The Crows Nest

Expect excessive geekiness and not much else.

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New rules "Basic D&D" will be FREE!


In some very surprising and very welcome news, Mike Mearls has announced that when new D&D comes out, the basic rules set, now dubbed “Basic D&D”, will be made available as a FREE PDF!

It comes with all the rules you need to play the game, including info/stats for four classes and four races. The upcoming hardcover books (Player’s Handbook, Monster Manual, Dungeon Master Guide) will be supplements to these new basic rules. 

This is incredible news. Especially from a marketing and word of mouth advertising standpoint. 

  • Want to learn to play D&D? Here’s a link to the rules, FREE.
  • Dig this awesome fantasy art from D&D? There’s rules to play it here, FREE.
  • Tumblr post about roleplaying? Couple of reblogs later and there’s a link to the rules, FREE.
  • See hashtag “rollad6” on twitter? Retweeted with a rules link, FREE!
  • Online group getting together for the first time, and not everybody has the books? Oh, here’s the rules, FREE. 
  • D&D? *click* Downloading *click* You’re now ready to go. For FREE!

The potential for free advertising and viral marketing with this announcement is pretty big. If Wizards of the Coast’s intent is to get new people into playing Dungeons & Dragons, this is a big step in the right direction. 

Let’s hope they keep these steps coming.