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D&D Let's Roll Library and Giveaway!

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D&D Let's Roll Library and Giveaway!

Spending the last month writing and chatting with all of you about Dungeons & Dragons has been incredible. We covered every manual and campaign guide along with miniatures, board games and more to provide a comprehensive look at the hobby and the tools you need to enhance your play experience! To celebrate all the content we created, we've collected it into one easily navigated library so that you can bookmark this page and keep our advice on hand whenever you need it. 

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Chapter 1: Adventuring for Dummies

Exploring the world of D&D through Board Games, Twitch Streams, and the Starter Set!

Chapter 2: Quest Accepted

Ready to roll up a character or hop behind the DM screen? Let's roll!

Chapter 3: Gettin' Mini with It

Diving into the colorful world of miniatures and painting!

Chapter 4: Advanced Adventuring

Enhance your game ambience, table presence, and gameplay experience! 

 Active Player Network has partnered with GTS Distribution to offer one lucky Grand Prize winner the entire library of Dungeons & Dragons 5th Edition campaign books including the forthcoming Waterdeep Adventures; Dragon Heist and Dungeon of the Mad Mage.

Additionally, five runners-up will receive will receive a prize package of one already published campaign book of their choice between: Storm King’s Thunder, Hoard of the Dragon Queen, Rise of Tiamat, Curse of Strahd, Princes of the Apocalypse, Out of the Abyss, Tomb of Annihilation, or Tales from the Yawning Portal. Distribution of runner up prizes to be determined by the Sponsors.

How do I enter?

You must like APN on Facebook and interact with the posts we will be initiating over the course of the month.

The number of entries per person made during the period of the D&D Let’s Roll event (running July 30-August 24, 2018) will be equal to the number of likes, public shares, and comments/photos/social contributions made on our Facebook Page in response to the community questions, images, and blog posts we share surrounding Dungeons & Dragons. Comments, images, or videos that contain lewd, crass, or inappropriate content are not permitted and do not constitute entries. Entries must be relevant to the Dungeons & Dragons Roleplaying Game.

Let's talk about D&D!

How do I know if I won?

Winners will be notified by Facebook message on August 27, 2018.  

Complete Terms and Conditions

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Advanced Adventuring: Metallic Dice

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Advanced Adventuring: Metallic Dice

We can't talk about Dungeons & Dragons without discussing a very real threat within the hobby: Dice Addiction. To my knowledge - the only cure for it to gather more dice in fancier materials in hopes that those that have been foretold at last make an appearance and the hunger subsides.

What I can say is that at some point: plastic will no longer satisfy our wanton need for fate touched polyhedrals. We need something that honors the weight of our heroic decisions and Metallic Dice Games offers a large span of metal dice to satisfy your cravings at an affordable price! Whether you want dice that feel like gold nuggets or a set that feels like it got lost in the fey wild, you'll find a shining rainbow of options at your FLGS!
 

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Advanced Adventuring: Sword Coast Adventurer's Guide, Volo's Guide to Monsters, Xanathar's Guide to Everything, and Mordenkainen's Tome of Foes

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Advanced Adventuring: Sword Coast Adventurer's Guide, Volo's Guide to Monsters, Xanathar's Guide to Everything, and Mordenkainen's Tome of Foes

So you've bought your Player's Handbook, Your Dungeon Master's Guide, and Monster Manual for Dungeons and Dragons. You've thumbed through all the amazing campaign guides from Wizards of the Coast. What are these other books you're seeing at your FLGS?

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Sword Coast Adventurer's Guide

The Sword Coast is a region of Faerûn in the Forgotten Realms that comprises shining paragons of civilization and culture, perilous locales fraught with dread and evil, and encompassing them all, a wilderness that offers every explorer vast opportunity and simultaneously promises great danger.

This book serves as a campaign setting guide for DM's but also provides several new backgrounds and options to help players further customize their characters.

Volo’s Guide to Monsters

Learn about some of the most iconic monsters in the Forgotten Realms from the esteemed loremaster Volothamp Geddarm. As a Dungeon Master, this book provides even more background on the behaviors and cultures of these villains so that you can infuse your tales with infinite depth when it comes to beholders, mind flayers, and the yuan-ti, as well as classics like orcs, gnolls, and kobolds. 

This book also opens up new racial options - previously only thought of as monsters - to players on the other side of the table. If you've always wanted to play a goblin, orc, or firbolg, you'll need this book to roll up your new character!

Xanathar's Guide to Everything
 
This is Dungeons & Dragons' first major expansion for fifth edition and it is chock full of new rules and options.

