We were given an exclusive first look at the DungeonScape Beta, the official digital companion to D&D 5E this summer. We had an awesome play session (video and audio to come soon) and had a blast. Two of our players delve even further into the Beta release of the app below!
DANIEL: 8.5/10 for the DungeonScape Beta
So, Crit Juice got an exclusive first look at the DungeonScape Beta for the iPad and here's my review. All in all the DungeonScape Beta was fantastic. It made character building seamless and easy. This would be a great thing for a newcomer to D&D to ease them into a world. They take you through all the steps and explain as you go. Also, if you turn the iPad from horizontal to vertical, your information shows up in an old school style character sheet. Another great feature was you were able to shift the order of your character pages. So for example, if you wanted your feats next to your spells, you could rearrange them to make it so. This Beta was close to being perfect, but there were a few things I'd like to see worked out. One I would want it on other platforms, not just for iPad. I don't own an iPad, so I only got to use the builder once. I enjoyed it, but it would have been nice to use on my laptop or phone. The DungeonScape Beta allows you to roll die on the app, which is great, but they don't have separate dice for attack and damage. Now, understandably, it's only in beta and some of these things may be currently being worked out.
Crit Juice Fans - the DungeonScape Beta is a one stop app for character building and game playing. It brings D&D into a digital age. No need for paper, pens, and dice. It's all there on the app. However, this D&D player will still probably bring physical dice because he likes to get his roll on!
BRIAN: DungeonScape saves 5e for the 4e.
For some of you that don't know, I really started playing DnD with 4e. I loved it instantly. I loved the powers, huge damage I could deal (rogue/ranger), the "video game" nature. I had no idea about 2nd edition, or 3rd, or Pathfinder that I would hear other people mention as real role playing. I also didn't care to change because I loved 4e. Why would I want to play a game that seemed clunkier and wouldn't allow me to deal dozens upon dozens of points of damage? I wouldn't. When I heard 5e was harking back to roots, I began to pout.
DungeonScape has made me stop pouting. At least a little. The online companion that I got to dive into in it's Beta form may still be a work in progress but many things have turned me into someone who will willingly and gladly jump into 5e. Some things in my review, will be changed. Some may already exist and I just didn't figure it out yet. Some may be things I like and others will hate, the way I liked 4e and some did not. Here we go--
Love- I love that as you build your character, you can click on Feats, Characteristics, Skills, Attacks and Traits. This will pop up a window that breaks down what things mean, what bonuses you receive, and rules of the ability. This was super helpful for me as someone relearning how to play DnD in the 5e format. Minor Con-- this may be something that will be fixed as we go on, sometimes you click on something and the box is blank. Hopefully this is because of it being in Beta.
Love- You can link the builder to a Library. This can be limitless in the future. I had the player handbook in my library and for someone who is learning 5e this was so valuable to learning how to build.
Love- You can flip your builder and it becomes a character sheet. It is wizard magic. I just wish you could click the same way you can while within the character builder to refresh your memories on what things mean.
Don't Love- For the Beta it was only available on iPad. I had to borrow one just to try it out. I get that it is a Beta so not too big of a stink will be put up at this point. Hopefully this will be fixed and available on PC, iPhone, Kindle, Blackberry, Playstation, Xbox, Sega Genesis, and Gameboy. Not sure is all those systems will be included but they should.
Don't Love- This may be a small one, you have your digital d20 in (attack roll) with the rest of your digital dice. It makes it more cumbersome to use a really cool feature when playing without real dice.
Other things that I loved: Some of these things I can't contribute directly to DungeonScape but they do an awesome job of including it. It may be a 5e quality or it may be Dungeonscape being super rad. The artwork, the ideals/flaws, the ability score distribution, the ease of multiclassing.
Overall, DungeonScape does a really nice job. The cool things far out way the negative. . . and it is still in Beta. It can get better. I expect it will. It helps add a really fun element for someone learning 5e. It makes it exciting. It will ultimately be a reason I will play 5e.