Type of site
|Tabletop RPG Digital Toolset/Companion|
|Founder(s)||Curse LLC, Adam Bradford|
|Parent||Fandom, Inc. (2018–2022),|
Wizards of the Coast (2022–present)
|Launched||August 15, 2017|
|Media licensing varies|
D&D Beyond (DDB) is the official digital toolset and game companion for Dungeons & Dragons fifth edition. DDB hosts online versions of the official Dungeons & Dragons fifth edition books, including rulebooks, adventures, and other supplements; it also provides digital tools like a character builder and digital character sheet, monster and spell listings that can be sorted and filtered, an encounter builder, and an interactive overlay Twitch Extension. In addition to the official D&D content available to purchase, it also provides the ability to create and add custom homebrew content.
D&D Beyond also publishes regular original video, stream, and article content, including interviews with Dungeons & Dragons staff, content previews and tie-ins, and weekly development updates.
D&D Beyond was formerly operated by Curse LLC, a subsidiary of Twitch. However, on December 12, 2018, Fandom, Inc. announced that it had acquired all of Curse's media assets, including D&D Beyond. On April 13, 2022, Hasbro announced that it would be acquiring D&D Beyond. The official transfer to Wizards of the Coast, a division of Hasbro, occurred on May 18, 2022.
Acquisition by Fandom
In February 2020, D&D Beyond added a Combat Tracker which was open to subscribers for alpha testing.
On March 25, 2020, Bradford, now Vice President of Tabletop Gaming at Fandom, told Syfy Wire that D&D Beyond's normal number of new users had doubled in the past two weeks during the COVID-19 pandemic and that there was also a "a similar increase in the number of active users". In April 2020, The Wall Street Journal reported that "Bradford said the number of registered users has tripled in the past month, and the number of online players at any one time has doubled on average. The uptake has forced the company to accelerate the expansion of its infrastructure, which otherwise would have taken place months from now".
In January 2021, James Haeck, lead writer for D&D Beyond, announced his departure from the company. In February 2021, Bradford, Todd Kenreck (creative manager at D&D Beyond & Fandom), and Laura Urban (community manager for D&D Beyond) all announced their departure from Fandom for other projects.
Acquisition by Hasbro
On April 13, 2022, Hasbro announced its acquisition of D&D Beyond for $146.3 million, with plans to officially support previous purchases made on the service and have it be absorbed into Hasbro's Wizards of the Coast. The sale is subject to closing conditions and certain regulatory approvals, and is set to be completed in either Q2 or Q3 of 2022. Polygon highlighted that Wizards of the Coast is a large portion of "Hasbro's overall earnings since the launch of 5th edition D&D in 2014. With an operating profit of $547 million in 2021, Wizards' business unit accounted for 72% of Hasbro's operating profit for the year. Taking that into perspective, the purchase of D&D Beyond from Fandom for $146.3 million in cash seems like a small price to pay in order to lock down a platform with reportedly close to 10 million users". Gizmodo commented that once D&D Beyond is an official part of Wizards of the Coast, "they might offer some kind of cross capability with digital products across multiple sites, toolkits, and VTTs, making the capital barriers to gameplay less excruciating. [...] But also the uniform consolidation of digital tools under a single company's banner is not good for competition and therefore, causes the player to have fewer options for gameplay. [...] If fans still have to pay two or three times for a module, class, or item description across both WotC products and DnDBeyond, it's unlikely to create a sustainable market".
D&D Beyond derives its income from digital content purchases, subscriptions, and advertising. Its tools are generally free to use, though some require an account (which can be made for free); however, viewing the full details of content from the official Dungeons & Dragons fifth edition books requires owning that content on D&D Beyond or having it shared with you. This content can be bought as a one-time purchase; buying a subscription does not grant access to any content. The Verge highlighted that the acquisition by Hasbro "shifts D&D Beyond from a royalty-based revenue source for Wizards of the Coast to in-house development".
Books on D&D Beyond consist of the compendium content and access to that content's options in the rest of the toolset. The compendium content is a digital version of the book (as HTML, not a PDF), with all art and maps from the book as well; it includes cross-links and tooltips for monsters, mundane or magical items, spells, and relevant rules mentioned in the text. Access to the book's options in the rest of DDB's toolset allows those purchased subclasses, spells, magic items, monsters, and the like to be used with the character builder and other tools, and allows the user to see the full descriptions of purchased content in those listings (i.e., outside the compendium).
