Dungeons & Dragons is coming to a computer near you — as an actual, proper RPG complete with a dungeon master, your friends, and official content. Virtual tabletop software Fantasy Grounds now offers licensed content from Wizards of the Coast, with official packs of monsters, maps, and classes allowing you to bring the experience of D&D's fifth edition to your desktop Mac or PC. It's best not to think of Fantasy Grounds as a game itself — instead, it's a tool that allows you to migrate the world of tabletop roleplaying to your computer, offering digital substitutes for everything from stat sheets to dice rolls. It doesn't have the same intimacy as playing in person of course, but if you're desperate for a D&D fix it's the next best thing.
core packs for monsters and classes cost $50 apiece
For newcomers, even Fantasy Grounds' tutorial videos look intimidating, but D&D fans have been waiting for this sort of support since Wizards of the Coast killed its "Virtual Table" project in 2012. Fantasy Grounds itself can be found on Steam for $50, with the Complete Core Monster Pack, Complete Core Class Pack, and Lost Mine of Phandelver modules available for $50 apiece. As our colleagues over at Polygon report, these packs cover the entire fifth edition D&D Starter Set, including official artwork. However, if this sounds a bit too expensive, Fantasy Grounds says players on a budget will be able to get by with only a few specific class and monster packs.
Of course, there's no need for gamers to actually buy any licensed content. Fantasy Grounds not only supports D&D and other tabletop systems such as Pathfinder, but also homemade rulesets as well. Players can create their own games or, if they want official D&D content but don't want to pay, they can scour the web for the appropriate maps, etc. and load them in manually. Wizards of the Coast are probably betting that only the most tight-fisted players will go to these lengths, and for most people, paying for quick-loading digital packs will be more appealing.
More adventure modules are on the way
Although there's only a single official D&D adventure currently available — the aforementioned Lost Mine of Phandelver — more should be arriving soon. "We have a queue that we’re working through right now," Fantasy Grounds owner Doug Davison told Polygon. "We just finished up the preliminary work on the Hoard of the Dragon Queen adventure module, and so that’s currently in review right now. We’ve already conducted our internal reviews, and now it’s out in the hands of a few folks at Wizards of the Coast."
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