Saturday, September 23, 2017

"Kindle" For 5e Coming Soon - But Pricing will Mirror Print

We all knew this was going to happen sooner or later. Project Morningstar - the failed project to digitally offer the D&D 5e rules - was a hint at how far WotC was looking to go to lock down the current rules in digital. Sure, the overlords gave WotC permission to sell earlier editions of the rules in PDF - heck, those files were already in the land of pirates - but 5e was print only - unless you counted the free Basic Rules.

So, what's the solution? A "Kindle" like app that's just for D&D's latest edition. You can nickel and dime parts of the rules or buy whole rulebooks for pretty much print pricing although it looks like "the basic rules" may be free.

From Mashable (full article)
It's worth noting that some of this stuff is completely free. Even if you don't own the Player's Handbook, you can still look at the sections that teach you about character creation, basic classes, gear, ability scores, combat, spellcasting, and all the other sort of ground-level features that everyone needs to understand in order to play. 
Similarly, the app lets you purchase any paywalled parts of each book piecemeal. If, for example, you'll only ever care about rolling a bard, you can just buy that. Prices for individual sections are $3 or $5 (depending on what you buy) and the three full rulebooks — Player's Handbook, Monster Manual, and Dungeon Master's Guide — are $30 apiece for everything.
Of course they have to use the oft maligned bard as an example. I mean, I like bards and all, but 3 bucks to play the bard class seems kinds steep...


  1. I really do not like this 'mechanic' for Sales. It's too similar to the 'Season Pass' concept which I loathe. It's just Companies trying to make easy cash off impulse Sales just like the Cash Shop concept in most Persistent Online Games.

    1. Well said. That's just one reason I find myself playing video games less and less.

    2. Agreed. This smacks of micro-transactions.

  2. So instead of offering straight PDFs I have to pay close to full price to access the file through a proprietary interface? No thanks. Also, they named their digital project after the devil? Nothing against demons, devils and worse in my games, but that sounds like a move either made by a Marketing major dropout trying to be hip, or someone turned over naming the project to their angst-ridden teenage kid.

  3. That's one of the worst written articles I think I have ever read.. I am waiting for the official press release from WOTC, but this sounds just stupid? I don't understand what WOTC is thinking at all, I mean they just had D&D Beyond, which let's you do basically what this does? I guess? Can't tell from this article.. but wow WOTc.. WOW...

  4. Polygon had a marginally better article about this thing.


    I'm not going to even try and understand what WotC is thinking or going for here. While I prefer physical books I also want a PDF copy of the book that makes it easy for me use at the table or to transpose into a VTT. I've seen lots of feedback to WotC asking for PDFs of the 5e products and I guess this is their answer, pitiful as it is. This doesn't strike me as a way to make access easier or to address the requests from customers, rather it strikes me as an arcane way to DRM their products and to squeeze additional funds out of people that have already ponied up for the products - sometimes two or three times depending on if they bought them for a VTT to accompany the physical purchase.

  5. I thought D&D Beyond gave you access to the books online.

  6. When consumers have no legitimate means to buy what they are asking for (.pdfs) piracy will flourish.

  7. The old guys will stick to the books and the young guys already pirated the hell out of the PDF scans. So I fail to see who the audience for this product is?

  8. Especially since the SRD is already available for free, the only things this gets you are the class specialties that aren't covered in the SRD, like the trickery cleric domain.

    This seems like a sop to the people who think they're owed some sort of digital alternative. Paying that much money for the few paltry things you can't already get digitally for free seems ludicrous.

  9. Jeezus, WOTC. Figure out how to take my money.

  10. I just don't get it. I could write a screen-scraper for DND Beyond and steal all the content. I'm sure someone is already working on it. What does this get them? A false sense of security? Just give us the damn PDFs


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