Beyond The Dice

New To Dungeons & Dragons

August 6, 2019

 

NEW TO D&D?

Welcome Adventurer! 
You have wandered into the BTD (Beyond The Dice) ‘New to D&D’ page.

“Help I’m new to D&D and don’t know where to start!”

“I’m running a one-off adventure for some friends/family/coworkers!”

Woah there! We can help!
The world of RPGs and D&D is massive, it might be daunting thought when leaping into the hobby (or lifestyle UwU) of roleplaying, throwing dice and slaying foul beasts! We will give you the links and tools to start this adventure in a cost free way.

This article will  be split into two parts for convenience; Part 1 BTD Quick Guide and Part 2 BTD Extended Guide.

 

BTD QUICK GUIDE (D&D 5e)

“But I’ve been told that I have to buy the books!”
Nope!


“I’ve seen all these books and minis and stuff at game stores, do I need them?”
Nope!

“I don’t really have the cash to invest in a game right now, or one that I might not even like! Is that ok?”
Absolutely OK!

You do not have to throw your cash at games stores to play D&D, this article is here to prove that YOU can run a super fun and effective first adventure. I’ll break this down into steps for you, these steps will be as follows:

Step 1: Continue reading this article! 

Step 2: Get the basic rules and have a read! (reading is unavoidable, unless you have a cool text to speech program). Learn those basic rules, familiarize yourself with the concepts and ideas of how to play D&D.

Step 3: Download the FREE pre-created character sheets for your players (or yourself).

Step 4: Choose the Adventure/Quest you want to take some adventurers on! Read over the Adventure, make sure you know how to both follow and lead the story.

Step 5: Equip yourself with the correct tools to take on dragons and fight your way through dungeons... -_- sorry.

Step 6: Continue reading this article or just simply step out into the amazing world of Dungeons & Dragons! For now you are ready!

 

 

 

Step 1: Continue Reading

Easy! See! You’re gonna be playing D&D in no time!

Step 2: Basic Rules

The Basic Rules is a free PDF. Anyone can download it from our website. We want to put D&D in as many hands as possible, and a free, digital file is the best way to do that.

USING THESE RULES

The Basic Rules document is divided into four parts.

Part 1 is about creating a character, providing the rules and guidance you need to make the character you’ll play in the game. It includes information on the various races, classes, backgrounds, equipment, and other customization options that you can choose from. Many of the rules in part 1 rely on material in parts 2 and 3.

Part 2 details the rules of how to play the game, beyond the basics described in this introduction. That part covers the kinds of die rolls you make to determine success or failure at the tasks your character attempts, and describes the three broad categories of activity in the game: exploration, interaction, and combat.

Part 3 is all about magic. It covers the nature of magic in the worlds of D&D, the rules for spellcasting, and a selection of typical spells available to magic-using characters (and monsters) in the game.

Part 4 is about tools for Dungeon Masters. It includes information and stat blocks for monsters, advice for building combat encounters, and magic items.

Click here: D&D 5e Official Basic Rules

 

Step 3: Pre-Generated Characters

“I don’t have the time to create characters for all my friends!”
“I am running a one off adventure with my workmates and they don’t know how to create characters!”

That’s fine, because Wizards of the Coast (the people who make D&D) have made some for you! There are a bunch of different characters that have been created for you and your pals to quickly pick up and run with!

Whether you want to be a Dark-Elf Assassin, a wild Barbarian Human or a Magic wielding Dragon person they have sorted all that out for you!

Click here: D&D 5e Pre-Gen Characters (Levels 1-10)

 

Step 4: Choose your Quest!

Now there is a D&D Starter Box with a nice little adventure in there, but once again that costs you money! So there are some adventures you can start off on in the D&D Adventure League Storyline (Official weekly D&D campaign for game stores).
Don’t feel you are in a competition or anything, you can use these adventures for a one off adventure or for a random pick up group if needed.

Also don’t feel you need to follow it like it is the law, if you want to change the barkeep’s name from Vorgonmirus Tenderblade to Greg then that’s fine, just make sure you remember who is who.

Each adventure will give you some information on the adventure so have a read through that before running it.
Oh and every monster in the adventure can be found at the end of the document, you can also find some links to monsters in the BTD Extended Guide.

Anyway here are some adventures you can run:

Click here: D&D 5e Adventure: Shadows Over The Moonsea

Click here: D&D 5e Adventure: Dues for the Dead

Click here: D&D 5e Adventure: The Scroll Theif

 

Step 5: Equip yourself!

