Hello everyone, been a while, but I thought I would kick things off again with my journey into the world of Dungeons & Dragons. Now, you should know up front that I have only been playing Dungeons and Dragons for a few weeks now. I am totally new to this. So, forgive me if I don’t know all the terminologies yet and let me know if I got anything wrong.
I always wanted to try and play Dungeons & Dragons but I never really had anyone to play with. And while I may be an extreme extrovert, the thought of going to a random gathering with complete strangers who have probably been playing together for years was incredibly daunting. It wasn’t until my friend Emily had asked if I would be interested in going with her to a gathering at a local tabletop store. She had only played a few times and was still new to it as well so I thought, “sure, why not.”
So fast forward to our first game. We meet once a week on Wednesdays and play Adventures League. I have been told there are more leagues but this one is a good one for beginners and people who just want to have fun and have a good time. Now everyone builds a character before they show up and has a miniature (a little figure of your character.) You have a Character Sheet where you can create whatever you want. You can also create as many characters as you want but you can only use one character in a campaign. My first character was a Tiefling fighter. “Tieflings are derived from human bloodlines, and in the broadest possible sense, they still look human. However, their infernal heritage has left a clear imprint on their appearance.” (D&D Player’s Handbook, 5th Edition) She’s purple like the one in the picture here and used to be a gladiator. Her name is Aven. Ther are a multitude of races to pick from like human, elves, dwarves, gnomes, orcs, dragonbornes and so on. You just have to find which one suits you best.
Being a Fighter means that I’m well armoured, my character wears chainmail and carries a shield as well as a longsword and a crossbow. This means I am usually near the front of our party during battles and when exploring dangerous places. I can take hits better and I do more damage as well. Cut three goblins in half my first night, I was quite proud of myself for a first timer. There are tons of other classes to choose from though like Ranger, Monk, Sorcerer and whatnot. There’s also alignments: Lawful good, neutral good, chaotic good, lawful neutral, true neutral, chaotic neutral, lawful evil, neutral evil, chaotic evil. You’ve all seen the memes (I’ll even show you a Harry Potter one as an example), and now you know where they’ve come from. Your alignment is your moral compass and guides your actions and justifies them throughout the game. So if you’re lawful good you are not about to go mug a man who took your healing potion even though your friend is sick. While if you’re chaotic good you will do it because you know your friend needs it and technically what he did was bad so you’re okay with beating him up to get it back.
Miniatures are little figurine pieces that represent your character. Granted, this is a Tiefling Sorcerer, not a Fighter, but I can’t find a fighter one. They start off like the figure on the left, unpainted and plain. Then you paint the figure however you like, like the one on the right. Now, I know there are different types of material for the figures and different types of paint. When I make my own, I’m borrowing one off of someone right now, I will make a post about it. You use this as like a chess piece almost. It represents your character in the story.
There are loads of different classes, personalities and backgrounds, equipment, and races to pick from when creating your own character so have fun with it, but also try to make your character cohesive. You can pick whatever you want but you want your character to be able to be cohesive with the rest of your party. D&D isn’t just about you, you’re not the sole player in this game. You play with a party and you should bring a character that has something to offer to the party.
D&D is more than just a game, it’s a story. There is a person who heads up the game called the DM (Dungeon Master), and it is the DM’s job to bring the quest to the table. The DM creates a quest with challenges and obstacles along the way and a multitude of different paths for the game to go down depending on how the players play and the roll of the dice. What you say, do, and roll all affect the outcome of the game. And yes you heard right, roll of the dice is what I said.
D&D uses a set of seven die. Now occasionally you will need two of one of the dice but for starters, you only need one set. So, the dice, the number corresponds to how many faces are on the dice so a D20 means that that dice has 20 faces on it: D4, D6, D8, D10, D12, and D20. A standard set also includes a second D10 that is used for percentile rolls. Players generally like to have multiples of some die in so they can roll, for example, 3 D20 at once instead of rolling 1 D20 three times. Dice are used for a multitude of things in this game including but not limited to weapons damage, attacks, spells, checks, and how many health points you are allowed back. The D20 is used the most and is usually used to see if you fail or succeed in your action, like fighting (hit or miss), perception checks and so on. Depending on what action you are doing you’ll add or subtract a number to what you rolled based on if you are proficient in that skill or not. So say I roll for a perception check and get a 15, I check my sheet and see that I have a +2 perception, so I would add 2 to the 15 and say I have a 17 for perception and if the DM deems that enough you get your perception check. The same rule applies when you have a negative number. 20’s are the highest number you can get and that is a guaranteed yes to anything you do, 1’s are what are called critical fail where you are failing no matter what. There is no saving yourself when you roll a 1.
There are so many different kinds of dice out there to choose from and they are all really cool. From metal to sparkly, glow in the dark, multicoloured, solid coloured, elaborate designs, simplistic ones. There are just so many out there and they all range in different prices. But I have no doubt you can find some cool ones for a cheap price.
Now when we first started, we played with people we didn’t know, but it was a lot of fun. Everyone was easy going and made it a great time. It’s a lot to take in, but when you have a good group that helps you learn you’ll have a blast. At the beginning of every new game, you introduce yourself, but not you the player. No, you introduce your character. Because in this game, you are the character. D&D is roleplaying but you can be as into it or as basic as you want. I know for me, I started out pretty basic but the more into it I get the better I get at Roleplaying my character. Some games are one-shots, they last one night and that’s it. Others can last a few days, and I’ve been told some last a few months. But once you commit to one that’s it, you’re stuck with that group for that campaign. And you have to show because you all started together and you can’t just abandon your party in the middle of a quest. Like I said before, every player brings some unique aspect and skill to the game and you use that to further your party along. The games can be rather long, I know when we meet up it goes about 3 or 4 hours with a break in the middle.
That was a lot to take in I know, trust me it was a struggle my first game as well, but the more you do it and the more you get into it, the better you’ll get. If you’re interested in watching some I would highly recommend watching Critical Role, they’re great fun and you can see a bit about what it’s like.
I hope this was helpful for some people and maybe entertaining for others. If you’re interested to hear more about D&D or want me to tell you about what happens in our campaigns I’d be happy to post about it, or if you want me to post about other tabletop games or board games then let me know.
Anyways, have a lovely day everyone!