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9 Dungeons & Dragons Items Essential For A Beginner’s Campaign

When guiding players in a Dungeons & Dragons (D&D) adventure on pen and paper, and when every action and consequence is determined by the action of players and the roll of the dice, preparation is key, and every D&D game has several essential elements and items you’ll want to stock up on. Whether you’re starting out as first-time players, or running your own game as a newly minted Dungeon Master (DM) who controls the whole game for other players, knowing where to start can be confusing. 

If you’re looking for adventure, we’ve compiled a list of everything you’ll need to set out on your next quest, so you can fill your inventory. 


1. Player’s Handbook

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The first thing that any Dungeons & Dragons player picks up is the Player’s Handbook. This massive tome offers you the basics in your pen-and-paper game, from the types of characters to create, the weapons you can use, and the statistics that determine your fate, as well as that the various dice are used for (see nect entry). Yes, there is the digital D&D Beyond which makes it easier for player, and it comes with its own free condensed Basic Rules Handbook, but the fun in any adventure game is the quest. The Player’s Handbook details everything you need to know about D&D as a player, and offers some handy character creation tips.

2. Dice

Of course, you can’t mention D&D without dice, and these are not the basic six-sided dice you find in your everyday board game. The basic set has six – D4, D6, D8, D10, D12, and D20, where the number refers to the sides that each dice has. The seventh is technically a D10, but its used as a perentage die so instead of single digits, it displays its 10 figures in tens. Players can use multiples of a single die in a roll, so some players find that having multiple dice sets is the way to go. There are plenty of intricately designed dice to choose from depending on the vibe you’re going for, and if you’re feeling creative, why not choose one that matches the character you’re playing?

3. Dice Tower

Roll a number of dice and a table and they’ll travel a great distance, and even fall off the table. In comes a vertical structure to drop the dice into, with a built-in tray to collect the dropped dice, and that makes rolling more fun, as a dice tower guarded by an imposing dragon sets the stage of the adventure ahead. This will add an element of surprise to your game, and the dice gods will be ever in your favour. Leave your rolls entirely up to fate, roll your D20, and hope it crits.

4. Miniatures

Miniature figures, or minis, represent your player character on the map, and the best part is that you can paint them however you like! Whether you’re playing an elven sorcerer or an aasimar paladin, there’s a wide range of minis to choose from, or customize and 3D print your own on Heroforge. Heck, there are even minis for some of the more well known monsters in the game (see below).

5. Spellbook Cards

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When in combat, sometimes you just need to cast a few spells in a pinch, and looking them up can be stressful in a time crunch. With spell cards that detail your spells and how to use them, you can strategize your next moves without the hassle. The official spellbook cards are sorted according to class for added convenience, and are handy enough to keep in your pocket.


6. Dungeon Master’s Guide

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Every fledgling Dungeon Master starts somewhere, and that’s usually from the first page of a Dungeon Master’s guide. The tools you’ll need to weave an enthralling tale are within the pages of the guide, detailing worldbuilding, mapping dungeons, monsters that will test your players’ capabilities, and more in a step-by-step process. Once you’ve finished reading the guide, the next step is to assemble your party.

7. Maps & Terrain building 

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For more visual players, maps can help set the scene, plunging players into the action as they place their miniatures on the map. There’s a variety of map setting options themed according to the campaign of your choice, and accessories to build terrain – perhaps you’ll end up building something like Matt Mercer’s many intricate maps on Critical Role.

8. Miniatures

If the players can have a mini to represent themselves, why not have the same for the monsters they fight? Set the stage for an epic battle with miniatures that represent intimidating enemies, and D&D has plenty of options to terrorize your players with. Take your pick from beholders and dragons to skeleton armies, give them a fresh coat of paint, and watch in delight as your players collectively groan when a horrifying monster enters the scene.

9. Dungeon Master’s Screen

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The DM makes the magic in the game happen, and sometimes, it helps to preserve the magic by shielding things from prying eyes. A trusty Dungeon Master’s screen adds some colour to the table, with intimidating red dragons or epic battle screens obscuring your dice rolls in style. DM screens also come with a ‘cheat sheet’ of helpful tips on the inside, such as a list of status effects and what they do, or a sequence of actions to follow,.so you won’t have to look as many things up during encounters.

Dungeons & Dragons is also celebrating its 50th anniversary this year with exciting spellbooks and collaborations with LEGO and Converse coming soon, so there’s never been a better time to get into the game than now!