How to Get Started with Dungeons & Dragons
One of the questions I see most often on the D&D Facebook page goes something like this:
“How do I get started with Dungeons & Dragons?”
D&D is a fun and immersive game, but it can be hard to know where to start. It doesn’t help that gamers seem to have their own special language when talking about the game. It can be intimidating, to say the least.
Because the question is asked so often, I thought I’d put together a quick step-by-step list that tells you where to start. While this isn’t the only way to start playing the game, it should give new folks a place to begin.
Option 1: D&D Encounters
There are two ways you can learn to play Dungeons & Dragons. The first involves finding a local game store that runs the D&D Encounters program. The program runs every Wednesday night, and is a great way to get started with the game. You simply show up, and the event host will have everything you need to play. Click this link to find a place to play: D&D Encounters.
Option 2: Learning Dungeons & Dragons on your own
If you can’t make it to an Encounters game, never fear! You can still learn this game. Here are the steps you need to take to get started with Dungeons & Dragons on your own.
1. Find someone to play with. D&D works best with six people, but you can play with as few as two.
2. Choose one person to be the Dungeon Master (or “DM”). This person will take on the role of all of the monsters and people in the D&D game (except for the characters, which will be played by the other players).
3. Get the basic materials. The easiest way to start is with the Dungeons & Dragons Starter set. It costs about $20, and is available in your local game store, or on Amazon.com. Here’s a picture of the box and what you get in it:
4. The Dungeon Master should read through the player’s book and make a character. Once she’s done, she should have a basic grasp on the rules and know how to help the other players make their characters.
5. Have the players make their characters. This is best done as a group activity. It may take some time, but that’s all right. You may wish to plan on spending the entire evening simply creating your characters.
6. Play through the adventure in the Dungeon Master’s book. This adventure helps the Dungeon Master learn how to run the game.
Altogether, you’ll probably want to allow two or three sessions to make characters and then play through that first adventure. The Dungeon Master will need to spend an additional three or four hours reading through the material and familiarizing himself with what’s there.
That’s it, in a nutshell. Feel free to share this page with your friends who might be interested in Dungeons & Dragons. Also, if you found this advice helpful, please let me know in the comments.