If you’re a fan of Stranger Things, the Netflix series, you probably fall into one of two groups. Those who have heard about Dungeons & Dragons and those who might have heard about it but aren’t sure where to start. Don’t worry. I’m going to break it down and give you a virtual beginner’s guide to playing Dungeons & Dragons – in real life and online!
Playing D&D in Real Life
Here’s what you need to do!
1 – Get Some Dice!
This is CRUCIAL! You can’t play without dice! You’re going to be using a lot of dice – likely, depending on your DM – so make sure to get a lot of them!
You’re going to need a lot of dice. Invest in a LOT of dice.
The cheap option is to just go to the game store and pick up a big bag of D&D dice. Anywhere you can find dice will have a pretty good selection, so just head to the gaming store and pick up a bag or two.
The game shop will have a variety of D&D dice for sale, in case you want to choose your own color scheme.
However, if you want to save some money, you can save money by buying cheap plastic dice in bulk from a website like Amazon. I’ve bought a LOT of dice from Amazon and saved a ton of money. Just make sure to read the reviews and ratings on the dice you’re buying. It’s all well and good to save $20 or $30 bucks, but if the dice you’re buying are of poor quality, are hard to read, or just don’t roll a fair number of times, then you’re just wasting your money.
The cheapest dice you can buy are plastic. While they don’t look as cool as the metal dice, they are cheaper and you’re going to be rolling them a lot, so it’s cheaper in the long run.
2 – Find People to Play With!
The next thing you need to do is find other people to play with. This is going to be a lot of fun, but it’s not going to be an amazing time until you find people to play with.
From what I’ve gathered, there are two options you can go with here.
Option 1 is find some friends of yours who are interested in playing. People who’ve never played D&D before may have some mixed opinions, but in my experience, pretty much everyone loves D&D once they play it. If you’re on Twitter, you can ask people who are following you if they’re interested in playing.
You can also try Facebook or even Instagram to see if you can find some friends who are interested in playing. Just post a request and see what kind of response you get.
Option 2 is to jump onto an online table and start playing right away. I know it can be tough to find people who are interested in playing online, but once you find a few people, you’ll have a group to play with for years to come!
The other option is to start your own table! If you have a few friends who are interested in playing, then start an online table!
3 – Download a Character Sheet!
Every good D&D player needs a character sheet. Just go to Google and search character sheets for Dungeons and Dragons. You’ll find a ton of options that you can download. They make it really easy to fill out the character sheet, so if you’re new, don’t be intimidated.
You can download a D&D character sheet easily online.
4 – Read the 5e Players Handbook!
If you’re already sold on the game, you may have already purchased the Dungeons and Dragons Players Handbook. If you haven’t, you should absolutely purchase one! If you’re an avid reader and you love fantasy, this is going to be a great read! The advanced rules and rules about the world of Dungeons and Dragons are all in there, so if you’re new, you’ll be able to get lost in this book for days on end!
Just be careful not to lose yourself in the book. You need to make sure you’re keeping up with your other players!
5 – Find a Dungeon or an Adventure!
When you sit down to play D&D, you’re going to need to know what to do. The best way to learn is to read up on some of the adventures you can go on.
If you’re playing with a group, you may already know about the adventure your DM has picked out for you. If not, you should ask them what they’re going to be doing! If you’re going to be playing online, you won’t have to worry about this step because you’ll likely have access to some adventures you can follow.
If you’re playing with real people, you’ll want to figure out which adventure you’re going to be going on, so you can get familiar with it.
6 – Start Playing!
Once you do the above, it’s time to dive in!
First, everyone will have to create a character. It can take a while to do this, so don’t feel like it has to be perfect. After everyone has made a character, you’ll need to level them up. Each character will gain a level as you play, and your DM will let you know how to advance.
After that, you’ll be ready to play. You’re going to go on a few adventures, and you’ll have a lot of fun!
D&D Character Backstories
Do you have trouble coming up with a great character backstory for your character? Or do you want to help your DM flesh out their world? Have I got some good news for you!
I recently launched LitRPG Adventures which allows you to create unique RPG content that’s suitable for Dungeons & Dragons and Pathfinder.
Wizard Character Backstories for D&D
You can also buy an ebook with over 300 character backstories! When you buy Wizards: Character Backstory Examples (Tower of Gates Fantasy RPG Guide Book 1), you can always have access to TONS of great character backstory examples wherever you go!