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When you search through forums and YouTube videos for help with a game of Dungeons & Dragons, there is a lot of information…for Dungeon Masters. Even on The Nerdd, we’ve written about DM stuff just as much as player stuff, which is odd if you think about it. Sure, DMs have a lot more to do and remember, but there has to be one player for every DM, if not many, many more. So why isn’t there more help for new players?
There’s a lot of information that new players have to keep track of. What’s the difference between “rolling to hit” and “rolling for damage?” Hit points or Hit Dice? How do I come up with character names or designs? Where do I go!?!
D&DBeyond has become more and more popular lately, as the official online resource for everything you need to run or play in a game of Dungeons & Dragons. You can create your characters and log all of their information, backstory, stats, equipment, and even level them up. There is a new player guide that has 11 rules that can get you through your first session of the game. It even has a system in place so that you can homebrew your own races, classes, backgrounds, etc., but new players don’t need to worry about that. You can even purchase digital versions of the books, and unlock more content for your DnDBeyond account. Basically, it’s your online guide for everything you need to play Dungeons & Dragons.
With the advent of 3D printing, the possibilities for custom mini-figurines is now limitless. It used to be you had a character idea, and you went to a store with minis, and had to find one that was close, but it was never quite the idea you had in your head. But with Hero Forge‘s character customization screen, you can be more specific than a Bethesda game. All the way down to your expression being the right mix of cocky, snarl, confused, and “AAAARRRGGGGHH!!!” Once you’ve gone through and created your character concept in DnDBeyond, head over to Hero Forge and really show the image you’ve had in your head.
Lastly, we have a new product by Shaun Sunday, that he’s calling the Player Screen. As of writing this, it’s still funding on Indiegogo (currently at 40%) until November 25th. The idea stems from a DM Screen, which has two purposes: 1) Hide sensitive information from the players, and 2) have quick access to critical information. The Player Screen aims to only do one of these two things, being shorter so that you can’t hide your dice rolls. That means that there is all kinds of great information for your players to have at hand, without having to ask all the time, and fight over the one Player’s Handbook you have at the table. It is D&D 5e specific, which is the game most people lately are starting with.
On the left hand side, it shows all the things you can do on your turn. Obviously your imagination is the limit, so these are really just ideas that should open up the creative doors in your mind. On the middle panel is important information such as experience points/level up table, Death Saves and how they work, as well as Darkvision, Currency Conversion and Exhaustion. Lastly on the right hand panel is a list of conditions and how they affect you or your enemies, if different abilities/spells leave conditions. The outside of the screen is monster art custom made for this screen.
Along with the screen itself, if you back the project on Indiegogo you also get a free Beta copy of an original adventure “The Shrouded Crypt” and custom paper minis. “The Shrouded Crypt” is a Halloween themed one-shot, but anyone who plays knows that any adventure works all year round.
There is a lot of high quality help and support for players, just as there is for DMs, you just have to know where to look.