfillment hubs (US, UK, & Australia). The only really annoying place to ship is Canada. As always shipping here sucks, so make friends with someone in the US (or even the UK honestly).
Shipping aside, the game is great and this is a great jumping on point for newer players.