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Tabletop Gaming

Dungeon Crawl: Session Zero

D&D Candle Keep Mysteries adventure cover from dnd.wizards.com

A Weekly Article on the world of Dungeons and Dragons

     I first got my introduction to Dungeons and Dragons in the summer of 1999. I was 10 years old and my father, who had played since the late 1970’s, sent me on a dungeon adventure while we had some downtime at Boy Scout summer camp. I played a human ranger, who had earned a +1 dagger while going to fight some goblins in the mountains. We sat around a wooden picnic table in the center of the camp. Arming ourselves with pencils, paper, and some funny shaped dice, we imagined ourselves on a great adventure in a wilderness ravaged by monsters.

Dungeon and adventure materials, image from polygon.com

     Now more than 20 years later I can still find the same enjoyment and sense of adventure I felt then when I play Dungeons and Dragons.  I still twice-monthly play a game of Dungeons and Dragons with both of my parents over Zoom as we live much further apart now. This time with me as the Dungeon Master and my family as the players. It is a wonderful bonding experience with my family and helps to keep us close.

     There are many ways to play this game, and everyone has their own opinion and style. This is one of the reasons that I think role playing games, or RPGs, have such a huge effect on us the players. Whether it’s a gripping video game, or a table top adventure, our own personalities are allowed to come through and make every experience unique. We can find adventure in ourselves, and relate to the struggles of our characters. We feel the joy, and the pain because at the core we are the very essence of the characters we are playing.

     If you are new to the world of Dungeons and Dragons then I write this mostly for you. Here are my introduction thoughts on what you need to know to be a player in the world of D&D.

Belaphoss, Devourer of Hope, image from dnd.wizards.com

     First thing you are going to need is a good set of dice. These are not just any dice made of polymer or metal. These are the dice that will decide your fortune, your fate, your luck, and your doom. I believe the dice should be a reflection of who you are. Pick a set of dice that you look at and go, “I want those dice to guide my world”, or pick whichever ones you find the most appealing.

     I would also suggest heading over to our friends at www.metallicdicegames.com and use the promo code “GNN” for a 10% off on all products on their site. They have some beautiful sets of dice and I am particularly fond of the “Gold with Purple Enamel” set.

Gold with Purple Enamel Polyhedral Dice Set, from metallicdicegames.com

     You can also purchase your dice from most local game and comic book shops, as well as larger retailers online. Ultimately you need the set of 7 total dice. They are as follows: 20 – sided, 12- sided, 10-sided, 8-sided, 6-sided, 4-sided, and a Percentage die. All of these dice have a purpose and as you play and build your character, the guides will tell you what die to use when.

     Next you should get yourself a copy of the Player’s Handbook. The most current edition, and the most common still played in 2021 so far, is the 5th Edition. This book will walk you through the basics of building your character, choosing your class, rolling your stats, equipping your weapons, armors, and spells. Topics I will touch on in coming articles.

5th Edition Player Handbook cover, image from miniaturehub.com.au

     The most important thing you need is your imagination. Dungeons and Dragons is all about the “Theater of the Mind”. This game is as immersive as your creativity makes it. As complicated or simple as you want it to be. Whether you are shy, or outgoing, persuasive, or clumsy, this is a game that can be played, and enjoyed, by everyone.

     Stay tuned for the coming articles as I explain how to build a character, how to find a group to play with even in the days of social distancing, and even how to run your own game. Also, be sure to check us out on Facebook at Geek News Now, and leave a comment below about your experiences playing D&D, or even D&D questions so I can address them in future articles.

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