I never played this starter game. I wasn’t the target customer when this set came out, well into the D&D 3rd edition era. It’s a very simplified set of those rules. In an age before online videos, folks could teach themselves to play the game, starting from zero.

The numerous beginner sets of Dungeons and Dragons have sometimes been low effort releases over the years, with poor quality components and a lack of execution.

Not the case here. Wizards of the Coast really went to some effort in this 2004 set, even including a selection of their pre-painted plastic miniatures. Also known as the Black Dragon Edition.

Dungeons & Dragons Basic Game (Wizards of the Coast, 2004)

WTC 96647 … ISBN 0786934093 … Jonathan Tweet

This brand-new boxed set is designed to give those new to roleplaying an introduction to, and a good understanding of, the D&D game experience. It contains everything needed to play exciting adventures, including a complete set of roleplaying dice, streamlined rules drawn straight from the Dungeons & Dragons v3.5 core rulebooks, and 16 miniatures from the D&D Miniatures line. In celebration of the 30th anniversary of Dungeons & Dragons, this box was named for a classic boxed set from the first years of the game’s history and is a great way for current players to introduce the game to a whole new generation.

– 16 non-random miniatures
– rulebooks (Read This First sheet, Quick Start Rules, First Adventure Book, Advanced Rules)
– character sheets and character/monster cards
– 4 double-sided map boards
– complete set of D&D dice

D&D Basic Games in inventory

Evocative lid art by Wayne Reynolds
Suitably enthusiastic young teens. Box is sturdy.
Tiles (4) made of paperboard; two-sided. I like the dice; very colorful, and easy to read. (…and Regdar!)
They must be edible. Great set of dice, really. One of the d10s is numbered in tens.
The iconic 3rd edition characters. You’ll see them all over the 3rd edition rulebooks. Regdar!
Best for last: 16 painted WotC plastic miniatures. 4 heroes, and 12 monsters. No “el cheapo” tokens here. The cardsheets have one card for each monster miniature.

Dungeons & Dragons Basic Game (2006)

[Feb 19, 2020]

The 2006 release saw some substantial changes. Thankfully, the Black Dragon in the 2004 set was switched for a Blue Dragon, giving us an easy nickname for the set: Blue Dragon Edition.

Dungeons & Dragons Basic Game - 2006 set

Dungeons & Dragons Basic Game (Wizards of the Coast, 2006)

WTC 96647 … ISBN 0786934093 … Bill Slavicsek & Matthew Sernett

D&D Basic Games in inventory

Dungeons & Dragons Basic Game -2006 figures b

See also:

The New Dungeon board game (1989): Data on the BIG set and Expansion