5 things you need to know about DnD - Rest Nova Site

5 things you need to know about DnD

5 things you need to know about DnD

DnD has a lot of moving parts. Here are 5 things you might not know.

  1. Communication is key

Good communication is the single most important factor for a fun DnD experience. Clearly narrate your character’s actions and intentions so the game runs smoothly, and also put all your thoughts about the game itself on the table. If something is bugging you, let your crew know. If you have an idea, let your crew know. If you don’t understand something, let your crew know.

Before starting the campaign, collaborate with your fellow players to agree on:

  • Tone. Will it be light-hearted, or dark and ominous?
  • Will you fight each session, or is it OK to hang around town all day?
  • Will you fight robots or aliens? In the tundra or in the mountains?)
  • Group synergy. Do your roles complement each other? Do you have a shared goal?
  • Is gore ok? Romance?
  • Length of campaign. How many months will you be playing?
  • Maximum session length. 
  • Preferred days of the week

Clear communication makes sure everyone is on the same page. Then you can start turning that page into a story!

  1. The world is dynamic

In DnD, you’re a small part of a living world, not the main character like in a video game. Your actions have consequences. If you do something you shouldn’t, your character (and crew) can get into serious trouble…and die. There are no resets, no obvious paths, and no exclamation points over objectives.

You can’t just steal everything you need from someone’s house. You can try, but you will probably fail your Stealth roll and trigger the town guard, who are way above your level. You can’t attack anyone who makes you angry, or go off to fight evil on your own. Would a town tolerate someone attacking random people? Would your friends tolerate you abandoning them?

You’re not the protagonist! You’re all just side characters in a vast, indifferent universe.

  1. It takes commitment

Many players sign onto a DnD campaign without understanding how much investment it takes. Meeting every 1 or 2 weeks is ideal, with sessions lasting anywhere from 2-4 hours. Tell your fellow players how much time you are willing to commit, so you can agree on on a schedule that works for everyone.

A session needs at least a handful of people to be feasible. Your DM will be putting a lot of work into organizing the campaign so you can all have a good time, so it’s a bummer if multiple people cancel and the session can’t go on.

Burnout happens. Don’t feel pressure to commit to more than you can handle. The point is to have fun!

  1. It can get heated

The immersion in DnD comes from the realism, and the near limitless autonomy. You have real choices—but so does everyone in your party. Those choices can, and do, often come into conflict. You are responsible for your character’s adventures and motivations. You are also responsible to fulfill those adventures and motivation without ruining the fun for other party members, or the DM

Some people want to fight all the time. Some want to explore. Some quests excite some players, but not others. Your DM can also get sore if you don’t listen or ignore their instructions.

Players tend to identify heavily with their character, which makes emotions ride high. Don’t take things personally! Be respectful, and talk it out so everyone can get on with the journey.

  1. Losing is OK

Epic fails are part and parcel of DnD. The knowledge that your character can actually die makes every action they take all the more meaningful. Many battles will come down to the wire, with characters hanging on the brink of life and death. And rash decisions while exploring the countryside can lead to all sorts of hilarious and memorable ends.

If you decide to tug on that dragon’s tail to see what happens, don’t be surprised if it burns you to bits. If 5e hex destroys you because you skipped a Long Rest to party in the tavern…maybe you deserve it. You should always confirm with others before taking a huge risk. But no guts, no glory!

Don’t worry, unlike real life, you can always join back in with a fresh character!