Thoughts on D&D Beyond Tiers & Rates
Well, today the long awaited announcement has come out, no longer do we need to speculate the costs. Here they are.
BADEYE (D&D BEYOND)
Toolsets & Bundles
We still do not have a price on this but I imagine I will make the prediction that it will be between $2.99-4.99 per bundled element. Thus it will make it more expensive to pick up all of the classes in this format than it would be to just purchase the PHB. It only makes sense that they will want to encourage you to think that the PHB is a deal.
Moving on to the cost of books.
D&D Beyond: $30.00
Dead Tree book: $49.95
Roll20.Net book: $49.95
As far as both Roll20.net & Fantasy Grounds platforms it is considerably cheaper than both of these formats. BUT, Each of these platforms currently are the premier Digital RPG platforms for games. They each also include tokens for all creatures contained in the product as well as handouts and maps in some cases. D&D Beyond unless updated once they roll out their Game Platform does not have any of these things.
Edit- D&D Beyond Tweeted me when asked.
@ What feature will be in Modules that you purchase. Will it just be a database of the adventure? Will we have maps w/quick links?Replying to @RunklePlaysGame
All the tooltipping/ crosslinking that is found throughout the site + all interior art + hi-res maps + all NPCs, monsters, items in listings
- Over 350 hours of campaign preparation completed for Roll20 users.
- Over 30 battle-ready Maps, enhanced with Dynamic Lighting.
- The High, Common, and Complete Tarokka Decks is included in this purchase and also sold separately.
- Original Castle Ravenloft maps in top-down format, exclusive to the Roll20 version for easier use with the virtual tabletop.
- Isometric Castle Ravenloft maps included for reference as player handouts, and also as interactive maps on the tabletop.
- Rollable Tables of all shapeshifters in the adventure. This means that you can easily click to change Strahd von Zarovich’s tabletop token from his human form to his wolf, bat, or mist form.
- Rollable Table of the Gothic Trinkets table. Players can make a single click to use this table this during character creation to get a trinket of some special significance.
- Deck of Illusions as a playable card deck. Players can draw a card from this deck and it will immediately place a token of a random creature on the tabletop!
- Statted Tokens featuring original artwork from Dungeons & Dragons. Tokens are linked to Character entries in the Journal, with Roll20 5th Edition OGL character sheets and clickable actions.
- Cross-linked handouts throughout the adventure
That is a lot..
Fantasy Grounds Modules include
- the entire contents of Curse of Strahd adventure
- image handouts that can be shared with players collectively or individually
- maps containing information for the Dungeon Master (DM) only and with all locations pre-linked to story entries which may contain additional DM notes, boxed text, encounters, images and treasure parcels
- maps with all hidden information removed and resized for use as tactical combat maps. * The maps of the interior of Castle Ravenloft are presented in an isometric format that won’t align with a typical top-down map format.
- tokens for many of the monsters in the module. When no token is available, a letter token is used to represent the NPC
- XP for encounters that can be dragged to the party sheet and awarded to the players as they complete them
- Searchable monster indexes by CR, type and in alphabetical order
Overall my thoughts land that with both Roll20.Net and FG you may be paying more but you are getting a considerable amount of features to use in their respective digital platform. Currently With NO info on the upcoming Twitch Integration for D&D Beyond you are getting a long less for a lot less.
Subscriptions run in two tiers for D&D Beyond. Hero and Master.
The Hero Tier at $2.99/ month is intended primarily for players. It removes ads on the site, allows players to create an unlimited number of characters, and add publicly-shared homebrew content to your collection to use within the toolset.
Now at the Hero Tier for $36 a year you are getting a digital home for all of your characters. Additionally, you will be able to any shared Homebrew content to your account. I could see this being a very nice and worthwhile and affordable high-end digital option. If you only use content from the PHB and you jump in on D&D beyond in the first week you would have digital access to all the content you would ever need for D&D as a player for $55 the first year and $36 a year every year after. Or $66 in the first year if you do not get in in the first week of D&D Beyond.
The Master Tier at $5.99/ month is intended primarily for Dungeon Masters and full groups. It grants all the benefits of the Hero Tier, and also allows a DM to share all her unlocked official content with other players within a campaign – so content does not have to be unlocked by every player.
($380 if Tiamat needs to have two books to complete)
Okay, that was a lot and I have taken a long time to think about how I feel about all of this. Overall I think that I will have to roll this into two rankings. One for Hero and one for Master Tier.
I decided to give both Tiers a Ranking on my Runkles Ranking scale. I am basing my score off of WOTC 4E D&D Insider. The D&D insider was a subscription service that in the last months cost $10 a month by month or $6 per month via year sub.
D&DI gave you access to a Character Creator, a Monster Customizer, and a searchable Database of the rules. Additionally, DDI gave you access to both the Dungeon and the Dragon online Mags. Lastly, it is very important to note that with DDI you had access to ALL D&D rulebooks as they were added. They were not required to purchase extra.
I think after taking into account the cost for a year as well as the options and features that this tier offers is a great value. I think that if you pick up a PHB and a year sub this is a 14. on my Ranking scale.
Master Tier Rank,
GROUPED MASTER TIER
I was nearly done with this and I stumbled on something that I find very worrying and that is as sample price breakdown that we will see if you want potentially purchase at the Hero Tier with Ala Carte Bundles. And let me just say WOW… I am not a fan.
This sample was to explain how a bundle package would work to make an Aasimar
So, are you saying that if all I ever wanted to do was to create an Aasimar Paladin with the Oath of Vengeance subclass, with the Purple Dragon Knight Background, equipped with a Dawnbringer and a Blod Stone in his inventory, that I would have to purchase:
- Player’s Handbook for $29.99
- Dungeon Master’s Guide for $29.99
- Volo’s Guide to Monsters for $29.99
- Sword Coast Adventurer’s Guide for $29.99
- Storm King’s Thunder for $24.99
- Out of the Abyss for $24.99
- In addition, say I subscribed at just the $3/mo for the next 12 months to see if this actually develops into a proper service and add a homebrew magic shield that the DM created to this character
For a grand total of $205.94
BadEye from D&D Beyond corrected him but I sill find it concerining.
- Aasimar Race – $2.99
- Paladin Class (with all PHB options) – $3.99
- (Purple Dragon Knight is actually a fighter subclass, but let’s assume that you mean some kind of background from SCAG): Shhh, don’t tell anyone, but you will be able to customize a background entirely, so if you don’t mind a little bit of typing, then the cost is $0. If you reallywanted to buy one, then it’s $1.99.
- The two magic items for $1.99 each
For a total of $12.95.
There will also be other “bundles” that will give you those things and other things like them for a good bit less than your original assessment.
The model has flexibility. Again, this is framed using your words of “if all I ever wanted to do.”
Interesting I will say that I was happy to see that I nailed the class price. But what worries is to see that it seems that they have directed the D&D game into price points. $2 bucks for each Magic Item and $2 for a background… NOT A FAN.
What are your thoughts on what has been announced so far? Like it, love it or hate it? Feel free to comment below!