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DnD Beyond has a new rival, as Roll20 buys Demiplane

The most prominent virtual tabletop, Roll20, snaps up Demiplane, in a move that's bound to have knock on effects for DnD Beyond and the tabletop industry.

VTT giant Roll20 has purchased Demiplane, a tabletop gaming platform which provides character creation tools and searchable rules for a wide range of RPG systems, as well as DnD 5e.

With Roll20, Demiplane, and DriveThruRPG (which merged with Roll20 in 2022) all now connected, the VTT now has the benefit of a powerful array of tabletop RPG tools that can complement one another. The company also partnered with Discord earlier in the year.

Speaking to ComicBook, Roll20 CEO Ankit Lal explained that their goal is to create a smooth experience for players of a wide range of different RPGs, to essentially make Roll20 a one-stop shop where players can buy content, learn the rules, make characters, and start playing – all from the same virtual tabletop.

A map from Roll20, one of the best virtual tabletops for DnD

As well as providing a lot of useful integrated tools for RPGs that aren’t Dungeons and Dragons, it appears this move will also make Roll20 a much stronger competitor for D&D Beyond, Wizards of the Coast’s official online platform.

Last year, D&D Beyond muscled in on Roll20’s territory somewhat with its own VTT, D&D Maps – still in its early stages. It seems to an extent this purchase of Demiplane returns the favor.

Though Demiplane cannot provide content outside of the DnD’s SRD, it can still crucially give players character creation tools and rules details on all the DnD classes and DnD races, as well as featuring other 5e-compatible content that’s not affiliated with Wizards of the Coast.

Just before the acquisition was announced, D&D Beyond founder and Demiplane Nexus cofounder Adam Bradford announced his departure from Demiplane. He’s now CDO of rival VTT Fantasy Grounds, telling Wargamer: “The goal when I joined Demiplane was to build something great that would eventually be acquired, and then I would move on to my next adventure. That’s exactly how things played out.”

DnD Beyond founder walled Garden - Demiplane photo of Adam Bradford

After creating not one but two influential tabletop RPG platforms from the ground up, Bradford tells us it’s honestly a relief not to be in that position a third time. “Starting things from scratch is an exciting proposition that I’ve now done twice in this industry, but it’s also one that requires a great deal of patience and a constant sense of ‘playing from behind’.”

As for moving to an industry rival, he says: “It’s a big space, and I’ve said for years with both DnD Beyond and Demiplane that players and groups have all sorts of options out there to use during play. I’m very proud of what we’ve built with Demiplane and hope to see great things ahead for the team.”

However, he’s now “fully dialed in on that next adventure with SmiteWorks and Fantasy Grounds.” He explains, “my initial priorities will be on ease-of-use and establishing a polished visual identity… two areas that I love working in.”

For more tabletop content, check out our guides to the best DnD books and DnD settings.