Tobold's Blog
Saturday, September 23, 2017
D&D Reader

Another app for players of Dungeons & Dragons has been announced, called D&D Reader. Basically it is a kind of e-book reader only for D&D rulebooks and adventures. Instead of bringing a backpack full of books to your game, you bring a single tablet with all the information on it. And to some extent it is searchable, which isn't the case for paper books.

Now a few years ago I would have said that this is a brilliant idea, exactly what I needed. But since then I spent $280 to get access to all D&D books in digital form on D&D Beyond. As long as I have internet access, that gives me the same functionality: Able to read any D&D book on my tablet and search it. But the new D&D reader app is from a different company. So, you guessed it, if I wanted to use that app as well, I would need to pay *again* for all those books. Which would be the third time, since I already own the books in paper format and on D&D Beyond. Just to have offline access. No thanks!

Wizards of the Coast really need to rethink their strategy on this one. In this time and age it is a great idea to have content available in different ways, paper, online, and offline digital. But a full collection of D&D books is already expensive to buy once. The paper books should include a coupon for all digital versions. I was already exaggerating by buying the books twice, but who on earth is going to go for a third version at full price?


Same thing going on in the content industry since forever, they charge us again for every format change VHS => DVD => BluRay. I don't think WotC will break the cycle.
The same applies for virtual tabletops. Fantasy Grounds, Roll 20 and d20 Pro all have licenses with Wizards of the Coast for official 5E DLC so that's another purchase on top of the dead trees. (With Fantasy Grounds, it provides the ability to manually enter the data yourself for free (financially) but a heavy time investment; not sure if the other VTTs allow that.)
Feel like I'm beating a dead horse on this one, but Pathfinder provides it's stuff in PDF. In French. With fullblown adventure material, and outstanding support. Not for this campaign, obviously -- but you should at least ponder 'em for the next set.
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