June 6 is when the three core rulebooks — the Player’s Handbook, Dungeon Master’s Guide and Monster Manual — will be released. (They cost $34.95 each, also available in a boxed gift set priced at $104.95).
|But for true early adopters, the quest begins this week with the release of Keep on the Shadowfell. This $29.95 adventure includes quick-start rules, premade characters and poster-sized battle maps. Game maker Wizards of the Coast recently offered a sneak peek.
Before you dive in, however, take some friendly advice: If you aren’t sure whether the D&D game is for you, consider spending the $30 for Shadowfell before shelling out the $34.95 each on the three core books. That way, if it’s not quite your style you won’t be too heavily invested in three bulky books, and you’ll still have a fun party game to break out when friends come over.
Another option is to pick up some of the rulebooks from earlier editions on the cheap! Many folks still play the original version by Gary Gygax and Dave Arneson. With the new edition looming, book dealers have been bombarded with 3rd Edition D&D books. Bookmans and Half Price Books are good places to start.