Astral is a New Online Tool For DUNGEONS & DRAGONS with a Lot of Potential
I have a new tool for fans of Dungeons & Dragons to try out. The tool is called Astral and it looks really interesting. At first glance, it looks like Roll20, but more visually appealing. Here’s what I’ve come to learn in my very short amount of time working with it.
First, Astral is very new and so it doesn’t have all the bells and whistles flushed out yet. At the moment, only Dungeons & Dragons 5th Edition is supported in the character builder, but they say they’re working on it. The creators want Astral to be system agnostic which is a noble goal. I noticed that I would go to do a lot of things actually, an they don’t seem to be working properly just yet. It looks like the ideas are there, but the execution is a little bumpy. Once you remember that Astral appears to be only a little over a week old, I think that’s forgivable though.
Second, you’ll be able to use Astral very much like Roll20. It has a battle map feature, video chat, dice roller, encounter builder, etc. built in. This is sure to give Roll20 some great competition. Also, some weather effects and dynamic lighting appear to be free and potentially easier to use.
One big difference though is that Astral has partnered with DriveThru RPG to allow for a lot of fan-made content from the store to be implemented in your game. In addition, while there doesn’t seem to be real support for a character sheet yet, you can link to an outside character sheet like D&D Beyond for snappy looks.
I would highly recommend checking out the trailer below and while I wouldn’t say that it’s worth it to jump over to Astral yet, I would check in with them every couple of weeks to see how things are going. This is a tool with a lot of potential that shouldn’t be squandered.