Dungeons & Dragons is finally getting a proper digital app

Wizards of the Coast

Dungeons & Dragons is finally getting a proper digital app

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.”

So, we heard you wanted an official digital toolset? Announcing D&D Beyond. *Dice Drop*https://t.co/P7SrDCr05yhttps://t.co/r0ckhVUJVK

— 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.

Related

Dungeons & Dragons is changing how it makes books

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.

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