Just Starting and Confused

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A few friends and I are interested in getting into D&D, which we honestly know little about, and are rather stuck on what we actually need to purchase. We're probably gonna be a group of say seven or so people, one of them obviously playing the Dungeon Master, which will probably be me. I've looked up on what people have needed to start, and I've gotten varying results. Most sites say just the Player's Handbook, the Monster Manual I, and the Dungeon Master's Guide. Browsing the Internet, I also came upon the eye of subscribing to D&D Insider, and just sharing the cost. The way I've read it, just getting D&D Insider will save us purchasing all three books. But I'm also guessing that D&D Insider will not have all we need. What else am I missing that I need to also purchase? We're going into this almost blind; we don't even know key things like character movement on the board/tabletop, what we need for that, and the like.

If anything, I'm guessing we should purchase the subscription, for a month to try it out, and at least a Dungeon Master's Guide. Or would we need a Player's Handbook too? I don't know, but any help would be greatly appreciated. Thank you.
There's a really good thread for new players that I hope will help you get into D&D, here's the link community.wizards.com/go/thread/view/758...!.
DDI has several useful parts but it isn't a substitute for having at least a core set of books, you get:

1) Compendium - a database of all the stuff in all the books which is searchable.
2) Magazines - Dungeon and Dragon have loads of articles, so with DDI you can download all the back editions. Tons of monsters, themes, adventures, etc buried in there, though most of the rules additions are going to be in Compendium.
3) Monster Builder - lets you adjust the levels of monsters, tweak them in other ways, or even make totally new ones. Handy tool, but not vital.
4) Character Builder - lets you make PCs. Almost all the stuff in the game that PCs can pick is in here and it will make a pretty nice character sheet for you. Really nice and saves you a lot of time.

Again though, you'll need core books. One option is DMG1, PHB1, and MM1. OTOH you could get the Essentials Heroes of the ... books (2 of them), a Monster Vault, and a DM's Kit. That gets you roughly the same stuff as the 3 hardback core books, with some of the non-magic-using classes somewhat streamlined. All of the rules are the same though, so you can start with one set and add all/parts of the other later. Personally I'd not bother with MM1 and just get a Monster Vault whatever you do. MM1 monsters are kinda out of date at this point.

That is not dead which may eternal lie
I would suggest getting the PH, DMG, and MM1.
I would suggest avoiding anything called "Essentials" (Yes, I'm one of those).
I would suggest printing out a copy of the online erratta. You might even write down the info in the books (yes, write in your books--with pen) or stick the erratta page in the book.
You do not need the online resources or membership, or any of that.

As you play for a bit, then start expanding to the other books. slowly.
Look carefully at what you might and might not want to add.

Adventurer's Vault are good for treasure.
Divine Power, Martial Power, Arcane Power, etc provide options for expanding/changing each of those types of character. Buy when your players have a character that they are having fun with, as needed.
Characters that are fun is more important that "balanced Party". I've been running a party of all-strikers and they're brutal! Encounters usually don't last more than 3 rounds unless I throw an encounter at them that is at least lvl+4
A few friends and I are interested in getting into D&D, which we honestly know little about, and are rather stuck on what we actually need to purchase. We're probably gonna be a group of say seven or so people, one of them obviously playing the Dungeon Master, which will probably be me. I've looked up on what people have needed to start, and I've gotten varying results. Most sites say just the Player's Handbook, the Monster Manual I, and the Dungeon Master's Guide. Browsing the Internet, I also came upon the eye of subscribing to D&D Insider, and just sharing the cost. The way I've read it, just getting D&D Insider will save us purchasing all three books. But I'm also guessing that D&D Insider will not have all we need. What else am I missing that I need to also purchase? We're going into this almost blind; we don't even know key things like character movement on the board/tabletop, what we need for that, and the like.

If anything, I'm guessing we should purchase the subscription, for a month to try it out, and at least a Dungeon Master's Guide. Or would we need a Player's Handbook too? I don't know, but any help would be greatly appreciated. Thank you.

The rules compendium is a must. Additional books should be heroes of the fallen lands and heroes of the forgotten kingdoms.(Both essential books )Beyond these,i would have to say,acquiring  player's handbooks 2 and 3,all 3 monster manuals.monster vault,and the 3 core rulebooks.Possibly a setting like the forgotten relams or eberron.This is just my opionion,and it works well as a basis.Oh yeah,don't forget dice-lol
I would suggest getting the PH, DMG, and MM1.
I would suggest avoiding anything called "Essentials" (Yes, I'm one of those).


The rules compendium is a must. Additional books should be heroes of the fallen lands and heroes of the forgotten kingdoms.(Both essential books )



As you can see, there is some difference of opinion. Thus confusion is perfectly understandable.
Honestly, it depends on your attention level and learning curve.  If you can sit there and read book after book, and you aboslutely must know every rule in and out then grab a lot of the above mentioned books. 

I started D&D ages ago with 1 book that I used as a guide and improvised with everything else.  I didn't have the money or attention span back them to read all of the books.  When you get used to the game on a very basic level, you can always look into more books for more ideas on what you can do and better ways to balance everything out.    
Seriously, just get the rules compendium (most up to date rules, no need to print errata),  and the essentials DM box, or just the DM handbook if you can find it by itself. (these books cost half the price of a PHB or DMG, and contain the same info, for the most part. The DMG one is one of the best DM books ever printed, though, so consider buying that anyway. Use the skill challenge info in the essentials DM book, though.

ANd then get a DDI sub. You'll have access to all the classes and options, it's the easiest way to make characters, and you can print out the sheets when you're done, with all the math done for you, etc. It's seriously incredibly easy to use, and it's a cheap resource.

Pay for one month's sub, make characters, play a few games and see if you like it enough to spend more money on it.

This way, you've spent less than 60 bucks on your into to DnD, unless you buy the DM box, in which case it's a little more. DM box comes with tokens and an adventure, so that's helpful.

Just use the online Compendium and monster builder for monsters, and/or find a printed adventure. Seriously, don't spend more than 75 bucks until you know you and your group like it. Best way to accomplish that, is with DDI.
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More sex and gender equality and racial equality shouldn't even be an argument--it should simply be an assumption for any RPG that wants to stay relevant in the 21st century.
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http://community.wizards.com/doctorbadwolf/blog/2012/01/10/how_we_can_help_make_dndnext_awesome