Role-playing games are not the easiest to get into, especially the closer they are to their original tabletop forms. Even video games, the ones that are very close to original tabletop games, are hard to get into, let alone master.
Dungeons & Dragons is a hard game to get into, but very fun if you don’t try to learn all the rules by heart as if you are going to an exam. These types of games are typically more fun when played with friends.
However, not everyone wants to be the newbie in the group, and some prefer learning alone. This is a viable option and here is how you could learn D&D on your own.
The Dungeons & Dragons Starter Set
Why not start with the actual source material? If you are going to play D&D, starting with the official material is probably one of the better ways to get going.
The Starter Set is affordable, and has everything you need to know for a beginner. You will be able to get through a simple campaign, with all the information presented to you. It isn’t the most interactive of experiences, but it leaves a lot to your imagination, which is how these games are meant to be played.
Roll20 – Online Tools
Roll20 is a site dedicated to various traditional tabletop RPGs, but the current versions of the said RPGs. Among the RPGs, you will find Cyberpunk Red, Call of Cthulhu, Pathfinder, Vampire The Masquerade, Mothership, Dune, Warhammer, and of course, Dungeons & Dragons.
You can join already existing games, or rather, find new parties. You can also start your own solo adventuring campaign. There are various ways to approach the game, from diving head first into combat, to starting off as an adventurer in a tavern. It’s up to you.
While it might not be the most interesting way of learning how to play a game, tutorials are there for a reason. Video tutorials are typically more fun than written ones, albeit some people respond better to written ones. There are countless videos on Dungeons & Dragons so choose a comprehensive one that explains the most recent rules, and start learning.
It would be even better to learn as the person is explaining, preferably with a tool such as Roll20.
D&D Based Video Games
There are plenty of D&D games out there, based in the D&D universe. The Forgotten Realms titles come to mind, Baldur’s Gate, Icewind Dale, Neverwinter Nights, not to mention the legendary Planescape: Torment, set in the Planescape world. These are directly tied to the D&D world.
However, Pillars of Eternity is very similar to D&D, and comes from master RPG developer Obsidian Entertainment, which developed Neverwinter Nights. This is a more interactive way of getting to know Dungeons & Dragons, making the transition to tabletop easier.
You can definitely learn how to play Dungeons & Dragons on your own, either through the official Starter Kit, or by using various online resources.