A team on kickstarter wants to take your next D&D session to the next level using AR tabletop technology.
Dungeons & Dragons. Even those completely foreign to the game will instantly recognize it as the epitome of nerd culture. It’s become a staple within the gaming community serving as the grandfather of role-playing games, having influenced nearly every RPG ever released since its initial publication in 1974.
Not bad for a game that takes completely within the confines of your own imagination, huh? But where D&D shines in its endless capacity for adventure, it kind of lacks in its visuals. After-all, beyond a few visual aids here and there and perhaps a special game board, most campaigns are just notes, stats, dice and Mountain Dew.
That’s precisely why Elder Games, a team of dedicated D&D enthusiasts, are looking to evolve the RPG with augmented reality, bringing your next campaign to life in an entirely new way. Currently under development, Augmented Reality & Dragons uses your smartphone to project a digital D&D campaign right onto any flat surface of your choosing.
Using an AR system based around physical tokens, users can generate a variety of characters, monsters and various other non playable characters. Moving these tokens around the scalable AR grid generated by AR&D in turn moves the character. A 3D animation of each character will be projected over their corresponding token, allowing you to watch their journey from a god-like perspective. Currently the company plans on developing two types of tokens: cheaper, punch-out versions and a more final ceramic edition.
And that’s appropriate seeing as you’ll be managing their skills, curating their items and leveling them up. The team hopes to implement a rich and complex character creation system at the very center of its experience, allowing you to build anything from an elven archer to an Orc cleric or even a Half-demon barbarian. After outfitting your character to your exact specifications, you will then be able to “export” your slick new you back onto a token for use.
According to the official Kickstarter, AR&D will allow players to choose from various mythological races such as Human, Elf, Orc, Dwarf, Demon-touched, Gnome, Half-giant, Lizardman and Halfling. All of which feature customizable natural variations, armor and other misc gear.
Finally, it wouldn’t be Dungeons & Dragons without hordes upon hordes of bloodthirsty beasts in which to slay. Elder Games promises 25 unique, scalable, animated monsters at launch with more on the way if the company is able to meet it’s stretch goals.
Speaking of which, the team is teasing a handful of seriously interesting potential features if certain stretch goals are met including sharable files, a built-in character sheet, extra monster npc’s, expanded character creator options (wings, tails, horns) and custom 3D file uploading capabilities for importing your own models.
Elder Games is on Kickstarter looking for $215,000 to bring Augmented Reality & Dragons to iOS and Android devices October 2019. $30 get you the app, $40 get you into the upcoming beta as well as several punch-out versions of the final ceramic tokens. There are several more levels above these with even more goodies for any super fans out there.
I don’t know about you, but as someone who’s been infinitely fascinated with Dungeons & Dragons, but have never had the time or help to learn, this could be exactly what I need to finally dive in.