Like HowStuffWorks on Facebook!

Beginner's Guide to Dungeons & Dragons


Author's Note: Kate Kershner

I started researching Dungeons & Dragons with dread. Although I told myself I didn't believe the stereotypes (I have male and female friends, from hipsters to sorority girls, who have played the game for years), I was still leery of a game that was so complicated it required three handbooks for play, about 50 sides of various dice and character sheets more complicated than any number of charts in my medical files. But like any other D&D rookie, as soon as I actually took the time to learn the game from research and other players, I was hooked. D&D isn't a game for antisocial misfits; it is a game for anyone who likes reading a good story or playing a strategy game. Like any game worth its salt, the best part of it is spending time maneuvering, arguing and commiserating with the other players, be they nerds, hipsters, bros, elves, wizards, orcs – or any other character under the sun.

Related Articles

Sources

  • Abbott, Henry. "Kindly Cast Your Spell on Us Now, Tim Duncan." TrueHoop Blog. May 3, 2007. (March 18, 2012) http://espn.go.com/blog/truehoop/post/_/id/3450/kindly-cast-your-spell-on-us-now-tim-duncan
  • Acaeum, The. "D&D Basic Set." (March 28, 2013) http://www.acaeum.com/ddindexes/setpages/basic.html
  • Alexander, Justin. "A Nomenclature of D&D Editions." The Alexandrian. (March 18, 2012) http://www.thealexandrian.net/creations/misc/edition-nomenclature.html
  • B.A.A.D. "B.A.D.D. stands for Bothered About D&D and other harmful influences on children." Holy Smoke.org. (March 28, 2013) http://www.holysmoke.org/wb/wb0017.htm
  • Bowers, Randy. "Welcome to the World of Sulerin." Sulerin. June 2010. (March 18, 2012) http://www.sulerin.com/index.asp
  • Carton, Jans. "Ghoul." d20 SRD. (March 28, 2013) http://www.d20srd.org/srd/monsters/ghoul.htm
  • Dungeons & Dragons Online. "Frequently Asked Questions." Warner Bros. Entertainment. (March 28, 2013) http://www.ddo.com/ddogameinfo/faq#1
  • Ellis, Neil. "A Beginners Guide to Dungeons & Dragons (Parts 1-3)" DungeonsMaster.com. Jan. 13, 2010. (March 18, 2012) http://dungeonsmaster.com/2010/01/a-beginners-guide-to-dungeons-dragons-part-1/
  • Foundas, Scott. "Dungeons & Dragons." Variety. Dec. 7, 2000. (March 18, 2012) http://www.variety.com/review/VE1117796910?refcatid=31
  • Grabinowski, Ed. "Why is the Fifth Edition of Dungeons & Dragons such a big deal?" io9. January 11, 2012. (March 28, 2013)http://io9.com/5874922/why-is-the-5th-edition-of-dungeons--dragons-a-big-deal
  • Hack & Slash. "On the Ecology of the Gelatinous Cube." January 10, 2013. (March 28, 2013) http://hackslashmaster.blogspot.com/2013/01/on-ecology-of-gelatinous-cube.html
  • Harnish, M.J. "5th Edition D&D Is in Development – Should We Care?" Wired.com. Jan. 9, 2012. (March 18, 2012) http://www.wired.com/geekdad/2012/01/5th-edition-dungeons-and-dragons/
  • Hartinger, Brent. "20 Celebrities Who Play Dungeons & Dragons." The Torch Online. March 10, 2009. (March 18, 2012) http://thetorchonline.com/latest/20-celebrities-who-play-dungeons-dragons/
  • Hately, Shaun. "The Disappearance of James Dallas Egbert III (Part I)." Places to Go, People to Be. February 1999. (March 28, 2013) http://ptgptb.org/0006/egbert.html
  • Internet Movie Database. "Dungeons & Dragons (1983-)." (March 28, 2013) http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0085011/
