D&D Reader App Coming This Fall? [UPDATED]
  • D&D Reader App Coming This Fall? [UPDATED]


    Many people have been asking for official D&D PDFs, and WotC has been addressing the need for electronic reference materials at the table in various ways. According to Mashable, WotC is releasing a D&D Reader App this fall. It's not a PDF, but it's basically a D&D-specific Kindle-esque app for iOS and Android. Mashable reports that "Each book is broken up into different sections. So with, say, the Player's Handbook, you can tap on little thumbnails in your library to check out the introduction, a step-by-step guide to character creation, a rundown of races, individual sections for each character class, equipment, and all the other pieces that, together, form the D&D Player's Handbook."




    It's possible they are just referring to D&D Beyond (some of the details below correspond very closely with that), but it may be that a separate D&D Reader is in the pipeline.

    UPDATE -- EN World member TDarien asked Adam Rosenburg (the author of the article) whether this was different to D&D Beyond, who replied "Yup. Beyond is more activity-oriented, so it can handle stuff like dice rolls. Reader is basically Kindle, with good, clear chapter divides."

    UPDATE 2 -- EN World member kenmarable has spotted that Polygon also has an article about this. It is a separate app called D&D Reader - not D&D Beyond - being made by Dialect, the company which does Dragon+ for WotC. They tried a beta version, although it wasn't complete at the time.

    Other items from the report include:

    • You can favourite specific pages.
    • Some of it is free, and the rparts of books are paywalled. "If, for example, you'll only ever care about rolling a bard, you can just buy that. Prices for individual sections are $3 or $5 (depending on what you buy) and the three full rulebooks — Player's Handbook, Monster Manual, and Dungeon Master's Guide — are $30 apiece for everything."
    • If you buy parts of a book then buy the full thing, the cost is pro-rated.The free sections include "character creation, basic classes, gear, ability scores, combat, spellcasting, and all the other sort of ground-level features that everyone needs to understand in order to play."

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    Comments 310 Comments
    1. lowkey13's Avatar
      lowkey13 -
      Meh.

      I'm glad for those that prefer this.

      Personally, I prefer reading books. And then referring to the books during the game. And then, when someone else is wrong (because they are always wrong, and I am always right), hurling the book at them. That's how you book learn 'em.
    1. seebs's Avatar
      seebs -
      Wow, I'm impressed. At a cost of multiple years of delays and tens of thousands of dollars, they've made a thing that doesn't remotely address any of my reasons for wanting PDFs. That's brilliant!
    1. Nikosandros's Avatar
      Nikosandros -
      I'm a bit confused by the Kindle part. It seems that it is an proprietary app for iOS and Android. Is it somehow related to Amazon? Or is the article using "Kindle" as a synonym of electronic book with text re-flow on a proprietary app?
    1. ArwensDaughter's Avatar
      ArwensDaughter -
      It's odd to me that there's no link (in the Mashable article) to an official WOTC announcement.
      If this is accurate, it is an interesting/puzzling choice given that DnD Beyond is working on apps for iOS and Android that would do this and more.
    1. Emirikol Prime's Avatar
      Emirikol Prime -
      By this time everyone who wants a PDF has one. The market who was more than willing to give them money passed them by.
    1. Mercule's Avatar
      Mercule -
      Quote Originally Posted by ArwensDaughter View Post
      It's odd to me that there's no link (in the Mashable article) to an official WOTC announcement.
      If this is accurate, it is an interesting/puzzling choice given that DnD Beyond is working on apps for iOS and Android that would do this and more.
      This was my thought, exactly. Unless they're somehow speaking of the same app (which I don't think), this is very, very bizarre.
    1. DEFCON 1's Avatar
      DEFCON 1 -
      Quote Originally Posted by Emirikol Prime View Post
      By this time everyone who wants a PDF has one. The market who was more than willing to give them money passed them by.
      Right. And they don't care, they didn't want your money. Why does that upset you?

