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u/Im_a_shitty_Trans_Am · 2 pointsr/DnD

First off, sorry for the length. I had nothing else to do and a session tonight, so I've got a DnD itch and a lot of time. I just got carried away and enjoy writing. It's super close to the comment character limit. :/


So, how to start DnD. It's good to see how it plays. I find Critical Role to be a good place to start. The DM is Mattew Mercer, who is great and moving things along, and the players are all voice actors, so it's nice to listen to. CR is a bit unusual in how well behaved the players are, if you run the game, expect your players to be more annoying. I recommend starting with episode 14, "Shopping and Shipping" as you can pick it up easily, and everything gets a bit better at that point as the new arc starts.

It's also a good idea to figure out what system to use. 5th edition is the current one. I find it to be fairly simple on the surface, with a lot of extra detail in the supplementary books. It's very flexible in tone and complexity, and a solid foundation I expect to see a lot of extra content piled on top of, with extra classes, rules, monsters, etc, in later supplementary books. 5e is probably the best place to start.


What you need

First off, you need friends! I know it may seem cliché, but it is true. You want one person to run the game (the DM) and 3 or 4 (maybe 5, but no more if the DM is new) people to play an individual character. If you don't have enough friends to do DnD, you can probably find new friends with something called The Adventurer's League. You also need a set (or a few) of dice, which contain 6 to 7 different dice. You have a 4, 6, 8, 10, 12, and the most-used 20 sided dice. You also have a "d100"^1 which is a d10 that counts in 10s. They're a bit unusual in early play, so don't worry. Last but not least you need the rules. The basic rules can be found here. If you want the complete rules and a few extra books, I'll PM you. Chaotic Good PDFs are frowned upon here.

Finally, you need to actually play is a story and a Dungeon Master. You can get prewritten stories and adventures that give the DM a framework to build around for money, although I have the 5th ed beginner adventure somewhere on my PC. (It's really useful for a beginner DM.) The DM can also create their own, but that needs a lot of effort. The DM acts as an arbitrator. They say how difficult it is do something, what happens when it's done, what the players see when they go somewhere, etc. They also role-play NPCs, decide what actions enemies take, etc. They are less a player and more the world the players are in.


The two main roles.

The Dungeon Master (Or Mistress)

The DM is often the person that brings the party together, finds people to play DnD, and ties it all together. However, they are not the most important, as that's a bad mindset to have. A DM without players is a person having conversations in their head. It's a symbiotic thing.

Being a DM is very hard, but also by far the most rewarding role if you have the skill and motivation. Being a DM is thinking up the bagpipe gag, is creating a cool city, is roleplaying the city guards who have no time for the player's shit and the shopkeep that warmly welcomes them. It is the role with the most freedom, as you can shape the campaign however you like. (As long as you don't drive your players away.) However, you need to know a lot of the rules by heart (it's easier than it sounds) and a good dose of creativity. The scheming, toying with the players and their emotions^2 all makes it worth it in the end. This is a bit long, but if you fancy the idea of being the DM I'll make a followup "How to DM." comment.

I also fancy the role of the DM myself as it feels like I'm making a world of facades very quickly, faster than the players can notice. The NPCs are fleshed out enough to survive one session without seeming two dimensional, but are not nearly as intricate as the player's characters. Physical locations have enough detail to tide the players over while I make more. However, if the players show particular interest in a character or place, I can build behind that facade to make the thing more and more realistic the closer the players look between running sessions. I also have a lot of pre-made things I can pull up. I might have a general set of bars with different qualities and a cursory list of their stock, with different names for different locations. So if the players go to a seedy bar in a dwarven city, I pull up a seedy bar template and add dwarven flavor to it. I'll also note down any on-the-fly descriptions for later use. If the players start to go regularly, I'll add detail. I'll create regulars with personalities and stories to them, I'll create notable events in the bar's history, etc. That feeling of going from pulling things together quickly to make it seem good enough, then after the session spending hours taking slower more thought out routes to flesh something out.

The Players

This section will be a bit less meaty. The players create a character from a set of races and a set of classes (some books have extra races and classes, and you can take levels in more than one class. So instead of being a level 10 ranger, you could be a level 10 character that is a 3rd level rogue and a 7th level ranger.) They have a sheet that holds the information they need to play their character, that details weapons, spells, abilities, HP, stats, proficiency, what skills they have, etc. Often the player will write a few sentences or paragraphs on their character and their backstory.

You also have personality outlines, which consists of (normally, you can change it up for fun)

  • 2 general traits (Like, "I am new to these foreign lands, and have numerous strange but minor customs others may find confusing.")

  • An overall ideal (such as "law keeps society together, those that break it should be punished.")

  • A bond they have (like: "I'm the successor to a major title, but my family was deposed. Some day I'll regain it.") that they will either constantly work on, or be called to fulfill. (like protecting an object from attack.

  • A flaw they have. (Like "I'm quick to anger, and can hold a long grudge." This could lead to a misunderstanding creating long-term animosity between a player and an important NPC.)

    These outlines are used to help the player get in the mindset of their character, and to role-play them better. So if the player outlined above is meeting a noble, because the noble's connections could help them regain their land, and they greet them in accordance with their strange customs, the noble remarks unfavorably about them, then the player should role play not liking the noble, but they shouldn't try and attack them, because that's outside the law. Stuff like that is what makes the player characters so much more complex. Also, don't take my talking up of the DM's role to diminish the player, they can have plenty of fun.

    Also, there are many types of players, and they often not just co-exist but may even require other types to do well. Some players just want to see what happens and play DnD, whereas others seize the initiative and direct the group. A party with too many of the first will do very little, and a party with too many of the second will do nothing but bicker. Also, some players are recluse and have a hard time roleplaying their character. Other players like playing hard to role play characters, and their willingness to set themselves up for possible failure (in roleplaying) might help nervous players come out of their shell. Some players make super strong characters without thinking about story, and others make weaker ones because all they think about is story. The strong characters will help the party in combat, the story characters will help the drama aspect of DnD that makes it so engaging. Some pay tons of attention, and can fill in those that don't. And so on. Together, you can get one functioning party!


    Buying things!

  1. The starter set is great. It has rerolled character sheets, the basic rules, and an adventure that holds the hand of the DM more than others, but also provides plenty of room for growth. Also, it's not even 15 bucks on Amazon.

  2. Dice. The starter set ones mysteriously all seem to be cursed to roll low, so new dice are good. Chessex looks good and is cheap, and Q-workshop are expensive but amazing.

  3. Dungeon master's screen. Hides notes & rolls, looks nice, and has a quick-lookup of stuff on the back. About 10 bucks, I highly recommend it.



    ^1 Dice are referred to as d[number of sides.] So a 20-sided one is a d20, and so on. If multiple dice need to be rolled, like with a Greatsword, it's shown as 2d6 + [modifier], where you roll 2 six-sided dice, add that together, then add a fixed modifier. The rules have more detail.

    ^2 Randomly rolling dice to make them nervous, evily grinning when the players ask something even if the thing is absolutely fine, having that little smile when the players ask if those bagpipes are silent or not, asking the players if they're totally sure if they want to do something then making them live with the consequences are all ways to mess with them.

u/mrbiggbrain · 1 pointr/DnD

D&D Basics (Getting started)

The Absolute Basics

First you will want to grab either the Basic rules (Free), the Starter Set (Cheap), or the Players handbook, Dungeon Masters Guide, and Probably Monster Manual

Then you need to have at least a few items

  • Dice (Phone apps will work if absolutely necessary, or these)
  • Paper & Pencil (for notes)
  • Character Sheet (In the free PDF or an app)

    The starter set is nice because it does a bunch of the work for you, it has an easy to follow adventure, pre-made characters, Dice, and rules for the DM and players. And at half the cost of just the players handbook AND including an adventure, it is an incredible value.

    Once you finish that then looking at at least a players handbook for the extra races, classes, backgrounds, and other things is a good deal. That should let you run free adventures people have put online.

    The DM's guide will let you get deeper into rules and the right way to call them, break them, and make them.

    The monster manual can be a great tool to make better encounters.

    If you want to run a commercial adventure after the one's included in the starter set, "Tales from the Yawning Portal" includes the Sunless Citidel, considered by many to be an excellent adventure for those new to the game and just recently brought up from 3.5e into 5e

    Common Tools of the Trade

    As you start running more complex adventures you are going to want to have a few tools to keep things moving, either as a player or as a DM.

    As a Player

    The bare essentials every players should have are listed above, but most players agree having a few extras can make the game run really quick.

    Spell Cards

    These cards have all the spells available for specific classes or from specific books on really well organized cards that make it easy to set aside your prepared spells and quickly reference all the core details.

    Cleric, Arcane, Ranger, Druid, Bard, Paladin, Martial Powers and Races, Xanathars Guide to Everything

    Binders & Sheet Protectors

    Keeping everything neat and organized can be a huge time saver and make it much easier for you to find what you need. Binders can be a great way to keep your notes and other materials organized. In addition many sheet protectors easily erase dry erase markers making it easy to keep track of spells and other changes without ruining character sheets with constant erasing.

    As a DM

    DMs have their work cut out for them. But a few simple tools can make the game run smooth and leave everyone having that much more fun.

    Index Cards

    A set of index cards can go a long way to speeding up the game. Players can put details on spells or magic items on them. You can prepare loot for the game ahead of time and hand it out allowing players to look over the gear as the game continues. You can also use them to hide portions of a battle map or commerical map to give the effect of fog of war.

    Game Mats

    A game mat let's you make single maps by drawing on them with dry erase or wet erase markers. Many are made of vinyl and can last a long time. Normally they will have either 1" squares or hex shapes.


    These things can be expensive, but giving your game that 3D upgrade and helping players better manage space in a game can be well worth it. You can use actual miniatures (Like those from Reaper), Create custom ones on Hero's Forge, or even just buy some cheap stand in tokens from Game Mash.

    If you just need a cheap way to keep track of positions army men, bottle caps, colored game pieces, and even legos can all play the role.

    No matter what you use, you can pick up colored rubber bands to mark status conditions or other information.

    Where Can I Play?

    You can find tons of places to play D&D.

  • Get together a gaming group.
  • Find a Guild or club in your area.,
  • Most hobby shops and especially comic book and gaming shops offer games, usually Adventure League. WotC offers a tool to find stores here.
  • /r/lfg can be a great way to find others to play online with.
  • Play by Mail sites like RPoL allow you to play by forum post.


    Critical Role - Voice actors playing DnD, Matt Mercer (The DM) is an amazing Dungeon Master and shows how the game should be played.

    Matthew Colville - Amazing videos on being a DM, must watch material for every DM. Even when your opinions differ he gives good reasons and great advice.


    These let you ciew all the free open rules (SRD & Basic Rules) for D&D 5e at no cost.

    Roll20 Compendium - Has all the open rules for the game, so a good source for monsters, items, spells, etc.

    DnDBeyond - A more official source for the content, plus you can buy all the materials released by WotC to use, and has a great character builder.

    Adventures & Maps

    DMsGuild - Tons of free and paid adventures and other materials. The quality can be varying, but many are free and that can be great.

    /r/dndmaps/ - What more can they say, D&D Maps.

    Mike Schley Makes many of the maps for the D&D Adventures.

u/RTukka · 1 pointr/DnD

Here's a list of resources and products that will help you get started with D&D 4th edition.

Free Resources

The quick start rules are free and cover most of what a player needs to know to play the game, plus a few pregenerated characters; it lacks rules for character creation and advancement, and a few other advanced rules and options, but it's a good resource for those who don't yet own the books. Some additional pregens can be found at

Some other free resources were posted by /u/Dracoprimus, including a bunch of links to free adventures. Another good free adventure is EN World's Island at the Axis of the World, part of their Zeitgeist adventure path.

Kassoon's 4e crib sheet is a handy reference. Sly Flourish has a DM cheat sheet that can also be quite helpful, though you may have trouble making sense of it without access without a core DM resource.

Core Rules & Content

The following items are those you need to play a more robust campaign or adventure (you could technically get by without some of them, but you will be limited). You can save a few bucks by buying used. Ideally, each player (including the DM) should have a copy of a player resource, but in a pinch the players can share one player book for character creation/advancement, and then get by with the quick start rules linked above. Only the DM needs the DM resources.

  • Player resource: Heroes of the Fallen Lands (alternatives/supplements: Heroes of the Forgotten Kingdoms, the 4e Player's Handbook)
  • DM resource: The 4e Dungeon Master's Guide (alternative/supplement: the 4e Rules Compendium)
  • DM resource: The Monster Vault (buy a new or like-new copy so you can be sure you get all of the included components). You could probably get by without a monster resource if you run published adventures that include monster statblocks, as most do, but if you want to roll your own campaign or improvise, a solid monster resource is recommended.

    With those three products, you have everything you need to run a level 1-30 campaign.

    You should check out the errata and updates for any books you acquire -- especially the older ones, like the Player's Handbook and Dungeon Master's Guide.

    D&D Insider & Extras

    A D&DI subscription can substitute for the resources mentioned above to a large extent, and supplement them with tons of content, but reading through online glossary entries and a bunch of scattered articles isn't the best way to learn the rules. I would still recommend getting the core books even if your group has a DDI sub, and a DDI subscription is strictly optional.

    There are also many source books that I won't mention here, which include additional character options and content for the players and DM: new races, classes, powers, feats, items, monsters, traps, etc. along with accompanying lore. Personally though, in lieu of buying lots of extra source books for extra character options and monsters, I'd get a DDI sub. It gives you virtually everything published in those books, plus useful tools such as the Character Builder and the Monster Builder. The online compendium is also a much quicker and more convenient reference than a stack of books. I would recommend a D&DI subscription for any active DM or heavy player.

    Game Aids

    The following items are either necessary or very helpful to running a live, in-person game. If playing online, a virtual tabletop can cover these functions. Roll20 is the easiest virtual tabletop to get started with, and it's in active development. MapTool is a somewhat more robust, but many players have technical issues with it, and its pace of development seems to have slowed.

  • Battle mat: A blank, reusable flip-mat, like the Paizo basic flip-mat, plus some dry- or wet-erase markers. This is a good option for drawing up a quick map on the fly.
  • Alternative battle mat: A gridded easel pad, which you can get at an office supply store for around $17 for 50 sheets (which will last you a good long time), plus crayons, markers, or colored pens/pencils. This is a good option for either preparing detailed maps before the session, or drawing up a quick map mid-session.
  • Alternative battle mat: Yet another option for battle maps are poster maps and/or dungeon tiles. An even more upscale option are Dwarven Forge products; those utilizing the sturdy "dwarvenite" material are particularly nice. The DM's Craft YouTube channel has a lot of tutorial videos for creating nice-looking but inexpensive environments.
  • Dice: You'll need enough dice for everyone. Bulk dice like Chessex Pound O' Dice can be a good way to go. In a pinch, you can get by with a single set of dice shared by the group. At minimum you need one each of the following: d4, d6, d8, d10, d12, d20.
  • Miniatures, tokens or other character markers: The Monster Vault includes some cardboard tokens. You can make your own tokens, use dollar store plastic soldiers, Pathfinder Pawns standup tokens, buy miniatures of a range of qualities and price points (Reaper minis are nice), or buy products that come with miniatures, like Descent and the D&D Adventure System games. The latter two options are standalone D&D-like board games which also include dungeon tiles. Some miniatures come pre-painted, others are unpainted; note that painting unpainted minis isn't as difficult as you might imagine. In a pinch, you can use coins, bottlecaps or anything else that's a suitable size to represent characters and monsters.
  • Optional: Pipe cleaners, which can be bent into shapes to denote the corners of zones, or cut into pieces which can be bent into small loops, which can then be hung on miniatures to denote status conditions.
  • Optional: 3x5 index cards can be handy for initiative tracking, passing notes, or creating power cards or monster statblocks.

    Products to Avoid

    The following are products that I sometimes see recommended (or would recommend myself) but happen to be overpriced or are not worth it for some other reason.

  • The Monster Manual, and other 4e monster resources published before June 2010. The third Monster Manual was released along with updated math to govern monster attack bonuses, defenses, hp and damage, which was used in subsequent publications. In addition to the math updates, WotC got better at overall monster design as the edition matured. Other than the Monster Vault, some good monster resources include the Monster Vault: Threats to the Nentir Vale, the Dark Sun Creature Catalog and Monster Manual III.
  • The "Red Box" Starter Set. While it would be a fair value at its retail price of $20, it seems to be out of print, which means it's selling at inflated prices. The product itself is mediocre. It provides a fast, but not necessarily good introduction to the game.
  • The DM's Kit. This is actually a fine product, and contains a DM's Book which is a good substitute for the DMG or Rules Compendium. It also includes a very high quality adventure, the Reavers of Harkenwold. In addition, it comes with DM screen, two double-sided poster maps, and some cardboard punch-out tokens, and a small monster book. Unfortunately, the DM's Kit also appears to be out of print, and at the time of this posting is selling for well over $100 used. It's good, but not that good.
u/AtriusUN · 7 pointsr/DnD
  1. I would recommend the D&D 5th Edition Starter Set if you are all new. Pathfinder/3.5/4E are all rather rule heavy and could take a while for everyone to get up to speed and be playing. You can download the basic rules for 5th Edition from the Wizards website for free (for players and DM), though there is additional bonus information in the Player's Handbook you can buy at your local game shop or online. (Website:

  2. That's plenty, 2 players and a DM is recommended, but most adventures work best with 3-6 players.

  3. The players each play 1 character, but the DM plays "Everything Else". A DM is someone who should enjoy the fiction. They should be able to think and describe fantasy settings and imagine the stories they are telling in their head so they can relay it to the players. It also helps if they are willing to roleplay and pretend to be different NPCs and characters to create immersion but that's not required. Skills recommended: Organization, willingness to speak, imaginative, helpful, willing to put in some work

  4. I have not watched it sorry.

  5. World building is a great part of writing a D&D Campaign together. Often the DM will write the core of the events happening in the world so as to keep mysteries and adventure from players, but the players are free and encouraged to also make up and add to the story (such as home towns, backstories, names of great locations or historic things). It can be a lot more work to build a world for your first time playing, I would recommend not worrying so much about a world and just write a simple story for the first adventure or two (such as Save the King's daughter, or transport these goods to the wizard tower on the mountain, clean concise objective to learn the rules and learn your group).

