D&D Direct and Other Announcements – RPGBOT.News S2E36

Show Notes

In this episode of the RPGBOT.News, we discuss the first ever D&D Direct. We discuss the newly-announced product releases, compare them to our predictions in previous episodes, and share what we’re excited to get our hands on.

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Materials Referenced in this Episode

Transcript

Tyler  00:00

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Randall  01:07

Welcome to the RPGbot dot News. I’m Randall James and with me is Tyler Kamstra.

Tyler  01:12

Hi everybody!

Randall  01:13

And Random Powell.

Random  01:14

Howdy.

Randall  01:15

Alright folks, it has been a busy week in news for RPGs and RPG bots. In particular, we had D&D Direct last week, and the most exciting thing announced we finally have a release date for the D&D movie.

Tyler  01:32

Yes we do?

Random  01:33

And, you know, it’ll be next year, we got art of a pirate ship on the Sword Coast, we get the title Honor Among Thieves. And we also get the ability to beat this horse which has been long since dead. Honestly, I can’t be grateful enough for that fantastic option.

Randall  01:57

March 3rd, 2023rd release date.

Tyler  02:00

Yes. I’m very much looking forward to it. I will almost certainly have a movie marathon where I watch all of the previous D&D movies beforehand to get myself emotionally ready for this film. Difficulty I’m going to have…

Randall  02:17

You want to set the bar to a particular point so that this movie can leap across the bars

Tyler  02:22

Absolutely.

Random  02:24

Also have [garbled] leap across that bar. But alright.

Tyler  02:28

I’m also gonna have to figure out where you can stream them because I don’t know the answer.

Randall  02:32

Oh, we’re gonna have to get like, you know, $50 DVDs off of eBay because somebody found them and, 1000s of them in the back of Paramount or whoever organized it last time. There actually being sold as entire coaster sets for people who use coasters on their coffee tables. But this one, this one’s gonna be awesome. I’m super excited about it. Chris Pine, you’re gonna rock it. Yeah, yeah, opening night. We’ll be there. I mean, not, you know, not like the premiere, because we’re not gonna get I mean, maybe if you’re out there if you’re listening. We come with a…

Tyler  03:04

Stranger things have happened to us.

Random  03:07

No, no stranger things happened to a group of actors.

Randall  03:10

Oh, that premiere? Right. We should start talking about that. Okay, all right. Okay, let’s pause. Let’s pause. There were probably more exciting things discuss the D&D direct. And to hear more about it. We’re gonna go to Tyler.

Tyler  03:23

Well, so we got this brand new thing that I’ve definitely never heard of called Spelljammer. It’s like a Counterspell. Right? It’s they jams your spells? No, I’m kidding. We we have talked about this at length on previous episodes. We anticipated this all the way back in the fall in the future of D&D panel, when we were reading various tea leaves. The new Spelljammer set was announced. It is a box set that’s going to come with three small books in it. They’re about 64 pages each. So you have your setting and play auction book, your monster book and a short adventure. And it also comes with a DM screen, which… I’m… we haven’t gotten any details on what’s on the DM screen. But I’m really hoping it has all the rules for how Spelljammer ships work. Because if you needed Spelljammer, specific DM screen, I feel like that’s what you’re there for.

Random  04:11

Okay. And, by the way, double sided map, which presumably includes, you know, a ship… a Spelljammer.

Randall  04:18

No, that makes good sense. So to pause for a second for folks who maybe aren’t familiar with the Spelljammer world. Can you talk a little bit more about it?

Tyler  04:25

D&D in the space. That’s pretty much it. So basically, you have these ships called Spelljammer, which allow you to travel through what is essentially space and move between crystal spheres which are independent worlds within the material plane. So like the Forgotten Realms setting is a crystal sphere, and you take your Spelljammer ship and move between those settings. So it’s a lot about what happens in between those places. And what happens when someone from… from one world goes and visits another world. We’re getting a bunch of new race options in the player book for this, which include all the ones that we’ve seen in the travelers of the multiverse, Unearthed Arcana. I incorrectly saw Thri-Kreen and thought, Oh, yes, definitely Dark Sun this year. Apparently, Thri-Kreen are in Spelljammer. So, you know, that’s on me. We’re not going to get Dark Sun this year. So hold out hope for future years, but thri-kreen in space? Yeah.

Randall  05:25

Bug people in space. And the reason we had to have a Spelljammer is because if you attempt to cross that barrier without a Spelljammer, you go boom.

