A Beginner’s Guide To Dungeons & Dragons (Part 3)

by Wimwick (Neil Ellis) on January 20, 2010

Welcome to the third installment of our Beginner’s Guide to Dungeons & Dragons. D&D is primarily a social game, requiring five or six players for a normal session, though the exact amount will vary from group to group. Depending on your introduction to the game, you may already have a regular group that you play with. However, if your introduction to the game came through natural curiosity you may not have discovered a group.

Today we’ll provide new players with some assistance on how to find a regular gaming group. Additionally, we’ll point players in the direction of finding additional resources.

Article 1:
What Is Dungeons & Dragons
What Do You Need To Play

Article 2:
Creating A Character

Article 3:
Beyond The Basics

Places To Play

School Groups

Most universities, colleges and even high schools have a gaming group. This is a great place to find a other like-minded people and learn more about the game.

Friendly Local Gaming Shop (FLGS)

Your local game shop is a great place to find a group to play with. Many shops have gaming rooms where regularly scheduled games occur. If you can’t find a local game shop, look for your local comic shop. If they don’t have some games room they can probably point you towards a place that does.


Many large cities have at least one convention per year. Again, check with your FLGS to learn if there are any conventions in your area. For those new gamers living in the Greater Toronto Area or for anyone who can make the trip to Toronto in February, Spellstorm is one of the events in our area. Of course the big event for D&D gamers is GenCon, held every August in Indianapolis.

Getting More Information

There are plenty of places to learn more about the hobby. Subscribing to Dungeon’s Master will provide you with daily content geared at 4e D&D. Of course the official Wizards of the Coast website is also a great place to keep up to date on the game. A DDI subscription is, in my opinion, a great way to keep informed on the game and have access to some great official tools. Another great resources is the RPG Bloggers Network. Here you’ll find great community resources that cover a variety of RPGs.

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1 Afrocat Stevens January 20, 2010 at 8:30 pm

This is very helpful. I am new to DnD, and I am going to get a group started up at school. Of people who have never played.
THAT oughta be interesting.

2 Rook January 20, 2010 at 8:30 pm

As for conventions, I’d like to add two smaller conventions in Fort Wayne, IN. Not too much of a drive from either Indy or Toronto.

D&D Experience; in late January (28-31 in 2010)
Pentacon; sometime in November

I can’t make it to D&D Experience this year, but I’m planning on going to Pentacon, and hopefully Gencon. Hope to see you there.

3 Wimwick January 20, 2010 at 10:00 pm

@ Afrocat Stevens
Welcome to Dungeon’s Master and I’m glad you found the article of use. Best of luck in getting things started with the new group. Remember we all start somewhere and I know when I started most of us didn’t have a clue.

@ Rook
Thanks for mentioning the other two conventions. Not sure that I’ll be able to make either, but I know Ameron and I plan to be at GenCon this year.

4 Philo Pharynx January 21, 2010 at 6:54 pm

When I started in 1981, most people I knew just got the book and had to teach themselves. Now, more people are lucky enough to be brought in by an experienced group. (though it might be unlucky if they aren’t willing to be patient)

One advantage to picking this up on your own in the 21st century is that there are thousands of places to get help on the web. Blogs and forums to help hone your skills and learn how different people play. There’s a lot of places to go with questions.

5 kij January 24, 2010 at 10:13 pm

@ Afrocat: I know how you feel. I did the same thing last year. It’s actually a very cool experience. When you realize you actually know what you’re talking about, it’s extremely cathartic.

… I don’t know if you’ll have this problem, but I had to convince my friends I wasn’t crazy as well. Still haven’t succeeded.

6 Jamie February 8, 2010 at 8:41 pm

@Wimwick: I’m new to D&D and I live in Toronto. Do you have any advice on finding a group here? I’ve been having a really hard time getting into a game. Any help would be greatly appreciated!

7 Ameron February 8, 2010 at 10:04 pm

I’m going to jump in here on Wimwick’s behalf.

Every Monday a group of 25-30 gamers get together at 401 Games at Yonge & Gerrard in downtown Toronto to play D&D. Visit the Warhorn 401 Games site to find out more details. Every week there are at least three different LFR games. You need to sign up if you want to play. It’s a great way to meet other gamers in the GTA. I try to make it down there at least a couple times a month myself.

On February 19-20 you should check out Spellstorm 2010. It’s a gaming convention happening downtown. It’s a small event that will give you plenty of opportunity to play some D&D and meet many other gamers. It’s a relatively small convention (maybe 100 people) so you shouldn’t feel intimidated.

There’s also The Toronto Area Gamers (TAG). It’s a good one-stop shop.

And finally you can always ask around at your Friendly Local Gaming store (FLGS) and see if they know of other gamers in your community.

I hope this helped. Feel free to email me if you have any additional questions.

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