  6. Everyone will need to know the basic rules. In terms of 5E everyone can download the PDFs and read them. The DM should read the DM Basics as well, and I would recommend at least one hard copy Player's Handbook (PHB) if you enjoy the material. There's a lot of bonus content in the PHB such as additional classes and information. (PHB Purchase links. Amazon: Wizard's Store Finder:

  7. You're playing make-believe. Your friends are pretending to be heroes. You are pretending to be the bad guys and everything else. You tell them what happens and they tell you what their heroes do. Together you make a story. Everyone follows the same rules and when you don't know what happens or who wins you roll dice.

  8. Keep it simple at first. Find or make a simple adventure that focuses on a quest that sounds fun. Don't overcomplicate it. The story doesn't need to be crazy for you to have a lot of fun. The fun will come from pushing the barrels over on the guys chasing you down the alley and failing to climb the wall and landing on your butt in the middle of a busy market street. Find out who enjoys doing what, the first adventure might result in your switching DMs at first to find out who fits the best. Experiment, make stuff up, tell crazy stories, and have fun.

    Edit. Added links to purchase the Player's Handbook
    Edit 2. Learned what ELI5 means. Sorry for my noobness.
u/Sorcerer_Blob · 5 pointsr/DnD

Hey there, and welcome to the wonderful world of role-playing and D&D!

First off, playing online is pretty awesome. It is almost as good as the real thing, that is, playing in person. If you ever get the chance to play live, I highly suggest doing that.

In the meantime however, you are in luck! The latest edition of D&D is just now releasing!

A few weeks back the Basic D&D rules launched for free! Basically, it's the bare minimum rules you need to know to play and run D&D. Really the only thing it's missing right now are some monsters, but it should be updated with those (and some Dungeon Mastering advice) come August.

Additionally, the D&D Starter Set just launched this week! It's a great way to get into the game for a cheap price point. It comes with some dice, a great adventure, some of the basic D&D rules, and some pre-generated characters. Essentially everything you'd need to get some friends together and play D&D for a few weeks. I highly suggest picking this up if you are new to Dungeons & Dragons!

If you find that you are and your friends (either online or in real life) love the Starter Set and want more, you are in luck. In mid-August, the first of the three core D&D books releases. This is the Player's Handbook. Like I said before, when the Player's Handbook (or PHB) releases, Wizards of the Coast has said they will update the Basic D&D rules that are online for free with some extra content. So everyone wins, basically.

Anyways, if you have anymore questions, feel free to ask.

Good luck and happy gaming!

Edit to add:
If you are looking to find players or even a group, the best place to go are gaming stores and comic shops. Likewise, many areas have meet up groups online through sites like and others. If you have friends that enjoy fantasy movies like The Lord of the Rings trilogy or the new Hobbit movies, recruit them to play with you and maybe even take on the role of the Dungeon Master!

u/AnEpicSquirrel · 2 pointsr/DnD

I agree with /u/Ryngard on checking out 5e, but that's up to you as a DM. The curve on "ease-of-learning" is noticeably different, so for beginners playing tabletop games, it is a great gateway. You could always look around for the information you need while the 5e handbook ships, but definitely get it, it's perfect for beginners. There are tons of 5e resources online (not just the pdfs that are not allowed on this subreddit; which I am not recommending here), that can help you with how to make a character, spells, stories, etc; made by other players.

As a DM, regardless of version, I'd make it clear on a few things:

  1. You are the DM, and the book is a guideline. You have the final say. This is important because sometimes the way you want to run your campaign will not follow how the book takes things; and that is okay. The story is yours, so take their concerns to heart, but be stern when it comes to them wanting something unreasonable. With that note, homebrewing is alright, but look out for OP things that sometimes don't reveal themselves until they level up a little more. It's okay to negotiate a nerf when homebrewing is involved.

  2. Make sure they have their character fleshed out before you play. It is a HUGE time-waster for new players to make characters while others and you want to play. Making a character is a personal experience, and by all means, help them, but don't make every wait on game night; they can join later at any time and simply learn how the game works if they aren't ready.

  3. Roleplay, roleplay, roleplay. Your character may not know what you know, including what is discussed outside of the game. The players and you must try their best to stay on top of not using knowledge that the character has no idea of, as it breaks, well, character. Also, if someone's character goes outside of their alignment, you can refuse to allow it, or have penalties, as a "Good" character most likely will not hold someone hostage, nor would an "Evil" character rescue a random peasant in need... without reward or personal gain being announced. It helps people get into the game, rather than play as themselves, which is nice, they're your friends, but it makes the story flow less emotionally, as the characters no longer have their own personalities.

  4. Have the game cater to everyone's interests, but do NOT spoon-feed one person's interest. This means that some people are in it for combat, others for story, and maybe even comedic moments. Set up your story to possibly include all these points, but do not bring up one thing over another to the point that someone who wants one of the focuses in the game get left out, or become the "main" character constantly. It is a difficult balance, and being new you guys might not know what you want, and that's okay, but find a balance that satisfies you all.

  5. It's okay to have things unanswered. You are telling a story about the lives of adventurers who most likely move from village to village. There will be things they miss, and things failed in terms of success. That is part of life and the game. This tip also extends into general storytelling. Don't throw out all the info at once, as players need something to draw them in, and mystery is a great incentive. As they dig deeper, the puzzle pieces start to fit, and eventually... bam, they've understand what was going on, and now based on their alignments, they have a few choices laid out for them. It keeps the longevity of your sessions, and things interesting.

  6. It's alright to have characters die due to difficult combat, but doing so frequently can make them lose attachment to characters, and become apathetic. Just try to keep them interested and invested, but do not make it too easy where they feel no challenge. It again, can be a hard balance, but they should not want to die, nor feel that "meh, I can just be a blank next time, give me a new sheet". Apathy can make players lose interest from what I've seen, but I'm sure they'll like their characters enough, due to them being their first ones.

    EDIT: Also, the player's handbook for 5e (with Prime, huzzah!) is half-off at the moment:
u/Kindulas · 3 pointsr/DnD

Well I suppose you said you've played before, but I'm going to give you a basic resources spiel, so forgive me if I'm saying anything obvious. The basic things you're going to want are a set of dice /for each player/ (a d4, 6, 8, 10, 12 and 20, to be clear). I mean, you can get away with a single set of dice, but it's a pain to pass them around. Personally I like to have enough dice so I can roll all at once for a given ability - a spell that deals 4d8 damage? I have 4d8s. Of course, people with smartphones could get an app like Dice Ex Machina, too. Then, if you want to play with a board (I understand some people can play certain systems like 5e by just having the DM describe how far apart things are but that sounds maddening to me), you're probably going to want a playmat ( and some Vis-a-Vis wet erase pens to draw on it. Lastly, you're going to need /something/ to represent people on said playmat. Miniatures are super expensive, so you can theoretically, especially starting out, scrounge up various little things that fit in the 1 inch squares - pieces from other board games, whatever. Now, if you've got more money to spend a great deal that's much more cost efficient than minis are Paizo's Pawn Boxes such as this

Now, you could also go the super cheap route and grab graph paper, and then write letters to represent characters, then draw and erase when they move. This is how I started - it sucks, but it's free. Another free way to circumvent ALL of these play resources by playing on the computer: This has obvious pros and cons but it's simultaneously free and fancy if it works out. If you use that, you'll want this too:

As for systems, I have two recommendations. My biggest recommendation is for the new 5th Edition Dungeons and Dragons. It is excellent, and most importantly it's really easy for beginners. You can get the starter set for a mere 20$, which comes with 4 pre made characters, a good adventure and a set of dice. And maybe a DM shield? Anyway, free basic rules here:

After that, there are 3 books, the Players Handbook, Dungeon Master's Guide and Monster Manuel. They're all great. And 50$ each. If you try the starter set, like the system and have a dedicated group of players, I definitely recommend them if you can afford them. If you can't, however, there's my other recommendation:

Based off of 3.5e Dungeons and Dragons, Pathfinder is a great system with tons and tons of content, and with the exclusion of published adventures and flavor books, it's all free:
It also has a free module you can try out:

Thing is, it's also quite complicated. For beginners to learn it without a veteran to teach them - to learn just by reading the rules - would be very very difficult. No way I would have been able to learn by reading. Plus, that 'tons and tons of content,' while awesome, makes it all the more overwhelming for beginners. Still, it's freeeeeee.

u/thesuperperson · 2 pointsr/DnD

Partially copy and pasted from an earlier post

Hello, and welcome to DnD!

Since you are new to DnD as a whole, I recommend the first two videos of this playlist:

Now that we have that out of the way, you need to decide what edition to play on. Personally I recommend 5e, since it is best for beginners, while still being engaging as you gain more experience. The subreddit has a wiki, and there you can find a guide on choosing an edition to play: /r/DnD/wiki/choosing_an_edition, among other things

If you don't decide to go with 5e, I cant really help you much from here, but if you do, keep reading.

Since you're all new, and would be playing online. I'd say the best option for you all would be to go onto a website called, create accounts, have the person you determine to be the DM go and buy the module The Lost Mine of Phandelver (you could all chip in if you wished, though, or one person could gift the module to the DM), and have them run it for you, which will occur over the course of many sessions.

It is literally designed for a bunch of people brand new to DnD, to be able to play it, and it has all the info you need along with some pregenerated characters for if you don't feel like bothering with character creation. You also wouldn't need to bother with paying for the full price Player's Handbook (which I would recommend you all eventually get, but only later down the line once you've further invested yourself into DnD as a hobby), that fully lists all the rules relevant to the players, along with all the base player options.

Why it would also be a good option is because as new people to DnD, you have enough to deal with in terms of learning to play, so having the module all ready and prepped for you on the most used online tabletop rpg website is just going to make the transition that much less of a hassle, when you aren't bothering as much with how to also learn to play DnD online.

Regardless, even if you decide that there must be some way for you to learn this hobby on your own, and without paying any money, there are the free to use online basic rules which come in the form of PDFs explained and given on that link I just provided. The first is the player basic rules and it goes over most of what you need to know in terms of how to play the game, the rules, and some of the player options. Both the DMs and players will want to read it. The second is the DM basic rules, which will teach whoever is the DM how to run the game, along with a huge host of other things.

I think thats all I wanted to say for now. Feel free to ask me or anyone for questions. There is a reason why this subreddit exists. Along with that, youtube is a great resource for learning how to play DnD. I learned how to play DnD all on my own just through looking up youtube guides, as someone completely new to tabletop gaming as a whole.

One good resource that you may find helpful is a video of step-by-step character creation (using the druid class as an example): (yes I know it is long, but it goes over everything you'll need, and even if someone was explaining it to you one-on-one it would take just as long). While the guy in the video is using his player's handbook as the reference for his viewers, the general procedure can still be followed just with the player basic rules.

Good luck, and welcome to your new hobby :)

u/ilikpankaks · 1 pointr/DnD

Hey man, happy that you came here. First and foremost, we have a good sidebar full of useful info, so be sure to check that out. Here is the basic rules for 5th edition.

You can buy a players handbook for 50 dollars, but it just ellaborates, and I reccomend you read the basic rules first to see if you like it.

D&D is a role playing game, where you can play any race or class your heart desires in any setting you want. YOU have control of your character. The DM controls everything else. The key to being a good player is to make a character (which the rules walk you through), and doing your best to role play the character without meta-gaming (using player knowledge instead of character's knowledge).

Other editions are still popular (3.5 and 4th edition are still commonly played). I would look up your local game store for a copy of the starter box (or check amazon here This comes with a pre made adventure, some rules, pre-made characters for the adventure, and everything you need to know to run a game (And a free set of dice! woo!)

You'll need a polyhedral dice set (d20, d12, d10, d8, d6, and a d4) or you can use a dice rolling app (but those aren't as fun!)

You can find new players most likely at your local game shop, or just ask your friend if he knows other people who game, since you don't get along with the other players. There is no shame in that.

Also, ask random friends if they are interested in learning D&D with you. Worst case scenario, check out roll20 (link is on the side bar). Roll20 is a website that allows you to play D&D online via skype and chat, along with hosting maps. I would reccomend this if you can't find anyone to game with.

If your game shop has Adventurer's League, that is campaigns made by the makers of D&D that are officially run, and are a great way to meet people.

Also, check out /r/LFG or your local subreddit to see if there are any people interested! You can make new friends that way too! and once you know some people, they can introduce to others who play.

Best of luck, and if you have any questions, check the side bar, use the search function, and if those fail, feel free to ask us here!

Another good forum-based website is Giant in the Playground. They are the host of the popular D&D webcomic Order of the Stick, and they have a good forum for discussing D&D. if you like 4chan, /tg/ is a board for traditional games, where D&D is discussed on occasion (but not always well recieved).

Good luck and happy gaming!

u/TheGuyInAShirtAndTie · 6 pointsr/DnD

A mere 4 months ago I was in your very shoes, having never played DnD but wanting to DM. Now I'm running 3 weekly games [Protip: Don't do this]. Luckily for me I found a couple great resources to help me out:

The Dungeon Master Experience is a collection of articles written by one of the best: Christopher Perkins. He's not only a Senior Designer for DnD, but he's also the DM for a number of groups including Penny Arcade, Robot Chicken, and the other designers over at Wizards of the Coast. This will be your most valuable resource.

New DM Guide Reddit's #1 Resource for new DMs.

So You Want To Be a DM: A great collection of starter tips.

/r/loremasters: A subreddit dedicated to worldbuilding.

/r/dndnext: Like /r/dnd but solely for 5e.

The Angry DM: He can be a bit preachy at times, but Angry DM has a great amount of thought put into everything he writes.

/u/famoushippopotamus If you see him post on something, just read it. He's been DMing longer than most of us have been aware that DnD existed.

DnD Encounters is a weekly event at your friendly local game store. Check it out. It's also a great place to recruit players!

[Your head!](Link Not Found): The only thing you really need to get started is an idea, write it down. You'll learn a lot just putting your thoughts on paper and thinking of how to flesh it out.

I would recommend that you go and pick up the Starter Set (HOLY SHIT GUYS ITS $12 RIGHT NOW. BUY BUY BUY!). It comes with the basic rules, a set of dice, a prewritten adventure, and some characters for the adventure. Get a couple players together and this is all you need to get started. After that you can move onto other prewritten adventures, like Horde of the Dragon Queen, or you can write your own.

It shouldn't be that difficult to find people to play with, some people might care that you've never been a PC, but you don't need to play with them. If you have friends who enjoy gaming see if they're interested. And check out your FLGS (friendly local game store). If none of those work, there are plenty of online options as well.

One last note: In my short time DMing I have to say I did not expect the sheer amount of prepwork that goes into a single session. Players have to inhabit a single character and their mechanics. You need to understand not only the characters at the table, but every NPC, trap, and monster you put in front of them. It can be time consuming. It can be hard. But it is also one of the greatest feelings in the world when you hit that flow state where you and your players are building your world together.

Good luck! And welcome to DnD, where the rules are made up, and the rules don't matter either, as long as what you're doing is awesome.

u/TheInsaneDump · 3 pointsr/DnD

Hi there! I just introduced my family to D&D over the weekend as well. Let me answer your questions.

Truthfully, everything you need can be found online. The D&D starter rules (for both playing and DMing) can both be found on Wizard's website. Others will recommend the Starter Edition, which is great place to start mind you, but the adventure is definitely not a one-shot. It can take up to 3-4 sessions to complete it.

Because of this, I opted to create my own one-shot adventure and I watched Matthew Colville's wonderful intro to DMing guide on Youtube. It's actually a lot easier than you think. For a one-shot all you need are at least 5 encounters; puzzle, trap, combat, dialogue/story, final boss. Put it in a dungeon; keep it simple. Dungeonographer is a wonderful program to help you maps and interior locations.

If you keep your adventure simple, DMing is very straightforward. Set the story and the adventure hook (why is your party going on a quest/adventure), lay down some breadcrumbs that lead them onward, and manage the experience. Remember that players roll the D20 for just about everything, but feel free to throw your own flair as well. For instance, I often had my family roll "luck" to see how fortunate they were in certain circumstances. Specifically, the party was fleeing from town and my father was like, "There's gotta be boats at the dock, let's go!" And I tell him to roll a D20 to see how fortunate they were to find one (or if one was actually there). I made up the chances (based on the story) and the outcome was up to the roll.

The guides obviously will break everything down in very good detail, but what helped me feel more comfortable DMing was to prepare some additional materials.

  • Printed out documentation of the adventure script (what's going on, what's happening) and things that you will say at key moments (location description, etc.). I included different kinds of checks that players can do at certain areas (e.g., Investigation, History, or Intelligence checks).

  • Create a Bestiary that contains all of the monsters and npcs players will encounter. Include all information about stats, attacks, etc. This will save you time so you don't have to look into a book for this information.

  • Create simple maps in dungeonographer to help your players feel a sense of presence.

    Check out the video link I posted earlier. It really helped.

    Oh, and I ordered 5 sets of dice from here. $9.99 for the lot. Great price!
u/PghDrake · 3 pointsr/DnD

For miniatures, be warned that the Heroclix and Mage Knight minis, while useable, are mostly larger than the 1" standard width (for a medium character or creature) - this is generally not that big of a problem but if you're going with modular terrain it means they may not fit well, especially along with other miniatures beside them.

