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Dungeons & Dragons relaunches with 'freemium' version 5.0

Free rule book may be why all your printers are out of paper

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Dungeons & Dragons is BAAAACK – and it's brought a freemium business model with it.

The venerable game was re-released yesterday, with a new Starter Pack reaching retailers and offering a rulebook for players, an “adventure book” for dungeon masters plus a handful of dice to get things going.

The $19.99 kit is not, however, needed to play the recently revised version 5 of the game. The game's owner, Wizards of the Coast, has also released a free Basic Rules (PDF) that even novice players should find sufficient to get a game going.

The freebie is 110 pages long, which may explain any unusual paper shortages in your office over recent days.

The reasoning behind the freeware version is that “We want to put D&D in as many hands as possible, and a free, digital file is the best way to do that.”

Of course there's still plenty of cash to be splashed on the game. All manner of supplementary rule books and adventure modules are scheduled for imminent publication and all will cost more than a week's pocket money. ®

Bootnote Your correspondent has the original, three-book, Traveller rules if anyone fancies a game.

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