How to Play Dungeons and Dragons

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.

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!

Role-Playing University

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!

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, customizing monsters for your setting, how to engage with the players, using history and mythology in your games, and anything else I can cook up.

Creating Your Own Campaign Setting

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.

Monsters/Villains