In DDB's Marketplace, customers can either purchase a book as a whole – including both compendium content and access to that content in the rest of the toolset – or purchase individual portions of that book separately (getting just the compendium content, or just the individual spells or subclasses that they want to use in the character builder, for instance). If portions of a book are purchased à la carte, then if the customer decides to purchase the full book later, the price of that book is discounted by the cost they have already paid for content from the book. At launch, the price of source books was $29.99 and the price of adventure modules was $24.99.
D&D Beyond also offers 3 bundles of books: the Sourcebook Bundle, the Adventure Bundle, and the Legendary Bundle. The Sourcebook Bundle includes all released official source books for Dungeons & Dragons fifth edition, and grants a permanent 10% discount on all future sourcebook purchases on DDB; the Adventure Bundle does the same for official adventure books. The Legendary Bundle includes all released official Dungeons & Dragons fifth edition books of both kinds, and grants a 15% discount on all future source book and adventure purchases. At launch, the Legendary Bundle (which included five source books and eight adventure modules) was $279.99. By March 2020, the Legendary Bundle cost had increased to $637.19 and included access to "more than 30 titles in all". The price of each bundle is determined by simply adding the current price of all books in the bundle, then subtracting the cost the customer has previously paid for books in that bundle that they already own. These bundles are updated with each new official release.
Official Dungeons & Dragons fifth edition content that is released for free by Wizards of the Coast is also accessible for free on D&D Beyond. This includes content from the basic rules and the System Reference Document (the "basic rules" on D&D Beyond are an inclusive combination of the two), the races and spells from the Elemental Evil Player's Companion, and active playtest content presented in the Unearthed Arcana column on the official Dungeons & Dragons website (starting in January 2018). For this final category, Unearthed Arcana content is generally added to D&D Beyond approximately one week after it is released by Wizards of the Coast. Once the playtest period has concluded for Unearthed Arcana content (whether it is published in a book or retired, as determined by Wizards of the Coast), it is archived on D&D Beyond; existing characters already using the content are able to continue doing so, but the archived playtest content can not be newly added to a character.
On May 10, 2022, it was announced that the digital release of Mordenkainen Presents: Monsters of the Multiverse (2022) will correspond with the delisting of Volo's Guide to Monsters (2016) and Mordenkainen's Tome of Foes (2018) on D&D Beyond as Monsters of the Multiverse revises the player races and monsters previously published in those sourcebooks. D&D Beyond then confirmed that users will retain access to previously purchased copies of Volo's Guide to Monsters and Mordenkainen's Tome of Foes. D&D Beyond also stated that they "may update naming conventions of content to easily differentiate our listings" for users who have purchased access to both old and new content.
Most of D&D Beyond's functionality is free to use, other than the content purchases needed to view non-free content from the official Dungeons & Dragons fifth edition books. However, D&D Beyond offers two subscription levels, Hero Tier and Master Tier, that expand the site's functionality.
The Hero Tier subscription grants a number of benefits. The site normally features ads, and the character builder limits free users to 6 active characters at any given time. However, the Hero Tier subscription removes ads, and allows users to create an unlimited number of characters. In addition, while homebrew content that users choose to publish on the site is free to view for anyone (even without an account), the Hero Tier subscription allows users to add published homebrew content to their collection; this content can then be used in the rest of the toolset, including the character builder. Finally, this tier grants early access to some new tools as they are developed. For instance, before it was made available to everyone, the encounter builder went through an alpha testing phase, during which Hero and Master Tier subscribers could make use of it and provide feedback to help identify bugs and guide future development.
The Master Tier subscription primarily allows the user to share their purchased content with others in a campaign group with them on D&D Beyond, in addition to all the benefits of the Hero Tier subscription. Though private homebrew content is automatically shared without a subscription, published homebrew content and official content requires a Master Tier subscription to be shared. With a Master Tier subscription, the user can enable content sharing for up to 3 campaigns they are in of up to 12 players each (as well as the Dungeon Master of each campaign). If content sharing is enabled, any official content owned by any of the players or the Dungeon Master (DM), as well as any published homebrew content in any of their collections, is shared with the other members of the group. As of August 2019[update], the DM of a campaign group can enable or disable the sharing of compendium content from each specific book with players that do not own that content; more specific shared content management options are planned for the future.
