Dungeons & Dragons Adventure Begins
Years ago on holidays my husband and children tried to introduce me to Dungeons and Dragons. We were sitting on the deck of our chalet in France and the kids were thinking of things to do. We ended up on a week-long adventure. My husband had played Dungeons and Dragons for years and was very familiar with the concept. The kids started to get a hang of where we were going and what we were doing. I was lost, there were monsters and madness around every corner. I wasn’t sure where everything began and ended. I am much more into playing a card game rather than a roving adventure filled with mayhem. All we had were a few dice and a scrap of paper but we all had fun none the less.
Recently I discovered Dungeons and Dragons Adventure Begins, how I wish I had this on our trip to France. This is a co-operative fantasy board game for the whole family set in the world of Dungeons and Dragons. Basically it is a Dungeons and Dragons board game. You can defeat monsters, collect treasure and be a hero. It is the perfect introduction to the world of Dungeons and Dragons for those starting out.
Since that trip my children and husband together with friends have continued the campaign. They have now playing for three years. I did not realise that we had a local Dungeons and Dragons community at home. It started out shortly after our return from holiday. They played around the kitchen table and during Covid times it moved online over zoom. Every Wednesday night the adventure continues in true Dungeons and Dragons style. They have got themselves into many pickles. They have fought many monsters and guided themselves through many worlds. In today’s world of snapchat and mobile phones to see my teenagers discard their phones is great. They climb into a world of their imagination makes me very happy indeed. 
My son particularly has really got into Dungeons and Dragons. He is dyslexic and does not like reading. He can often be found perusing a rule book for Dungeons and Dragons. He has read some of the rule books from cover to cover. He has many animated conversations with my husband about rules and spells and all sorts of things. I am eternally grateful to Dungeons and Dragons for helping him to have a love of books, even if they are rule books.
So you may not have an experienced Dungeon Master in your house to make the entrance into Dungeons and Dragons easy. Adventure Begins may be the game that you need to get entry level into this new world of role playing.
It’s a light game, not one filled with strategy. It is great to teach someone about D&D, rolling a dice and role playing.
Setting up Dungeons and Dragons Adventure Begins
First you get to choose your journey. So there are four Boss monsters with storylines to play through. (A Boss monster is the main villain in the game.) You can read each story and decide as a group which Boss your party will fight at the end of the game. Each Boss has a dungeon board where they lurk. Your party of heroes will travel through the dungeon boards. They complete adventures and battle monsters along the way to defeating the boss. So you will have a specific Dungeons and Dragons game board depending on your choice. There are four dungeon boards which have core spaces down the centre. There are monster spaces to the side and a gatekeeper space at the end. The party will move along the core path together. Throughout the game heroes can choose to split from the party and move to monster spaces. Whenever that happens the rest of the party must wait for them. The entire party must play through the core and gatekeeper spaces together. The Boss monster you have chosen gets placed in a stand at the last gatekeeper space. The boss has three gatekeepers so you lay them down beside each of the gatekeeper spots on the board. So when you get to those spaces you will battle those creatures. Each board comes with its own encounter or adventure deck. You place them next to each board. There are two different types, creatures and scenario cards. You also have an item deck and gold tokens, you can lay them off to the side. 
Then you need to set up your characters in Dungeons and Dragons. When choosing your character there are three sections you need to fill out. The first section is picking a side, each character has a male and female option. You slide your character into the health tracker, make sure it’s at 10. (The Health tracker will go up and down throughout the game as you get attacked by a monster or get healed). Then you have some options for personality traits. You also have a special ability which you pick and slot into the health tracker. You also have a choice of level 1 cards which give you attack points. Each hero comes with their own coloured Dungeons and Dragons Dice, a D20. (This is a dice which goes up to 20). Each hero gets an explorers backpack which gives them lots of items for use on the journey. When you see the backpack symbol on an adventure card you can use items from your backpack. You also get some reference cards to help you with combat. 
Playing Dungeons and Dragons Adventure Begins
Everyone gets the chance to play the DM (Dungeon Master) in this game. You pass around a stand where you perch the card. Everyone else can see it and you as the Dungeon Master can see the back. On the back you will see what adventure the heroes are encountering. You can see who rolls the dice and what happens to everyone once they have rolled. If the heroes choose to fight a monster you will put a monster card in this stand. This shows what happens to the monster with everyone’s dice roll. The way attacks work is that you first roll for initiative to see who attacks first. Then the highest dice roll goes first. Then the monster attacks back and you move clockwise around the group. Hopefully you all defeat the monster without effecting your own health too much. The cards give you the outline of what is happening. It is up to each player to embellish their story to make the game lots of fun. 
Our Verdict
You have to put into it what you want to get out of it. That’s an aspect of all role playing games. Its a great game to introduce people to the idea of role playing. It will give them an idea about Dungeons and Dragons beyond a scrap of paper and a dice. This will help them see inside this wonderful magical story world. It encourages people of all ages to get involved. It’s a fun fast introduction into the world of D&D for two to four players. It is probably best played with three to four players. This gives more opportunities for characters and adventures. I have seen how Dungeons and Dragons has helped my own family in more ways than one. Even in ways I had not even thought possible like more of an interest in reading. This game is a great way to see if Dungeons and Dragons is for you and your family.
Dungeons & Dragons 
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