The STRANGER THINGS D&D Adventure Is a Good Place for People New to the Game to Start

I was recently given the opportunity to be the DM for a group of friends to try out the Dungeons & Dragons Stranger Things adventure. It should be noted that this adventure does not take place in the 1980s or feature the normal cast. However, it’s supposedly designed by Mike Wheeler. There are some cool touches such as notes written specifically for characters from Stranger Things, including Will struggling with staying in character. Another tie-in to the show is that *SPOILER ALERT* you do end up in the Upside Down for a part of the adventure and battle a Demogorgon.

Overall, I enjoyed being the DM for this adventure. Things were laid out pretty simply and for the most part executed splendidly. The catch is that there are almost no set lines of dialogue or descriptions to give your players. This can be freeing for some DMs or absolutely terrifying for others. Since this is designed for new players, I would say that this adventure is a pretty solid choice as long as the chosen DM can think on their feet a little with conversation lines and setting descriptions. My four friends did use the pre-generated characters, though, and everything seemed to move smoothly for them. So, if you don’t want to worry about creating a character, the pre-mades are sufficient.

I was given the adventure module for Roll20, so I thought I’d talk about my experience being a DM and using that tool. Overall, it was fantastic. The number one problem had to do with the Dynamic Lighting feature of Roll20. Most of my players were new to this feature, and since one of them was a Human, couldn’t really see anything in the caves and that bothered them. Also, since I was the DM, I thought I’d get the perspective of some of my players on their experiences with the adventure, characters, and using Roll20. Keep in mind that the players all have varying level of experience playing Dungeons & Dragons.

My Ranger said:

Overall, I enjoyed my experience as the ranger in this campaign. It was fun to play a premade character. Often times I get too caught up in the character creation and obsessing over if it’s perfect or not that being able to just jump in and figure it out was kind of exhilarating. The adventure was straightforward with clear goals and relevant monsters. The NPCs were helpful guiding us to our goal. Using roll20 was easy (as a player) and helped bring the adventure together with the maps, tokens, and the players on video with each other.

My Cleric said:

The pre-made characters seemed to have a decent and balanced list of spells, and the stats seemed to be distributed in a generally ideal way. As for the adventure itself, some additional railroading, structuring, and plot might be nice. It was sometimes a little rough to pick out an idea for my character’s motivation through the story. Overall, it seems like it could be quite fun to either be a player in or dm, it just needs to be fleshed out a little more.

My Paladin said:

I thought the adventure was well done. The premade paladin was fun to play as and felt like it was well made stats wise. Roll20 was easy to use until it came to adding items such as weapons. I got a fancy greatsword but couldn’t figure out how to add it to my character sheet inventory to see what kind of stats it had such as damage die. It’s not a major thing to just look up it’s stats but a new player might get frustrated. This could entirely be user error though, I’m not super familiar with how Roll20 character sheets work.

My Wizard said:

Watching Will and his friends play D&D is actually what first sparked my interest in trying out D&D. Being familiar with the brief moments of gameplay in Stranger Things made this more fun for me, but you definitely don’t need to be familiar with the show to play this module/start set. It stands alone just fine.

I thought the content was paced very well. If I was a pure beginner and had zero time with the character sheet, I think level 3 might have been a bit much to take in. As it was, we all came together and reviewed our characters sheets at the beginning of the session and had a great time.

It was my first time playing a Wizard, which was really fun. I liked how everything was already set up in Roll20, it made it very easy to visual moving around the cave and manage the mechanics. We had some issues with lighting but worked around it. It would be helpful if that feature in Roll20 was more user-friendly, maybe with multiple drop downs that allow a DM to select Dark Vision, or holding flashlight/torch, etc., but that’s just an idea.

All in all, I thought this was a great starter set. We were able to jump in quickly, were able to interact with some NPCs and have fun with that, and then we got into some combat. The content wasn’t introduced too quickly or too slowly. I would definitely recommend this starter set to friends. It would be a bonus if they’re familiar with Stranger Things.

As you can tell, overall we were happy with this, and if youwant to get into Dungeons & Dragons, this is a good one for first time players.

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