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Get started playing Dungeons & Dragons (D&D|DnD)

Get started playing Dungeons & Dragons (D&D|DnD)

So you have been thinking of playing Dungeons & Dragons but you don't know where to get started. This guide will help you with some of the basics of DnD. We have a friendly community and you are welcome to join us. Come, join the adventure of playing Dungeons and Dragons.

Dungeons & Dragons is a tabletop RPG that allows you to create your fantasy world and adventure in it. It was first invented in 1974 by Gary Gygax and Dave Arneson, both avid wargamers. The game has seen numerous alterations throughout the years. There are currently several distinct editions of Dungeons & Dragons available, with the most recent being the 5th Edition. 

The first step in getting started how to play is to find a group who plays. The easiest way to do that is to ask a few friends and check in with your local friendly game shop, such as us at IRL Game Shop in Hightstown, NJ.  We host numerous groups who play D&D and who love to help people get started. You will find other players are very friendly and welcoming. Lets dive into what D&D is and some of the common things you might have questions about.



What is Dungeons & Dragons?

Dungeons & Dragons is a tabletop roleplaying game, which means you play the game with your friends around a table using dice and character sheets. You'll play as one of many different characters in an imaginary world where heroes are made, and legends are born.

This isn't just a hobby; it teaches you how to think creatively, solve problems strategically, cultivate your creativity (and self-confidence), work well with others, and have fun doing it.

D&D is different than most games because the objective isn't to beat everyone else, but rather to work together collectively to get through the adventure.  It is a cooperative game, rather than a competitive game. 


What is DnD 5th Edition?

Dungeons & Dragons (D&D) 5th Edition is the newest version of Dungeons & Dragons, and it's what you'll play if you decide to join a game. It's an open-ended tabletop roleplaying game that includes rules from combat to character creation, magic, exploration, and more.

The name "Dungeons & Dragons" refers to the rules for playing a roleplaying game and the system itself. You can find D&D products like books and cards in many stores, including ours, that carry board games—and even some bookstores!


Can you play DnD alone?

You do not need to have a group of friends who are willing to play DnD with you. Solo D&D is possible, but it's not ideal and can be pretty tricky. We do not suggest it for first time players. If you want to try a solo RPG, we have many in our store. 

D&D works by creating a story with the players working together against a DM (Dungeon Master). Each player has their character sheet where they write down the strengths and weaknesses of their character, like how strong they are or if they're particularly good at hiding things from others. Some rules tell you what happens when two people try to attack each other or when someone tries to climb over something high off the ground; these rules aren't complex because they're designed to make sure everyone understands how things work without getting confused or lost on their way through an adventure! The most important thing about playing DnD is having fun while doing stuff together; whether people succeed at accomplishing things depends on whether the dice roll well enough for them (more on this later).


Where should I start for my first Dungeons & Dragon Game?

After you have found a group and played a couple of one shots, we suggest you pick up the DnD 5th Edition Player's Handbook, available as a hardcover book or PDF. Once you have that, you're ready to really have some fun. 

You can choose from three different ways how to play:

One-shot games are short adventures that don't require any preparation from the Dungeon Master (DM).

Campaigns are long adventures where each session builds upon established storylines and settings. A DM should plan out their campaign before starting it, so they know what kind of story they're telling, how long this adventure will take, and what challenges await players along the way.

Dungeon Masters control everything within an adventure—they create characters, decide on actions; create maps; write dialogue; and much more! Gary Gygax designed dungeons & Dragons as an open-ended RPG system, so there isn't just one way to play it—there are many ways!


How to Build Your First DnD Character?

The races are generally divided into two groups: humanoid and monster. The classes can be divided into four categories—martial (fighters, rangers, and paladins), divine (clerics and druids), arcane (wizards), and hybrid (rogues). A background helps define your character's story before they become an adventurer.

The second step is choosing a kit that gives them access to unique skills or abilities that no other class has access to. A feat is a likeability, but it gives you specific bonuses while doing certain actions like jumping over obstacles or swimming in the water longer than ordinary people would be able to do so without getting tired out too quickly from over exerting themselves physically during battle situations where their stamina might not be able to keep up with someone else who has more experience than them when it comes down having stamina issues due to lack thereof."


Is the D&D Starter set worth buying?

The Starter Set is a great way to get started with the game. It has everything you'll need to play, including pre-built characters and a guidebook that explains how to play step by step. The starter set also includes dice, which are necessary for playing D&D! The book is used in conjunction with another pdf called the Basic Rules (available on the Wizards website).

It's worth noting that this set is intended for one-shot games—it has no campaign setting built in, so it doesn't come with any ongoing storylines or adventures from which players can pick up new characters as they go along. If your group wants something more involved than what this box provides, check out some of our other recommendations below!


Where can I find a group to play Dungeons & Dragons with?

Now that you've got a copy of the rules and are ready to play, where are you supposed to find other people who want to play D&D with you?

The best place for new players to get started is at their local friendly game store (LFGS), such as IRL Game Shop. A quick search for "tabletop game stores in will usually yield results. The typical LFGS has tables set up where people can play various games, from Magic: The Gathering and Dungeons & Dragons down to simpler card games like Uno or Phase 10. These kinds of stores tend to have very knowledgeable staff members. Some even host regular organized play sessions where they'll run an adventure as a group while other players sit around watching them do it! This kind knows precisely how many feet a monster needs to stay directly adjacent during combat (two).

If your city doesn't have its local game store, don't worry—the Internet is here for us and you can find what you need right here on! There are Several websites are explicitly dedicated to connecting new players with groups who want them; this includes official D&D groups (like the ones run by Wizards) and player-organized communities for those seeking something more independent but still guided by experienced Dungeon Masters.


How long does it take to play DnD?

DnD is a game of imagination and storytelling. You can play it for as long or little as you want! Typically, a game of D&D lasts between 4-6 hours. Some groups have adventures that have been going on for weeks, months, even years. But do not be afraid, most groups who play choose a day a week that works for everyone and then play for only a couple of hours. 



Dungeons & Dragons is a fun, social, and cooperative game! It is fueled by your imagination and can be played by people of all ages and backgrounds. Just by reading this you have taken the first step to getting started. So adventurer, find a group, join in the fun and play! 




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