Break Out Your Dice, Classic D&D is Legal Again

Break Out Your Dice, Classic D&D is Legal Again

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The Dungeons & Dragons back catalog, dating back to the late 1970s, was out of print and unavailable.

As promised at last year's GenCon, and leaked into the rumor mill last week, Wizards of the Coast has made available the back catalog of Dungeons & Dragons products in electronic format as PDFs. Through a partnership with the website DrivethruRPG.com, the website DnDClassics.com was launched, sporting the motto of "Every Edition Available Again!" The website is currently offering an assortment of supplements and adventures from D&D's 30+ year history. As of yet, only one of the editions could be completely played, as a single core rulebook is available - the 1981 Basic D&D Set. It is currently unknown at what rate new content will be added, but official statements from Wizards seem to indicate further releases beyond the limited 86-product catalog immediately available. In a statement on Wizards' website, D&D Senior Research and Design Manager Mike Mearls said "We realize that some people like running classic adventures or playing earlier editions ... DrivethruRPG.com's ever-expanding library will have everything that you'll need."

Wizards of the Coast removed its products from electronic formats in 2009, citing concerns about online piracy. This launch is the first time since 2009 that Wizards has sold electronic copies of D&D's old products, which are otherwise out of print and can command exorbitant prices from collectors. Products on the DnDClassics site are accompanied by individual histories, giving context and information to the modules and supplements, some of which are now over thirty years old. The histories were provided by noted RPG scholar Shannon Appelcline. Through the end of its launch week, the website is offering the 1978 adventure B1: In Search of the Unknown for free.

Wizards of the Coast has been the publisher of D&D since the late 1990s. OneBookShelf is the operator of several sites, including RPGNow and DriveThruRPG.

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I wonder if I could play D&D online somehow? I've never seen anyone play it or heard that anyone I know would play it, and I'm honestly quite curious about it.

I'd LOVE to see the old 'Dragonlance' books get proper digital releases.

OniaPL:
I wonder if I could play D&D online somehow? I've never seen anyone play it or heard that anyone I know would play it, and I'm honestly quite curious about it.

Skype?

deathbydeath:

OniaPL:
I wonder if I could play D&D online somehow? I've never seen anyone play it or heard that anyone I know would play it, and I'm honestly quite curious about it.

Skype?

I suppose, but I was wondering if there would exist a client or something that would make the search for other players more convenient and reliable, and have other things that would make my life as a newbie slightly easier. I've never played D&D, and all I know about it is that you create a character and roll dice, and searching the internet for people to skype with from sketchy websites while I have no idea what is what and what is going on feels a bit too daunting to me.

OniaPL:

I suppose, but I was wondering if there would exist a client or something that would make the search for other players more convenient and reliable, and have other things that would make my life as a newbie slightly easier. I've never played D&D, and all I know about it is that you create a character and roll dice, and searching the internet for people to skype with from sketchy websites while I have no idea what is what and what is going on feels a bit too daunting to me.

There are some fanmade tools, but if you're a newbie they will not simplify things for you. They are rather complicated to use in and of themselves, unfortunately.

It's not something Wizards of the Coast has put out there yet. It may seem rather daft, but then again, this is the company that took down its books for sale due to piracy.

Yes, they actually thought that not selling their books was a viable solution to piracy. Despite the fact the books were already out there and it's not like they disappeared from torrents once they ceased sales.

there isnt a client as such to search for players your best bet i guess would be searching forums. at its basic all you really need is a chat program of some type.

they arent any different really from computer rpg's you create your character using the rules as you normally would and then its simply a case of the GM describing the scene, etc and you saying what your character does, etc.

weirdly they seem to be releasing sourcebooks before rulebooks on that site

OniaPL:
I wonder if I could play D&D online somehow? I've never seen anyone play it or heard that anyone I know would play it, and I'm honestly quite curious about it.