  • Over twenty-five new subclasses for the character classes in the Player’s Handbook, including the Cavalier for the fighter, the Circle of Dreams for the druid, the Horizon Walker for the ranger, and many more
  • Dozens of new spells, a collection of racial feats, and a system to give your character a randomized backstory
  • A variety of tools that provide Dungeon Masters fresh ways to use traps, magic items, downtime activities, and more—all designed to enhance a D&D campaign and push it in new directions

Mordenkainen's Tome of Foes

This is the most recent release from Wizards of the Coast and it reads very similar to Volo's Guide to monsters. We covered some of our favorite featured foes already! This book provides you with more insight into demons, devils and denizens of the Underdark such as drow, githyanki, githzerai, and duergar. It also provides new character races and personality trait tables for character creation for the player perspective. There are further background options for tieflings and elves and more otherworldly choices for character races like githyanki or githzerai.

 

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Advanced Adventuring: Dungeon Tiles Reincarnated

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Advanced Adventuring: Dungeon Tiles Reincarnated

So you've had a wet erase grid for a while and you're ready for some illustrated terrain - but not just any terrain; reincarnated terrain. 

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You've likely seen these in your FLGS and personally I used to just ignore them - I already have a grid to work on. Then I got a chance to open one of these and realized how much I had been missing out. These packs are full of illustrated puzzle pieces in the shapes of curved hallways, staircases, cavernous dining halls, and more. This means you're not drawing a dungeon onto a grid, but actually constructing the dungeon out of these shaped tiles. 

They come in three varieties: Dungeon, Wilderness, and City. You can mix and match all these options to create thousands of unique maps that span multiple environment types. Imagine being a dungeon master with little time to plan and writer's block. You toss the setting appropriate tiles into a bag and then pull them at random to create your layout and reignite your inspiration for the session. Of, of course, you lay them all out on the floor and carefully construct a lethal temple to challenge the adventuring party. The options are truly endless. I seriously need to get my hands on every one of these. 

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Advanced Adventuring: WizKids Trophies, Premium Maps, and Deep Cuts Miniatures

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Advanced Adventuring: WizKids Trophies, Premium Maps, and Deep Cuts Miniatures

It is our last week of Let's Roll and we are going to open the door to Advanced Adventuring! These products all represent ways to enhance ambience, table presence, and gameplay experience. 

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It cannot be stressed enough how much WizKids can partner you in play when it comes to D&D. The first time I saw their trophy heads of beholders, dragons, and mindflayers - I knew I needed AT LEAST one for my game room.

Imagine sitting in your living room as candlelight flickers across the horrible visages of some of the most iconic villains in Dungeons & Dragons as your players drink mead and peruse illustrated premium maps enhanced with three dimensional painted miniature furniture and objects from their Deep Cuts line and music/soundscapes from Sirinscape build the tension. Te

These items are the perfect gift for the DM in your life and they the perfect storm for the senses. 

Show us pics of your best D&D Set up! What are your must have items?

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Gettin' Mini with It: Nolzur's Marvelous Miniatures from WizKids

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Gettin' Mini with It: Nolzur's Marvelous Miniatures from WizKids

There are a lot of options when it comes to choosing D&D miniatures from player characters to monsters, but by far the best option when it comes to accessibility, quality, price, and variety is the Nolzur's Marvelous Miniatures line from Wizkids. Here are 7 things you should know about these minis!

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  • There are over 100 varieties to choose from in different combinations of gender, class, and race so it's unlikely that you'll end your search empty handed.
  • The detail in this plastic line is second to none.
  • You'll also find this grade of plastic much harder than their pre-painted line with affordable prices that will make you want to collect them all!
  • Some even feature spell effects in clear plastic which colored wash brings to life in the blink of an eye.
  • Each miniature is pre-primed with a grey Vallejo primer so they're truly ready to paint right out of the box.
  • These miniatures usually come with two to a package, so when you get your female human barbarian, you have two versions in different positions and slightly different gear to select from or to share with a friend.
  • Each has a molded base and a flat circular standard medium creature sized base to glue the miniature to when it is complete.

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Our Adventuring Party - Rycin Pendragon, Human Wizard

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Our Adventuring Party - Rycin Pendragon, Human Wizard

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Rycin Pendragon, Human Wizard, Chaotic Neutral

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Rycin (who was a street orphan with no knowledge of his parents) grew into a life of swindling and thievery. During one act of larceny, he was caught in the act by a hermetic wizard whose home he had invaded. Rycin killed the old man, who seemed to have very little contact with the outside world. Rycin assumed his surname, becoming Rycin Pendragon, and had stolen an old and well-used tome, from which he began to teach himself the ways of magic, hoping to use these newfound skills to become more effective at his natural trade-- a smuggler for hire.   Recently, upon taking a job from an underworld crime lord in order to pay off a financial debt to him, Rycin was tasked to find an ancient and prized relic. But his trail lead him to the underdark, where he was captured. It was upon this, that Rycin had concluded that he was set up, and double-crossed, as punishment for his outstanding debt. Broke, hunted and vengeful, Rycin now finds himself at ground-zero of his life’s story, but with unexplored powers of magic as his new ally.  

