It’s a freakin’ Riiiick dungeon! Wubba Lubba dub dub!
That’s how the new Dungeons & Dragons vs. Rick and Morty starter set is branded, and it is accurate. The box is in the tradition of D&D’s various other starter sets such as the recently released Stranger Things box.
Like the others, it comes with everything you need to play: A rulebook, an 11-piece dice set, a DM’s screen, an adventure book and pre-made character sheets.
Unlike other starter sets, this one is full-on Rick and Morty madness. Or as the box declares: “It’s freakin’ D&D Riiick-style!” Or later: “Dungeons & Dragons Rickth Edition.”
Based off the excellent D&D/R&M comic book series, this set is just like if the brilliant, aggressive and absolute unhinged Rick Sanchez devised a D&D Dungeon. And every element of the package is touched by Rick himself.
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Put simply: It’s hilarious.
If you dig Rick and Morty, you’ll get a kick out of this set, which is full of on-brand, off-kilter humor. And if you just want an irreverent take on classic D&D, you’ll love this.
Take the opening pages of the provided rulebook, which uses the standard theatrical language from the 5th edition starter set about crumbling castles, dark forests and limitless possibilities. Then cue an accompanying passage from Rick, who mocks the writer for being a “theater major” and then says, “People play this game because they want limitless power and treasure and to act like a complete badass all the time… we play games to distract ourselves from the reality that the universe is an unfeeling, uncontrollable shitstorm and everything we do is meaningless.”
Later, when the book tells you where you can find more D&D books, Rick pops up again: “Damn, Morty! It’s only page 6 and these wily sons of bitches are already going for the upsell. Capitalism at work, Morty.”
This is unbridled Rick-sanity. And it’s hysterical.
And that’s just the rulebook, which is largely the same rulebook you’ll find in the standard starter set just with updated “Rick and Morty” artwork and a ton of asides from Rick (and one or two from Morty) including many insights on how to screw with players, mockery of players who take rests and musing on THAC0. He also suggests dropping endless checks on players: “Force them to jump through pointless hoops for your entertainment.”
There’s little additional rules content aside from Rick’s surprise table and Rick’s critical fail table, which includes options such as, “All your hair falls out. Yes, even down there…” There’s also a helpful appendix, Appendix B, that lays out Rick’s D&D philosophy, chiefly that “The rules don’t mean shit!”
And then there’s the adventure, The Lost Dungeon of Rickedness: Big Rick Energy. That’s where the real Rick vibes come together.
Rick’s adventure is essentially a classic dungeon crawl: A nearly 40-room map full of ingenious traps, classic D&D monsters and lots more. But in the words of the adventure text itself: “Rick’s encounters are wildly unpredictable… There’s just more in-character narration from the author and a lot more butt jokes.”
And that’s what you get. The read-aloud text is by Rick, so it’s no-nonsense and hilarious. One room beckons adventurers to just “pick a fucking door already” and another involves a shrine to a giant butt sculpture. Another room has a giant, slobbering mouth on the wall, sort of a mockery of the classic Tomb of Horrors.
But this is Rick and Morty-style D&D, so there’s a “Get Schwifty” room, a “nice butterfly” room and another room that involves hilarious interdimensional travel.
In one of the best Rick and Morty-style turns of the adventure, alternative universe versions of the adventuring party show up (sent by Rick, of course, in case something bad befell the other party). Each adventurer enters into one-on-one combat against their interdimensional counterpart. The best part: It doesn’t matter who wins. No matter which version of each character wins, each player can still keep playing as that character.
The Lost Dungeon of Rickedness is about as bonkers as you would imagine it could be, and overall, it captures the spirit of Rick and Morty while also being full of familiar D&D flavor.
Kudos to the adventure designers and writers for masterfully pulling off both things.
And those are just the meaty parts of the box.
The dice are a neon yellow with green lettering, and as with previous D&D releases, I’m pleased it includes 11 pieces — the standard d20, d12, 2d10, d8, d6 and d4 as well as an extra d20 to roll disadvantage/advantage and three extra d6 for the various creatures and classes that need them for damage rolls.
The included DM screen contains exactly the same information as the D&D DM Screen Reincarnated, but all of the monsters have been re-illustrated to look like Morty. (My favorite is the giant purple worm with a Morty head.) And some of the adventurers were redone as Rick and Morty characters. (I especially like Jerry being drug off by a ghoul.)
The included character sheets are also full color and represent each member of the Smith family: Summer as half-elf fighter Ari Strongbow, Jerry as half-elf wizard Kiir Bravan, Morty as half-orc rogue Keth Silverson and Beth as wood elf cleric Lyan Amaranthia. Then there’s a fifth character that’s not from the R&M/D&D comic or the TV show. Meatface is a hilariously large human fighter whose entry under personality traits says, “I like the sound of snapping bones. It relaxes me.”
All in all, it’s a fantastic release, especially if you’re a fan of Rick and Morty or just like wacked-out adventures.