D&D Beyond DDB

D&D Beyond Pricing Announced…and a Bunch of Other Stuff, Too

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D&D Beyond

With a week to go before the full launch of D&D Beyond, the digital source for fifth edition Dungeons & Dragons tools, several announcements were made about the pricing, features and more.

The toolset, created by Curse in partnership with Wizards of the Coast’s D&D team, moves the D&D experience more fully into the digital age. D&D Beyond contains all the tools and rules needed to create and play D&D content. The goal is to make D&D game management easier for players and Dungeon Masters. Integration with Twitch is another piece of the puzzle, too. D&D Beyond was designed with the live streaming gamer in mind, with features to make streaming your D&D game on Twitch easier for the players and the audience.

Some of this week’s announcements from the D&D Beyond team help clear up rumors and speculation about the product, others highlight and introduce extended features and some are new developments.

D&D Beyond subscription details

Perhaps the biggest topic of discussion about D&D Beyond is about the subscription model. What does a monthly fee get users? How much will it cost? D&D Beyond will offer a free account version, where users will still be able to use all the features, unlock official content and participate in the community forums. It can still be useful though.

For full details on D&D Beyond subscription tiers visit the official website here. Here’s a few highlights to give you a quick overview.

  • Hero Tier ($2.99/month; $14.99/6 months; $25.99/year)
    • Unlimited character creation
    • Add homebrew content from community to your collection
    • Removes ads
  • Master Tier ($5.99/month; $29.99/6 months; $54.99/year)
    • All Hero Tier benefits
    • Content sharing for up to three campaigns

D&D Beyond pricing details

If you’re gonna play Out of the Abyss, do it in style with a Demogorgon T-Shirt!

Digital game content like the Player’s Handbook or campaign books such as Storm King’s Thunder are not included with either free or subscription accounts. Only the free Basic Rules/SRD are available with any sort of account. Adding additional content requires purchase. Note that free accounts can purchase and unlock digital content.

Full details on D&D Beyond pricing structures are given at the official website here. The information is extensive and looks to be very customizable for anyone’s needs. This seems like a particularly cool feature the D&D Beyond team included based on feedback. According to the website, if a user wanted to unlock the tabaxi race without spending $29.99 on Volo’s Guide to Monsters, that is an option.

There are discounts scheduled for a period after launch, with the sale ending Monday, Aug. 21.

  • Standard Pricing
    • Normal sourcebooks – $29.99
    • Adventures – $24.99
  • Founder’s Week Sale
    • Core Rulebooks (Player’s Handbook, Dungeon Master’s Guide, Monster Manual) – $19.99
      • This sale ends on Monday, Aug. 21
  • Legendary Bundle
    • All five sourcebooks and eight adventures – $279.99
    • Player’s Handbook, Dungeon Master’s Guide, Monster Manual, Sword Coast Adventurers Guide, Volo’s Guide to Monsters, Lost Mine of Phandelver, Horde of the Dragon Queen, Rise of Tiamat, Princes of the Apocalypse, Out of the Abyss, Curse of Strahd, Storm King’s Thunder, Tales from the Yawning Portal
    • Pricing includes a 15 percent discount off standard cost
    • Discount applies to all future content
      • When Tomb of Annihilation releases, 15 percent discount will be applied
    • Legendary Bundle pricing will increase as later content is added
  • Individual and bundle elements
    • Race, class, spell, magic item, monster, background, feat, subrace, subclass
      • Various prices for each specific element
    • Bundles include things like all the races in Volo’s Guide to Monsters or all class options in Sword Coast Adventurer’s Guide
      • Various prices for bundle elements
    • Later purchases will take into account currently unlocked content
      • Example from website: “Let’s say you purchase 3 spells from the Player’s Handbook for $2 each (rounding for easier math) for a total of $6, then the PHB Races bundle for $6. If you later decide to purchase the entire Player’s Handbook, you will receive a credit on that purchase of $12, making the total remaining cost ~$18.”

