Dungeons & Dragons Starter Set
Great news! You don't need to buy anything. You can play D&D as soon as you want without spending a dime.
You can grab the free Basic Rules PDF which has the core rules and basic character generation options.
You can watch tutorials like this video series. Combat episode is particularly helpful.
Read the Getting Started Guide in the /r/DND sidebar.
But even so, D&D 5th Edition is streamlined and easy to learn and there are tons of people willing to help teach you. Its not a game you need to sit and read the rules from cover to cover before playing, you can very much sit down to a table as totally fresh and learn by playing--I teach people this way all the time.
Consider checking out your local gaming store and see if they do any tutorials, have Organized Play, or know of groups looking for any members.
You can also use these resources:
> If you're looking to play in person:
> * Check in with your local gaming store.
> * Local board game/RPG Facebook Groups
> * Local board game/RPG Meetup Groups
> * Post in the subreddit for your town / area
> * Search /r/LFG for posts or make one.
> * LFG tools on Obsidian Portal and PenAndPaperGames
> * Sites like FindGamers, NearbyGamers, GamerSeekingGamer
> * Check WarHorn for local postings
> If you're looking to play online:
> * /r/LFG and /r/Roll20LFG
> * Roll20's game finder and LFG forums
> * Fantasy Grounds has a LFG Forum
> * Play via Tabletop Simulator
> * RPG Discord servers: Dungeons & Downvotes, Pair O' Dice, etc...
If you end up just reading up on the rules and wanting to start your own group. I highly recommend the Starter Set .
It's $15 on Amazon, has the core rules, a set of dice, premade characters, and an adventure that will last you a half dozen sessions or so. It's a great place to start--go figure--and is designed for brand new players and brand new DMs. The adventure is laid out in a way that introduces concepts as you go along rather than expecting you to know everything up front.
The premade characters are big because you want to get straight to the playing not sit there explaining character creation to a brand new player. Without the context of how things are used, its just a wall of data and memorization... which isn't fun.
You can always bring custom characters in once the group gets to town or something if people want, and now they'll kinda know the ropes.
If you decide D&D is the hobby for you, your first purchase goal should be the Player's Handbook . Its the core rulebook with all of the default character options, spells, etc.
Usually the local game stores have them or can order it for you if they don't have them in stock.
They are also available on online stores such as amazon https://toptalkedbooks.com/amzn/0786965592 but I don't know how much they cost with shipping (if free shipping is over 20 or 25$ some minis or extra dice always come in handy and also you don't have to pay the shipping fee)
You want to look into this.
This has some basic rules for character creation and an overview of how to play the game without being totally overwhelming.
It also includes a mini-campaign that I suggest you use as a starting point if you are a first time DM. You can change every name, every location, every single thing you want to in order to cater it to your friends, but I strongly suggest reading it start-to-finish so that you get an idea of how to structure challenges the players will face as a DM.
You can also use these resources:
> If you're looking to play in person:
> * Check out the mobile app GameFor
> * Adventurer's League G+ Community
> * Adventurer's League Facebook Group
> * D&D Online Facebook Group
> * RPG Discords: Dungeons & Downvotes, Pair O' Dice, etc...
> And how strict are they when it comes to role playing your characters?
I've been a dungeon master for an in person group going on 2 years (same group) and been a DM for near 8 years all together. It's about setting expectations. We don't do voices or any of that. Our first game we played (for nearly a year) nobody was in character. This game, everyone wanted to step up and try more RP, it's working well.
> But how welcoming are they to new dnd players?
It's VERY accepting of new players. /r/dnd is VERY open to new players as well.
I suggest you pick up the starter set which guides you and the players through your first adventures.
Many people write their own adventures, which is not what I recommend for a new player. There are MANY pre-written campaigns / modules out there for you some of which take years to play through. I read that if you played through all of the official books, it would take something like 12 years or something crazy.
Edit: a link to the getting started guide on /r/dnd:
Lost Mines of Phandelver. This adventure comes with the D&D 5E starter set . Its designed to be run as a first campaign for new players and new DMs. Its not the most intriguing of the adventures, but its fun and touches on a lot of different areas for new players to experience. There are lots of little spots for RP, but nothing overwhelming, and also in general the dungeons are short and not very grueling. I highly recommend this for you and your new group.
There's a starter set available. The current edition is extremely easy to play. If you have any more questions just head on to r/DnD
Dungeons & Dragons Starter Set https://toptalkedbooks.com/amzn/0786965592
Easiest way to start is with the Starter Set and its included adventure, Lost Mines of Phandelver.
Bring it up the same way you would a new board game. Let people know that there is no pressure to stick to it but ask that they have the open mind to try it. "I've really enjoyed learning about it and I think it would be fun to give it a try. Just a single four hour session or so to start."
You don't have to know anything, you can honestly learn as you go. That said, I'd recommend getting the basics of combat down at the very least: How to roll attacks, how to roll damage, how saving throws work, Actions in Combat, etc.
You don't need anything, you can play with the Free though, at most it's $20 but it dips down to $12 from time to time. Comes with pregen characters, an adventure that lasts for six or so sessions, and a set of dice, plus a slimmed down version of the rulebook.
See the above comment about the starter set coming with a prebuilt adventure and characters. You get people to think outside the box in a lot of ways, the easiest of which is to reward them for doing that. If the book only gives a solution of X but the group comes with Y and it sounds like a good idea... bam, that's the answer now.
With a single one-shot session loot and XP shouldn't be a priority and you don't want to stall the game by stopping to have four newbies (plus new DM) level up. Give out some minor loot on baddies but nothing super crazy you'll regret... end session one with "Now you've done enough to level up to level two, if we want to play again we can get the characters leveled up and start next time at the new level"
D&D is whatever you make it. If you make it about speaking in character and using voices and acting out attacks ... so be it. If you make it about having friends over, eating tacos, drinking a few drinks and having fun killing goblins... that's fine too. If you wife isn't it X, Y, Z. Find out what she is into and make sure that's part of the experience.
> Am I silly to think that someone who has never played and a group of people who have never played can have fun the first time around?
There are literally posts every single week on Reddit about 4-5 total newbies who sat down without a clue and had a blast doing it. That's how I got started years ago and why I have some many copy/paste answers and links to get people started playing.
I recommend this video series. The Combat Episode covers a lot of the rules new players need.
If you haven't already, read the Player's Handbook (Digital).
The Starter Set is a good jumping off point for both DMs and PCs.