Monday, May 19, 2014

WotC Publishes 5th Edition D&D Dates, Prices, Covers

We now have official street dates, cover art, and prices for the Dungeons & Dragons 5th edition books (and other goodies).

First, the boxed D&D Starter Set comes out July 15th with a MSRP of $19.99. It "includes a 64-page adventure book with everything the Dungeon Master needs to get started, a 32-page rulebook for playing characters level 1 – 5, 5 pre-generated characters, each with a character sheet and supporting reference material, and 6 dice." It's already available for pre-order on for $16.04.

Next, the Player's Handbook comes out for GenCon, August 19th, followed by the Monster Manual on September 30th, and finally the Dungeon Master's Guide on November 18th. All three books have a MSRP of $49.95.

Just to keep things in perspective, that's approximately $17.36 each in 1980 dollars, for a total buy-in of slightly over $50, compared to the 1st edition buy-in of $39. The 5th edition books also have much higher page counts, so I'm not put off by the price.

The three core rulebooks don't seem to be up on for pre-order yet, but I'm sure that shoe will drop soon. You can also pre-order the Player's Handbook, Monster Manual, and Dungeon Master's Guide on Amazon now. But do consider sending the business to your FLGS, if you value having public venues that allow play.

August will also see the Hoard of the Dragon Queen adventure path, followed by The Rise of Tiamat in October. Miniatures supporting the multi-part mega-adventure (Tyranny of Dragons) will be available in July.

I note that they're just calling it "D&D" (without the "Next" or any edition number), which is good. Of the three core rulebook covers, my favorite is the Monster Manual.

Based on what I've seen in the public playtest documents, having played both a low-level and high-level game at conventions, and the signs and portents that have been coming out of WotC, I'm really looking forward to the new edition. I think they've done a good job in keeping the mechanics relatively light (compared to 4E or even 3.5), and they seem to be genuinely interested in courting the old-school community, as a lot of old-school sensibilities seem to be taking shape in the rules, along with some very interesting mechanics ("advantage/disadvantage" still strikes me as a terrific idea that could be ported to any edition of the game).

Really looking forward to running this come Autumn.