  • Internet Movie Database. "Mazes and Monsters (TV 1982)." (March 28, 2013) http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0084314/
  • Kenzer and Company. "Knights of the Dinner Table Magazine." March 18, 2012. (March 18, 2012) http://www.kenzerco.com/index.php?cPath=22_23
  • Kushner, David. "Dungeon Master: The Life and Legacy of Gary Gygax." Wired. March 10, 2008. (March 18, 2012) http://www.wired.com/gaming/virtualworlds/news/2008/03/ff_gygax?currentPage=all
  • McMillan, Graeme. "Will Dungeons & Dragons be the next Hobbit?" Time. December 12, 2012. (March 28, 2013) http://entertainment.time.com/2012/12/12/will-dungeons-dragons-be-the-next-hobbit/
  • Mentzer, Frank, ed. "Dungeons & Dragons Dungeon Masters Rulebook." TSR Hobbies. 1983. (March 28, 2013) http://www.scribd.com/doc/31976389/01-Basic-Red-Set
  • Mentzer, Frank, ed. "Dungeons & Dragons Players Manual." TSR Hobbies. 1983. (March 28, 2013) http://www.scribd.com/doc/31976389/01-Basic-Red-Set
  • MovieReviewer.com. "An Interview with Vin Diesel." 2006. (March 18, 2012) http://www.moviereviewer.biz/Pages/VinDiesel.htm
  • Newitz, Annalee. "Did Dungeons & Dragons motivate Dr. Amy Bishop's shooting spree?" io9.com. Feb. 17, 2010. (March 18, 2012) http://io9.com/5473500/did-dungeons--dragons-motivate-dr-amy-bishops-murder-spree
  • Pellet, Dirk. "Open Letter To ClassicGaming.com." (March 18, 2012) http://www.armory.com/~dlp/dnd1.html
  • Pratschner, Stacie. Personal correspondence. March 15, 2012.
  • Schnoebelen, William. "Should a Christian Play Dungeons & Dragons?" Chick Publications. 2001. (March 18, 2012) http://www.chick.com/articles/frpg.asp
  • Tito, Greg. "The State of D&D: Present." Escapist Magazine. Dec. 28, 2011. (March 18, 2012) http://www.escapistmagazine.com/articles/view/features/9293-The-State-of-D-D-Present
  • Wells, H.G. "Little Wars: A Game for Boys." Frank Palmer Publishing. 1913. (March 18, 2012) http://www.archive.org/stream/littlewarsgamefo00well#page/n7/mode/2up
  • Williams, Skip. "Actions: Part One." Wizards of the Coast. June 14, 2005. (March 18, 2012) http://www.wizards.com/default.asp?x=dnd/rg/20050614a
  • Williams, Skip. "All About Movement: Part One." Wizards of the Coast. June 8, 2004. (March 18, 2012) http://www.wizards.com/default.asp?x=dnd/rg/20040608a
  • Winter, Steve. "A Brief History of Dice." Wizards of the Coast. March 2, 2007. (March 28, 2013) http://www.wizards.com/default.asp?x=dnd/alumni/20070302a
  • Wizards of the Coast. "FAQs (Archives)." 2003. (March 18, 2012) http://www.wizards.com/dnd/DnDArchives_FAQ.asp
  • Wizards of the Coast. "New to D&D." Hasbro, Inc. 2012. (March 18, 2012) http://www.wizards.com/DnD/Default.aspx
  • Wizards of the Coast. "QuickStart Rules." 2009. (March 18, 2012) http://www.wizards.com/dnd/files/QuickStartRules.pdf
  • Wizards of the Coast. "The History of TSR (Archives)." 2003. (March 18, 2011) http://www.wizards.com/dnd/DnDArchives_History.asp
  • Woerner, Meredith. "Did 'Community' Just Make D&D Cool?" io9.com. Feb. 4, 2011. (March 18, 2012) http://io9.com/5752137/how-community-exposed-the-world-to-the-imaginative-wonderland-of-dungeons%E2%80%94dragons
  • Woerner, Meredith. "Did you hear about the time NBC tried to kill Community's D&D episode?" io9.com. June 9, 2011. (March 18, 2012) http://io9.com/5810498/did-you-hear-about-the-time-nbc-tried-to-kill-communitys-dd-episode