Dungeons and Dragons and The 1 Key, Imagination

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Dungeons and Dragons
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Wouldn’t it be nice to live in a world of fantasy, of dungeons and dragons, to go on exciting adventures, vanquish great foes and gain eternal glory? Unfortunately for us, there is not much adventuring to do in our day and age besides going camping, and I am willing to bet a park ranger may be quite concerned if he found you swinging a sword at a bunch of squirrels over their winter supply.

The next best thing, then, is to use your imagination! Who is to say that you cannot simply play out your grand adventure in your mind using pen and paper, some figures, tokens and a map? That’s right, I am talking about tabletop games! There are plenty such games out there, such as Warhammer or Pathfinder, but the title of most popular tabletop belongs to Dungeons and Dragons. What would you need, then, in order to get started?

What should your first steps be?

First thing you should do is find a group of like-minded individuals. You can’t exactly play Dungeons and Dragons by yourself, nor would too large a crowd be a good idea. A group of 4 to 6 people should be perfect, enough player for a campaign but not too many that things get out of hand. If there is a hobby store in your area, chances are they may hold tabletops nights, and that’s your chance to find your party members. Otherwise you could try looking for them on online forums. One popular place where tabletop players gather is Roll20, a website where all kind of tabletop games can be played online, Dungeons and Dragons included. In these unprecedented times playing tabletop games online may not be that bad of an idea, you know?

There is no Dungeons and Dragons without a Dungeon Master

Another important thing you should establish from the onset is who’s going to be the Dungeon Master (or “DM”, for short), the one in charge of worldbuilding, plot progression, controlling Non-Playable Characters, presiding over encounters with the enemies and generally making sure that the players are sticking to the rules of the game, as opposed to the players who only control their own characters. This isn’t a beginner-friendly role and it’s often an experienced player who’ll take on the mantle of a DM, that’s why it’s recommended that your group has at least one person capable of running the “behind the scenes” elements of Dungeons and Dragons.

Build-a-Character

Backstory

After you’ve established this technical aspect of your campaign, it’s time to build your character. Who are they? What’s their backstory? What motivations do they have? What attitude do they have regarding others but also themselves? The more fleshed out your character is, the more fun you’re going to have with them. Of course, this isn’t mandatory, but it gives a nice touch of verisimilitude to the campaign and, who knows, if the DM is able to, they may make a plot point revolving around your character’s backstory for extra spiciness. What’s more, Dungeons and Dragons is, at its core, a role-playing game, so knowing your character will greatly enhance the flow of the game.

Race, Class and Weapons

On top of having a backstory, there are three more things you need to select for your character to be complete. The first one is their race, as in, are they a human or a fantastical being? They could be a vain elf, a trusty dwarf, a wise dragonborn or a rampaging orc, the sky (and the Player’s Handbook) is the limit!
Secondly, what is their class, what can your character do? Are they a Wizard, casting spells and making potions? Or a Druid, wild shaping into animals? A Cleric or perhaps a Paladin, the former praying to a god while the later fights in their name, but both healing their party? Or even a Bard, charming their opponents with their merry verse and jolly attitude? If you can’t decide on a single one, don’t worry, you can multiclass and take elements from more than one! Do remember to discuss classes with your party and ensure you have a well-rounded team; it would be pretty bad if your party didn’t have any healer, for example.
Lastly, there’s the equipment and, most importantly, the weapon your character will carry with them throughout the campaign. This will depend on your class for the most part, but generally you can use anything from a knife to a great sword, bows or you can just forego them in favor of frying your enemies up with your spells.

The Library of Alexandria for Dungeons and Dragons

A good place to keep in mind for this creative process is D&D Beyond, an official site of the 5th Edition of the game where you can read up on races, classes, weapons and so much more. You can also buy digital copies of the handbooks and manuals, as well as use the character creation feature for free (although certain races and classes are locked behind a paywall). It’s an invaluable resource for anyone looking to get into Dungeons and Dragons.
What are you waiting for, go and live out your adventure today! Make a character, fight off a zombie horde and save the kingdom, just make sure you leave some treasure to uncover for the rest of us as well.

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