Why Shard Tabletop is the Best Virtual Table for Remote Gaming

Like Dungeons & Dragons has exploded in popularity, as has the number of virtual tables available. The ATV world has provided groups with the tools to continue playing D&D remotely or in person. Many have subscriptions that allow users to run multiple campaigns, receive exclusive content, and gain access to more features. Over the years there have been many advancements in the industry, but one great option seems to have slipped under the radar: Shard Tabletop.

Shard completed its Kickstarter in February 2021 with 730 backers raising $56,000, well above its goal of $12,000. While like other ATVs, Shard has different subscription levels and offers the same basic tools, what sets it apart are its many innovative features and versatility.

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Shard takes their MTB one step further by offering plenty of support to their users through an active Discord server. The server has various channels where users can ask questions about custom content creation, keep up to date with what’s new in the market, and provide feedback on the Shard beta. It’s also a great place to see consistent updates coming out of the beta, such as an option to import characters from D&D Beyond. Commenting on the Discord server creates a sense of belonging to MTB, allowing users to raise issues or new ideas that can be incorporated later.

Shard D&D MTB 2
Shard Virtual Tabletop with battle map and creature stats block

A big part of what makes Shard special is its selection of tiers. Fifth Edition content. Many creators helped push the Kickstarter with rewards and new content, such as Kobold Press, Peterson Games, and Oracle Underground Edition. These creators have many other adventures, monster manuals, and character options for sale on the site. This is also where users can purchase subscriptions. These range from $2.99 ​​per month with the Adventurer subscription to $9.99 per month with the Gamemaster Pro subscription.

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One downside is the lack of official J&D books and adventures, because Shard is not allowed to sell them like D&D Beyond does. However, after a slight learning curve with the system, which is aided by Discord and the Learn page, creating and running custom content on Shard is incredibly easy. Gamemasters are able to write adventures, import battle maps, and create balanced encounters, and players can create characters using a huge range of options, which GMs can restrict to suit their needs. adapt to their campaign.

Shard Table Market
Shard Tabletop Market

Once adventures are written, encounters prepared, and characters created, players and GMs can put it all together using the Virtual Table. The player view contains the battle map and its character sheet, while the GM view allows game masters to see all the details of their campaign on a single screen. This screen is divided into three parts which can be hidden or resized. On the left is the initiative track where GMs can see current monsters and player characters organized by initiative.

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The middle is for the battle map. The GM and players can all see this, although the GM can fog areas of the map as desired. Here players can add spell tokens, create area of ​​effect markers, and measure their movements. The last section to the right of the GM view displays all the information needed to conduct campaigns and encounters. They can read the book they use to conduct the adventure or, when a fight breaks out, see and use the creatures’ stat blocks.

Not only is Shard useful for remote gaming, but it’s also handy for in-person gaming. Shard’s mobile site is no different than an app, making it easy to use the online character sheet at the table. GM View also allows the GM to project the player’s view, upgrading any connectable screen in the room to a battle map. All of this makes Shard incredibly versatile and useful for any D&D campaign, no matter where it takes place.


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