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Stranger Things Dungeons & Dragons Starter Set

5th Edition (D&D Next)


Publisher Description

The Stranger Things Dungeons & Dragons Starter Set contains everything players need to embark on a Stranger Things adventure including the essential rules of the roleplaying game. It's a great way for new as well as seasoned Dungeon & Dragons players to experience the D&D adventure Stranger Things character Mike Wheeler has created for his friends.

Pick your character—will you be Will the Wise or Dustin the Dwarf? Get your fireballs ready as you investigate the mysterious castle and battle the ferocious Demogorgon. Prepare for just about anything, because the game just got stranger.


The RPG Played in Stranger Things [ edit ]

The characters of Stranger Things (many of them at least) are role-playing gamers themselves, and so a GM who wants to start a Stranger Things campaign might be tempted to use the same system used in the show: Dungeons and Dragons.

There are several problems with this approach.  First off, the gamers of Stranger Things played first edition Advanced Dungeons and Dragons, but that version of the game can only be found on Ebay and in used book stores.  The only version for sale in your local bookstore is going to be the fifth edition of Dungeons and Dragons ... which is quite different from 1st Ed AD&D.

But even putting aside the version issues, there's another problem: the game's setting.  Dungeons and Dragons is a fairly flexible system, but it's not a generic one: it's designed specifically for fantasy, aka "swords and sorcery".  If your world looks like the one from Lord of the Rings or Game of Thrones,  D&D will work great ... but it's not exactly designed for adventures in Hawthorne High School or the Starcourt Mall.

Doable, But Lots of Work [ edit ]

Dungeons and Dragons is the most popular role-playing game in existence, for a good reason.  Ever since the early edition (played by the characters of Stranger Things) the game has been iterating and improving,  and as a result it's won countless industry awards and positive reviews, and has even been inducted into the  Origins Hall of Fame.

The game's 5th Edition (aka "Dungeons & Dragons Next") has continued this trend, and it's a great way for any gamer to start role-playing.  This is especially true for Stranger Things fans, as the game has released a special, Stranger Things-specific starter set.  

But again, this is a starter set for playing in a fantasy setting: you'll get to be Will the Wise or Dustin the Dwarf (ie. the characters played by the characters of Stranger Things) ... but you won't get to play as Will or Dustin, the Stranger Things characters themselves.

Stranger Things Character Codex [ edit ]

To actually play as the Stranger Things characters (or any suburban kids, instead of fantasy adventurers) you'll have to do a lot of conversion work.  However, because Dungeons and Dragons is, at its core, a flexible and powerful system, such a conversion is possible, and Twitter user Anthony Joyce-Rivera has shown how to do so with his Stranger Things Character Codex.

This "codex" currently has just four of the Stranger Things characters (Steve, Eddie, Dustin and Argyle).  Nevertheless, it demonstrates that D&D can do the Stranger Things characters (and not just their characters' characters).  Interestingly Joyce-Rivera has opted to abandon any character classes, so Eddie (for instance) is just a "Medium Human" ... and not (say) a "Human Bard", despite having a Master of Puppets special power.

Ultimately these characters show Dungeons and Dragons' limits when applied to a non-fantasy setting just as much as it shows the system's power ... but if you really want a Hawthorne-based campaign that uses Dungeons and Dragons rules, Joyce-Rivera's four (and hopefully more, in the future) Stranger Things conversions will get you started.