D&D Beyond Launches -- Electronic Tools For D&D Are Here!

D&D Beyond, the official online toolkit for 5th Edition D&D, is now live - just in time for Gen Con! With a character builder, online rules compendium, digital character sheet, and more, the software has been in beta testing for a while. D&D's relationship with electronic tools has never been an easy one -- Master Tools, Gleemax, DungeonScape all being failed initiatives - but D&D Beyond looks like it might be the one which actually breaks that curse.


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Here's their launch announcement:

This morning, we launched D&D Beyond - an official digital toolset for Dungeons & Dragons fifth edition.

For over 40 years, Dungeons & Dragons has been bringing players together at tables all over the world. D&D Beyond, our new digital companion web app, aims to enhance the D&D experience by making game management easier by putting all of the game information you need to tell fantastic stories with your friends into a digital format, eliminating the need to manually search through books, and taking the load off of players through other features.

At launch, D&D Beyond offers a compendium with all the game rules, lore, and adventures, as well as sought-after tools like a character builder and an interactive digital character sheet. It’s built with official D&D content and the ability to create and add your own custom homebrew spells, magic items, and monsters. Groups can play with digital versions of every official D&D sourcebook within the compendium. They can build characters using all the material published by Dungeons & Dragons for fifth edition, while adding custom magic items or spells created using the homebrew system. That homebrew content can then be shared with the community for other players to use in their own games.

We never could have gotten to where we are without the incredible support of over 200 thousand beta testers. For all of the help, for enduring "Basic Rules only" content and the accompanying forum posts for all these months, we sincerely thank you. You have already built nearly 300 thousand characters and 25 thousand homebrew creations. You have shared feedback that has been vital to the development of the toolset, and we have taken great strides to build confidence that we not only listen to that feedback, but we move quickly to act on it when it's needed.Our team has an extensive roadmap for D&D Beyond, including implementing features such as a native mobile app, monster and encounter building, digital dice rolling, combat tracking, and much more. D&D Beyond is excited to continue to work closely with the D&D team at Wizards of the Coast to introduce all new adventures and rules material into the toolset, such as Tomb of Annihilation and Xanathar’s Guide to Everything coming this fall, the new mystic and artificer classes and other Unearthed Arcana playtest material, and Adventurers League support.

With the launch of the toolset, we are also excited to also unveil our new video and content initiative. We have a vision for DDB to be your hub for all things D&D - your companion both at the table and between sessions - whether you're looking up spells or watching Mike Mearls geek out about ogre magi. We'll tell the story of Dungeons & Dragons and help you play out your own D&D stories. We can't wait to see where all of it leads.

This truly is only the beginning for us and for what D&D Beyond will become in the upcoming weeks, months, and years. We welcome you to the adventure. Pack your gear and let's hit the trail!


Check it out over at the official website.

The pricing is subscription based, with costs ranging from $2.99 per month to $5.99 per month, depending on the features you require. You also buy official D&D content (rulebooks and adventures) for $24.99 for adventures and $29.99 for rulebooks, or you can engage in micropurchases and grab single classes, races, feats, monsters, etc. for $1.99 to $3.99. Full pricing info can be found here.

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Russ Morrissey

Russ Morrissey





Paraxis

Explorer
For those who find the prices insulting like I do, there are tools online that are free that do most of what D&D Beyond does you just need to spend some time finding them instead of cash.
 

fjw70

Explorer
It looks good so far. I purchased the three core books and LMoP. I am playing around with LMoP to see how viable it is to run from the iPad. You can have the adventure text open in one tab, the map you are using in another tab, and the monsters you currently need in their own tabs too.

The advertising with the subscription isn't that annoying. Just a banner at the top and a box off to the side advertising the subscription feature.
 

Oofta

Legend
For me it's worth it for simplicity and ease of use. I have a couple of players who will really benefit from having access to this, so it's great I can sign up and give them access. I really like the fact that I'm buying it with my group, not just for me as an individual.

I know a lot of people don't think it's necessary, but I don't know how many times I've personally pencilled in the wrong number and in our last session I had to spend half an hour figuring out someone else's character sheet. Just not having to carry around multiple books so I can look up spell descriptions will be worth it.
 

Zarithar

Adventurer
$2.99 or even $5.99 is not going to break the bank. If it does for you, then maybe question your life choices. Seems very reasonable to me.
 



DM Magic

Adventurer
I'm head desking hard over some of the replies in this thread -- and it's only the first page.

I for one welcome this new toolset. It's awesome.
 

Patrick McGill

First Post
Just a note that a sub isn't necessary to use this. You can buy content like the PHB and use it fully without a sub. The sub just takes away ads, increases your possible character pool, and for the Master tier allows for content sharing.
 

dalisprime

Explorer
If the digital books you buy get automatically updated to the latest print version on the market then I would say this is very much worth it. I mean I already bought two of each core books (1st and 2nd print) and neither at the discount DDB offers.
 

Already purchased the PHB and MM. Functionality appears to be fully there, immediately after launch, which is a good start. Played around with building a PHB character (now that we're not limited to SRD choices), checked out some MM monsters, and paged through parts of the compendiums. Everything is working great just from my phone; I'll see how it looks and works from my desktop when I get home, at which point I'll probably get the Master tier subscription and start inviting my players in so we can start sharing!

Sent from my VS987 using EN World mobile app
 

Patrick McGill

First Post
My thoughts on it currently:

There are a lot of little kinks. Stuff like the warlock's pact blade not being able to recognize proficiency, problems with cantrips gained from feats/races, a few other ones like that. Currently I can't access anything other than the PHB content, despite buying that and Volo's as well as the SCAG character stuff.

The campaign manager tools seem similar to Obsidian Portal, though I haven't played with it much. Not very flashy. Currently you can't homebrew much except spells and monsters seems like. No backgrounds/races/classes/etc.

Good news, the Compendium portions are awesome. Very well set up, lots of interlinking and pop up stuff. Very gorgeous and useful.
 


jaycrockett

Explorer
Pricing aside, this is a pretty nifty tool for playing around with the Basic D&D rules. Design-wise it seems well laid out and is running snappy. Interest is definitely piqued, I'll be interested in seeing how it runs on my IPad when I get home.
 

doctheweasel

Explorer
People complain when you can't buy pdfs for D&D.

Then they deliver something with more functionality than pdfs, and people complain about the price.
 

ddaley

Explorer
As much as I hate subscriptions, I may try this out. I like the idea that you can drop back to the free version and not lose your purchased content (at least I am assuming you can drop your subscription but keep your account). I wonder what happens if you start out with a paid account, create > 6 characters and then drop back to a free account. Will they delete characters at random to drop you below the 6?
 

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