Tyler  05:32

I don’t know the answer to that question. I’m pretty sure it’s just outright impossible to do.

Random  05:38

The real implication is like Spelljammer is, which, by the way are creatures that function has ships, and then people built ships to act like Spelljammer…

Randall  05:38

Okay.  You know, fifth edition that might get a little bit of a softening rewrite. Let’s see how that goes.

Random  05:55

That would probably make sense. But yeah, that…

Randall  05:57

More of a Cortana thing going on then. Yeah.

Random  06:00

It’s not a place I was expecting to get triggered tonight. All right. The substance between Crystal Spheres is this stuff called phlogistan, which is extremely flammable. Though I think that Spelljammer’s is are mostly there as a ways for you to navigate the space of you know liquid propane because that’s what exists between settings.

Tyler  06:25

Liquid propane are affected.

Randall  06:27

So literally propane and propane accessories bundled into a ship. Okay, good.

Tyler  06:32

So for people hearing box set and feeling their wallets hurt if you’re looking at the previous box at the core rule box set and then the rules expansion gift set. Those were like 150 bucks. The Spelljammer box set preorder on D&D Beyond is only $50. So physical copies will likely be somewhere in that range. More likely slightly more expensive because they have to give you a physical box but who knows. So it’s not gonna be crazy expensive it’s not that much more expensive than just buying any of the, any one of the regular source books.

Randall  07:07

All right. I guess there were more tea leaves that we read a few months ago were we confirmed on anything else?

Tyler  07:13

Yes. Dragonlance. We got very little information about this one so far. There was a really cool trailer. There were dragons. I didn’t see any lances. We know that we’re getting…

Randall  07:26

One can presume.

Tyler  07:26

One can presume. We know that we’re getting an adventure book and the Heroes of Krin battle game and that is basically all of the information we have.

Random  07:36

A kind of funny thing if you go and watch the… the D&D direct on YouTube where it has the like running chat next to it as it was recorded live and people were doing it. The Dragonlance bit was just like the last I don’t know 90 seconds of it. And the person they got to narrate it. I, boy… I will butcher the actress’ name trying to pronounce it. She has been in a number of things including Arcane recently. She was in Expanse… The Expanse. So the entire chat was just like the name of her character from the expanse spammed like 12 times as she was doing the narration no one even bothered like calling out that it was a that it was Dragonlance are funny. But no, I mean, it does look really cool if it’s the same that we’ve been getting in the Unearthed Arcana stuff. There’s definitely in that Unearthed Arcana, which we’ll touch on later. There’s definitely some things that are more and less frightening. As far as character options go, the ballot game does look interesting. There’s like a miniatures and cards based thing. So WizKids has been generally putting out some decent products. So I will be excited to see what that looks like when…

Randall  08:54

The battle game is going to be like a standalone game that somebody could just go purchase. So it’ll be a Dragonlance flavored game that folks can enjoy independent of their D&D adventures.

Random  09:03

Correct. Yeah, as as I understood it, that’s… that’s the goal. And you know, it’s still very definitely very D&D themed, very Dragonlance themed, but it is intended to be a board game, not a D&D.

Randall  09:15

It’s kind of… I think it’s kind of funny like the the D&D board game that I played that I think I enjoyed the most was actually the House on Haunted Hill D&D spin off. I say that to say, I’m kind of curious to see how this goes, We’re gonna buy it.

Random  09:31

Well, I’m sure that at some point, the three of us will be in the same place and we can give you a review of it.

Tyler  09:36

Yes. We also got a couple of other products. We’re just kind of going to kind of rattle those off quickly because we don’t have a ton of details on them yet. We’re getting another new fifth edition starter set. So there was the first starter set, which will have the famous Lost mine of Phandelver adventure. The Essentials Kit, which brought in the sidekick rules for the first time. Now we’re getting a new starter set which is supposed to be You know, improved based on years of improved experience from Wizards of the Coast to make it even easier for people to get into the game. So I’m sure we’ll be reviewing that once we can get a copy. They announced a new kind of Pog looking thing and a travel case like you’ve got a bunch of flat discs, which for you with reusable vinyl stickers that you can use as miniatures. So like that’s a nice low, low volume doesn’t take up a lot of space. Hopefully inexpensive solution to miniatures, which generally can be very very pricey if you want a big collection.

Randall  10:35

Yeah, I This did not excite me so much.

