Everything You Need to Play D&D From the Comfort of Your Home

An overwhelming majority of people are practicing responsible “social distancing,” and lots of places have issued orders minimizing the size of gatherings. While it’s unlikely your D&D group has more than 10 people, it’s a good idea to keep your distance anyway.Thankfully, we live in 2020, so there are great ways to keep your D&D campaign running, or even start a new one, all from the comfort of your couch. Or computer desk.

What You Need to Play D&D Online

Most importantly, you still need other people to join your digital campaign, but we’re assuming you’ve got that part covered. Honestly, if you’ve already got your own rulebooks (or want to play for free with the basic ruleset), you just need a chat service like Google Hangouts or Discord and some dice. That said, for as close to the full experience as you can get, you’ll want to find a virtual tabletop — and for that, we recommend Roll 20.

Roll20

Roll20 is pretty much the be-all, end-all when it comes to organizing and playing tabletop RPGs online. There are so many features to make online play as easy, and in some cases easier, than organizing a real-life meetup. You can get a lot of use with jus

You might think of Roll20 as just an online Dungeons & Dragons solution – which it is – but it also supports dozens of other games like Pathfinder, Starfinder, Cyberpunk, even older versions of D&D like 3.5 and AD&D. It also has a robust community and game-matching services, so if you don’t have a dedicated group to play with, you can just find one. There are other resources for this, too, like the party-forming subreddit r/lfg.

Honestly, the Roll20 suite of tools is robust enough that we could write an entire wiki about it (though thankfully, R20 already took care of that), but even just creating a free account and messing around with its interface a bit is enough to get you one step closer to playing D&D remotely with your friends.If you’re using the popular D&D Beyond tool to keep track of your character sheets, magic items and more, you’ll want to consider installing the Beyond 20 Chrome extension. It allows you to make (almost) all of your rolls in Roll 20 straight from your D&D Beyond character sheets, which will save you and your party a ton of time otherwise spent converting them between platforms.

If you’re in need of adventure ideas, R20 has plenty of official D&D content available for purchase in their digital library, or you can check out a free adventure that they’re releasing from the new Critical Role sourcebook. For communication, Roll20 also has video and voice chat integration, but depending on what works best for your group, other chat services (like the aforementioned Discord or Hangouts) work just fine, too.

Dungeons & Dragons Core Rulebook Set

Wizards of the Coast

Dungeons & Dragons Core Rulebook Set

This is the easiest way to get all three core Dungeons and Dragons rulebooks in one fell swoop. Not only are the books and a DM screen part of this packaged set, but they come in an attractive dust cover.

Dungeons & Dragons Player's Handbook

Wizards of the Coast

Dungeons & Dragons Player’s Handbook

This is the barest minimum you need for D&D books, if you want to get serious.

Dungeon Master's Guide

Wizards of the Coast

Dungeon Master’s Guide

A must-have for potential DMs, but not required for general play.

Monster Manual

Wizards of the Coast

Monster Manual

The Monster Manual is the least crucial of the core books, but it’s still awesome.

D&D Dice

There are plenty of digital dice rollers out there, from the 3D ones that everyone can see on Roll20 to the one that comes up when you search “Dice Roller” on Google – but they’re nowhere near as fun rolling your own. Even if you’re playing remote sessions, there’s something incredibly satisfying about rolling physical dice and seeing how they play out. Just be aware: no one is going to believe you rolled 3 crits in a row, even if you weren’t lying.

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Multi-Sided Dice

On Amazon

At the minimum, you’ll want a D4, D6, D8, D10, D12, D20 (you can use the D10 for percentage rolls, or get a set with 10-sided die with multiples of 10). Most of the sets you’ll find online have the dice you need. It’s up to you to decided how fancy you want to go.

A basic set of resin dice will set you back a few bucks. A set of dice made of gems recovered from the bowels of the Earth, shaped and engraved with runes, will set you back considerably more. If you’re running a game, you’ll need more dice, so consider picking up dice in bulk.

Icons of the Realms: Baldur’s Gates: Descent into Avernus Complete Set Gallery

Let us know in the comments if you’ll be getting a party together for some digital dungeon delving, and for more D&D on IGN, check out our full playthrough of the latest D&D adventure run by one of its writers, or how Baldur’s Gate 3 is adapting the tabletop DNA into video game form.


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