Dungeons & Dragons is going digital once again. During the PAX East gaming convention, Wizards of the Coast announced “D&D Beyond,” a new digital suite of tools for the current, fifth edition of Dungeons & Dragons.
“We are excited to announce development of D&D Beyond, an official digital toolset for use with the Dungeons & Dragons fifth edition rules,” the official announcement from Wizards of the Coast reads. “We have partnered with Curse to 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. D&D Beyond aims to make game management easier for both players and Dungeon Masters by providing high-quality tools available on any device, empowering beginners and veterans alike!”
Curse is an online software developer that creates programs and services for gamers, including Gamepedia, the Curse client, CurseForge, CurseVoice, Union for Gamers, and BukkitDev. In 2016, Curse was purchased by Twitch, which is owned by Amazon.
"D&D Beyond speaks to the way gamers are able to blend digital tools with the fun of storytelling around the table with your friends,” said Nathan Stewart, Senior Director of Dungeons & Dragons. "These tools represent a way forward for D&D, and we’re excited to get them into the hands of players soon!"
According to the D&D Beyond announcement trailer, which can be seen above, the D&D Beyond suite will include a D&D Compendium where dungeon masters and players can reference official Dungeons and Dragons content, tools to create and use homebrew content, a character manager, and a Dungeons and Dragons news feed. Wizards of the Coast is also promising that players will be able to access D&D Beyond from any device, anywhere and at any time, even when offline.
Players can sign up for the D&D Beyond beta now.
Wizards of the Coast already endorses two other digital toolsets, Fantasy Grounds’ Virtual Table for playing Dungeons and Dragons over the internet and Roll20’s Virtual Tabletop for enhancing traditional tabletop gameplay.
Dungeons & Dragons’ fourth edition relied heavily on a similar suite of tools that was built in-house at Wizards of the Coast. These including a Dungeons & Dragons compendium where D&D 4e’s extensive library of powers, spell, feats, and monsters could be searched and a character builder for players to create and manage their characters. These tools were originally standalone apps, but later became online only tools built on Microsoft Silverlight. An in-house virtual tabletop was also promised but never produced.