Ebay is a good choice for miniatures, especially if you have particular needs for certain things - you want that male elf archer in leather armor, or are you looking for a beholder? You can find and get them there. Here's my favorite seller for these things, shipping is definitely reasonable and the choices are expansive:

Another option to miniatures are tokens, and they are much, much cheaper. These are small cardboard circles that fit a 1" block as standard size (larger creatures will fill more, of course). The best starter set for this for a DM is the Monster Vault, but there are a ton of others as well. I suggest ebay for these for the most part, there are some that sell them by the sheet and others that sell the full boxed sets. You can get these for characters as well as monsters. Here's a link to the Monster Vault so you can see what you get with it:

Cheapest and most versatile "professional looking" option for the map / terrain is a chessex battlemat - make sure you have WET ERASE markers, not dry erase and keep it clean between adventures. Below are links to one of their mats (there are other sizes, just search on amazon) and to some excellent markers:

Cheapest option for modular-type terrain would be tiles. These are cardboard "grids" that most often have designs on them and come in different sizes. The best starter set out there is the Dungeon Tiles Master Set - The Dungeon. It has a lot of tiles and is pretty versatile, at least for base grid options like dungeons and general floors. There are a ton of other options for them - again I suggest you look on ebay for these because you can often find used ones that are in perfect shape sold as a set, or even individual tiles if there's something in particular you need. This is the link to the aforementioned base set on amazon so you can see what it has:

If you want to spend more money and go with something much more dynamic, there are 3-d modular sets ranging from paper to near-stone like quality but they can cost a ton. I have a large set of Dungeonstone ( that I bring out and always get oo's and ahh's. But they're heavy to carry around a lot, especially if I need the whole set. Another option, that's generally slightly more expensive than dungeonstone is Dwarven Forge. You can look them up - but I only mention this in case you decide to spend more money than you want to at this point. :)

Good luck! I hope this helps.

u/Ryngard · 4 pointsr/DnD

I HIGHLY recommend you purchase the D&D 5e Starter Set and run that. It is $12 on Amazon and if you dislike D&D then you aren't out anything.

I HIGHLY recommend you play 5e. 3.5e was a great edition but it is dated and the sheer volume of rules supplements (some of which are hard to find) are overwhelming. By the end it was out of control. It really isn't a new players w/ new DM system to be honest (HUGE fan of 3.5e, prefer 5e).

You DO need a DM. The role of the DM is different and more involved than the players'. You have to plan the adventure (in case of the Starter Set you should read the adventure and rules booklet cover to cover). You generally are the one players look to for rules clarifications and teaching. Its a very rewarding responsibility. Remember, you are not playing AGAINST the players. It isn't DM vs Players. You are facilitating their adventure and working with them to craft a fun story balanced with fair rules arbitration (and gnarly combat!).

Again, get the Starter Set. If that goes well, get the Player's Handbook (I suggest 2-3 copies to share, or have everyone get a copy) and the Hoard of the Dragon Queen adventure. Run those. If that works well enough to continue, then invest in the Monster Manual (and the Dungeon Master's Guide will be published by then) and go crazy!!!

I have run LONGTERM campaigns in every D&D edition and have had just as successful games with and without the grid/map. You do NOT need it. It can be helpful, especially for visual players, but I find it also really slows down the adventure. Detailed notes to backup detailed descriptions with a focus on "close enough, keep the game moving" is far more fun and engaging than spending 30 minutes to map out the most optimal movement for one round of combat. In 5e most combats are like 15 minutes or less, in D&D 3.5e for instance we've had 4 hour battles and it was just annoying.

But to each their own. You can also sketch on paper/graph paper and go from there.

Start CHEAP, don't invest in hundreds of dollars of stuff without knowing if you like it. Remember the starter set is $12 and the Basic D&D rules are free. :)

u/stubbazubba · 1 pointr/DnD


>I have a 3.5e players handbook and complete warrior that my brother bought a long time ago, but never played it. We know no-one who do know how to play and we all start from scratch. I've read online that its easier for new players to start with 5e but if i have these books, maybe we could just use them. 1) what do you recomend to do?

Contrary to the 5e zeitgeist, I'm a proponent of starting with whatever edition you have handy (and of 3.5 in general), and you're in luck! D&D 3.5 came out under an ambitious open license that made public all the core information. It's contained in what is called the System Reference Document, the most friendly online version of which is probably the hypertext d20 SRD. With that, your Player's Handbook, and the optional Complete Warrior book, you have what you need for both players and the Dungeon Master to play.

However, for your first time, I would recommend a pre-made adventure. The Dungeon Master can create any adventure he wants out of the monsters and traps and such in the SRD, but it's a lot of work and takes some practice to get right. So it's best to start with something pre-made, so the new DM can focus on the basics of DM'ing. Here is an archive of free adventures you can download and run as-is. I've heard Wreck Ashore is a pretty decent 1st level adventure.

>2) what dices do we need to get either way?

You don't need to buy dice. There are online and app-based die rollers that do just fine.

That being said, it really does make for a more delightful experience if you can roll real dice, at least for me. A set like this goes for about $20, and should be enough for everyone to share.

>3) do we need to get board/minutures?

People will tell you you don't need them, but the game is written assuming you have them (regardless of edition), and many of the effects include exact details that require them. So you need some kind of way to keep track of it.

That being said, you can use a piece of grid paper and coins, or a white board and a dry-erase marker, or any of a number of online virtual table tops to do this for free or very, very little. Roll20 is a good option here, as has been mentioned.

u/OneCritWonder · 10 pointsr/DnD

Keep the 4e stuff on the shelf for now. Figure whether you want to sell it later but maybe you'll super dig D&D once you get into it and really want more books on your shelf to be part of your Totally Awesome Collection ^TM

The reason why you're holding on to them is because you don't need to sell them to get into 5e. You can play D&D as soon as you want without spending a dime:

    • -

      But even so, D&D 5th Edition is streamlined and easy to learn and there are tons of people willing to help teach you. Its not a game you need to sit and read the rules from cover to cover before playing, you can very much sit down to a table as totally fresh and learn by playing--I teach people this way all the time.

      Consider checking out your local gaming store and see if they do any tutorials, have Organized Play, or know of groups looking for any members.

      You can also use these resources:

      > If you're looking to play in person:

      > Check in with your local gaming store.

      Local board game/RPG Facebook Groups

      > Local board game/RPG Meetup Groups

      Post in the subreddit for your town / area

      > Search /r/LFG for posts or make one.

      LFG tools on Obsidian Portal and PenAndPaperGames
      > Sites like FindGamers, NearbyGamers, GamerSeekingGamer

      Check WarHorn for local postings

      > If you're looking to play online:

      > /r/LFG and /r/Roll20LFG

      Roll20's game finder and LFG forums

      > Fantasy Grounds has a LFG Forum

      Play via Tabletop Simulator

      > * RPG Discord servers: Dungeons & Downvotes, Pair O' Dice, etc...

    • -

      If you end up just reading up on the rules and wanting to start your own group. I highly recommend the Starter Set.

      It's $15 on Amazon, has the core rules, a set of dice, premade characters, and an adventure that will last you a half dozen sessions or so. It's a great place to start--go figure--and is designed for brand new players and brand new DMs. The adventure is laid out in a way that introduces concepts as you go along rather than expecting you to know everything up front.

      The premade characters are big because you want to get straight to the playing not sit there explaining character creation to a brand new player. Without the context of how things are used, its just a wall of data and memorization... which isn't fun.

      You can always bring custom characters in once the group gets to town or something if people want, and now they'll kinda know the ropes.

    • -

      If you decide D&D is the hobby for you, your first purchase goal should be the Player's Handbook. Its the core rulebook with all of the default character options, spells, etc.
u/TenThousandKobolds · 1 pointr/DnD

The Basic Rules are available for free online- that should give you a start until you're able to get more resources. For dice, there are phone apps and online dice rollers available for free (not as satisfying as actually rolling, but it'll work).

Balancing for 2 PCs might be difficult, but it's possible. Best case would be if you can find 1-2 more people interested. Otherwise, perhaps they could each have 2 characters? It might be a bit more difficult to learn at first, but if you take it slow and everyone helps each other, it could work.

Matt Colville has a good series on YouTube about learning to DM. If you want a shorter adventure to start out and get the feel of playing, he has a video where he creates a small dungeon called the Delian Tomb. It's a great small introductory dungeon and he walks you through the creation so you can run it as-is or create your own spin on it. A lot of new DMs have run that dungeon with their groups.

I haven't run any of the published adventures, so unfortunately I can't give you advice there if you're looking for something that lasts several levels. I have heard very good things about the Starter Set (on Amazon for $10 right now), which comes with the basic rules, a set of dice, some pregenerated characters (you don't have to use them if you don't want), and a starter adventure that takes characters from level 1-5. It's recommended for a group with 3-5 players plus the DM, so you may want to try getting another friend involved.

Best of luck!

u/TheMaskedTom · 7 pointsr/DnD

Yeah, as others have said, for beginners do try out the D&D 5e Starter Set.

It has enough rules for the small premade adventure they give you to start up, the small adventure itself (which is no small thing for a beginner Dungeon Master), a few pregenerated characters and a set of dice.

You could add to that a few miniatures (or just use paper tokens) and an extra set of dice.

The Starter Set goes to level 5 only (out of 20 max). If you like it, then go ahead and buy the Holy Trinity of D&D Books:

  • the Player's Manual, which is a complete* set of all official possibilities about character creation and playing. You don't all need one for playing, but it's easier that way. Sharing is also good, that said.
  • The Dungeon Master's Guide, which is a book made to help the Dungeon Master create his adventures and make the game enjoyable. Only one is required, really.
  • The Monster Manual, which containes a lot of premade monsters which are very helpful for DMs.

    The other books, such as Curse of Strahd, Out of the Abyss or Tales from the Yawning Portal, are simply adventures that you can buy if you don't want to make your own. They are fun to play and way less of a hassle to DMs... but after a while most will like to make their own stories.

    On another note... While obviously I can't recommend that both because supporting creators is important and because of subreddit rules, you can find pdfs of all those books online, if you don't want to spend the money. Or simply because Ctrl-F is better than manually searching.

    *They have added a few more options is some adventures or the Sword Coast Adventure Guide, and there are some unofficial elements that are being tested in the Unearthed Arcana, but trust me with the core books you have enough to play with for a while.
u/daphnesbook · 1 pointr/DnD

Actually, the "H" does represent heroic, but it's not level. That is meant to reflect modules that can be linked as a series of adventures. It's from a system of organization in earlier editions that Wizards re-introduced with 4E. So, in other words, H1 is Keep on the Shadowfell and H2 is Thunderspire Labyrinth. You can run these after each other in a campaign! You can find a nice list here.

Also, this is a great battlemat from Chessex. It's durable and it's also not too gigantic. It's actually quite a capable size!

Personally, I will recommend using grid paper, too. I favored a battlemat for awhile, but I've become a big fan of the grid paper approach in 4E. You can draw and prepare what you like for smaller encounters, especially, easily beforehand and then slide standard sheet protectors on your finished product for your tokens/minis. Of course, you can arrange them on your table and keep them together with something as simple Scotch tape (though you shouldn't need to do that too often). You can also re-use locations and save shops or churches or elemental planes or whatever you'd like, that you can quickly recall to the table. The enterprising DM always likes creativity and efficiency together.

I make my grid paper from this generator with settings of 0.25 inch border, 1 point weight, and 1 line per inch and black grid color. Nothing complicated about this, it's a regular print job. By no means is this the authoritative way to do it, I just have found that works well for me and my players. There are plenty of other resources out there for grid paper, office stores, etc. Whatever works best for you!

u/baktrax · 2 pointsr/DnD
  1. I highly recommend 5th edition (the newest one). It's a great edition for new players to get into. They did a lot to streamline it and try to make it lighter on the mechanics, which makes it easier to learn and get into as a new player, and since it's the current edition, lots of people are playing it and it'll be a lot easier to get help/advice if you run into trouble.

  2. Do you mean like warlock patrons? With a lot of stuff in D&D, you'll find that it's really only as important as you make it. In some games, a warlock's patron might be extremely important to the game, while in another game it might never even be mentioned. It really just depends on what you want to do. But I don't know if that's what you're referring it. It certainly doesn't have to be an important aspect of the game if you don't want it to.

  3. In my opinion, there are really three options you can go with. (1) You could download the basic rules for players and dungeon masters for free from the wizards of the coast website. They're basic and don't include everything, but it's a free way to try out D&D without sinking a lot of money in it in case it turns out that it's not for you. (2) Or you could get the 5th edition starter set. It's pretty cheap (if you're in the US, at least), and it includes everything you need to play right out the box (the basic rules, pre-generated characters, dice, and an adventure designed for new DMs and new players). The benefit of the 5th edition starter set is that it comes with an adventure, so you can start playing right away and see if D&D is for you without having to figure out how to make your own adventure. (3) Or you can buy the Player's Handbook. This includes all of the rules for 5th edition and the basic/core character options. It's a great place to start, but it is the most expensive option. If you keep playing D&D, you're going to want to get it eventually anyway, but the downside of jumping right to it is that it can be a little overwhelming at first. It also doesn't come with an adventure, so you'd have to figure that part out for yourself (by buying a separate adventure, creating one yourself, or finding one online).

  4. It really varies. There are pre-made ones that wizards of the coast publishes, and there are pre-made ones that fans create and make available online. But tons of people make their own campaigns and adventures from scratch, so it's definitely acceptable to make your own.

  5. The 5e Player's Handbook has the core classes and races for 5th edition. Other editions had tons of other resources, but in 5th edition, they really tried to streamline everything. There are other options floating around (online and in other published books), but the Player's Handbook is really where the main stuff is and where you should start before worrying about the other options. The Player's Handbook, for example, has everything you need to make a Life Domain Cleric and it includes several other domains for clerics. There is other stuff available, but honestly, focus on the things in the Player's Handbook first, and after you've tried that out, then figure out how to get a hold of the other options.
u/digitallyApocalyptic · 5 pointsr/DnD

The most recent edition, and arguably the most accessible, is fifth edition, or 5e for short. There's also 1e, 2e, 3e, 3.5e, Pathfinder, and 4e, but most people play 5e and it's probably the easiest for beginners.

Start off by going to this link here to get a copy of the Basic Rules. These are available to download, free of charge, and will allow you to get acquainted with the basic game mechanics. Most of the mechanics revolve around polyhedral dice; you've got 4-, 6-, 8-, 10-, 12-, and 20-sided, plus another one called percentile dice (or d% for short) that is like a 10-sided die, but with 10, 20, 30 on it instead of 1, 2, 3, and allows for rolling numbers 1-100 when used with a standard 10-sided. Dice are abbreviated with the notation XdY; 3d6 would denote 3 six-sided dice, 6d10 would denote 6 ten-sided dice, 8d4 would denote 8 four-sided dice, etc.

Basic rules will also allow you to create a character if you'd like to try out the process before spending any money. Your character will be fairly cookie-cutter; you get four different races, four different classes, and four different backgrounds to choose from, along with a limited spell list and so on, but if you'd just like to get a feel for the process it's a pretty good way of doing so. The first chapter of the rules takes you through the character creation process step-by-step, and if you read through the basic rules in order, you'll probably be able to create a character. You can also snag free character sheet downloads here in either a format that you can print or one that you can edit in Adobe Reader.

If you're looking to find a group, I've heard /r/lfg mentioned a lot. Most people that want to play online use a site called Roll20, which is free and accessible. There's some other sites in the sidebar of /r/dnd that you could use. If you have some friends interested in the hobby, you could look at picking up the starter set on Amazon, which contains a premade adventure, some premade characters, and a dice set. Once you get more into things, you should look at picking up a Player's Handbook for more choices when creating a character.

u/RedS5 · 6 pointsr/DnD

It's not often that I see someone that would fully benefit from the Sword Coast Adventure Guide, but you fit the bill perfectly. Especially since you want to run a homebrew moving forward.

That being said, it is 30 bucks, so I understand if you don't want to purchase it - so I'll do my best for you.

First, it's a good idea to read over the Sword Coast and Northern Sword Coast to get an idea of the area you'll likely run the immediate portion of your continuing campaign. There are three major cities that are worth knowing about: Neverwinter, Waterdeep and Baldur's Gate. Any of these three are a suitable setting for a big-city game.

The setting as a whole lends itself to a 'straight down the middle' feel when it comes to magic. It exists, is used commonly enough that adventurers will come across it - but not so much that the default setting has magical street-lamps and stuff like that. Magical items (at least in 5e) are rare and very prized by those who own them. The magic setting is perfect for whatever you want to do because it's so 'down the middle'. If you want a low-magic campaign it's easy to adjust - and the same goes for a high-fantasy concept.

The area is a melting pot of the core races minus the Drow and Dragonborn, although the latter would be more common than the former. Humans still dominate the coastal cities, but the other races are represented well.

Truly, the Sword Coast Adventure Guide will be your best resource if you're going to create a homebrew in this area and are unfamiliar with the region. Failing that, there are numerous online resources to familiarize yourself with the area. A simple Google search will point you in the right direction.

u/rebelcan · 1 pointr/DnD

1. Like other people have said: have supplies on hand. Paper, pencils, dice. I went a bit overboard a bought a erasable grid mat and some wet-erase markers, but that's just me.

More importantly: read the rules that come with the starter set. Then read through the first section ( Goblin Arrows I think it's called ) of the Lost Mines of Phandelver (LMOP) book. Then read the rules again. Then read the first section. Then do a few mock battles between the pregens and the first goblin encounter ( dead horses on the road ). Then read the books again. Then do some more fake battles.

The point of all this is to make sure you understand how the basics work, so that you're not getting caught up on what to do next.

2. The 5 pregens are ready to go, straight out of the box. If you don't have the Players Handbook (PHB), stick with the pregens. The starter kit doesn't come with the rules to generate your own characters. It also lets you get straight to playing -- which I think is the most important part. Figure out if you and the players like the game before diving into the player creation / leveling rules.

