You get close to the full game with this rule set. Yes, you only have the four iconic classes and races, and a much smaller selection of spells. However, you can actually play D&D for free with this. If you're new to D&D or role playing games in general, you have nothing to lose by downloading these from the Wizard's of the Coast website and start playing. Don't wait. Just go do it already.
It's free. It covers the basics of Dungeons & Dragons, enough to get a group of people playing and understanding the rules with the least amount of effort. It is, simply put, a gateway drug to the full books, which simply add MORE variety without getting lost in the fun. Get it and you'll be on your way to slaying orcs and mind flayers in no time. Well, maybe not mind flayers. Not just yet at least.
Overall, this is a free product that provides excellent content to anyone that wants to play D&D. This is fantastic for the growth of our hobby.But, the file could be reshaped to be less like a PH without images and more like an intro for new players. On Twitter it has been said by WotC that they intend to do that over time. If they can do that it will be an incredible offering.
The core rules are well thought out, and thoroughly tested. They do appear to have cherry picked from previous editions. Early edition feel with learnings from decades of play. Find out is you want this to be your game system for free. We find it fast and easy to play.
I used to bat on about how cool it was to be able to buy the whole rules to the Savage Worlds game for $20 (Australian). Well, here is a complete game for free. And a dam good game at that. I love this chasis upon which you can easily build. Best thing about 5E to me so far is how easy it is to adapt and write for.This free set of rules allowed my to get a roleplaying group up and running at the school where I work. We have 8 characters (many shared b/w 2 players) and they were all created with the Basic Rules only. Even without the Archetypes, there is enough in here to make the fighters different from one another.Obviously, I prefer the options of the PHB, but this was a great introduction...and FREE!
Buy the Starter Set ($12 on Amazon) as a gift for any gamer that could possibly be interested in tabletop RPGs. Include a printout of the free Basic D&D player and DM PDFs and you've likely set them down a path of a lifetime of gaming.
WotC hasn't said much about an OGL or GSL yet. However, the basic version of the game, the skeleton of it, if you will, is free for download at the WotC website. The system plays like other d20 games, streamlined, somewhat, a few new mechanics alter the feel of the game (Backgrounds and Advantage/Disadvantage for example). Overall, it's a great game system and I'm really enjoying my time behind the screen. Highly customizable and easily Hacked. Enjoy!!
Boiled down to the essence of a ‘4x4’ list of Races and Classes and an abbreviated list of Monsters, but this is fully playable game. The rules are my favourite version of D&D (in conjunction with the Core books), so I have little to say that’s negative. I understand that giving it away means no art, however, but an actual cover would have been nice…
There's not much to say about the D&D Basic Rules. A complete game, for free. You get four classes and four races going from levels 1-10, and the rules of the game. If you're not sure whether D&D 5E is for you, this is the way to find out. It's no substitute for the complete PHB/MM/DMG core set, and doesn't fill the role that the Starter Set does, so I'm not actually completely sure what its purpose it -- but I'm not complaining. When somebody gives me something for free, I don't demand to know why! It's free. Go download it now.