Everything You Need to Play Dungeons & Dragons 5E

If you are reading this, you are new to D&D or somebody you know is new to D&D and you are trying to recruit them into your adventures. It wasn't long ago that I was new to the game and feeling a bit overwhelmed on where to get started. Fortunately, we live in a digital world full of amazing resources thanks to WotC and the great community surrounding the game. Below is a growing list I have put together in hopes of making the initial plunge into D&D a bit easier for both DMs and players. I have done my best to group them by tiers of experience

Note: All of the below resources are focused on D&D Fifth Edition (5E). Fifth edition is beginner friendly and the latest edition, making it the optimal choice for those new to the game.

First Time DMs and Players

Basic Rules & Dungeon Master Rules PDFs
Free - PDF

The basic rules are exactly what they say, a stripped down version of the rules in PDF format. What are you missing by using the Basic Rules? 10+ classes, 5+ races, character backgrounds, feats, multiclassing rules, some spells and a bit more. The limited options are what make this great for absolute beginners. It allows you to focus on the core mechanics before diving deeper

Character Sheets
Free - PDF

Free PDFs in various formats to keep all your character information. There are even pregenerated sheets if creating it all from scratch is too daunting

Starter Set
~$15 - Box Set

The Starter Set is the first item on the list that will cost you money but at ~$15, it is well worth it. The set comes with pregenerated characters, a set of dice and the adventure The Lost Mines of Phandelver. It also contains the basic rules above but in a nice glossy, color format.

Stan's 5e Cheat Sheet or Ozuro's 5e Cheat Sheet
Free - PDF

A simple cheat sheet to print out for each of the players in the game to keep by their side.

Welcome to the Game - Matthew Colville
Free - YouTube

This is a highly recommended video for both new players and DMs. Matthew is a writer/DM that has been playing the game for 20+ years.

Played Before & Now Hooked

Player's Handbook
~$30 - Hardcover

You will need at least one copy of the PHB if you want to take your game to the next level. This is the first book you should buy once you know are hooked on the game

Monster Manual
~$30 - Hardcover

As a DM, this is the first book you should buy even before the Dungeon Master's Guide. This has everything you need to create interesting encounters for your players. Each creature has a detailed description and artwork that offers quite a bit of inspiration

Chessex Pound-O-Dice or Wiz Dice 100+ Pack
~$20 - Dice

Every group will need dice. Once you know that you and your friends are committed, you will want to make sure that each person in the group has their own set of dice. One way to do that cheaply, is to get a Chessex Pound-O-Dice or Wiz Dice 100+ Pack which should give you enough dice for the whole group.

Hoard of the Dragon Queen
~$20 - Hardcover

If you have completed The Lost Mines of Phandelver adventure or you want something a bit more advanced, my recommended adventure would the Hoard of the Dragon Queen. This is a classic style D&D adventure that takes place in the Forgotten Realms. It is a great introduction to the realms and leads into the Rise of Tiamat.

Dice, Camera, Action!
Free - YouTube

This is recommended watching for groups looking for inspiration or examples of a great campaign. Dice, Camera, Action! is led by the amazing Chris Perkins and consists of a diverse cast of personalities.

Critical Role
Free - YouTube

Critical Role is another great live game that you can use for inspiration. It is a cast of voice actors that have been running a game together for several years. I find Critical Role to feel a bit more like watching a play than the average game. Many people enjoy the drama and acting but it may feel a bit over acted at times.

Fully Committed

Dungeon Master's Guide
~$30 - Hardcover

e Dungeon Master's Guide is the third and final of the core books that you should pick up. This book is full of worldbuilding tips, alternate rules and magic items. It's a great book for any DM to add to their collection. As with all 5e books, the artwork in this book is top notch

Dungeon Master's Screen
$15 - Hardcover Folding Screen

ile not a necessity, every DM needs a screen. Even if you aren't the type of DM to hide your rolls, it is nice to have a place to stick notes and prepare encounters in secret

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