Dungeon-in-a-Box was originally on Kickstarter back in November of 2017, but because it sourced the components for the box, it didn’t meet Kickstarters original content requirements. It was taken down and sold through the creators’ website, Dungeon In A Box.
Dungeon-in-a-Box is a subscription-based Dungeons and Dragons 5e adventure that mails subscribers a new episode every month (in a box - hence the moniker). Their current subscription plans are offered in 1, 3, 6, or 12 month packages, ranging in price from $22.50 to $26 per month. It should be noted that shipping is an additional monthly charge, for all plans. The website has a ‘calculate shipping’ option at checkout; for us it was $7.20/box for US delivery. At the time of their first box, the product is not available for international DnD adventurers.
We committed to the annual plan. Those that had signed up for the original kickstarter received a 5% discount. The reason we signed up was because, in addition to an annual story line, it comes with multiple add-ons including miniatures, maps, and artifacts.
The box came in an unpadded priority mail envelope. This means that the cardboard box provided its own ‘in-mail’ protection. There are some love marks on the box that were likely left by the postal service – they have much mail to sort and it’s understandable. It would be nice if it were in a padded envelope, or a box of its own.
The Adventure module is well-written and seems to have enough information for both a beginner and seasoned dungeon master to run a believable first session. Similar to the Wizards of the Coast D&D 5e adventures, stat blocks are provided within the module for named creatures and characters, however common D&D monsters (e.g., bandits, owl bears) are found in the Monster Manual.
In the box there are two Bones Reaper Miniatures. Sadly, they don’t appear to have been chosen specifically for the adventure. While is it always nice to get a few miniatures, we were expecting to see miniatures related to the first episode, for example the gnome on the Adventure Module or another important character. The miniatures provided included Halbarand, a cleric by Todd Harris and Michelle, a female human ranger sculpted by Jeff Grace. Both miniatures sell for $2.49 from the Reaper Miniatures website. The details on the ranger miniature seem above average for the bones figures we have seen and should be fun to paint.
In addition to the bones miniatures, the dungeon-in-a-box kit provides one sheet of ArcKnight flat plastic tokens that pop out of the sheet and stand up in one-inch or two-inch bases, for medium and large creatures respectively. We would have liked to see a few more tokens to fill out the various encounters in the adventure module. At an approximate retail price of $2.50 per token, these are priced similarly to the reaper bones miniatures. For dungeon masters not interested in painting miniatures, the ArcKnight tokens are an excellent option.
As an early subscribers bonus item we received a combined adventure log and map of the Greenworld. This feels like a natural item to include in a first box and we are curious if this will be available for purchase later or sent out in later boxes for new subscribers
A handful of double-sided dungeon tiles are included as well. Included in our February box were:
- 3x3 inch hole / stone
- 2x3 inch ruined stone / caravan
- 2x3 wagon / ruined wagon
- 2x2 inch horse / treasure
- 2x2 inch horse / tree trunk
These appear to be Wizards of the Coast tiles and may prove more useful if you have additional tiles of your own to combine them with, such as the reincarnated Wilderness D&D tiles.
Lastly, there was a folded, one-sided battle map of a campsite included in the box. The quality is nice and the graphics are clear. The provided dungeon tiles compliment it well. While the box is touted as ‘an all-in-one adventure’, we wouldn’t expect the kit to include everything. It would be a lot to ask to include maps and tokens for the numerous random encounters the adventure module includes. However, there is an additional major encounter; it seems like a second map could easily have been printed on the back side of the included battle map. There is a small picture of the second battle map in the adventure module, but it’s not high-enough resolution to photocopy to appropriate size.
Overall, the dungeon-in-a-box seems to be a good value. The adventure is well-thought out and it’s always nice when adventures come with add-ons. We're curious to see if these adventure items are standardized across boxes, if there will be repeats in the future, or if the breakdown of components will be the same in our next twelve boxes.
Until next time, adventure on!