Dungeons and Dragons

Dungeons and Dragons

Zachary Danyow, reporter

The essence of a role-playing game is that it is a group, cooperative experience. There is no winning or losing, but rather the value is in the experience of imagining yourself as a character in whatever genre you’re involved in, whether it’s a fantasy game, the Wild West, secret agents or whatever else. You get to sort of vicariously experience those things.”

  • Gary Gygax, inventor of Dungeons and Dragons, among other things.

Picture this: you’re coming home from school, and a kid bumps into you. He apologizes and continues running. You notice a weird note in your hands that reads:

“D&D meet at 7:00, 2094 Whelmer Dr.”

You meet at the address, and you are introduced to an amazing realm of mystery, betrayal, adventure, action, fantasy, and all your wildest dreams! Sounds like fun, right? Thousands of people have sold their souls (don’t worry, I’m joking) to get to experience this game with their friends, and here are some tips to get started! Don’t forget, the goal of Dungeons and Dragons is to have fun, so make sure to play a character that you love! 


Step one: think about what you like in a game.

When making a character, I like to think of a few things before introducing them into a campaign. For instance, do you like to play games about sports like Madden or Maximum Football? Then you might want to play a barbarian class character, charging through hordes of enemies. Do you like puzzle games? Play a character with a high intelligence score to help you with puzzles. Do you like playing balance games, or games with fast dodging and fighting? Then, you might like playing as a rogue, or another high dexterity type character, for the high armor class and skills based on balance or nimbleness, like acrobatics and sleight of hand. Do you like playing powerful dark magic games? Then, play as a warlock, or a wizard in the school of necromancy, or a sorcerer. One thing to keep in mind is that if you want, you can play two classes at once, depending on your character. This is called multiclassing, and can be used to make some funny and useful characters that are a blast to play as!


Step two: put the character on paper.

Now, you might hear some random person say, “You need to print out a character sheet to play this game,” and I’m here to tell you that this guy (or girl) is very, very incorrect. You do not need to print anything out to play dungeons and dragons, in fact, you could do a lot of things on the internet these days! A good place to start is at DNDBeyond.com, the official website for the game. It teaches you a lot of valuable information, but it has more microtransactions than EA has identical Fifa games. This is not a joke, because you have to not only make an account, but also you have to pay for each book. After you get a taste of the basics, I suggest looking in DND5e.wikidot.com for the stuff that you cannot afford and/or do not own. In addition, I also suggest Jocat’s “Crap Guide to D&D” series, not only does it give you a basic idea of each race and class, but it’s also really funny. Unfortunately, the series ended three days after I wrote this, so there will be no new videos. Back to the lesson, you do not need to make a character sheet, just write down everything that would be on a character sheet (except skills, you can just write down the ones you’re proficient in,) and you should be just fine. Also, remember that a good character usually has a good backstory. If you play games the way my little brother does, though, your backstory will never be used.


Step three: find a good table.

As Reddit has said time and time again, “no D&D is better than bad D&D. This means that it’s better to not play than to play with a terrible, tyrannical Dungeon Master, although you probably don’t want to not play. Make sure that the Dungeon Master, or DM as I’ll call them from now on, hosts a session zero, where they say what the campaign is about, sets some rules, introduces characters, and other things. Make sure to respect the DM’s rules and respect the other players, since they have the right to kick you out of the game permanently. A good place to start would be looking for friends to play the game, or going to a D&D adventurer’s league session as a plan B.


So, now you know how to get started to play Dungeons and Dragons. As Jocat would smugly say at the end of his videos, “You’re welcome.”


Thank you for reading! If you have any questions, or want to play with me and my friends, just let me know, and I’ll try to save you a seat at the adventuring table!