Stacks of papers are a staple at any regular Dungeons & Dragons game, but Wizards of the Coast is finally offering a digital client to help gamers manage their characters. Today at PAX East, the company revealed a new “Digital Toolset” that works with Fifth Edition called D&D Beyond.
Billed as a game management tool, D&D Beyond has an official rules compendium, a character builder and character sheet. From the looks of it, it’s designed to make it easier for players to look up rules and update their characters as they play.
The company partnered with Curse, a media company owned by Twitch that builds gaming management tools for a range of platforms. D&D Beyond appears to be a client designed to bring the traditional pen-and-paper role-playing game into the digital age.
It’s definitely a long-overdue, although not unprecedented tool. There’s been digital accessories for the game in the past, such as TSR’s Advanced Dungeons & Dragons CD-ROM Core Rules in 1996, and it’s pretty easy to get PDF versions of character sheets to print out. There’s also a huge number of unofficial (and some official) digital programs and home-brewed tools out there for players to use to streamline characters and to look up rules. D&D Beyond looks like a response to that, but one that’s designed to aid the players who gather around the same table to play. As someone who’s had to redo many a character sheet over the years, an intuitive, digital version is something that I’ve wanted for a long time.
The system is due out sometime this summer, but you can sign up for the Beta now.