Monday, 27 February 2012

Roleplaying for the absolute beginner - D&D 3.5

Welcome to "Roleplaying for the absolute beginner" an introduction to everything you ever would need to know when you are new to roleplaying.

Let us start with the bare minimums that you will need to play a game of Dungeons and Dragons 3.5 since this is the game I play the most.

The very first thing you will need is someone to play with:

That means that you will at least need a Dungeon Master (DM for short, sometimes called a Game Master, or GM). You can find one of these at your local "geek club". In Tromsø, Norway you can find one by visiting the students club "Imladris" at the University of Tromsø. Likewise you should check with local groups and clubs that plays games of all kind if there is anyone that is willing to DM a game, or if there are any player groups you can join. You can also find an online DM or GM on forums and roleplaying groups. I have no experience with such groups, but I do know they are out there and I know Mr. K. often uses such forums to discuss rules and creation of spells etc. for our games.

Once you have found  someone to run your game you will need someone to join your group as players. You should ask your friends that you know like the same things that you do. If you by chance do not have any friends that would like to join you in the adventure, then ask the DM if he has a group already, or if he know someone that are wanting to join. If you go by a group or club like Imladris then you can find sign up notes for groups, or you can ask if there are any plans for starting a new group, or if there is a spot open on one already.

The next thing you will need is dice.

RPG Dice
Now the dice needed for a game of D&D are a set like the one over. You will need a 20 sided die (a d20), percentage die (referred to as d% or d100), a 10 sided die (d10) (this is also used to roll with the d% to make a full percentage roll or roll up to a hundred with the d% repressenting the tens and the d10 repressenting the ones), you will also need a 12 sided (d12), a 8 sided (d8), a 6 sided (d6) and a 4 sided (d4) die. You can buy a set of rpg dice at your local games shop. If there is no such shop near you, you can get a set of dice quite easily online. Just do a quick google search and you'll get a lot of good sites.

Only one more essential, must have, item is left: The character sheet.
The standard D&D 3.5 character sheet, front page.
This is the paper where you record everything there is to know about your character. What statistics your character have (how strong or wise etc he or she is, how good he or she is at jumping, sneaking, swimming etc, what weapons and armor he or she is wearing... and so on), what items he or she carries, how much currency they got, what skills and spells they have etc. It is also where you record who your character is, what he or she looks like, where they came from and the like. I will get more into the stats and info in another post.

Most DM's I know provide their players with the character sheet, but ask just to be sure. There are also a lot of different sheets out there that you might prefer over the basic one, but remember to ask the DM if he has special "house rules" against non-standard character sheets (Mr. K. do).

Other things you will need when you start playing:

  • Paper and pensil
  • A Players Handbook (this is quite hard to get your hands on now, since the 3.5 books have been discontinued after the release of 4th edition). They are available digitally if you are willing to look a bit. You can also always borrow one. Our library has them, and the group Imladris do too. Check to make sure.
  • Something to keep everything in. A folder for your papers and a box or bag for your dice.

That is all for now. It has been some years since I started out roleplaying, so I will probably add more info to this post as I remember more and Mr. K. and me discuss roleplaying with new group members.

Have a good adventure!

Mrs. K.


  1. The very best character sheets you can find out there, is beyond any doubt Ema’s. There was an issue with Wizards, so they unfortunately closed her/his site (for some reason I’ve always thought of Ema as a girl), but the complete, final edition of the character sheets, with spell sheets for every single class, can be found at Scribd. To download stuff from Scribd, you’ll either need a paid account, or, if you want it for free, you’ll have to upload a document of yours to them; this even buys you twentyfour-hour acces, so it’s a good deal.

    Mr. K.

  2. Dear Mr. K
    I agree with your asessment of the Ema's sheets. -He- (His name is Emanuel i think...) has made some really good character sheets for a standard game or character. However, as you well know, it is not the very best sheet there possibly could be for the heavy-on-the-roleplay games. It simply does not have enough space reserved for inventory, valuables or character descriptions. They do not have space for mounts, pets, followers, animal companions, companions etc. etc. etc... But I will go more into different types of character sheets later. I might even sit down and try make the "perfect" character sheet as I would have it.

    Yours truly
    Mrs. K.

  3. does any one know the second page to this sheet?

  4. which sheet do you mean? The Ema's sheet or the standard D&D 3.5?