3. I'd suggest just running through the LMOP campaign. Keep things loose. Occasionally make stuff up when monsters fail to hit with a natural 1 ( critical miss ). As long as you aren't getting bogged down with the rules ( see 1 ) you should be fine. Also: before starting, tell the players that if there are questions about a rule ( they don't understand, or think it works differently ) tell them that during the game your word is law -- BUT! You'll write down their concern to look up later ( during a break or after the session ) to see what the rules say. The important thing is to keep things flowing, not to get everyone bogged down looking stuff up in the books/online.

4. Graph paper works well if you want the players to map stuff themselves. You can always do it for them ( either on graph paper or on something like this ). The first encounter ( goblins on the road ) doesn't need a map, but it can help, although you'll have to make it up on the spot, there isn't a provided map for that in the module book. The main encounter ( goblin cave ) I would definitely recommend using a map.

This is also a personal thing, but as a new DM I found having a grid mat super useful. I've already got tons of other things to keep track of, trying to remember where everybody is isn't a skill I've got yet.

5. For all the encounters in the LMOP campaign, the book tells you exactly what loot each encounter generates. So not something you have to worry about until you get the DM guide and start building your own campaigns.

6. It's pretty much turn-based, turn order is based on Initiative. Again, see point 1: read the books a few times, play a few mock battles by yourself, you'll get the hang of it. Combat in 5e is pretty easy to get into, it flows well and is quick enough ( at least at 1st level ) that nobody gets bored waiting for their turn.

7. Not sure how this works outside of LMOP, but I think if you play through LMOP and see how your players react to the various encounters and whatnot, you should get a feel for it.

8. The LMOP book gives you guidelines on how NPCs should act ( are they friendly? gruff? trying to be fancy? etc ), but what they actually say is up to you. As DM, whether or not you actually "roleplay" or just do a dry "the NPC says x" is completely up to you. It really comes down to what you're comfortable with.

9. So far, what I've learned is that as DM I'm there to make sure the players are playing within the rules of the system ( ie, no jumping over mountains, etc ), controlling the NPCs, and helping the players tell the story by reacting to what they do.

I'm still pretty new, but one thing I've found useful for my players is pointing out 1st-order repercussions their actions might have. 1st-order repercussions are what happens directly due to an action: player hits gong, gong makes loud noise. 2nd-order repercussions are the things that happen that they player might not forsee: gong noise alerts orcs in next area that players are coming.

For example, in the first section of the goblin cave, there's a natural chimney that leads up to where the bugbear is hiding. The players didn't want to risk climbing and falling -- but one of them had a hammer and crampons ( things you hammer into the rock so you can climb with a rope and not worry about falling ). I told them that doing so would be loud -- I didn't tell them that there was a bugbear up there. They decided they didn't want every goblin in the cave ( which they didn't know how big it was yet ) to know where they were, so they went a different way.

If you want to read up on how me DM-ing the Goblin Arrows part of LMOP went: I DM'd last Sunday, was super fun

u/Blarghedy · 7 pointsr/DnD
  1. This encounter builder that someone on here built is all sorts of lovely. I'm doing something somewhat similar to you; my group is 6 players and we're playing a campaign built for 4. On top of that, we're playing a 3.5e campaign in 5e. Converting encounters manually is a bit of a pain, but with this app I can just see that the encounter calls for (this is a specific example that I did yesterday) 2 bugbears, check how that compares, see what happens by adding another bugbear, and call that a day. Super quick, super simple, super easy.

  2. Mood can be set by the players, and mood can be set by the DM. Generally mood is set by both. Talk with your players individually and out of character. Ask them what they want. Once you get a general idea of what they want, talk to them as a group or individually and say what you've found. Something along the lines of "Some of us want a more serious game, and a couple want a lot of humor. We can have both, but when it's time to be serious, please be serious for the rest of us." People will generally at least try to be accommodating.

  3. First, you are the DM. Your players are not. You are the final say on rules. Your players are not. If you have an idea of how something should work, make a quick decision about it. Look it up when you have more time. Don't let your players bog you down with minutia or rules lawyering. You are the rules. That said, if a player can actually manage to pay attention and look up rules at the same time, feel free to allow them to do that when it is not their turn, and when it is their turn they can bring up what they found. Deal with it as you like; retroactively or not, whatever. Also, you have 8 players. 8 players is a LOT. You and your players don't have time for people to look up their spells every time it's their turn. Have your spellcasters and ability users write up skill sheets for themselves... spell cards and the like. It's a bit of work but it saves a ton of time in game, when it matters.

  4. You don't necessarily have to have everyone. My general philosophy is if 1 person is gone, they're off doing something else and we continue playing with the rest of the party. If two people are gone, I just cancel the session. I'm not sure where I'd draw that line with 8 players, though. Alternately, just schedule for when everyone is available if possible.

  5. Personally, I adore my this thing. It makes drawing encounters for people so easy. I also love tactical gameplay and play with other people who, like me, grew up as video gamers, so there's that. For miniatures, I use chess pieces. I have a game of chess 4 which has 4 complete sets of pieces. Players pick their pieces and enemies are generally pawns. Once I have a bit more spare cash and am no longer spending all of my spare cash on D&D books and related paraphernalia, I'll start investing in actual miniatures. Paizo is just one source of those, mind; there are many more, including randoms on eBay. For a cheaper alternative, there are character tokens. That picture came from here. I don't know where to buy just tokens, but it's a thing people sell.

  6. I don't use fog of war, really; once a character has seen something, all the players can always see it... but then you get into distinguishing character knowledge from player knowledge and vice versa. Encourage your players to act as though their characters only know what their characters could know. Frodo's finger just got bitten off by Gollum? Aragorn doesn't know that, because Aragorn isn't in bloody Mordor.

  7. Eh, no opinion here; I don't bother with a screen. I like when people see how screwed or not that they are.
u/nosreiphaik · 1 pointr/DnD
  1. PRebuilds are fine for first timers if you have them, and the players like them. Let them build their own from what's available in the PHB otherwise. For their very first time, I wouldn't let them get too buckwild with options and homebrew stuff, but if you're comfortable with it, go nuts.
  2. If you want to spend some money, run Lost Mines of Phandelver. If you wanna do it for free, Matt Colville has a pretty quick and easy dungeon for you here.
  3. If you get the starter set, you'll have an adventure, rules, premade characcter sheets, all you'll really need is some dice and pencils. Otherwise, you might wanna pick up a copy of the Player's Handbook. Wizards has the basic rules of play free online.
  4. Don't get too deep into lore and backstories and all the miscellania until you're all feeling comfy and have the hang of all this. This hobby can be expensive and it's not for everyone, so don't feel pressured to pour yourself into it right off the bat. A simple one-shot adventure with a few pre-made characters is a great way to dip your toes in the water and learn the ins & outs of 5e.

    Have some pizza and snacks and visit for the first hour of your session before getting the adventure going! You'll get a lot of socializing done and everyone will be more comfortable and focused. Most of all, keep it loose and fun!
u/LaericMortovus · 7 pointsr/DnD

Use the sidebar and the links the previous comments have provided. They'll be very helpful. The Player's Handbook, Dungeon Master's Guide, and Monster Manual are about $30 each. This can seem like a lot, but they are so useful, and basically a necessity. Also, a couple sets of dice is important of course.

I started playing as a DM. I wanted to play, and none of my friends were as passionate about it, so I stepped up. It was fun to learn as I went, but a bit daunting at times. I've found great inspiration and information from the PAX streams of Acquisitions Inc and podcasts like The Adventure Zone and Nerd Poker. Also, the webcomic Darths & Droids has helpful & humorous information below each page. It helped me understand what DMing is like by "playing through" a story I was already very familiar with. Don't feel like you need a pre-made story either. We've been playing about 18 months now without ever opening one of the WotC campaign books. I primarily get my inspiration from movies, TV, comics, etc and just adapt the pilfered story to a fantasy setting.

Just jump in with both feet, and roll with it.

u/SergeantIndie · 10 pointsr/DnD

Make? No.

Paint? Yes. I painted all of those.

The Goblins are actually a pretty good deal. Reaper's Pathfinder Goblin Warriors. Get 4 of them for 3 bucks. If you want a bit more variety you can get the Reaper's Pathfinder Goblin Pyros but I'd feel pressured to do Object Source Lighting and I'd screw it up. Got two batches of the goblins and painted them all assembly line style.

Reaper Bones has a fair amount of similar "package deals" for a few monsters. 3-4 Skeletons, warriors, goblins, etc. Easy way to build a basic collection, even if it wont be 100% accurate at play time.

I'm using 3 Warriors, 3 Skeletons, and 8 Goblins as markers for most things right now since they were so cheap and easy. Players are pretty understanding of me using stand ins so far. They're happy to have painted miniatures even if the couple Bugbears in a fight are represented by Human Warrior minis.

Of course, even cheaper, you can get any number of wooden or plastic counters in any number of colors and shapes. Those work great too, but I enjoy collecting and painting (even on my limited budget) so Reaper Bones have been a godsend.

Oh! That 1 inch grid paper can be picked up as an Easel Pad. It allows you to draw out full maps, or even just important rooms ahead of time. Easy to just lay the prepped sheet out and go rather than drawing a room out before the combat.

There's a saying in the Army: Everything is ounces, ounces are pounds, pounds are miles.

Well, in D&D: Everything is seconds, seconds are minutes, and minutes are player interest and investment. Keep things flowing smoothly and keep people interested!

u/darksounds · 2 pointsr/DnD

Couple directions you can go. If you want to learn it and get some friends involved at the same time, you can get the 5th Edition Starter Set and run that adventure for your friends. The player's handbook is also a must-own. The dungeon master's guide and monster manual are great, but not mandatory.

If you want to join a game, pick up a player's handbook and a set of dice, hit up r/lfg, local gaming stores, or other places around you. Reading the rules is not 100% mandatory, but it is highly recommended. The PHB alone will be enough to get you 100% ready to play if you read it fully.

5th edition is the easiest to pick up, and has a lot of flexibility, allowing you to make it what you want it to be.

3.5 or pathfinder has a lot more number crunching and a larger focus on designing the mechanics of a character throughout levels. If you love minutiae, planning ahead, and keeping track of lots of data, you might enjoy it quite a lot. I personally love it, but no longer play it, because 5th edition allows me to get my slightly more casual friends to the table for a good time.

u/forgottenduck · 2 pointsr/DnD

Honestly I'd say go with Lost Mines of Phandelver, the starter set adventure. It's not too heavy or loaded with intrigue, the plot hooks are clear, and kids will have no trouble following. Most of the bad guys are goblins and obviously bad people for the majority of the adventure. The adventure is also written with new DMs in mind so it has a lot of helpful info to work with. I would suggest picking up the starter set and reading through the adventure to make sure there's nothing you think is inappropriate and then just run with it. The starter set comes with the basic rules, a set of dice, the adventure, and premade characters. It doesn't give you all the classes and archetypes that the full Player's Handbook does, but it really is everything you need to get started (although it does not come with miniatures or a battle grid, which are not completely necessary). You'll have to be the judge of whether you want to guide your kids through character creation or just go with the premades, but I have heard many people suggest using the premade characters for a first adventure. Maybe though if you're interested in letting them create their own characters you could go to a local game store with them and let them pick out a miniature for their character, most stores carry Reaper Miniatures which are very reasonably priced, though are unpainted.

Your players are your kids and you're their dad, they're probably going to love how you run the adventure even if you stumble through it, but trust me running D&D is easier than you would think. Maybe check out some of Matt Colvile's videos if you want some DM tips, but again with your players being kids I think you could just dive in without much trouble.

The community here is pretty helpful in my experience so if you have additional questions feel free to post a topic, or post in the Weekly Questions thread posted every Monday. Good luck!

u/PolarDorsai · 6 pointsr/DnD

DM here.

Firstly, I'm really happy you're taking that leap and have decided to get into D&D. You seem enthusiastic and brave, which is what DM's like to see in players. Here are a few points based on my experiences as both a new player (long ago) and as a DM now.

  • Bring a couple pencils. One to write with and a backup in case it breaks or someone else needs one. By lending one out, you'll make a friend instantly and although most DM's have extras, you'll look like a hero before you even roll your first D20.

  • From what I'm understanding, you haven't made your character yet, correct? If the game starts at 7pm, try to get there at 6pm if possible so you can get your character set up and ready to go. DM's don't mind helping you create one but other players may feel like it's holding things up. Someone else also said it; know your character well. If you have time to build it prior, learn about your characters abilities so you don't sit there looking them up in the middle of combat, adventuring.

  • If you have the money on hand--and it's understandable if you don't--go out and buy the D&D 5th Edition Player's Handbook. It's only $30 on Amazon (FUCK ME! I spent $50 at Barnes & Noble like a sucker haha) but is a must-have tool for ANY player. It's likely others will have them and they should let you borrow one for tonight. If you eventually become a crazy person, like me, you'll want to sit down and read the thing, cover-to-cover.

  • Someone said it already but, know what you want to do or at least have an idea of what you want to do before it's your turn in combat. This is the only time you would be "holding up" the game so it's crucial to keep things moving here. During adventuring, it's not turn-based so you can simply go along for the ride. Since you're new, no one is expecting you to have all the answers or to be the main contributor, however it's good to interact accordingly when the DM calls on you. Quick story...I have a new player in my group and I didn't expect much out of him but there would be times I would go out of my way to include him in the action, so I called on him to interact with an NPC I created. He didn't get into the story or even make an attempt to role play at all. Quiet gamers are fine, but non-participants are no fun.

  • It's been said: ask questions.

  • Most importantly, HAVE FUN!
u/ameoba · 1 pointr/DnD

Find some friends & start a game. You can find free rules for all sorts of RPGs around.

  • Shadowrun Quickstart - not technically D&D but it's based on the standard 6-sided dice you already have around the house (ie - no funny RPG dice needed). It's a combination of elves, dwarves & magic with a dark sci-fi setting. Free basic rules & an included adventure to get you up and running quickly.

  • Dragon Age Quickstart - again, not realy D&D but it gives you everything you need to play a quick game (rules + adventure) and it works with the six-sided dice you already have.

  • Swords & Wizardry Quick Start - S&W is a free clone of the oldest version of D&D. This is a stripped down version of the rules (only 10 pages for the rules) and includes a dungeon for you to explore. You'll need to get a set of 'funny' RPG dice but you can pick them up at your local game store or online (ie - Amazon) for $5-10 a set.

  • Honorable mention goes to Basic Fantasy RPG - another free clone of old-school D&D using simplified new-school rules, this one has tons of adventures & stuff available online. One of the most noteworthy things about it is that PDFs of the rules are free & you can buy all the printed books online at cost. The full rule book & a set of adventures (like "AA1") will cost you less than $20.

    ...and if you're willing to spend a few bucks there's the:

  • Dungeons and Dragons Starter set - It's cheap & it comes with dice, pre-generated characters, printed basic rules & a starting adventure that will probably last you and your friends a few sessions of gameplay.

    You can get more info by reading the the sidebar in /r/dnd and /r/rpg (both have decent "newbie" guides). There's also websites like that have articles targeted at new players.
u/MetzgerWilli · 2 pointsr/DnD

First of all, here is a link to the Basic Rules, which are provided by WotC for free.

To familiarize yourself with how the numbers on a character sheet are created, I suggest that you try to "reverse engineer" the character sheets that come with the adventure (you can download the sheets of the adventure here and you can find additional pregenerated characters here). Say if you have a problem at any point.

>[...] how does a DM know when those other stats are needed? His discretion?

As for how ability checks and skills are used, check out p. 57ff. of the Basic Rules. Yes, it is always the DM's discretion that decides when a player has to make an ability check. The adventure from the starter pack will include many such abilitychecks, and it always says, which ability is used and what the difficulty of the check is. You can take that as a guideline.

>Does the DM get to decide the difficulty of everything like a trap or a boulder the player has picked up?

Page 58 of the Basic Rules includes a short list of "Typical Difficulty Classes" as a guideline for the DM. 10 is easy, 15 is medium, and so on.

>I also sort of assume it's up to the DM to say "roll a stealth check and roll a strength check etc."

That's correct.

>Is there a list of what each monster's AC is and if so where can I find that? The monster's handbook or is there somewhere free?

Every monster that appears in the adventure is described at the end of the adventure that comes with the Starter Set, including its stat block, which its AC is a part of. You can find additional monster stat blocks in the DM-Basic Rules for free.

>Can I buy just one starter set and one player handbook and be set? Or would you also recommend the DM guide to someone who has never DMed before?

At the beginning you do not need anything beyond what is included in the Starter Set. It might be helpful to print an additional version of the Basic Rules for your players (which I linked to earlier and and they are also included in the Starter Set). However, while the Starter Set comes with one set of dice, I suggest that you get additional dice sets. For the first session, it might suffice to get one for the DM and one for the players, but ideally everyone has his own set of dice (and the higher the level the players are, the more dice are rolled).

As for the DMG or other books, I would hold off on any additional books until you have a few sessions under your belt, or even played through the adventure that comes with the Starter Set.

>What do you guys use on the back of a DM screen more than anything?

With back you mean the player side? I bought the standard 5e Screen, but you could simply assemble your own screen. You will know from experience which resources you might want to put there the most. I also use the screen to keep track of initiative by placing folded paper with the players'/monsters' names on them on the top of it. For the beginning, a simple piece of cardboard is enough, or you could simply go without a screen at all.

Additionally, may I suggest that you check out (Spoilers in the next link) this youtube series by WotC in which an experienced
DM plays through the first part of LMoP with a miyed group of experienced players and newbies.

Your players don't have to be experts prior to the game, but they should read the Basic Rules (p. 57 - 77) at least once,
so they know their options. The Dungeon Master generally is expected to have a better grasp on the game and should read
them multiple times in addition to the adventure they are currently playing, so he knows what is going on. Expect the
game to be a little slow the first time you play, as you have to get familiar with the rules, so basically it is the
same as for any more complex board game.

