11 Dungeons and Dragons Beginner's Tips From Professional Players and Dungeon Masters

  • Published: 04 January 2020
  • Aoife Wilson and Zoe Delahunty-Light headed to the Lucca Comics and Games Festival to play some Dungeons and Dragons, and while they were there they had a chat with professional Dungeons and Dragons players and got some Dungeons and Dragons beginners tips everyone should know! Joe Manganiello, Paul Foxcroft, Suzzane Helmigh, Titus Lunter, Richard Whitters, Kim Richards, Mark Hulmes and Bill Benham all gave their top tips for those just starting out in Dungeons and Dragons, so here they all are.

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Comments • 99

  • Santiago Rodriguez Guillen

    I can't ask this without laughing. What is a professional player in your eyes.

    • Roberta Barnhart
      Roberta Barnhart  2 weeks back

      I don't scream at my dice - I hint in a low menacing voice what will happen to dice who betray me.

      • Dongioni & Dragoni
        Dongioni & Dragoni  2 weeks back

        Why the heck some of the people interviewed are so focused on "doing voices".... that's not important at all to start with. Let's stop thinking roleplaying is "Do it like CR does" please.

        • Cross Rose
          Cross Rose  2 weeks back

          "and are ready to scream at bits of plastic when they come up with the wrong number" XD

          • Roswald Walton
            Roswald Walton  3 weeks back

            Thanks for this, I was convinced to start reading R. A. Salvatore's books and combined with watching the Oxventure Guild and Aoife DMing, I've fallen in love with the whole thing. I have a plan for a couple of characters (a sister and brother rogues) and have rough sketches for their backgrounds, mostly due to physical restrictions I'm probably not going to get to play (50 miles from Newcastle and last bus home at 8pm with 19 year old furry overlady Tigger who won't eat if I'm not home) but I'm going to get as much as I can so if the opportunity arrives, I'm good to go.

            • TheOneTrueJRW
              TheOneTrueJRW  3 weeks back

              Is there a non role-playing version of this? I tried D&D and enjoyed everything about it except the roleplaying. I like the combat, coming up with plans with my teammates, exploring towns. I just didn't like acting. I would much rather say "I'm rolling charisma to ask for a discount," than "Good sir, might thou be willing to lower the price of your wares?"

              • Night Cat
                Night Cat  3 weeks back

                That's up to the GM & players really. Some go way overboard with the roleplaying & stick to it regardless of circumstances, whereas others do little. There's nothing in the rules of any(ish) of these RPGs that say you have to do roleplaying, or use Shakespearean prose, or stay in character, or whatever.
                That said, you might enjoy some of the dungeon crawling board games better if you want to cut out the R & do more of the PG. They put the emphasis on the rolls & the board/cards tell you what you're doing, rather than you having to make it up. I wish I could recommend some by name, but I have no friends so play no board games. Perhaps Dicebreaker.com would be a good place to look.

            • Blud
              Blud  3 weeks back

              How do I find a group to play with

              • Night Cat
                Night Cat  3 weeks back

                Look online on things like local neighbourhood sites, ask on the social medias, visit your local nerd shops, maybe post something at your library if you happen to still have one nearby.

            • David B
              David B  3 weeks back

              There are many many many other RPGs other than Dungeons and Dragons

              • Katie Elizabeth
                Katie Elizabeth  3 weeks back

                I started watching Critical last year and I fell in love. I'd love to be able to play it too 🧡

                • Dazidan
                  Dazidan  3 weeks back

                  "Even death is a cool story" - Kim who experienced her character going through death

                  • wwaxwork
                    wwaxwork  3 weeks back

                    Thanks from someone that has loved this game for decades for including shots of groups other than Critical Role. I love what CR do so much but there are so many great games being streamed out there it was great to see them getting some love too. Also if you want to play or DM I highly recommend you watch more than Critical Role before you start so you can see just how much variety in storytelling & roleplaying styles & skill levels there are out there as it will make you a lot less nervous going into your first game.

                    • Goenndor
                      Goenndor  3 weeks back

                      I am about to DM my first ever session of DnD, as I am the only one who dares to do it among my friends. And while I look forward to it, I am so damn terrified to fail my own standards (basically what Johnny does in the Oxventure, but different).

                      Every time the folks in your video said not to worry and to 'trust your DM' I thought, 'well yeah...but I AM the DM. Am I allowed to worry, because I am worried AF'.