Tyler  10:39

Totally fine. I’ve got boxes and boxes and miniatures sitting up on my shelf… shelves. The… I’m still trying to go through the first three Reaper’s Bones Kickstarter. They just put up another one recently. So you know. We also got the Monstrous Compendium, which is a digital only free collection of monsters, which is available both on the Wizards website and on D&D beyond.

Random  11:03

So a couple other things in the video game world, Baldurs Gate 3 getting more updates, a wonderful little, couple minute video we had from Larian, who, if you somehow have been playing D&D and never heard of Baldurs Gate, but have heard of Larian’s and other work. They do great stuff, Divinity, Original Sin, and Baldur’s Gte 3, of course, is basically just that, but more and also with the 20s. We also get an expansion for the Neverwinter MMO, which very Tiamat themed. Lots of chromatic dragons. That is good news. And then weirdly, and so like these two things kind of meshed in my brain. So we also get D&D Onslaught, which is a tactical skirmish miniatures game… is sort of in the flavor of Warriors of Krin that we talked about. They’re probably different things. I don’t know that I can tell you exactly what’s different about them, apart from one of them is presumably Krin…

Tyler  11:59

Yeah, we have very, very little information at this stage. But we’ll keep an eye on it. That’s basically everything we’ve gotten from the Dnd Direct. And of course, the very next day, we got another Unearthed Arcana article. So they released a second round for Heroes of Krin, which is options that we’re going to see in the upcoming Dragonlance adventure. And they made some updates to what was in there. It came with an accompanying interview video where they talked about, like, what was working well, what they wanted from the feedback process. The Lunar Sorcerer that we saw last time around, they were very happy with all the feedback. So that’s no longer in the document.

Random  12:37

That’s really interesting to me. I mean, you know, obviously not being the recipient of that feedback. And then being incredibly vague about what feedback they were happy with, like, you know, if someone said, Oh, yes, I want to play this. Like, that’s cool. I want to play that too. But that character is going to be busted walking out the gate. So I’m very curious to see… I wish that they had let us see the iteration on it instead of just saying, “Great, thanks!”

Randall  13:03

Well, I mean, so do you think that character, or will it be, I’m here to wreck my DMs day?

Random  13:10

I certainly hope not. But, I mean, if they released it, you know, as is in the first UA that we got. Dang, you should never play anything else. Like we talked about it in that episode, which you can go listen to and man, like, they’re like, okay, what if we took a Sorcerer and then made it a Wizard and a half? Good, good talk.

Tyler  13:37

I’m hoping we see nerfs they did. They did kind of the same thing with the way of the Ascendant Dragon Monk where like they put out one round of Unearthed Arcana, people really happy with it, they got a bunch of feedback. And then the final released version was severely nerfed. And they may have gone a little too far on that. A lot of people were way less happy with the the final publicized version. So I’m, I’m hoping that they managed to find a sweet spot with the Lunar Sorcerer.

Randall  14:04

So I’m personally hoping that like the internet collectively gathered, and everybody was just like, Yeah, this is great. You know, we don’t love it. Right? We think it’s a little bit hard to play. But I think you know, just put it in the book, we’ll see. Put it in the book. That’s the organization we really need.

Tyler  14:23

We also got updates to the Kender. So they lost their their weird trait where they could pull random items out of their pockets, which is, yeah, a callback to the Kender’s history of, quote, borrowing things.

Randall  14:37

Yeah, I did. I did a one shot recently where I was played testing some, some material, I’ll say. And it happened to be right after the Unearthed Arcana came out. So I had a player play, play the Kender race. It was interesting, and there were some funny things that we did with it, but it ultimately like… it was more or less completely in the RP vein but not in a way that necessarily was solving problems.

Tyler  15:03

Got it?

Randall  15:04

And so I’m, I’m really happy to see that go because it was great flavor and I think as a as a DM you might make the choice to allow that flavor to come in from time to time, but having it be like a built in mechanic felt, yeah.

