27 May 2014

Basic Dungeons and Dragons 5e to be a Free PDF

There will be a 'Basic' version of the '5th' edition of Dungeons and Dragons:
Basic D&D is a PDF that covers the core of the game. It’s the equivalent of the old D&D Rules Cyclopedia, though it doesn’t have quite the same scope (for example, it won’t go into detail on a setting). It runs from levels 1 to 20 and covers the cleric, fighter, rogue, and wizard, presenting what we view as the essential subclass for each. It also provides the dwarf, elf, halfling, and human as race options.
No Erol Otus cover, alas, but pretty cool nonetheless.  (I remember when 3e was released I wished that something like a viable 'Basic' version had been available.)

While I wish that this would be a print product, or at least that a print version would be made available, I certainly cannot complain about the price:
But the best part? Basic D&D is a free PDF. Anyone can download it from our [WotC] website.
Nice move.  I can forgive (almost!) the absence of character creation rules from the starter rules.


  1. Just to clarify, I think the idea behind it being exclusively an eproduct is that it will be regularly updated, as Mearls said. And it will be released right alongside the Starter Set, so folks can start creating characters right out of the gate.

    1. Thanks Christopher. I suspect that it will function as something like the SRD for 5e.

    2. It should be better than an SRD, really. Those tend to just be rules without much explanation. Whereas this is intended to be used by absolute beginners, and will be full text straight from the PHB. Hopefully, this will make every adventure a standalone starter set, and grow the hobby accordingly.

    3. You're right that it will be better for beginners, Jeremy. However, it will be inferior to the d20/PF SRD insofar as it will not include all the classes, races, etc. within the game.

    4. Do we know for sure it won't be updated? And let's be honest, WotC deserves for us to buy their products if they are well done.


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I'm a Canadian political philosopher who divides his time between Milwaukee and Toronto.