Wizards of the Coast announced at PAX East 2017 that it will soon finally offer an official app for Dungeons & Dragons.
Named D&D Beyond, the app is described by the company as an official digital toolset that is designed to be used with Dungeons & Dragons fifth edition rules.
What Does 'D&D Beyond' Offer To 'Dungeons & Dragons' Players
D&D Beyond, which was also announced through the official Dungeons & Dragons website, is the product of a partnership between Hasbro's Wizards of the Coast and Curse, a Twitch-owned media company that builds management tools for various games on different platforms. With the app, Dungeons & Dragons is officially being upgraded from the traditional pen-and-paper style into modern software.
The app will be populated with official Dungeons & Dragons content, including a rules compendium, a character builder, digital character sheets, and more. With D&D Beyond, it will be much easier for players to search for rules and makes updates to their characters while in the middle of playing games.
"D&D Beyond aims to make game management easier for both players and Dungeon Masters by providing high-quality tools available on any device, empowering beginners and veterans alike!" the announcement for the app states, with Dungeons & Dragons Senior Director Nathan Stewart expressing the company's excitement in being able to get D&D Beyond into the hands of players soon.
Digital Tools For 'Dungeons & Dragons'
While it will be the first official app for the game, D&D Beyond is not the only digital tool available to Dungeons & Dragons players. Roll20 is an example of a Dungeons & Dragons app that covers a lot of the capabilities of D&D Beyond, and Fantasy Grounds has a lot of support, in addition to the many other unofficial programs and home-brewed software available. Players can also recreate Dungeons & Dragons environments in Tabletop Simulator, with animated environments, heroes, and monsters.
The challenge for Wizards of the Coast would be to convince players to drop these tools in favor of the official app. It will be interesting to see what other features and advantages will be introduced for D&D Beyond to attract the attention of players. It should also be noted that Wizards of the Coast teamed up with Fantasy Grounds a couple of years ago, so something might happen in that space as well.
D&D Beyond is planned to be released in the summer, with Wizards of the Coast to release more details about the app as its launch draws near. In the meantime, players are being invited to sign up as beta testers for the app, which should provide a deeper look into how the app will function in comparison with other popular, but unofficial, Dungeons & Dragons digital tools.
At the very least, the app has a definite timeline, unlike the movie that Warner Bros. is said to be working on for the tabletop RPG franchise. In the meantime, and while on the topic of upgrading the Dungeons & Dragons experience into the digital age, perhaps players can try their hand at playing the RPG in virtual reality.