Tyler  15:16

Yeah, I could see that. Well, they replaced that with a skill proficiency. They kept the ability to taunt people and annoy them in combat and immunity to fear so it feels like the most of the Kender flavor is still there, but they’re less like random objects fall out of my pockets. So learn from the interview video that accompanied the Unearthed Arcana release that apparently Kender descended from gnomes, not from halflings, which was new knowledge for me. We also got a bunch of new feats. So we got some new feats in the original Heroes of Krin Unearthed Arcana. And they’ve expanded that collection and updated the existing ones a bit. It looks like they’re really leaning into giving players feats as part of the War of the Lance storyline. So the adventure that’s going to come out later this year for Dragon Lance characters participating in that story will start with a feed at first level for free and get another one automatically when they reach character level four. So even if you multiclass are still going to get a feat. Now the feats are coming from a specific list and you can choose like, if you choose one of the two backgrounds included in the UA document, you get a specific feat. And if you don’t use one of those two documents, or one of those two backgrounds, you can pick from a small list that has some things like tough or skilled and a couple other options. And then at level four, and there’s a slightly larger list of options, which includes things like Sentinel and Warcaster. So like these aren’t crazy insane going to break your game feats most likely, but they are, it is still some power creep. So I’m hoping that the published story will account for that in some way. But it’s, it’s interesting to see what they’re doing with the backgrounds.

Random  17:02

Yeah, and this is one of those places where I think I’m going to really lean into one of Tyler’s core tenants of your settings specific material should generally stay in your setting. This is more a conversation to the players. Like don’t expect your DM to say, Ah, yes, you can have these backgrounds in your Faerune game, you know that you’re going to take and go fight in the abyss, and then back out of the abyss. This is not something where you shouldn’t say I expect you to give me two feats for free on every character. Like Tyler was saying, the story is hopefully going to be balanced around that in the word of the Lance. And I would strongly caution against letting this into most games because it just represents straight power greed.

Randall  17:54

Yeah, I guess that’s what I want to follow up with. So if the adventurer accounts for it, so that the encounters are, you know, they do milestone leveling. The encounters account for the fact that these are stronger parties, that’s fantastic. What about the homebrewer? Right? What about the person trying to create content in this setting? How are you going to balance your encounters? You know, what are held? You know, are they going to make a recommendation about if you take these rules, then maybe you add this much percentage to your… your XP pool for a given adventuring day? Is that something that maybe like maybe we take a look at it, and we throw out a rule of thumb, but I’d love it if they actually put that rule of thumb out for folks.

Random  18:32

Honestly, you what that might end up boiling down to as far as I’m concerned. I would like if they do put out that published module, I would start looking at functionally encounter levels for each of the things and at the level that you’re expected to fight them. And I would see how that compares to a different published module that has built in milestone leveling, like say Wild Beyond the Witchlight. So I would look at like, I would compare the two and say like, Okay, we’re here, we’re gonna get, say, from levels four to five, we’re going to get four standard and three hard and two deadly challenges in Krin. Whereas it would be like, one less of each, and all three of those were easy instead, in Wild Beyond the Witchlight.

Randall  19:23

So do something like a regression analysis to just fit, like the encounter difficulty against party level and see if you’re right, is that a steeper line?

Random  19:31

Maybe that sounds like the sort of thing that a website that puts out a bunch of DM resources based on math should do. Oh, oh.

Randall  19:40

No, actually, that sounds like a fun project. So really does stay tuned, folks.

Tyler  19:47

Yeah, so I hope that goes well. So there are two trees, trees, feet trees that are introduced in the UA. There’s the High Sorcery tree,

Randall  19:59

Terrifying… Feat Trees just dangling in the wind.

Tyler  20:05

So there’s a there’s a High Sorcery tree and a knights of something tree. The Knight tree is clearly intended for martial Characters The High Sorcery tree is intended for Casters. The High Sorcery tree gives you spells from various classes  spell lists. So like that’s a great option. If you’re like I want I’m a Cleric, I want booming blade, so I don’t suck with weapons. Or I’m a Wizard, I’d like to be able to cast Healing Word, lots of room for optimization and those things. The Knight feet tree grants, martial maneuvers and some superiority dice. So if you have a dream of playing a Battle Master and having all the maneuvers, just all the maneuvers, now is your time. Your time has come. You can get like six superiority dice and like 10 extra maneuvers out of these things, it is going to be a lot of fun for people who enjoy Battle Masters. And even if you’re not a Battle Master Fighter, like yeah, you got a couple of maneuvers to throw around. It should be fun.

Randall  21:04

So we need the Internet to gather together and give positive feedback but not too strong a positive feedback.

Tyler  21:10

Make it very clear, like we’ll play with this once. Don’t do this again.