INSPIRATION:

I took a lot of inspiration from characters of the properties I loved, growing up. But there are a few characters, specifically, who went into the creation of Rycin Pendragon:

  • Han Solo (Star Wars)- orphan, rogue, smuggler for hire. Always looking over his shoulder, underground. Here’s a guy who has a job to do – Never mind if it’s above-board or not. He doesn’t ask questions, he completes the mission and gets paid.
  • Stormshadow (G.I. Joe)- Here’s a guy who’s shrouded in shadows. His origins obfuscated, his motives mysterious. When his knowledge hit a glass ceiling, he killed his master, and became ronin.
  • Indiana Jones (Raiders of the Lost Ark)- Trained in classical studies, but with an unquenchable drive for fact (not ‘truth’), Indy soon learned that the ancient artifacts that he unearthed held arcane powers that could sway the struggle between the sacred and profane.
  • Bobby Stickel (Me)- I won’t go into details, but one of the great draws of D&D for me, is that I can infuse some of myself into my character. What those aspects are, I’ll let the members of my party find out along the way…

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Gettin' Mini with It: Nolzur's Marvelous Brush Set, P3 Paints from Privateer Press, and The Army Painter Project Paint Station

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Gettin' Mini with It: Nolzur's Marvelous Brush Set, P3 Paints from Privateer Press, and The Army Painter Project Paint Station

We could spend a thousand years just talking about types of paints, miniatures, and the miniature painting process as an art-form and hobby. In fact, we have several painters on our team. Rather than push you down an overwhelming rabbit hole all at once, I'd like to set you up with some great products that can help you get started on your painting adventure over the next few days!

Today we'll focus on paints and brushes!

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We have discussed our passion for Privateer Press previously in regards to Warmachine: Hordes and we did a Let's Paint video for the "Circle Orboros" starter box. However, Privateer Press also makes a great line of P3 paints and brushes that you can find at your FLGS. They offer a  variety of matte and metallic acrylics, washes, and primers to choose from. While not as exciting as all the pretty colors, don't forget to prime your miniature before you start applying paint or there won't be anything for the paint to stick to and you'll likely lose your precious work. With so many paints to choose from, it's hard to select your first set, but make sure you at least grab you primaries (red, blue, yellow) and white so that you can mix your own base coats and highlights. If you mix your paints on a damp paper towel (called a wet palette), it will preserve the paints longer and make the most of all the pots you purchase. 

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This brings us to brushes! The basics you'll need are a small detail brush, a slightly larger base-coat brush (which doesn't require as much precision), and a dry brush. Privateer Press makes some good brushes along with their P3 Paints and The Army Painter's brushes have really nice grips to help you steady and control your application. However, Nolzur's Marvelous Brush Set from Gale Force Nine should not be overlooked because they sell all three of your basic brushes in one package! 

If you're ready to make an investment in a really great set of acrylic paints, washes, and effects paints, then the Mega Paint Set from The Army Painter is a great option. It comes with a stand to array all of your paints on your craft table as well as one of their triangular gripped brushes. When you're ready to truly expand your primary colors into a spectrum of possibilities, this is 100% a great set to acquire with one of the most recommended detail brushes on the market.

What are your favorite paints and brushes to use?

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Gettin' Mini with It: Help for Players and Dungeon Masters Who Don't Paint

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Gettin' Mini with It: Help for Players and Dungeon Masters Who Don't Paint

It's Week 3 of Dungeons & Dragons: Let's Roll, which means it's time to get mini with it! Miniatures can be really intimidating for folks who can't paint, but Wizkids has some amazing pre-painted tools that can help you bring battles to life whether you've never held a brush in your life or you just don't have time to paint an army of evildoers to take on your players. 

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Let's start with some products to help non-painting players get started.

Not everyone is ready to dive into painting and WizKids has you covered with pre-painted Icons of the Realms miniatures. They sell them individually or even in starter boxes, so you and your party and all go in on one and share the spoils. They even have Ravnica specific Icons of the Realms coming out so you'll be ready for the upcoming Guildmaster's Guide to Ravnica Magic: The Gathering campaign setting!

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Dungeon Master's are fun facilitators in D&D and there's nothing like the moment when the big bad appears on the battle grid and it's time to roll initiative. That's a lot of pressure, painting, and cost placed squarely on the shoulders of the GM - especially if they don't fancy themselves miniature painters.

To that end, WizKids provides prepainted Icons of the Realms miniatures in a "Classic Creatures" box set as well as "Monster Menagerie" boxes with villains and monsters that tower over the Icons of the Realms miniatures, striking awe and fear into the hearts of your players. With these tools, you can build your collection without needing to know how to paint!

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Quest Accepted: Out of the Abyss and Tomb of Annihilation

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Quest Accepted: Out of the Abyss and Tomb of Annihilation

Lastly, we'll round out our campaign breakdowns with a look at two adventures that take you to far flung reaches of the Dungeons & Dragons realms for a completely different experience. 

