Something Different – D&D Tools in Alpha

When I originally started to use this website as a blog as well, it wasn’t really my intention to only ever do the World Building Wednesdays. But alas, with a family, a full time job, and a podcast to edit, finding the time for that has been difficult. Aside from the world building, I will probably never have a consistent blog schedule, but I want to start fitting more in. For today, there are some tools I am in the alpha for that I wanted to write about.

D&D Beyond – Mobile App

As a group, we have been using D&D Beyond since it’s official launch. It’s been a great tool for keeping a digital copy of (most) of our characters. It also gives me a good template follow for creating homebrew for Erylia. Two of them have even been approved for public use through D&D Beyond.

Last week, D&D Beyond launch it’s upcoming app’s alpha. I had pre-ordered a copy of Xanathar’s Guide To Everything on the site, which got me into the alpha test group. So far the alpha is in its early stages and can only be used for downloading and reading the content you have purchased. I have been taking advantage of this by using it to fill in more names for a random NPC generator spreadsheet while on breaks at work using my phone.

Even without the app, I have found the D&D Beyond website to be a very mobile friendly experience. I have used it on my phone while running the game to quickly look up information. I also play in a game of Storm King’s Thunder that Chris is running, where I exclusively manage my character with the mobile website. I am definitely looking forward to future updates to the offline app though. After the holidays I know they plan to work on updating it to bring more features like character management and creation.

If you’re interested in how testing is going, here is a link to the feedback forum for the alpha.

DungeonFog – Alpha v5 Update

I have yet to do any sort of write up on DungeonFog at this point, but it has been mentioned on the show. It is a pretty straight forward map creation tool for table top gaming. The maps are created on a grid, so it’s main focus will probably be battle maps or virtual tabletop maps for now. I haven’t done any sort of write up or review for them yet because I want to shine the best light possible on them when I do. I have personally submitted a lot of feedback while using it, but since it is in alpha, it is not quite where I want it to be before doing a full review. However, the guys there have come a long way since the alpha went live.

Just this week, Alpha v5 was released, which is their first iteration with the dynamic GM notes they have been working on. I am super excited for this to help with giving me written text to explain what is on the map. I think they will be great since the podcast is an audio medium, so if they tool is working well, it will hopefully aid in visualizing the setting for listeners. They have also announced that they are about to move from their Alpha stage into Beta testing early next year. This should open up the pool of testers quite a bit and increase feedback and conversation within the testing group. If you are interested in helping shape the tool, and just can’t wait to use something like it, you can pre-order it and gain access to the alpha and beta test groups!

Damian the DMs Recent Guest Appearances

Hey guys! I’ve been busy over the last couple weeks guesting on some other shows.

Meet Your Masters (Of D&D)

First, I had a “video” call with Stephen, aka DarkLordFlufffy, to talk a bit about the podcast, about being a Dungeon Master, and about Dungeon Fog.

I had a lot of fun with this interview and having a chat. Since doing this episode with Stephen, I have even gotten a webcam, so the next I am on his show, you’ll go some video from my side of things as well. Our chat had a pretty wide reaching range of topics and was a fairly casual interview. We talked about what the podcast is and how it works, what it is like being a newer Dungeon Master, running a game for new players, and a little bit about the word of Erylia. We also talked briefly about Dungeon Fog, which is a map making tool that I was a Kickstarter backer for and is currently in Alpha testing. Stephen and I met initially through the forums for the alpha test and when he learned about the podcast he asked if I was interested in doing an interview.

Inter-Party Conflict

Also this month, I was a guest host on an episode of Inter-Party Conflict, a podcast that I have been listening to for quite some time now. Gabe, one of the hosts, and I have been chatting over on Reddit for quite some time now. He was actually one of the first people to review the show, and gave us a shout-out a few months back.

Gabe, Jeff, and I discussed one of the questions I brought to the table, “When does an NPC become a DMPC and should you try to stop it?” We also discussed some house rules and homebrew, including the spell Erylia’s Second Chance, which I created to give death a little bit more impact.

All of these guys are great and I highly recommend checking out their shows beyond just what I was involved in. Gabe, Jeff, Stephen, thank you all for giving me the chance to be a part of what you do.

D&D Beyond – A New Way To Play

 

First Impressions

When I first heard about the upcoming D&D Beyond platform on reddit, I was really excited for it to come out. Finally, there was going to be an official, legitimate, way for players and dungeon masters to get digital copies of their books. I know there have been other ways to get the D&D content in digital form, either via Roll20 or Fantasy Grounds, which I learned about from Dungeons and Randomness. Since we play in person, I wasn’t very excited about investing into a virtual tabletop just to gain digital access to the rules.

As a group, we own multiple copies of the core books, as well as the supplemental mechanics books. However, once D&D Beyond launched last week, I was excited to jump in and buy the core books. While they were on sale, I added the Players Handbook, the Dungeon Master’s Guide, and the Monster Manual, as well as the Masters tier subscription. Chris, also went ahead and bought Volo’s Guide to Monsters, since a few of the players use material from it. Right now, this is all of the content we have access to on D&D Beyond. Overall, I am happy with the service, though it could use some improvements. Read on for an overview of how D&D Beyond works, as well as some things I have learned along the way.

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