It's official! Wizards of the Coast has released the fifth edition of Dungeons & Dragons.
Many stores will start selling the D&D Starter Set today, with the full release due on July 17. What is even more exciting, in my opinion, is the release of the D&D Basic Rules.
The first edition of the D&D Basic Rules is intended as a companion to the Starter Set. It contains character creation rules for four classes (cleric, fighter, rogue, and wizard) and four races (dwarf, elf, halfling, and human). When the Player's Handbook is released in August, the Basic Rules will be updated to become a complete roleplaying game with rules for running D&D, stats for monsters, and more.
Wizards of the Coast is committed to maintaining the D&D Basic Rules as a free edition of the game. They plan to release supplemental rules packets as needed so that players can buy adventures such as The Rise of Tiamat and play them without buying anything else.
People who expect D&D Basic Rules to completely replace the three core books (the Player's Handbook, the Monster Manual, and the Dungeon Master's Guide) will be disappointed. The core books will feature more classes and races, more creature stats, and more information for running and customizing your game. But Wizards of the Coast is offering players a complete gaming experience for free with the hope that it will entice them into buying more.
So swing by your local gaming store today (or July 17) and grab a copy!