[Basic] D&D for free!

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[Basic] D&D for free!

Post by RobJN » Tue May 27, 2014 7:10 am

Well, Mearls' latest column holds some surprising news. :D


(In before Havard!)

MODERATOR NOTE (by Big Mac): The link to download Basic D&D is in this post.
Last edited by RobJN on Tue Aug 12, 2014 11:03 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: [Basic] D&D for free?

Post by Havard » Tue May 27, 2014 8:22 am

I love mentions of the Rules Cyclopedia and Basic D&D. A free PDF is never a bad thing.

OTOH, I'm not sure I understand what he means. Is he talking about BECMI or a new 5E derived product in the spirit of the RC?

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Re: [Basic] D&D for free?

Post by rabindranath72 » Tue May 27, 2014 8:35 am

This made my day. That's EXACTLY what I was hoping for; a new streamlined version with only the core races and classes, and enough stuff to have a game going. I'd even pay for this.
@Havard: I think he simply means what he says: collect enough material from the 3 core books to make a stand-alone game with less options.

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Re: [Basic] D&D for free?

Post by Morfie » Tue May 27, 2014 8:41 am

I would say the latter.. a 5e derived product in the spirit of the RC.

Though I am glad to see this. Most of the "compatible with all editions" spiel has seemed to be around AD&D, with no mention of anything BECMI, until now.

Dammit, now I'm looking forward to 5e.
Though I will still reserve judgement until I see how the high level stuff is being handled, such as dominions etc.

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Re: [Basic] D&D for free?

Post by agathokles » Tue May 27, 2014 11:29 am

It's pretty clear he's talking about a Basic D&D 5e manual. It is needed, because they are releasing the Player's Handbook and adventures before the MM and DMG, which will come later on.

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Re: [Basic] D&D for free?

Post by Havard » Tue May 27, 2014 12:12 pm

agathokles wrote:It's pretty clear he's talking about a Basic D&D 5e manual. It is needed, because they are releasing the Player's Handbook and adventures before the MM and DMG, which will come later on.
So in other words this really has very little to do with the Rules Cyclopedia.

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Re: [Basic] D&D for free?

Post by RobJN » Tue May 27, 2014 12:23 pm

Havard wrote:
agathokles wrote:It's pretty clear he's talking about a Basic D&D 5e manual. It is needed, because they are releasing the Player's Handbook and adventures before the MM and DMG, which will come later on.
So in other words this really has very little to do with the Rules Cyclopedia.

-Havard
Unfortunately no RC, but the free "slimmed down" PDFs are in the same spirit. Actually, the boxed sets seems a better comparison, since they will be adding more and more "streamlined" material as the hardback books and modules come out.
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Re: [Basic] D&D for free?

Post by Havard » Tue May 27, 2014 2:12 pm

Well, I guess I can see a certain resemblance. Although BECMI was never really an AD&D lite as Mearls seems to think it was.

Don't get me wrong though, I think this is a very good idea and the concept will probably have strong appeal among those of us who prefer a more stripped down ruleset.

I especially like that unlike your average beginner's set, this new Basic D&D will allow you to explore the full level range from 1-20.

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Re: [Basic] D&D for free?

Post by maddog » Tue May 27, 2014 2:26 pm

Has anyone seen the download link for it yet? I made a d20ized version of LL for our online gaming group but this may have made it obsolete. :D

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Re: [Basic] D&D for free?

Post by Bouv » Tue May 27, 2014 2:27 pm

I saw that this morning and am excited for it. I think it will help get newer players into the game and allow gamers to get new players into the game. "Hey, you could buy the $40 book, or check out the free PDF and use that instead."

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Re: [Basic] D&D for free?

Post by Ambreville » Tue May 27, 2014 3:09 pm

The reference to Basic and RC sounds like a bait-and-switch tactic to me. What they call "Basic D&D" is the starter set for D&D Next. It has nothing to do with BECMI. Mentioning the Rules Cyclopedia comes off as an attempt to blur the lines.
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Re: [Basic] D&D for free?

