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Beginner's Guide to Dungeons & Dragons: Home

Ever wondered how fun it would be to embark on a fantasy adventure full of epic fights, friendship, and mischief? Dungeons & Dragons may be the game for you! Learn the basics of playing D&D here.


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Salten Hall Library
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5eTools: Your #1 Guide for D&D 5e

5eTools is an extensive database for both players and DMs alike. 5eTools has an excellent search function for quick reference such as item names to fill up that merchant shop you just improvised into the world, as well as comprehensive toolkits for building your character sheets from the bottom up.

About This LibGuide

If you're new to playing Dungeons & Dragons 5th edition (D&D 5e), then this is the perfect place to start. Our D&D LibGuide will walk you through the basics of playing D&D 5e as well as set you up with supplemental resources for further study. Buckle up, because it is a lot of information to take in.

Now, off to dragon-slaying!

About Dungeons & Dragons

What is D&D?

Dungeons & Dragons is a TTRPG (tabletop role-playing game) and was first published in 1974 and was originally derived from tactical wargames.

Fun fact: The wargames that inspired D&D were used for training military officers and are the original source for the creation of HP, or “hit points,” which are now used in most table-top role-playing games as well as video games to represent the overall durability of the characters we play as or against. 


What is a tabletop game?

Tabletop games are any games that are played on a board or a flat surface, such as a table. They consist of popular board games like Monopoly, card games like Uno, and of course, role-playing games like Dungeons & Dragons.


What is a role-playing game?

A role-playing game is any game where you assume the role or identity of a character, acting out a story as that character’s personality would dictate. 

D&D is a TTRPG that exists in a medieval fantasy-setting, where magic is alive and dragons can be slain. In D&D, the goal is for the players to come together and tell a story through the dice-determined actions of their characters and the obstacles they face along the way. In D&D, we use dice to determine the game’s outcome. So, the story can be completely up to chance most of the time! But don’t let that turn you away. Moments where a strong character fails a dice roll can be turned into narratively humorous or dramatic moments depending on how the players and the DM (Dungeon Master) act it out. 


There many TTRPG's out there, and there are even multiple editions of D&D! This guide will focus specifically on the 5th edition (or 5e) of D&D, since it is the most recent and most popular version of the game. If you're interested in learning about other TTRPG's outside of the D&D game system, try Apocalypse World, Pathfinder, Star Warsor Vampire: The MasqueradeEach game has a unique system and setting, so it's fun to try each one out!

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