'Basic D&D' PDF Offers Free, Downloadable Version Of Wizards' RPG System, Play For Years Without Purchasing A Thing

By Steve Buja , Updated May 27, 2014 10:42 AM EDT

UPDATE It's here!

Wizards of the Coast has announced today that they will be providing a downloadable set of rules for the upcoming D&D rerelease this summer. The best part about this? It's entirely free. Think of all the cheetos and Mountain Dew you can buy now!

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Called Basic D&D, the pdf file will allow anyone, players, DMs, the casual and the hardcore to download and start playing Dungeons & Dragons. In a blog post from Wizards, Matt Mearles gets more in depth:

"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."

The new version of the 'entire reason any of us are doing this sort of thing' role playing game drops on July 15 with the release of the new D&D Starter Set, which itself, "...includes a 64-page adventure book with everything the Dungeon Master needs to get started, a 32-page rulebook for playing characters level 1 - 5, 5 pre-generated characters, each with a character sheet and supporting reference material, and 6 dice."

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As more content is released, especially the upcoming Tyranny of Dragons adventure module, more pages will be added to the Basic D&D package. Mearles also points out that, "The adventures released as part of Tyranny of Dragons are playable without requiring any of the core rulebooks or the Starter Set."

In addition to the mid summer release of the Starter Set, the Player's Handbook will hit shelves on August 19, while the Dungeon Master's Guide will be here in time for the holidays, on November 18.

If you've always wanted to play Dungeons & Dragons but were a little turned off by the sheer number of books and minutiae that came along with the experience, or even if you've played for years and are perhaps looking to scale back your buying habits because kids are expensive, amirite?, the Basic D&D pdf will be perfect for you or anyone. Dungeons & Dragons is a way of life, a badge of honor and now anyone, anyone at all, can experience it. Everyone should try it, at least once.

Mearles adds, "With just the Basic Dungeons & Dragons rules, you can play D&D for years."

Don't need to worry about that, Matt. Don't need to worry about that at all.

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