D&D 5E D&D Creator Summit--'D&D Beyond And Beyond'

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This presentation is by Dan Rawson and Marjory Laymon, moderated by Sara Chaffee.

I see a live view of what I assume is WotC's offices (the caption says 'Game Room'). Muffled voices talking as people wander around.
  • Dan Rawson talks about his start in D&D. Introduces the team present: Dan Rawson (SVP of D&D), Marjorie Laymon (VP D&D Beyond), Pat Backmann (Sr. Product Manager), Jared Wasdin (Product Manager), Elliot Spilk (Associate Product Manager), Sarah Chaffee (Community Manager).
  • What is D&D Beyond? The official gateway to D&D for content, news, offerings. The WotC D&D site is being deprecated and DDB is taking over.
  • As the official home for D&D, DDB wants to be expansive. Content, tools, VTT. It's an amusement park. A whole ecosystem for the community.
  • What have they been up to? Integrating with WotC since being acquired last year. Digital content drops, plus stability and performance work. 4.5 million users creates system challenges.
  • What's next? Improving play/prep, mobile play, new player onboarding, open to partners, backend tech stuff.
  • Partners and publishers--early stages of what that could look like, welcome feedback.
  • (Q&A section begins--It's really hard to make out anything anybody is saying).
  • Discussion about global communities, content for different people across the world.
  • Homebrew and marketplace features. Make homebrew creation and sharing easy.
  • Mobile site and app versions of DDB are different--can functionality be added to the app?
  • Digital content in other languages and ASL? Is something they are actively trying to figure out.
  • Future of D&D in print is very bright. Millions cherish the books and the tabletop and they want to support that. Digital is as well as not instead of.
  • WIll DDB marketplace be monetized? That is absolutely the intention. Creators can offer their products for sale. Accessible, open, and available to creators.
  • Will existing settings remain open to DMs Guild/DDB marketplace creators with the launch of OneDnD? "The goal is more not less." I think that was the entire answer to the question.
  • Equitability of product pricing globally. Not something they've tackled yet, they appreciate the concern, and something they need to approach.
  • Older editions in DDB? That's been discussed, but there are no plans right now. Possibility, not a 'no'.
  • Does that include problematic elements of old products? They'd use the mechanical rules, not the 'content'.
  • Preserving WotC's DnD website resources as it migrates to DDB? Not sure what the actual question or answer were! Can't make it out!
  • How VTTs and content will interact? They want content and access to be as broad as possible. They will continue to partner with great VTTs.
  • Will there be any mentorship on content creation for the third party marketplace? (There's a situation where somebody in person asks a really long question, the digital attendees can't hear it, then one of the presenters summarises the question [I think], but it's not always clear what the answer is.)
  • Will the VTT be on consoles? Other technical requirements? Intent -- early in development -- is to play on PC, console, and mobile. Sequencing won't be everything on Day 1. Goal is to make it available on as many platforms as possible.
  • Back to legacy content being on DDB--any content will go thorugh robust review to ensure it is appropriate and inviting to everybody. Means bringing legacy content over is a lot of work, and they won't bring them over without dong that work.
  • Gaming store accounts and events--that's a strategy that is underway.
  • Continue to lean into D&D in schools. Working on content for children.
  • And that's the session over, and my coverage done! The next one will be the afternoon Virtual Tabletop session, covered by Beth Rimmels, in an hour or two.
 
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There's a long list of things D&D Beyond needs to add. It doesn't even support the sidekick classes -- which WotC insisted could/should be used for PCs -- introduced in Tasha's in 2020.
Did they have fix Supernatural Gifts and Dark Gifts, from Theros and Ravenloft respectively, or Piety, from Theros? They repeatedly promised it would be doable by the code-changes they needed to make for Tasha's, then when Tasha's came out, they again promised it would be "soon" for a while before going radio silent about it.

What's a particular bonus is you can create the Gifts as Feats, and bizarrely, Beyond has for a very long time let you just arbitrarily add Feats to a character (?! why they picked this particular house rule/behaviour to allow, I have no idea), so the obvious fix would be to do that.

Except the absolute brain-geniuses at Beyond coded it so if you share a Feat that looks like a Supernatural Gift or Dark Gift to the system - EVEN THOUGH THOSE GIFTS ARE NOT IN THE SYSTEM IN ANY CLIENT ACCESSIBLE WAY - it locks it down as copied WotC content (even though you had to type it in and make it work yourself!) and won't let you share it - meaning every single DM who want to run Theros or Ravenloft with Beyond has to PERSONALLY MANUALLY CREATE the gifts they're using. Which is non-trivial, I can tell you.

There was an obvious solution to that, too, of course - Beyond could just create the gifts as Feats and thus people who owned the right books could use them. And indeed the Beyond team explicitly acknowledged they could do this. But then refused to, because at any moment now, they'd be able to do it the "right way". AFAIK, close on 3 years later, we're still waiting...
 

SkidAce

Legend
Supporter
I 100% agree with you, but desperately wish Bladesinger would be done as a subclass of Bard (where, IMO, it more naturally fits), rather than a subclass of Wizard. With Bards having become a full caster class in 5e, and the Bladesinger being a light armor wearing, sword-wielding singer, it would fit naturally alongside the Loremaster, the Glamourist (or whatever you want to make that nails the "Disney Princess" archetype), and something more definitively roguish.

I do not foresee that happening, but it would, IMO, make a great deal more sense. Sadly, I think that ship has sailed.
Could homebrew it, almost lines up....the 2nd level benefits of bladesinging could be 3rd level, and the rest matchs I think.
 



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