The Starter Set comes with pregenerated characters, and I suggest to use them (as did my group when we first started). While it is fun to create your own characters, playing a prewritten character allows you to concentrate on the game instead of your character too much.

u/LordQuorthon · 2 pointsr/DnD

The beginner's box is cheap but, if you want to play FOR FREE, it is entirely possible to do so using the free ruleset that has already been mentioned and linked and a dice rolling app on your phone, tablet or computer. The free ruleset has less races and classes, but it's still enough to keep you and your friends hooked for months.

If you feel like this is your thing, then you and your friends can save up and get the core books and maybe even Wiz Dice's Bag of Dice and you will be set for pretty much as long as you'll ever want. After that, getting pre-made adventures, new settings or even new editions will be entirely up to whether you feel like spending more money or not.

u/realpudding · 2 pointsr/DnD

TL;DR: start: free basic rules + dice. if you have fun, buy PHB, maybe MM.

as others already have said. the free basic rules are everything you need to play apart of a set of dice. the class and race choices are limited, but the rules are free. with these you can have months over months of fun.

if you want to play good adventure and not create one your own, the stater set is a good product. it comes with a rule booklet, pre-generated charakters, dice and an adventure booklet.

if you all have a lot of fun and want to invest, everyone of you can get their own dice set and buy the players handbook

it got everything you need. if you want to buy stuff for the DM, the monster manual is great

I would not buy the dungeon masters guide. I DM myself and have it and I don't use it that often.

as for the levels: 20 is max. if you reach 20 with a character, it's only after 1-2 years of play, maybe longer and then the character is kind of a demigod.

u/Baby_Griffin · 2 pointsr/DnD

you just fucking decided to get into dnd. and who are these fuckers to tell you when and how to dnd? fck em. this is how you start: buy these. Then go pick up these: Phb it's at the lowest price ever right now, so be quick. and then this (also cheaper right now, you're really lucky) and this (also on sale. man, you are a lucky 3 striker) would be good too. that will give you enough gaming material for everything you need for atleast the next 5 years of dnd. i know its alot of money if you count it up and when you only have highschool-kid-budget especially, but its worth it. you basically keep them forever. if that all is too much, get some dice and the basic rules for the Players and the rules for the Dungeon Master for free.

Now go watch these:

WebDm > more on their channel aswell.

Matt Colville

Matthew Mercer

You should be a party of 4 players and 1 Dm, in the best case. perfect size group. there are bigger and smaller groups but thats a good start for group size in the beginning. since you asked how to play, you will probably be the Dm. thats a good thing.

No group or friends to play with? try online play with, fantasy grounds or use the r/lfg subreddit to find people interested to play in your area. just be aware of the typical stranger danger of the internet .

If you need anything else, ask away.

u/DuguLinghu · 1 pointr/DnD

Amazon uk seems to have good prices on the D&D board games. Here's castle ravenloft:

You are aiming for a little over 40 pounds with those, which seems to be the current prices. Ravenloft is where I would start, after that, temple of elemental evil, then wrath of ashlardon and legend of drizzt. There are 4 such board games in total.

Eh, kind of surprising board games are the most cost effective way to get miniatures, but that seems to be the case. You will get something like 42 minis per game, a mix of heroes, monsters, and a couple large guys.

Checking on amazon uk, Descent seems way overpriced compared to in the US. May be a christmas thing, but I would aim to pay about 40 pounds for the base game, (they currently have it for 60 pounds, far too much), and about 25 pounds for hero and monster packs, to count as a good deal. Maybe watch amazon uk and see if they get some reasonable prices after christmas.

I know the UK has some great ebay sellers offering the Caesar's miniatures and the dark alliance sets, so you shouldn't have a problem finding them on ebay by searching for the names. My personal favorites are the Caesar's undead set, the Caesar's adventurers set, and the Dark Alliance orcs set.

Anyway, that's where I would start building the collection in the UK. Let me know if I can help further. :)

u/DnDYetti · 4 pointsr/DnD

> 1) what do you recomend to do?

I'd personally start with 5e, because it is a much more simplified system that allows for more aspects of role-playing, which is great for everyone - especially new players.

A nice start for new groups to DnD is a starter set. Here is a link to buy a starter set which comes with a 64-page adventure pre-made module book, a 32-page rule-book for playing characters level 1–5, 5 pregenerated characters, each with a character sheet and supporting reference material, and 6 dice. If you are playing 5e, you need the 5e books - the 3.5 books won't work for 5e, they are completely different games due to additional information added over each new edition.

I'd also recommend that you all sit down together in the same room, hook up a computer to a TV in the room, and watch some good DnD games to figure out what role-playing means, how DM's look in action, and how the game runs overall. Shows such as Critical-Role, or Acquisitions Incorporated are amazing.

Here is the playlsit for Critical Role on Youtube:

u/nargonian · 1 pointr/DnD

Here is a link one many agree is the best starter set and it is cheap in comparison to many other ones out there.

Besides that, there is The Players Handbook. Which is the only book I would say is a necessity for playing dnd (even being a dm) as it goes over all the rules and mechanics and gives you a lot of classes and races to work with. After that there is Xanathars Guide to Everything and the Monster Manual that are good starts to expanding your knowledge and options when playing or creating a DND world

If you are looking for good things to watch in your free time to improve your knowledge and get new ideas, I like Dungeon Dudes or Critical Role. Both are on Youtube and provide lots of good material to work with.

Then (shameless plug) I actually have a website that does in-depth analysis on many dungeon and dragons items such as mechanics, spells, and races that go into their strengths lore and other stuff. So check it out! It's called wizardofthetavern. If you have any other questions feel free to message me I will be more than happy to help you out!

u/NonWashableGamer · 1 pointr/DnD

Few things you can try -

Check your LGS (Local Game Store) and see if on their events list they have an Adventurer League. My brother in law recently started going with his daughter on a weekly basis and have been having a good time!

Local Game Stores also sometimes have bulletin boards where people will old school place notices if they're trying to put together a group to play at the store or at someones house. Requires a bit of an outgoing and adventurous attitude since you'll be sitting down to play with strangers.

If you don't have a lot of time you can check subreddits like /r/lfg (Looking For Group) as there are people who are regularly trying to put together games. Most these will be online using platforms like Roll20 so its easier to gather a group.

I know it can be daunting but the other option is to grab a Starter Kit which are very affordable compared to the core books but will still allow you and some friends to play!

Sad reality is that games can be hard to find because players far outnumber us DMs. So sometimes the only option new players have to get a group together is to take a stab at being DM. Contrary to what some people think you can start playing with nothing more than the starter kit, some notebooks, writing utensils and, some dice. The kit will give you a module you can run right out of the box. If your spouse is up to trying grab another friend or two give everyone some beer and explore some D&D together! Might not be everyone's bag but it can't hurt to see.

Running your first game seems daunting but like most things it always seems worse than it really is, best part is if you're playing with all new people they know exactly as much as you do, so you'll all be learning together!

Hopefully this helps a little and if you have questions feel free to ask! Always happy to help!

u/Prestidigitationaddi · 2 pointsr/DnD

Let's break it down:

Get your feet wet for (almost) FREE
Basic rules online or to download. Like a mini Player's Handbook but with fewer classes and races.
A character sheet. Or another character sheet.
(not free) A set of dice, pencil, paper.

Ohh, that was fun, I want more!
Player's Handbook
More dice
A miniature of your character

Totally optional for a player:
The Dungeon Master's Guide has a few more options for characters, but is mostly insight into building adventures and campaigns. The Monster Manual is great if you want to learn about what you will face. But don't buy them yet. Go play, have fun, make friends.

And if you win the lottery, buy a Geek Chic table to play on.

u/Throwaway135124852 · 2 pointsr/DnD

I have found that the [Pathfinder Bestiary Box] ( offers great value for monster miniatures.

It might be worthwhile to spend a little more on player miniatures, as they are used more frequently. Reaper and some other sites offer a pretty good selection. (Players often buy these for themselves)

A battle mat is a great investment, although you can also use paper.

Sound like you already have the core rule books.

The rest of the game comes from the mental creativity of the players and the DM. Don't worry too much about the physical supplies. You could spend $10,000 and still run a terrible game. You could have nothing but pencil and paper and run an amazing game. I recommend that you just dive in and start playing. Not everything will be perfect, but you will figure things out as they come up.

I fully expect to hear about the flourishing Jeddah D&D scene in the coming months. Good luck and happy gaming.

u/Vecna_Is_My_Co-Pilot · 4 pointsr/DnD

Some folks will recommend, eBay and similar but I really don't want to get into that. If you do, good luck. I'll point you to some new products instead of used items.

Though not the best deal per figure, the easiest way to get pre-painted figures are from the official D&D and Pathfinder blind boxes. Each ranges from $15 to $17 and each has one "Large" (or "Huge" in the case of the D&D Giants boxes) figure and three "medium" or smaller figs. Overall the painting quality is satisfactory, but not as good as if you painted them by hand with basic wash techniques.

If you want specific single figures, the Reaper Bones figures are competitively priced. Paizo and Wizards both liscence official painted and unpainted figures through Wizkids. Though they are slightly more expensive than Reaper Bones, they also have ones that match the exact appearance of official creatures.

If you want the cheapest price per figure, check out the MtG Arena of the Planewalkers board games (there are currently two plus one expansion released). The figures in here are mostly unpainted but they are lower quality molds than the other things I'm linking here and the bases are larger than 1" diameter. I think they're 1.25".

The Dungeons and Dragons board games are $40-70 depending on the seller and they have official sized unpainted figures. Each has a variety of 40 to 45 figures that are probably 75% medium sized creatures and the rest large, plus some have a single huge sized boss creature. There are currently four of the ones with co-op dungeon delves which also include nice dungeon tiles, plus the latest Assault of the Giants which has "Large" sized giant figures, but is not a dungeon delve and so it has a regular game board that's a map of the sword coast rather than dungeon tiles. The ones I recommend you check out are Wrath of Ashardalon, Temple of Elemental Evil, Castle Ravenloft, and The Legend of Drizzt.

The Descent series of board games has really nice detailed figures that look more ferocious than most of the monsters included above. The fit on a 1" grid and the games include 1" grid dungeon tiles too, but they are more expensive than the above D&D board games for a similar concept game with fewer total figures.

D&D Attack Wing figures were very expensive at MSRP because each pack had lots of extra cards, tiles, and tokens for the attack wing game. However, they are as nicely painted as the D&D blind boxes (the chromatic dragons are particularly nice) and the price is falling because they are going out of production and some places are clearing out their inventory -- so keep an eye out. The sets with ground units have standard 1" bases but flying units like dragons have clear bases that do not fit a 1" grid nicely.

The Dungeons and Dragons "Dungeon Command" series of games have somewhat recently gone out of production, but the pre-painted figures were of standard quality for D&D figures and they had large dungeon tiles in each box. They are at the point where they have been out of production long enough that the price has started to rise on amazon and the like, but you might be able to fine them for cheap at smaller retailers and second hand.

u/GinsuSamurai · 3 pointsr/DnD
  • "Bones" line miniatures look great and are rather cheap compared to metal but need painting.
  • Toy stores - there are usually tubs of various animals and fantasy creatures/people that work well and come painted. Example from amazon
  • Meeples - Buddy of mine started using them and really likes it. Despite the lack of exact replication of a critter you do have easily distinguishable characters
  • Pathfinder Paws - lots of colored cardboard tokens with stands. Look decent, easy to carry, good price and though they may be for pathfinder they are just slightly different named/interpreted D&D monsters.
  • bottle tops or cardboard tokens work fine. Lots of things online that let you print tokens and you can glue them to bits of cardboard or coins.

    I have crap tons of minis. TOO MANY to be honest, a couple hundred easily from the kickstarters I've backed. I also DM and really...they aren't helpful for anything other than tracking locations. When I'm really excited about one I just finished painting the biggest reaction I get is "ooo, nice job. Do I get to kill it?" so don't think that well made and painted minis are necessary. I paint them for my own enjoyment and to relax, not to make my games "better" because that doesn't happen.
u/Heyydin · 2 pointsr/DnD

To my knowledge, please correct me if I'm wrong, but I think 5e is here for a while. I know there is a new version of Pathfinder in the works but I'm not too sure when.

I'm not sure where you were looking, but for all 3 core books it's not even $90.

Also, for the DM, you would need the DMG first, PHB second, and MM third. Here are my reasons:

DMG - For learning tips on DMing 5e as well as being full of useful info to create adventures, this I would say get first.
PHB - Help see what spells your players have and what each class does. Helpful for you to learn more about 5e.
MM - While an AMAZING resource full of monsters, it can be a lot when you are picking what to initially throw at your characters. You can google most monsters and it'll help split the cost up.

As for that starter set: My players loved it. You, especially for your previous experience, could make the Starter set work for probably a few months. You can also find adventures for free or at low costs on

u/brother_bean · 1 pointr/DnD

I'll make a couple suggestions. The first is this video series. This is a great rundown of the game and how it works and it really helped me understand how to play. It will take you an hour or two to get through the videos but it's so worth it. I would recommend having your players watch the first 10 minute video before they show up for the first session or watch it as a group once you're all together (not the whole series, just the intro video.) This will give them an idea of what D&D is all about and what to expect, at least a little bit.

The second resource I'm going to recommend is the D&D Starter Set. This contains a great first adventure for you to run as a DM, as well as pregenerated characters to use and one set of dice. The adventure that the set comes with is The Lost Mine of Phandelver and it literally walks you through everything as you start to DM. It will tell you what to do and hold your hand as you get off the ground. The first session is sort of a tutorial session for you as DM and for the players.

I'd recommend getting some extra dice for your players as well so everyone can play with their own set. If you watch those videos and start off with the Starter Set you should be good to go.

u/Bhavnarnia · 1 pointr/DnD

If you want to play with minis without breaking the bank, I would highly recommend Pathfinder Pawns, specifically Bestiary Box 1 since it has a lot of general mythological creatures that'll fit the monsters in the free PDFs.

In regards to combat, I'm going to copy and paste an earlier comment of mine, and hopefully it helps you steer your decision-making:

I regularly DM for a group of 7, and another group of 4. I love theater of mind, but thoroughly enjoy the boardgame aspect of the grid. Here's my experience and advice.

  • Group of 7: started with theater of mind combat. At early levels and with simple fights, it was great. It got out of hand once at Level 5. Area of effect spells, changing terrain, etc. You also have more enemies and want to introduce traps and environment hazards. It's not impossible to track everything, but constantly repeating locations every turn made the game drag for such a large group. I like to be descriptive with combat narrative, play music, and be ready to answer any questions. Basically, If I have to constantly talk about spatial location, then I can't engage the players properly - the way they like.

  • Group of 4: they enjoyed both, but noted that they liked theater of mind for more unique encounters like chases, or a showdown with one or two targets. They prefer the grid because they enjoy the boardgame aspect of it. Basically, I cater to what they want, and tailor the battle approach to their needs.

    My tips for theater of mind:

  • Have a sketch for yourself or the group.

  • Keep your battlefield descriptions brief - less than 4 sentences.

  • Breakdown spatial distances qualitatively, not quantitatively. ex. "Adjacent, Nearby, Close, Far, Earshot"

  • Be flexible!

    My tips for doing battlemaps on the cheap:

  • I occassionally have maps drawn up on large easel paper. You can find this cheap ($10 USD/$15 CDN) at most business or art supply stores.

  • A pack of coloured dry erase markers.

  • I use this Paizo battlemat to quickly whip up a sketch of the area, but Chessex and other manufacturers make nice ones too.

  • My players place down their pawns, which I make with Pathfinder Pawn bases. You can purchase just the bases ($10 USD/$20 CDN), but I recommend the Bestiary Box ($45 USD/$60 CDN) because of its large assortment of D&D creatures and bases.
u/Hornbingle · 2 pointsr/DnD
  1. Learn the rules. Not memorized to the last detail, but enough to know what spells you may know, when to cast them, when to attack, how much damage you do, and so on. There's an official Players' Handbook if you're willing to pay about 30$ for a copy. One of the other players may have one they're willing to share, or another one of your friends. If you don't want to spend the money and you don't have friends with one, there's a free pdf with most of the rules, but it has less variety of characters, races, and classes. The Players' Handbook (often abbreviated to PHB) has all of the canon ones.

  2. Make a character that you like playing as. You can be anything you want to be. ANYTHING. However you want the character to act, that's how they act. How you play one day may be different from another day, but that's all part of your character growing up. Just be sure that your character doesn't have a jarring change all at once. A religious, uptight Paladin doesn't change to a shameless flirt in a day, see what I mean.

  3. You're there to have fun. So are the other people at the table. You want everybody to enjoy themselves so that you can enjoy yourself. It's a game, not the end of the world. Be yourself and watch the fun happen.

    When in doubt, go to Google or YouTube or some place and search "What to know for a new D&D player" or something like that. The Internet is a beautiful place.

    TL;DR: Learn the rules, play a character who you want to play as, and remember that it's just a game.
u/Bummer420 · 3 pointsr/DnD

I think the starter set would be good. I'm a very new player/DM and it gave me an adventure to run with my friends, who also had no experience playing. It was a lot of fun.

As for the math, it's really not terrible difficult, mainly just simple addition and subtraction, which would be great for the kids IMHO.

I plan on getting my two year old into D&D ASAP personally. It's something that both her mom and I enjoy so it's something she can be involved in, and the math part, as I stated before, is pretty simple. Just have them add the modifiers and you tell them the outcome, there is no need for them to remember everything.

Now, if you're asking which edition to go for, 5e is probably the easiest for new players to understand (also it's the most recent edition, with the DM Guide having come out online only 3 days ago).

