So you’re curious about DnD, and want to know more. Here are some inroads.
- Watch an Actual Play
Actual Plays are shows where everyone is playing DnD. The most well-known show is Critical Role, with professional voice actors, dedicated characters, and long intricate storylines that go on for seasons. It’s like watching a TV series completely based on DnD.
Don’t think you have to be so professional when playing DnD though! Critical Role is more DnD theater than DnD as it’s actually played. But it’s entertaining and can teach you the gist of the game.
If you’re looking for a smaller investment, try HarmonQuest by Dan Harmon, the creator of Rick and Morty. With guests such as Patton Oswalt and Aubrey Plaza, it’s much more light-hearted fare in smaller installments, and episodes that are self-contained. Some of the interactions are animated, which are hilarious and really bring the game to life.
Other options are Dimension 20, which has elaborate and inventive themed quests that are more unconventional, and the British-based Twitch stream High Rollers which is highly active—chances are it’s live right now!
If podcasts are more your speed, try Dungeons And Daddies, a hilarious and heartfelt tale of DnD dads who fell through a portal and go on a quest to find their lost sons.
- Try a show-themed starter set
If you are curious about DnD from Stranger Things or Rick and Morty, you’re in luck! There are official Stranger Things and Rick and Morty DnD starter sets that give you all you need to get the dice rolling.
The sets not only feature all your favorite characters, monsters, and lore, but ready-made adventures designed around the respective franchises. The Stranger Things set even comes with a miniature Demogorgon!
You also get a themed rulebook with all the essentials, all the dice you need, and ready to play character sheets for all the main characters. The character sheets are one of the most helpful items for newbies, as creating your character in DnD can be complicated. Ready made sheets take all the pressure off, so you can learn the ropes.
Dive into your favorite universe and see what the DnD fuss is all about!
- Ask your local gaming store
Wizards of the Coast (the official DnD publisher) has a “DnD Adventurers League” that cooperates with gaming stores to organize DnD events. There might be ongoing DnD events at the store itself, or a local school, library, or community center. See if there’s a DnD event near you with the Store & Event Locator.
Hop into a beginner-friendly event or see if there are some seasoned vets willing to help you learn the basics. Chances are, they will! The games are usually run by experienced Dungeon Masters who design their games so newbies can jump in with both feet…or hooves.
Even if your local gaming store doesn’t host an official event, the unofficial DnD network is huge. Try searching for DnD Facebook or Meetup groups in your area. Most players are more than happy to welcome a new player into the DnD fold.
- Try a DnD-based video game
Many games take their inspiration from DnD. Playing through them can teach you how DnD works, and if it’s for you or not.
If you’re a literature buff, Planescape Torment is one of the best written video games of all-time, with a deep and complex lore along with DnD-based mechanics. If you want something more traditional, another old-school option is Icewind Dale, which explicitly takes place in the DnD universe. Both games use the ruleset from DnD 2nd edition.
For more modern fare, game series like Dragon Age and Pillars of Eternity also pull a lot from DnD. You’ll learn how to navigate scenarios, make choices, and manage your party just like you would in a real-life campaign. You’ll also have a movelist similar to 5e unarmed strike, ranged weapon, and spell attacks.
For mature audiences with more unconventional tastes, a PC game called Disco Elysium is a modern masterpiece of weird storytelling. You’ll play a detective tracking a mysterious killer, and experience lots of mental and physical checks similar to what you’ll find in DnD. The game also adapts to your preferred playing style, like DnD does. If you’re more into story than action, it’s a good bet to get your DnD feet wet.