What Do I Need to Play D&D a No Bullshit Guide
So, you’re going to play D&D. It doesn’t matter if someone has asked you to join their group, your friends are putting a group together, or you are putting the group together. Congratulations on your life getting about a zillion times better.
The world of D&D can seem a little confusing. Like any subculture, it‘s hard to figure out for beginners. And getting in to D&D can be a lot like going into high school. There a cliques, highly codified terms to use, ways to communicate, and an unspoken table etiquette.
But really D&D is pretty easy to get into. And it’s one of the most magical experiences you can have as a gamer. It is also one of the most addicting experiences you can have, and you’ll want to buy a whole bunch of stuff for it. But for now, let’s keep it simple. What do you really need?
What Do I Need to Play D&D
The first thing you are going to need. The very first thing, is your own set of dice. You are probably most freaked out about D&D is how to play. Well you are going to be using dice. Lots of dice. All kinds of dice. And you are going to need your own. If you are coming from board gaming the concept of bringing your own dice might feel weird. But with some many dice needed to play D&D you will be very glad to have your own in reach. That way you won’t need to worry about borrowing other player’s dice or hoping the DM (Dungeon Master) has some you can use. Also it gives you something to fidget with… which is always a plus.
Overall you will need:
1 20-sided die
1 12-sided die
1 10-sided die
1 8-sided die
2 6-sided dice
2 4-sided dice.
Luckily there are a ton of dice companies out there that put these dice together is a nifty little box. That way you won’t need to nitpick your dice from all over your FLGS.
A Character Sheet
Your D&D Character is a complicated mess of statistics and scores. From how well he can swing a sword to their ability to smell a delicious pie. All of these figures are recorded on a character sheet. As the player, it’s your responsibility to create your character and do all the bookkeeping to keep their info up to date. The DM has enough to worry about. They don’t need to add your character to the list of things. There are plenty of resources to help you build you character sheet like Orc Pub. Or you can just get the PDF from Wizards of the Coast.
Above I mentioned how you need to do the bookkeeping on your character sheet. Well guess how you write all that stuff down. The stats and scores in D&D are too varied to keep track with tokens. And change to often to be printed or written in pen. Many times your character will encounter monsters that can temporarily change their stats. Or sometimes permanently! Looking at you Mind Flayer. So you need to keep that pencil because even if you don’t face the dreaded Mind Flayer you will need to write down all that sweet treasure you’re getting.
Do you want to have your character represented on the table with a cool plastic/metal miniature? Of course you do! And do you know who needs to supply it? That’s right, you do! Nothing is lamer then going to a D&D session and having a flat token represent your character. Especially when its one that doesn’t even have art that looks like your character. So go take a trip down to your FLGS or favorite miniature companies website and buy a cool mini to show off you character. It will add a lot to the overall game experience and not make you look like a shit.
Unlike most other games, when you play D&D it’s over a series of meetings called sessions. And these sessions can last anywhere from 2-8 hours. There is really no limit. Only the sanity of your DM. And while it is often up to the hosting player to provide food and drink, bringing snacks never hurts. It especially doesn’t hurt when you try and Bribe the DM for that +1 Magic Ring.
And Finally, Information
Playing D&D is a social experience. The entire game is based on social interaction. So having someone show up to a game, or start a group that doesn’t know anything about that game can be kind of shitty. So don’t be the ass clown in the room and start asking questions. Ask them early. D&D is a confusing kind of hobby but the people in it are more than happy to help. Look at me, I am writing this right now just to help you get into D&D. So talk to people, ask questions, watch videos, read articles. Nothing will get you more prepared then information.
Thanks for reading. Now go and just f-ing play game.