Watched Stranger Things and want to start playing D&D? Here’s what you need to get started:
Go watch Matt Colville’s video Your First Adventure and play it.
There; you’re done.
Oh wait, you wanted to read what I have to say about it? Right. Beware, all that follows might flay your mind, a little. Did you pass your Wisdom Saving Throw? Don’t know what that is? Never mind. Let’s go.
Some friends. No really. You need at least one other person to play with. And one of you will be the Dungeon Master. Flip a coin for it. You can play Dungeons & Dragons at the table or online.
Dice rolls drive the game.
D&D uses a dice set that includes a 20 sided dice. Google “Roll a D20” and this happens:
If you don’t have physical dice and don’t want to use Google, head over to D&D Beyond, set up an account and use their character builder and built in dice roller. A lot easier, but maybe not the disconnected game time you were looking for?
Next, your character!
If you want paper character sheet, but don’t want to build one – just download it from Wizards of the Coast. Character creation takes time and if you’re just want to play NOW, then getting your hands on a pre-generated character sheet is the quickest and easiest way to get started. Get it here.
Alternatively, your DND Beyond has a quick build character sheet function, that will generate a character for you in seconds.
Ok, how are you on time? About 5 minutes in. Great, you’ll be smashing goblins and tanking ale in a tavern in a couple of moments.
Here’s the tricky part. The adventure you will play through. D&D is about exploring dungeons (or towns, or swamps, or ruins, or castles) and fighting dragons (or giants, or beholders, or liches). To do that you need a place, a monster, and some adventurers willing to go into said place to fight said monster.
If you want to play a simple, fun adventure, watch Matt Colville’s video Your First Adventure. He designs the Delian Tomb, a mini-adventure you can play through in one session. The video has links to everything you need: characters, maps, and Matt to help you understand how the adventure works.
You can also quickly search Google “New Players Adventure”:
Or just take a look at The Lost Mines of Phandelver, which is D&D’s official new player game.
Do you have a creative itch to scratch? Go ahead, design something. You need five rooms and you’re good to go. You’ve got this. I think.
That’s it: you have the players, the Dungeon Master, the dice, the characters and an adventure. Now all you need to do is sit down at the table and play.
Wait, what about the rules?
In a nutshell: if you want to do something, you roll a D20. Roll a high number, and you succeed. Roll a low number, and you fail. This is basically how everything in D&D works. To make it easy for you, here are some of my own videos on the steps to playing D&D.
Here are D&D’s Basic Rules, but don’t get too caught up in them at first. Play and discover the magical, fantastical world D&D has to offer and have fun. That’s what the rules are for: to help you have fun.
How to play D&D