Introduction to Dungeons & Dragons

It’s quiet. Too quiet. You raise your torch higher, all of your senses straining to make sense of the sudden goosebumps on your arms. The smell of sulfur intensifies and from behind you, the rattling sound of a deep inhale causes you to whirl around. There, you see the dragon towering above you, its eyes glittering like gemstones as it regards you with malevolence. Its scales, large and metallic, reflect the light as it pulls its head back and a burst of flame begins to blossom from its mouth…

What are you going to do?

Dungeons & Dragons is a tabletop roleplaying game where players create characters that go on fantastic adventures. Using rules, their wits, and dice rolls to determine the outcomes of situations like the scenario above, players tell a story filled with excitement and larger-than-life situations. The game requires little more than a group of willing participants, imagination, dice, and a pen and paper.

How do you play?

three dice on a character sheet

In a typical game of Dungeons & Dragons (also abbreviated as D&D) five to seven people will collaboratively tell a fantastic story about a group of heroes and their adventures. In the game, players will be expected to create and control a single character throughout the adventure. Players will speak as the character and make decisions as that character, rolling dice to determine the outcomes of some situations. There are lots of customization options for characters, including several classes and various races. In short, you can be whoever you want to be Dungeons & Dragons.

Each game will also require one Dungeon Master (or DM) who will set the stage for the characters and create the world and events for the heroes to overcome. The DM controls all of the non-player characters, hands out rewards in the form of loot, and provides the exciting challenges for the players. Dungeon Masters do not have their own character in the world – instead, the world IS their character!

How do you get started?

If you’re new to the game, you’ll want to continue reading our D&D Basics for an easy step-by-step guide to getting your feet wet and making your first game a success! The next article will feature information on what you need to play the game and where you can go to find it. Or, you can check out the Archives to dive straight in to the nitty-gritty details and tricks of playing the game. Welcome to the world of Dungeons & Dragons!

Next: What You Need To Start Playing D&D