D&D Beyond content and character management system is primarily browser-based, and is fully functional on both mobile and desktop browsers. DDB's website is continually updated, based largely on input from users throughout the community.
On March 4, 2018, D&D Beyond's mobile app was first released into beta testing, focused on providing an e-reader for official Dungeons & Dragons content. The app allows compendium content for Dungeons & Dragons to be downloaded for offline use. Some users had criticized the app's lack of a character sheet or builder, which was one of the main offerings of D&D Beyond; however, DDB disclosed that character management functionality was planned.
In a D&D Beyond development update stream on October 31, 2019, Adam Bradford discussed DDB's plans to develop two additional mobile apps focused on the player experience and the Dungeon Master experience respectively; he explained that character management functionality would be included in this new player app, leaving the existing mobile app as a reader for compendium content. In March 2020, D&D Beyond opened up limited alpha testing for this player app to those current subscribers who signed up, and the alpha test began the following month.
Cecilia D'Anastasio, for Kotaku in 2017, wrote "when viewed as a toolset and not a replacement for D&D’s traditions, D&D Beyond is exactly the sort of digital facelift the game needs to stay accessible, streamlined and relevant". D'Anastasio highlighted one downside, which was that content from the DMs Guild is not automatically integrated with D&D Beyond. Gavin Sheehan, for Bleeding Cool in 2017, highlighted the ability to make homebrew content in D&D Beyond. While Sheehan believed the digital resources were worth the cost, he wrote that "the pricing will be the real dividing point for some people. [...] I can see people screaming that they don't get to own the material like you would a book".
Gus Wezerek, for FiveThirtyEight, reported that of the 5th edition class and race combinations per 100,000 characters that players created on D&D Beyond from August 15 to September 15, 2017, fighters were the most popular with 13,906 characters created, followed by rogues (11,307) and wizards (9,855). Druids were the least popular, with 6,328 characters created. Wezerek wrote: "when I started playing 'Dungeons & Dragons' five years ago, I never would have chosen the game’s most popular match: the human fighter. There are already enough human fighters in movies, TV and books — my first character was an albino dragonborn sorcerer. But these days I can get behind the combo’s simplicity".
Alex Walker, for Kotaku Australia in 2019, reported that two years after launch the D&D Beyond mobile app would be updated to include the ability to load character sheets. Walker highlighted that this was a highly requested feature from the launch of D&D Beyond; Walker criticized the delay in adding the feature especially as other versions of mobile character sheets had been done before effectively.
Charlie Hall, for Polygon, reported that in March 2020 the cost of D&D Beyond's Legendary Bundle was $637.19. He highlighted that the cost of the digital Dungeons & Dragons source books and adventure modules are about the same as the physical books, and that "many players are still defaulting to physical books". Hall viewed D&D Beyond as a luxury app and that he is "not eager to effectively buy the same content twice".
On the May 2022 announcement of sourcebook delisting, Christian Hoffer, for ComicBook.com, commented that "one major concern about the delisting is access to the chapters of lores contained in Volo's Guide to Monsters and Mordenkainen's Tome of Foes. Both books contained dozens of pages of lore about the D&D multiverse that don't appear in Monsters of the Multiverse. [...] D&D Beyond has not said whether the various expanded lore chapters will be available to D&D Beyond players moving forward, or if they'll be delisted and essentially removed from access by new players moving forward. Of course, D&D players can still read the lore in Volo's Guide to Monsters and Mordenkainen's Tome of Foes by purchasing physical copies of the books, which will still be available even after Monsters of the Multiverse is released next week".
- "D&D Beyond's Launch Is Here". Archived from the original on December 21, 2018. Retrieved December 21, 2018.
- "Announcing D&D Beyond". Wizards of the Coast. Archived from the original on December 24, 2018. Retrieved December 23, 2018.
- "D&D Beyond Twitch Extension". dndbeyond. Archived from the original on March 6, 2019. Retrieved March 4, 2019.
- "9 Things You Didn't Know About D&D Beyond". TheGamer. September 8, 2019. Retrieved May 3, 2020.
- "Fandom and Curse Media are joining forces". Wikia.com. Archived from the original on December 12, 2018. Retrieved December 13, 2018.
- "Curse Media and Fandom Are Joining Forces!". dndbeyond.com. Archived from the original on December 21, 2018. Retrieved December 21, 2018.
