How to start your first Dungeons & Dragons online campaign with your friends

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Dungeons & Dragons, the grandfather of role-playing games, is still alive and well after all these years, with fans around the world finding new ways to enjoy this much revered game.

What started out as a table-only experience, with the rise of more sophisticated computer programs and the advent of the Internet, there are more than a handful of ways to profit from D&D today.

While it might seem intimidating to dive into the world of tieflings and scarecrows, now is the best time than ever to step into Dungeons & Dragons, even if everyone is staying safe at home.

So if you’ve ever wanted to start an online D&D campaign with your friends and family, here’s everything you need to know.

A brief overview

Before you start planning your first D&D campaign, here’s what you need to know about the game. Essentially, a group of players will form a group of adventurers and embark on epic quests, with one player playing the role of “Dungeon Master”. »Who manages the game and acts as referee, narrator and director of the adventure.

The role-playing aspect of the game comes from the way players interact with each other and with the game world. It is not a physical space that players can interact with, so everyone is encouraged to use their imagination when it comes to problem solving, fighting enemies and exploring the world around them.

It’s the most rudimentary version of what most video game enthusiasts would know as an RPG or JRPG experience, but the imagination factor in D&D is what makes the experience difficult to replicate in digital form.

If you need some form of reference on how to play Dungeons & Dragons, whether as a player or as a dungeon master, YouTube shows such as Critical Role, Dimension 20 and High Rollers are good points. starting point.

For gamers

If you’ve chosen to be an adventurer in your party, here are the things you need to know. The first thing to do is to create your character. From their class and history, you will create your own fantasy hero from scratch.

This is where D&D Beyond becomes an essential part of D&D Online. This official portal created by the creators of D&D, Wizards of the Coast, has a built-in character creator, complete with digital dice and the player’s manual for all the rules of the game.

You’re going to need to educate yourself a bit about what each adventure involves and what each player is capable of doing in the game world. Knowing what class you want to play, whether it’s a ranger or a ranger. wizard, is also essential for your overall enjoyment of the game.

Once you’ve created your character, it’s up to the dungeon master to set up the adventure. All you need to do is familiarize yourself with your character, know when to roll the digital dice in combat and exploration, and prepare for an epic quest.

For dungeon masters

Now, if you’ve decided to become a Dungeon Master, there is a bit more to read, especially when it comes to the current campaign. A Campaign has everything you need to orchestrate a great adventure for your friends, from NPCs and boss fights to side quests and loot.

If this is your first time, the Dungeons & Dragons Starter Set is the best way to start, for both players and dungeon masters. It has a great flow that makes it easier for newbies to get started with D&D, as well as a good mix of exploration and battles.

There are also other campaigns to try, which you can find on the official D&D forums. Once you’ve picked a campaign and read its content, the next step is to set everything up.

First off, you’ll need a communication app to have a group call with everyone, Discord or Gather being maybe your best options. Second, creating a campaign on D&D Beyond is key as it puts every player in one place, making it easy to track character sheets and dice rolls, which are recorded in real time for everyone to see.

Digital table

However, this third step is optional but crucial if you want to add a visual element to your games. You will need to find a suitable digital tabletop app for your needs, of which there are a few options.

There’s Roll20, the most feature-rich online tabletop app, which integrates voice and video chat, plugins for official campaigns, and more. While this eliminates the need for Discord and D&D Beyond, it can be tricky to set up if you’re unfamiliar with D&D or tabletop games in general.

Then there’s Foundry Virtual Tabletop, which is also a great customizable app, although the dungeon master has to pay to use it, while players can participate in any session for free.

The clearer, no-frills option is Owlbear Rodeo, which is a simple drag-and-drop app that makes everything simple. It allows music playback through YouTube and even has a dice board for the dungeon master to roll.

Granted, with Owlbear, you’ll have to use Discord and D&D Beyond to juggle all the experience as a Dungeon Master. But at the very least, the simple tokens and the feature to upload any map file to the app can make the experience more like a board game.

Ultimately, there is no wrong way to experience Dungeons and Dragons, so experiment with the above methods and find the one that’s right for you and your party. The most important thing is that everyone has a good time playing together.


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