Dungeons & Dragons 2024 - New core books, new evolution

Hasbro isn’t going to offer pdf copies because pdfs get “shared” all the time. Go to Google and search for “Dungeons Dragons 5E pdf” and see how easy it is to pirate through various legit sharing sites already. They learned their lesson. Almost every popular TTRPG in pdf form has this issue.

Except WotC/TSR’s own data says most players never buy anything beyond the Player’s Guide. It’s DM’s who buy the majority of additional products.

D&D Beyond and all the other server-side TTRPG portals like Demiplane are an attempt to curb piracy. They do have the benefit that portals offer less friction in the buying process than ordering a physical book and many modern customers like the portability and ease of use digital brings, but the primary goal is to get rid of the avenues people had for sharing and piracy. The more they can move people into making the portal the default way to play D&D, the better for Hasbro.

It is really annoying, because they used to do this. With every hardcover you got the pdf with it.

Now, if you buy a subscription from them, you get the physical and PDF together, but it used to work with ala carte purchases as well.

This was why I would buy directly from them, rather than through Amazon, even if Amazon was cheaper, because I got a PDF.

With AON (Archives of Nethys) there isn’t much reason to have PDF’s anymore, because that site has all of the info on it for free for use in game.

Kind of a real bitch though for the Adventure paths. I used to run AP’s from Paizo, and you could buy the softcover AP for like 19.99$ and you got a PDF with it. That was awesome. Now they charge 27$ per hardcover and 20$ for the PDF, so what I was getting for 20$ (x 5 books) is now 47$ (x 5 books)

It really does suck, but I started doing homebrew in my own campaign world, so I don’t rely on their AP’s anymore, but it really sucks they made the PDF’s much less accessible.

Implementing this in books meant to be sold at retail can be tough. When I worked in a bookstore back in the aughts, I saw a few developments in this field. There were plenty of business books or self-help books that wanted to offer access to some website with purchase of a hardcover. At first, a publisher would print a redemption code on the inside front cover. But unscrupulous book-browsers would pull the books off the shelves, copy down the code numbers, then put the books back on the shelves. Then the publishers started shrink-wrapping the books. But that meant that we just found shrinkwrap on the ground next to the shelves. Some publishers even coated the code numbers with the kind of covering you see on a scratch-off lottery ticket or brand new ATM card. But same results – people would scratch off their winning numbers right there in the store, then not buy the books.

Sometimes we’d try to store those kinds of books behind the counter with other high-value, frequently shoplifted books like medical textbooks. But these books were making a run at being a best seller; they were acquired and sold in quantities that made it tough to store them behind the counter.

Therefore, we’d have a lot of angry customers pissed that their one-time codes didn’t work because somehow they were already activated. Now, over a decade later, it’s hard to think of other innovations that would make this work. But here are two:

  1. You could kind of work backwards. First you buy the PDF online from the publisher, then you get a book (maybe print-on-demand?) shipped to you. This is what I’ve done for some rare or old titles on DriveThruRPG or Dungeon’s Guild. The problem there is that it really fucks over the Local Friendly Game and/or Book Stores that need to sell products to keep the doors open.

  2. You could treat your code voucher just like a Point-Of-Sale gift card – the activation number is on the book BUT it has to be activated at the register when you buy it. Maybe retail systems have gotten sophisticated enough where this would work? Often gift cards are backed by some major players like VISA; Hasbro isn’t exactly in their league. Most of the little shops that sell RPG stuff don’t also sell electronic gift cards. (In the '80s, some of those shops didn’t even have cash registers. Now they have them but maybe they aren’t connected to the Internet.) Maybe this could work with today’s technology and a lot of effort and investment, especially if Square (the people that make those dongles that scan credit cards that fit into iPads, not Square-Enix) got behind that and updated their software. The sellers would have to be trained to know that Splatbook X would have a code that would need to be activated, though.

Gamestop figured this out decades ago. Magic the Gathering figured it out too. Keep the codes behind the counter and hand them to people when they purchase the item.

Then I guess it’s back to Hasbro deciding that forcing their customers to double- or triple-dip on physical books and pdfs and/or Beyond material is a feature, not a bug.

For some RPGs (not the big boys) like Chaosium, Free League, etc there is a service called Bits & Mortar that lets me send PDF copies of RPG books to customers who buy physical copies. It’s pretty nice and I wish all RPG books were on there.

