Francisco.Lahoz    ORIGINAL GONGSTER

D&D Beyond: Your Digital D&D Source

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So the Summer of 2017 was supposed to be a big year for me Dungeons and Dragons wise. I was finally gonna be a Dungeon Master for the first time ever. 

I looked up how to create characters, how to level monsters to my players, how to create interesting areas, I even bought a fancy set of dice, a map and a DM Screen. I was committed but it burned me out.

I still want to play don’t get me wrong, but finding all of this information was ridiculous. I had 3 different books opened up to information I thought I’d need in 8 different sections. 

“How does this race affect this race if they’d come into contact? What would be some good weapons for this class? Wait how about the currency? Shit how do I do the currency exchanges with my homebrew equipment.” 

Oh yeah, Homebrew content, one of my players wanted to include a Homebrewed race. Cue me opening up 7 different tabs to find the Wiki she found that race on.

Dungeons and Dragons is a fun game. I don’t need to tell you that, you know this from Henry’s article on Gongsters (which if you didn’t read, you can do so here). I’m not here to convince you to play D&D, but I am gonna tell you about a new service the creators of D&D will be rolling out on August 15th.

D&D Beyond. A simple to use web tool meant to enhance the pen and paper game. With D&D Beyond, players will be able to create their characters online and save them to have at a moment’s notice, 

“Oh no I lost/spilled juice on/my dog ate my precious one of a kind character sheet, whatever shall I do?” Now you can just print out a new one, if you’ve remembered to update your character of course. 

If you just want to set up a new character without all the fuss of going through the character creation process, you can be as hands on as you want with your character, I used the randomizer myself to make an example character sheet.

This is bird person, he’s really bad, but now i’ve got a new robust NPC to throw into my campaign when I need him. Maybe i’ll make him the groom at a wedding gone wrong who knows.

Most important to me is the compendium, which has all the official descriptions, stats, and all other pertinent information on EVERY! Official bit of anything in the official 5th edition of D&D. And if that wasn’t enough you can add in homebrew content from your own games using a robust little web program.

I signed up for the beta before it was really nothing more than an announcement. Back when I was first setting up my own world with my homebrewed creations. This service makes all of that so much easier. 

For example one of my players wanted a magic trident as a part of their starting equipment. Normally I’d have to flip through the Player’s Handbook to find Tridents, but then it’s a magic item, so I’d also have to flip to that and see what I’d need from both sections. With D&D Beyond I choose to create an item, pick weapon from the drop down menu and select the trident template.

Boom, done. No muss no fuss.

This was insanely easy. This “Magic trident” item (boring name, it’s an example, i’m usually a wheelbarrow of creativity but just go with it for now) is now a searchable item in my compendium that I can just type to find.

D&D Beyond isn’t an alternative to pen and paper play. This service is meant to streamline the game, fans have been begging for an online companion tool for years and have been making due with complex or underdeveloped services to make up for it. 

I’m very happy with what this could mean for the popularity of D&D as a whole. Set up for D&D is daunting but D&D Beyond make it really easy for new players to get acquainted with the game and get started without too much pressure, and with a planned companion application for Smartphones and tablets, it can only get easier.

So what do you guys think? Is this the end of Pen and Paper D&D? Or will D&D Beyond become a valuable asset to any Role Player? Lets us know in the comments below and share the word. 

And if any of the friends I asked to join my campaign are listening, I’M SO SORRY I HAVEN’T GOTTEN EVERYONE TOGETHER, I’VE GOT A FULL TIME JOB AND EVERYONE IS ALL OVER THE PLACE!!

Francisco has been a massive media nerd since he could remember. He's an anthropology major at Queens college and part time as a teacher's assistant in Brooklyn. He enjoys writing science fiction/fantasy stories when he's not watching the newest Netflix show or listening to a podcast.
michael.geary    ORIGINAL GONGSTER
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