Getting started with Dungeons and Dragons (the newest, shiniest edition) can be as easy as finding your Friendly Local Game Store (FLGS). The fifth edition of Dungeons and Dragons is very player friendly and can get you into your first game in less than twenty minutes. You’re going to need a few things though to make the best of your first outing.
Object 1: An open, relaxed mind
If you are brand new to a role-playing game or have been playing twenty years, this is the best suggestion i can make for you to bring to a new game. The rules are going to be unfamiliar, and that’s okay. You’re probably not going to get everything the first time, and you may get rules wrong. That’s equally okay. Come in to the situation with an open mind and remember, games are supposed to be fun, enjoy it.
The other part of a relaxed mind is that gamer personalities run the full gamut of people you’d be willing to help bury a body with to people you need help burying. Everybody processes fun differently, and it’s going to take time for you to figure out the social interaction quirks and dynamics of a new group. That’s fine, take your time and get to know the people around you, and you’ll integrate into the group.
Object 2: The rules
D & D has three excellent choices for the new player to get started. The D & D Starter Set has a set of dice, a basic rulebook, and an adventure to learn the game with. It’s the perfect setup for getting a group of friends to learn D & D. If you want to scale up from this, the D & D basic rules are a free download from wizards of the coast at http://dnd.wizards.com/articles/features/basicrules. This book contains a full level progression from levels 1-20 for 4 character classes, an assortment of races and character options, and all the rules you’ll need to build your first character and get into the game.
Finally, if you’ve played the game and gotten into it, you’re ready to take the plunge and pick up a Player’s Handbook. This core book for Dungeons and Dragons contains every piece of information a player will need to create a character, adventure through spooky tombs, and level up to heights of power unimagined. It’s also got some pretty sweet art in it, and is really the first and last place a new player needs to look for figuring out the basics of the game.
Object 3: A character
Every player in a role-playing game (not including the Game Master) needs to have a character to play the game. Your character is your avatar to interact with the shared storytelling world you and your friends are building together. It has a set of statistics and values that help you as a player figure out how you interact with the world around you. Most often, this is represented on a character sheet,
The character sheet is the record keeping tool that tracks all of your statistics and achievements during game play. It’s a reference for you to make playing the game easier and faster because it has all of your vital information and what dice you’ll need to roll in order to pull of your legendary feats of daring-do.
Object 4: Dice
Dice are essentially the item that separates a role-playing game from the games of cops and robbers (if you’re old enough, cowboys and indians) you played as a kid. They give you as a player a random number generator that can impartially (allegedly) determine the success or failure of your actions in the game. These aren’t the usual dice you play Monopoly with, and you’ll need a set of
1D20 (The die you’ll probably roll the most)
2D10 These dice can also be used as a percentile (1 die takes the 10s place, the other takes the 1s place) die for rolls that need them.
1D8 (The Longsword, don’t leave home without it)
4D6 (some classes will need more, so it’s not unreasonable to pick up extras if you’re playing a spell caster or a rogue)
1D4 (the pyramid of broken soles and contused feet)
Remember, these are your dice and you can find just about any kind of die to represent your personality and quirkiness.. As long as everyone can read them clearly, you can go nuts with your dice.
Object 5: A Writing Instrument
You’re probably going to need to take notes, track changes and otherwise modify your character sheet. The bold will use pens, the crafty will use dry erase markers and clear sheets, and the sensible will use pencils. Bring whichever writing instrument you feel comfortable with, but be mindful of bringing a laptop or a tablet.
Especially in a new place, space is at a premium, and there may not be space or power access for you to plug your hardware into a power outlet. I would always suggest carrying a hard copy of your character sheet just in case. We also strongly encourage you remember your character sheet, it’s critical.
There are some other things that you might want to bring, but if you’ve got these five things, you should be ready to rock and roll at your first D & D game.
Anyway, Game on, Game Fans