Sunday, December 25, 2016

Happy Box Set Day!

Today is December 26th, known in many nations as Boxing Day. Today, I'm starting a new tradition in the OSR gaming community. With that I wish you a happy...

That's right, Box Set Day. How does one celebrate Box Set Day? Well for me, that means giving away an RPG Box Set. This won't necessarily be an OSR game, but it will always be an RPG Box Set. So, this year I'm giving away a complete Pathfinder Beginner Box. While I'm not a fan of Pathfinder's endless supplement glut, the core game is a great RPG and the Beginner Box has more than enough to keep a campaign going for quite some time. Rule book, adventure, color cardstock minis, maps, four pre-gen characters with rules for taking them to 5th level, and a set of dice. It's very open-and-play.

This Pathfinder Beginner Box is VERY SLIGHTLY used. I took the shrink off, looking through the contents, and then shelved it. It can be yours, but you have to comment today, December 26th, and tell me your favorite RPG box set. I'll select a winner on the 27th. The contest is open to all US residents, and it will be shipped media mail.

I encourage you to participate either this year, or next year. Let's cap off 12 Days of OSR Christmas with a little extra punch. As for next year, who knows? Maybe a Star Wars Introductory Adventure Box Set? A D&D Adveture Game Box Set (circa '91 or '94)? Shadowrun Alphaware Box Set? Who knows? Heck, you could even put together your own "box set." Next year I might throw together a copy of +Charlie Mason's White Box: Fantastic Medieval Adventure Game, along with Referee Screen inserts (and a universal screen), a few printed character sheets, and a set of dice - all in a plain white box. It's all about sharing the games and sharing the love.



77 comments:

  1. Throwing my hat in the ring.

    My favorite box-set is not actually an RPG Box at all. It's the Moldvay Basic boxed set. Why is it my favorite? Three reasons: Nostalgia, Content, and Inspiration.

    Nostalgia: It was my introduction to D&D (but not RPGs). I spent many hours pondering over maps, and annoying my study-hall warden by running my friends through little dungeons.

    Content: Much like the Pathfinder box you're giving away, it was a complete experience. Everything you needed to play was in there, and there was a great deal of bang for the buck (my set even included the crayon! Not bad for a 2nd-hand purchase).

    Finally, Inspiration. Paging through the book, looking at monsters, looking at what classes get... It was enough to make me go "Wow." And immediately start fitting bits together in my head. It's the Lego of RPGs to me.

    The other side of the coin... It inspired my nephews to get into RPGs. And despite being 31 years old at the time, that box still provided a world of adventure.

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    1. Excellent response. Moldvay D&D was my first owned D&D product, though OD&D was the 1st game I played (at school). It holds a special place in my heart & memory (nostalgia), had all the content I needed (including B2 The Keep on the Borderlands in the box), and the info & artwork combined to offer inspiration aplenty. Merry Boxing Day!

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    2. There have been some excellent responses in this thread, but it's nice to see something as established as the Basic set still getting love!

      Merry Boxing Day to you too, and happy new year!

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  2. In a big fan of the Errol Otus cover Red Box D&D.

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  3. My favorite boxed set was the first edition Stormbringer boxed set by Chaosium. I ran that game for years with just the contents of that one box. Complete, concise, and easily expanded upon. I own it still.

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  4. My favourite box set would be a mint condition wood grain printing of D&D
    ;O)
    Post to Hawaii?

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    1. Tell you what, if it's more than I can afford and you win, I'll contact you about potentially splitting the difference?

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  5. Cool! My favorite is the Moldvay Basic D&D box set.

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  6. Hi James, if I win maybe you could send it to #Cory Gahsman (DM Cojo) for his Middle School RPG club? If not, spin the wheel again - Many thanks for the offer!

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  7. Cook Expert. It had so much material in it that just inspired the imagination. Wilderness! Boats! Domains!

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  8. My fave box set is Astonishing Swordsmen and Sorcerers of Hyperboria. It's so cool! The weirdness and art makes it top notch.

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  9. The Middle Earth Adventure Game is my favorite box set. It had simple 2d6 rules and included everything you needed to play including cardstock minis with plastic bases. I'm looking forward to checking out the Pathfinder box if I win.

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  10. I love boxed sets! It's a shame they don't get much attention on today's industry. I would love to see a DCC RPG Boxed Set (of the core rules, I know there are modules / settings boxed sets of it).

    But my favorite Boxed Set would have to be AS&SH too. I love that game in all it's aspects!

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  11. I can't enter the contest (I'm a Canuck), but I would like to say that my favourite box set is the 1981 Tom Moldvay version of basic D&D. Seeing one still warms the cockles of my heart. Great idea, Mr Spahn. Best of luck.

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  12. Mine isn't quiet as old school as y'alls, but the First Quest boxed set from 2nd ed AD&D was my favorite (I'm also not that old :) ). I think a ran every friend and fellow scout through those four adventures a dozen times.

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  13. Hope you have a good new year man, I had another great time reading your posts this 2016

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  14. One of my favorites was a boxed set for a strange expansion for D&D known as Hollow world. Weird stuff in those books.

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  15. Being the only rpg I've known for most of my life, the BECMI series of boxed sets for the Dungeons & Dragons game will always hold a special place in my heart!

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  16. I love the BECMI boxed sets. Sadly the boxes for mine didn't survive but I still have the books and they see some regular usage. Although my Cyberpunk 2013 box is still in decent shape.

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  17. My favorite box set of all time was Top Secret. Had such a blast being a spy it put a hold to our whole D&D game for a full summer as a kid.

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  18. My favorite RPG Box Set has to be the Ravenloft: Realm of Terror Box Set. I love I6 Ravenloft, and to see it turn into a full fledged campaign setting with this box was the best thing ever to me, back in the day!

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  19. My favorite box set has to be Spelljammer. Fantasy space battles!

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  20. My favorite box set was the Gamma World box set. Loved the map!

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  21. Fingers crossed!
    I love the Dark Sun boxed sets.

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  22. World of Greyhawk, for the design work.

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  23. I had Greyhawk, Forgotren Realms, D&D 4 and 5, but my favorite is still my Magenta Box, which I still have.

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  24. My favourite is the blue Expert box. Not just for the expanded rules for making characters but because of the mind-expanding x1 Isle of Dread.
    Wow! That one hit me right in the noggins :)

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  25. Lamentations of the Flame Princess Grindhouse edition.

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  26. Mine is Lesser Gnome's Whisper & Venom as it got me into the creation side of gaming. The only other box set I recall owning is Man, Myth, & Magic, which I think was a pretty terrible game but recalls fond memories.

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  27. My favorite box set was thieves world. I loved the books and then to be able to play in the streets of the maze, that was cool.

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  28. I loved my D6 Star Wars Tapani Campaign box set. It was a great alternate look at Star Wars role-playing.

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  29. This is a terrible reply from me. I have 3 boxed sets, menzoberranzan, and fr 2 campaign setting (both of which suck). The other set I have is the 5e starter set which is pretty IMHO and my fav.

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  30. The Edge of the Empire Beginner Box set the bar high for starters. I actually like the D&D 5e Starter Set as well.

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  31. My favorite boxed set is Holmes Basic D&D, mainly because it was my first. Everything about it screamed adventure to me and it took me forever to find it after seeing the ad in Boy's Life month after month. Nostalgia and the vivid memory of anticipation.

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  32. I loved the Planescape Boxed Set. It, more than anything else, changed my perspective and scope for my games. I still have it to this day and occasionally pull something out of it for my players.

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  33. I'm not tossing my hat in the ring - I have an unopened Pathfinder Beginner Box - but I did want to share my best box set memory.