                      • wwaxwork
                        wwaxwork  3 weeks back

                        Trust your players. It's a group effort, not you against them. It's a team effort. If you don't know something one of them will, or you can just stop & look up the rule or just make up a rule that sounds fair at the time & check it later. It's OK to make mistakes, it's OK to say hang on I don't know let me look it up or I don't know give me a second to think and just make something up on the spot.

                    • Anders Kjellman
                      Anders Kjellman  3 weeks back

                      Hmm.. A video about D&D, talking explicitly about how influential the game has been and it's recent dramatic rise in popularity amongst the nerd world - and not a word said about #criticalrole.

                      Impressive, albeit sad

                      • wwaxwork
                        wwaxwork  3 weeks back

                        They came along 10 years after other people where podcasting & streaming the game. They didn't mention any particular stream by name & included footage from a huge variety of streamers, many of whom where streaming & podcasting before Matt Mercer & Geek & Sundry thought to put on a show. . I love their game as much as anyone, and I am guessing you didn't notice they had Joe Manganiello, you know from Critical Role, the show you claim to be such a fan of.

                    • bearhustler
                      bearhustler  3 weeks back

                      Just to bang my drum again, anyone who has never RPed and wants to try it don't forget D&D is *far* from the only RPG out there, if you try it and don't enjoy it there's a game out there for you (Full Disclosure, I've been playing and DMing 25 years and have barely played D&D because I really dislike it). Looking at my shelf I have games covering everything from Dark, tongue-in-cheek fantasy to OTT Hong Kong Action Movies to Jane Austen social shenanigans to Coen Brother style cinematic incompetence to TV wrestling to dark Alien-style sci-fi horror to an RPG where real world surrealist artists meet the Cthulhu Mythos (yes you can play Dali and fight Nyarlathotep). And that's just on my shelf. Look online or at a local shop there is *so* much out there (there's also loads of stuff available for free or a few £s)

                      • Mike C
                        Mike C  3 weeks back

                        Not required by any means, but many players commission artists to draw their DnD characters, there are artists who do this as their full time job. If you get attached to a character and want to see a professional artist bring them to life, you can find them on Reddit, Instagram, Twitter, etc. Since this is their career, don't expect them to be inexpensive- though some may offer a budget option such as a bust or a sketch. I would suggest going to reddit.com/r/characterdrawing and/or reddit.com/r/fantasyartists to see what people are getting, which artists are available, and then if/when you're ready, email the artist(s) you're interested in for their rates and options.

                        • Glenn Salvilla
                          Glenn Salvilla  3 weeks back

                          Oxventures cross-over!!! considering how much they can derail Johnny, i wanna see what more chaos Eurogamer can add to the mix lol.

                          • Banquet42
                            Banquet42  3 weeks back

                            Maybe give Ian or Aoife a go at DMing a one shot and let Johnny have some fun?

                            Even better, get @Bratterz back and get him to DM the lot of them!

                        • FLINTENSTEIN
                          FLINTENSTEIN  3 weeks back

                          I hope this is the first of many D&D vids from this channel... and maybe a Johnny appearance? I bet he could be literally everyone else in the world.

                          • Valery Kos
                            Valery Kos  3 weeks back

                            Dicebreaker: Coming for my brand?

                            • Brock Sisson
                              Brock Sisson  3 weeks back

                              That look at 1:14 i've never seen such a satisfied grin. Looking forward to more of this content for sure.

                              • Theodore Pinnock
                                Theodore Pinnock  3 weeks back

                                One more, absolutely critical one: No D&D is better than bad D&D. If the people you are playing with are unpleasant, or making the game not fun for you, either confront them about it to try to get it rectified, or, if that won't work, get out. r/rpghorrorstories has plenty to illustrate this.

                                • Theodore Pinnock
                                  Theodore Pinnock  3 weeks back

                                  1:12 I see what you did there, Aoife.

                                  • sonic65101
                                    sonic65101  3 weeks back

                                    I've always wanted to get into DND, but had no friends.

                                    • Nogo LoL
                                      Nogo LoL  2 weeks back

                                      /r/lfg and roll20.net are great resources for online sessions in 5e I've found.

                                    • Alex Gale
                                      Alex Gale  2 weeks back

                                      There's also things like Roll20, Fantasy Grounds, etc. I play with a couple of groups via Discord and Roll20 and another couple of groups IRL. Yet to play in a game store though. It's either been at a gaming club, online, or at someone's home. Then again I live in a place where our local "city" has a population of abut 20K people.

                                    • Maddy B
                                      Maddy B  3 weeks back

                                      Find a local game store! They sometimes run campaigns and it’s a great place to find people also interested in rpgs!

