Guides for new players and Dungeon Masters, from a lifetime lover of the hobby
Are you thinking about trying Dungeons and Dragons, but don’t know where to start? On this page you will find my accumulated guides on getting started – hopefully it can calm your fears and encourage you to try that first game!
Why Play Dungeons and Dragons? It’s fun! That’s not the only reason but it’s arguably the most important. There are many great reasons to dive into the hobby, especially now! I wrote a post here that goes into more detail about my feelings on the game’s place in our culture today.
What qualifies me? I’ve been reading Dungeons and Dragons material religiously since I first got my hands on it as a young lad. It took me all the way until college to actually land myself in my first game, and the rest is history. I’ve been playing for over a decade now, more and more as a Dungeon Master despite my best efforts otherwise.
I’ve played other tabletop RPGs and don’t get me wrong, they’re fun too! But, in my eyes, nothing compares to the world’s greatest role-playing game.
How to Play: Beginner Player Guides
These guides will get you ready to play your first game! They will explain basics such as materials you’ll need, how to make your first character, overviews of the classes, and more.
- Creating Your First Character
- Class Primers: Introductions to the Base Classes
It’s worth noting that part of the philosophy behind Fifth Edition DnD is accessibility, and in that spirit the basic rules needed to play a game are freely available here on the Wizards of the Coast website. If you’re on the fence about trying the game and don’t want to commit to buying the books, you don’t have to!
This series will include role-playing related guides, with a focus on incorporating improvisational theatre into role-playing. While I’ll still be assuming we’re playing Dungeons and Dragons in these guides, a lot of this advice should be useful in any role-play heavy game!
Topics in Role-Playing
- Role-Playing 101: Getting More Comfortable with Role-Playing
- Role-Playing 102: What is Role-Playing, and Why Should I Do It?
- Role-Playing 201: Incorporating the Fundamentals of Improvisation into Role-Playing
Topics in Character Work
- Character Work 101: Super-Objective, Objective, and Conflict
- Character Work 201: Playing High and Low Status
How to Play: Dungeon Master Guides
Keep an eye out for tips and guides on running games for your friends (or strangers!), including advice on: worldbuilding basics, making a compelling villain, how to engage with the players, using history and mythology in your games, and more.
- What Makes a Good Dungeon Master?
- Preparing for Your First Session
- How to Prepare for a DnD Session
- Making Combat More Dynamic
Creating Your Own Campaign
- Making a City: Saltori
- Making a Dungeon: Tomb of Fenregaur
- The Almighty DM Binder
- Plot Basics for Dungeon Masters
Homebrew Laboratory: DIY DnD
This section includes any home-made monsters, subclasses, rule-sets, and anything else I cook up! I’ll also be including guides on how I put these together and incorporate them into my games.