How to Play

Starting Loot: What You Need to Play Dungeons and Dragons

I’m often questioned about the gear needed to get started with D&D, so I thought it was worth a quick post! This isn’t an exhaustive list and yet also is much more than you need:


OPTION: The Player's Handbook

I personally love my Player's Handbook. I've added a million bookmark tabs along the side for quick reference. There's a lot of notes and highlights throughout my copy. A digital copies is also available on DnD Beyond!

OPTION: DnD Beyond


You can find pretty much all of the rules for you could ever need right on DnD Beyond. Plus, you can create a digital character sheets! This is how I keep ALL my characters as well as many of my NPCs organized.

OPTION: Google

I mostly use Google to reference rules. On the spot, I'll just search my question and it usual pops up on some wiki reference site for DnD!


OPTION: Polyhedral Dice Set

Oh, the clicky-clackies. Polyhedral dice are the nerd version of dragon-hoarding. I pride myself as a dice goblin and I like to collect a new set for each story, character, or setting I come up with.

OPTION: Google Digital Dice Roller

This is right on Google, it's intuitive, and it's both clutter-free and money-free. It's the best way to roll the damage for Fireball.

OPTION: DnD Beyond

If you're using a DnD Beyond character sheet, you'll have digital dice built right into your sheet! You can click directly on your modifiers and if you need to roll a bunch of dice, there is a whole sidebar on your sheet for picking your winning combo.


OPTION: Digital Sheet

highly recommended

I use to create and organize all my characters and many of my NPCs as well. I use the campaign systems to organize my players and I also use the built-in campaign system to organize my NPCs. It's ridiculously easy to build a character on this site and sometimes I'll even do a "random build" that takes about 60 seconds from start to finish.

OPTION: DIY Blank Sheet

Here are blank sheets to print and fill out on your own! I recommend this for advanced players or you really nerdy folk that want to deeply understand all the mechanics right from the start!

OPTION: Pre-Built Print Sheet

These are great if you want to use a printed paper sheet but you're not ready to build your own character sheet yet. Pre-built character sheets are also helpful when you ARE trying to build your own because you can use them as a reference point.


A Dungeon Master with a Campaign

You can't have D&D without a dungeon master. If you want to play, you need a DM and your DM will need a story to tell (a campaign). Your DM might use something like The Starter Kit or The Essentials Kit to run a session. You can also hire me as your dungeon master! I work with kids and I also do separate campaigns for adults-only.

2-5 Player Friends

You also can't quite do DnD without a few other protagonists to create your party with. This could be some family you drag together, a friend group, or even complete strangers online. Some people I know find groups on Roll 20. Many of my friends pay for their children to join DnD campaigns on Outschool. I play a few games through my favorite creators' Patreons.

That’s pretty much it! Combine that with some time, imagination,  exploration, and role-play to make a complete session.

Written by
Beth the Bard (@ItsBethTheBard)

She/Her | Pro DM & Coach | ADHD | Best-Selling DnD Author of Feminist Curse of Strahd Book | D&D in a Castle DM | Creator of TTRPG University

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