                                    • wwaxwork
                                      wwaxwork  3 weeks back

                                      Go to the D&D website, they have a place you can do a search for game stores near you running public "Adventure League" games. Which are games that welcome new players and are open to the public. Then you get to solve two problems at once, you can make friends with like minded people of all ages & get into D&D.

                                    • Writeonshell
                                      Writeonshell  3 weeks back

                                      Same. I'm thinking I really need to find something online because I don't think there are any local groups at all.

                                  • Ben McManus
                                    Ben McManus  3 weeks back

                                    Depends entirely on the ppl you're playing with

                                    • John O ́neil
                                      John O ́neil  4 weeks back

                                      Great, now I got that song stuck in my head again. You are working with Jane, aren´t you?
                                      I started pretty late with DnD when some friends asked about who would be interested and I am looking forward to every session and am legit sad if we have to cancel one.

                                      • Spank-My-Tank
                                        Spank-My-Tank  4 weeks back

                                        1:46 for the tips

                                        • BoomToll
                                          BoomToll  4 weeks back

                                          are going to leave 2020 with all three and a half channels entirely dedicated to dnd because I am down for that.

                                          • CitanulsPumpkin
                                            CitanulsPumpkin  4 weeks back

                                            Gotta love how you guys flashed footage of Joe "Beefcake" Mangienelo both times when you mentioned Gary Gygax and Dave Arnison as the creators of the game. I'm sure they'd enjoy the subliminal association.

                                            • Captain zac
                                              Captain zac  4 weeks back

                                              I think the most important advice I can give is to remember that yes you are all characters in a fantasy world but keep in mind you're also playing a game. now I'm not saying don't murder the super important NPC or never piss off another character so much you have to fight to the death but if you do, think about how the game will unfold if you do and if you need to talk out of character about it, say "bob my character would really hate your character, i'd like to have a duel. Is that ok?" you can still have deep roleplaying during the fight but now people are forewarned it doesn't feel personal and the other players and gm can work out a way let your characters fight but not have it end the story.

                                              Derailing a campaign is cool destroying it is not.

                                              • wwaxwork
                                                wwaxwork  3 weeks back

                                                I've seen more games destroyed because of someone using the "But it's what my character would do" excuse than any other way. Help the party, don't hurt the party, NPCs on the other hand are fair game.

                                            • Spideog formerly of Highgate

                                              If this is the start of a long road to an endgame style gamer network crossover pvp battle royale I am all for it.

                                              • PCTech714
                                                PCTech714  4 weeks back

                                                I always love these videos and I'm so happy to see new players coming into the hobby. A friend introduced me to D&D in 1982 and I've played or DM'd pretty consistently over the last, almost 40 years. Since I seem to be spending so much of my time as a DM these days, most of my thoughts turned that way.

                                                One thing I've learned over that time is that you've never been doing it for so long that you can't learn something new. Matt Mercer's approach in Critical Role taught me how to use voices, props and music to accentuate the experience. Looking back before that, everything seemed a bit bland.

                                                One thing I would like to add to this that I've come to accept recently: as a DM you shouldn't be expected to know everything. All of those years I thought that I should be able to pull the most esoteric rules out of the air at a moment's notice. I've seen a lot of games lately (Johnny w/Oxventure as an example) where the DM relies on the players to know how certain parts of their characters work (such as certain spells). This is so much of a relief from something that is always so stressful. Also a time-saver, since a DM doesn't have to look it all up during play.

                                                Finally, D&D is not the only RPG. About half of my experience over the years has come from other systems like Marvel, Deadlands, Shadowrun Star Wars, Star Trek and so many others.

                                                • Nym Alous
                                                  Nym Alous  4 weeks back

                                                  I've been playing D&D for over 34 years. I think the best tip from the video was to be a sidekick every so often. My favorite occurrence when I'm running a game is when the players start interacting, in character, with each other and I can just sit back and watch. Having some players willing to be sidekicks would go a long way to making that happen more often.

                                                  • Holy Warrior Bear
                                                    Holy Warrior Bear  4 weeks back

                                                    This in not exactly a videogame content. Yeah sure D&D has had a huge impact on the development of CRPG*s and such, however, this video talks about the actual tabletop game, so WHAT?

                                                    • Holy Warrior Bear
                                                      Holy Warrior Bear  4 weeks back

                                                      @Night Cat Yes, you are right.

