How To

How to Play Dungeons and Dragons A Guide for Beginners

Have you ever dreamed of casting magic spells? Want to be a daring thief or a powerful brawler? You can do all of these things and more with Dungeons and Dragons.

You’ve most likely seen D&D in some form or fashion through media.

We’re here to tell you that it’s not as daunting as television shows make it out to be. The rules are simple enough for a beginner to learn how to play dungeons and dragons, and you don’t need much to get started.

Are you ready to begin your adventure? No matter if you’re a player or a dungeon master, this helpful guide will take you through the steps.

Materials You’ll Need

To get started, there a few materials that you need. You can download a set of basic rules for you and your party to read through for free. Along with a set of rules, you can also get printable character sheets.

Each player will need a set of polyhedral dice, or you can share. It’s easier if each player has their own though.

The biggest expense is going to be getting a copy of the player’s handbook. If you want to pick up a monster manual or an adventure book, those are optional but nice to have. 

Visual aids are quite helpful in D&D, so it might be a good idea to pick up a whiteboard to draw maps. Don’t worry; you don’t need artistic talent to make a map. You just have to be able to draw up basic paths. 

If everyone in your group decides that this is something they really enjoy doing, you can buy physical models of everyone’s character. Until then, character tokens will suit your needs fine. 

Getting Started as the Dungeon Master

Now that you’ve got your materials in front of you, it’s time to learn how to DM. You have the most important job. Without your storytelling, the players have no world to adventure in. 

You also act as their guide, so you’ll need to know the rules forward and backward. As far as the adventure goes, you can make your own or use a pre-generated one. 

Read Up on the Rules

We say that you need to know the rules forward and backward, but that’s a little dramatic. You will need a basic grasp of the rules in order to keep the game going smoothly. The more you’re familiar with the game, the less time you have to spend on looking stuff up. 

Your players will have tons of questions during their first session. While you don’t have to know how to play everyone’s character (nor should you have to), you will be responsible for giving them basic info. 

Creating the Adventure? 

If you want to create your own adventure, that’s more than fine. For your first session, though, it may be best for you to run a pre-written one. There are so many pre-written stories out there that you’re sure to find one your party will enjoy. 

If you don’t like any of the official pre-written adventures, there are many experienced DMs out there that post their own online for free. Reading up on how other dungeon masters do things will help you grow as a DM and learn more about the game. 

Getting Started as the Player 

As a player, your life will be a little less complicated than the DM’s. The main thing you have to worry about is creating your character sheet. When you’re looking at all the empty blocks, it may seem a bit daunting, but it’s not so bad. 

Creating Your Character 

Creating your first character can be a lengthy process, but it’s not a hard one. Knowing about all the character classes, their abilities, and strengths beforehand can help you make the right choice. If you decide to be a Fighter in the game, it is a good idea to explore more about them, so that you can understand what subclasses to take. For instance, a dnd 5e fighter guide will not only provide all the necessary info on that class but will also rate all the subclasses according to their skills, so that you can easily make up your mind. Take your time while building up your character, take a look at handbooks as well, as it is important to survive the circumstances the Dungeon Master has prepared for you. There are apps you can download that will pretty much do all the work for you. All you have to do is plug in your race and class. 

If you want to be one of the spellcaster classes, you can even download an app that will keep track of your spells. If you want that classic feeling of having a character sheet in front of you, there are plenty of tutorials out there that will walk you through it as well. 

How Does Combat Work? 

Dungeons and Dragons isn’t all about the nerdy role-playing that television shows make it out to be. You’ll run into plenty of combat situations. At the start of combat, you’ll have to role something called an initiative. 

What this means is, you’ll roll a 20 sided dice and add a modifier to it to determine your place in the turn order. From there, you take turns using your various weapons and spells to take out your foes when it’s your turn.

Time to Play

It can take hours to make your character sheets when you’re first starting out.

That’s why most DMs choose to hold a session 0. During this session, all you’ll do is make your characters and discuss how they know each other. 

A lot of dungeon masters choose to make the first actual campaign a one-shot. One-shots are adventures that can be done in a single setting. This will help everyone get their feet wet with the game before you delve into a lengthy campaign.  

Everyone may want to jump right into a long-term adventure, and that’s fine too. Again, discussing these things is why you do a session 0. 

The Biggest Adventure is learning How to Play Dungeons and Dragons

The hardest part of playing D&D is finding a time that works for all the players to meet. After that, learning how to play Dungeons and Dragons is pretty straightforward.

Having a little bit of RPG experience will make picking up the game even easier. Check out our blog daily to keep up with the latest role-playing games. 

Rupesh Kumar

First, I am an online marketing professional, as well as a night time gamer with a wide array of interests. Aside from constantly writing about games, I also enjoy writing about my other hobbies such as fitness, cooking, home DIY projects and travel. Contact me at

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *