Seminal role-playing game Dungeons & Dragons looks to be going digital.
The game's publisher, Wizards of the Coast, calls its new effort “D&D Beyond”, describes it as “a digital toolset for use with the Dungeons & Dragons fifth edition rules” and has given the service the tagline “Play with advantage”.
Wizards' canned statement says the service will “take D&D players beyond pen and paper, providing a rules compendium, character builder, digital character sheets, and more—all populated with official D&D content.” We're also told the service “aims to make game management easier for both players and Dungeon Masters by providing high-quality tools available on any device.”
Details of just what's on offer are thin, but the beta signup site for the service says subscribers will get the following features:
- A “D&D Compendium with Official Content”
- The ability to “Create, Browse, & Use Homebrew Content”
- The ability to “Manage Characters - Build, Progress, & Play”
- D&D News, Articles, Forums, & More
- Anywhere, anytime, access on any device
That repetition of the “any device” point suggests this will be a web-based effort, rather than an app.
The promo video below offers a limited look at the service, suggesting it will digitise character sheets and offer some content from the game's famously-detailed rule books.
The service will debut in “summer”, presumably northern hemisphere summer so that [in-no-way-emotionally-or-socially-stunted – Ed] folks who play D&D will spend up big on their breaks from school or university [Or maybe reality - Ed].
At a guess, D&D Beyond will let players store information about their characters in a cloud, replacing character sheets with a subscription service. Throwing in content from the game's famously-detailed rule books would also entice many, with in-service purchases of book content a way to wean players off the printed page and encourage them to commit to digitised content.
We'll know in a few months just what Wizards has up its sleeves, and if the results are a +5 Web of Wonder or a -5 Cursed App of Lock-In.