D&D Beyond Launch Date and Pricing Announced

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D&D Beyond has an official launch date now, as well as a pricing guide for current and future content.

In a cavern sit three women, a quietly bubbling cauldron nearby. They are withered, their bones gnarled and hair whitened by the passage of time. The cauldron begins to overflow. One stirs the brackish purple liquid, gazing within. “I see Beyond… the curse-wrought beast shall sleep, ’til Birnam Wood has come to Dunsinane.”

Much like a certain Scotsman, that time is close at hand. August 15th, the day which brought about the ruin at the end of that Scottish Tragedy, will also unleash the future of Dungeons and Dragons. Well. Look D&D Beyond is coming out the day Macbeth died is what I’m trying to say.

It’s okay, he only died in one timeline, but after he converged the other two in, he reversed the temporal anomaly and passed the test that Q set out in the 1st Episode.

Some might regard that as an ominous portent–but it’s also the same day that Pope Sixtus IV consecrated the Sistine Chapel. And it was the day of the beginning of the battle of Cer, which was the first allied victory in WW1–gonna give that one a mixed omen. The Wizard of Oz premiered–all of which adds up to about the same sort of reaction the news has been getting around the internet.

On the one hand, people have been enjoying the functionality of the app. Here at BoLS we’ve been employing D&D Beyond–there are definitely quirks to it. But if you’re looking for a good character builder, or something to help manage your campaigns, then D&D Beyond is a fantastic app. It’s also got all the rules packaged in, so you can easily look things up–but this is where the app starts getting a little clunkier. It shines when the rules are all indexed and you can immediately see status effects in spells and the like, but actually picking out options is trickier–basically. But all in all it’s a great app for keeping your game moving.

On the other hand though, you’ve got the people who are hung up on the whole idea of the pricing for the app. While not representative of everyone using the app, there’s are a pretty vocal segment who aren’t thrilled about the idea of paying money for a digital version of something they (maybe) already own.

We’ve got those details as well–the basic app will be free, which includes all of the rules that are currently in the beta test (so the basic rules/SRD as well as the Elemental Evil Player’s Companion. This gets you 6 character slots (more than enough), access to all the rules, the ability to join campaigns and receive content that’s been shared with you. You’ll also be able to subscribe either at the “Hero tier” for $3/month, which gets you unlimited characters and access to a wealth of homebrew content, or at the “Master tier” which costs $6/month, and allows you to share paid content with up to 12 other accounts. One Master Tier subscription to rule them all, and so forth.

But wait, paid content–what do you mean? I’m glad you asked, theoretical yet rhetorically helpful reader. Much like with services like Fantasy Grounds or Roll20 you’ll be able to buy digital versions of the books for use with the app. Digital Sourcebooks like the Player’s Handbook, Volo’s Guide to Monsters, or the upcoming Xanathar’s Guide to Everything will cost $29.99 (though during launch week you’ll be able to pick up the core content–the Player’s Handbook, Dungeon Master’s Guide, and Monster Manual–for $19.99 each.). Adventures like Storm King’s Thunder or the upcoming Tomb of Annihilation will cost $24.99.

So it’s a little pricey to pick all of that up, especially if you’ve already purchased the physical copies of the books–but if you have one Master Tier account you can share your content with your friends, so you can at the very least share the burden. Once you have them you have them, and they plan on continuing work on the D&D Beyond app, incorporating things like automatic combat tracking (where the app auto-integrates status effects and keeps your sheet updated round to round), or  Twitch integration, D&D Beyond is looking to make itself an indispensable part of your game, wherever you happen to play.

How do you feel about the new pricing information? What features would you want to see added to D&D Beyond?

  • Xodis

    Ill stick to the books I already paid for and pen w/ paper lol. Nice idea but way to expensive.

  • Aurion Shidhe

    Looks like a useful app that I am perfectly willing to pay to use at the higher tiers.

  • Malisteen

    yeah, the service price isn’t all that terrible if you play regularly, but the price point on books is just too high for content you’ll eventually lose access to when the service retires or if your cash flow situation ever changes and you have to temporarily drop the service. And I’ve had difficulty cancelling subscriptions to wizards online services, DDI specifically, in the past, so I just can’t trust them with my credit card info.

    And frankly? In 4th edition, the character builder was absolutely needed to keep everything straight, what with just how much content and errata there was to sift through. 5e content has been so sluggish that there’s really no need for anything more elaborate than a simple txt file to keep track of an individual character, while google drive handles shared campaign content perfectly well.

    It’s a nice app, and the book sharing feature is cool, but I guess I’m just not at an income level myself where the price point looks appealing for what you get.

  • Adam Klevenhagen

    Why can’t they just keep it free and linked to a website so that you need an internet connection to use it? Paizo already puts most of their content on their own srd site for free and they update it. D&D has gotten too expensive and its kind of upsetting that their official digital content is going to have a monthly subscription.

  • ReverendTiberiusJackhammer

    I must admit, I’m hesitant about a product that requires a combination of paid add-ons and a subscription for full functionality.

    Would very much prefer it if, say, the user has access to the sourcebooks so long as they have an active Master Tier subscription, and/or if there were an option to gain the Tier benefits indefinitely through a larger single payment.

  • Aaron Hawthorn

    I was excited for this product, but after testing the player character builder on D&D Beyond I have changed my mind. Personally I find it horrid.

  • Dan Rann

    The concept is interesting, even the subscription doest sound too bad, but to charge 20$ to 30$ for digital content is a bit over the top. If you’re paying a subscription already the core stuff should be free, outside of that I could justify paying 10$ to 15$ for an adventure book.