That's the link to buy the starter set on Amazon. It's very fairly priced. Give it a try, I'm sure you and your kids will love it. If not, it'll give you somewhat of a base to build your own world that your kids will love. :)

u/LyschkoPlon · 3 pointsr/DnD

tl;dr: Get the Starter Set, get the Player's Handbook, get some Dice and go wild. Don't worry about asking for advice on here as well.

There's actually a Getting Started Guide in the Sidebar of this Subreddit; it's a very nice comprehensive list of what to do.

For home games, I would heavily encourage you to get the 5e Starter Set which comes with a Quickstart Rundown of the Rules, Pregenerated Characters, Dice and a really great Adventure. It really is a perfect start.

As for "Adventurer's League", that is the Official D&D 5e game-style; it uses specific adventures and a certain set of rules that is consistent between stores and events so you can theoretically take a character from one Store/Event and play it at another place without problems. It follows a couple of specific rules, and is mainly a way for people to play that don't have a consitent home group to play with. It's fun, and if the Store does have an AL table for Children specifically, that is great; without much knowledge of the rules yet, AL may be overwhelming though.

If you are serious about starting, get the Starter Set, an extra Set of Dice (usually called a "Polyset"), and maybe the Player's Handbook, this will last for the first couple of Months I'd wager. Getting the Player's Handbook is great for when your Boys want to make their own Characters instead of using the Pregenerated ones, as it has all the standard Race and Class options, equipment for characters, and all the other things you need for playing.

The other books, like the Dungeon Master's Guide and Monster Manual are nice to have, but not a necessity. The DMG goes into a lot of detail on how to make your own worlds and adventures and lists a lot of magic items; good to have, but not a necessity I'd say.

The MM has the stastics and information on Monsters; a lot of those can be looked up via the 5e System Reference Document or the Roll20 Compendium. More monsters are always nice to have, but again, not necesarry for when you're starting out.

There's other books as well - Sword Coast Adventurer's Guide, Volo's Guide to Monsters, Xanathar's Guide to Everything, Mordenkainen's Tome of Foes..., but all those are Supplement Books that offer Information on Campaign/World Settings, have new Monsters or more Player Options in terms of Races and Classes, but they are also entirely optional and a little more "advanced" content, so to speak, so I wouldn't pick them up right away.

u/oz_revulsion · 1 pointr/DnD

A couple of months ago I was making the exact same sort of post on (a rpg related website pretty good to have a look at their forums if you are just starting out as well). The advice I got was to just bite the bullet, buy myself a D&D 5e Starter Set, let my friends read the starter rules and just DM my own first game. If you're interested in how the night went you can check out the session report I wrote for it on rpggeek here.

If I'm honest the first night was, from a "following the rules" and running the game etc. sort of point of view it was a train wreck we got a lot wrong. However, it was also a shed load of fun and has kicked my friends and I off on our D&D journey. At the end of the day us getting the rules wrong just helps us to learn the rules properly when we go back to look them up it's all part of the fun I guess. It's too early to tell if it will be a long lasting interest in the hobby but we have a second night planned, so one step at a time I guess.

I don't have nearly as much experience as the other people who might answer your question here but from one newbie to another I will echo to you the advice I got. Just do it, man. Sure my first night flew in the face of the rules but its all a learning experience and the fact is speaking with a GM first isn't going to stop you from making those mistakes anyway. The starter set is so cheap as well, I know I've spent more on other things "just to give them a go".

Whether you decide to take the plunge as I suggested above or continue with your search to find a DM to host your game I wish you the best of luck and hope you enjoy yourself as much as I have so far.

u/MasterMarcon · 10 pointsr/DnD

About 2 years ago, I was in your place, so this is what I would say would be your best bet.

I would recommend you play Fifth Edition, it is the most well-rounded and least rules-oriented, so it is less confusing for new players. Also, I would start with the Starter Set that Wizards of The Coast (the company in charge of D&D) created. It was intended for new players, and has basic rules for you and your players, 5 pre-generated characters, and an adventure for characters to level from 1 to 5. That is what me and my friends played and greatly enjoyed it. Since the set only comes with 6 dice, I'd recommend getting at least a set for each player from either your local store or online.

Since you are going to be a new DM, it is probably a good idea to get some experience under your belt before making your own story and world. Don't worry, pre-made stories are probably less confusing for the players, they are well-made with a lot of detail.

However, when you want to move on from the Starter Set and the Lost Mines of Phandelver adventure included, you will need the Player's Handbook, the Monster Manual, and the Dungeon Master's Guide. You group want to get more than one Player's handbook for your players, but one is all that is really necessary. The Player's Handbook details how the players make characters, as well as rules, including combat ones. The monster manual is for you to reference and take monsters from and put in your game. The dungeon master's guide has tables and inspiration for things to put in your game. If you want to build your own world, there are also lots in there to help you do so.

Also, while you do not need them, I would recommend getting a battlemap like this one, and minatures, like these for monsters and these for your players to have, it allows your players to visualize what happens more.

TL;DR: Start with the Starter Set, then when done with the adventure, buy the 3 core books: The Player's Handbook, Monster Manual and Dungeon Master's Guide. Then either do premade campaigns from WoTC, or make your own!

u/kyle273 · 3 pointsr/DnD

Hello! Glad to see you're interested in playing.
Take a look at the subreddit's Getting Started page for some tips on getting going.

If you're completely new, i'd recommend grabbing the DND 5e starter set (Amazon) from your local game shop, or from online.
For your first time playing, I'd recommend the following:

  • Make sure you pick a Dungeon master (DM) in advance. They'll be in charge of running the adventure, and should probably be most familiar with the rules.
  • Don't sweat too much about getting the rules absolutely correct the first time. Most of D&D for me is having fun, rolling dice, and eating food. (Of course, this differs per group).
  • One of the biggest draws for D&D and tabletop RPG's for me is the rollplaying aspect of it. Encourage your friends to spend some time writing characters, or if you're using the characters in the starter kit kit, learning a bit more about their characters. I've had DM's hand out small bonuses on rolls (+1 or +2) for good rollplaying.
u/protectedneck · 2 pointsr/DnD

Play around with the tiles a bit to see if you like them! You can go as deep down the rabbit hole as you want, to be honest. The common consensus is that simple eraserboard tiles/maps work great as the workhorse for drawing out combat areas. These kinds of tiles are really useful because you can simulate line of sight/closed doors/etc by not placing down your tiles until your players advance further in. And you can draw features on the tiles to represent things in the area that are important.

I like to incorporate these blank tiles with other terrain that I've made or purchased as a way to make "filler" tiles. Say you have some city tiles that work for an encounter, but you need a walkway between two buildings or you need an alley between two buildings or something. You can place the blank tiles down, then place your city tiles on top and tell your players "the white space is an alley between these two buildings." Or in a recent game I had a small shrine in the wilderness where the party was attacked by a predator that was stalking them. I set up my blank tiles and put the terrain that represented the shrine on the table. Now the blank tiles represented the forest around the shrine.

I think it's better to start with stuff like this than it is to spend a bunch of money/time on Dwarven Forge or Hirst Arts specially made terrain. Over time, if you have the money and interest, you can eventually build up a collection of whatever kind of terrain you want. But for now, start with things that will be useful almost all of the time and are relatively cheap.

If you're looking to go three dimensional with your terrain/accessories, I can't recommend papercraft terrain like Fat Dragon Games makes enough.

As far as minis go, you have a LOT of options. WotC sells blind-box miniatures boxes that have decent quality, prepainted minis. And there are sites like Miniature Market and Troll & Toad where you can buy the specific miniatures you want. You also have a massive variety of unpainted miniatures you can use. The D&D officially branded Nolzur's miniatures are high quality and well-regarded. I also highly recommend the Reaper Bones line of minis. The quality is slightly worse than the Nolzur line, but the variety and price are difficult to argue with.

One option I don't see mentioned enough are "flat" miniatures. Pathfinder has a box set of popular monsters printed on cardstock that you put on stands to represent what the players are fighting. I've also seen plastic versions of these which I have never purchased, but Sly Flourish speaks highly of. If you do some googling I'm sure you can find tons more resources for printable "paper miniatures."

Hope this helps!

u/tanketom · 2 pointsr/DnD

I feel like a lot of the answers in this thread was to your title only, so hopefully I'm answering all of your other questions as well.

> what exactly DnD encounters is

This is all in the PHB – The Players Handbook, which you can find a free, slightly restricted version of here – split in a players and a DM (the game referee) version.

> what books will I need

There's the basic PHB, which has all the rules and the classes and the races you'll need to play. This is essential – and at least one should exist around the table.

Then there's the Monsters Manual (MM), which is filled with monsters, creatures, and enemies for the players to fight. If you're the DM, you might need this, especially if you're not playing a published adventure (more on that later).

Then there's the Dungeon Masters Guide (DMG). If you're the DM, you'll be needing this, as it's a plethora of rules and tables for making encounters, a catalogue of items, and rules for the DM to throw at their players.

Also, there's the published adventures: The Hoard of the Dragon Queen and its sequel, Rise of Tiamat. These are ready-made for DMs to let players in to a world quickly. They are set in the Forgotten Realms, "standard fantasy world".

> much am I looking at spending?

It depends if you're a player or a DM.

If you're a player you can absolutely make a character from the free rules, and perhaps buy a set of dice (with 4, 6, 8, 10, 12, and 20 sides) to play with (although this can be done with a dice app for your phone). But I'd recommend you buy the PHB.

If you're the DM, you'll need someone at the table to have a PHB (maybe the players could split the cost), and I'd recommend the DMG as well. The MM is handy if you're making and populating your own adventures. This'll be around 50 dollars per book (varying from country to country).

BUT, thankfully there's a Starter set, which comes in at around 12 dollars on Amazon, which has a starting adventure, a lightweight version of the rules for players and the DM, as well as a dice set.

If you and some friends are just starting out, it's a nice way of getting in to the hobby. Welcome to tabletop roleplaying games :)

u/TantortheBold · 1 pointr/DnD

The Players Handbook and Dungeon Masters Guide are pretty essential, you can make due without a monster manual for a bit but one of those is highly recommended (you can get them new but they are all a bit pricey so you may want to hunt around a bit for good deals)

Just Google:
5e Player Handbook
5e Dungeon Masters Guide
5e Monster Manual
You'll find links immediately to places you can buy them

If you are a creative person and want to be the dungeon master (aka what Abed does) coming up with your own world to play in is very fun and very rewarding but if you feel you could use some help or want to get into the game very quickly and not spend to much time developing your own world you can use some campaign books that have a story set up for you (my favourite so far has been Hoard of the dragon queen but there are tons of others)

Wizards of the coast (current producers of dungeons and dragons) has an official starter set as well that comes with pregenerated characters, dice, and a short story you could try out

Dungeons & Dragons Starter Set

u/MarkOfTheDragon12 · 2 pointsr/DnD
  • A DM can be anyone willing to learn along with you just as well as an experienced person who's been running games for years.

  • D&D 5e Starter Set Amazon Link

  • The amount of setup is entirely dependent on how much you (more specifically the DM, typically) want to avoid delays mid-game. The "Prep" that a DM does before hand that you always hear about, are things like reviewing the story, pre-drawing maps, gathering monster stats for convenience, etc. Player Prep is more or less just making sure your character is leveled to where they should be, and show up. That said, a typical session usually runs about 3 hours give or take, though this can vary greatly.

  • Far far far far too many to list :) I primarily play Pathfinder, with a bit of Starfinder and D&D 5e on the side. I've been playing tabletop rpg's for about four+ years now. (Computerized D&D for something like, 30 years)

  • Advise? Google and YouTube are your friends. There are COUNTLESS guides on how to play, how to get started, how to dm, how to create a character, etc. You just need to absorb it. The Starter Kits are a great place to start out as they're written with extra explanations and tips for the DM on how to run an adventure. Just find a group of friends; ideally five all together, and have one person DM while you're ALL learning the game together.
u/oneplusoneisthree · 3 pointsr/DnD

Even if you have the books already, 4e is a complex strategy game. There are a whole host of statuses, conditional bonuses and varying roles players have to constantly think about. It is also infamous for requiring many on the fly calculations. It takes higher level, chess-like thinking that while very fun, would probably be beyond 2nd graders.

Their new edition is much simpler, can be done verbally and has both the rules and a small variety of races and classes freely available. If you're looking for a pre-made adventure to use, the starter set is meant to introduce new players to the game. It's currently like 13 dollars on amazon right now and so far both fun and easy to pick up. Also, if you want to see the first little part of the adventure being run, some of the people at wizards put a video of the first few encounters up on youtube here.

If you begin with the starter set now, they're planning on updating the (free) basic rules with monsters in about a month, so you should have everything you need to run your own campaigns after finishing the pre-made adventure.

PS, I just want to commend you for going the extra mile for your students. Good on you, I hope everything goes well.

u/Gentleman_Kendama · 5 pointsr/DnD

Well, to get started, I'd recommend picking up a Player's Handbook (on sale through Amazon for $27.27) and some dice (There's a 7 dice set per player and DM. They consist of a D4, D6, D8, D10, D12, and D20, but standard 7-dice sets also include a second D10 which is used for percentile rolls) as well as maybe a playmat and some minifigures (characters that can act as placeholders). As far as adventures modules go, I'd recommend coming up with one yourself or doing the Lost Mines of Phandelver campaign. I would probably recommend that as the best module a person could point to for beginners. It will be a great way to get into [Storm King's Thunder] ( later on.

The Starter Set is okay, but intended for larger groups of like 4+. Once you get the hang of things with the required Player's Handbooks and the optional module Storm King's Thunder, I'd recommend picking up a Dungeon Master's Guide to create your own worlds together.

u/LordDraekan · 1 pointr/DnD

yea a lot of the content is free and I recommend just trying out the free stuff. The way the new edition is setup makes it very friendly to new players.

I recommend the players handbook if you like it just because of all the extra content you get. It is easily worth the $30 you can get it for on amazon

if you don't have a DM yet or have a new DM i'd definitely get the starters set just so you and your play group have an adventure to start off with. Otherwise the free content should be enough for the DM to cook something fun up. And he might have the PHB for you to page through!

u/ToastLord78 · 1 pointr/DnD

Running the Game by Matt Colville - A very helpful video playlist that explains the basics of being a DM in the first few videos, and then goes on to other, more specific stuff later. In the first episode he basically makes your first session for you. (Also a bunch of useful stuff in the description)

Dungeons and Dragons Starter Set - Has everything you need to get started. Rules, dice, character sheets, all that jazz. This as well as the video I mentioned above are super useful.

Critical Role - I recommend watching people play the game to get a feel for how it works. This series is a bunch of voice actors playing the game, so I find it pretty entertaining. Don't be intimidated by the length of the video or the audio issues. You could watch pretty much a little bit of any of the videos in this series and get the idea. You can also find other examples with different groups and see how the playstyles differ. Not every DM has to be a professional voice actor to be entertaining after all.

u/SpinahVieh · 5 pointsr/DnD

May I suggest this instead? WizDice Bag of Holding :) It's the equivalent to Chessex POD, but you know what you get and the Bag of Holding looks awesome.
There will be a second BOH from WizDice soon with the new colors (and, from what I've heard, a different bag). The new colors look awesome.
The reason I suggest this is because WizDice are known to be pretty fair dice (unlike Chessex) and their Customer Support is awesome.

u/ElementallyEvil · 1 pointr/DnD

Okay, so it sounds like the 5th Edition Player's Handbook is a must. Whether you're a player, or the one running the game, this is the main book.

There is a D&D Starter Set, but it's typically only bought by someone who wants to run the game (i.e. is the Dungeon Master). Considering all you know is that they've made characters that does make buying this set a little risky. It's quite likely that one of his friends is the Dungeon Master, in which case he'd have little use for the set.

Regardless, dice are always useful. Chessex are a good brand. Just make sure you buy a full set, and not a bundle of same-sided dice.

Disregarding the Starter Set, because it doesn't seem like a good bet in your case, the book and the dice will put you at ~$35 plus shipping from Amazon.


If that sounds like enough, then feel free to stop there.

However, one thing I always see new player struggle with (and something I experienced myself) is trying to play in / write for a setting you know nothing about. D&D is a storytelling game, every story needs events and a setting and it sorta sucks when you know nothing about one of those two aspects.

D&D has a bunch of different settings, but the main one is called the Forgotten Realms. >90% of pre-written material takes place in this setting and naturally is the one most new players start with.

There are a bunch of books that go into the different settings, to varying detail. By far though the best one for the Forgotten Realms in recent memory goes by the big 'ole title of "Ed Greenwood Presents Elminster's Forgotten Realms".

It was released between last edition and this edition, so it doesn't have any edition-specific rules - it's all about life in the setting: law, money, food, fashion, religion, and everything else a player needs to fill in the details of their imagination.

It's out of print nowadays, but you can still order it from their Print-on-Demand service. Because of this, it has the nice added benefit that even if some of his friends already have books this would ironically be new material.

u/cryrid · 2 pointsr/DnD

I'd start with the free basic rules, available here in browser and pdf formats. You'll want to read through the Player's Basic Rules first since that contains the rules and player creation guidelines. The DM's Basic Rules contains monster stats and rules specifically for the DM to use to keep things balanced.
You can also find the free System Reference Document, which contains even more class options, spells, and monster stats.

The $15 Starter Set is a great adventure for new DMs and players, and also contains a printed version of the basic rules.

If you know for sure you like the game, then you can buy the Player's Handbook (which contains the same rules, and even more options for creating characters). If you are the Dungeon Master then you may want to purchase the Monster Manual, and maybe the Dungeon Master's Guide.

The Dungeon Master's Guide (and the free DM's Basic Rules) will provide information on how to make sure the world is balanced for the player levels. There's quite a bit of math involved, so you may want to use a tool like Kobold Fight Club to help speed up the process. Also let the players know that they might stumble across very deadly monsters as they wander the land, and that its ok to flee or try non-combat approaches.

u/CommunistElk · 4 pointsr/DnD

The starter set is just a box that has all the basics you need to run a game.