                                                    • Night Cat
                                                      Night Cat  4 weeks back

                                                      @Holy Warrior Bear Yep, but that doesn't preclude other types of game. The Christmas quizzes are more related to the hosts than to videogames, for example.

                                                    • Holy Warrior Bear
                                                      Holy Warrior Bear  4 weeks back

                                                      @Night Cat Sure, but as long as I've watched the channel, content has always been directly videogame relevant

                                                    • Night Cat
                                                      Night Cat  4 weeks back

                                                      The channel's called Eurogamer, not Videogamer, so..

                                                  • The Penguin Wrangler
                                                    The Penguin Wrangler  4 weeks back

                                                    You can be D and D pro?

                                                    • Sjors Farla
                                                      Sjors Farla  4 weeks back

                                                      1:12 did she just say... BECAUSE HE'S LITERALLY EVERYONE ELSE IN THE WORLD... That dawm song

                                                      • Banquet42
                                                        Banquet42  3 weeks back

                                                        @Caiden Priaulx Good spot :)

                                                      • Caiden Priaulx
                                                        Caiden Priaulx  3 weeks back

                                                        Notice a link to it appears when she says it

                                                      • Banquet42
                                                        Banquet42  3 weeks back

                                                        Seems way to deliberate to just be a coincidence. Aoife is smiling a lot when she says it too!

                                                    • sleepytime999998
                                                      sleepytime999998  4 weeks back

                                                      If it is your first time as a DM, I strongly suggest reading the webcomic 'DM of the Rings'. It's about 15 years old (3-3.5 edition, and hopefully grandfathered out of being considered promotion that violates community guidelines), but it gives a lot of true to life examples of everything that will go wrong in your campaign.

                                                      • One Man Feast
                                                        One Man Feast  4 weeks back

                                                        It’s weird how such a simple difference as standing up can be so disconcerting. Between the non-video game subject and the scripted waist-high shots, I was very confused for a second.

                                                        • Sherlock Hulmes
                                                          Sherlock Hulmes  4 weeks back

                                                          Big love to Aofie and Zoe for including me, Kim and HighRollers in this! Was a lot of fun hanging out at Lucca! Give me a shout if you need a DM or extra player for some Eurogamer D&D time! :)

                                                          • bezerkoid
                                                            bezerkoid  3 weeks back

                                                            We need a Eurogamer/Hulmes/Outside Xbox combo. Fuck knows how but that would be amazing.

                                                          • bearhustler
                                                            bearhustler  3 weeks back

                                                            I loved the World Wide Wrestling game you ran for Shut Up and Sit Down !

                                                          • squattingheads
                                                            squattingheads  4 weeks back

                                                            Only if Aiofe plays a Rancor "Oaahhrrg...didlididlidi...numnumnumnum"

                                                          • TheHulaOperator
                                                            TheHulaOperator  4 weeks back

                                                            Mark I need a crossover, imagine one Aoife versus one Trott the sass I can't

                                                        • KeyOfTheTwilight
                                                          KeyOfTheTwilight  4 weeks back

                                                          Awesome! I’ve always wanted to play this game.

                                                          • s a
                                                            s a  4 weeks back

                                                            Really great to see this video. Any chance for a one shot d&d video in preparation for Baldur's gate 3? :) I don't know what kind of permissions from WOTC you might need or prep but it would be a ton of fun to see Ian, Zoe and Aoife play a one shot campaign! :)

                                                            • ReyDe Cangrejos
                                                              ReyDe Cangrejos  4 weeks back

                                                              Like the sneaky reference to the Oxbox song about Johnny! Nicely done

                                                              • George McKay
                                                                George McKay  4 weeks back

                                                                I would love to see a Eurogamer campaign, potentially with someone from Dicebreaker DMing, but not Johnny because he's too busy. Then maybe a ladies only crossover with the Oxventure, because I would love to see Aoife and Zoe hang with Prudence and Merilwen

                                                                • Writeonshell
                                                                  Writeonshell  3 weeks back

                                                                  Wheels! From the few other role playing games he's run on the channel (including the live werewolf) I'd love to see him run a campaign.

                                                              • Elle Esse
                                                                Elle Esse  4 weeks back

                                                                Excited to see the d&d bug has infected Eurogamer as well!!

