Ditch your notepad and pencils
The pen and paper RPG community has changed drastically in recent years. While there’s still plenty of people that meet up for in-person D&D sessions, more and more gamers are flocking to “virtual tabletop” platforms like Roll20 and Fantasy Grounds to get their RPG fix.
While those platforms are perfect for actually playing the game (rolling virtual dice and talking to other players, specifically) their shortcomings become evident when you need quick access to detailed information on game rules, class abilities and more. Roll20 and Fantasy Grounds do provide this information to a degree, but it’s clunky and often buried under multiple menus – which isn’t ideal when you need to figure out what your spells do in the middle of an encounter.
That’s where D&D Beyond comes in. D&D Beyond is an official D&D 5th Edition resource, created by Wizards of the Coast themselves. The website was announced in March and today it’s finally available to the public for free – with optional subscriptions available to unlock additional tools and information.
Within D&D Beyond, you’ll find detailed information on all official spells, items and monsters in the game – with the ability to add in or create homebrew content as well.
Though you can find just about any piece of D&D-related information you could possibly need on the site free of charge, you can also opt to purchase official 5th Edition rulebooks in digital form. Doing so will allow you to access them from the website at any time, which may be preferable to anyone who wants to ditch their bulky physical copies.
In addition to giving you easy access to important game information, it includes a step-by-step “character builder”, which has a tutorial toggle for new D&D players. This tool allows you to create and save up to 6 custom characters, selecting from any official race and class (though Volo’s Guide to Monsters races are strangely missing here). After you’ve created your character, you’ll be able to view and edit a beautiful digital character sheet at any time.
If you want to give Beyond a whirl, head over to the official website and register for an account.