D&D Basic Released by Wizards of the Coast

D&D Basic Rules CoverUnless you have been living under the gaming equivalent of a rock on Mars you would be aware that a new edition of the Dungeons & Dragons roleplaying game is on the cusp of being released. Part of their development of this edition of the game has been the announcement that they will be releasing a basic version of the game for free as a downloadable PDF. Well, today they made good on their promise.

In the Basic D&D PDF (over 110 pages) you can find levels 1 to 20 for the wizard, cleric, rogue and fighter, race descriptions for Human, Dwarf, Halfling and Elf, equipment, spells, etc. Truly enough to get anyone started in the hobby. It is interesting to note that they have talked about a ‘living’ rules set, meaning that they will try to adjust the game based on feedback in real time. The rules reflect this with a Version 0.1 on the front cover.

There is very little here in terms of games mastering. You won’t find any monster lists or anything like that. However, the stats for monsters, etc, will be made available in the free introductory modules for the game starting with the Tyranny of Dragons event.

Available for pre-order are the Dungeons & Dragons Starter Set (available today in some stores or July 15th), Player’s Handbook (available August 19th), Monster Manual (available September 30th) and Dungeon Master’s Guide (available November 18th).

What are your thoughts about the basic version of D&D being released for free or the idea of the Living Ruleset?

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About RupertG

RupertG has been playing roleplaying games ever since he discovered Dragon Warriors at the age of 12. Since those days he has played many different RPG's, collected not insignificant Dwarf and Tomb Kings armies for Warhammer Fantasy Battles and even worked as a games designer in the heady days of the late 90's building a CCG. Now he runs a gaming blog and is a participant in the Grand Gaming Experiment
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  • Justin Halliday

    Sounds like a great idea to me, as it allows them to build the edition gradually and to deal with any errata and problems.

    • http://diceofdoom.com RupertG

      That’s my thinking on it too. Obviously a lot harder with the printed editions of the full books, but if you say anything in the Basic Set supersedes the printed books you should be fine.

  • Oalin

    I’m liking this adoption of the “brave new world” of publishing that WotC seems to be following. Extensive customer feedback, digital editions, free core rules to sample; all looks very positive. And makes me far more inclined to purchase the full product line.

    It all almost seems… apologetic for past indiscretions.

    As a side, did anybody else catch the disclaimer in the contents?

    – Wizards of the Coast is not responsible for the consequences of splitting up the
    party, sticking appendages in the mouth of a leering green devil face, accepting a dinner invitation from bugbears, storming the feast hall of a hill giant steading, angering a dragon of any variety, or saying yes when the DM asks, “Are you really sure?”

    Well played WotC, well played.

  • jrronimo

    Fantastic all around. I need to dig into these. I’ve been yearning for some gaming and 4E really turned me off.

    A living ruleset is also a great idea. That way anytime Duncan finds a new super broken build, WotC can update the rules to nerf him appropriately. :)