Game Spotlight: Dungeons and Dragons

Have you ever walked through a boardgame store when a cheer suddenly goes up from a table full of excited looking people sitting around charts, graphs, and books? Odds are they’re not accountants celebrating ISO-900 certification. No, they’re playing a tabletop Roleplaying Game (RPG). And they’re playing the granddaddy of all RPGs, Dungeons and Dragons (D&D).

 D&D is a game that offers a lot of bang for its buck. It’s a hobby in-and-of itself that requires minimum personal investment while opening a whole multiverse of possible avenues for enjoyment. The new D&D R&D group has come out with some great new content in the last year and change it’s been around. Award winning board games, a new D&D minis skirmish game, Gamma World, and additional improvements to the core 4th edition system. Getting into D&D is as easy as downloading the 4th Edition Quick Start Rules and the two free adventures: Keep on the Shadowfell (one of my favorites) and Khyber’s Harvest. Then all you need is some dice, paper, friends, and your imagination.

Once you’ve got a character or two built and an adventure under your belt, you’ll be ready to check out some of the core D&D books from the Essentials line. Wizards of the Coast, makers of D&D, have a whole line of products to help would-be adventurers and Dungeon Masters (DMs). But which products are right for you? That’s where the community comes in.

Before you decide what books to buy, check out the following sites:

  • Critical Hits – “The Journal of Gamer Culture, covering everything of importance to role playing (and other) gamers everywhere.” But mostly D&D. An excellent source of information and opinion.
  • EN World – A huge RPG forum. If you have a question, it’s been asked and answered here.
  • Obsidian Portal – When you’re ready to create your own world, or if your DM needs a helping hand organizing the vast fantasy world in his her head, sign up for an Obsidian Portal account. It’s free and extremely useful.
  • D&D Insider – Though there’s a monthly fee, the D&D Insider is a great tool from Wizards of the Coast that makes character creation very easy and provides a number of other useful tools. If you’re playing more than once a month, this is a good investment to share with your gaming group.

If you’re having trouble finding a group, well then you have a few options. You can ask that table of excited players at the previously mentioned boardgame store. You can check here to see what stores or game clubs around you are participating in the weekly D&D dungeon delve called D&D Encounters. Just show up and play D&D for fun and prizes. Best of all, they’ll have everything you need to play! All you need bring is yourself and a thirst for adventure. If that’s not your bag, then check out Obsidian Portal’s map to find RPG gaming groups in your area.

With new products on the horizon, a healthy back catalog of content, and a huge world-wide community of players, there’s never been a better time to start playing D&D.

Tomorrow I’ll review a new video game. Until then, Good Gaming!

-Dan

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