D&D: The Basics

What is Dungeons & Dragons?
D&D is an imaginative, social experience that engages players in a rich fantasy world filled with larger-than-life heroes, deadly monsters, and diverse settings. As a hobby game, D&D is an ongoing activity to which players might devote hours of their time—much like a weekly poker game—getting together with friends on a regular basis for weeks, months and even years.

What is a roleplaying game?
The D&D game is a fantasy game of your imagination. It is part acting, part storytelling, part social interaction, part war game, and part chance. You and your friends create characters that develop and grow with each adventure they complete. One player is the Dungeon Master (DM). The DM controls the monsters and enemies, narrates the action, referees the game, and sets up the adventure. Together, the Dungeon Master and the players make the game come alive.

Who are the player characters?
Each player chooses the character that he or she plays. Your characters star in the adventures you play, just like the heroes of a book or movie. Each character has unique strengths, weakness, and abilities—yours might be a battle-seasoned warlord with a hundred campaigns under his belt, or a clever rogue with a quick wit and a quicker blade. You might be a ranger trained in survival techniques, or a wizard who has mastered the arcane arts. As your character participates in adventures, he or she gains experience and becomes more powerful.

What does the Dungeon Master do?
The Dungeon Master (DM) is the one who plays the "bad guys." He knows the secrets of the adventure, either because he has read the adventure that the players explore, or because he’s created that adventure himself.

How do I get started?
That’s easy. To get started, you need a group of friends and the three core rulebooks:

The Player’s Handbook (to learn about the kind of characters you can make, and what powers your character can use)
The Dungeon Master’s Guide (to help instruct the DM on how to run the game)
The Monster Manual (to provide many of the opponents the characters will battle)
You’ll also need a set of dice for each player, and miniatures to represent each of the player character and the monsters they’ll face.

Where can I find these materials?
I have all of the above. I bought them at www.amazon.com

Where can I find adventures?
One person in your game needs to be the Dungeon Master, and will run the adventure. The rest of you will be the players, running your characters through the adventure. These adventures can be created by the DM himself or purchased from local retailers.

Dungeon Magazine, a subscription component of the D&D Insider website, also offers an ongoing selection of adventures across all levels, as well as advice for DMs and their games.

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