Here is a link to it on Amazon

The starter set has

  • A premade adventure called Lost Mine of Phandelver for levels 1-5
  • A basic rule book
  • 5 pre-generated characters (each with a character sheet)
  • A dice set (Amazon says 6 dice, but a full set should have 7... They probably only included one 10 sided dice...)
  • All of the monsters that appear in the adventure have stat-blocs listed in the back.

    Those are the bare minimum what you need to play D&D. All of your players should also get their own dice. My friends and I like to make an event of going to the local game store to get dice when we start a new game sometimes.

    If you have the money I would definitely suggest at least getting the Player's Handbook. The Dungeon Master's Guide, as well as the Monser Manual, also have helpful information, but aren't really necessary until you go beyond LMoP.

    I also wanted to add I would advise all of your players getting their own PHB's as well. They are very affordable on Amazon as they are pretty much always on sale. From what I noticed, most games' rulebooks are typically $50
u/Pseud0pod · 1 pointr/DnD

It helped me a lot to watch video of actual play, because it gave me an idea of how a game flowed. Acquisition's Inc, Dice Camera Action, and Critical Role are all good examples. Just don't expect your game to be exactly the same, since in real life most of us aren't actors or entertainers.

I'd also recommend looking for friends who want to play and starting there. The Starter Set is the cheapest way to get everything you need to start a game in fifth edition, and the included adventure is pretty fun. I'd recommend three to five players in addition to the DM.

It's easiest to learn together IRL, but like others have said, Roll20 is a nice free platform for playing online. I use it myself because while my D&D group is made of mutual friends, we are scattered around the country. Sometimes the hardest part of D&D is getting your group together regularly, so having an online platform helps since no transportation is needed.

u/JakeEkiss · 1 pointr/DnD

Ok, so there are two introductory kits you can grab (either will work)

  1. The Essentials Kit: just came out at Target and has basic rules, a pre-made story, and rules for making characters and side-kicks as well as a DM screen for quick reference.
  2. The Starter Set: More or less the same rules (minus the sidekick stuff) and with a well playtested (and well liked) pre-made story along with pre-made characters.

    Both sets come with dice to play, and either will work for a first time group. They're relatively cheap (cheaper than any of the main books) and give you an easy way into the hobby.


    If you use one of those and your group digs it, there are three main books that have the expanded, full rule sets.

  3. The Player's Handbook (PHB): This is the primary rulebook to get, as it has all the major character options, gear and basic info to run just about any D&D game. If you only get one of the main books, this is the one to get.
  4. The Dungeon Master's Guide (DMG): This is a handbook for helping you create a world and campaign from whole cloth. It gives lots of ideas, optional rules, and guides for building everything from the ground up. Probably the second most important book to pick up.
  5. The Monster Manual (MM): This is more or less what it sounds like. It's just a big archive of creatures and people your players can fight, befriend, or look at awkwardly from across a tavern. You don't strictly speaking need this one to run anything, but it will make your life a lot simpler. There are other expanded books and pre-made stories (modules) you can look at getting after this if you want, but realistically once you've got the three main books you could play D&D until the sun burned out and never exhaust all the options available to you.

    For tips on running a game I recommend... Matt Colville's Running the Game series. The early videos tend to be a bit longer and not as well trimmed, but they're all good and the more recent ones (like the one recently on "the local area") are much tighter and better edited, giving a ton of information in a nice neat little package.
u/bdesu · 3 pointsr/DnD

I would start with the free D&D Basic Rules. These are from the most recent edition and include the core races and classes. The Starter Set has a pretty good adventure and is written to introduce both new DMs and players to the game. The Starter Set is only 12 bucks on Amazon at the moment and it comes with a set of dice, so I think it's a pretty good deal.

From there get a group of friends together and see what happens! Best of luck to you!

u/Comaburr · 2 pointsr/DnD

I checked the Getting Started/Learning to Play thread and he recommends starting out with the Red Box starter set since it's only $20 but it's actually $90 on Amazon. (I PM'd him about it.) He recommends 4e or Pathfinder. The thread is old but it was updated 12 days ago.

Is this an okay alternative?: 5e D&D Starter Set

Or perhaps I should start out with the Pathfinder Beginner Box? as mentioned in the Choosing an edition thread.

I have 4 players and I would be the DM. Their attention spans tend to drift if things get TOO complicated and they are better at keeping up when someone already knows the rules instead of everyone learning at the same time. That being said, I want to be able to jump into something that will basically introduce us to the game mechanics in an easy and smooth as possible kind of way.

I really want to get into D&D with this group of friends and they already like some of the more "involved" board games in the world. I just need to keep them captivated. It might be folly to try but I want to give it a shot. I feel like there is a whole world of gaming that I am missing out on.

Thanks for the advice.

Edit: Sorry to drop this on you in this thread but I figured it was as good a place as any...

Edit: My fear is that the 5e will be overcomplicated and using Pathfinder would be easier... I don't know. Ahhh.

u/seantabasco · 3 pointsr/DnD

[The Starter Set] ( is exactly what you need...

A) it's a adventure that goes from level 1-4 that is specifically written for a new DM. No other adventure will be as easy to run, and once you complete it and have a feel for how it works you can work the party into any of the other adventures out there (or start a new party if that's what your players want)

B) it's cheap....its only $12 and has the adventure, a small rulebook, and a set of dice. Once again, the rulebook is a condensed version that is easier for a person new to D&D to read

C) it's a good adventure. It's pretty straightforward, doesn't get super crazy, and is a great start for everyone.

u/Jebydia · 1 pointr/DnD

To help represent combat or unique locations mostly. Abilities, movement and positioning are easier to see if you use a grid to define where everything is. 1 square represents 5ft. It's not needed, but most of us have an easier time visualizing what's going on when we can actually see a representation. Like chess you can play it in your head, but much easier with a board set up. But they come in many varieties and at various price points.

It's also fun to collect minis to use, but those are totally optional and expensive so start with pennies or dice and buy things as you actually need/want them.

I would recommend you get the starter set for 5e. Comes with everything you "need" to get started and if you like it you can buy the players handbook and such from there.

starter set

u/infinitum3d · 2 pointsr/DnD


Help. I'm a new DM-

1. Where do I start?

I always recommend The Starter Set from Wizards of the Coast. This has easy to read rules, pregenerated characters so you can start right away (plus the rules to create you own if you want), and a complete campaign which is really fun and has lots of side quests and hooks to keep the game going for years.

If you're not sure you want to shell out $12.59 USD, then you can try out the Basic Rules as a FREE download from the Wizards of the Coast website. Download them, read them, and feel free to ask questions here in this sub. 🙂

Wizards of the Coast recently released The Essentials Kit which is similar to The Starter Set but includes rules for a 2 player game (one DM and one Player) and has the adventure Dragon of Icespire Peak. I haven't played this kit, but it looks very promising.

Good luck!

u/Suthamorak · 3 pointsr/DnD

Depends, are you looking for actual miniatures, or are you just looking for representations of monsters? Because Pathfinder makes a decent box set of bulk monsters for $50. They're called Pathfinder Pawns, and they're basically cardboard standees. This box is less than $50 for 300 paper miniatures, and is as cheap as you're likely to find, especially if you value your time.

As for bulk miniatures, the D&D board games like Wrath of Ashardladon, Castle Ravenloft, and Legend of Drizzt are all fairly good sources of actual 3d miniatures, but they are unpainted. Aside from that, does have some cheap packs of unpainted miniatures, but overall, no miniature company truly sells in "bulk" that I've noticed.

For throwaway undead, I use these while I wait for actual undead miniatures to paint. They're a bit smaller, but you can't beat that value.

Aside from that, if you're looking for actual painted miniatures, good luck! The only pre-painted ones I really see are either on E-bay as second hand, or the random "loot box" style of package such as here.

I love painting miniatures, and do some quality work depending on how detailed you want to commission. I am actually in the process of updating my Etsy shop with prepainted "sets" of miniatures. Any questions, ask away!

u/sevy85 · 3 pointsr/DnD

200$? Challenge accepted.

Buy the books for 100,76$

players handbook

dungeon master's guide

monster manual

To be fair, you're already set now. I would advise the players to also buy a player's handbook or at the very least download the free basic rules

If you need figurines you can google what you want, print them off and use them or you can use this from u/printableheroes and pay him 10$

You don't need an erasable battle map to play, you can just draw everything yourself but I would highly recommend it and it's not that expensive. just 21,66$

For the dice, just buy a bag of everything for 19,99$

you're now all set to go on epic adventures for a combined total off 152,41$

If you have any money left that you would want to spend, I would recommend buying the starter set, so you can learn how it is to DM before making everything up on your own. And at 29,99$ it's really a steal

This would bring your money spend on 182,4$

Allright we're 17,6$ under budget. You can use that to buy some drawing paper, pens and what not.

Then if you want to start DM-ing go and watch these videos, You will learn a lot from them. Also, if you want to start playing on wednesday, you're either going to have to read as a maniac or use the first adventure that u/mattcolville talks about in his first videos. If you make up a town with a few NPC's and have them travel there with an encounter (let's say wolves in a forest), you've already got a few hours playtime. However, you will all need to roll up characters which will also take some time. Especially if you are all new at this. Maybe use the templates from the starter set to get the feel.

Also, because they are fun, awesome and it will help you understand what d&d is and to grow as a DM, watch some critical role.

In the spare time you have left, contemplate on how much time you had before you started this awesome hobby and how you wished somebody else would DM so you could just sit down on a lazy chair and kill things.

Congratulations, you're one of us now.

u/Pain__Seer · 2 pointsr/DnD

I rarely care for the monster menagerie minis, they thend to have awful quality and paint jobs. Which for mass produced painted minis, I guess its to be expected.

If you want some minis that aren't bad at all, while not painted the Reaper Bones minis and the Nolzur’s Marvelous Miniatures are two really nice lines for their prices, and for the most part are quite durable. Overall though they can be more expensive than the random box minis, but they tend to me quite worth it.

One thing that you might be interested in is Hero Forge while they are not cheap, you can custom make your own humanoid minis, which is always a nice surprise for PCs. I don't recommend their $15 plastic though, like I said it can be kinda pricey for minis.

EDIT: I almost forgot! Pathfinder Beastiary Box is great for bulk cheap figures. There not minis, but it can sure beat paying $30 bucks for that one monster.

u/hmph_ · 3 pointsr/DnD

TL;DR If you want large, vinyl, hexes, and wet erase: look to Chessex. If you want large-ish, laminated, no hexes, and dry erase: look to Pathfinder. I'd say measure your game space first.

The mat you're most likely talking about is the Chessex MEGAMAT.($30) This is by and large the most popular battlemat on the market. It's vinyl, rectangular (3' x 4'), hex reversible, quality make, but it's wet erase. (You'll probs need to buy wet erase markers) This is also the mat I have. Here's my brief critique: it is larger than I have ever needed, though I will admit I have sometimes been encouraged by the mat's size to make a larger battlefield. It's so large that it barely fits on the table, giving my players little room for their papers, making it difficult for me as a DM to quickly access all parts of the map, and making transporting it a minor annoyance. The wet erase is only slightly annoying, but if you're going to be doing a lot of erasing, you'll quickly tire of the rags and water. However, it is very high quality, plenty big, and terrific if you have the right space and table to use it.

A very similar mat is the regular Chessex Battlemat($22) It's smaller (2' x 2'), vinyl, square, high quality, hex reversible, and still wet erase. Really again a great mat that's very similar to the MEGAMAT, just a little less. . . MEGA.

Another large vinyl one more similar to the MEGAMAT is the Wiz Dice Battle Mat.($32) It shares all the same qualities of the MEGAMAT, but owners have claimed that is does not erase quite as nicely. However, it is a clean white mat, rather than the sort of textured beige of the Chessex mats.

Finally, the most viable dry erase mats are the Evolve Skins battlemats($28) which come in white or beige, are not hex reversible, are laminated, are 3' x 2', and seem to not be entirely dry erase. A better choice would probably be the laminated, 2' x 2.5', dry erase, not hex reversible, Pathfinder battlemats.($13)

I'd recommend measuring your game space, prioritizing what you think are the most important qualities, and then comparing these options that I have presented.

u/Midnight_Shade · 2 pointsr/DnD

I'm not sure about this subreddit's policies on linking to Scribd and other book sites, but here is the Amazon link.

It's pretty interesting, and like the product description says it adds a whole new dimension to your game, which can be pretty amusing and fulfilling. It talks about different race's ideas on love, how to rp these types of encounters, and how different ideas dealing with this type of stuff would affect the campaign

u/dubiousmage · 2 pointsr/DnD

The starter set is literally built for that. $13.50 on Amazon.

It's a level 1 to level 5 adventure, well written, and written with consideration for learning how to DM. And a booklet of the fundamental rules of playing, a set of dice, and some premade character sheets (which are good for new players, so they can learn how to play before trying to make the big decisions involved with character creation). All in all, it's an awesome value.

While you could theoretically just hop right in, open the box and start playing, you'd be better off doing the following:

  • Read the rulebook and try to get the mechanics figured out as much as you can: how you make ability checks and saving throws, and how combat works.

  • Read the first section or two of the adventure, to figure out what you'll be running. The first dungeon, maybe the town. That should be easily enough for your first session. But basically, the point of that is to kind of have an idea of what's going to happen, so you don't have to pause during the game to study it, and you know approximately where to find the information you need to look up.

    Then grab players and get playing. Try to stay at least one session ahead of your players as you read through the adventure.
u/Sheriff_Is_A_Nearer · 5 pointsr/DnD

I was you last April. Get yourself the Starter Set. It has mostly everything you need including characters, a set of die, a mini rule book, and a real solid campaign "Lost Mines of Phandelver". It is all you will need for a while.

Am I right in assuming you will be the DM? If no one has volunteered then you should do it. It's super fun and not as hard as it seems.

I would say you need to pick-up more dice than the Starter Set provides. Have the players buy a set or provide your own. Dice are cheap. You can get a set for $1 or $2.

I also bought a Battle Mat and Wet Erase Markers and ,to me, made the combat side of things way easier to track as well as making the game more enjoyable to the players. Don't worry about having cool mini's the first time around, you can use coins or candy. Though I am sure that in time you will succumb to the seduction of mini's.

Have fun playing and good luck in your future adventures!

EDIT: When you start itching for more information that the starter set can buy I would highly recommend you purchase the Player's Handbook first before the Monster Manual and then the Dungeon Master Guide.

u/DG86 · 2 pointsr/DnD

The rules for 5ed are free and legal (but incomplete) online. You can find PDF over at but my favorite reference site is

You can purchase legal PDFs from nearly all previous editions over at (Most of them as cheap as $10.)

For what it is worth, my favorite edition is 5ed right now. It has a good, middle ground for complexity. You can get the Starter Set for less than $20. It is a box that comes with the rules, some characters, and an adventure.

If you want something dirt-simple, my favorite edition would be BECMI. (The red box from the 80s.) You can get all the compiled rules, spells, and monsters for this edition in a single PDF called the Rules Cyclopedia for $10.

u/Capt_DMFiat · 2 pointsr/DnD

You just need a rough sketch of the area. I use a Chessex Battlemat similar to the one linked at the end of the comment. You could easily use 4 sheets of paper with one inch squares drawn or printed on them. Then in pencil just mark out the dungeon walls or whatever.

I personally think using a battlemat makes the game better. It adds something new to the game that it didn't have before (tactical battles). Now mind you, that battles aren't super technical but it certainly makes them feel more technical than just trying to describe things.

I personally don't get much enjoyment from the DM saying, "You backflip off the wall and slice the guy's head off." I can have fictional battles in my head where I'm awesome any time I want.

Using a battlemat also marks a huge difference between social encounters and battle encounters. Social encounters are all done as theater of the mind, so do you really need another encounter that uses the same technique? I think not.

>I was thinking maybe doing no map but for main encounters throw a map on

I've thought about doing this as well, but haven't actually done it. The bonus about it that I can see is that it allows you to fit the expected battles per day, which is what forces the players to manage their limited resources and abilities. (spells, healing dice, ki points, etc.)

In the end I probably won't end up doing that and will just continue to push the players to make their decisions quickly. If they make an "nonoptimal" decision then so be it.

I think the reason battles slow the game down so much is that players plan too much. Too much time is spent on, "Hey who wants bardic inspiration? ... Who's next in the initiative order? Oh, Sally goes before Bob. But Bob would benefit from the inspiration more. Bob, do you mind if I don't give you inspiration this time? What's that Sally? Oh you're going to be using an action that won't benefit from it okay... Then Frank you can have it."

Whew. Longest bonus action ever. Let's hope that player never has to make a decision about movement and provoking an attack of opportunity! Just do your think players!

u/AnotherDM · 2 pointsr/DnD

My girlfriend bought me the D&D colouring book for my birthday. It is amazing! Highly recommended if your father is artistic. Even if he isn't, it is still fun.

If your father is a DM and has a cheesex mat for drawing his maps, you can never go wrong with a new set of markers. They tend to run out in the least expected circumstances.

And of course, you can always go with rulebooks. If he has a library, I'd start by seeing which books he is missing. The following are for players of D&D, there are many adventure books as well for DMs.

Volo's Guide to Monsters:

Sword Coast Adventure's Guide:

Aside from this, you can always just get him random D&D knick knacks.t think geek is a good spot to start your search for any and all things nerdy.

D20 Chip Bowl:

Whiskey stones:

Light up D20:

D20 spin ring:

Hope this helps spur some ideas for the holiday season. Good luck shopping!

u/RandomDwarf · 2 pointsr/DnD

I have heard good things about the Starter Set. It comes with some basic rules, pre-made characters, an adventure (Lost Mine of Phandelver) and a set of dice. Although I personally haven't played it. For the more savvy players, they can of course roll their own characters.

