It’s been almost 8 years since Dungeons and Dragons 5th edition hit the shelves. In that time, the tabletop roleplaying hobby has seen a new burst of life with streaming platforms, like Twitch, helping to share other peoples home games with literally thousands of viewers. Television shows such as The Big Bang Theory has helped to make geek culture cool and games like Dungeons and Dragons (D&D) have become a more mainstream hobby.

What is D&D?

D&D is one of many tabletop roleplaying games that revolve around you, the player. Each player takes on the role of a character, usually one in a medieval fantasy setting. Players may wish to play a daring rogue who skulks the shadows or a powerful battlemage who destroys their enemies with raw magic. One player, called the Dungeon Master (DM), runs a campaign; a story filled with adventure, monsters and mystery. Players make decisions as their characters and roll dice to determine how well their decisions fare when put into action.

This is a game that lends itself to creativity and is not limited by technology or game boundaries. You can be a hero or a villain. Face off against Lovecraftian abominations or raving hordes of Goblins. As a game limited only by the imagination it has attracted all manner of players, from battle-hardened wargames to videogame fanatics setting off for the first time on their maiden voyage into the world of TTRPGs.

How to start?

A scene from my own D&D Games

Starting Dungeons and Dragons is easy. Pick up the Players Handbook or even their Starter Set adventure at your local game store and set up a date with some friends wanting to try the game. If you don’t want to spend any money on a hobby you have never played, you can always download the basic rules here.

Games can be run in-person using “theatre of the mind” or by drawing some maps on a sheet of paper. Monsters can be represented with biscuits and sweets allowing players to eat what they kill. You may also wish to play online by using digital tools such as Roll20 or Fantasy Grounds, which usually offer free games with a stranger (although results may vary). If you are looking to start this immersive game and are looking for a group to play with, you can never go wrong with contacting your local game store and finding an already running group to join. Who knows, you might just find a few new friends this way too.