With Hasbro (who own Wizards of the Coast) buying Fandom’s D&D Beyond, many suspected that they would soon create their own 3D “digital toolset” that players could use as a virtual tabletop platform. This premonition came true with their launch of “One D&D” which is supposed to be the next generation of Dungeons & Dragons.
The One D&D platform will come as a bundle that includes D&D Beyond’s digital tools, the 3D VTT environment made with Unreal Engine 5, and the upcoming ruleset (D&D 6th Edition). All of this combined seems like an amazing idea, and it is. But does this mean the end of other VTTs like TaleSpire?
While One D&D will surely be a strong competitor to applications like TaleSpire, TaleSpire has a lot to offer that One D&D simply won’t have.
TaleSpire can be used for more than just D&D. While D&D 5th (and soon 6th) edition are common games played on TaleSpire, TS has so much more to offer. With the release of their new Cyberpunk expansion, games that take place in the scifi genre are now entirely playable on TS. Games like Star Wars 5e, Cyberpunk Red, and Warhammer 40k are all options for TaleSpire, especially thanks to their integration with HeroForge, which is another reason TaleSpire is awesome.
TaleSpire has been integrated with HeroForge which allows you to upload your own custom-made miniatures. This amazing option makes game creation even more fun as both a player and a dungeon master. This alone sets TaleSpire apart from other VTTs. While One D&D hints that players will be able to select/make their own minis, how much control you will have when doing so has yet to be revealed.
According to the article about One D&D by PC Gamer, “The virtual playspaces are meant to look like sets for miniatures, not like real spaces.” This is where TaleSpire can truly outshine One D&D. TS allows builders to create vivid 3D environments that look amazing and are loaded with realistic detail. While you could build very basic environments in TS, most builders go above and beyond to create playable boards that look and feel incredible to play on. TaleSpire offering this gorgeous, realistic environment is another thing that OD&D simply won’t be able to offer.
TaleSpire also has a huge lead in development and a loyal fanbase. One D&D is not expected to launch until 2024, which gives TS plenty of time to set themselves apart from the One D&D platform. By the time OD&D launches, TaleSpire will already be out for years with tons of options and game compatibility that OD&D simply won’t be able to offer.
You might buy a premade adventure on D&D Beyond, possibly bundled with a physical version, and get that playset on digital with terrain and NPCs, for example. You could then use it as-is or take it apart and reuse those digital assets and rules for custom scenarios.PC Gamer
Lastly, it is still unclear how much freedom users will have when it comes to building 3D environments. From the sound of it so far, you will need to buy pre-made modules in order to gain access to their assets and NPCs which you can then use to create your own environments. This makes sense because they are going to want players to use the One D&D 3D builder only for their D&D Beyond products. Allowing builders to have access to any and all assets for free to build their own environments would be a bad business model and it would be very surprising if they allowed users to have this freedom.
While One D&D may possibly discourage this kind of freedom, TaleSpire does the complete opposite. In TS you gain access to all building assets right from the start, no DLC required. You can then build your own worlds and import your own figures (or use the ones provided by TaleSpire). This, along with their easy-to-use user interface, makes TaleSpire the better choice when it comes to having the freedom to build custom environments for playing in.
While it’s obvious that One D&D will indeed be a strong competitor when it comes to playing Dungeons and Dragons 5th and 6th edition, TaleSpire simply has so much more to offer that comparing the two is like comparing basic checkers to 3D chess. Of course we won’t know all of the details until the launch of OD&D in 2024, but for now we can rest assured that TaleSpire will be just fine.