The key with having a fun time playing Dungeons and Dragons is understanding that you must role play your character. That means you make decisions based on what your character does and knows.
Above we have the white character pieces that represent each person playing. The goblin, the ranger, the dwarf, and the warrior. The purple and green pieces represent the characters played by the Dungeon Master (see previous post on who that is!) — whether the characters are friend or foe depends on the story!
Physical pieces placed on a grid map allow you to know where your character is in relation to monsters and each other. Each grid box is five feet of space, so the bridge (as an example) is 25 feet long. If your character can move 20 feet per turn, your character can move four squares per turn.
The green fighter above, using a longsword with a 10-foot reach, would be able to attack the ranger. The ranger and purple mage cannot battle, as there is a tree in the way. The goblin and dwarf have to get around the river to help their companions and need to get to that bridge! If their speed is only 10 feet per turn, they can only get two squares every turn!
And what happens when battles take place? How do you know if the green fighter hits with his longsword? You roll a dice.
Dungeons and Dragons uses what’s called polyhedral dice. The most common are a 20, 12, 10, eight, six, and four-sided die. Depending on your character, you may have bonuses to add to your rolls (or minuses!). And that determines who wins and who loses each skirmish! (This also works with feats of athletics, such as jumping or climbing.)
The battle between the ranger and the green fighter may look like this:
RANGER STATS: Armour class: 16, +2 hit with arrows.
GREEN FIGHTER: Armour class: 19, +3 hit with longsword.
Dungeon Master: “The green fighter eyes the magical orb attached to your belt and demands that you hand it over.”
Player Ranger: “Never! I load my bow and shoot an arrow.” (rolls twenty-sided die, but only rolls a four. Even with her +2 to hit, she has only scored a six!)
Dungeon Master: “You miss, and the green fighter swings his longsword.” (rolls twenty-sided die, and rolls a 15.) “With his +3 to hit, the green fighter rolls an 18! That’s a hit!”
And the action continues…
Interested in playing a game of Dungeons and Dragons? Keep reading our blog for a weekly post on how the game is played, or you can sign up for our weekly Dungeons and Dragons Gamers Club for teens starting January 9th, 2018.