Dungeons and Dragons: The world’s greatest role-playing game has started to take over geek culture in recent years with appearances in Stranger Things and rising popularity from Critical Role.
So, why should you start playing D&D this year? This article is my pitch to try to convince more people to pick up a set of dice, take pencil to paper and make a character and find yourself a group to play D&D with because speaking from experience, I’ve had some of the best times playing this game, met some great people and said sentences that I’d never thought I’d say out loud. ‘Yes, you can loot the goblins to see what kind of panties they have.
Let’s start with what is most likely the main reason that you want to play: you watched Lord of the Rings and need to get the next stage of fantasy role playing adventure. That is a perfect reason to start playing, you could be a Fighter like Aragorn, an Archer like Legolas or even a powerful Wizard like Gandalf. Not a Lord of the Rings fan? Then you have most likely just seen Henry Cavill don his leather armor and two swords and decided that is something you can do but there is a distinctive lack of monsters in the real world, so you ask yourself ‘is there another way to slay monsters’?
The answer is yes…
There is an incredible number of options for character creation ranging from classes like a Witcher to Shapeshifting Druids and races from Owlin to Dragonborn and new content is released regularly by Wizards of the Coast or even smaller creators using Homebrew content (Homebrew is a term that refers to non-official D&D rules that can be used at home or in games with other groups).
Most likely you’ll create a character that you’ll use forever, or until their untimely demise or you’ll have a binder of characters that you’ll never use as you’re the Forever DM (DM or GM stands for Dungeon or Game Master, the person that tells the story and runs the adventure) of your group…
Rolling up a character and choosing race, class, background, abilities and weapons are one of the best parts of this game.
Sitting at a table with books, PDF’s and notebooks with ideas on what you want your perfect first character to be and you have this vision of them being the savior of the realm or the greatest swordsman that lived only to have them put to near death by a handful of goblins because you rolled bad, Your tough as nails Barbarian tries to intimidate a bandit with a furious roar but ends up meowing like a kitten.
Dungeons & Dragons 5E: Starter Set
Everything you need to start playing the world’s greatest roleplaying game. Explore subterranean labyrinths! Plunder hoards of treasure! Battle legendary monsters! The Dungeons & Dragons Starter Set is your gateway to action-packed stories of the imagination. This box contains the… read more
Ok, so you have a rough idea on what kind of character you want to make, what’s the next steps? Next up is buying a Players Handbook or PHB and having a read through it, whilst it’s not essential reading it does give you all the information you need to create your first character by walking you along step-by-step, there are other books that contain additional races and classes, they’re not needed to play the game but could be worth an investment in the future.
Once you’ve got books, you need dice and dice is where it gets interesting. A set of 6 polyhedral game dice contains a: D4, D6, D8, D10, D12 and the all-important D20 is what’s needed to play Dungeons and Dragons, you’ll use them to aid in ‘rolling up’ your character, you’ll use them when you try to attack, heal and even interact with NPC’s and the environment, most of the time you’ll happily succeed but you need to watch out for that Nat 1 (essentially the worst roll you can get) but on the other hand, you’ll also want to watch out for the Nat 20 (the best roll you can get) and nothing beats the joy and excitement of seeing that Natty 20 appear when you drive your Great axe into the ironclad chest piece of the Undead Knight as you stand as a stalwart wall between the village you are defending and the army of the undead.
The only thing that remains is to find a group and scheduling sessions; in person sessions or online over discord with online TTRPG (Tabletop Role Playing Game) software such as Roll20. Once you’ve got the group, rolled up your character and decided what adventure to run you’re all set!
Enjoy the game, the story, the adventure and don’t be afraid to tell others that you play D&D because it’s cool af.
If you do find yourself a group and play and have a good time then tweet me @HawkwardTheWise and let me know.
Dungeons & Dragons 5E: Essentials Kit
The D&D Essentials Kit is the ideal second purchase for new players that have bought the Starter Set. With the Essentials Kit, new players will learn to create characters of levels 1–6 and experience the thrill of being the Dungeon… read more
Dungeons & Dragons 5E: Player's Handbook (Hardcover)
• In Dungeons & Dragons, you and your friends coauthor your own legend. Guided by a Dungeon Master, you create characters and play their roles in a story, rolling dice and navigating maps as you unfold a tale as limitless as… read more