Random  21:17

I am very excited. Because and we’ve… excuse us, please for burying the lead a little bit. So D&D Beyond has been acquired by Wizards of the Coast, which is itself part of Hasbro. That’s huge. That is a thing that the internet just kind of collectively threw open their jaws and said, ‘What? What?’ The biggest officially licensed thing, as far as tools go, suddenly becoming a part of the mothership? What’s this gonna mean? There’s a ton of things that it could mean, and there’s a lot of uncertainty.

Randall  21:17

Perfect. Yeah, so you say that it’s huge. Let’s actually talk about it by the numbers. So $146.3 million acquisition they’re bringing on go ahead…

Tyler  22:06

All cash, apparently.

Randall  22:08

Yeah.

Random  22:08

Which, jeese…

Randall  22:10

Just sitting in that treasure trove. Everybody’s… it’s like, why did why did they sell the, the expansion rolls boxset. Oh, there we go.

Tyler  22:23

That’s a joke. We don’t know for certain that that’s what happened.

Random  22:25

We do know for certain that it was carried across in chests and platinum pieces. They were very heavy.

Randall  22:32

Yeah. They’re… it’s a team of 80 people. And the projected operating profit margin once combined with Hasbro is in excess of 65%. So it is like this entity, under Hasbro will print money.

Tyler  22:49

Yeah, absolutely. I imagine. Like the increase in profit margin. There was D&D Beyond paying Wizards of the Coast to license the content. And, like Wizards of the Coast doesn’t have to pay themselves to license their own content. So all of a sudden, that just becomes cash in Hasbro’s pocket. So yeah, that…

Randall  23:09

Yeah I guess that was already cash and has frozen. That’s gonna be, it’s gonna be great.

Tyler  23:13

It’s more now.

Randall  23:15

Yeah.

Random  23:15

It’s investing in the future. All right. So we’ve… I mean, we’ve we’ve been a little bit businessy, which leads itself to a little bit of grim. There’s like I was saying, there’s a lot of uncertainty. There’s certainly a lot of good things that could happen. There’s also some things that, you know, could be very worrying.

Randall  23:33

Well, let me put it to you guys. Okay, let’s do a classic, you know, a spin on the compliment set much. I’d love to hear from each of you. Something you’re looking you’re looking forward to something you’re optimistic about. Something you’re a little worried about. And then let’s close on a high note something else that you think is gonna be good because I think ultimately, we do expect probably there could be more good than bad here. Yeah.

Random  23:57

One thing that was interesting if you… if you go and read Hasbro’s actual press release about this. One thing that’s just nebulous as to whether or not we should be excited is that they were likening it to expanding into the digital market with Magic Arena. And I’m just gonna leave that alone and then go on into this compliment sandwich. One thing that I am very hopeful for is a better incorporation of edge cases. People who read my guides may be utterly sick and tired of hearing me talk about how good the telekinetic feed is. But if you don’t understand how good the telekinetic feed is, you’re wrong, and you should go read my guide.

Tyler  24:34

It is really good.

Random  24:35

Telekinetic has never been implemented correctly in D&D Beyond. If you already have the Mage hand feet… the Mage hand cantrip, it expands the range by 30 feet. However in D&D Beyond if you have the Mage hand cantrip and you take telekinetic, you get two instances of 30 foot Mage hand in your character sheet, and it’s been like that since introduction which was… Telekinetic was Tasha’s, right? So that’s…

Tyler  25:04

Yeah, three years, like two and a half. Who’s counting?

Random  25:10

I am very excited for… with the combined forces of all of these great minds. Let’s fix all of the random edge case stuff. Let’s fix that let’s fix weirdness with damp, your bite attacks are only sometimes weapons and not. I’m very excited to get all of those resources focused on smoothing out everything. I am worried. And this, this one is sort of double edged. I could very much see a world in which they do decide to monetize on this even harder. And right now we have like a banner at the top for like, “Hey, you should buy our new thing.” And that’s great. But you know, I could very much see like, you gotta roll your… your attack roll. And they’re like, “Oh, before I let you roll that attack roll. How about you look at this month’s dice, you want to pay him? You want to pay us $1 for him. Now, okay, fine, I’ll let you roll.”

Randall  26:02

If you buy $3 dice skins every month, they stop advertising them to you?

