This weekend was an exciting weekend with one giant announcement. D&D Beyond was revealed at PAX this weekend and the news spread like wild fire. It was exciting news for a lot of fans.
What is D&D Beyond? From the brief video and official Wizards wording it looks like a 5th Edition version of the past attempt at providing Players and Dungeon Masters with a set of online tools. Cool right?
Let’s take a step back and look into the past. When 4th Edition was released they had, as part of the plan to make a virtual playing table. The virtual tabletop never got to the completion phase. Through the D&D Insider you could create and maintain your characters and let me tell you it was pretty amazing. For character creation and maintaining it was incredible how easy it was. It had everything from spells to abilities, races, and traits by campaign setting all in one easy to manage website. It also had a few Dungeon Master Tools for building encounters and creating your own super monsters. All this at the low price of a monthly subscription. Worth it? Not really for the approx. $80 USD a year. That cost can by me 2-3 new source/content books and in the end not really worth it after one year.
What didn’t materialize from this was the Dungeon Builder and Gaming table.
D&D Insider Features and my own personal opinions.
- Dragon magazine and Dungeon magazine online – Awesome feature.
- D&D Character Builder – Awesome feature.
- D&D Compendium – Not worth it since you should have the source books already.
- D&D Adventure Tools – Never got to the point of being truly useful.
- Art and Map Galleries – Why pay for what I can google for free.
You can read the “Announcing D&D Beyond” Article on Wizards site, it looks like everything the D&D Insider offered and a bit more. So far I haven’t seen a lot different, other than being offered on any device and some updated graphics. Keep in mind I’ve only have the one video I watched and brief blurb so it could be amazing. Fingers Crossed!
Game Management for Players and Dungeon Masters seems to be the core goal.
I’m trying to remain optimistic about the new official tools but skeptical me looks at the past promises and failings to delivery. I do understand that there were some underlying circumstances surrounding the D&D Insider not delivering all that was promised and I do truly hope this is all they say it will be.
I’m also left wondering where this could leave Roll20 and Fantasy Grounds which so far do pretty much everything including rolling the dice for you. This is the Dungeon Builder and Gaming table that D&D Insider should have been. Before you look at signing up for the beta for D&D Beyond you really need to look at at least one of these applications.
I’ve been playing on Roll20 briefly now and I’m amazed just how easy it is. Characters are easy to manage, campaign is easy to manage, official content from Wizards is available and a host of other great tools to customize your game. What’s special about D&D Beyond is still yet to be seen.
Final Vote: I’m excited is sitting about a 7.9 out 10.
So we wait for the official beta to begin to get a real look at what is to come.
If you want to sign up for the beta you can visit https://www.dndbeyond.com