Choose Your Adventure: Out of the Abyss - Rage of Demons

Leave behind the sunlit vales of Faerun and escape the Drow denizens of the Underdark - a maze of twisted gargantuan caverns where madness lurks around every bend and bioluminescent horrors lay in wait. Something truly terrible awaits you in the darkness where demons threaten to break through to the surface world. This adventure has been described as a subterranean “Wonderland-esque” chase.

Support this adventure with a custom Rage of Demons DM screen from Gale Force Nine and figures for key characters from their Icons of the Realms line.

Choose Your Adventure: Tomb of Annihilation

Ride dinosaurs through the tropical jungles surrounding of Chult and discover the Tomb of Annihilation - a lethal catacomb of horrors and traps that will test bravery, skill, and cunning. Home to the classic Dungeons and Dragons villainous Lich, Acererak, this campaign was inspired by one of the all time best selling adventures: Tomb of Horrors. This adventure is non-stop action from the go with curious villains.

Support this dungeon delve adventure with a custom DM screen from Gale Force Nine and figures for key characters from their Icons of the Realms line.

 

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Quest Accepted: Tyranny of Dragons: Rise of Tiamat, Hoard of the Dragon Queen, and Princes of the Apocalypse

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Quest Accepted: Tyranny of Dragons: Rise of Tiamat, Hoard of the Dragon Queen, and Princes of the Apocalypse

We are at it again, helping you choose your next adventure! Yesterday we talked about Curse of Strahd and Storm King's Thunder. Today we'll take a closer look at the Tyranny of Dragons campaign set and Princes of the Apocalypse: Elemental Evil. One is is subsequently very Dragon heavy and one is very dungeon crawl heavy!

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Choose Your Adventure: Tyranny of Dragons

In the Rise of Tiamat, discover and stem the rising tide of the Cult of the Dragon and in Hoard of the Dragon Queen, rush to prevent the five headed dragon goddess from escaping her prison in the Nine Hells so that she can lay waste to Faerun. This two part adventure is everything you could want from a high fantasy epic - moving from small adventures in the lower levels as every day lives are effected by doomsday threats from the Cult of the Dragon and political factions move to protect their interests, to facing down the Goddess Tiamat herself in the second half of the adventure.

You can also enhance your Tyranny of Dragons experience with Icons of the Realms figures and an adventure specific DM screen from Gale Force Nine.

Choose Your Adventure: Princes of the Apocalypse

Four corrupt princes rise with four corrupt prophets as you face four lethal elemental temples. Confront cadres of cultists and creatures bound to the service of the Elder Elemental Eye. Search for the source of elemental corruption and save the Sword Coast from the Princes of the Apocalypse.

Support the campaign with a DM Screen from Gale Force Nine and Elemental Evil Booster Bricks chock full of miniatures from Wizkids!

Have you played these adventures? Let us know what you thought in the comments!

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Quest Accepted: Curse of Strahd and Storm King's Thunder

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Quest Accepted: Curse of Strahd and Storm King's Thunder

So you're ready to play Dungeons & Dragons. You've got your dice, your GM Starter Kit and your Player Starter Kits. What's next?

Adventure awaits! Over the next few days we'll be giving you the skinny on all the published adventures from Wizards of the Coast so that you can decide which one might be right for your party. 

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Choose Your Adventure: Curse of Strahd

Walk the cursed misty streets of Barovia and face the dread vampire Count Strahd von Zarovich. Meet Romani bands, battle alongside vampire hunters, and risk becoming damned yourself as you explore the halls of Castle Ravenloft and discover what lays hidden in the darkness.

This fantasy-horror adventure covers levels 1-10 and is not for the faint of heart.

Check out Gale Force Nine's awesome campaign accessories. Tarokka cards are used by a key non-player-character, Madam Eva, and help the GM determine the party's part in several story milestones. They created a physical set for use with Curse of Strahd and they bring a spark of magic and immersion to the table that players won't soon forget. They also developed a campaign specific DM screen to help guide your adventure as well as miniatures to represent several key characters.

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Choose Your Adventure: Storm King's Thunder

The Storm Giant King is missing and all the elemental Giant factions fall into a curious war, destroying towns and disrupting the lives of the small folk in Faerun. You band together with a group of heroes sworn to uncover the mysteries behind the conflict, uncover magical artifacts, and evade the ruthless Uthgardt barbarian tribes that haunt the Frozen North.

This adventure runs from Level 1-11+ and draws inspiration from folk tales and Norse mythology.

Gale Force Nine kills it again with Storm Kings Thunder Accessories. From their GM Screen to the Icons of the Realms line of miniatures from Wizkids, it's easy to enhance your table.
 