Random  26:08

On the other hand, while this is definitely meant to be a profit generating exercise, because that’s how businesses and capitalism work. I could also see a thing where they say, ‘okay, we don’t need to monetize this as hard.’ Maybe let’s start giving some of our other stuff that we’ve made any way into this. Maybe let’s give people other background like D&D Beyond character sheet background art from our books. You know maybe… like so right now we have like mystic Odyssey as of Theros as a bet, like character sheet background option. Give us Strahd. Give us dungeon of the Mad Mage. Give us these things, because like the art’s there. And like sure, you could charge $1 for it. But honestly, you don’t really need to.

Randall  27:03

Okay, I gotta tell you, here’s what I imagined could happen, given I don’t know, the past decade of watching what media companies do. What if they stopped selling us books on D&D Beyond. And instead, you can pay a monthly subscription fee and have access to everything. And maybe it’s tiered that if you pay for the higher tier, you get access to the newer content, more quickly, something like this?

Tyler  27:29

So like a streaming service style subscription model?

Randall  27:33

Exactly.

Tyler  27:34

Maybe I have no idea.

Randall  27:35

That makes sense. I could 100% See that. Because how many you know, I’m right. They know their statistics. Tyler, you buy every book.

Tyler  27:44

Yeah.

Randall  27:44

Okay. I think you’re probably an anomaly. I think most people are maybe one book two books a year. But if they get access to everything they’ll pay, they’ll you know, they’ll pay watch 120 bucks a year, right. And if you’re sitting at home listening to this and wincing and saying, please stop putting these ideas out there. I’m sorry.

Random  28:03

Yeah, I think that the Internet would accept that as an either or model. Like, you can either buy the things and own them forever, and then pay the current existing small subscription to, you know, get your infinite characters, or paying a little bit more to share your content with your group. Or, you can pay your five bucks a month, and get access to everything. And then 10 bucks a month gets you access to everything, but it gets you the new books for the first three months that no one else gets.

Randall  28:36

Yeah, even more everything.

Random  28:39

And I think as long as that was an either or, that’s fine, that does allow people to choose. You know, maybe you do just want to hop in and be like, I want to hop in. I want to design 30 characters in my first three months of having touched this game, give me every book right now. And now you’d be like… ‘Okay, I am done with this, I’m gonna go back to being like a player in some campaigns and I just want to go by these four books,’ But honestly, as a trial variants, like I want to try having access to Tasha’s and then you either have to keep paying the money every month or you just go by Tasha’s. I could actually see value in that.

Randall  29:20

I think there’s a lot of people and it’s the unfortunate nature of that business model. There’s a lot of people who would use it for a couple months and then swear to themselves I’m gonna get a campaign going any month now, so they were just keep it there. This reminder anybody was at Paramount Plus subscription going. You still have that going?

Tyler  29:40

Well, there goes another person who will never sponsor us.

Random  29:44

Where else am I gonna watch that Cortana show?

Randall  29:49

Oh, yeah.

Tyler  29:53

Boy…

Randall  29:54

That was totally my fault. Cool. Tyler.

Tyler  29:58

Okay, so I know, everyone on the internet, including me hopes for this. And I still doubt that it’s going to happen. But some kind of integration between the physical copies of the books and the D&D Beyond license for the books. Something, anything, throw us a bone there guys. Like WOTC has historically done the thing where they’ll only do the alternate covers in friendly local game stores to motivate people to go buy them from your friendly local game store instead of getting it from Amazon. Because your local game store is very much an integral part of this hobby. And if they go away, the hobby loses something very special. Encouraging people to go into the store to buy those things, we know that wizards can do that. Why can’t they do that with like, you buy your physical book. Here’s a coupon a couple bucks off of the digital copy if you want it. If, if you don’t want to use it, you can give the coupon to somebody else. Sure. But that person is still going to go buy the book from D&D Beyond so it’s no great loss. Like this would be very, very easy for them to do they no longer have the issue of like, we can’t make that happen, because we’re licensing the stuff to another company who doesn’t want us to cut into their profits. So like, it’s suddenly way easier for them to do this. I still don’t think they’re going to do it. But I’m willing to be wrong.

Randall  31:22

You would love it, in fact,

Tyler  31:24

Oh, absolutely. Yes. I not only do I buy every book, I go down to my local game store, buy a physical copy, and buy a copy on D&D Beyond, because I’m insane. And because I run this crazy website where I write about D&D all day.