                                                                • Mr Harry Gray
                                                                  Mr Harry Gray  4 weeks back

                                                                  Jonny leaves
                                                                  Eurogamer - hey how about a d&d video ! 😂

                                                                  • Scottish Legend
                                                                    Scottish Legend  4 weeks back

                                                                    I so want to play D&D but have no one to play with or anywhere to play

                                                                    • Night Cat
                                                                      Night Cat  4 weeks back

                                                                      There are several online things that let you do it remotely, with voice chat or a camera. The DM has control over the "tabletop" and can hand out items digitally & all that sort of thing. I haven't used them myself so can't speak for how user friendly they are, but many do use them.

                                                                  • Paul C
                                                                    Paul C  4 weeks back

                                                                    As a player and DM, i dont roleplay in voice or anything but I am careful about thinking how to have my character ACT. You dont have to go full on with the act like the groups that stream if you dont want to, but put thought into what makes sense for your character to do. Think of it like your playing Mass Effect or Greedfall, but with infinitely more dialogue options

                                                                    • dragon-botherer
                                                                      dragon-botherer  4 weeks back

                                                                      Not saying i'd REALLY like to give DnD a go or owt....but the nice Amazon man will be dropping off the handbook tomorrow. If they do a starter pack that includes actual people to play the other parts and a pop up DM (hnnngh!) i'm gonna be VERY tempted!
                                                                      Thank you Aoife and Zoe! X X

                                                                      • Monika Dietrich
                                                                        Monika Dietrich  4 weeks back

                                                                        dragon-botherer Always a good plan
                                                                        It’s okay to not always talk, you will most likely get more comfortable with time, once you get used to everyone

                                                                        But I am thinking of maybe starting my own campaign in a few weeks (okay maybe one or two months), if you would be interested in joining a discord one, let me know?

                                                                      • dragon-botherer
                                                                        dragon-botherer  4 weeks back

                                                                        @Monika Dietrich That's really cool! i tend to get nervous and completely stop talking, so, whilst i'd love to try dnd i've a feeling i'm really not suited to it! i shall spend more time watching others do it on the internet instead!

                                                                      • Monika Dietrich
                                                                        Monika Dietrich  4 weeks back

                                                                        dragon-botherer I am pretty much the same
                                                                        Joined a discord server to ask for directions for EGX and ended up in a group within a day, that was ...... much
                                                                        but it took quite a while till we all had time to actually play and in that time I got to know everyone i played with
                                                                        Now I am (in a few minutes) in session two with the group and past the first dm session and I was never so thankful I had no idea about public transport before

                                                                      • dragon-botherer
                                                                        dragon-botherer  4 weeks back

                                                                        @Monika Dietrich yeah, social anxiety means i can't really talk to strangers, so i'm hoping they come up with some kinda pre-packaged insta mates option soon! :)

                                                                      • Monika Dietrich
                                                                        Monika Dietrich  4 weeks back

                                                                        Discord and twitter can be really helpful for finding a group
                                                                        But they should really include the necessary stuff in the starter pack, really are friends and a great dm that hard to package up?

                                                                    • Monika Dietrich
                                                                      Monika Dietrich  4 weeks back

                                                                      I might have another tip
                                                                      DnD is great even if you don’t have the chance to do it in person (even if it is better that way), but look for friends on discord or twitter and get together
                                                                      And not unimportant Dming yourself can be quite scary, especially if you have hardly, or not at all, played yourself, but try it, the only thing that might be required is wanting to tell a story

                                                                      • Paul C
                                                                        Paul C  3 weeks back

                                                                        Agreed. There are premade adventures to help you too so you can always try one of those until you have more experience/confidence.

                                                                    • Night Cat
                                                                      Night Cat  4 weeks back

                                                                      Tip 12: There are a lot more playable races than human, dwarf, elf, tiefling, and orc.

                                                                      • Hallvarr
                                                                        Hallvarr  3 weeks back

                                                                        @wwaxwork He is just saying there are other races out there. I take it as "DMs, mention other races and if the new players wanna hear about them, tell them about it. If you are talking about me then I would like to apologize as my comment was typed out of excitement and not properly worded. I will fix it

                                                                      • wwaxwork
                                                                        wwaxwork  3 weeks back

                                                                        Yeah don't play a race you find interesting & fun play a race some random guy on the internet insists you play.

                                                                      • Hallvarr
                                                                        Hallvarr  3 weeks back

                                                                        @Matt Ball DON'T BE A DOB!

                                                                      • Matt Ball
                                                                        Matt Ball  3 weeks back

                                                                        @Hallvarr HELL IS EMPTY, ALL OF THE DEMONS ARE HERE

                                                                      • Hallvarr
                                                                        Hallvarr  3 weeks back

                                                                        @Matt Ball Fellow OoutsideXbox/Xtra fan!