There exists a stereotype about Dungeons & Dragons players where they spend their days sheltered away in basements and spend time with the only friends they have living in a fantasy world. As more popular representation has hit the mainstream with programs like Stranger Things shining a light on the classic game, interested first-timers are discovering that the world of modern D&D is far different than stereotypes would have you believe.
It’s not uncommon to find people of all stripes sitting down to play D&D together now, and the internet has played a large part in that. From making it easier to get started to providing the playing spaces required to host a game, the internet has taken D&D 5th Edition and made it accessible to everyone.
The first way the modern D&D landscape is much more forgiving for new players and is helping to spread the hobby is the ease of accessing the game’s resources it provides. While in the past you would have to locate a store which sold a Dungeon Master’s Guide and Player’s handbook then shell out for both, now you can find the basics you need to get started playing online for free. Everything you need to roll up characters and understand the basics of the game is available for reading at your leisure.
Virtual Table Tops
The big secret of many dice-rolling adventurers today is that they don’t ever actually roll any real dice. While home games are still popular, online tabletops like those on the Roll20 App have become an increasingly popular option for gamers looking to connect with friends around the world. Many in-person games have even started using apps like Tabletop Simulator or Roll 20 for their live games due to the convenience they can provide.
Digital Character Creation
Much of D&D is actually quite simple to play out, with the majority of the game broken down into declaring an action, the GM deciding if you need to roll dice or not, then describing how the action plays out. The unfortunate reality is that the most complicated thing a player will ever do is also the first. Character creation has overwhelmed many new players and will do the same for many to come. With online character builders, however, the process is much easier as the builders guide you through the process step-by-step and even commonly create a character sheet for you at the end so you don’t need to worry about making mistakes.
The other area which can be hard for new players to stay on top of is their roll bonuses. In D&D, the better you are at things the more likely your rolls will succeed, which is represented by adding or subtracting numbers to your rolls based on your rating at the skill or attribute being tested. Online D&D games like Roll20 handle this math for you. Just click the action you want to do and it rolls for you and adds bonuses automatically. That means less time adding numbers and more time having run playing the game.
Free Content Abounds
The amount of lore that exists in the D&D community now is seemingly endless. While not everything has yet been ported over to 5th edition, it is already a large world to draw from. Many sites make sifting through the information easier with online databases of everything from monster stats and spells that characters can learn to fully designed campaigns.
If Dungeons & Dragons sounds like something you would enjoy, I’ve got great news. It’s never been easier to start playing. Pull up the basic rules online, roll up a character and then gather your friends or find a group seeking players on an online D&D app.