- Vlessing, Etan (April 13, 2022). "Hasbro Buys D&D Beyond for $146.3M in Gaming Expansion". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved April 14, 2022.
- Vanjani, Karishma. "Hasbro Pushes for Digital Growth of Dungeons & Dragons With $146M Acquisition". www.barrons.com. Retrieved April 14, 2022.
- "Change of D&D Beyond Ownership". D&D Beyond (Press release). April 22, 2022. Retrieved May 11, 2022.
- Zambrano, J. R. (May 11, 2022). "D&D Beyond Officially Changes Hands May 18th". Bell of Lost Souls. Retrieved May 11, 2022.
- "D&D Beyond Now Available". dnd.wizards.com. Wizards of the Coast. August 15, 2017. Archived from the original on December 28, 2019. Retrieved December 28, 2019.
- "Beta Report - The Week After". dndbeyond.com. Archived from the original on December 21, 2018. Retrieved December 21, 2018.
- "D&D Beyond's Dungeon Master and player tools will launch August 15 [update]". VentureBeat. July 18, 2017. Retrieved May 3, 2020.
- Naudus, K. (July 18, 2017). "New 'Dungeons & Dragons' site manages the rules so you can just play". Engadget. Archived from the original on October 26, 2020. Retrieved June 29, 2022.
- Thomas, Jeremy (June 5, 2019). "D&D Beyond Launches Encounter Builder Alpha For DMs". 411MANIA. Retrieved May 4, 2020.
- "D&D Beyond Encounter Builder Beta Preview: The Deadliest Pokédex". TheGamer. October 31, 2019. Retrieved May 4, 2020.
- Thomas, Jeremy (February 25, 2020). "D&D Beyond Launches Feature to Help DMs Track Combat". 411MANIA. Retrieved May 4, 2020.
- Grebey, James (March 25, 2020). "Dungeons & Dragons players turn to virtual tabletops in record numbers due to coronavirus". SYFY WIRE. Retrieved May 3, 2020.
- Rundle, James (April 20, 2020). "Dungeons & Dragons Players Also Battle Cyber Foes Online". Wall Street Journal. ISSN 0099-9660. Archived from the original on April 27, 2020. Retrieved May 3, 2020.
- "My Fondest Farewell". D&D Beyond. January 15, 2021. Archived from the original on January 15, 2021. Retrieved June 30, 2022.
- Zambrano, J. R. (February 5, 2021). "D&D: Big Departures At D&D Beyond". Bell of Lost Souls. Retrieved June 29, 2022.
- Sheehan, Gavin (March 7, 2021). "Adam Bradford Heads To Demiplane As Chief Development Officer". Bleeding Cool News And Rumors. Retrieved June 29, 2022.
- "A Q&A with Adam Bradford About Moving to Demiplane". GeekTyrant. Retrieved June 29, 2022.
- Hall, Charlie (April 13, 2022). "Dungeons & Dragons owner Hasbro is buying D&D Beyond, the RPG's leading digital toolset". Polygon. Retrieved April 14, 2022.
- "Hasbro Is Buying D&D Beyond, One of Dungeons & Dragons' Biggest Digital Toolsets". Gizmodo. April 13, 2022. Retrieved April 14, 2022.
- "D&D Beyond to Give Away Two Dungeons & Dragons Books Next Week". ComicBook.com. May 15, 2022. Retrieved June 21, 2022.
- Diaz, Ana (May 19, 2022). "D&D Beyond is giving away the Acquisitions Incorporated campaign book for free". Polygon. Retrieved June 21, 2022.
- "Dungeons & Dragons Brings Back Monstrous Compendium Series, Free for All Players". ComicBook.com. April 22, 2022. Retrieved June 9, 2022.
- "D&D Players Can Now Battle Vecna With Free D&D Beyond Update". ScreenRant. June 9, 2022. Retrieved June 9, 2022.
- "D&D 5e Journeys Through The Radiant Citadel First Chapter Available For Free". TechRaptor. June 21, 2022. Retrieved June 21, 2022.
- Benedetto, Antonio G. Di (April 13, 2022). "Hasbro acquires D&D Beyond to be part of Wizards of the Coast". The Verge. Retrieved April 14, 2022.
