This page should hopefully provide you with links to all the resources and things you’ll need to play.
- Join the game on Roll20 with my my invite link
- Read the sections called out below in Dungeons and Dragons, Basic Rules
- Give some thought to your character
Style of play
Role playing can take on all different forms. A lot of the time we see portrayals of the most intense and extreme forms of role playing, with players physically acting out and embodying every word and action their characters perform.
That’s not how most people play, and it’s not how we will play. You will be role playing a character, yes, but that doesn’t mean you are “in character” every minute of the game.
Role playing in this case means describing the actions and decisions your character makes. Maybe you decide to say something in the voice of your character from time to time for impact, but for the most part you’re telling your character’s story in first- or third-person:
“Morthos strolls up to the strangers at the neighbouring table and takes a long sip from one of their glasses of beer. He burps, says ‘thank you may I have another?’ and turns back to his table”.
What’s important is that the actions and decisions you describe are your character‘s, not yours. Sometimes you and your character may do or say similar things, sometimes your character – based on their backstory and their various other attributes – would do something very different from you.
Participating in this adventure can cost you $0. However there are a few small purchases you may want to make your life a little bit easier, but even then your total spend should only be a few dollars.
There’s no way around it: Playing D&D takes time. There’s time required to prepare for an adventure (learning about the game, creating your character, etc) and time required to actually play the adventure. We’ll be coordinating a lot of schedules across a lot of time zones. Hopefully we can surmount that problem, but we may need to make some tough decisions. This should be fun an enjoyable for everyone, and the moment it becomes an imposition for anyone is the moment we should reconsider how we’re approaching this.
I normally like to keep play sessions, those where we are actually playing the game, around two hours. Sessions much shorter than that and it can be difficult to make meaningful progress in the adventure. Although some groups will play for hours on end, that’s not practical for busy adults, and I personally find playing much beyond two hours becomes tiring.
Once planning and character creation is complete, I expect we’ll need between two and four 2-hours sessions to complete the adventure, though this depends a great deal on the decisions you make while we play.
Ideally we are playing at a fairly regular intervals, and that the intervals aren’t terribly extended. I’d say monthly would be the longest interval to strive for, with bi-weekly being ideal.
Regardless of all of the above, everything is flexible. We’re scheduling all of this on our terms. Whatever works for the group is what we’ll do.
Ideally the entire party is present for all sessions and we can all participate for the complete adventure (we all want to know how this all ends right!). We should all make a reasonable and sincere effort to attend the sessions we plan and treat it as an important social commitment.
Although that is the ideal, it’s okay if something comes up and you cannot make it to a specific session. If the entire party agrees, we can proceed with a session a party member missing.
Similarly, if you are unable to continue with the adventure, you can drop out and we can adjust the adventure accordingly.
All of this is to say, ideally we make a reasonable effort to attend planned sessions and play the entire adventure. But if things come up, or if you discover that it’s just not that fun and you want to discontinue, that is fine.
As I mentioned earlier, 90% of playing Dungeons and Dragons is planning to play Dungeons and Dragons.
Reading and thinking
We’ll begin by getting acquainted with some foundational information so you have a sense of what the game is and some of the basic rules. You will also read about different races and classes and start dreaming up the character you want to role play.
Next, we’ll actually start building your characters. This can be a bit daunting but I’m happy to help you every step of the way.
There are really two, related components to a character: the personality stuff, and the numbers stuff.
You can start thinking about the personality stuff today. You’re role playing this character so try to think a bit about what type of person you’d find easy to role play. Are they brash and outgoing? Are they timid and naïve? Are they maybe a bit too smart for their own good and approach every situation as if they can teach the dummies that surround them a lesson? Think of some of your favourite characters from movies, TV, or books for inspiration.
The numbers stuff we can work on together during “session 0” when we build our characters. This can be a bit complicated but I’ll help you out with all of it. As you read through the materials below, think about what turns your crank. Different races and classes lend themselves to different types of playing and back stories.
Also consider fighting style. Spell-casting adds some complexity so if you’re eager to play a magic-using character, be ready for some more rules and management. If you’re keen to learn, then dig in. If you’re wanting to keep things a bit easier, maybe stick to the melee classes.
Also think about how your personality fits with the “numbers” choices like race or class and with attributes like intelligence, charisma, and strength. A pedantic smarty-pants will likely also have high intelligence and a brutish person will likely have high strength. That said, there’s nothing to stop you from having a profoundly stupid character who is positively convinced they’re the smartest person in the world. Playing to type (the smart, old, wizard elf) is fun, but playing against type (the tiny gnome that’s all brawn and no brains and thinks they’re bigger than they are) can be just as interesting.
We can talk on Signal about what kinds of characters we want to play. To get thigns started, in addition to the prompts in the character building sections of the resources below, here are some additional prompts:
- Are they glitzy and glamorous? Or are they salt-of-the-earth and quiet?
- Is there something the LOVE or LOATH? A character who is afraid of loud sounds, or loves to punch people in the butt can be fun to play.
- Is your character worldly or very sheltered? Do they know all the dark ocrners, slang, and raunchy realities of the dark corners of the realm, or do they have a child-like view of the world, with few social skills and little sense of how things really work.
We’ll be using a “virtual tabletop” called Roll20 to play our game. It has maps to help us visualize our environment and has systems for managing our characters and so on. More on that in a subsequent section.
We’ll start with a “Session 0”, where we all come together to build our characters in Roll20. Once everyone’s characters are created and we feel super comfortable with where things are at we’ll start with actual game play sessions.
Things to read
I strongly encourage you to read the following resource to get familiar with the game and character options:
- Dungeons and Dragons, Basic Rules (This is also available nearly verbatim in a more web-friendly form here)
For now I’d start with:
- Ch. 1 Step-by-step characters (though don’t worry about actually creating a character yet)
- Ch. 2 Races
- Ch. 3 classes
- Ch. 4 Personality and Background
I’d also suggest at least glancing at chapters in Part 2 (“Playing the Game”). A lot of the stuff covered in Part 2 we can cover as we play the game, but it’s helpful to have seen it at least once.
Things you’ll need
The Free Option
- Roll20, our virtual tabletop, has dice-rolling functionality built in, so you can rely on that if you’d like.
The Fancy Option
- Dice by PCalc is a GREAT dice rolling app for iOS, iPadOS and macOS. I personally find this more satisfying than Roll20’s built in dice
The Physical Option
- You can buy dice sets from wherever. This can be fun if you’re super interested in collecting fun dice colours and stuff. That said, between Roll20 and Dice by PCalc, I find I rarely need to use physical dice.
Somewhere for notes
As your DM, I’ll be helping guide the story forward. But it’s a really good idea to have somewhere you can take your own notes. You’ll want to write down names of characters you meet, maybe questions that come up as you proceed through the adventure, and maybe summarize conversations or events so you can remember them next session.
Please join my game in Roll20 by clicking on my invite link. There’s nothing to do here yet, but we’ll all want to be logged into Roll20 for Session 0.
You’ll need to create a Roll20 account, of course. You may be prompted to pay or subscribe but none of that is necessary.
DnD Beyond is an extremely helpful resource. There’s no way around it, we’ll all be looking up rules, items, spells, etc. during the game. I find DnD Beyond to be one of the most comprehensive and easy to use resources for doing just that.