You will need some things to physically play D&D. They are essential but do not worry, most of these things you should already have and can find laying around the house or office.

Here are some of those essential things:

  • Notepad or paper (to make notes, draw things, work out puzzles, or even map out a dungeon or town).
  • Pens or pencils, eraser etc (to stick up your nose to see who gets it the furthest... don’t do that, your brain is up there, just use them to write with).
  • RPG dice set (there are FREE APPS that do this, but most people like physical dice to roll).
  • A quiet room with a table to play on (if it's too noisy, no one will hear you tell them how they are eaten by goblins!).

And some non-essential things that can help:

  • A large piece of paper or a whiteboard (to draw maps/dungeons on)
  • Game pieces or tokens (to represent your players and monsters if you have a game board or map drawn on something).
  • A speaker playing Spotify or Youtube or your own collection of music that will fit the feel of the game (Luke our DM has a few playlists that cater for different scene, Battle, Wilderness and Taverns etc).
  • Snacks! And drink! (gotta keep from starving and dying of thirst at the table!).

Step 6: GO DO SOME D&D!

After you finish this article we hope you will feel a little better about starting a D&D game. Now that you have all these little tips and tricks to get an adventure rolling without spending all of your cash until you know you enjoy the heck out of it!

BTD EXTENDED GUIDE (D&D 5e)

 

This is a little guide that may make running a Dungeons & Dragons 5th Edition game a little easier. In this guide you will find links and descriptions to great resources I have found over the years whilst running tabletop RPG’s.*

These include:

  • Dungeon Master Tools
  • Encounter Builders & Generators
  • Name Generators
  • City/Town Generators
  • Language Dictionaries
  • Magic Item Generators

*Please note that I do not lay claim to these awesome tools, nor did I actually make them, I just simply collated them here for you to find.

DM / GM TOOLS

 

In this section I will discuss some helpful tools that a DM/GM can use to enhance their planning of their game as well as help with a smooth game night.

 

A DM Luke Tips:

If you want to get more RP (roleplay) out of your characters make sure that when they engage an NPC you ask them to speak to the NPC in character.

When your player asks you a question for their character, ask your player to “ask the barkeep as your character, you might get a better answer out of them!”.

 

BATTLE / ENCOUNTER TOOLS

These tools will help you create and run encounters. Hopefully your fights will be balanced and engaging. 

A DM Luke Tip:

Don’t be afraid to put a trap or some sort of obstacle in the battle environment to give it a little more flavour.

 

The “When does everyone have their turn?” on one page tool!

I use my Monster Manual, Volo’s Guide to Monsters, etc to find foes for my players to smash apart and add them into here. Make sure you use the encounter creation rules in the Dungeon Master’s Guide.

Tool

URL

5e Encounter Tracking Sheet

http://files.meetup.com/16793672/5th%20Ed%20Encounter%20Sheet%20v5.pdf

 

The “Am i going get an entire TPK again or not?” tool:

After I create an encounter I use this to ensure I don't kill you guys or ensure it's not too easy.
It’s a good example of how to set up different level encounters without stressing if you are doing it right. The encounter difficulty modifier was a little weird to wrap my head around at first. Kobold Fight Club is my favourite.

Tool

URL

5e Encounter Generator

http://kobold.club/fight/#/encounter-builder

http://tools.goblinist.com/5enc

 

The “What monsters should I use?” tool:

Yes we have a Monster Manual, but sometimes we just want to copy/paste the stats into a PDF or print the monster’s stats. This is a great website to use with all of the monster manual beasts/humanoids/monstrosities/etc. Just click the translate and all should be readable.

Tool

URL

5e Monster List

http://www.aidedd.org/regles/bestiaire/liste/?l=1

https://roll20.net/compendium/dnd5e/Monsters%20List#content

 

DUNGEON MASTER REFERENCES

Here are some other helpful DM tools that I use on occasion:

  1. The Roll20 D&D 5e page is a great place of knowledge for those who may not have a PHB.
  2. The DMs Guild has a heap of aftermarket 5e content, classes, weapons, adventures, i have picked up a few to enhance my games.
  3. The 5e Quick Reference is great for a DM and can be useful for a player to use also.

Tool

URL

Roll20 D&D 5e Home

https://roll20.net/compendium/dnd5e/BookIndex 

DMs Guild

http://www.dmsguild.com/ 

5e Quick Reference

https://crobi.github.io/dnd5e-quickref/preview/quickref.html

 

MISC HELPFUL TOOLS

Some “lets make a cool thing... I mean cool things…” tools.

