So You Want To Play 'Dungeons & Dragons?'

If you’re interested in Dungeons & Dragons, but have never made the leap, then it’s time to jump in! There are more resources than ever available today, so let’s take a look at a few of them. The D&D Adventurers League is a great way to start playing if you prefer the classic tabletop experience. All you need to get started in organized league play is look up games near you. Roll20 and Fantasy Grounds are great ways to get started if you can’t find local games, or if you prefer to stay at home. If none of your friends already play, or you can’t find a group near you, all is not lost! You may have to become a Dungeon Master, but don’t let this frighten you. Being a DM is not as difficult as you might think; you just need a few tools to get your feet wet: D&D Basic Rules or a Player’s Handbook D&D Adventurers League Players Guide and Dungeon Master’s Guide A set of role playing game dice, paper and pencils Find an adventure or create your own 3-7 players Once you’ve got the fundamentals, it’s time to let your imagination run wild. The platform you choose is up to you, and they all offer various pros and cons. Let’s examine tabletop play first: Pros Body language can help convey ideas Less distraction (Facebook, e-mail checking, playing video games) Player socialization can be more natural Cons Players might expect props (like maps and miniatures) Localized player pool Difficulty scheduling regular meet ups Dungeons & Dragons on display in National Toy Hall of Fame [Image by Carolyn Thompson/Fotolia/AP Images] If assembling a game near you is not possible, you can use an online platform: Pros Limitless digital content Players all around the world Built-in tools (dice rolling, character sheets, macros) Optional video Cons One person speaks at a time No physical interaction Potential technical problems Online players might be more fickle (as they have more options) You might prefer to throw out some, or all, of the rules and do what’s called a homebrew adventure. This approach gives you the ability to work with anything you can think up and insert it into the game. So you already play Dungeons & Dragons? Players and dungeon masters alike are always honing their craft – and you should too! Seasoned players and DMs have tons of resources available to you online. Chris Perkins is the first amazing resource we’ll be discussing for your D&D game. Perkins runs the popular adventures Acquisitions Incorporated and Dice, Camera, Action. He also has a series of Q&A panels on both playing and running great D&D games. If you observe his style and advice you will no doubt, become a better DM and player. He also speaks on overcoming anxiety and challenging yourself through the game. Matthew Colville is also an extraordinary resource for players and DMs. His amazing YouTube channel explores many aspects of how to run, and play in, an amazing game. His interview with veteran DM Jim Murphy is an astonishing look into the mind of classic DM style. Dungeons & Dragons Beholder miniature with others [Image by Ted S. Warren/Fotolia/AP Images] If you want to exercise the inner voice actor in you, Matthew Mercer is a great study with his game, Critical Role. For tips on immersive story and characters, Wil Wheaton’s series TITANSGRAVE is a huge boon. His homebrew game reaches into the hearts of his players and audience. Node provides stellar advice, by way of example, in the Call of the Wild campaign. The adventure grips the viewer into a fast-paced, suspenseful fold. These guys are a great subject for good game flow. There is neither a right nor wrong way to play Dungeons & Dragons. The only downside is that if you take the time to make it fun, you might find yourself growing old very fast. [Image by Antony Petrushko | Flickr | Cropped and Resized | CC BY-NC 2.0]

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