Of course you can, just download the game on Steam or from Turbine's site! [Rimshot]

But seriously though... for actually PLAYING the game there's several ways. Skype, chatrooms, diebots, and there's even a few programs out there like maptool that help with the visual element. Finding people? That will be harder. Your best bet would be to go onto websites or chatrooms where you would find people discussing Tabletop RPGs (Beyond just D&D, as there are DOZENS, if not HUNDEREDS of settings out there.) and just lurk, looking for people who are looking for players, or chat with them and learn about the game. I even know of one or two IRC chatrooms that have that as the topic.

Downside of playing online is usually the difficulty getting a group together and not losing players throughout due to RL. Always an issue when playing in person, but magnified when you have to manage people across several timezones and find a time that works for all of them on a regular basis. Trust me, I know... I was once DM for a game where I had players in California, the east coast of the US, and England.

Damn wizards of the coast are the Activision or EA of roleplaying, buying up IP's just to make sure they can screw them up. They did it with whitewolf, and damned near ruined the whole WOD setting. *grumble grumble gripe gripe*

Yay! Maybe I'll be able to find 2nd edition players again!

Now if only I had the time I used to have...

Tanis:
I'd LOVE to see the old 'Dragonlance' books get proper digital releases.

As would I. The original chronicles books helped get me into fantasy. Now I need to go find and read them. I'm sure they're around here somewhere.

deathbydeath:

OniaPL:
I wonder if I could play D&D online somehow? I've never seen anyone play it or heard that anyone I know would play it, and I'm honestly quite curious about it.

Skype?

There are online platforms, and there's also Neverwinter Nights! There are several persistent world servers dedicate to lore accuracy and roleplaying, though it's quite different from the pnp game mechanics wise (it has to fit the PW niche).

I run one of these servers myself, it's great fun.

The prices for these PDFs are crazy. Almost full price for PDF files. I always thought DnD books were pricey to begin with, but at least you got a nice hardback book that looked good on a shelf. $16.99 for a for a file is just grabbing money based on nostalgia. These will be pirated like crazy, and WotC will wonder why.

OniaPL:
I wonder if I could play D&D online somehow? I've never seen anyone play it or heard that anyone I know would play it, and I'm honestly quite curious about it.

MythWeavers is an online community for PnP games such as D&D. You can make character sheets and play through their forums in many games, D&D and otherwise. The community is also pretty friendly and glad to help. If you decide to join up my name on there is DuncanVicente. Feel free to add me, more friends are always loved.

OniaPL:
I wonder if I could play D&D online somehow? I've never seen anyone play it or heard that anyone I know would play it, and I'm honestly quite curious about it.

Delivered.

http://app.roll20.net/home/

It's a pretty handy site, I managed to get some pretty fun games on it. Now all you need to do is get yourself a group.

skatch13:
The prices for these PDFs are crazy. Almost full price for PDF files. I always thought DnD books were pricey to begin with, but at least you got a nice hardback book that looked good on a shelf. $16.99 for a for a file is just grabbing money based on nostalgia. These will be pirated like crazy, and WotC will wonder why.

Hate to say it, but you're right. Those prices are just going to push a lot of people to pirate it. It's daft considering a PDF is no true replacement for a real rulebook in hand. They may as well sell it cheap.

Draconalis:
Yay! Maybe I'll be able to find 2nd edition players again!

Now if only I had the time I used to have...

Indeed! I miss the days when D&D was Advanced. When classes meant something, when Thieves were goddamn Thieves! THAC0 lovers unite!

skatch13:
The prices for these PDFs are crazy. Almost full price for PDF files. I always thought DnD books were pricey to begin with, but at least you got a nice hardback book that looked good on a shelf. $16.99 for a for a file is just grabbing money based on nostalgia. These will be pirated like crazy, and WotC will wonder why.

Wow, my first thought when reading this article was "YES, I'm going to buy so many of these and start running classic campaigns!" But now it's along the lines of "Well I guess I'll buy none of these and just keep running pathfinder game." Which isn't a bad thing but I would have liked some variation from my norm.

