Dungeons and Dragons is a great game, so it’s not a surprise that many people want to learn how to play it. It builds social skills, tactical thinking, and friendships and is an extended source of fun and conversation. If you’re reading this, you probably want to learn how to play. And before you ask, no, Dungeons and Dragons is not satanic.
It is just a game. Right, now to get you started playing 4th edition Dungeons and Dragons!
Step 1: Buy the “Red Box”. Grab some money and head to your local gaming store. Once there, look around or ask for the Dungeons and Dragons red box. The box itself says “Dungeons and Dragons fantasy roleplaying game starter set” on the front and has a picture of a red dragon and a knight locked in combat. This great starter kit for 4th edition Dungeons and Dragons will be your guide into this fantastic game. It comes with dice, adventures (for one and for a group), tokens, character stats, and more.
Step 2: Play the solo adventure! Following the instructions in the box create a character and play through a solo adventure. Keep note of the rules and the mechanics of the game, as you will be playing with a group (maybe even as the Dungeon Master – the guy or girl who runs things) a little bit later. Enjoy it and get to know the game.
Step 3: Play with friends! Assuming that you and your friends have never played before, you’ll probably wind up being the dungeon master and walking them all through the game. Grab some friends and follow the instructions inside the box to run a group adventure and have a great time with your friends. Try to make it interesting and fun at the same time. Being the Dungeon Master can be hard, but keep trying! Maybe your friends will want to play with you when you start playing the full version of the game.
That’s basically how you start playing the game. However, if you really enjoy playing you may want to go to your gaming store again and pick up some stuff to start playing the full game. If you are interested in playing some more, use the following steps:
Step 4: Buy some materials. I recommend buying the Player’s Handbook. If you plan on being the Dungeon Master you may want to buy the Dungeon Master’s guide and the Dungeon Master’s kit, the Monster Manual and the Monster Vault, and some Dungeon tile kits. If you’d like, buy a publish adventure. These come with an entire adventure all in one little package so you don’t have to make stuff up. However, they are a little bit pricey. Being a player is a lot cheaper, but every group needs a Dungeon Master to play, so Dungeon Masters are in “high demand”.
Step 5: Get a group to play with! You can either look for local gaming groups (or game days) or just start your own group! Round up a couple of your friends, preferably the ones that you played the red box with, and play! If you need to teach them how to play, you could always run the red box adventure again. Making characters for entire groups can be hard, so encourage your players to download the Wizards of the Coast Character Builder.
This program provides comprehensive character options up to level 3, and even fills in your character sheet for you. You can then print out your sheet and have your character ready to go. The only downside to this is that after level 3 you have to pay to use the program.
Good luck with your (hopefully) newfound hobby, and hopefully you’ll enjoy playing this game with your friends for years to come! Remember, the DM is always in charge…