Extremely New Player Advice

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(Posted this in DDI sub-forum... Not sure which was correct for my situation. Mods please delete if a problem)



Hi all...


I am extremely new to Dungeons & Dragons. I stumbled upon a few campaigns on YouTube. I watched a few of them over the past few days. I was hooked and really want to get into the game. So I figured I'd sign up for a DDI subscription to help better understand the game. Problem is that now I feel that I'm way in over my head haha.

I was planning on picking up a Red Box from my local game shop tomorrow (since that seems to be the starter kit), but thought about using the character builder and other resources online to get my feet wet. 

As of right now I don't know anyone else that plays. I'm really hoping the local comic/game shop has an evening or two where they get together. Hopefully they do, and I could connect and learn that way. 

So I guess my question is that if anyone has any starting point, or advice for how to get my feet wet into things, I'd really appreciate it.
I would start by ignoring the red box. Instead, most comic stores or hobby shops have meeting evenings and boards where players and dm's can post contact information; phone numbers, emails, etc.

Some groups might play at the game store, while some DM's leave their info at the store and host at their home.

If you find a DM, talk to them about the kind of game they run, and maybe try a pre-made level 1 character.


I am a DM, and I don't require players to own any core books; nor do they get to use something "just because they own a book with it".


You can also check Obsidian Portal, Craigslist or other community sources. If you are a student in High School or College, you can often start social groups, facebook groups, or post a piece of paper on the bulletin boards. (might want to ask about permissions first. My local high schools make you get different levels of permission, while my college just lets you post flyers). Most DM's who are publicly accessible use their game store for contacts. There are also cases where DM's don't make themselves publicly availible, or only prefer to play with one group of friends. Your friends might not play, but they might know someone who does; it is a small world, after all!

Within; Without.

I recommend Meetup.com. Either join or start a roleplaying game group in your area.

If I have to ask the GM for it, then I don't want it.

One more thought:

There are literally many ways to play this game. Many people call their game "Dungeons and Dragons" as many people call "Tissue Paper" as "Napkins".

They might not be playing "Dungeons and Dragons", as in they are using their own rules for their own game. Some of them do a few things different, others might not use the books or might play a different system like Shadowrun, Rifts or Gurps. "Dungeons and Dragons" has become a blanket term of sorts for all "dice-pen-paper" type games.

Within; Without.

I loved red box.


By red box , get 3 mates . Have a "session 0" making characters , back story's read the rules , have a BBQ and beer and talk about what u want out of the game.

During the week read the rules send ur players this link:
www.wizards.com/dnd/files/QuickStartRule...

Then as u as DM run "the twisted halls"(redbox) .

Try play once a week or fortnight and put a cap on how long u play ie 4 hours

Have fun!!!
Beginner/Starter sets like the "Red Box" are a great way to start, if you have a group of people willing to try getting started together (brothers and sisters, friends, etc.) 

If you don't know anyone else who is interested in starting a game, then joining a group of strangers should work well, too - it's a good way to meet new people and try something new.

Either way, most of the stuff in these starter sets is useful long after you've finished your introduction, and will still be useful no matter what edition you end up trying out or migrating to later, so as long as you are playing D&D in one way or another, the starter/beginner sets are useful.

All the advice from the nice folks above is good and valid. 

Especially useful is the heads-up that if you join an existing group, there's no telling what you're getting into, because different groups define "Dungeons & Dragons" in very different ways, depending on their interests, their collective styles, the edition of the game they are playing, the setting/genre they are playing, the actual brand of RPG they are playing, and so on.  If at all possible, it might not be a bad idea to find some way to sit in on a couple different games to see how different groups do things.  I've found that the experience in playing in other groups can range from a very comfortable and entertaining experience, to wondering if the group members enjoy being miserable.  Internet forums also have revealed more unsuspected ways of enjoying the game than I've ever suspected, too, in roughly the same range of "sounds more comfortable and fun than I could have imagined on my own" to "sounds more painful and bizarre than I would have ever imagined".

If the opportunity is there, sitting in on a variety of different editions, different titles (GURPS, Shadowrun, Vampire: The Masquerade, etc.), and different genres (high fantasy, sci-fi, horror, etc.) is not a bad idea, either.  There's a little something new to take away from everything.
[spoiler New DM Tips]
  • Trying to solve out-of-game problems (like cheating, bad attitudes, or poor sportsmanship) with in-game solutions will almost always result in failure, and will probably make matters worse.
  • Gun Safety Rule #5: Never point the gun at anything you don't intend to destroy. (Never introduce a character, PC, NPC, Villain, or fate of the world into even the possibility of a deadly combat or other dangerous situation, unless you are prepared to destroy it instantly and completely forever.)
  • Know your group's character sheets, and check them over carefully. You don't want surprises, but, more importantly, they are a gold mine of ideas!
  • "If it ain't broke, don't fix it." It's a problem if the players aren't having fun and it interferes with a DM's ability to run the game effectively; if it's not a problem, 'fixing' at best does little to help, and at worst causes problems that didn't exist before.
  • "Hulk Smash" characters are a bad match for open-ended exploration in crowds of civilians; get them out of civilization where they can break things and kill monsters in peace.
  • Success is not necessarily the same thing as killing an opponent. Failure is not necessarily the same thing as dying.
  • Failure is always an option. And it's a fine option, too, as long as failure is interesting, entertaining, and fun!
[/spoiler] The New DM's Group Horror in RPGs "This is exactly what the Leprechauns want you to believe!" - Merb101 "Broken or not, unbalanced or not, if something seems to be preventing the game from being enjoyable, something has to give: either that thing, or other aspects of the game, or your idea of what's enjoyable." - Centauri
(Posted this in DDI sub-forum... Not sure which was correct for my situation. Mods please delete if a problem)



Hi all...


