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Dungeons & Dragons team starts dropping free daily content

Adventures for all ages and activities perfect for kids stuck at home

A city chained to the first level of the Nine Hells. In the foreground a demon burns inside black lacquered armor. From Baldur’s Gate: Descent Into Avernus from Wizards of the Coast. Illustration: Aleksi Briclot/Wizards of the Coast
Charlie Hall is Polygon’s tabletop editor. In 10-plus years as a journalist & photographer, he has covered simulation, strategy, and spacefaring games, as well as public policy.

Wizards of the Coast, publishers of the Dungeons & Dragons tabletop role-playing game, are sharing daily free content to support folks cooped up at home. So far supplements appear to be reprints of materials that was previously available for free, but later this week that should change with adventures that were previously premium purchases.

The D&D team itself, which is based near Seattle, Washington, understands that folks around the world are eager for distraction. That’s especially true for kids, so Wizards is also adding activities for the little adventures in your life.

“With schools closed around the world, many parents and caregivers are at home with their kids, including many in the D&D community,” Wizards said in its announcement. “If you are in need of fun & educational material to share and/or play with your kids, you can check back here each day for D&D stuff to help during this time. If you (or someone you know) is a younger gamer, we’re also releasing resources to make it even easier to get into D&D.”

A version of 5th edition D&D has always been available for free. Called the System Reference Document, it’s a full 400 pages of races, classes, spells, and more. But the free content going out now makes it all much easier to digest. First up is a guide to character creation and an abbreviated Dungeon Masters’ Guide. With many local retailers closed and Amazon delaying some shipments, it’s an exceptional way to get started playing D&D at home.

Of course, there’s no reason to limit your role-playing to your family or roommates. There are plenty of ways to run RPGs online, including other popular systems like Pathfinder and Cyberpunk Red.

Later this week, Wizards will be adding even more content, including bits from the Lost Mine of Phandelver (which is the canonical starting point for the popular Adventure Zone series of actual play podcasts), an adventure from Ghosts of the Saltmarsh, and Baldur’s Gate: Descent into Avernus.

Update (April 9): On Wednesday, Wizards of the Coast included the Starter Set Rulebook among its free downloads. The PDF version of the document is just what you need to begin playing, and includes a list of spells and cantrips used for building low-level magic users.

Wednesday’s release also includes the Lost Mine of Phandelver, as expected. You can access it for a limited time via Roll20, Fantasy Grounds, and D&D Beyond. A PDF for Secrets of Sokol Keep, an adventure previously only available to organized play participants, was also released for free.

D&D Forgotten Realms Laerel Silverhand’s Explorer’s Kit

  • $17

Prices taken at time of publishing.

An excellent set of dice with dual oversized d20s, perfect for the new 5th edition of D&D, which has mechanics like advantage and disadvantage that require two dice. It also comes bundled with a felt-lined rolling tray and a set of inserts, including a map of the Forgotten Realms.

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