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Default General News - Dungeons & Dragons going digital

March 17th, 2017, 02:16
Rjshae spotted on The Register that Dungeons & Dragons is going online:

Dungeons & Dragons finally going digital

Character sheets and bits of the rule books look like they're coming to the Web

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 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.

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March 17th, 2017, 02:16
Hard to know how to comment with so few details. There's already a few services that do at least some of this (and for more than just D&D).
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March 17th, 2017, 02:20
describes it as “a digital toolset for use with the Dungeons & Dragons fifth edition rules”
I thought 4ED and 5ED were horrible, 3.5 is my thing.
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March 17th, 2017, 02:22
Turning D&D into a "service", rather than a collection of materials to be owned and collected?

No dice.

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March 17th, 2017, 03:15
Let's get digital, digital
I want to get digital
Let's get into digital
Let me hear your money talk, your money talk
Let me hear your money talk
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March 17th, 2017, 04:31
I'm angling to get our group to try 5th Ed. I like the apparent simplifications and overall reduction in power level. We've been playing two PF campaigns with PC's that are now in the teens and the amount of crunch involved with almost every dice roll is getting really stupid. Auto calc-ing character and dice rolling apps are a real time saver a lot of the time. So to is the d20pfsrd for quickly referencing stuff.
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March 17th, 2017, 11:06
I'm personally interested in this. Even though I'm a massive board gamer with a big collection of physical goodies - and love physical bits, I would like something that made DMing a little easier. In fact, iirc, I think they tried to develop an official DnD app sort of along these lines several years ago but it was never finished.
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March 17th, 2017, 11:12
There's loads of software to assist DMs. My concern is that this will be more about finding new ways to monetize and control D&D material, and won't ultimately be a desirable direction for users.

https://roll20.net/
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March 17th, 2017, 14:30
Well there is always going to be a push to find new ways to make money beyond selling the core rule books. Most people only buy the core books once and a new edition only comes out every ~10 years or so, so I can respect them wanting to find other sources of income. I'm actually quite happy that fifth edition hasn't been releasing dozens of sourcebooks to try to milk lots of money from us, so I don't mind if they decide to make some money on digital offerings.
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March 17th, 2017, 14:53
I'm fine with them making some digital offerings - I would suggest publishing some nice CRPGs that aren't Sword Coast Legends.

I'm just concerned that D&D will end up as a set of digital resources behind a monthly subscription. I think something would be lost, and I would personally much prefer collecting expensive books.
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March 17th, 2017, 15:02
I've often thought it would be neat to play a session with the original ruleset, though I know the classes weren't as interesting. Probably just nostalgia.
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March 17th, 2017, 15:06
Most of my stuff is from the 2nd and 3rd eds, along with Runequest and some other bits. It pleases me still to browse them, and they still fire my imagination.
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March 17th, 2017, 16:06
I stopped playing AD&D years ago for reasons of faith. If I was still playing, I would not be using this digital service at all, and would be staunchly sticking to my pen & paper aids. BTW, I started as a player with the initial offering in the 1970s (along with Chainmail), and ended my playing days with 3.5
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March 17th, 2017, 16:25
Originally Posted by Ripper View Post
I'm just concerned that D&D will end up as a set of digital resources behind a monthly subscription. I think something would be lost, and I would personally much prefer collecting expensive books.
They actually did that for awhile, I think during fourth edition. My group signed up for it and shared an account, it was quite handy. But at the time there were a ridiculous number of source books out, and it was almost impossible to keep track of all the options you had when creating a character and choosing feats/powers. Everyone also stored their character on their database too, which was handy.
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March 17th, 2017, 16:32
Originally Posted by luj1 View Post
I thought 4ED and 5ED were horrible, 3.5 is my thing.
I partially agree with you. Me and my gaming group skipped 4ED altogether. We played a lot of 3.5ED, we really like it (well, we played a lot of 2nd Edition too and we also really liked it )
I'm currently reading 5E rules, since I intend to DM it, and I don't think it's horrible. Actually, I'm liking what I'm reading.
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March 17th, 2017, 16:39
I like 4e as I am a fan of tactical board game style stuff. I like stuff on the table. That being said 4e had some very good digital support tools with the character builder and especially the monster compendium. I think I would like digital tools to support the tabletop experience not replace it. I think the face to face with actual bits and pieces are the best part of real rpgs.
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March 17th, 2017, 16:50
I've played every version of D&D going back to 1e (and basic). Every new edition had people saying it was the worst thing ever when it came out and refusing to play it. I think they all have strengths and weaknesses. 5e was pretty well received overall, it actually didn't receive anywhere near the level of negative backlash that 3e and 4e did when they came out. It's not revolutionary but it tries to take things that were successful in other editions while removing things that were not.
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March 17th, 2017, 19:02
Down the road, I wonder how amenable this is going to end up being to house rule variants? Hopefully it will allow some custom tweaking.
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March 17th, 2017, 19:11
Originally Posted by Ripper View Post
There's loads of software to assist DMs. My concern is that this will be more about finding new ways to monetize and control D&D material, and won't ultimately be a desirable direction for users.

https://roll20.net/
this looks cool

Originally Posted by Zloth View Post
Hard to know how to comment with so few details. There's already a few services that do at least some of this (and for more than just D&D).
Such as? Do you have any links?

I'm still looking for an established and traditional system that I can implement into a PC game - preferably I can make it open source.
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March 17th, 2017, 23:04
I look forward to this. I really miss the digital online tool for making characters the 4E D&D had on the WoTC website. I hope this is something like that, or better. I DM "on the regular" and having access to digital tools is so much more convenient than relying on books. I don't rely on books to research anything else, why this?
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