    During the spring of 1984, my neighbors had a garage sale, including a bunch of older games and such that once belonged to their now college-age son. At the bottom of one of the carboard boxes I found 2 colored boxes - red, blue - that had the most amazing art on the box cover (these were the Mentzer revisions with the Elmore art). I was enthralled and didn't even really read the text on the boxes. I knew I had to have them. They were marked 2.50 each. That was a lot of money for a 9 year old who relied on mowing lawns to part with, especially when there was G.I. Joe stuff to buy. I parted with my hard earned cash, a sweaty and crumpled 5 dollar bill. The treasure was mine. I too, would learn to fight dragons the same way these muscled and armored heroes on the covers did.

    I raced home (as fast as a chubby kid can in 100 degree heat) and set to looking through the contents of each box. That was the beginning. Here I am, 33 years later, and still playing/running the game - Swords & Wizardry is my flavor of choice (White Box, Complete, Core, it doesn't matter). The next chance I have to go dig through some of the packed up gear from my childhood at my parents house, I'm going to look for those two boxes. I ended up picking up the rest of the Mentzer boxes too, and hope to unearth them in the treasure trove of my childhood too.

    Anyway, it was probably more exciting to revisit this for me than for anyone else, but I figured I would share.

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  34. I'm breaking the rules a little bit because I don't want the Pathfinder Beginner Box (I picked it up at a yard sale for $5 a couple of years ago!). But I still wanted to talk about my favorite box set...

    Star Frontiers: Alpha Dawn.

    I saw it on the shelf of Sophia's Books when I was 14. I drooled over the Elmore cover art. I scraped together $10 (or was it $12?) and bought it. In fact, this was the first RPG I ever bought with my own money. I was given Red Box as a gift.

    Alpha Dawn was a delicious box of sci-fi inspiration. I gobbled up the system and setting and created dozens of PCs. I played it with a cousin, using the huge map of Port Loren and the various cardboard pieces that came with the box. I played it at the library, running some people through the pirate ship from Crash on Volturnus. I spent countless hours just flipping through it and creating stuff all by myself.

    So that's my favorite.

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  35. What a great new tradition!

    My favorite boxed set is the Empire of the Petal Throne boxed set. The game includes a great game plus four color maps of the world and a major city printed on a durable plastic. Almost like Tivek.

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  36. My favorite is where it all started for me, Mentzer red box.

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  37. Mentzer Red Box. It's the one I used to bike over to my friend's place to play, and it still holds a special place in my heart.

    Also, squirrels are still cool.

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  38. This is a great idea! It was 35 years ago today that I was going through my Moldvay boxed set, first delving into the wonders of Dungeons & Dragons...

    I don't want to participate this year; please do not count me in to win the Pathfinder game, as I do not need it. But next year I will participate by giving away a boxed set or three... I don't have anything to spare this year...

    Definitely, this needs to be a new gaming tradition!

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  39. My favorite box set would have to be Dragonlance Fifth Age Saga, because the size is nice the components are top notch and the hand of fate gives ultimate control of character actions to make games more literary-styled

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  40. I think my favorite would be the original Arduin Trilogy boxed set. This would followed closely by the first Top Secret boxed set (my first. My friends had D&D so I went for something different)

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  41. My favorite box set is the DCC Purple Planet box set. I've been itching to run it for awhile.

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  42. For sure the Greyhawk box. I beat that thing to death.

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  43. Tunnels and Trolls 5th ed. My great regret is that I didn't get my hands on it many years earlier. Growing up, D&D was way too complex, expensive, and forbidden for us to play. So, we came up with some rules, that were never quite satisfying. We wanted some real rules, that we could all understand, and play with just some common dice.

    I didn't find T&T until the Summer after we graduated. I had money and time, and no one to play with. So, I asked the FLGS clerk about something with solo play. I bought the box, as well as all the solos they had on the self at the time.

