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Wizards’ DnD virtual tabletop “hopefully” coming this year

The official DnD virtual tabletop is coming out in some form in 2023, and in new footage its looking very pretty indeed - and a lot like a videogame.

The official DnD virtual tabletop is expected some time this year. Wizards of the Coast tentatively announced a 2023 release window in its latest DnD Direct on Tuesday, March 28, which also showed off some sexy new screenshots and footage of (an early version of) the VTT in action.

Announced in August 2022, alongside the upcoming edition One D&D, Wizards is working on its own DnD virtual tabletop, a programme which will provide the feeling of playing DnD with a physical grid and DnD minis. It’s expected to be a competitor to existing third-party VTTs such as Roll20. D&D digital game designer Kale Stutzman says “we’re going to open it up slowly to more and more people” and that “hopefully a lot of people listening will be able to play it this year”.

The currently untitled DnD Virtual Tabletop uses Unreal Engine 5, often used in 3D video games. It’s unsurprising then, that new images look a lot like a high fidelity cRPG videogame, such as Divinity Original Sin or Baldur’s Gate 3. New footage and pics show dice rolls, health bars, detailed environment and models, and fire and water effects.

In the DnD Direct showcase, Wizards explains that the virtual tabletop is intended to show you the rules, but it doesn’t want to enforce them. For instance, when you select your character you’ll be able to see how far they should be able to move based on the rules, just as you would in a comparable videogame. The difference is, if you can convince the DM to let you do something that’s not strictly in the rules, the VTT won’t stop you.

When the DnD VTT was first announced, Wizards promised “robust tools” which DMs could use to create their own dungeons. In the new video, Wizards says it wants to make things using building blocks you can easily break down to make your own content. The video speaks in broad terms about a modding community, where you can download other people’s stuff and check it out.

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The DnD virtual tabletop will be releasing this year… hopefully… for some people. Check out the DnD Direct video for more details (and to chuckle at how the presenters are sitting around in the same room with their laptops out, so they don’t really need a VTT at all!)