How to Play D&D for beginners

Dungeons and Dragons is exploding in popularity recently due to media such as Critical Role and Stranger Things. On top of this fifth edition is very easy to pick up, with its simple rules. Despite this it can be hard to know where to start off. This article aims to bring you in the right direction while also getting you hyped to start a hobby that has brought people together and changed lives! We will cover what you need, Basic rules and common suggestions. We want to give our take on how to play D&D!


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How to Play D&D

Why Play DND

DND doesn’t have the same hand-eye coordination required of video games. It’s not set for the director’s vision like a movie. This game is all about storytelling and memory making. The Dungeon Master, the one who runs the game and is the game creates a scenario that all the players engage in, is more dynamic than a video game. Annoyed that you can’t side with a loveable antihero in your favorite videogame. In DND you absolutely can. Can’t explore a certain area, Now you can. Tabletop Role Playing Games are all about freedom to story tell and when these moments are created naturally during play they are super memorable. An Adventure will have a set framework but the adventure is yours to make.

3 Core Books

Firstly, is the players hand book. Most People engaged with DND are players.  This book is for them and gives them options to create characters and understand the game. Compared to other optional books DMS should allow players to use any content in the players handbook. There is a plethora of information in here and while some of the information can be found online, having a book decreases distractions.

 Next up is the Dungeon Master’s guide. For those running the game, the Dungeon Masters guide is your go to. A lot of dungeon masters don’t give it the credit it deserves. It is detailed and provides variant rules  that let you make your game your own. It also provides tips for everything your game needs which includes environments, NPCS and Treasure.

Finally is The monster Manual. It is a compendium of monsters with stat blocks to drop into your game. DND is about fighting monsters. It has evolved into other things but the core of DND and its mechanics revolves around fighting monsters. The monsters in this book range from iconic villains to fantastical creatures you may find while exploring.

There is a lot more to DND than just the core books. Wizards of the coast, the company that owns the IP of DND, has several other books that have come out over fifth editions Lifespan but these 3 core books are a solid foundation to start a collection. There is also material published by others to add to your game. We also encourage using your own imagination.


THE HIDDEN THIRD D OF DUNGEONS AND DRAGONS! For real, it is a huge occurrence in the community to become obsessed with dice. It is a way of expression so I recommend picking out something you enjoy. People tend to get pretty superstitious about dice but these have served me well! You technically only need 1 set but some people go crazy. There’s cheaper options than the one linked below but I can only speak of the quality of the dice I have. People first get cheap dice but then as a status symbol in the community. They next get metal dice.



Miniatures are a luxury part of DND. PCs may get their own custom minis from sites like Hero forge however MNMS or pennies can also suffice. There are 2 types of combat, theatre of the mind and battle maps. I highly recommend battle maps. It adds a level of tactics to DND that challenges the strategic minded like myself. I liken DND to the Fire Emblem series in terms of combat.  Gridded Battle maps like these pathfinder ones are what I use. You can use a dry marker on the to create the scene.


The Adventure

So you have everything prepared but you don’t know what to run.  The Lost Mines of Phandelver is an adventure for Dungeon Masters to practice running the game. It is perfect for transitioning into a larger adventure so it is very flexible. It covers the basics of plot hooks, combat, exploration and Roleplay. Of course there are other modules that you may want to tailor the characters specifically to. Curse Of Strahd, and Tomb of Annihilation are some of the most highly rated modules and have my personal recommendation.  Lost Mines of Phandelver comes with a starter kit of dice for you and friends.

How to Play D&D Friends

Roleplaying DND is a social game so you’ll need friends. While this may be a hard challenge, DND is a great way to make friends and there are plenty of people wanting to play. DND can be played with as little as 2 people, the DM and a player however for a typical experience you should have 3-6 players. You can definitely do more, (Thats how i started). It can be very hard on the DM to make the story involve everyone when there are a lot of players. I’d love to give my advice on running a large party but that would be a bit more advanced. 

Your friends will use the players handbook or other books, such as Xanathar’s guide to everything and Tasha’s cauldron of everything to create characters. These characters will each have their own Class, such as the physical Barbarian or the magical Wizard. In addition each character will have a race such as Human, Elf or Orc.  Players will need character sheets which they can print off from or they can download an app for the character sheet. 


TTRPG  rules revolve around mechanics. Different DMs have different styles where they either think of things on the  fly or stick to book rulings. Different Characters excel at different activities based on their stats and we use the 20 sided dice to accomplish tasks.  The number you roll correlates to how well you performed the task and based on whether you passed the check, a good or bad scenario thought up by the Dungeon Master plays out. You add a number to the roll which is called a modifier. For example a strong Barbarian will have a higher athletics score than the intellectual but feeble wizard. This increases the probability of the barbarian accomplishing Strength based tasks. This set up encourages cooperation and is the core of DND.

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