If you haven’t seen the latest Legends & Lore article, it would be a good idea to go and read it now.
As we suspected, Wizards of the Coast are releasing a free version of D&D, which they’re calling Basic D&D. It will be distributed in a free PDF, which initially will only have the rules for character creation, but eventually will expand to allow a full campaign of 1st to 20th level, albeit without all the options you get in the full game.
Of particular note in Mike’s announcement is that the PDF will be updated with monsters, rules and magic items so that players are able to play any of the new adventure releases from Wizards of the Coast. Now, this is particularly interesting, especially given the news we’ve had on Organised Play. Mike also revealed earlier on twitter that the two Tyranny of Dragons adventures will cover about the same levels as the current Paizo Adventure Path – levels 1-17. For two 96 page adventures, that’s a lot of levels. (The Paizo adventures do it in six 96-page books, but have a lot of non-adventure material and the stat-blocks tend to take up space).
This gives a new take on how to get into D&D, which draws somewhat from the Paizo experience: Buying a full campaign adventure and having the (basic) rules thrown in. The D&D Encounters program becomes a teaser for the full adventure which is easily accessible for new players. D&D Expeditions provides an alternative way of finding players for these campaign adventures, whilst also giving access to shorter adventures.
I do not know how many of the traditional “short” adventures (32 pages) would be published by Wizards in this form. It should be noted that these adventures tend to be the least profitable – the overhead costs are quite high. The longer adventures have done very well for Paizo; one can only assume that, if they’re written well, they’ll also do well for Wizards.
And this is likely not all the news that will be coming from Wizards in the coming weeks…
Other tweets from Mike over the last few days have been a bit sparse due to the holiday, but there have been some…
On Starter Box and Basic Rules content:
Twetzel2k: How much duplicate content between starter and 3 core books?
Starter PCs made using PH rules. DM’s rule booklet is PH rules condensed down to rules needed for the Starter campaign
Morrus: Is the “standalone product” description of ToD from PAX East still accurate?
yes, in that if you buy it the resources needed to play it are available for free
Edwin_Suijkerbu: any chance of the online recourced being offerd in multiple languages, for young people who aren’t that good in english?
not early on – still formulating plans for translations
Dropbear_AU: will the D&D Starter Kit pre-gens have assigned paths at lvl 3 or are they an option saved for PHB?
assigned paths, chosen from PH options
Bulletpointe: One question. Succubus: baatezu or tanar’ri?
Neither! Free agents of fiends. They’ll work for anyone, or you’ll work for them.
vikke064: Are they expected to always work for someone, or can they be totally free agents assuming published lore?
Can be totally free agents. Powerful succubi and inccubi are important, but shadowy players in planar politics
Gyor1: What about relatives of Succubus, like Lilitu and Brachina, will they be a type of succubus or devils or demons?
can’t say for sure, but suspect they be powers on par with arch devils and demon lords, but not tied to either hierarchy
vikke064: Will they have a strict alignment? Neutral Evil perhaps? (I have no idea what they are besides what was written here).
they’ll probably have any evil alignment