So you’re interested in becoming a solid D&D player, huh? That’s good! We’ve compiled a list that breaks down tips for brand new D&D players, tips for those who have been playing and want to be solid, and tips for those who may feel like veterans but want to be the best player they can be.
Click below to get started:
Tips for New D&D Players
When it comes to playing D&D for the very first time, there are a few simple rules to follow. As a young player, you won’t know how to do everything particularly well, but the tips below will go a long way in giving you a head start in your new campaign.
Learn the rules
As someone who has DM’d a campaign before, I can tell you that it’s so nice when the players have a general understanding of the rules. Dungeons and Dragons is a complex game with a lot of small details, and it can be easy to miss something important. That’s why it’s important to take some time to learn how the game is played. We’d break down learning the rules into a few parts:
- Know the general machinations of how the game works
- Know your character’s spells, abilities, features, traits, etc. like the back of your hand
Understanding the minute details of D&D will come with time.The best thing you can do at the start of your D&D journey is knowing your character very well. This includes the character’s abilities, features, traits, proficiencies, and even languages! That’s a solid base that will be helpful for some time. By doing so, you’ll not only make the game more enjoyable for yourself, but also for the person who is running the campaign. Seriously, they’ll appreciate it!
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Go all in
The most important tip we have for new D&D players is to go all in. Learning the rules and machinations of the game will come, but your mental approach to the game is most important at first. If you’re not fully committed to the game, it’s easy for your character to feel bland and one-dimensional.
Lack of interest can also be contagious, making it difficult for other players to get invested in the game. However, if you’re willing to put forth the effort, it’s possible to create a rich and compelling character that everyone will enjoy playing. It may take some extra work, but it’s worth it in the end.
And it’s understandable, things might feel a little awkward or uncomfortable at times, but that’s all part of the game! So next time you sit down to play Dungeons and Dragons, make sure you’re ready to give it your all. Otherwise, you might as well not bother.
Don’t be obnoxious
When playing Dungeons & Dragons for the first time, it is important to remember that there is a balance between having fun and being obnoxious.
It is perfectly fine to be excited and to enjoy yourself, but it is important to be respectful of other people’s space and not try to hog the spotlight. Many people feel uncomfortable when one person is constantly trying to be the center of attention, and this can ruin the game for everyone.
So, while it is important to have fun, please be considerate of others and try not to take over the game.
How to be a good D&D player
If you’ve started playing D&D but still feel like there are some things missing in your game play, and you’re unsure of what that is, the tips below will be helpful. These tips will take you from a new D&D player to a good D&D player.
Consistently show up for the group
D&D one-shots are all about the objective and the NPCs and how the player characters shape this story, and aren’t really hurt by no-shows or extra players. Campaigns on the other hand, are all about the player characters and how the story and NPCs shape them.
A character that doesn’t show up consistently can easily fall behind, both in terms of mechanics (if they’re not gaining levels at the same rate as everyone else) and in terms of plot (if they’re not around to experience it). It’s not impossible to catch up, but it’s definitely harder.
In addition, campaigns tend to be more investment in both time and emotional energy, so a player who isn’t showing up consistently is also depriving the other players of that investment. If you’re thinking about starting a campaign, make sure you’re prepared to commit to it before you jump in. It’ll be more fun for everyone involved if you do.
Learn to accept failure
One thing I’ve learned while playing D&D is that the most memorable moments are when things went horribly wrong (right next to the times where epic shit happened and everything went perfectly right).
The moments that lead to the most painful consequences make the game feel much more real, instead of feeling like you’ve got hacks on, playing the game in God-mode.
So learn to roll with the punches (no pun intended).
Cut your DM some slack
When playing D&D, learn to cut your DM some slack. If you haven’t run your own D&D session as a DM, you should. The experience is extremely enlightening when it comes to learning how running a session works (as well as all the planning involved).
At any moment, a DM could be thinking about each of your characters abilities, several NPC’s thoughts and responses to what’s happening, future consequences, and more. T
here is a lot of mind juggling going on, so keep that in mind the next time you’re fighting for the tiniest advantage.
How to be a better D&D player
So you’ve been playing D&D for some time and think you’ve got the hang of things but want to be better? Great. The tips below will help with exactly that, answering the question many have asked: “How can I be a better D&D player?”
Think through and act out scenarios while in character
Role-playing games like Dungeons and Dragons are all about immersion. When done well, they can transport players to fantastical worlds of magic and adventure.
One of the key elements of a successful game is believable and compelling characters. This can be difficult to achieve, as players must often juggle complex rulesets with the need to stay in character. However, one of the most important skills for any role-player is thinking through scenarios while remaining in character.
- Good D&D players may say something like this: “I’ll cast Guidance on you so you get another d4 on your next roll.”
- Better D&D players may say something like this, while in character: “Allow me to aid you with X by doing Y”
In the scenario above, really think through what the person is doing and what you could do to guide them with that thing, as if it was real life. Doing so will go that much farther towards making it actually feel real.
Approaching D&D this way is, admittedly, harder to do; but it’s worth the effort to create a truly immersive experience.
Collaborate more with the DM
One of the best things you can do to ensure that you have a great time playing D&D is to talk to your DM out of game. This can help them understand what you are looking for in the game, and give them a chance to adjust the world and plot accordingly.
For example, if you want your character to die an epic death, they can make sure to include challenges that will test your limits. Or, if you want to visit a particular location, they can work it into the story. Similarly, if there is a problem player who is hogging the spotlight, they can talk to them out of game and help them understand how their behavior is impacting the game.
Ultimately, by talking to your DM out of game, you can help ensure that everyone has a great time playing. Plus, it can make their job easier as well; and if not easier, more interesting!
Learn to get everyone involved
Similar to our point above, the best D&D sessions are when everyone is involved and everyone’s characters are being shown in the best (or worst, depending on the character or session) light. This can take a long time to get down. Not only do you have to stay in character and think about the current situation your group is in, but you also have to think about each of the characters in your group and how they can shine. If you can do this instead of thinking only of your character and their next move, the game will feel much more realistic and be much more enjoyable for all