Dungeons & Dragons is generally called a pen and paper RPG, but a huge portion of the game can actually be played with technology. Obviously, if you want to play Dungeons & Dragons online, you’ll be heavily reliant on technology with tools like Discord and Roll20.
However, even if you’re playing D&D in person, you can actually use technology to replace a lot of the paper elements of the game. You just need a few high-quality iPhone apps and you’ll be able to manage character sheets, roll dice, and even look at the rules for D&D without needing a single book or piece of paper. What a time to be a D&D player it truly is!
1. D&D Beyond
Anytime you list a D&D service, the official site called D&D beyond has to be mentioned. There’s an official D&D Beyond application available on iPhone, and it’s quite useful (though it doesn’t do everything you might want it to).
How useful the D&D Beyond app is will depend heavily on how invested you are in its ecosystem. If you own a lot of rulebooks on the service, then it serves as an incredibly easy way to search through them and lookup rules, monsters, spells, and adventures. If you don’t own any books, it’s still a nice app for looking up basic rules, spells, and monsters, but much of the value comes from owning a wide range of content.
Unfortunately, D&D Beyond doesn’t offer the full wealth of tools in the mobile app. You can create characters (though an app for that is in the works), manage your campaigns, or use any of those more advanced functions. But you can use the mobile website for most of those features, it’s just not included in a dedicated app.
When it comes to creating characters on your phone, this is the app download (at least until D&D Beyond releases its app). It’s easy to use and comes with all the features you need to create characters as painless as possible. It handles all of the complicated math for you, so you can focus on the fun stuff like backstory and spell choices.
I like that the app offers a middle ground between D&D Beyond, which does all the work for you, and pen and paper, where you have to handle everything. You do have to use your brain a little to create a character with Fifth Edition Character Sheet, but it’s still fairly painless.
If you’re looking for lots of races, classes, and subclasses, this app is awesome. It doesn’t require you to purchase anything extra to get access to advanced classes, which makes it quite a bit more affordable than D&D Beyond (there’s an in-app purchase to get rid of ads, though). Whether you want to use point buy, standard array, or rolling for stats, this app has you covered.
If you’re looking for an app that’s a bit of a jack of all trades, this one is for you. It has a deep compendium that you can use to access information like spells, monsters, classes, races, and just about any other basic piece of D&D information. That alone makes it pretty useful, but it has some pretty cool other features as well.
Like Fifth Edition Character Sheet, it has a useful character creator that you can use to make a character with minimal effort. Unfortunately, it only contains the basic classes and races (but you can manually enter other ones). I personally think Fifth Edition Character Sheet does a better job of being a pure character creator, but the compendium and creator offered in Fight Club Fifth Edition makes it worth downloading (especially since it’s free).
This app comes from the same team as Fight Club Fifth Edition, but it’s designed for dungeon masters rather than players. It has some really cool features that you wouldn’t expect to find in a mobile app.
The main feature that makes this app worth a download is the encounter building, which offers some pretty serious depth. You can set a bunch of parameters and have it randomly generate a balanced fight. You can also input specific monsters and see if it’s balanced for your party.
Additionally, there are tools designed to help you organize your campaign, which is a lot easier than writing everything down on a pen and paper.