Skip to main content
A beginner putting together their first character sheet to join a Houston Dungeons and Dragons group.

A Beginner's Guide to Playing Houston Dungeons and Dragons

Dungeons and Dragons, often abbreviated as D&D or DnD, is a fantasy tabletop role-playing game (RPG) created in the 1970s. It has become an iconic part of geek culture and has seen a resurgence in popularity in recent years. This guide will help you get started with the game and find a Houston Dungeons and Dragons community that you can join and play.

Understanding Dungeons and Dragons

At its core, D&D is about storytelling. One player, known as the Dungeon Master (DM), guides the game and tells the story. The DM describes settings, controls non-player characters (NPCs), and determines the results of the players' actions based on rules and dice rolls. The other players create characters and navigate the DM's world, interacting with its inhabitants, solving puzzles, battling enemies, and collecting treasures and knowledge.

The game is generally played in sessions, each lasting a few hours. Some stories can be completed in one session, but often they extend over weeks, months, or even years. The game is largely improvised, with the players making decisions for their characters and the DM shaping the world and its response to those decisions. It’s like a collective choose-your-own-adventure book! Finding the right Houston D&D playing group for you may take some time, but when you've found other players that you click with, the experience is like nothing else! 

What You Need to Get Started

Getting into and finding a Texas Dungeons and Dragons group is a relatively low-cost hobby. Aside from the need for a playgroup, you can start with as little as some paper, pencils, and a set of dice. However, having the core rulebooks and some additional accessories can enhance the game. Here's a list of what you might need:

Basic Equipment

Dice: D&D uses a set of seven dice, including different numbers of sides: d4, d6, d8, d10, d12, d20, and a percentile die (another d10 for 00-90).

Pencil and Paper: To record your character information and take notes during the game.

Recommended Items

Player's Handbook: This is the core rulebook for players. It includes rules for character creation, combat, spellcasting, and more.
Character Sheets: Preformatted sheets to record your character's abilities, skills, equipment, and backstory.

Battle Mat: A grid on which you can draw to help visualize combat. Not required, but it can enhance gameplay, especially for more complex battles.
Optional Items:

Dungeon Master's Guide: If you plan to DM your Texas Dungeons and Dragons sessions, this book provides a wealth of information on building and running a game.

Monster Manual: Again, more for DMs, this book is a catalog of creatures players might encounter.

Miniatures: These small figures can represent your character and enemies on the battle mat.

Additional Sourcebooks and Adventure Modules: There are many more books to expand your game, including additional rules, new character options, and pre-made adventures.

All of these items are available at hobby stores or online. If you're not ready to invest yet, there are also free resources online, like basic rules and character sheets available on the official D&D website.

Getting Started with D&D

Here are the basic steps to start playing D&D:

Step 1: Learn the Basics

Before you start playing, you should familiarize yourself with the basic rules. The Player’s Handbook is your best resource for this, but the basic rules available on the D&D website are a good start.

Step 2: Create Your Character

Your character is your avatar in the D&D world. You'll choose a race (like an elf or dwarf), a class (like wizard or paladin), and a background. You'll also determine your character’s abilities and choose skills, equipment, and possibly spells.

Step 3: Find a Group

D&D is a social game, so you'll need to find a local Houston Dungeons and Dragons group to play with. Check local gaming stores, community centers, or online platforms.

Step 4: Play the Game

Join a game and start playing! D&D can be complex, but remember that it's about fun and storytelling. Don’t worry if you don’t know all the rules at first. Experienced players and the DM in your Texas Dungeons and Dragons group will help you along.

Finding a Houston Dungeons and Dragons Community

If you're in Houston, Texas, you're in luck. There is a vibrant Houston D&D scene with many game stores and clubs. Here are some places where you can find a Texas D&D game:

Game Stores:

8th Dimension Comics & Games on West Road has a wide selection of RPG materials and hosts regular D&D games.
Asgard Games on Shepherd Drive also hosts D&D nights and has a good selection of materials.
Nan's Games & Comics Too on Southwest Freeway is Houston’s oldest game store and a great place to find D&D games.

Clubs and Meetup Groups:

Houston Tabletop RPG Meetup is a group dedicated to all types of tabletop RPGs, including D&D. They have regular meetups and welcome players of all experience levels.
Houston Geek Girls is a welcoming group for women who enjoy geeky pursuits, including D&D.

Online Platforms:

Roll20, Meetup, and Facebook Groups: Look for local Houston D&D groups on these platforms. With the rise of virtual tabletop platforms like Roll20, many games are played online, which can be a great way to start.

Remember, respect, inclusivity, and collaboration are key in D&D games. Always ensure you're contributing to a positive environment for everyone at the table. Now, gather your party, venture forth, and let the dice roll where they may!