Welcome to the first article in a series aimed at new player’s who’ve just discovered the great game of Dungeons & Dragons. I remember when I discovered D&D, I was left to my own devices to learn the game beyond the rules. Fortunately we have the Internet today to assist new player’s and answer any questions they might have.
While this series is certainly aimed at new players, seasoned veterans are just as likely to find nuggets of useful information within and I certainly encourage existing players to add their own nuggets of information in the comments section.
Topics that will be covered in the series include:
What Is Dungeons & Dragons
What Do You Need To Play
Creating A Character
Beyond The Basics
What Is Dungeons & Dragons?
Ask 100 D&D players this question and you may very well get 100 different answers. D&D was created by Gary Gyax and Dave Arneson and was originally released in 1974. Over the years the game has gone through many different editions.
D&D is a role-playing game (RPG), where players and the dungeon master work together to craft a story of adventure. Players take on the role of a hero and explore a world created by the dungeon master (DM). The game is framed by a series of rules to provide structure and the result of actions taken is determined by rolling dice.
At it’s core D&D is a game of imagination. Players are able to act out their character, share in an ongoing story and engage in heroic combat. Unlike computer RPGs, D&D is a social game where a group of players sit around a table and play. Player’s create the character that they play, from attributes, skills and combat powers.
One of the great aspects of playing D&D is that your player character (PC), along with your fellow group members, is the star of the show. He is the hero of the world, the star of the movie, the protagonist of the novel. As your PC engages in adventure, he will also grow in power, learning new abilities and earning magic items.
As a player you are encouraged to try anything you desire in a given situation. Creativity rules the day. The rules are in place to provide a framework, allowing you the player to attempt anything you can dream up.
What Do You Need To Play
On the most simplistic level D&D doesn’t require a very large investment from a new player. Books and dice can be borrowed from other players as you learn the ins and outs of the game. However, if you decide to leap right in to this great hobby here are the essentials that you will require.
The Player’s Handbook (PHB) contains all the information that you need to create a character and equip them. It also contains all the rules that you will need to adventure and explore during gaming sessions. While there are additional supplements available, this is where you want to start. You may notice the PHB 2 on the shelves of your local gaming shop and be tempted to pick it up. While it does contain new character classes and races, it does not have the rules you need to generate a new character.
It sounds simple, but don’t underestimate a good set of dice. You will be surprised by the various rituals you develop surrounding them. Don’t go overboard buying multiple sets, just purchase one that you can live with.
Other Miscellaneous Items
Pencil, Eraser, and spare paper are all useful for a gaming session. Some players will actually keep a game log or journal on their gaming sessions. You will also want a blank character sheet to record your PCs details on. I wouldn’t worry about purchasing miniatures right away, another player or the DM should have a spare mini that you can use.
Dungeons & Dragons Insider Subscription
This isn’t something you will need right away. However, if you decide that D&D is the hobby for you a DDI subscription is well worth the investment. The use of character builder alone is a great feature, access to Dungeon magazine and Dragon magazines is an added plus.
Join us tomorrow when where we will discuss some key questions you should ask when you are developing a new character.