Living in such a digitally saturated era, the days of pen and paper tabletop RPGs are dwindling. Nothing can replace the sensation of taking pencil to a character sheet; jotting down statistics and adventuring gear. There’s something special about feeling the weight of a 20-sided die fall from your hand onto a wooden table. But this is the digital age, the world of tomorrow. Enter, Wizards of the Coast. On March 12, 2017, they announced the release of a digital toolset, D&D Beyond.
This particular toolkit is meant to act as a companion to Dungeons & Dragons 5th Edition. It contains a compendium of the official rules, a character creation tool, character sheets, and even access to fan made homebrews. D&D Beyond aims to make game management easier for both Dungeon Master and players.
Wizards of the Coast partnered with Curse (a company many Twitch streamers are intimately familiar with) to create this cross-platform, gaming management tool. This is the application that Dungeons & Dragons players have been anticipating. Even if they didn’t realize it. This is certainly not the first app produced to manage character sheets and spell lists. There are dozens of third party ones and websites that provide plenty of PDF resources (such as DriveThruRPG). However, this is the first software that takes the comprehensive aspects of those apps and compiles them into one place.
This gives you access to the Player’s Handbook and Monster Manual at your fingertips. Certainly, it beats flipping through hundreds of pages. Not to mention the risk of a paper cut! Now all that’s needed is pocket-sized friends to play with. It’s unclear if D&D Beyond will offer the capabilities to adventure through dungeons remotely, but hey that’s what Skype is for right?
As of now, there is no confirmed launch date, but word around the proverbial water cooler is Summer 2017. No doubt the tabletop community is waiting with bated breath. So until the time comes to shift Dungeons & Dragons into the digital generation, keep rolling those fistfuls of dice nerds.