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Quest Accepted: Player Starter Kit

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Quest Accepted: Player Starter Kit

Yesterday we covered everything a DM needs to start their journey, but what about the players? Let's run through what our heroes need before their epic saga can commence!

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The very first thing you'll need is a Dungeons & Dragons 5th edition Player's Handbook from Wizards of the Coast. This is your guide to choosing your race (ie. Dwarf, Human, Elf, etc.), selecting your class (ie. Paladin, Monk, Wizard, Bard, Fighter, etc.) and leveling up throughout the game. If you're new to role playing, it has insightful tips, backgrounds, and traits for you to choose from that will help you bring your new character to life at the table. You'll also have a quick reference for spells and rules to keep you on the road to victory!

One of the best things I can recommend for you in to get yourself a Character Folio from Ultra Pro. This paper character sheet could be with you for a night or five years and you want to make sure that you're keeping it fresh and out of harms way. While you can absolutely find resources for phone apps to house your character sheet, Dungeons & Dragons is about being together and unplugging from the outside world so you can go on an adventure. Each of these folios comes with clear sleeves for your character sheet and notes. Erasing your HP during combat and the repeated wear and tear of changing your stats as you gain levels can cause you to have to refresh your character sheet and re-write in all of your stats on fresh paper. You can reduce that by using the folio and tracking your combat stats with wet erase marker on the plastic sleeve, meaning you only have to erase or add notes when you're leveling up or gaining/selling/losing magical items. These folios come with all sorts of art from the D&D books, so you can choose something that inspires you and get rolling!

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Quest Accepted: The Dungeon Master's Starter Kit and Dice Galore!

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Quest Accepted: The Dungeon Master's Starter Kit and Dice Galore!

Welcome to week two of D&D: Let's Roll! This week, we'll be focusing on taking our next steps into the larger world of role playing. This week of content is all about actually sitting down to play Dungeons & Dragons and will assist you with gathering all the tools you need whether you're planning to be a Dungeon Master or a player. We want to make sure that you have a list of items that will make you comfortable with managing the rules and focused on story telling with your friends, which is where the magic happens!

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This is my recommended DM starter kit! For real, taking up the mantle of Dungeon Master can be intimidating. Having the right tools from Wizards of the Coast means you can keep the emphasis on immersive story telling through-out role play and combat.

While the Player's handbook covers all the rules you'll need to know, the Dungeon Master's Guide expands your arsenal of world-building tips, alternative rules to suit your play-style, and a cornucopia of magical items to bestow on your adventurers. The Monster Manual provides a non stop shop of creatures to help and hinder the party and keep them guessing about both the horrors and wonders they'll face.

Nothing makes you feel more like a DM than your very own screen! Confidence only grows when you can spread out your notes, miniatures, and more under cover of darkness! You'll have combat actions, DC ratings, and condition rules all at your finger tips. Character Condition Tokens give you the tools to run monsters with more complicated abilities, track any conditions they force on the party and keep your friends on their toes as you increase the challenges they face.

Adventure Grids allow you to quickly sketch battlemaps with wet erase markers and ensure faire and equitable combat for both Dungeon Master and Player Characters.

Lastly, a tool that will follow you to any role playing system is Paizo's Starfinder Combat Pad. Magnets allow you to track initiative order for heroes and villains and rounds - as well as make notes about hit point totals in wet erase marker. This is truly one of the best tools on the market to improve your game.

With these basic tools, even brave new DM's will be ready to roll!

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Whether you're the Dungeon Master or a Player, you're going to need a set of 7 polyhedral dice to get rolling! Each dice is referred to as "d" followed by the number of sides it has.

A D20 is used for attacks and skill checks. It is the most commonly rolled of your set and will determine whether you succeed at doing what your character wants to do.

You'll use your d4, d6, d8, d10, and d12 for determning the damage of your attacks.

A d10 percentile dice might be used if you're a wild mage, using a magical item with myriad possible effects, or if you're a faith based class calling upon the power of your god. They aren't used often, but it's often exciting when they are!

Chessex makes a great range of colorful and exciting polyhedral dice that are sure to enchant and inspire you at the table.

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Adventuring for Dummies: Storm King's Thunder, Assault of Giants, Lords of Waterdeep, and Tales from the Yawning Portal

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Adventuring for Dummies: Storm King's Thunder, Assault of Giants, Lords of Waterdeep, and Tales from the Yawning Portal

Is it already the end of week one? Let's have a look at the rest of our board games and resources that make it easy to dip your toes into dungeon delving. 

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Unlike some of the other Dungeons & Dragons board games that we've shared this week, Assault of the Giants from Wizkids is a competitive area control game with victory points to determine the winner. This game gives a glimpse of the different giants cultures you'll discover and interact with in the Storm King's Thunder campaign and will help you understand the concept of the Ordenning which plays a key role in that adventure. 

Learn more from The Dice Tower.

