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Strap on your adventurer’s backpack and ready your weapons. In this article, we’re going to cover what you’ll need to get you on the road in your first Dungeons & Dragons adventure.

Dungeons & Dragons is a fantasy role-playing game where players guide heroes through prewritten adventures or custom adventures written by the dungeon master. Each adventure will comprise of various quests, battles with fierce enemies, story-driven role-play and much more.

The first thing you’ll need to play online or in-person will be a dungeon master and a party to play with. Playing Dungeons & Dragons for the first time can be daunting, but learning the rules (Player’s handbook) and being prepared before playing can help.

What You Need To Play

What The Players Need

Required:

Optional:

What The Dungeon Master Needs

Required:

  • 7 die set (D4, D6, D8, D10, D12 & D20)
  • Dungeon Master screen
  • Pre-written Adventure or custom written adventure
  • Pen and paper

Optional:

What The Players Need

Required:

  • A character (printed character sheet or digital character sheet)
  • Access to the rules (Dungeons & Dragons Player’s Handbook – Physical or digital)
  • Note-taking program (e.g. Notepad, Word) or pen and paper (if you prefer to take physical notes)
  • Access to programs that will be used to play (ask your Dungeon Master what programs you will be using)

Optional:

  • 7 die set (D4, D6, D8, D10, D12 & D20) (if you prefer to use physical dice)

What The Dungeon Master Needs

Required:

  • 7 die set (D4, D6, D8, D10, D12 & D20)
  • Pre-written Adventure or custom written adventure
  • Note-taking program (e.g. Notepad, Word) or pen and paper (if you prefer to take physical notes)
  • Access to programs that will be used to play. Commonly used programs include

Optional:

The starter set and essentials kit are perfect for getting started with the items required to get a party started on their first adventure. Alternatively, the Core Rules Gift Set is an excellent option for dungeons masters who wish to create their own world and adventures.

Getting Started Bundles

The D&D Starter Set is your gateway to action-packed stories of the imagination. This boxed set contains the essential rules of the game plus everything you need to play heroic characters on perilous adventures in worlds of fantasy. Explore subterranean labyrinths! Plunder hoards of treasure! Battle legendary monsters!

Ideal for a group of 4-6, the D&D Starter Set includes:

  • 64-page adventure book with everything the Dungeon Master needs to get started
  • 32-page rulebook for playing characters level 1-5
  • 5 pre-generated characters, with character sheets
  • Set of 6 dice
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The D&D Essentials Kit is a new introductory product meant to bring D&D to audiences interested in jumping into a fantasy story. This boxed set contains the essentials you need to run a D&D game with one Dungeon Master and one to five adventurers. A newly designed rulebook on-boards players by teaching them how to make characters, and the included adventure, Dragon of Icespire Peak, introduces a new 1-on-1 rules variant.

Ideal for a DM and 1-5 players, the D&D Essentials Kit includes:

  • Rulebook
  • Dragon of Icespire Peak introductory adventure
  • 6 blank character sheets
  • Dungeon Master screen
  • 81 cards for magic items, sidekicks and more
  • Double-sided poster map for use with the adventure
  • Set of 11 dice
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Sourcebook Bundles

Inside the D&D Core Rulebook Gift Set are special foil cover editions of the three Dungeons & Dragons core rulebooks:

  • Players Handbook
  • Dungeon Masters Guide
  • Monster Manual
  • Dungeon Masters screen
  • Stylish slipcase

Its the perfect gift for any D&D fan. Each of the three books and the Dungeon Masters screen features reflective foil covers, available ONLY with this release. The Players Handbook, Dungeon Masters Guide, and Monster Manual are the foundational texts of D&Ds fifth edition for beginners and for veterans alike.

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Alternatively, all hardcover sourcebooks can be purchased individually here. Digital versions can also be purchased over at dndbeyond.com

Adventures

If you have chosen to get sourcebooks instead of the essentials kit or starter set, you will need an adventure for the dungeon master to use. Here is our selection of pre-written adventures:

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Beginner Player Tips Before Playing Dungeons & Dragons

  1. Watch a Dungeons & Dragons stream or video online to understand how the game is played and get ideas for characters and role-playing. I highly recommend the vastly popular Critical Role Campaign 2 on YouTube.
  2. Ask your Dungeon Master what you will need to have ready for the first play session.
  3. Read through and familiarise yourself with the Player’s Handbook.
  4. Talk to experienced players who will be playing in the same game as you or the dungeon master to ask any questions you may have.
  5. Research the player classes and their benefits and challenges; this is important to ensure you have selected a character you will enjoy playing.
  6. Think about what backstory you want your character to have; this will make role-playing easier. In addition, incorporating elements from your life or those around you will make it easier to understand how your character would react in each situation and make for a better role-playing experience.
  7. Avoid playing evil alignment characters. As a beginner, it will be challenging to role-play as an evil character without negatively impacting the playing experience for another member of the party.
  8. Select a class that is easy to play. If you select a more complex class, such as a spellcasting class, it is essential to spend more time getting familiar with all the spells available to you to avoid wasting time during playing sessions.
  9. Remember to have fun and be thoughtful of the play experience for the other players.
Luke

Luke

Avid Board Game player and Pokémon card collector. You can learn more about me by clicking here.

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