Sep 28 , 2021
So, you want to play Dungeons and Dragons, eh? Well, you’d better know your way around a character sheet if you’re going to pick up your dice for the first time. Wait, you say “There are dice? What do you do with the dice?” All in good time.
First, let’s get acquainted with a few DnD Basics so you can begin your journey to becoming a player or Dungeon Master.
The Dungeon Master
The Dungeon Master (DM) arguably plays the most important roll in a game of Dungeons and Dragons (also known as D&D and DnD...although we don’t really like that last one!). The DMis responsible for creating or curating the story through which the players guide their characters. The DM also takes on the role of important characters in the story called “non player characters (or NPCs) in addition to controlling the environment and even monsters.
Some key responsibilities of the Dungeon Master include:
- Designing or curating a D&D Campaign or story including the characters and the environment
- Guiding the players and answering their questions. This also includes telling the players what they can see or do in a room
- Playing the roles of any NPCs
- Tracking the progress of the game and adjusting the story based on the players interactions and decisions
Each player assumes the role of a specific character and each character has their own personality and abilities.. The players travel through and interact with the world created or narrated by the Dungeon Master.
As the players progress through the campaign or story, their abilities can increase and change based on their decisions, as well as their successes and failures.
Player characters can be almost anything from a skilled fighter, a daring rouge, or even a powerful magic user. Before you play your first session, you should read through the D&D Basic Rules (which are available for free). The basic rules are well thought out and take a new player through the process of creating a character and provide the core rules of the game. You don’t need to memorize everything! Just give the rules a read through to help you start learning some of the terminology and game concepts.
Adventure is what D&D is all about.
There are settings and environments to match almost any interest from high fantasy to steampunk. There are official adventures published by the D&D team, there are fan-created and independent adventures and worlds, and you even have the option to create your own world from scratch. A game of D&D is limited only by the imagination of the DM and the players.
Even with a pre-written adventure, the story and the outcome aren’t pre-determined. The course of the game and the story is determined by the players’ decisions. A DM could begin a story in the world of Krynn with a quest to save the world from an evil dragon queen and the players could make decisions that land them lost in the Mists of Ravenloft fighting vampires and other ancient horrors. It’s all about the adventure!
This is just the briefest of introductions to a vast and wonderful universe of possibility. If you have even the faintest of desires to give D&D (or any roleplaying game for that matter) a try, just do it. Find a game, bring your imagination and an open mind, and we are confident you won’t regret it!