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Waterdeep is a sprawling metropolis that has oft been referred to as "fantasy NYC." If that sparks your interest, you may be interested in playing the forthcoming Waterdeep Adventures: Dragon Heist and Dungeon of the Mad Mage. However, if you're still on the edge, you might want to ease your way into Waterdhavian society with Lords of Waterdeep and its expansion Scoundrels of Skullport. Each player takes on the role of one of the 11 masked rulers of Waterdeep and competes for influence over the domain. The game will also introduce you to the five most influential factions in Waterdeep, the Red Sashes, City Watch, the Harpers, the Knights of the Shield, and the Silverstars - each of which play a key role in D&D adventures. You'll get to know the culture and layout of the city that will house both upcoming campaigns and grab a head start on your journey into "The City of Splendors."

Watch Wil Wheaton Felicia Day, Pat Rothfuss, and Brandon Laatsch play Lords of Waterdeep on TableTop!

We've talked a lot about new players this week, but of course, there will always be veteran players who played D&D many editions ago and might want to return to beloved adventure modules from the past 40+ years that are no longer compatible with the 5th edition rules. If you're looking to the glory days and breathe new life into these classics, Tales from the Yawning Portal is exactly what you're looking for. You'll find such adventures as:

  • Against the Giants
  • Dead in Thay
  • Forge of Fury
  • Hidden Shrine of Tamoachan
  • Sunless Citadel
  • Tomb of Horrors
  • White Plume Mountain

Learn more in this epic review from DawnforgedCast

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Adventuring for Dummies: Princes of the Apocalypse, The Temple of Elemental Evil, The Curse of Strahd, and Castle Ravenloft

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Adventuring for Dummies: Princes of the Apocalypse, The Temple of Elemental Evil, The Curse of Strahd, and Castle Ravenloft

This week we're looking at products that make great introductions to the gameplay and settings of Dungeons & Dragons. Today, we'll be looking at two more games for the adventure and campaign building co-operative board game adventure system series from Wizards of the Coast. 

The Temple of Elemental Evil, from WizKids, is compatible with Wrath of Ashardalon, Legend of Drizzt, Tomb of Annihilation, and Castle Ravenloft. If you're looking for a traditional fantasy campaign where the big bad isn't an evil dragon, we recommend The Temple of Elemental Evil as a primer for the Princes of the Apocalypse campaign and a quick overview of the Sword Coast's locations, denizens, and culture!

Check out this great "Let's Play" from Wizards of the Coast and dive right into the second adventure!

This is the title that started the D&D board game series from Wizards of the Coast. If you're thinking of embarking on a gothic horror themed adventure in Barovia via the Curse of Strahd campaign, then this Castle Ravenloft a perfect opportunity to explore Strahd's infamous castle and play as several classic class archetypes. 

For a quick breakdown of this classic, watch this review from GamerNode!

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Where Can I Watch Dungeons & Dragons?

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Where Can I Watch Dungeons & Dragons?

With all the amazing "Let's Play" videos for other tabletop board games, it's no wonder that the mysteries and improvisational nature of sandbox Dungeons & Dragons sends folks running to the dark corners of the interwebs in search of ways to watch the game being played. Look no further, because I have a problem and an obsession with watching people play D&D and I've put it to good use by collecting some of my very favorite games so that you can pencil them in and watch the magic happen!

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Acquisitions Incorporated has been doing live games at PAXes around the world for over a decade and last year, Penny Arcade transmuted this fan favorite into a weekly Twitch Stream Event. The game is Dungeon Mastered by the inimitable Jerry Holkins, also known as Omin Dran and the writer of Penny Arcade the webcomic. The featured players are illustrator and designer Amy T. Falcone, Penny Arcade Director of Events Ryan Hartman, D&D Game Designer and #babywizard Kate Welch, and cartoonist Kris Straub. 

Current Classes: Paladin, Druid, Monk, Warlock

Style: This game feels informal and genuinely like friends doing their best to make each other laugh and create great role playing opportunities for the table. It's tempered by Jerry's incredible characters and always on point diction - the man has a diction affliction! That being said, if you're looking for a combat heavy game, this isn't where you'll find it. There is definitely combat, but there are never battle maps. 

If 3 hour games aren't your thing and you'd like to see a more edited version, you can watch Acquisitions Incorporated: The Series

“Acquisitions Incorporated: The C Team" airs live on Twitch Wednesdays from 4:00 - 7:00pm PST

D&D Game Designer/Writer and DM to the Stars, Chris Perkins leads host and video game personality Anna Prosser Robinson, artist/cosplayer/storyteller Holly Conrad, game reviewer and comedian ProJared, and voice actor/musician Nathan Sharp through the newest D&D published campaigns in Dice, Camera, Action

Current Classes: Paladin, Bard, Sorcerer, Rogue

Style: Good natured fun that gets darker as you go on. Chris Perkins offers lots of difficult decisions and victory is always short lived for "The Waffle Crew." Watching this show is a great way for DM's to see how to weave prewritten campaigns into unique character choices. The game is played online and the players never seem disconnected despite playing from lots of different areas. Due to playing online, this game doesn't typically use maps and as such, works well as a podcast.

