You technically don’t need to spend a whole lot of money to play Dungeons & Dragons or other tabletop roleplaying games. But like most hobbies, the game is more than happy to welcome your investment with endless maps, minis, countless dice, and, of course, rulebooks to purchase. Now, it seems, the game is going to get a bit pricer following news from Wizards of the Coast that new D&D rulebooks will see a 20 percent price hike moving forward.
Rulebooks are the bible of any tabletop roleplaying game, providing players and game masters with all necessary math, descriptions of game systems, and sometimes even critical lore information depending on the kind of book. Since the current, fifth edition, of Dungeons & Dragons, physical books, like the three core ones essential for a group to play (Dungeon Masters Guide, Player’s Handbook, and Monster Manual), have retailed for $49.95 each in the United States. Additional D&D-brand books of similar scope sold for the same price (others have sold for less depending on the amount of content). Wizards of the Coast is now signaling that the rising costs of book production will bring the price of physical copies up to $59.95 for new books. Digital content and previously published material is said to remain unaffected by the new price.
According to IGN, Wizards of the Coast specified the price hike will first hit the upcoming Bigsby Presents: Glory to the Giants followed by the Planescape supplement due out on October 17 of 2023. The October release will refresh a beloved campaign setting many might know from the PC game, Planescape: Torment, which featured interdimensional magic, along with dark, strange, and surrealist motifs in its art and stories.
Kotaku reached out to Wizards of the Coast for comment.
This price hike follows some turbulent times for the D&D publisher. Earlier in 2023, Wizards of the Coast rolled a critical fail with restrictive, proposed changes to its longstanding open license ahead of the upcoming revision of the core rules. Unchecked, those changes would have dramatically constrained the freedom for third party publishers to create compatible rulebooks with the game (something that has been a core part of the industry since the early 2000s).
It is rare that everyone at a game of D&D has all the books. Typically, the dungeon master will purchase the most rules as they’re the ones adjudicating everything; that’s an issue Wizards of the Coast has highlighted as a sore spot for them, expressing a desire in 2022 to try and find more ways to monetize the hobby, hoping to generate “the type of recurrent spending you see in [video games].”