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Dungeons & Dragons: How to Play
ScoH's Dungeons & Dragons site

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How to play D&D?

    Chances are if you're Just starting to play D&D, you will be completely lost as to what's happening for a few Quests. This page simplifies the objective of the game.

Attacking moves:

    Before attacking, a player's initiative must be determined. This is found by each player rolling 2D6's, (see the Other facts about D&D page), and adding the found numbers together. Then the dungeon master, (DM), will sound off numbers starting at two, going up to twelve. The lower the sum of the numbers you've rolled, the sooner you get to attack. The DM also calculates the initiative of the enemies, so it's possible that they may attack before you.

    On your turn, you have to tell the DM exactly what you are going to do and from where you are doing it. If the DM approves the move, then you get to fight.

    To attack an enemy, you must do three things. First you have to make an ' attack roll ', (a.k.a. " to - hit " number). The attack roll uses a D20, (usually), and determines how accurately you hit. For example, when using a sword, a value of one on the D20 may be so badly hit that the sword might fly out of the players hands and hit someone else. A value of twenty, however, would be so precisely hit that the resulting damage may be higher than normal.

   Accuracy is nothing without power. Now the attacker must see if they were able to do any damage on the enemy at all. To accomplish this, the attacker subtracts their enemy's armor class from thrie own 'THAC0', (To Hit Armor Class Zero: [0]). If the resulting number is equal to, or greater than the number found on the attack roll, (see above), then the hit will be successful.

                             Attacker THAC0 - Enemy AC >= Roll#    :Successful

    Lastly, the 'hit dice' are rolled if the attack roll was successful. Hit dice determine the damage inflicted on an enemy. The dice used in this roll can be of any kind or number.  This damage can be determined by the dice values alone, or a combination of the dice values and the level of experience of the attacker.

Note:    The previous was an example of the most basic attack move. Keep in mind that the attacking values can vary. The THAC0 is an example. It can change because of strength bonuses, weapon bonuses, etc. Also, the enemies may be able to ' save for half ', which means that they only take half the normal inflicted damage. Exactly how this happens in the D&D world is unknown, but most think that the enemy recognizes the attack style, and therefore can defend themselves better.

Hint:    When you attack is it wise to move around a bit, so it will be more difficult for the opponents to hit you. Most players are only allowed to move 12 spaces on the map, per round. Warning: if you move all 12 spaces in an attacking round, you will have no chance to attack. Therefore, Only move around a bit, but not at the sacrifice of your turn, unless you have nothing to fight with.

    When you have attacked once, or as many times as you are allowed to attack per round, you cannot attack again until all of the other players and enemies have had their turn.

    If you are damaged by an opponent, then you take the damage given if it was done with a normal weapon, (e.g. a sword). Otherwise, you may be able to get less damage, if it was done by, lets say, a magical item. In that case, you can roll a saving throw. Your saving throws are determined when setting up your character. The saving throw chances are usually less than 50%, but when faced with certain destruction, they can come in handy. Rolling under your specific saving throw value will usually allow you to get only half of the inflicted damage.

    If wounded, you can either get healed by ' walking it off ', or by a priest or healing potion. The latter two are preferred.

    A blue dragon, with dwarves

    Important things to get in the game:

EXPERIENCE POINTS!!! Experience points are points rewarded to you by the dungeon master for accomplishing a hard task. The more 'XP' ,(Experience Points), you get, the faster you make it to a higher level; and the faster you get to a higher level, the more items you get to help you live longer. XP are mostly given for fighting and destroying enemies. However, if you come up with a smart idea, solution to a problem, or find a cool way to finish someone off, extra XP can be awarded to you. Believe me, those extra points add up! A harder way to earn XP is to play your character well. For example, if your alignment, (personality), is lawful or chaotic good, then you would go around doing good deeds wherever you could. I do have to tell you, though, that most DM's rarely award XP for playing your character well.

    Character death:

    Once all of your hit points have been exhausted to a value of zero, your character will enter a coma state. If plunged into negative numbers, then the character is dead; but not completely. The character can still be regenerated by a priest or healing potion, as long as the character does not go below their constitution value. Once beyond that, the character is dead - dead, and the player must start a new character.