Basic Dungeons & Dragons for all

Wizards of the Coast has announced they’ll be posting Basic Dungeons & Dragons as a free pdf up on their website. The file will cover the core essentials of the game so everyone can get a look at what they’re getting into with the newest edition of the classic RPG.



From the post:

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.

But the best part? Basic D&D is a free PDF. Anyone can download it from our website. We want to put D&D in as many hands as possible, and a free, digital file is the best way to do that.

  • No release date or even “month” mentioned makes this exciting news less exciting. Did I miss it? Anyone have any idea when the PDF might be released?

  • cannondaddy

    “At the launch of the D&D Starter Set, Basic D&D will include the material needed to create characters and advance to 20th level. In August, with the release of the Player’s Handbook, Basic D&D will expand to include the essential monsters, magic items, and DM rules needed to run the game, along with the rules for wilderness, dungeon, and urban adventuring. (The Starter Set already covers the aspects of these rules that you need to run the included campaign.)”

    Starter releases July !5th.

  • odinsgrandson

    Are we just ignoring edition numbers at this point?

    Might not be a bad move, with the way people talk about 4th ed.

  • wormwoode

    I was actually a little surprised to see WotC referring to it as 5e. I thought they were gonna stick with the corny “”D&D Next” title for the brand, going forward.

  • Marauder

    I’ll download this for sure. We’ve just started playing 13th age (kind of the spiritual successor to 4e), but a free download will be good to keep us in the loop on the development of D&D.


    • odinsgrandson

      Honestly, the free PDF is probably the only reason I’ll be checking this out. My group has ditched D&D after we disliked 4e and we’ve moved on to other systems (the new Iron Kingdoms system is my favorite).

      But for a free PDF- I’ll have a look at what they’re doing.

      • Soulfinger

        That’s what they are going for with this free ticket for the nostalgia train, referencing Basic and the D&D Rules Cyclopedia to wrangle in all of us who were put off by the past edition, which had typos like, “to activate this power, press the Y button.”

        • tuco

          No wonder 4e was so unpopular. Y activating powers? That’s just counter-intuitive. Y always, ALWAYS, jump.

          • tuco


          • Soulfinger

            Don’t even get me started on the rules for jumping in 4e. Sure, you get 1d6 gold pieces every time you break a brick with your head, but having to make a saving throw or suffer damage each and every time made dungeon crawls pretty tedious.