How to get started with Dungeons and Dragons

In the post Stranger Things world, D&D suddenly starts looking a little more cool. Ok, cool is maybe a stretch…but its certainly become more popular and slightly more mainstream than its been in the past. And D&D 5th edition is an excellent version of our beloved classic RPG. So how do you get it going?

Step 1 – Become the DM
If you are reading this then I’m assuming you don’t know a DM as if you did, you would be letting them introduce you to the game. So first of you need to realise that you are going to be the DM.

“But Craig, that seems like a lot of work” I hear you say. And yeah, it will require a little more effort on your part but its more than worth it, trust me. I’ll do a future post about what it means to be a DM, but for now it’s best to think of the DM as the organiser and guide.

Step 2 – Research and Plan
You are going to read some rules. Yeah, I know….reading. You are about to go down a bit of a rabbit hole with reading, but it is worth realising for now you don’t actually need to go too far. I would really recommend the D&D 5e Starter Set as your first purchase as its really good with giving you some ready made players and a fantastic pre made adventure to follow. This will limit what you need to learn and help focus your reading. You can get the basic rules for free and there are a few free adventures (again a post for another day) available but the new players set is a fantastic starting point.

Step 3 – Assemble the party
So you’ve stepped up to being the DM, you’ve read the basics of the rules and you’ve read the adventure through a few times. Now you need some people to play with! Ideally 3 to 4 players will work great to get started. You can go more, but it will slow things down if you aren’t used to it and there can be more issues with too many players. You could also if absolutely necessary go fewer. You could run a player as a NPC to bulk up your party, but again I wouldn’t recommend this for getting started.
With some friends recruited its worth having a pre-adventure session. For your first adventure then I recommend going with the pre made players supplied with the D&D 5e Starter Set as it means less debate over party mix etc. Remember this is just the start and with future adventures you can have a more custom party.
Its also a good time to set some ground rules as well as planning out your sessions in advance. For example you might agree to play every Saturday night for 4 nights from 8pm. It will pay to get that commitment up front and avoid someone not being able to make it for that climatic end! Also remind everyone that this is just a trial and its meant to be fun.

Step 4 – Play!
If you are following a pre-made adventure then everything should follow that course well and there will be little to worry about. Remember to enjoy it and be free to ad-lib bits to bring more flavour to the adventure. Don’t worry if you forget a rule. Either give it a quick google or if you struggle then just do what you think feels right.

This is a brief overview to getting started and I hope it helps. Please comment below if this has helped or if you have any questions. Also keep coming back for more D&D content.

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