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Starting with Dungeons and Dragons

by Gabe 10 months ago in table top
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Taking that first step into this crazy world

From the first time I heard about DnD, I wanted to play it. But I had absolutely no idea where to begin, and less of an idea who to play with. I knew none of my friends enjoyed that kind of stuff, and I didn't know enough to start running a campaign. So I felt lost.

Until I realised I could make friends through DnD, rather than make my friends do DnD. I found someone looking for players through a website called DnDBeyond and asked if they would be willing to accept someone with absolutely no experience (me!). And they said yes!

Here's what I've learnt about those initial reaching out stages and about being a new player to DnD.

Your DM (the person running the whole thing) will likely be more than happy to explain things to you, answer your questions along the way, and guide you. But tell them that this is what you want before you're both committed to it. I could imagine how frustrating it would be to have a player who doesn't reveal that they know nothing about the game until the first session.

That said, make sure you're committed to doing your own research about it. Your DM is there to answer your questions and guide you in the throws of adventure, but go into your sessions knowing the basics at the very least. I'm talking research what you can do with your current class level - especially research what your options are during combat. Know things like your AC, whether you have darkvision, resistance, or anything like that. This can be achieved quite easily by just keeping your character sheet next to you whilst you're playing.

All of this said, your priority should be to have fun. So yes, make sure you know the rules and you know your character. But the biggest mistake I made was making a character I thought be interesting rather than one I thought would be fun. My first character was dark, brooding and antisocial. He had a deep backstory and lots of things going on for himself, but he was absolutely no fun for me personally to play. I didn't get to make off hand jokes, make silly moves or do anything that I enjoy doing. So make sure your character is one who you personally like. At least to begin with. Because when you're new to roleplaying, playing someone you don't enjoy makes it that much harder.

I have a few resources I would recommend checking out, most of which you can access for free.

DnDBeyond is great for character creation and making a character sheet you can refer back to.

If your DM is using Roll20, the Beyond20 Chrome extension makes rolling from your DnDBeyond character sheet loads easier.

For learning the ins and outs of the game, I recommend reading the player's handbook (make sure you read it for the edition you'll be playing - the latest is 5e).

I'd also recommend watching YouTube videos and listening to podcasts of other campaigns to really give you an idea of the dynamic that goes on during a session. I personally love the Dungeons and Daddies podcast, which is what made me finally take the leap into joining a campaign. But there's loads out there - just take a look!

Seriously - just remember to have fun, don't be afraid to ask questions or make mistakes, and know that everyone started somewhere!

table top

About the author


Hi! I'm a Psychology student aspiring to be a researcher! I am passionate about learning and sharing information with others.

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