D&D Essentials


If you’re new to D&D, regardless of whether you’re playing in-person or online, there are some items you should have to make your gameplay go smoothly. A few of us have listed some items we consider essential (or maybe just very useful and/or fun), that you may want to have handy before, during and/or after your first session:

Devyn’s Picks

  • Notecards

    These are very helpful for keeping important notes or names down. In addition it is especially useful for me as a Druid to keep my Wild Shape forms on Notecards to remind myself of all of the shapes I can access. Lastly if you are a DM these become very useful for keeping track of NPCs, baddies and encounters.

  • Player’s Handbook

    (Although you can borrow one from others in your group) It is important to have one to better know the rules of the game and even look up things that you may have forgotten. It is a bountiful resource of information that is a must have for any D&D player old or new!

  • Pencils! NO PENS!

    You will be changing a lot of things about your character and getting new items, and then you go to sell them: this adds up to a lot of erasing. Even if you have a large notebook, you will be flying through those pages – pencils and a notebook are definitely your friends!

Kim’s Picks

  • Journal or Notepad

    What’s the name of the city you’re currently staying in? How do you pronounce the name of the baddy you’re currently pursuing? Having somewhere to jot down notes while you play (preferably not just a set of lose sheets of paper) is tremendously helpful.

  • Spellbook Cards

    In my opinion, these are a necessity for spellcasters – they make sorting through & referencing your spells so much easier. I use & love this app: D&D 5 Spellbook Cards

Matt’s Picks

  • SNACKS!!!

    Regardless of how long you are playing for, you will get hungry. Rather than leaving the table and risking the possibility of missing out on some action, bring some snacks with you. Probably stay away from foods that can cause a potential mess or get papers or minis sticky. Or plan in a snack break. Bottom line, no one likes to adventure on an empty stomach.

  • Character Sheet App

    As long as your phone/tablet doesn’t become a distraction, there are quite a few useful apps on mobile market places. One of my favorites is this Fifth Edition Character Sheet app. If you somehow manage to leave your physical one behind, you can input your character information into the app so you always have a backup. It does cost when you level your character up, but I feel it is definitely worth it.

  • Sticky Notes for Your PHB

    Flipping through pages trying to figure out what a certain Feat does can bet tiresome. I use sticky notes to mark pages that I visit often, like certain spells or what the different skills are used for. You can even go all out and place a tab for each Race and Class for quick reference. I like the flag style notes like these.

Something we missed

Is there an item you consider essential to your D&D campaigns that we forgot to mention? Leave it in a comment below & share with your fellow Critters!


D&D Essentials — 9 Comments

  1. Lots of Dice!!!

    basic dice setup:
    1x 4 sided (d4)
    4x 6 sided (d6)
    1x 8 sided (d8)
    1x 10 sided (d10)
    1x 12 sided (d12)
    1 x 20 sided (d20)

    Advance dice setup:
    2x 4 sided (d4)
    6x 6 sided (d6)
    2x 8 sided (d8)
    2x 10 sided (d10)
    1x 12 sided (d12)
    2 x 20 sided (d20)

    you can tell if someone has played D&D before normaly by the amount of dice they carry

    • The more dice the better. I have 8 sets and a bunch of randoms. I use certain dice for different games and depending on if I need to roll high or low. Every beginner needs to go dice shopping.

  2. I always find it useful to keep a notebook to write down things that maybe important in the game. With time between games in an ongoing campaign sometimes you forget things and it is helpful to have a reference. I don’t let note taking distract from what is going on in the game and sometimes things you don’t think are significant end up being important, but it has helped, particularly when there is a good amount of time between games, jog my memory to something that happened several sessions earlier.

  3. Usually we keep out character sheets in a folder along with any notes. It also allows a safe place for us to put our hand outs from the GM.

  4. Love this list, downloaded the apps straightaway, and am working on my dice collection as per comment suggestions. Thanks to all!

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