OniaPL:
I wonder if I could play D&D online somehow? I've never seen anyone play it or heard that anyone I know would play it, and I'm honestly quite curious about it.

There are a ton of programs online made precisely for this purpose. I do not have much experience with them as most of the fun for me is being in the same room. Nonetheless, it is very possible. Could look into Fantasy Grounds.

That's one of the reasons I support Paizo's Pathfinder, otherwise known as D&D 3.75. All their core PDFs are around $10, even for the big core book that retails for $40. I used to be the sort to prefer hardcopy, but properly formatted PDFs and a tablet pretty much solve several problems at once. Paizo updates their PDFs, so you've always got a current copy, and you can carry your entire library with you without needing a suitcase.

For those interested in playing D&D online, I've had great success playing in a couple of campaigns over the last two years using Skype (or Raidcall) and Roll20. Ideally you'd want your first experience to be in person, but Skyping it is the next best thing.

Still prefer hard copies, but love the fact that i can ge the 3.5 books i love for a reasonable price in the mean time without having to torrent them.

I own ORIGINAL copies of the Basic and Expert sets. My older brother played the game before the first AD&D hardback was released.

I wonder if this means I could get a copy of the ORIGINAL Deities & Demigods. I doubt it because of Copywrite complications, but it rocked with the Cthulu Mythos, Fafhrd and the Grey Mouser, Elric of Melnibone, and others.

*sighs wistfully*

Quick question to DnD fans:
Which edition is considered to be, well, the most popular? 3rd one?

OniaPL:

deathbydeath:

OniaPL:
I wonder if I could play D&D online somehow? I've never seen anyone play it or heard that anyone I know would play it, and I'm honestly quite curious about it.

Skype?

I suppose, but I was wondering if there would exist a client or something that would make the search for other players more convenient and reliable, and have other things that would make my life as a newbie slightly easier. I've never played D&D, and all I know about it is that you create a character and roll dice, and searching the internet for people to skype with from sketchy websites while I have no idea what is what and what is going on feels a bit too daunting to me.

There is a looking-for-group option inside Roll20. So make yourself and account and use the programs tools to find a decent group. It has voice-chat and everything, you dont even need skype.

I got a game going every saturday at 20GMT. Its not your typical setting but its fantasy... Uses most dnd rules.. Still easing myself into the Dungeon Master role.

Alternatively, you can just join us. We arent exactly looking for new players. But it'd be worth it to introduce someone to the genre. We started playing about a year ago expanding from the Escapist RP-Forum (All new to the game at the time except for me whom had been a player once before, six yearss prior), gotten a lot more experience since then. We had our first session last week after a 3 month break.

There are a couple of basic rules (Dont powergame, dont be a dick. Those two match nicely) If you're interested you can PM me. Either for joining the group or for some basic info on Roll20 and DnD.

Well shit... Now the original hardcovers (all of them) are no more than collectors items. And by 'hardcover' I mean the books that came out in the mid '70's. By 'all of them' I mean "ALL OF THEM". Call me old school, but hell, I'd rather deal with those than the post TSR sale versions.

Oddly enough, I know the history of the game, the sale of TSR to WotC, WotC's own d20 system, etc. I've been at it since 1975.

VMK:
Quick question to DnD fans:
Which edition is considered to be, well, the most popular? 3rd one?

Quick answer. Any one that works. Personal opinion, the last one that worked, was the first one. The rest kind of fell short, and almost all DM's forgot the golden rule. If it doesn't work, or slows down gameplay, it should be ignored.

Finally! I can get my modules back and show my players what 'Old Skool' D&D was like (because the our group has only played 3.5). I still have the Tomb of Horrors but I'm a bit hesitant about putting them through that too soon. At least I can get my Greyhawk Wars modules. I love that stuff. It's good to hear about this. Also I really need a PDF copy of Unearthed Arcana.

 

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