Note: D&D Beyond provided us with access to their digital resources in exchange for this write up.
It’s no secret that Dungeons & Dragons has carved out a prominent place for itself in mainstream popular culture in recent years. Aided by hits like Stranger Things, as well as the continued blockbuster success of Critical Role and many other Twitch streams and podcasts, more and more people are becoming “D&D-curious”.
Of course, sitting around a table with friends has become a bit more…complicated over the past year, which is where services like D&D Beyond have proven to be invaluable in creating a space for players, new and old, to go on epic adventures together.
As the subject of many Sam Riegel ads during the opening segments of Critical Role, D&D Beyond is the main sponsor of the Twitch D&D series mega-hit, but aside from the catchy, 90s themed commercial that got put together, what’s the service really about?
Put simply, D&D beyond is a hub where you can create characters, and campaigns, armed with the digitized version of classic D&D Sourcebooks and the countless modules that have been released since 5th edition first came out in 2014.
As a player, you can create characters and have access to any of the digital resources that your DM has (more on that in a moment). The character creation process is thankfully painless and straightforward, allowing you to plug and play, while exploring potential options for your character in a non-destructive way.
You can take the creation from the top, manually, with a “standard” build, put together a 1st level “quick” build or randomize a character given it has certain characteristics.
Even if you take the reins, there’s still a good amount of wiggle room to adjust for error. For example, maybe you decided that multi-class option wasn’t the best, or the background you chose didn’t give you the proficiencies you were looking for. Things that are readily fixable with a couple of clicks.
Now, staying up to date with the latest modules and materials for Dungeons & Dragons can be pretty pricey. With dozens of books and modules released already, you may find yourself overwhelmed with which adventures you want to dig into, if any.
This brings me to one of the coolest elements of D&D Beyond: the Master Tier subscription, which lets you share any resources that you have with your players. By going in on a legendary bundle with some friends, anyone in the group can access every single 5e resources that’s been released to date, and anyone in the group can be the Dungeon Master (DM) as well. Whether you’re looking for interesting monsters, unique plot hooks, or more likely exploring new classes/subclasses, the sheer depth of content to explore makes it a worthwhile investment to be sure!
While loaded with tons of awesome features, there are definitely some things that I’m hoping for D&D Beyond to add in the not too distant future. Some things I would love to see soon include a digital map system and integrated music to help with the immersion, as well as more character art options to show players who they’re encountering as the adventures progress.
However, between the content sharing, ever-expanding digital dice options, quick and effective encounter building engine and much more, D&D Beyond really makes pick-up games of D&D accessible for you and your friends.
You can learn more about D&D Beyond here. Thanks again to the team for giving us access – we’ve been having a blast with a recent Rime of the Frostmaiden run, and we’re excited to share how the new modules affect gameplay.