Review: Wizards of the Coast – Dungeons & Dragons vs. Rick and Morty (Dungeons & Dragons)


Dungeons & Dragons vs. Rick and Morty
Dungeons & Dragons vs. Rick and Morty is a Rick and Morty themed version of the epic fantasy Dungeons & Dragons starter set, developed by Ryan Hartman, Adam Lee, Ari Levitch, Jim Zub, and Ben Petrisor and published by Wizards of the Coast.
By Aaron T. Huss

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Dungeons & Dragons vs. Rick and Morty is a tongue-in-cheek, Rick and Morty-themed version of the Dungeons & Dragons Starter Set. This set’s core rulebook is the exact same core rulebook from the starter set, with some added bonuses. The entire book is themed in the style of Rick teaching Morty how to play Dungeons & Dragons and adding his own commentation to the core rulebook. Little printed pop-ups appear throughout the core rulebook written in Rick’s words and tongue-in-cheek humor.

Here’s the thing though… the value in Dungeons & Dragons vs. Rick and Morty is not the themed starter set core rulebook; it’s merely meant as an explanation of the core rules for those delving into the game for the first time. No; the real value is everything else – colored dice set, Rick-commentated adventure called The Lost Dungeon of Rickedness: Big Rick Energy, a value DM screen with Rick and Morty artwork, and a collection of new pregens featuring Rick and Morty characters atop epic fantasy characters (including artwork). If you already have D&D or the Starter Set, then you get all these bonus add-ons for a pretty good price.

But then again, that’s not why you offer themed starter sets…

Wizards of the Coast is taking a different approach to Dungeons & Dragons. Before Wizards, Dungeons & Dragons was as much a brand as it was a tabletop RPG. When Wizards took over, that brand became lost in the shuffle of D&D games that didn’t really peak the interest outside of those already playing. For 5th edition, Wizards is going back to that brand concept and bringing out more than just RPGs and games that feel like RPGs. Rick and Morty is the second branding outreach with the first being Stranger Things. By doing this, Wizards gives D&D players something cool to add to their collection and those not already playing something that hopefully draws them in and turns them into a new player. Owning Dungeons & Dragons puts Wizards on a pedestal for growing the tabletop RPG hobby, and now they’re actively finding ways to grow that hobby.

So what do I think of the product itself? I found it an entertaining break from the serious efforts of presenting an epic fantasy game in terms of fluff and mechanics. For me it’s really the adventure that stands out; it’s a bit more lighthearted than other dungeon crawls and takes a more comedic approach to gameplay. You know – “it’s meant to be fun”. So make it fun, and that’s what Wizards of the Coast did.

As a side note, the tongue-in-cheek, Rick and Morty humor throughout is kind of like playing with a power gamer. Or rather a DM power gamer – he really wants to teach you a lesson on how to create just the right characters to make it to the end. And if you don’t, your character will suffer (insert evil laugh here). But again, it’s meant to be fun.

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