From dice sets to hard cover books
By Jacey Gibb, Distribution Manager
Welcome to Dinguses and Dragons, a weekly column aiming at demystifying and introducing the game of D&D to new and potential players
So, you’re thinking of dabbling in the wonderful world of Dungeons and Dragons? Unlike most of those other hobbies you one day decided to pick up, was really into for a few weeks, and then had your enthusiasm fade like the summer sun, D&D requires very little start-up capital. In this article, I’ve prepared a list of things for your upcoming journey: two things you need, two things you should have, and two things you might want. The first two “needs” are actually free, so you can get started almost immediately!
What you definitely need
A dice app, or Google’s “d20 roll” bookmarked
Most actions you take in D&D will require you to roll a dice. For example, you’ll often have to roll a 20-sided die (known as a d20) to help decide how successful you were, with the higher the roll the better. The dices also come in 4-, 6-, 8-, 10-, and 12-sided variations, which are used in other parts of the game. There are plenty of free dice apps available, though Googling “d20 roll” will produce a simple, effective option for you to use.
A group to play with
D&D groups don’t just grow on trees. This is often the biggest barrier for people, as finding a group that gels together and—through some miracle—are all available on the same days and times takes some finessing. Another struggle is finding someone willing to DM (or Dungeon Master) as this person spends extra hours outside of game time preparing for the actual game. DMs are so in-demand that there are DMs for hire!
What you should have
Some quality headphones with a microphone
This one mostly applies to the COVID world we now find ourselves in. If you’re playing your game online, investing in a nice set of microphone headphones will help you and your group. We have enough technical difficulties as is, so don’t cheap out on some shitty headphones that no one can hear you through.
The D&D Player’s Handbook
A one-stop-shop for all the rules you need to play Dungeons & Dragons. Copies of the Player’s Handbook aren’t cheap (usually selling for between $40 to $60) but it’s beautifully illustrated and full of so much useful information. While a lot of D&D rules are available online now, it’s always encouraged for players to buy a copy to help support the game’s publisher, and ensure that D&D continues for years to come.
What you might want
A physical dice set
Look, I’m not a traditionalist by any means, but having a physical set of dice that you can play with is infinitely better than pressing buttons on an app. (Not to mention you get to live the thrill of having a dice roll for what seems like an eternity when it’s a pivotal roll). Dice sets also come in all sorts of groovy colour combinations, and you can go as cheap (which is usually pretty cheap) or as expensive (which gets shockingly expensive) as you want.
The D&D Monster Manual and Dungeon Master’s Guide
At $50ish a pop, I don’t recommend just any beginning player go out and buy these two books. But like the Player’s Handbook, both are beautifully illustrated and pretty useful—assuming you’re a DM or planning to start your own campaign. Again, this is more of a way to support the game and publisher, so if you’re just starting, hold off on purchasing any of the expanded literature and just get a half-decent pair of frickin’ headphones.