These are some tools (along with your imagination) that will create the world in which your player’s characters become heroes (or villains).

Tool

URL

City Generator

http://strategerygames.com/citygen/ 

Weak/Minor Magic Item Generator

http://www.lordbyng.net/inspiration/

http://www.lordbyng.net/inspiration/tables.php 

Name Generators

http://fantasynamegenerators.com/

5e Quick Reference

https://crobi.github.io/dnd5e-quickref/preview/quickref.html

 

The “I want my character to feel real” flaw & weakness guide!

A great tool to familiarise yourself with the actions and the status effects that one can take in 5e. You rolled a 5 Athletics to long jump the swampy river, 5 fails; you fall into the goopy water, feel something gripping your ankles and you are now restrained

Tool

URL

D&D Drawbacks - weaknesses & flaws

http://connorscampaigns.wikidot.com/all-drawbacks

 

A DM Luke Tip:

In my campaigns I ask my players to take at least 1 minor flaw.

"Why would they do this?"
(Besides making a more dynamic and realistic character?) Because they get some bonuses to balance the flaws/weaknesses/drawbacks.

For every minor flaw they get a proficiency (which must be backed up by their back story, e.g. A wizard shouldn’t have proficiency in heavy armour unless it makes sense for the character have learnt how to fight in heavy armour).

For every major flaw they get to choose a feat.

The maximum is 3 major flaws, the minimum is 1 minor flaw.


LANGUAGE DICTIONARIES

The ‘What does Dwarven runes look like?” tool

Want to make your non-human races feel a little more cultural? Use these sites to thicken your world!

Tool

URL

Elven Dictionary

http://www.grey-company.org/Circle/language/com2elv.htm 

Dwarven Dictionary

https://www.scribd.com/doc/17817661/d-d-3rd-Edition-Dungeons-and-Dragons-Dwarven-Dictionary 

PLAYER TOOLS

 

Here are some tools which a player would find helpful when playing in one of your games. Suggesting this to them may make you look like a well rounded DM/GM.
Also if you are a player and reading this, you now know all of our DM secrets, you have 7 days to live. Just kidding, but seriously let us build you a more dynamic character.

A Luke player Tip:

Do you want to play an excitingly more dynamic character? Ask your DM about Flaws/Weaknesses/Drawbacks.

They won’t just make your character believable they will get you some pretty sweet bonuses (if you follow my rule above in the DM section) 

 

Did you say ‘digital character sheets?’

So you figured digital means is the best way to keep track of your character and all of the arrows the pick out of goblins? Probably true. Below you will find a spell list and two character sheets. You will have to get access to the dropbox which has the database for the Fight Club 5th Edition app.

Name

OS

Link

Fight Club 5th Edition

IOS & Android

https://itunes.apple.com/au/app/fight-club-5th-edition/id901057473?mt=8

Fifth Edition Character Sheet

Android

https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.wgkammerer.testgui.basiccharactersheet.app

OrcPub 5e Character Sheet Generator

Windows (maybe IOS or Android tablet)

http://www.orcpub.com/dungeons-and-dragons/5th-edition/character/generator?

Donjon 5e Spell Sheet

Windows (maybe IOS or Android tablet)

https://donjon.bin.sh/5e/spells/

DnD-Spells.com

Windows, IOS, Android

http://www.dnd-spells.com/spells

D&D Beyond (OFFICIAL)

Browser Based

http://dndbeyond.com/ 

 

The “I have options?” for character sheets zip file!

BOOM! Choose a character sheet! Some you can type your values into some you can’t. Also some pre-generated characters if you are joining a one-off or if your boring.

Tool

URL

A selection of Official 5e Character Sheets (some are form fillable)

http://dnd.wizards.com/articles/features/character_sheets

 

The “I’m what? Charmed? WTF is CHARMED?” guide!

A great tool to familiarise yourself with the actions and the status effects that one can take in 5e. You rolled a 5 Athletics to long jump the swampy river, 5 fails; you fall into the goopy water, feel something gripping your ankles and you are now restrained

Tool

URL

A 5e Quick Reference (as suggested above in the DM tool list)

https://crobi.github.io/dnd5e-quickref/preview/quickref.html

 

The “Who should I play?” infographic for players!

So you don’t know what class to play? Now you do!

Tool

URL

D&D 5e Infrograph

https://www.lucidchart.com/pages/flowcharts/which-dungeons-and-dragons-class-should-you-play