Post by Birchbeer » Tue May 27, 2014 3:43 pm

I think their intent with this edition is to be able to tie together all the versions, AD&D and BECMI, possibly even the old D&D rules before the split.

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Re: [Basic] D&D for free?

Post by Hugin » Tue May 27, 2014 5:22 pm

Ambreville wrote:The reference to Basic and RC sounds like a bait-and-switch tactic to me. What they call "Basic D&D" is the starter set for D&D Next. It has nothing to do with BECMI. Mentioning the Rules Cyclopedia comes off as an attempt to blur the lines.
Mearls' reference to the Rules Cyclopedia stems from comments he made in a live D&D Q&A video he did with Rodney Thompson and Chris Perkins.

He uses the RC as an example of a single rule book that contains everything in it to play for the player and DM alike. One single book to run a game as opposed to having a separate Player's Handbook, DM's Handbook, and Monster Manual, although in a limited (i.e. basic) way.

He stated it by saying, "The Starter Set already covers the aspects of these rules that you need to run the included campaign". He added, however, that by getting the other books (Player's Handbook, DM's Handbook, and Monster Manual), you expand on what is available to use; more player options, more DM tools, and more monsters.

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Re: [Basic] D&D for free?

Post by maddog » Tue May 27, 2014 6:21 pm

Ambreville wrote:The reference to Basic and RC sounds like a bait-and-switch tactic to me. What they call "Basic D&D" is the starter set for D&D Next. It has nothing to do with BECMI. Mentioning the Rules Cyclopedia comes off as an attempt to blur the lines.
He does say, "the equivalent of the old D&D Rules Cyclopedia" so I guess we'll have to wait for the release date to really know. Sadly, that may be July 15ish. I think Mike Mearls is just giving an example of an older work that had a similar scope and mission.
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Re: [Basic] D&D for free?

Post by XstarkillerX » Tue May 27, 2014 7:03 pm

maddog wrote:
Ambreville wrote:The reference to Basic and RC sounds like a bait-and-switch tactic to me. What they call "Basic D&D" is the starter set for D&D Next. It has nothing to do with BECMI. Mentioning the Rules Cyclopedia comes off as an attempt to blur the lines.
He does say, "the equivalent of the old D&D Rules Cyclopedia" so I guess we'll have to wait for the release date to really know. Sadly, that may be July 15ish. I think Mike Mearls is just giving an example of an older work that had a similar scope and mission.
That was my impression too.

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Re: [Basic] D&D for free?

Post by Big Mac » Tue May 27, 2014 8:19 pm

I am pretty sure this is 5e's answer to the SRD. Putting this thing out there means that there is no excuse for any players to say they do not want to play a D&D game because they don't have the books.
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Re: [Basic] D&D for free?

Post by shesheyan » Tue May 27, 2014 8:59 pm

Big Mac wrote:I am pretty sure this is 5e's answer to the SRD. Putting this thing out there means that there is no excuse for any players to say they do not want to play a D&D game because they don't have the books.
My thought exactly. Its a good thing.
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Re: [Basic] D&D for free?

Post by Havard » Tue May 27, 2014 9:07 pm

maddog wrote:
Ambreville wrote:The reference to Basic and RC sounds like a bait-and-switch tactic to me. What they call "Basic D&D" is the starter set for D&D Next. It has nothing to do with BECMI. Mentioning the Rules Cyclopedia comes off as an attempt to blur the lines.
He does say, "the equivalent of the old D&D Rules Cyclopedia" so I guess we'll have to wait for the release date to really know. Sadly, that may be July 15ish. I think Mike Mearls is just giving an example of an older work that had a similar scope and mission.

