From popular television series to celebrity endorsements, Dungeons & Dragons has seen a massive increase in popularity. Individuals who never before imagined themselves participating in RPG’s (Role-playing Games) are now sitting down with friends and family and immersing themselves in fantastical worlds.
However, for many prospective players the most challenging step on their D&D journey is the very first… How to begin you D&D journey D&D.
Your first step into the world of D&D - Learn to Play
As with all games, before you you can play you need to familiarise yourself with the rules. D&D seems quite intimidating to observers as the story that unfolds in front of them seems almost made up on the spot, which in many ways, is true. But governing the flow of the story is a set of rules which gives structure and build to the experience without players being continuously actively aware of the rules , with the focus being on the experience above all.
The easiest way to familiarise yourself with these rules are through one of two products The D&D Starter Set and the D&D Essentials Kit. Both of these kits contains everything new players require to learn how to play D&D.
The Starter Set is aimed at brand new players with no experience in any RPG’s. The starter box contains everything needed to play a campaign. To make it more accessible, players are supplied with pre-made characters to get them diving into the action right away.
The Essentials Kit is slightly more advanced than the Starter Set. Still great for new players of any level, but adding some additional rule elements to the game such as guiding players through creating their own character. The Kit also contains some handy items for the Dungeon Master (DM), such as a DM Screen and maps linking into the campaign.
A logical path would be for new players to begin with the Starter and upgrading to the Essentials Kit. However players can start with either and when comfortable move to the next level of resources.
Expand your skills
Now that you have played the Starter or Essentials Kit campaign (or both) you know the basics of D&D and the world of Role-playing Games are as large as your imagination. From here the best way to expand your skills are with the 3 Core Rule Books. The Player’s Handbook, the Dungeon Master’s Guide and the Monster Manual.
After playing the Starter and Essentials Kit you will be well aware that there are two distinct roles in D&D: the Party Members (Players) and the Dungeon Master. To expand your skills as a player the Player’s Handbook is a must. This will assist you with character creation and all the intricacies around how to portray your favoured class and character.
If you favour the role of DM then the Dungeon Master’s Guide is exactly what you need to help you build a rich and engaging experience for the other players. The third Core Rule Book is the Monster Manual. This resource is great for DM’s giving them a library of monsters to use in the various possible encounters. The Monster Manual is also a great resource for players wanting to familiarise themselves with the various monsters roaming the wilds.
Now that you have upped your game and your adventuring party has made a name for themselves, you might be looking for a new challenge. Time to delve into the rich lore of the D&D world.
Again there are resources which are suitable only for the DM or only for the players.
For the party
The resource books which are suitable for players typically contains information about new character classes, new spells or even guides on helping you flesh out your characters back story. Some prominent recent releases, great for players, are Mordenkainen’s Tome of Foes and Xanathar’s Guide to Everything. Releases such as Volo’s Guide to Monsters, which is an expansion supplement to the Monster Manual, falls into the overlap category as they are great resources for players, but more aimed towards the DM.
for the Dungeon Master
Campaign books such as Dragon Heist and Tales from the Yawning Portal is aimed specifically at the DM. These campaign books essentially contain story lines and elements to assist the DM in running campaigns for the players. Best for players to avoid these as not to spoil the campaign before they get to experience it for themselves.
Up your game!
Any D&D player will tell you that you can never have enough dice. Technically you only need one set of RPG dice, however who can resist that brand new shiny set of dice that just personifies your characters personality.
Besides dice there are various complimentary items, not essential for play, but great for enhancing the experience. Spell cards, miniatures, specialised DM screens, there is something for every type of player and DM.
RPG’s are all about exploring different worlds and situations, the opportunity to embody different characters. If the fantasy world of D&D does not appeal, then there are many alternative RPG systems to delve into.
If you are looking to delve into your favourite fandom then the Star Wars and Star Trek RPG systems might just be the game for you. Alternatively the Genesys, Shadow Run and Warhammer RPG systems might offer just the right world for you to explore. All of these follows a similar entry as D&D.
Need more convincing?
Dungeons and Dragons is the worlds most popular Role-playing Game, and with good reason. The game has been around for a very long time, and with age came the opportunity to refine into an RPG system which is not just easy to learn and easy to play, but also grew a rich world around it just beckoning to be explored by new and seasoned adventurers alike.
But above all D&D is about connection. The ability to break away from screen based entertainment and connect with friends and family. So no more excuses adventurer! Grab yourself a Starter Set and let your DM guide you to adventure!