The team behind the free virtual tabletop Roll20 just announced a licensing deal with Dungeons & Dragons creator Wizards of the Coast, allowing the Roll20 platform to host art, statistics, and maps for officially published D&D adventures and supplements, starting with the introductory adventure Lost Mine of Phandelver. More D&D stories, including the upcoming Storm King’s Thunder adventure, will appear on their site soon.
Roll20 cofounder Riley Dutton states: “While Roll20 was designed to play nearly any tabletop game, the spark that pushed us to start the product was Dungeons & Dragons. Our very name, ‘Roll20’ comes from the concept of a ‘critical hit’ as popularized by D&D. For us, D&D represents an evergreen part of our gaming lives, and to be officially working with its creators and caretakers certainly feels like we’ve made a winning roll.”
Roll20 is an online platform that allows gamers to play roleplaying games like Dungeons & Dragons remotely over the internet. The service itself is free—unlike competitors and fellow D&D licensee Fantasy Grounds—though adventures and game aids like tokens and maps can be bought. The biggest impact of this new license means that gamers who use Roll20 won’t have to crudely sketch out maps or use generic monster tokens, but can enhance their game with Mike Schley’s gorgeous Lost Mine cartography and evocative illustrations from the Monster Manual.
Roll20 has a userbase of over 1.6 million tabletop gamers, and nearly half of them play the latest edition of D&D. Greg Tito, Community Manager at Wizards of the Coast, says that Wizards is “always looking to broaden access to Dungeons & Dragons, and Roll20 already plays a significant part of that expansion.”
Some Dungeon Masters also like to use Roll20 and virtual tabletops as a way to streamline and digitize in-person gaming. Roll20 automatically calculates rolls and, by the look of things, the Lost Mine adventure module includes helpful wiki-style links to allow DMs to easily access adventure content that might be hard to find in the physical booklet. The Lost Mine module will include “pregenerated characters, image handouts, maps, and tokens prearranged in Roll20 to help Dungeon Masters avoid lengthy setup times.”
The D&D/Roll20 partnership is launching with just Lost Mine at first, but “other licensed products will follow, including Dungeons & Dragon’s latest upcoming adventure storyline Storm King’s Thunder, which is available in Roll20 for preorder and launches September of 2016.”
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Featured Image and Image Credit: Roll20