Dungeons and Dragons for Dummies

Dungeons and Dragons for Dummies



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Dungeons and Dragons for Dummies by Bill Slavicsek, Richard Baker

Caught in traffic. Trapped in a cubicle. Stuck in a rut.  Tangled up in red tape.

In the real world, sometimes you feel powerless—but not in Dungeons & Dragons (D & D). In this fantasy-adventure, you have all kinds of special powers. You can slay the evil dragon, overcome the orc or the ogre, haunt the werewolf, and triumph over sinister trolls. You venture into strange realms, encounter strange creatures, and use magical powers. Your character grows and develops with every adventure.

With this guide, you can learn the ins and outs of D & D and start playing right away. Dungeons & Dragons For Dummies gives beginners the basics of the complex game and helps experienced players fine-tune their roleplaying. It guides you through:

  • Creating your character (a powerful fighter, a sneaky rogue, a crafty sorcerer, or a charismatic cleric), and character advancement
  • The races: humans, dwarves, elves, and halflings
  • The types of character actions: attack rolls, skill check, and ability checks
  • The 6 abilities: strength, dexterity, constitution, intelligence, wisdom, charisma
  • Feat requirements and types
  • Playing the game, including moving in combat, attacking with a weapon (melee attacks or ranged attacks), and damage and dying
  • Picking skills, armor, weapons, and gear
  • Choosing spells if your character is a sorcerer or domains for a cleric
  • Building encounter or combat strategies and using advanced tactics
  • Maximizing your character’s power with the acquisition of the right magic items: armor, weapons, potion, scroll, ring, wand, staff, rod, plus wondrous items
  • D & D game etiquette
  • Becoming a Dungeon Master

There’s even a sample play session that walks you through typical play, gets you comfortable using the battle grid and character markers, lets you test player characters against each other and against monsters, and shows you how to add story elements to create an adventure. Produced in partnership with Wizards of the Coast, written by D & D game designers, and complete with a battle grid, a sample dungeon map, and a glossary, this guide arms you with the knowledge to create and equip a character and empowers you to enter the captivating, fascinating world of D & D.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780764584596
Publisher: Wiley
Publication date: 04/18/2005
Series: For Dummies Series
Pages: 432
Product dimensions: 7.44(w) x 9.58(h) x 0.85(d)

About the Author

Bill Slavicsek has been a game designer since 1986 and leads the creative effort for Wizards of the Coast.

Richard Baker is a game developer and author of five Forgotten Realms novels.

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Table of Contents



Part I: D&D Crash Course.

Chapter 1: Preparing for Adventure.

Chapter 2: Your First Character.

Chapter 3: Starting Out as a Fighter.

Chapter 4: Starting Out as a Rogue.

Chapter 5: Starting Out as a Sorcerer.

Chapter 6: Starting Out as a Cleric.

Chapter 7: Playing the Game.

Chapter 8: Practice Session.

Chapter 9: Finding a D&D Game to Join.

Part II: Building a D&D Character.

Chapter 10: Defining Your Character.

Chapter 11: Choosing a Class.

Chapter 12: Figuring Out Your Character’s Ability Scores.

Chapter 13: Picking a Race.

Chapter 14: Selecting Feats.

Chapter 15: Picking Skills.

Chapter 16: Choosing Armor, Weapons, and Gear.

Chapter 17: Choosing Spells.

Chapter 18: Advancing Your Character.

Part III: Playing Your Best Game.

Chapter 19: Handling Yourself in a Fight.

Chapter 20: Making the Most of Magic.

Chapter 21: Roleplaying and Working Together.

Chapter 22: Character Building for Experts.

Part IV: The Art of Dungeon Mastering.

Chapter 23: Running the Game.

Chapter 24: Building a Dungeon.

Chapter 25: Keeping Your Players Happy.

Part V: The Part of Tens.

Chapter 26: The Ten Best Sorcerer Spells.

Chapter 27: The Ten Best Cleric Spells.

