D&D Beyond offers digital resources for pen-and-paper game
In an effort to not only make resources more available to players, Wizards of the Coast continues its march into digitizing their core product, Dungeons & Dragons, with the release of D&D Beyond.
This online collection of rules, spells, monsters, and character generation puts the power of the D&D books into an interactive and highly accessible web version. The tools are for the Fifth Edition and hopes to make the D&D experience easier for players and Dungeon Masters at the table.
The rules section contains the three core books, Player’s Handbook, Dungeon Master’s Guide and Monster Manual, as well as the basic rules and some rules supplements. Sword Coast Adventurer’s Guide and Volo’s Guide to Monsters are included, offering addition information about the people, places and monsters that can be included in a game.
There is also an adventures section that has official modules, campaigns, and storylines. From the Lost Mine of Phandelver to the seven deadliest dungeons in Tales of the Yawning Portal, the adventures are digitally complete with maps, tips, and magic items at the ready.
This adventures section is still in development and expected to be ready by the fall.
A section of character creation can take players through a systematic approach to creating their hero. There are many different options in creation to allow as much creativity as possible when building a character.
Each area also contains helpful explainers about what benefits the traits and abilities are available to let players make informed choices. Custom content for homebrew adventures can also be incorporated into building the adventurer.
The interactive digital character sheet also helps players keep track of what they have and how they can best use it. Whether it is spells or equipment, it is all at a digital fingertip.
DMs can take advantage for monster and encounter building sections, combat tracking, and digital dice rolling. The idea is to make it easier and smoother to play the game, lessening the downtime of research and flipping pages.
A video section features tips and talks from the Wizard creators about how best to utilize the tools for maximum fun and enjoyment.
D&D Beyond offers some of the elements for free with some limitations, but they also let players subscribe to addition benefits in two tiers. The Hero Tier is intended for players and lets them create an unlimited number of characters and adds homebrew content to their collections.
The Master Tier is targeted more toward DMs, granting the Hero benefits and allowing Dungeon Masters to unlock all the official content they have with other players in their campaigns. Monthly, biannually, and annual subscriptions are available.
The August release is a good start, offering the basics of what people want out of a digital resource. Can you run a complete campaign in D&D Beyond? Once the adventures come out in the fall, it will be interesting to see if this is any easier or harder than using the current digital offerings from Roll20 or Fantasy Grounds.