This toolkit is also available as a PDF - download that here.

For the next little while I am going to give you all an introduction to the world’s most popular roleplaying game. I am on a quest to turn you into a competent adventurer who is ready to face any obstacle. This is the first part of a series of guides that will make up your toolkit, the rest will follow in the coming weeks.

Follow me on twitter or instagram and let me know what you think, or any other questions you want me to answer.


What is Dungeons and Dragons?

A cooperative storytelling game played with a group of people. A Dungeon Master (DM) leads the story and presents obstacles to the other players. The group rolls dice to determine how their decisions play out.

What is the objective?

To have fun adventures, solve puzzles and get cool treasure for your character. All while exploring the world the DM has presented through the eyes of your character.

How do you play?

You listen to the scene that the DM lays out and then describe the actions your character takes to push the story forward. The DM will either build from what you have decided, or ask you to roll to see how well you do.

What do you need to play?

  • An imagination
  • A way to roll dice (online or real dice)
  • A character sheet
  • A group to play with

Dice guide

Doce guide showing all seven dice typically used in d&D. The d20 is at the centre, the d4 to the left the rest are (in anticlockwise order) d6, d8, d10, d12 and d100. The last is tw od10s, one for tens and one for singles.

What makes a character?


Innate characteristics, you roll for these when you make your character.

Strength, Dexterity, Constitution, Intelligence, Wisdom and Charisma


Specific talents your character has, these are usually what you are asked to roll for.

E.g Stealth, Animal Handling and History

Attacks & Spells

These are things you can produce, either for combat or other encounters where you want to use your character’s power to resolve the situation

How you can get started…

Find a real play podcast

Find one that suits you!

Highlight episodes

Here is a list of other great podcasts you could try.


Listen to as much as possible.

Find a group to play with

  1. Send your friends to The Den of Alacrity YouTube channel to learn alongside you
  2. If you have a friend who plays already they might want to DM.
  3. You can look for a group or DM online try using these forums
  4. D&D Beyond forum
  5. Reddit forum - r/LFG
  6. Cats and Dice did a great roundup (go follow them)
  7. D&D Compendium also did an awesome collection of links


HP - Health points

AC - Armour class

DC - Difficulty check

NPC - Non-player character

CR - Challenge rating

DM - Dungeon Master

STR - Strength

DEX - Dexterity

CON - Constitution

INT - Intelligence

WIS - Wisdom

CHA - Charisma

There is more where that came from...