Randall  31:38

Now that makes sense. I think it was hard to put it, it would be so consumer focused, and bluntly, even if a few things happened in the background that folks viewed slightly negatively, or weren’t so excited about. I think doing that one thing would kind of smooth everything else out too. It’s like, yeah, you know, I don’t… I don’t care that you’re charging me for miniatures, or something, or you’re showing me dice skin every time I go to roll dice, because hey, at least you know, I gotta get discount on my books.

Tyler  32:06

Yeah, yeah, I mean, you can buy a lot of goodwill with a discount. So something that I hope they won’t do, I hope that they don’t build themselves a virtual tabletop. There have been kind of vague rumors and like trial balloons from the D&D Beyond team about building their own virtual tabletop. And there are a lot of companies doing that very, very well to cater to a broad variety of tastes. So if they do this, it’s going to be hard and expensive. And they’re going to be competing with a lot of very, very specifically dedicated companies who do nothing but this. And I’m sure the people on the DD beyond team are like, yeah, we can build a virtual tabletop. And I like, I’m not going to question their capability to do it. But that will be expensive, scary, hard and probably won’t work out. And the last time Wizards of the Coast tried to build a virtual tabletop, it was fourth edition. And it was a steaming failure for a variety of reasons that are way longer than this episode.

Randall  33:07

You know, that’s fair. And I think the point that you made is in my mind that the best point. There are a lot of fantastic VTTs out there today. Partner with them, right, like taking what what exists in D&D Beyond, fixing the edge cases, like random talked about, and then providing that API as a plugin, and then working out whatever deal you need to do that. So that, you know, there’s a strict partnership, everybody understands how to come to the table. If I have a great idea for VTT and I want to, and I also want to support D&D, I can come to the table too, and I can build on top of that, that would be fantastic.

Random  33:38

They already do some of that, like in Roll 20, you can purchase the officially licensed versions of WOTC campaigns. And like it just loads everything in for you. And it like all the monsters are there on the DM layer. So you can just bring them in. It’s got stat blocks, it’s got tons of stuff. So like there, they will be competing against someone they are already officially licensed to who is doing it really well with an enormous community. Please just don’t.

Tyler  34:06

Yes, just don’t.

Randall  34:07

I want to take your dream one step further. All right. Imagine if they develop the asset kits to go along with the adventure book says adventure books come out. And if they could work into that licensing, that I’m allowed to take… you know, I buy this adventure and I’m allowed to take this adventure to Roll 20 and redeem it with them. And so now I’ve taken this adventure to Roll 20, I play it there. It’s great for Roll 20 Because there’s a customer built in new super excited to play it. It’s great for me as a consumer because I bought the book now I want to play the adventure online. It’s great for D&D, because right they’re scraping money from everybody.

Tyler  34:37

Yeah, absolutely. I still think it’s unlikely unfortunately, but again, willing to be wrong. Maybe they’ll surprise us and do a bunch of really cool stuff that lets us do things like that. So…

Randall  34:48

Because we believe in them.

Tyler  34:49

Yeah. Yeah. So I have a super easy win, and hey, D&D Beyond team if you’re out there listening, I’ve got a really easy feature request for you. I would Like a clone character button. So weird RBGBOT, we like to build characters. Sometimes we build characters and posts like, here’s how you build and play this character on our website and like detailed instructions, here’s your build at every level. If there was a clone character button, people could go into D&D Beyond and say like, I would be interested in playing this character, click clone, it shows up in their account. Now they have that character. So like, they’ll still have to buy the books to build the characters. It saves them a bunch of time clicking around trying to copy/paste exactly what we have built for the website. Like, it gets a pumped bunch of people to go from our website to their website and potentially, like, buy books to play these characters. So like, easy win for them. I’m sure it’s not very technically difficult to implement. I am a web developer. Like I have a passing familiarity with how these things work

Randall  35:55

He’s seen in the Internet. Yeah.

Tyler  35:58

Yeah. So D&D Beyond team, please.

Random  36:01

All right. Yeah. So that was a huge week. I’m pretty excited to see where this goes. I think ultimately, we’re going to wait through the rest of this year to see how the fallout from all of these things goes. And yeah, stay tuned. If you’ve enjoyed the show, please rate and review us on Apple Podcast and rate us on Spotify or your favorite podcast app. It’s a quick free way to support the podcast and helps us to reach new listeners. You can find links in the show notes. You’ll find affiliate links for source books and other materials linked in the show notes as well as on RPGBOT.net following these links helps us to make this show happen every week. As a I mean, as a like actual TV show. It was pretty decent.

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