    I knew that afternoon that if we had had this those many years ago, things would have been different. All those times we, as a group, would play through a Lone Wolf game book. All those sessions we planed to play, only to break down over how we were suppose to play.

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  44. My favorite box set is the Moldvay Basic D&D set, because it got me started gaming!!!

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  45. Call of Cthulhu 3rd edition box set

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  46. Moldvay/Cook Basic D&D. The magenta boxed set. Whole thing is freaking win. It has fueled my love of boxed sets since.

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  47. I had several box sets back in the day. Holmes Basic, _Gangbusters_ and _Paranoia_. But I think my favorite, acquired just a couple of years ago is Moldvay Basic.

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  48. I will always love the Mentzer red box set for basic D&D. It was my first D&D game, and my father was the one who got me playing with it. I memorized the player's rule book as kid, never cracked the DM guide until older out of respect for my Dad as our DM. I didn't want to spoil any of the secrets it held.

    Years later I gave away my own custom box sets with boxes that I put together using craft supplies and computer printouts of Basic Fantasy RPG suppliments. They were for my nephews so they could learn how to play.

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  49. My favorite boxed set is the set for the Midnight RPG called Fury of Shadow. What a terrific setting and that boxed set really set the stage for the world events f the battles elicted by the march of the forces of Shadow. Loved it!

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  50. My favorite boxed set is the 13th Age boxed set from Italy. It contains the full 13th Age core book, a starting adventure, and a beautiful map of the Dragon Empire. While I don't speak Italian, the map seems all the more exotic with its labels in Italian.

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  51. First box set I ever picked up was Dark Sun - the one with the flip-book of illos for the adventure that came with and a canvas map of Athas . . . flaws and all Dark Sun has had a special place for me on because of it. There's something tangible in that map, being able to hold a chart of the known world in your hands like your character would that is profoundly compelling.

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  52. Star Frontiers Alpha Dawn. All the little counters were super-evocative to my 10-year-old self

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  53. My favorite is Forgotten Realms Campaign Setting 1e, so many memories reading the books, planing on the maps... I must have 3-4 copies of that (and the 2e one).

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  54. My first and favorite box set was the BECMI Red box.

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  55. Hmm. This is a challenge, 'cause I love box sets in general. I've narrowed it to two, and the winner is Traveller, for having digest size books. Runner up Star Trek Deluxe, FASA first edition.

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  56. Ruins of the Undermountain. Really enjoyed that one.

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  58. Pathfinder is my favorite out of the box set, but BECMI D&D is a. Lässig and dear to my gamer birth!

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  59. As in my reply above, the Moldvay Boxes Set is my favorite. Now if only I could find the Moldvay Challenges Game System somewhere...

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    1. Honorable mention: My favorite boxed set that isn't a game is the 1983 World of Greyhawk box.

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  60. Oh, I have to pick just one boxed set??? ;) I'd have to say.... the original Dark Sun box. Just... so much potential, there!

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    1. Second up... Star Frontiers: Alpha Dawn!

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  61. Favorite box set? I am going to give my nod to the City of Lies box set for Legends of the Five Rings. We had a hell of a time playing though it back in the day.

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  62. Favorite box set would have to be original Top Secret! Loved it!

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  63. My favorite boxed set is tough - the 1981 D&D Basic was my first ever. But the Rolemaster boxed set gave me years of gaming fun, where the D&D one was quickly bypassed by AD&D once I found enough books to make sense of it.

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  64. My favorite is my first boxed set - the Holmes Basic D&D boxed set.

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  65. Honestly I'm not sure which boxed set was my favorite, but only because they get a bit clouded in my mind. At age seven or eight....so around 1978ish I remember getting a D&D box set from the bookstore. Couple years later we'd still get some discounted boxed sets from the bookstore because it was the only way for us to get new dice.

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  66. My first REAL boxed set was the D&D Moldvay Basic set, the Magenta box. Though I had a piss-poor copy of Holmes.

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