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DnD Beyond releases Maps, its own 2D Virtual Tabletop

DnD Beyond has launched the Alpha version of a Virtual Tabletop called Maps, an official platform for playing Dungeons and Dragons online.

DnD Beyond Virtual Tabletop - a map of illithids in a giant crystal dome

DnD Beyond has launched the Alpha version of Maps, its very own 2D Virtual Tabletop, which will help Dungeons and Dragons fans to run and experience online games. Currently available only to players with a Master Tier subscription, D&D Beyond Maps is still fairly rudimentary at this early stage, but Wizards of the Coast plans to add new features over time – not to mention loads of new DnD maps.

Right now, however, it’s a perfectly functional Virtual Tabletop – though Wizards warns that bugs and performance issues are to be expected. You can upload maps; add tokens representing D&D monsters, players, and any companions they have on their character sheet; and place and slowly uncover fog of war. In other words, while it’s not as fleshed out as something like Roll20, it has all the basics you need to run your own online DnD game.

In a video released to the D&D YouTube channel on September 19, Marjory Layman, VP of Product and Tech for DnD Beyond, says this marks the start of the platform seeing more investment into DM tools and functionality. “We’ve been very focused on the player experience, and it’s time to start building for the Dungeon Masters,” she says.

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Right now, there’s a fair few premade maps from various DnD books on DnD Beyond Maps. The list of supported content as it stands is:

However, Wizards says it’s committed to releasing all its future DnD content on Maps, and plans to fill in a backlog over time.

Right now, a few obvious features are missing from Maps. You can’t create and add your own monsters, for instance, nor see the HP of characters and monsters on the grid. Fortunately, Wizards has shared a roadmap which looks to add these features in the future, along with draw, ping, and measurement tools.

DnD Beyond Virtual Tabletop roadmap

How does this all fit in with the flashy 3D Virtual Tabletop, which Wizards tentatively suggested would be coming out in 2023? Apparently that’s still on its way, and currently being playtested. “We’re building this ecosystem which allows our players to choose how and where they want to play,” says Layman.

Check out the DnD release schedule to find out more about Phandelver and Below, Planescape, and the rest of the content coming out in 2023. And for more helpful tools, don’t miss our guide to the best DnD character builders and DnD encounter builders.