Chapter 28: The Ten Best Low-Level Monsters.

Chapter 29: The Ten Best Mid-Level Monsters.

Chapter 30: The Ten Best Dungeon Master Resources.

Chapter 31: The Ten Best Player Resources.

Chapter 32: The Ten Best D&D Novels.



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Dungeons and Dragons for Dummies 4.1 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 9 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Dungeons & Dragons for Dummies is exactly what the title implies, it's and introduction to the long-time and highly popular role-playing game for novices. It's as simple as that. It's not meant to educate long-time players although I did benefit from it for one major reason which I will explain later. The book opens with a short history of the D&D game from its creation by Gary Gygax, born out of war gaming with miniatures. I played for the first time back in 1979 shortly after the introduction of the Advanced Dungeons & Dragons game and the publication of the First DM's Guide, Player's Handbook, and Monster Manual by TSR. The book first covers the basics of just what a role-playing game is. Some veteran gamers are taking offense at this but not EVERYONE knows what a role-playing game is and how they are played. It's hard to explain a game that doesn't really end and where there isn't a traditional winner as in most games. It's a concept that must be experienced to be fully understood. The Authors explain first in brief, and later in great detail the concepts of character creation, race & class selection, alignment, weapons, spells, etc...Several examples of fully created characters are included. Later full chapters are dedicated to all of these different subjects. While it's true that trial and error was always a pitfall, and sometimes a humorous pitfall for new players, this book essentially seeks to educate new players to create the best player they can, rather than one who foolishly selects a pole axe for his main weapon and then wondering why he can't use it in the tight confines of the dungeon. Now I mentioned earlier how veteran gamers might benefit from the books as well as novices. I had left the gaming world for a number of years and only recently have returned to the fold. Dungeons & Dragons has changed a great deal in these past several years. From what was once a game consisting of three main books is now a game with dozens of books, supplements and accessories covering every facet of play. There were new concepts in the game that were foreign to me such as skills, feats, and prestige classes. Now of course I've since learned about all these new additions but I'm sure there are others out there just like me and this book would be a great help to get them caught up on all the changes in the game. In particular the section on prestige classes was very good and featured explanations of all the different prestige classes and their benefits. But even beyond that the book provides very helpful information that even the most experienced gamers can find useful. Tips such as battle strategies and teamwork. Clerics and Sorcerers working together with their spells, flanking strategies for fighters and other interesting tips. But it's not just a players book, it also contains good information for the DM on running a successful game and keeping the players happy (as I recall, lots of Doritos and Beer was always helpful). Everything is about lists today, there are entire TV shows dedicated to the Top 100 of this or the Top 10 of that. Dungeons & Dragons for Dummies has their own lists, too, such as the Top 10 Sorceror/Cleric spells, Top 10 low & Mid level monsters, Top 10 D & D resources, and the Top 10 D & D novels. It's well-written and accurate. While clearly designed for novices, even experienced gamers will find some things of interest. Veteran players should not be so snobbish about this book. The introduction of new blood is always a good thing.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
My son wanted to start playing D&D and we started here. There is enough to get you started and a little more to get your feet wet, and keep you entertained until you are ready to make a deeper commitment to learning and playing the game.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Some kids really into D&D spend hours hunched over those thick books reading the rules and creating a character. With D&D For Dummies, the game is summarized and printed so it is easy to read! This book (like the countless others these brilliant authors have constructed) is a good way for you (or your child) to learn a bit more about this famous and very fun game.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Anybody who is lost in the beginning can find something in here to help them.
Guest More than 1 year ago
this book helped me learn how to play in no time.
Guest More than 1 year ago
5 stars, simply because I believe I have seen everything at this point. Thankfully, it's a book I don't need but it's good for those wanting to learn to play D&D who don't already know how. I may get this book as a reminder that I was at this level once.
Guest More than 1 year ago
To think someone would sink this low. No one needs this book. If you think it's something that will help you then think again..., and get another group to play with perhaps one that actually reads thier books.