Check out all of Polygon's coverage from Boston at PAX East 2017
Dungeons & Dragons is building a modern digital toolset. Called Dungeons & Dragons Beyond, it will feature a mobile companion app for Dungeon Masters and players alike. Scheduled to enter beta release this summer, the tools will be designed and maintained in partnership with Curse, the community-focused communications platform that was purchased by Twitch in August.
In a brief press release issued during last weekend’s PAX East, publisher Wizards of the Coast provided few details. The app will reportedly work on any device, and will be specifically designed for fifth edition rules. It will include a “rules compendium, character builder, digital character sheets, and more.” The ultimate goal of the app is to “make game management easier for both players and Dungeon Masters.”
— D&D Beyond (@DnDBeyond) March 12, 2017
This is not D&D’s first attempt at a digital companion. The last effort, called D&D Insider, was launched alongside the fourth edition of D&D in 2007. It included a very useful character builder, which drew from every available D&D sourcebook and would output a usable character sheet. There was also a rules compendium, and an Adventure Tools encounter generator. An embedded Monster Builder even allowed DMs to add templates to existing monsters on the fly, flavoring them to meet their needs at the table.
D&D Insider was unfortunately built on Microsoft’s Silverlight platform, and failed to make the transition to mobile platforms like Apple’s iOS and Google’s Android. It was effectively shut down in 2012, but is still available online for those with an active account.
A number of alternate digital toolsets grew up alongside D&D Insider. Two of the most popular, Fantasy Grounds and Roll20, have recently become fully licensed by Wizards of the Coast and release new content in a digital format at the same time your friendly local game store gets the latest books.
Fantasy Grounds, which is available via Steam, and Roll20, which is available for both desktop and mobile devices, differentiate themselves from the D&D Beyond project. Both allow for online play, and Roll20 even offers integrated voice chat and video conferencing.
While the Curse platform is certainly capable of supporting online play, as well as voice and video chat, that does not appear to be the focus of the D&D Beyond product at this time. We’ve reached out to Wizards of the Coast for more information.
In the meantime, those looking for digital versions of D&D sourcebooks, fourth edition and earlier, you can head over to DriveThruRPG where they can buy searchable PDFs.
More From Polygon
- The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild guide and walkthrough
- Zelda: Breath of the Wild speedrunners are taking down the game in less than an hour
- ToeJam & Earl is coming to Nintendo Switch
- Take a look at Battlefield 1: They Shall Not Pass
- Hands-on with Mass Effect: Andromeda multiplayer
No Man’s Sky has some very devoted fans
Katosa Aug apparatus
Sidon and Mipha before anyone else
Your dead horses will never be beat in Breath of the Wild
by Ben Kuchera
Learn the development secrets of Nintendo’s latest creation