- Luther, Andrew J. (May 20, 2018). "D&D Beyond – Is it Worth It?". Inside the Tower of Dust. Archived from the original on December 28, 2019. Retrieved December 28, 2019.
- Vehovec, Doug (August 9, 2017). "D&D Beyond Pricing Announced…and a Bunch of Other Stuff, Too". Nerdarchy. Retrieved May 3, 2020.
- "D&D Beyond Reveals Smaller Bundles". GeekTyrant. May 10, 2019. Retrieved May 3, 2020.
- Hall, Charlie (March 4, 2020). "Why the Dungeons & Dragons $637 digital collection costs that much". Polygon. Retrieved May 3, 2020.
- DiLeo, Adam (July 31, 2019). "How to Play D&D for Free". IGN. Archived from the original on December 25, 2019. Retrieved December 28, 2019.
- Whitson, Linda (January 14, 2019). "Astral Projections – Try Before You Buy: D&D Beyond (Online Toolkit for 5e)". d20 Radio. Archived from the original on May 25, 2019. Retrieved December 28, 2019.
- Williams, Tommy (April 7, 2019). "New D&D Players Shouldn't Overlook the ELEMENTAL EVIL PLAYER'S COMPANION". GeekTyrant. Retrieved December 28, 2019.
- Liptak, Andrew (July 18, 2017). "How D&D Beyond brings Gary Gygax's role-playing game into the digital age". The Verge. Retrieved May 3, 2020.
- Bradford, Adam (January 15, 2018). "Unearthed Arcana Content on D&D Beyond". D&D Beyond. Archived from the original on December 28, 2019. Retrieved December 28, 2019.
- Zambrano, J. R. (January 16, 2018). "D&D: Unearthed Arcana Comes to DND Beyond". Bell of Lost Souls. Archived from the original on December 28, 2019. Retrieved December 28, 2019.
- "D&D Beyond Will Delist Two Dungeons & Dragons Rulebooks Next Week". ComicBook.com. May 11, 2022. Retrieved May 11, 2022.
- "D&D Beyond Delisting Two Monster Manuals, Merging Into 'Monsters of the Multiverse'". TechRaptor. May 10, 2022. Retrieved May 11, 2022.
- "Monsters of the Multiverse D&D Beyond FAQ". D&D Beyond. May 10, 2022. Archived from the original on May 10, 2022. Retrieved May 11, 2022.
- David, Ari (April 11, 2020). "D&D Beyond: Why the Character Creator Tool Is Worth Your Time (And Money)". CBR. Retrieved May 3, 2020.
- "D&D Beyond: How DMs Can Share Paid Content". TheGamer. April 7, 2020. Retrieved May 3, 2020.
- "D&D Beyond - Apps on Google Play". Google Play. Retrieved December 23, 2018.
- "D&D Beyond on the Apps Store". Apple. Archived from the original on December 24, 2018. Retrieved December 23, 2018.
- "Two Years Later, D&D Beyond Nearly Has The One Feature Fans Have Always Wanted". Kotaku Australia. May 15, 2019. Retrieved May 3, 2020.
- Bradford, Adam (October 31, 2019). D&D Beyond Dev Update - Character Sheet App News & More. D&D Beyond. Event occurs at 5m22s. Retrieved May 28, 2020.
- D&D Beyond [@DnDBeyond] (March 12, 2020). "Are you a D&D Beyond subscriber? Would you like to be an alpha tester for our new player app? Then we would love your help! Please enroll by filling out this form and you might be selected to try out the alpha!" (Tweet). Retrieved May 28, 2020 – via Twitter.
- daf_dafydd (April 8, 2020). "Mobile Player App Alpha Feedback". D&D Beyond. Retrieved May 28, 2020.
We're happy to announce that we’re starting to send invites to the alpha version of the Player app! The invites are going to be distributed among the subscribers who: [...] enrolled in the alpha programme before March, 25th[.]
- D'Anastasio, Cecilia (July 18, 2017). "D&D's New Digital Toolset Is A Convincing Argument Against Pen And Paper Purists". Kotaku. Retrieved May 3, 2020.
- Sheehan, Gavin (August 28, 2017). "Streamlining The Adventure: A Good Look At 'D&D Beyond'". Bleeding Cool. Retrieved May 3, 2020.
- Wezerek, Gus (October 12, 2017). "Is Your D&D Character Rare?". FiveThirtyEight. Retrieved November 26, 2019.