Disappointing but not unexpected news about Dungeons & Dragons 5th Edition.
Tenkar’s Tavern directed his readers over to the Barnes & Noble website where the new Players’ Handbook shows a whopping $49.95 for its retail price. Assuming that the Dungeon Master’s Guide and Monster Manual will follow the same pricing structure, that means it’ll cost around $150 to get into the new D&D game.
That is way too rich for my blood. Even with the pre-order discount of nearly $15.
One of the things I loved about gaming in the 80’s and 90’s was that you could walk into a gaming shop, spot something that caught your fancy, and walk out with a new game on a whim. All without breaking the bank. The late 90’s and early 2000’s killed that off, with everyone moving to $50+ books with super-high production values. Price more than anything caused me to stick with games I was already invested in.
Thanks to improved printing technology and print-on-demand, it’s once more possible for me to impulse buy a game system for under $50 and have everything I need to run it. To say nothing of the effect e-books have had on my collection. I had not expected the new D&D to come in at a cheap price point, but I did hope for something more accessible.
I’m not going to say that they are wrong to use this price point, in fact I anticipate they’ll do fine. I hope the game becomes popular because I firmly believe that what is good for D&D is good for the industry. I hope D&D 5th Edition becomes very successful.
It’s just going to do it without me.
But all is not lost, for as long as they continue to support their old editions with DNDClassics.com, WotC will continue to draw dollars from my wallet.