Dice, Camera, Action! airs Tuesdays at 4PM PST on the D&D Twitch

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Watch DM Matthew Mercer play Dungeons & Dragons with a group of nerdy ass voice actors in one of the most epic live RPG's on Twitch, Critical Role. Other performers include Same Riegel, Taliesin Jaffe, Marisha Rey, Liam O'Brien, Laura Bailey, Ashley Johnson, and Travis Willingham. The first campaign wrapped up in the fall of 2017 and featured over 100 episodes. The current campaign is nearly 30 episodes strong. The setting is Exandria, a rich fantasy world created by Mercer and expounded upon in both his Tal'dorei and Wildemount campaigns.  

Current Classes: Rogue, Cleric, Monk, Wizard, Barbarian, Warlock

Style: Immersive role play is a hallmark of Critical Role. These performers drop into character and never falter. Character death is a real threat to be feared. Mercer is a tough but fair DM who shows his finesse by playing off of player choices at the drop of a hat and changing tacks quickly. Giant Dwarven Forge maps area a hallmark of this stream. With a huge cast, these actors are  skilled at giving focus to each other and supporting the gift of a storyline that Mercer weaves around them. You will laugh. You will cry. You will love. Your life will probably be changed. If you're not watching or listening to the podcast, it's time to start. 

Critical Role airs 7-11pm PST Thursdays on Twitch

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Produced by Dungeons & Dragons on Twitch, Force Grey explores the Tomb of Annihilation and features Matthew Mercer as the DM, and players Joe Manganiello, Deborah Ann Woll, Brian Posehn, Utkarsh Ambudkar, Dylan Sprouse.

Current Classes: Rogue, Barbarian, Bard, Paladin, Druid.

Style: Matt's fearless attack of NPC role play and the skilled cast wring out all the story telling you could ask for from the campaign module and the pre-edited format makes it very easy to consume the episodes and get a feel for Tomb of Annihilation. 

Style: High production quality and bite sized edited 30 minute episodes make this show less intimidating to consume for new players. 

You can catch up on the Force Grey series here.  

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The female powered roleplaying powerhouse game features Kimberly Hidalgo, Alice Greczyn, Erika Fermina, Rachel Seeley, Allie Gonino, Sujata Day, Kelen Coleman, and DM Kelley Lyn D'Angelo. These talented performers have a whole series of prerecorded and edited 15 minute episodes that make them easy to consume. Ichabod Ferndweller is must see TV. If you're looking for something with a longer format, you can on D&D's Twitch Channel. 

Current Classes: Druid, Ranger, Paladin, Bard, Fighter, Cleric, Barbarian

Style: This fun-loving group is a joy to watch and character races tend towards the fantastical from Tieflings to Pixies to Dragonborn. 

Catch Girls Guts Glory - YouTube - Sundays 3pm PST on the D&D Twitch Stream

There's only one hard and fast rule in Sirens of the Realms and that's that everyone has to take at least one level of bard! Join Dungeon Master and D&D Community Manager Satine Phoenix as she takes an all-girl band on adventures throughout Faerun. This eclectic medley of heroes left the safety of their homes to follow their dreams. What could possibly go wrong? This stream stars  Vivid Vivka, Kate Elliott, Ladee Danger, Cynthia Marie & special guests along the way. 

Classes: Bard, Ranger, Monk, Druid, Wizard

Style: It's great to see a lady heavy game in the space and Satine is an experienced DM whose love of the game and her players shines through. With many special guests like Taliesin Jaffe and Jason Charles Miller. This game makes liberal use of maps, miniatures and interesting foes from across the D&D cannon.

Watch Sirens of the Realms Tuesdays at 6PM PST on the D&D Twitch Stream.

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Adventuring for Dummies: Dragonfire, Betrayal at Baldur's Gate, Rock, Paper, Wizard

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Adventuring for Dummies: Dragonfire, Betrayal at Baldur's Gate, Rock, Paper, Wizard

Let's kick off Dungeons & Dragons: Let's Roll Week One- Adventuring for Dummies!

Many of the D&D board games are great primers or companions for the Player's Handbook.

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Dragonfire is basically the closest thing you can get to playing Dungeons & Dragons without role play. Everyone gets very basic versions of characters based on the classic RPG archetypes with relevant statistics - you can familiarize yourself with the feelings of playing lot of classic characters and using their abilities without the pressure of building a character from the ground up and looking at a million numbers on a character sheet. 

No need for a Dungeon Master! Adventure Cards lay out the stories in a series of scenes with individual set ups and guide you through each scenario. 

