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Wednesday, March 16, 2011

D&D for $2.99

Someone on RPGNet misread a thread title as "D&D for $2.99" and thought that was a pretty intriguing idea. And it is, really. What would you cut out, to get a hypothetical D&D rulebook down to that price? What could you cut out, without making the book incomprehensible to newcomers? What would you keep, to make sure D&D is still iconic?


  1. You could definitely cut down on illustrations and the lengthy flavor additions. Also, weapon and spell descriptions (not stats) could be cut somewhat.

  2. You an definitely cut out almost all of the flavor text, as @Michael suggests.

    Limit each character class to only one paragraph of description (ideally with bullet-point style lists for class abilities to make them stand out easier).

    Limit the classes to the four main ones (fighter, cleric, magic-user, thief).

    Let each race be each class - don't spend time telling someone why they can't play a Dwarf magic-user.

    Really, I think if you look at the content of the LBBs as a guide, but then write it so you can actually understand it and organize it better, it could all be consolidated into one low-cost rulebook.

  3. Getting the game down to $2.99 would be quite difficult. I've been playing with an 18-page set of rules (Times Roman, 12-point font). Could 18 pages sell for $2.99? Anyway:

    1. no art
    2. no demi-humans
    3. two classes: fighter and magic-user
    4. level capped at 12
    5. no alignment
    6. relatively short equipment list
    7. only 30 spells (which take-up 9 pages)
    8. No monsters or magic items. These are all entirely made-up by the referee.

  4. Microlite.

    Start with the 3 page original and add parts to flavor...and it's free. :)

  5. Actually the Bastei publishing company and I kind of managed to pull that of with the Maddrax RPG in Germany. It appeared together with issue 200 of the pulp series of the same name in a5 format. The issue was 64 pages as well as the RPG and both sold together for 2.50 euros. See http://www.google.de/m/url?client=safari&ei=qJyETejfNsSV8wP-nM8I&hl=de&oe=UTF-8&q=http://rpggeek.com/rpgitem/48408/maddrax-reloaded&ved=0CDkQFjAI&usg=AFQjCNFQjRL_CZ38fTYK2BTE4TOQGPDQ7Q for some more details.