Dungeons and Dragons is an amazing game full of endless possibilities, providing hours of entertainment as you and your party embark on epic quests across the land, but it doesn’t have to come at a price. Whenever people are trying something for the first time we often fall into a habit of wanting the best and “proper” tools for the job. Dungeons and Dragons is no exception, when I first started I looked online and was put off at the cost of many books and other accessories on offer.
Luckily I quickly learnt that you don’t need to spend a lot to have an amazing experience. That is the beauty of DnD, it’s not about having a fancy board with custom miniatures and expensive shiny dice. It is about coming together with your friends to tell a story. There are many different ways to play DnD without breaking the bank and there are many free tools out there:
1) Google (other search engines are available) – There is an amazing amount of material online if you look for it. Everything from monster stats, inspiration, information, character sheets and PDF versions of DnD guide books. All for free, you just need to have a look.
2) Donjon – https://donjon.bin.sh/ this site is my favourite tool, it can be used for anything from creating your world through the random world generator, to creating random encounters and generating dungeons. A great tool especially when you are starting out.
3) Old Game Pieces/Coins – So this one seems a bit random but old game pieces such as chess pieces or draughts pieces and even coins are great substitutes for purpose build miniatures. Especially if you have just started you may not want to have to spend money on tonnes of miniatures to play the game so this can be a simple substitute. In my first game my friends all agreed to be a different coin, one was a Pound, the other 50p and the final party member a 20p. For the enemies I used 1, 2 and 5 pence’s.
4) YouTube – we all use YouTube in our lives, and for starting out in DnD YouTube can also be a great help. There are hundreds of videos providing inspiration, tutorials and information/lore o help get you started in DnD.
5) DnD Starter Set – At about £15 – £20 this is the only item I have listed that will cost you. However, I have included it because when I first started delving into the world of DnD this was the first thing I bought. The starter set includes dice, a short campaign including notes/guidance for a first time Dungeon Master (DM), a guidebook and pre made character sheets. When I first started this set helped explain a lot of how the game works and gave me and my friends a base from which we could begin to write our own adventures.
In the end you don’t need to spend a lot to have fun playing DnD, the game is all about coming together with friends to act out a story using your imagination. Props, miniatures and maps help you visualise the story but they don’t need to be anything fancy. There is nothing wrong with a paper, pen and good friends.
What tips do you have for the budding adventurers?