I am extremely new to Dungeons & Dragons. I stumbled upon a few campaigns on YouTube. I watched a few of them over the past few days. I was hooked and really want to get into the game. So I figured I'd sign up for a DDI subscription to help better understand the game. Problem is that now I feel that I'm way in over my head haha.

I was planning on picking up a Red Box from my local game shop tomorrow (since that seems to be the starter kit), but thought about using the character builder and other resources online to get my feet wet. 

As of right now I don't know anyone else that plays. I'm really hoping the local comic/game shop has an evening or two where they get together. Hopefully they do, and I could connect and learn that way. 

So I guess my question is that if anyone has any starting point, or advice for how to get my feet wet into things, I'd really appreciate it.

If you have an experienced player in the group who could DM, I recommend that just so that you could get a feel for the game as a player before diving into the role as dungeon-master, which is a different animal than playing.

If the whole group is new players that's still okay, because no one will have pre-conceptions, so you can make up stories without worrying about those preconceptions blocking your creativity (it may not happen, but it could).

It's all about having fun and using your creativity. Welcome to the hobby!
A rogue with a bowl of slop can be a controller. WIZARD PC: Can I substitute Celestial Roc Guano for my fireball spells? DM: Awesome. Yes. When in doubt, take action.... that's generally the best course. Even Sun Tsu knew that, and he didn't have internets.
Ohhhh how I miss shadow run... even more, cyberpunk the most awesomest. Cyberpunk had internet and surfing the web and www before internet existed!
Thanks for all the advice and guidance. I definitely appreciate it. I checked with my local hobby shop and the group there wasn't interested in having a new player. So I'm still working on getting into the game and learning. I looked into an online way to play but I'm still experimenting with  it and getting involved.
I picked up a player's handbook and taught myself how to play by reading through it (several times), without the assistance of any internet tutorials, previous experience, or friends that knew how to play.

It wasn't easy, and I am still finding gaps in my knowledge of the rules, but I was able to find a few friends who were interested and teach them enough to be able to play.Our group has expanded overtime, and been more or less successful (several different DM's, none of which have been what I'd call amazing, but good enough considering). So while trying to imitate my actions entirely would be very difficult, with the aid of an internet tutorial, you should be fine to start playing somewhat.

If nothing else, trying to improvise (badly) can lead to some memorable stories.
I looked into an online way to play but I'm still experimenting with  it and getting involved.


Have you checked out roll20.net?


@dfn77 I did. That was the online play I was talking about. Being extremely new only certain campaigns take new players and I haven't been invited to join one yet. But it's definitely a route I'm exploring.

Thanks for the input.
Have you posted in the LFG forums as well as browse the LFG section? Sometimes people only do one or the other, covering both will give you more opportunities. It is usually very quick to find games as a newcomer as roll20 has a very large player base of new blood. Sorry if you've done both already - you'll find a game in a day or two for sure.
I agree with dfn77. Make sure to check out both the forums and the LFG feature.

As well, try to find the Nentir Vale community thread and join that campaign. That's got around 170 or so members last time I checked and they all tend to be fairly new to the game. They seem to get a few games going.
It sounds like there are a LOT more players out there looking for DMs, than there are DMs available to fill the demand.

Perhaps take on the challenge of becoming a DM instead?

Or, if nothing else, gather a group of players, and arrange to take turns DMing?
[spoiler New DM Tips]
  • Trying to solve out-of-game problems (like cheating, bad attitudes, or poor sportsmanship) with in-game solutions will almost always result in failure, and will probably make matters worse.
  • Gun Safety Rule #5: Never point the gun at anything you don't intend to destroy. (Never introduce a character, PC, NPC, Villain, or fate of the world into even the possibility of a deadly combat or other dangerous situation, unless you are prepared to destroy it instantly and completely forever.)
  • Know your group's character sheets, and check them over carefully. You don't want surprises, but, more importantly, they are a gold mine of ideas!
  • "If it ain't broke, don't fix it." It's a problem if the players aren't having fun and it interferes with a DM's ability to run the game effectively; if it's not a problem, 'fixing' at best does little to help, and at worst causes problems that didn't exist before.
  • "Hulk Smash" characters are a bad match for open-ended exploration in crowds of civilians; get them out of civilization where they can break things and kill monsters in peace.
  • Success is not necessarily the same thing as killing an opponent. Failure is not necessarily the same thing as dying.
  • Failure is always an option. And it's a fine option, too, as long as failure is interesting, entertaining, and fun!
[/spoiler] The New DM's Group Horror in RPGs "This is exactly what the Leprechauns want you to believe!" - Merb101 "Broken or not, unbalanced or not, if something seems to be preventing the game from being enjoyable, something has to give: either that thing, or other aspects of the game, or your idea of what's enjoyable." - Centauri