I personally like the Sunless Citadel module, found in Tales of the Yawning Portal. It's a bit tougher for the PCs, but it's a solid two or three session adventure which will start the party at level 1 and go to about level 3.

I think these shorter adventures are the best place to start as a new group. Once your group tackles a few of these shorter adventures, maybe try an official campaign or homebrew your own.

u/Canadians360 · 2 pointsr/DnD

So a couple of things. Are you going for homebrew or are you running an adventure book?

I've started DMing quite recently, 5 sessions in.

These videos were a big help. Matt Colville Running the Game

The starter set is $12 and from what I've heard is an amazing bang for buck for newbies. woo cheap stuff

I'd expect them to have lots of combat rules and class specific questions out the gate. The preset characters will let you know almost all the answers ahead of time as you'd know what they're playing. Then again if you've played most classes and have a few campaigns under your belt... you probably have that handled for custom characters.

I think my best advice is to overplan but not to overworry, I got pulled into DMing with 3 hours notice with little to no prep and now I've got a solid world, a great BBEG, and happy players. It all tends to work out so long as everyone's looking for fun.

u/Rathhunter94 · 2 pointsr/DnD

I was one of the oddballs that started playing D&D on 4e and moved to 5e. And honestly, 4e wasn't as bad as many people make it out to be if, and this is the big if, you are fine with doing a lot of mental calculations and tracking of abilities. This edition turned virtually everyone into casters, which means you can customize your character's combat identity to be exactly what you want no matter what your class, but makes you essentially a muscle-wizard, magic-wizard, sneaky-wizard, etc.

Level ups are crazy, too, requiring you to recalculate almost every stat on your character. The power creep is real in that edition, and you will eventually become an unkillable force of nature. No, seriously, epic destinies in that game often go "You hunt gods for fun, and respawn unharmed 6 seconds after you die."

However, to your original question, combat can easily be done using anything to represent your characters: we used everything from pogs to minis to coins. A battlegrid is still a life-saver, and I'd recommend biting the bullet and getting something like this. Otherwise, prepare to use a lot of paper for crudely drawn maps, because you pretty much need a grid for that edition.

And the good thing is you can use that mat for any other edition as well. And personally, I would actually recommend starting with 5e unless you're all engineering types who have fun with math and like the epic-hero power fantasy, or have some experienced players who can help teach the rules of combat. Otherwise combat, even at level 1, would take forever. My first group was a bunch of engineers and math minors at college, so we enjoyed the number crunch, and the DM and 2 of the 5 knew the system already.

u/[deleted] · 1 pointr/DnD

5E is a beautiful edition of the game and a great place for new/returning players. The main 5E subreddit is r/dndnext.

Here are the free rules for 5E. I do recommend getting a PHB relatively soon.

You can use any adventure with any edition, but will have to tweak/convert various things like treasure, monsters, traps, etc. Totally possible, but potentially a bit tedious. Most 5E adventures are excellent and the Starter Set - which goes for about $15 - contains a level 1-5 adventure.

u/SharurScorpion · 2 pointsr/DnD

First off, welcome to our hobby.

When you say "starter box", I assume you mean this ( These are an abridged subset of the full rules, because many people who weren't into the hobby would balk at the cost of the core books, or would want to play right away rather than going through the process of creating characters. Originally, I think that they were around $60 or more for each of the three core books, although you can get them used now on Amazon for $25-35 each (I would also recommend). (I've also found some in my local library's reference section ).

The three core books in D&D 5th edition are:

-The Player's Handbook (PHB)

-The Dungeon Master's Guide (DMG)

-The Monster Manual (MM)

If you enjoy the game, as a player, I would recommend investing in the Player's Handbook. It has rules for playing characters up to level 20, 12 classes with all of their options and subclasses, equipment, feats, and spell rules.

If you would like to try running the game, as the Dungeon Master, I recommend getting the Dungeon Master's Guide and the Monster Manual. The former has advice and guidelines for running the game, while the later has a plethora of ready made creatures. (I've heard some complain that the Monster Manual's creatures are too week, but personally, I think that is to its benefit: it is far easier to add features than it is to remove them).

You can also get advice for more specific questions either here, or (probably a better location) is the /r/Dmacademy/ subreddit, which is built around helping DMs, especially new DMs.

u/Sotsie · 4 pointsr/DnD

I highly recommend trying out 5th Edition to start with. It's the newest iteration of the rules, what most game stores and events are currently playing, and is streamlined and easy to learn for new players and returning players alike.

                          • 5th edition's Basic Rules are also available online for free. It doesn't have everything that the players handbook does, but it's free and will let you check out things before spending any money.

                            For new players the Starter Set is a great first adventure. It comes with premade characters you can use if you want, the adventure book for the DM that gives all the NPC information and monster stats, a set of dice, etc.

                          • This guy has a accent which may or may not be an issue for you, but check out these videos:

u/Aeristoka · 2 pointsr/DnD

I started DMing on Lost Mine of Phandelver, and it's absolutely fantastic to start with. It gives you (as a new DM) tons of helps and prompts for things that can be done, how to RP NPCs, etc. It's also fairly open-ended, so the PCs can choose where to go, what order to do things in, etc., and feel well-rewarded with a good number of magic items.

I've also heard (though just in passing) good things about the newer Starter Set, Dragons of Icespire Peak, which is currently only available at Target (strange decision by Wizards).

Lost Mine was how I learned to DM, so it will always hold a special place in my heart, and I would highly recommend it. I've now moved on to Tyranny of Dragons with my now more experienced group wanting to start with new characters.

Feel free to DM me for some resources to help with Lost Mine as well.

u/kcon1528 · 7 pointsr/DnD

Started Set

Bulk Dice

The starter set is a great way to introduce players to the game. I have never played it, but it comes highly recommended as far as I can tell. Wiz Dice is awesome. I got a bulk set for Christmas and it contained at least 10 complete sets. Well worth it. Good luck!

u/distilledwill · 3 pointsr/DnD

> Do I need to read the whole thing


If you want to learn DnD the fun way then watch the following:

Matt Colville Running the Game

Critical Role: Season 2 (I say season 2 because whilst season 1 is good, and you should totally watch it, by season 2 they are experienced players and the set-up is so much smoother)

I'd recommend looking at the SRD (Systems Reference Document - catchy name!!) its a condensed rules and its completely free online, it cuts it down to absolutely the bare minimum you need to know to get a game running.

And finally, if you are willing to invest 15 bucks (or your regional equivalent) then pick up the Starter Set which is a great little book which properly introduces you and your players to DnD. It ASSUMES you've never played before and as the adventure guide progresses it gradually lets go of your hand and lets you DM the normal way - it was the first campaign I ran and it was a great introduction.

u/MurphysParadox · 2 pointsr/DnD

The best way to start is to get the D&D starter kit. It comes with all the stuff you need to try the system out for the first handful of levels, though not enough to run a full game. The adventure is pretty good, there are prebuilt characters to play, and lots of advice with examples.

Once you're familiar with the mechanics of the game, you can start getting a better feel for how to run a game. And you can look into buying a Player's Handbook and the Dungeon Master's Guide. These are all you need to run a game.

Running your own world, finding online resources like maps, planning encounters, and all these things are available online. But, as you said, most options do presume you have some understanding of the game. Which is why the starter kit is a great way to get involved with things.

u/fewty · 1 pointr/DnD

Hey friend! I also decided to get into D&D in London after watching a bunch of Critical Role, so I know where you're at!

I'd highly recommend you check out the London Dungeons & Dragons meetup group. There are lots of games going on several days a week!

As for the physical items, there is only one book you really need as a player, and that is the Player's Handbook (commonly referred to as the PHB). You can get it off amazon for under £30. This book contains all of the basic rules for how to play the game as well as the rules for the different classes, races and weapons etc. You can also find a brief copy of the basic rules for free on the official website.

Its also good to get some dice! You want a set of polyhedral dice, this will include all the dice you need to play D&D.

Lastly you can download and print off a copy of the official D&D character sheet from their website. You want the "Fifth Edition Character Sheets" on that page, but there are also pre-made characters on that page if you aren't sure about making your own from scratch!

Good luck and welcome to the hobby. :)

u/AqueonTheConjurer · 3 pointsr/DnD

Links below!

The most complicated part is character creation. Once you get past that (which you can do by enlisting your fellows' help or by using a pregen character from the Wizards of the Coast website) it should be pretty easy. You'll need a set of polyhedral dice, though you may be able to borrow one for your first night.

As for what you're "letting [your]self in for," you're entering a diverse and storied hobby scene, full of every sort of person imaginable. In this hobby, you will use and abuse the framework of rules to tell some of the most epic, ridiculous, and memorable stories you've ever experienced. People will shed tears over a character's death and find themselves slapping the table in a fit of laughter in same session.

The rules are complex, yes, but you don't need to think of them as the ropes which tie your hands; they are, rather, the bars of the jungle gym up which you and your party are climbing.

Basic Rules

Character Sheet PDFs and Pregenerated Characters

ForgedAnvil Character Creation Tool - I highly recommend this tool in conjunction with a Player's Handbook.;bcsi-ac-8cba37c1e31f6013=2579E820000002082fK730btoVId+ZXswTE5SWQIHdIBAAAACAIAAMxCBwAAjScAAAAAACcCAAA=

Amazon Dice Selection - Don't spend too much on dice just yet. That will come with time.

Player's Handbook

I hope you have a good game night. Let us know how it went! If you want to ask anything D&D-related, this is a great place to do it.

u/chazbamfvonbagg · 1 pointr/DnD

I would suggest take a different route. Buy another game, but specifically somthing with minis in it. I have seen CMON games go for as little as $8 new at places like Marshall’s and T J Maxx. WOTC’s wrath of ashardalon is pretty cheap right now but is usually between $40-60. That’s around $1 a pop and you get some nice ones and some big ones. Also I’ve seen arena of the planes walkers pretty cheap many times when a local store had it for $5 I bought 10 boxes and now I use them as armies and mobs. Look around and be patient and be ready to buy when you see deals but dont be afraid to walk away if something is too much. At the end of they day you could have lots of minis and several new games to play. Also for cheap battlemats you may be a little late but lots of wrapping paper has 1 inch grid on the inside. Picked up several 3’ by 50yard rolls for 50 cent a pop in mid January

u/ChickenBaconPoutine · 3 pointsr/DnD

First off, read this PDF about the Basic Rules.

Then, buy the Starter Pack.

Read the Adventure Booklet and the Rules Booklet a few times, see if it's something you might enjoy. If not, you're 16$ down and it's no big deal.

If you think you might like it, make sure you're familiar enough with most of the rules and the adventure, then find 3-4 friends that might be interested in playing. Become the DM. They will love you long time. Request they bring snacks during sessions as offerings to appease your bloodthirst.

If you have more budget, your next purchase is gonna be the Player's Handbook.

Then buy the Monster's Manual. Then the DMG (mostly for the magical item section, the rest is mostly rubbish). THen buy Volo's Guide to Monsters and Sword Coast Adventurers' Guide. Then once you're done with LMoP, buy one of the published hardcover campaigns.

u/AStoryInATeacup · 2 pointsr/DnD

If it seems a little intimidating to jump in at the deep end, the starter set is around £16 and can be found in game shops and even waterstones. Also there are the D&D boardgames (which are a little more expensive, but you get a ton of miniatures) and games like it which are a big step up from monopoly and games like it. These can be found on the D&D website under boardgames. These games such as Castle Ravenloft, Wrath of Ashardalon and The Legend of Drizzt can be a great middle ground between boardgame and D&D (they are often referred to as D&D lite)

As others have said if you have the time whilst in hospital then perhaps get a few other children involved, the games are always better with a few more players and are a great way of developing social skills.

u/GetSchooled · 2 pointsr/DnD

The starter set of course!

>Get started playing Dungeons & Dragons with the Starter Set! Containing everything you need to leap into a D&D adventure, this boxed set is designed for five to six players, with one of you taking on the role of the game’s lead storyteller, the Dungeon Master.
Join thousands of other D&D players who have experienced the exciting adventure in the box: 'Lost Mine of Phandelver,' a 64-page booklet for the DM to read.
If you’d like to learn even more about D&D, the Starter Set is a perfect jumping-off point, leading next to the main Dungeons & Dragons books: the Player’s Handbook, Monster Manual, and Dungeon Master’s Guide.

Also, the Player's Handbook mentioned above is a great first purchase if you don't want to rely on the SRD stuff (which is free online).

u/Nundahl · 3 pointsr/DnD

/u/Vagabond_Sam is right overall, but I'd argue you could go slightly more "barest essential" with the Starter Set, which I think might suit you best right now:

Granted if you love the game as much as I'm sure you will once you start getting into it then there's a good chance you'll buy the Player's Handbook, Monster Manual, and Dungeon Master's Guide after this anyway which repeats a lot of the same information (minus the adventure). This just gives you a cheap entry-point.

u/grammaton · 11 pointsr/DnD

Welcome to the hobby! You have a bunch of options (assuming you want 5e, which is the most recent version):

  • Basic Rules These are a 100% free way of getting going. Limited to 4 races (Dwarf, Elf, Halfling, Human) and 4 classes (Cleric, Fighter, Rogue, Wizard). Worth a download to read and see if 5e is the version for you.

  • Starter Set This is good if you have a few friends that all want to learn. Starter set will give you premade characters, dice, and an adventure to get your from levels 1-5.

  • Core Books These consist of 3 books: Player's Handbook(PHB), Dungeon Master Guide(DMB), and Monster Manual(MM). At bare minimum, you need the PHG to make characters and know the rules. To flesh things out, MM is needed for some fun things for the players to fight, and the DMG will give ideas for adventures and magic items. This option will give you (and your group) the most flexibility and longevity. If your average group of 5 people (1 DM and 4 PCs) can chip in just $30 each to pick up 1 copy of each of the core books.
u/Tired_Dungeon_Master · 5 pointsr/DnD

> Or am I supposed to just describe the rooms? If I should describe them, what if a fight occurs?

You can absolutely play without a map, it's called theatre of the mind. Usually, the DM keeps track of locations and the players ask things like "How far is the closest monster" or "Am I close enough to hit Y" and so on. It's a little abstracted, but some people like it more than maps-and-miniatures. Personally, as I use maps with line drawings of the locations, I give way more detail in descriptive words than my map contains.

> . My question is how you usually make maps (mainly for dungeons). All I have access to are A4 sheets of paper and a printer for those sheets. The maximum amount of squares I get on those are 8x11, which means that I'll have to use several sheets of paper even for small dungeons.

Honestly not unusual if you're home-printing. Personally, I use a large battle mat about the same size as my table surface. This mat has allowed me to draw out full dungeons in most cases, but it's also the size of a medium dining room table. I also have a smaller square battle mat in case the dungeon is too large or I want a specific subsection or another place included in the same session. For instance, I'll draw the keep they start in on the small mat, and the dungeon they're traveling to on the large mat. Then, the keep-mat can even be used to obscure areas they haven't seen within the dungeon-mat, at least for a time. Fog of war can be handled by not drawing the full area ahead of time, or using something like paper or towels to physically cover the mat.

For both, I use dry erase markers for a simple outline of dungeons (Crosshatch in between-walls places where there is no space to exist, for clarities sake), and might include some basic fluff like rock piles, stalagtites/mites, etc. I also have a bunch of clay and cardboard miniature set pieces I use to accent the maps - barrels, fires, rocks, fountains, statues, etc. These bits are my own make, so there's some time involved, but you can buy premade miniature items to use as well, or just forgo the accents entirely. It's not necessary, I just like it.

My setup looks like this, all-told. (Was before I got the big mat, so this is just the smaller one). This one mat contained an entire wing of a 3-part dungeon, enough for a session and a half or so. The next section was a large labyrinth and is why I now own a larger mat.

> they also includd things only the DM is supposed to read anyway, like Trap Locations or Secrets.

Often there are two maps - a DM version and a clean Player version. Alternatively, googling 'placename dungeon map' will usually find you plenty of cleaned up or player-made versions of maps, sometimes better than what's in the actual module.

> To my knowledge, you always need a map for a fight,

As I said earlier, nope. It's easiest for at least the DM to have a map to mark things on themselves, but you can in fact go 100% mapless, and it works just fine. Just have to be used to it, pretty much. If you're not providing a map for your players, as a new DM I'd say keep your own printed map and some little markers like pennies or dimes to track locations so you can be ready with information. Even just some gridlined paper you can draw out as you go is plenty for your own tracking purposes.

u/Windchaser45 · 2 pointsr/DnD

Lost Mines of Phandelver is great in my opinion.

Pretty straight forward, room for improvisation/exploration, and the included materials are helpful for new players. Also, it ends around 5th level so your players are free to move on to bigger things story wise afterwards.

I'm currently running a group of players with ~2 years experience through it, and we are all enjoying it.

u/Bridger15 · 4 pointsr/DnD

Start with a pre-printed module. There are many for all the editions. I would also suggest taking a look at 5th Edition. You can get the basic rules (and Basic DMG) for free to get an idea of what the system is like.

It is way easier to introduce someone to 5th Ed than 3.5 if they've never played RPGs before. Even though your familiar with 3.5, I'd recommend looking through those Basic Rules (which is essentially the PHB minus some of the classes/archetypes) to decide for yourself.

If you do end up liking 5th edition, people can't stop raving about the Starter Box adventure called the Lost Mines of Phandelver. It's a great starter adventure (takes your characters from level 1 through level 5).

u/foxual · 18 pointsr/DnD

I would say to get started you'll need the following:

u/gladiator0607 · 3 pointsr/DnD

If you've got Amazon Prime you can get the Magic the Gathering board game for ten bucks. The minis aren't amazing and most aren't painted but you get a total of 35 figures for just $10. You can do the same thing with the official D&D board games. They are more expensive but are specifically geared for D&D. All of these minis are really only good for enemies to put on the board instead of being used as PC's though. Hope this helps and I hope your club is an amazing success!