Each turn has 7 phases which is a great prep for rounds of combat in traditional Dungeons and Dragons 5th edition where each player can take a series of three actions during their turn.  When you're done with Dragonfire, 3 actions in combat will seem like a piece of cake!

In Dragonfire, certain Different damage types prepare you for the strengths of the classes you can choose to play in D&D and certain encounters in Dragonfire require certain damage types to defeat. This can be a key factor for those struggling to choose between a few classes. 

Learn more about the rules from Becca Scott and "How It's Played."

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One of the key experiences of Dungeons & Dragons is revealing dungeons, caverns, and keeps bit by bit as you explore - never knowing what might come around the bend! Betrayal at Baldur's Gate by Avalon Hill mimics this experience very well as players slowly reveal the city and its sewer system turn by turn. 

The game also provides a lot of classic character classes that feature abilities directly out of the Player's Handbook for Dungeons & Dragons 5th Edition. Playing this game will give new players a good entry way to a much loved Dungeons & Dragons location and with less phases and more surprises than Dragonfire, but unlike Dragonfire, it confines you to exploring one city. The two games are very different and if you're someone who loves the Betrayal games, you're sure to adore this installment and get to know more about D&D at the time time. For more details on game play, read our feature on Betrayal at Baldur's Gate

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I can't tell you how many times I've introduced a new player to D&D, they got excited about playing a magic class, and then their excitement was equalled by their confusion and utter terror when it came to actually choosing and employing spells in combat. 

That's where RockPaper, Wizard from WizKids comes in! This game, on its own, is a fun, hand signal driven romp that employs various spells from the D&D universe so you can mess with your friends in a board game setting. You'll see spell classics like Color Spray, Chain Lightning, Anti Magic Shield and more. While you'll almost never see a bunch of wizards flinging spells across the table in 5th Edition combat, this is a great way to get to know the kinds of options you might have available to you, so when you roll that Wizard, Sorcerer, Warlock, or Bard, you have a basic idea of the kinds of effects these spells might have. 

Check out this review from The Dice Tower to learn more about how the game is played. 

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Introducing D&D: Let's Roll

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Introducing D&D: Let's Roll

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We are thrilled to announce that for the next four weeks we are going to featuring a veritable hoard of Dungeons & Dragons content here at Active Player Network!

On Monday, July 23rd, 2018, Hasbro CEO and Chairman Brian Goldner pronounced this year the best in the game's storied history - and we couldn't agree more! In fact, this month we are going to invite adventurers new and old to the table so that together, we can explore this amazing hobby one tool at a time and make sure you have everything you need to join the throngs of rabid RPG enthusiasts and of course,  that D&D veterans to can discover new ways to improve their experience. 

Each week will have a theme featuring products and exciting content! 

Week 1: Adventuring for Dummies

Getting started with Dungeons & Dragons can be very intimidating. We will explore all the board games published by Wizards of the Coast and how they are great entryways for each campaign published by Wizards of the Coast.  These games can help you explore the many realms, features, and characters of the Dungeons & Dragons universe without the staggering time commitment the RPG demands. We'll also cover the 5th Edition Starter Set and it's pre-rolled characters for the adventure The Lost Mine of Phandelver. 

 

Week 2: Quest Accepted!

Now it's time to make sure you have everything you need to start playing, whether you're a Dungeon Master or you're rolling up your first character. We'll also give you some insight into the amazing campaigns published by Wizards of the Coast so that you can choose your own adventure!

Image from  The Curse of Strahd

Image from The Curse of Strahd

Week 3: Getting Mini with It

Owlbear from  Nolzurs Marvelous Unpainted D&D Miniatures  by  Wizkids

Owlbear from Nolzurs Marvelous Unpainted D&D Miniatures by Wizkids

We'll be sharing tips and tricks for building and customizing your miniature collection whether you're a proficient painter, a DM who needs to collect a lot of miniatures quickly to build out their campaign, or you want to find great options for pre-painted products. 

 

Week 4: Advanced Adventuring

Want to take your adventuring to the next level? From customized maps and miniature decor, to ambience for your game room, to Spellbook Cards for all your characters, we've got you covered with all the accessories you can collect to ensure the best quest. 

Spellbook Cards by  Gale Force 9

Spellbook Cards by Gale Force 9

That's not all! Starting on Monday July 30th, we will be starting our D&D: Let's Roll Giveaway!

We want you to GET INVOLVED in D&D: Let's Roll. For participating in our weekly conversations and content with likes, public shares, and comments on Facebook, we'll be entering you for a chance to win the ENTIRE Dungeons & Dragons Campaign Library - including the upcoming Waterdeep Adventures: Dragon Heist and Dungeon of the Mad Mage. All this loot could be yours!

For more information on how you can win, click here

Let us be your guide to the amazing world of Dungeons & Dragons. What say you? You bring the dice, we'll bring the discourse. Let's Roll!

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