We were already pretty excited around here about the next edition of Dungeons and Dragons. After playtesting as "D&D Next" for about a year, the new edition will finally launch this summer in a series high quality, hardcover books, starting with the D&D Starter Set on July 15th. But I hear you out there - the economy sucks, and paying $60-$80 for a bunch of books just to play feels like a tug on the wallet. Why not stay with the huge amount of 4E or Pathfinder books we already have?
Well, if you're that worried about paying too much for D&D...how about paying nothing?
Wizards of the Coast announced Basic D&D this morning. This free, printable PDF of D&D Next will be released at the same time as the core rulebooks (The Starter Set on July 15th), and contain all the rules needed to play the game. It will allow the players to advance to level 20, and play as the Cleric, Fighter, Rogue and Wizard, while also including rules for the dwarf, elf, halfling and human races. The PDF will start with the basic rules for character creation and advancement at the launch of the Starter Set, then 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," on the release of the Player's Handbook on August 19th.
So what do you guys think? Is free D&D a brilliant idea, or is Wizards of the Coast shooting themselves in the foot? Let us know in the comments.