Joe Manganiello’s ARcana Brings Augmented Reality to RPGs

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You only need a handful of things for a great Dungeons & Dragons session. You can have a fantastic night of gaming with your friends with nothing more than a set of RPG dice and your imagination. But that doesn’t mean you can’t spruce things up with some fun extras. Maps and miniatures can make any RPG experience even more immersive. But soon there will be a way to truly bring your board to life, all without having to worry about where to store your pieces when your pals leave. The new Kickstarter for ARcana promises to use your mobile device to bring augmented reality to your actual tabletop

And it comes from one very famous RPG fan: Joe Manganiello.

If Joe Manganiello is part of your new RPG system (he’s the creative director) we’re pretty sure you’ve got a winning idea. But from the looks of this Mirrorscape‘s ARcana can more than stand on its own. Designed “so you can play anywhere, anytime” via an app on your iOS and Android operating systems, this augmented reality format lets you see your game’s board and characters come to life—all while letting you connect with your pals sitting nearby. That way you still get the fun of hanging out with your playing partners.

Rather than hold back your imagination, the ARcana app lets you build whatever you want. Its multitude of 3D-terrains can go however big or small you want with whatever specific features you like. And with different painting options, you can create your dream board the way you see it in your mind. It also features augmented reality minis from some major companies. Those include Dwarven Forge, Fat Dragon Games, Reaper Minis, and Hero Forge.

Three people sitting at a table playing ARcana, an augmented reality RPG

The system allows everyone to see the board from their own vantage point. There are also sections to show your real counterparts and all virtual dice rolls. But you can also elect to watch your character from a first-person point-of-view. However the coolest feature is yet to come. ARcana supports AR glasses. In the future you’ll be able to virtually move your pieces with your actual hands.

(Though before we get there, we’d like to invite our bud Joe back for a special session of ARcana CelebriD&D where he doesn’t have to cover up his face.)

The Kickstarter runs until April 30, but the campaign is already fully funded. You can back it now and get the app for as little as $30. If you want more bonus tiers loaded with extras stretch all the way to $250. And there’s a super tier of $1,000 available.

In the meantime keep using your imagination when you play with your friends. You’ll still need both of them when ARcana is available.

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