Since its creation in 1974, the roleplaying game Dungeons and Dragons has enjoyed massive popularity among people who love to use their minds to create new and interesting worlds. Dungeons and Dragons can also help players develop and strengthen executive functioning skills such as Planning, Organization, Focus, and Self-Awareness. And there are now more ways than ever to introduce yourself to D&D. The game now features several different ways to play, opening the door for new players to learn about this game without making a huge initial investment. Here are ten free resources that will come in handy if you want to learn more about the game, or get a campaign started for your family and friends. And if you are interested in learning about how D&D can help your child develop their Self-Awareness skills, click here to see our course offerings.
Best Resource for Playing Online: Roll 20
Roll 20 is a site that allows you to create your own campaign, maps, and character sheets and connect with your other players online. With many people still social distancing and staying at home, this is a great resource for creating and playing D&D while it may still be difficult to gather all of your family and friends together in person. Roll 20 has artwork available or the user can upload their own for a more customized experience. Setting up an account is completely free, so this is a great resource for people who want to try playing Dungeons and Dragons without making a big purchase to start with.
Best All Around Resource for Information About the Game: D&D Beyond
This is an official page for Dungeons and Dragons where the user can create their own character sheets, learn the rules of the game, make their own monsters, and plan out encounters. There are also premade adventures available for purchase through the site if you feel intimidated by making your own campaign. This site also goes through all of the different races and classes available in a very comprehensive way. The site can be quite dense and a little intimidating at first, but for users who really want to delve into D&D, the main resources needed are free to peruse at your leisure.
Best Generator of Random Campaign Items: DonJon
One of the most fun elements of Dungeons and Dragons is being able to use your creativity to come up with the world your characters will inhabit. But if you need a little help in this department, the website DonJon has you covered. The site may look simple but it contains several different generators for everything ranging from character names to fantasy calendars to randomized adventures. The user can simply click on any of the links and get tons of new ideas for creating their characters and campaigns. And best of all, the resource is free to use, meaning that all of this inspiration will not cost a dime.
Best Site for Inspiration: Raging Swan Press 20 Things Archive
If creating a campaign with many tiny details seems a little overwhelming, Raging Swan Press has the site for you. Their 20 Things Archive is a group of lists that are designed to help the creator flesh out a world that seems both fantastical and real at the same time. For free, the user can browse list topics such as 20 Strange Magic Effects, or 20 Things to Find in a Dusty Crypt. If you are short on time or just need some inspiration, this is a wonderful site full of free ideas. Raging Swan press also features premade campaigns that are very reasonable in price if you just want to start playing and focus less on building your own campaign.
Best Site for Big Campaigns: Azgaar’s Map Generator
If you are creating a long campaign where your players will be visiting multiple locations, consider a visit to the free site Azgaar’s Map Generator. Here you can create an amazingly realistic world map that is tailored to your campaign. You can name the countries, set the map up by different boundaries (political, cultural, etc.) and save them for use in your in-person or online games.
What questions do you have about starting or running a Dungeons and Dragons campaign? Post your questions in the comments below!