D&D Beyond pronunciation guide

Working with Wizards of the Coast, and Matt Mercer and Marisha Ray, D&D Beyond includes an audio element. Both skilled voice actors, Mercer and Ray are part of Geek and Sundry’s Critical Role in addition to lots of other cool projects. Mercer’s new Tal’Dorei Campaign Setting from Green Ronin lets D&D players explore the world he created for Critical Role, and Ray is the creative director for Geek and Sundry.

Personally, despite what the pronunciation guide says I’m still going to call gray dwarves “dwar-gar” and shark-people “sah-hwa-ghin.”

If we’re lucky, a future product will have a new creature called “Itshyknoon.”

D&D Beyond’s new content manager

Amid the flood of announcements about subscriptions, pricing and features, D&D Beyond also shared this bit of news. Todd Kenreck, the documentary filmmaker and video producer/reporter whose Dungeon Life web series launched earlier this year, joined Curse in a content manager role.

Kenreck, who was a guest on Nerdarchy’s live chat segment, will bring his expertise as a journalist and producer to create exciting, engaging content for D&D Beyond. Under the name Doomsphere, Kenreck will maintain a presence on the D&D Beyond community forums. The Dungeon Life videos will have a new home with D&D Beyond and Kenreck will continue to deliver excellent content to help tell the story of D&D through its creators.

He will also manage the D&D Beyond social media accounts. With his decades of experience and passion for D&D, this is a wonderful announcement. It shows that D&D Beyond is certainly not a one-trick pony, either, with plans to expand and include a lot more than just rulebooks and databases.

What does D&D Beyond mean?

Say what you will about pricing, subscriptions or anything else, D&D Beyond shows that D&D is embracing technology and is committing to delivering the best possible experience for fans of the world’s greatest roleplaying game. Increasing exposure and accessibility to new players, and giving existing fans new ways to interact and play is nothing but a net positive. There is no requirement to subscribe, buy or even use D&D Beyond either at your home game with friends gathered together around a table or during online or live streaming game play.

However, it does offer a ton of cool features for all of those scenarios. If you already own all the physical books and don’t want to invest in digital versions, it won’t lessen your enjoyment of D&D. To me, D&D Beyond represents the possibility that gamers have wished for and tried to emulate through video games since as far back as I can remember. I like Neverwinter Nights as much as the next guy, but games like that and many others were’t really D&D. With D&D Beyond and especially Twitch integration, I envision the potential to play D&D anytime, anywhere.

The community tools only add to the wonder of D&D, giving players a community to share homebrew ideas that can be dropped seamlessly onto characters or campaigns. Adding Todd Kenreck to the team is a huge step, too, showing a much grander vision than a simple toolset.

One thing I am curious about is if there will be any partnership with Adventurer’s League. A feature to create content scaled for organized play as well as locate nearby on-site AL games or connect with online organized play would be really cool.

We’ll definitely keep our eye on D&D Beyond and are excited to see what comes next. Until then, stay nerdy!

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Follow Doug Vehovec:

Content Manager

Nerditor-in-Chief Doug Vehovec is a proud native of Cleveland, Ohio, with D&D in his blood since the early 80s. Fast forward to today and he’s still rolling those polyhedral dice. When he’s not DMing, worldbuilding, or working on endeavors for Nerdarchy, he enjoys cryptozoology trips and eating awesome food.

3 Responses

  1. j.b. diGriz
    | Reply

    I am truly uninterested in repurchasing content I’ve already purchased at price points anywhere near where they are. Three core books should have been $10, at most, if you’ve already bought them. Every other book should have been $5.

    It’s not like they didn’t use the money to develop this tool from the proceeds of the physical books. If it’s a completely new sourcebook from this point on, I can see giving people the choice of paying list for the physical or paying full price for the online content represented by the book. That’s a choice. Prior to this point however, they made bank off the book sales. I should not have to pay list price twice for the same thing. Online content accessible only through their tool is defective by design. It has functionality the pysical book does not, but it also is broken in ways a book is not. I can re-sell or gift the book. It is property. The content is just a license agreement to rent the content.

    • Doug Vehovec
      | Reply

      Thank you for the comment! There are certainly many perspectives on this product.

    • bioselement
      | Reply

      Except they didn’t. D&D Beyond is made by Curse, not WotC and as far as anyone is aware it’s only a licence agreement. I doubt Curse got paid to make the site.

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