Exactly. No need for vouchers behind the counter or worrying about browsers removing a physical piece of paper. I always get a free PDF when I buy a RPG book from one of those publishers at a participating store. It’s convenient and works great.

It’s an international scheme too as I am in UK.

D&D Beyond used to offer individual purchases of feats, items, spells, etc so players didn’t have to buy a full sourcebook if they needed just the one thing out of it. For example, say your DM awarded you an item that was found in Tasha’s Cauldron of Everything. Instead of paying $30 for the whole book, you could pay a couple of bucks for just the item to use on your character file.

D&D Beyond no longer offers a la carte sales.


Can I still purchase subclasses, feats, and other game listings à la carte?

À la carte purchases are no longer supported. However, any individual items you’ve previously purchased will continue to be available for use on D&D Beyond.

As you might imagine, people are upset.

Upset enough to leave D&D? I doubt it, but we’ll see.

Here’s an ex-D&D beyond dev commenting on it:

The main thing to know, when looking back at old tweets or statements made by the D&D Beyond team, is that almost nobody who actually built D&D Beyond still works there.

I spent 5½ years, from pre-launch through to working at Wizards, building something that I am still immensely proud of. It’s a real achievement and, to this day, I love when I talk to people who D&D Beyond has positively impacted, allowing them to play D&D with others.

The core principles of the site, of delivering value to the community, championing accessibility, and engaging with people … I have no way of knowing how important those are now considered. I believe that actions speak louder than words though.

I have to say I never understood the drive to purchase an individual whatever in Beyond. I expect its a remnant of the microtransaction wave of a few years ago.

The Beyond app allows you to create your own magic items, and make your own notes on a special feats or whatever. This is what we do all within the existing tool, and at least to me probably takes a shorter time that going and finding the whatever and doing a microtransaction for it.

I think our group does what alot of groups do. We all have chipped in for a set of books under one person and then use the sharing feature (Master Tier sub) so we can all use it with our campaign. Works for us.

I don’t get it either, honestly. Then again, I’m all about physical books and character sheets being on paper.

I was the first back when I was a player and also kept the group’s player notes. I’d bring a tablet and a small keyboard. What sold me was the speed of being able to look up my spells quickly, and track spell use.

I then became DM and found out how quick and easy it was to find whatever I needed, faster than using books. I was also selling the players on using the Beyond character sheets, which once they tried it they liked it.

Over the past say 24mo, we have converted from pure paper/book based to pure electronic. This is in a f2f game, so some bring a laptop, most have a tablet, and a couple just use their phone.

Is it a virtual table top system of some sort?

I started using Foundry a few months ago. I’ve had some issues with it, but a lot of that is the learning curve on both of both learning the system and learning to GM.

Thankfully, the adventure was all premade and relatively simple.

DnDBeyond? I know they are working on a virtual table top, but we are only using the online books and online character sheets right now. We still have a map (hand drawn with dry erase) on the table with mini’s and tokens.

They have a fairly simple vtt on Beyond calls Maps. I tinkered with it a bit and it seemed ok for being in alpha and not designed to be super involved. Some of the adventures have it built in so if you have DM level sub (or whatever it’s called) you can use them. This is totally different the the 3D thing that is coming at some point later.

Good to hear the new SRD will be keeping up with the revised ruleset.


Today, we’re thrilled to announce the expansion of the fifth edition Systems Reference Document (SRD 5.2), which will include updated content from the 2024 core rulebooks and be made available under Creative Commons License.

In 2016, two years after the debut of Dungeons & Dragons fifth edition, we released the accompanying SRD 5.1, allowing our amazing community of creators to publish content compatible with the game. We’re proud to report that SRD 5.2 will be released within weeks of the release of the 2025 Monster Manual!

the figurine can be found in WizKids’s D&D Icons of the Realms: 50th Anniversary set as one of 10 “secret rare” toys packed inside randomised booster boxes

Gasp! It’s a woman!


It…is not and never was til WotC retconned for reasons.

You cant judge the formidable fighters life choices.

Lol. True enough. Elmore states it’s a dude but just from the back it could arguably be a chick. Except the toy I posted is pretty new I think. Fugly, but new. Now the Erol Otis based action figures are awesome. That’s something there can be no debate about.

Meh. Whatevs mostly.