Thursday, February 3, 2011

DnD: Going Essentials. Now What?

I'll warn you upfront: This post contains no new material or free goodies. Heck, I didn't even get a picture for it. This is simply me asking for advice.

I've decided to go Essentials.

From what I've heard and read online (most of which comes from Twitter, I'll admit), Essentials is simply faster - both for character building and playing. On top of that, it sounds like it is easier for older edition elitists to swallow and easier for newbies (the only people I've gotten to play with) to grasp due to reduced options.

The question for me now, as it has been for every D&D player since Advanced Dungeons & Dragons came out, is 'what should I do with my pre-Essentials 4e books?'

I've got the 3 Player's Handbooks, 3 Monster Manuals, DMG 1 and 2, Open Grave, the DM screen, and Adventurer's Vault 2. I know this is a pittance compared to the hardcore players out there. But for a dilettante such as myself, it was a big investment for the 5 or so games I got out of them.

A lot of attention was paid to the fact that damage and stats were altered in MM3, making it more balanced and 'accurate' (if such a term could be applied), than the first two - so maybe I keep it? Or, maybe all three sold together on eBay would make for a more attractive purchase? I don't know.
Maybe they're worth keeping around as reference material? For the art?

What do people who have been role-playing for years do when they decide to upgrade or switch systems?


  1. I'd say keep them, they contain a lot of stuff that Essentials didn't reproduce. You may wish to expand options for new players once they've gotten "settled in" via Essentials. Even if you never use it, I always find it good to have an arsenal of choices lying around to spice things up.

    If you must part with some books, I'd say ditch the PHB's. DMG 2 and Open Grave are keepers in my mind.

  2. Keep 'em. I've switched systems more times than I can count and still find use for Original and 1E books as reference for 3E and 4E games. You never know when you'll need inspiration.

  3. I will also advise to keep them if you have the space. I have recently (and inexplicably) rejoined the 3.5 world due to a lack of 4e DM's. I still run 4e frequently, but I have been playing 3.5 the last few, and it was nice to have a trove of books sitting around when I did.

    But, if you're bent on selling them - ebay is a great resource. You may also be able to resell them on amazon (though I don't know how). Also, the morally high route would be to donate them to your local library. Good luck!

  4. eh... keep them.
    I happen to really like the essentials (although full disclosure two of my roomates actually work for WOTC and most of my friends do)
    You should know it is primarily just a fantastic compilation of the information you need with the the errata included in the print run, not a 4.5 as many many people seem to believe (without ever actually looking at a book i'd add).
    I love the size and the easy reference more than anything.
    You will love having your other books as detailed reference and having all the things that are not in essentials.

  5. Thanks for the responses. I think I'll hang on to the books I have. At the very least, D&D material always has some great artwork to inspire, and I can imagine looking back and remembering those early sessions when I did use them.