      I mean, if you have a PDF of the D&D books at this point (however you acquired them) and yet still have this undying need to give WotC money for it... then why not just go to the store and buy another set of books, then donate them to your local library or something? Then you get to feel good TWICE! Once for "paying" WotC for your PDF, then again for helping out other people who might not have the possibility of buying the books themselves.
    1. Nikosandros's Avatar
      Nikosandros -
      Quote Originally Posted by ArwensDaughter View Post
      It's odd to me that there's no link (in the Mashable article) to an official WOTC announcement.
      If this is accurate, it is an interesting/puzzling choice given that DnD Beyond is working on apps for iOS and Android that would do this and more.
      Maybe the article is actually referring (in a confusing way) to the apps that D&D Beyond has announced?
    1. JRedmond's Avatar
      JRedmond -
      I feel like they're clueless and it's referring to D&D Beyond. Otherwise it seems like an odd decision.
    1. Hollow Man's Avatar
      Hollow Man -
      It sure sounds like these are the apps for D&D Beyond (some of it is free, pieces are a few bucks each, a whole book is $30, price decreases if you bought pieces previously).

      -HM
    1. lowkey13's Avatar
      lowkey13 -
      Quote Originally Posted by Emirikol Prime View Post
      By this time everyone who wants a PDF has one. The market who was more than willing to give them money passed them by.
      Well, that's not quite right.

      Let us assume that there is X percentage of people that want a PDF, in addition to (or, perhaps, without regard to) the book copy.

      Of that X percentage of people-

      A. Some people will have the knowledge and ability to "find" a pdf copy.
      B. Some people won't.

      Now, of the people in group (A), there are three further groups-

      1. Those who would use their abilities to "find" a copy.
      2. Those who have some moral concerns, and some legal concerns, and thus choose not to "find" a copy (in other words, some moral/ethical concern, supplemented by the weak deterrent of legal enforcement).
      3. Those who would not "find" a copy, due to moral/ethical concerns, regardless of the legal concerns.

      The only group that falls within your supposition are those within A1.

      Now, within A1 there are those that would have purchased it, and those that would have "found" a copy anyway, using various justifications (such as, "I've already purchased the book," or "Hasbro is a big company," or "I need to buy pizza," or "It's just bytes, man."). But I would guess that while there is a lost market, it isn't that great.

      But maybe I'm wrong! I do know that this strategy doesn't seem to have hurt book sales.
    1. AriochQ's Avatar
      AriochQ -
      So buy a physical book, buy D and D Beyond, and buy the same material a third time for the reader app. What a deal! (sarcasm)
    1. TDarien -
      I'm about 90% positive this is about the D&D Beyond apps, especially since the pricing model is exactly the same. Makes zero sense otherwise.
    1. lowkey13's Avatar
      lowkey13 -
      Quote Originally Posted by TDarien View Post
      I'm about 90% positive this is about the D&D Beyond apps, especially since the pricing model is exactly the same. Makes zero sense otherwise.
      Bolded for emphasis.

      While I agree with you, since when has "making zero sense," ever stopped a company from making a decision?
    1. Mistwell's Avatar
      Mistwell -
      Quote Originally Posted by seebs View Post
      Wow, I'm impressed. At a cost of multiple years of delays and tens of thousands of dollars, they've made a thing that doesn't remotely address any of my reasons for wanting PDFs. That's brilliant!
      You are never going to get legal PDFs of 5e until 6e comes out. It's time to start going through those stages of grief on that issue. It's time man. Time to accept.
    1. Mistwell's Avatar
      Mistwell -
      Quote Originally Posted by AriochQ View Post
      So buy a physical book, buy D and D Beyond, and buy the same material a third time for the reader app. What a deal! (sarcasm)
      Pretty sure this IS D&D Beyond. [Edit - Ninja'ed many times]
    1. ZeshinX's Avatar
      ZeshinX -
      I'll stick to the books and continue to politely ignore most attempts by WotC to embrace technology.
    1. darjr's Avatar
      darjr -
      IF this is really like a PDF trapped in an app? I'll consider it.
    1. ArwensDaughter's Avatar
      ArwensDaughter -
      Quote Originally Posted by Nikosandros View Post
      Maybe the article is actually referring (in a confusing way) to the apps that D&D Beyond has announced?
      Yeah, I wondered about that. But it's an extraordinarily poorly written article it that's the case. Or, the author didn't know the apps were connected part of the DDB project? If that's true, it doesn't speak well for the reliability or authenticity of the information.
    1. TDarien -
      So I just tweeted the author asking if this was different from the Beyond apps. He said it was. If that's the case I really don't understand it, because it then just sounds like a less useful version of the D&D Beyond Compendium.
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