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

Morrus

Well, that was fun
Staff member
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.

Well, a car has more functionality than PDFs. Doesn’t change the fact that they wanted PDFs.

Personally, I can’t use gaming PDFs. I need the books.
 

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ddaley

Explorer
One downside to this model over the PDF model is that if this product fails and they take down the site, then users lose all of their content. If we had purchased PDFs, then we would still have those regardless.

With that said, I will most likely purchase a subscription and the 3 core books. I do want to find out if I can go from paid subscription back to free.

Well, a car has more functionality than PDFs. Doesn’t change the fact that they wanted PDFs.

Personally, I can’t use gaming PDFs. I need the books.
 

CapnZapp

Legend
One downside to this model over the PDF model is that if this product fails and they take down the site, then users lose all of their content. If we had purchased PDFs, then we would still have those regardless.

With that said, I will most likely purchase a subscription and the 3 core books. I do want to find out if I can go from paid subscription back to free.
I thought they said everything could be used offline...?

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Patrick McGill

First Post
One downside to this model over the PDF model is that if this product fails and they take down the site, then users lose all of their content. If we had purchased PDFs, then we would still have those regardless.

With that said, I will most likely purchase a subscription and the 3 core books. I do want to find out if I can go from paid subscription back to free.

You can change your sub anytime, it doesn't affect your purchased content. You could never have a sub and still purchase content and use it in the builder and compendium stuff. The sub only dismissed ads and puts a cap on the number of characters you can store at once.

If you go from paid to free while having more then 6 characters you have to choose which ones to keep.
 

fjw70

Adventurer
One downside to this model over the PDF model is that if this product fails and they take down the site, then users lose all of their content. If we had purchased PDFs, then we would still have those regardless.

With that said, I will most likely purchase a subscription and the 3 core books. I do want to find out if I can go from paid subscription back to free.

Yes you can go back to free. Anything you but remains your forever (where forever is the life of the system).
 



fjw70

Adventurer
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?

They have said that you will need to deactivate some characters to get you to 6 when you drop down to a free account.
 

Wrathamon

Adventurer
take screen shots of all the content and make it into a pdf ... there you can have a backup incase they take the service down. jk

I think it would be nice to have a coupon code or something if you bought a hardcopy or even more interesting is if you bought the D&D Beyond book get $5 off the hardcopy purchase :)
 


Zansy

Explorer
I'm surprised the article didn't mention that the 3 core books are on sale for the week of the launch... that convinced me to buy them instantly with a master subscription.
 

Something I feel I should mention cause it's interesting.

When buying books you don't have to buy the whole book. You can buy smaller parts of the books. (Like say you don't want Out of the Abyss as an adventure just the monster statblocks and fluff. You can just buy those. Even for individual monsters. Though naturally buying stuff separately is more expensive then just getting it all together.)
 

ddaley

Explorer
Same here. I am purchasing those 3 books tonight. I wish they had some of the play test adventures available. My group is currently going through Legacy of the Crystal Shard.

Oh, and thanks to all who responded to questions I posted earlier. I am definitely going to give this a shot... even though it'll be at least the 3rd time that I have purchased the content (physical, Fantasy Grounds, D&D Beyond, DM's Guild...)

I currently use FG at the table. But, this may be a better option for when the entire group is present.

I'm surprised the article didn't mention that the 3 core books are on sale for the week of the launch... that convinced me to buy them instantly with a master subscription.
 

Something I feel I should mention cause it's interesting.

When buying books you don't have to buy the whole book. You can buy smaller parts of the books. (Like say you don't want Out of the Abyss as an adventure just the monster statblocks and fluff. You can just buy those. Even for individual monsters. Though naturally buying stuff separately is more expensive then just getting it all together.)
Actually not in this case. If you purchase part of a book, it will be credited towards the full price of the book. So if you, say, purchase the monster bundle for OotA, your cost for purchasing the full adventure will drop by the amount you just paid.

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No that is still true. You don't have to buy the rest of the book after all.
Yes, but what I was responding to is the statement that buying all the parts would be more expensive than buying the whole, which isn't true in this case, as buying parts discounts the price of the whole. I guess you could go out of the way to purposely buy each bit a la carte and drive up the final price, but that wouldn't be a smart move with the alternative...

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bmfrosty

Explorer
It isn't the $2.99, or $5.00, it is having to rebuy all the books in digital format that I already purchased.
Did this. Will be selling most of my hardcovers on eBay. Convenience is just too much of a factor here for me to stick to carrying a bankers box of books with me when I DM.

$279.99 well spent, will probably round out to less than $100 after I'm done with Craigslist.

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ddaley

Explorer
I would probably go with the Legendary Bundle if I didn't own all of the WotC content on Fantasy Grounds already. And, I am not sure how this will compare to using FG at the table yet (not to mention how it'll compare to the Unity version of FG... if that is ever released). Not sure if it is worth the investment for me. Also, it may be a while before I can fully test it out, as we are in the middle of Legacy of the Crystal Shard, which is not available on D&D Beyond.

Oh, and there is no way I will ever go digital only. I like my physical books too much.

Did this. Will be selling most of my hardcovers on eBay. Convenience is just too much of a factor here for me to stick to carrying a bankers box of books with me when I DM.

$279.99 well spent, will probably round out to less than $100 after I'm done with Craigslist.

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Zarithar

Adventurer
Well... I will say after looking over it briefly, the character builder has improved since beta, particularly in regards to equipping your character. I already have an OP subscription, but am suitably curious about the campaign manager portion of D&D Beyond. Has anyone messed around with it enough to form an opinion?
 

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