Dungeon & Dragons vs Rick and Morty is a beginners’ introduction to D&D or a perfectly packaged mini adventure. It runs between 3-8 sessions, depending on your group’s play speed. The characters are pre-generated based on the show’s characters, and the rule booklet gives players everything they need to play. The adventure module is designed to take players through a dungeon, leveling from first level to third. Also included for the group are a DM screen full of helpful info and a set of dice, so you have everything you need to play for the whole party.
While this set is comical and bizarre, like the show, it also shares themes, humor, and the adult nature of the show. I do not suggest this game for anyone under the age of 16, including both the rulebook and the adventure. If you’re looking to have a rowdy time, this is your product, but if you’re looking for kids’ entertainment, go for the D&D Essentials Kit instead.
Rulebook: Themed But Thorough.
The Rick and Morty rulebook does a great job of introducing the rules to new players. Much like rulebooks in similar introductory products, this rulebook is full of information the players and DM need. From the basics of Dungeon Mastering to spellcasting, Rick is full of advice, with most of the advice being a meta perspective of Rick talking to Morty. If a new DM reads the entire 32-page instructions, they would be reasonably prepared to play a game of D&D, even if they’ve never played.
There is real humor mixed in with the aforementioned bathroom humor and adult language. No matter the topic, there are serious and silly tips in the rulebook for new players to devour. In fact, I’d say that the humor could help the new player absorb more information, through association and mnemonics.
“My favorite bonus action is called ‘taunting a creature I just killed.’ Remind ’em who’s boss.”
Other quips pop up in asides throughout the manual, including commentary on slapping a bad guy with a trout, naming swords, and having a spellcasting signature move.
The set is advertised as being 13+, but I wouldn’t give this set to a 13-year-old. At first, the various flavor text struck me as harmlessly crude. For example: “Make their butt cheeks clench in fear every time you look in their direction.” This quote appears alongside “If a player really p***es you off, make them roll wisdom (survival) for everything“. Now, many a teen could handle that kind of language. In fact, the word censored above is not censored in the rulebook, and I don’t think that’s too big a deal. Other words are censored in that style, though, making profanity a small issue. The occasional redacted f-bomb and similar profanity are not too much for most teens, especially if they’re used to watching Rick and Morty.
What I wouldn’t subject younger teens to: “Maybe it’s just the vodka and the tranquilizers talking…” This clear normalization of substance abuse makes this set an easy “nope” for 13-year-old kids. Your mileage may vary, of course, but I feel the need to note that Adult Swim has certainly influenced this project well beyond bathroom jokes, and I wouldn’t give this set to kids under 16, at the youngest. If you want a similar product for your kid(s), I suggest the Stranger Things Dungeons & Dragons Roleplaying Game Starter Set.
Side note: Teens under 16 shouldn’t be watching Rick and Morty according to Common Sense Media, and my own judgment.
Pregenerated Character Sheets
The set comes with five pregenerated character sheets, complete with the information needed to level them up to level 3 as the adventure progresses, and up to 5 if the game extends beyond the scripted adventure. There is a character sheet for each of the show’s main characters: Beth, Jerry, Morty, and Summer each have their own character, while Rick is the DM. Morty, for example, is Keth Silverson. The fifth D&D character, Meatface, has no listed player, and is open to interpretation if you don’t feel a connection with any of the characters from the show.
The Lost Dungeon of Rickedness: Big Rick Energy
This section is for DMs considering running the Dungeons & Dragons vs Rick and Morty adventure titled “The Lost Dungeon of Rickedness: Big Rick Energy.” There are spoilers here which would ruin the fun for players, so if you are a player, please skip to the next section.
The Dungeon Master’s screen is a tool which makes the life of the DM much easier. Many basic rules are covered there, for quick reference, as are more obscure rules like those for traveling speed or exhaustion. I cannot stress enough how often this screen and ones like it have saved me grief and helped me avoid pulling out rulebooks for information. The complete list of covered subjects is as follows:
- Actions in combat
- Things you can do on your turn
- Conditions such as blinded or petrified
- Setting and tracking difficulty class (DC)
- Damage by level and severity
- Armor class of mundane items like glass or bone
- Hit points of mundane items
- Skills and associated abilities
- Food, drink, and lodging
- Travel pace
- Obscured areas
- Encounter distance (the distance you travel before the average encounter)
- The distance at which one can be seen
- The distance at which one can be heard
While it is obviously quite thorough, the DM screen serves another function: The hiding place of the DM. The DM can roll secret checks (or pretend to in order to increase tension) without the players knowing the results of the checks. Examples include checks for monsters trying to sneak by or preparing to attack, or even checks to see if the party is assaulted on its way somewhere.
Love the screen or not, keep in mind that this content is graphic. Seen above is a close up of the far right panel, featuring a goblin who has been ripped in half, with entrails and gallons of blood leaking out of his body as he screams in agony. I personally think it’s hilarious, but I wouldn’t use this screen when playing with my kids.
Overall, I think the theme and execution of the Dungeons & Dragons vs Rick and Morty set are exquisite. The set stays true to the themes, humor, and characters of the show, highlighting some of the most meme-worthy moments in the show’s history. While I wouldn’t play this set with kids under 16, I think it’s a roaring good time to play with adults. Since it comes with dice and a DM screen, it’s ready to play for the whole table, right from the box. It’s available starting today, so grab your copy and get Rick-rolling ASAP.
Note: I received a copy for review purposes.