Yep. I agree that the reference to the Rules Cyclopedia is confusing here since the scope of the RC (and the BECMI boxed Sets) was most likely about alot more than what this 5E Basic PDF will be about. That doesn't mean 5E is a bad thing of course. In fact I rather like the idea. But the reference to the RC is misleading since I doubt we will be seeing dominon rules, mass combat, quests for Immortality or many of the other elements that make the RC into the unique gem that it is.


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Re: [Basic] D&D for free?

Post by shesheyan » Wed May 28, 2014 12:29 am

Havard wrote:
maddog wrote:
Ambreville wrote:The reference to Basic and RC sounds like a bait-and-switch tactic to me. What they call "Basic D&D" is the starter set for D&D Next. It has nothing to do with BECMI. Mentioning the Rules Cyclopedia comes off as an attempt to blur the lines.
He does say, "the equivalent of the old D&D Rules Cyclopedia" so I guess we'll have to wait for the release date to really know. Sadly, that may be July 15ish. I think Mike Mearls is just giving an example of an older work that had a similar scope and mission.

Yep. I agree that the reference to the Rules Cyclopedia is confusing here since the scope of the RC (and the BECMI boxed Sets) was most likely about alot more than what this 5E Basic PDF will be about. That doesn't mean 5E is a bad thing of course. In fact I rather like the idea. But the reference to the RC is misleading since I doubt we will be seeing dominon rules, mass combat, quests for Immortality or many of the other elements that make the RC into the unique gem that it is.


-Havard
Actually they already hinted at a mass combat system in one of the previous instalment : http://wizards.com/DnD/Article.aspx?x=dnd/4ll/20140428
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Re: [Basic] D&D for free?

Post by Chord » Wed May 28, 2014 2:58 pm

I'm excited about it. Sure it may not have all the depth the RC has , but if it goes up to 20th level, has a bunch of monsters and keeps the perfect simplicity of the BECMI set then I'm game.

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Re: [Basic] D&D for free?

Post by Angel Tarragon » Wed May 28, 2014 7:27 pm

Chord wrote:I'm excited about it. Sure it may not have all the depth the RC has , but if it goes up to 20th level, has a bunch of monsters and keeps the perfect simplicity of the BECMI set then I'm game.
I'm game even if it doesn't go up to 20th level. Just as a guide to all the necessary rules and up to 6th level would be good enough to hook my interest into wanting to invest money into the new edition. My heart is already attached to Pathfinder, so I am extremely hesitant about 5th Ed/Next.

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Re: [Basic] D&D for free?

Post by shesheyan » Wed May 28, 2014 8:58 pm

I stopped playing D&D 2.5 years ago after the failure of my 4E Dark Sun campaign... I've always played D&D since Christmas 1980.
Switching editions as they came out. But 4E broke my back with long combats and the never ending supply of newer books.

Since then I've tried (or read) multiple systems. Savage World, Eclipse Phase, Call of Cthuluh 6E to name a few.
Only Numenera has the specific blend of crunchiness & softness I'm looking for in a rpg these days.

I keep looking at my 2E books and wanting to play but when I start reading the rules there is a complete disconnect between the fun memories and the «dated» (subjective) feel of the rules. Sadly I can't play that game anymore...

From what I'm reading on various forums it seems 5E can give me a modernized version of 2E. Which would be perfect.
I'll just wait for the free PDF before I make any monetary commitment.

I've read that the optional feats section are not about optimizing (+1,+2,+3) characters but more about «defining» the character.
Which is a another step in the right direction if it turns out to be true.
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Re: [Basic] D&D for free?

Post by XstarkillerX » Thu May 29, 2014 10:37 am

A little detail about Basic D&D in this new article by Mike Mearls.

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Re: [Basic] D&D for free?

Post by XstarkillerX » Sun Jun 01, 2014 11:00 am

More clarifications in this Q&A.

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Re: [Basic] D&D for free?

Post by TBeholder » Sun Jun 01, 2014 9:11 pm

Yup, the adorable 3.5 trend of retro-name-squatting goes on. (floats back to sleep)

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