Despite its current boom in popularity, Dungeons & Dragons can be an intimidating game to start playing. The rulebooks are thick, the character sheets are covered in numbers, and it can be hard to tell an action, bonus action, item interaction, and reaction apart in the heat of combat.
A huge part of easing new players into the game is picking the right adventure, especially if players are making use of pre-written campaigns. Even some excellent and well-loved published campaigns are not ideal for new players. Some, on the other hand, provide the perfect gentle beckoning hand to make sure the new player at the table gets hooked.
8 Lost Mines Of Phandelver Is The Starter Adventure
A module specifically-designed for the game’s starter set will rarely be a wrong choice to introduce new players to the game, and Lost Mines of Phandelver does this job well. Taking players through the essentials of combat, exploration, interaction and intrigue, it is a robust and enjoyable introduction that new players will likely love.
There are some sticking points – a notorious ambush by goblins early on is known as a particularly luck-based and lethal encounter – but nothing that can’t be handled by the players, particularly with a DM who wants to help the new players enjoy their game.
7 The Wild Beyond The Witchlight Is Low-Combat
Combat is unquestionably the most complex part of the rules of Dungeons & Dragons, occupying a lengthy section of the book in its own right and interacting with nearly every other rule in the game. Although it is essential for new players to get the grasp of it, drowning them in combat may be intimidating rather than thrilling.
As such, The Wild Beyond the Witchlight can prove an excellent module for a new player. Although not lacking in combat, it deliberately emphasizes other aspects of the game, and its whimsical-yet-dark tone and fairy tale theming can appeal to people who might be wary of more straightforward medieval fantasy.
6 Icewind Dale: Rime Of The Frostmaiden Is Challenging But Rewarding
Avoiding a punishing level of difficulty is essential in keeping new players interested in the game, but that doesn’t mean a campaign has to provide an easy victory to be enjoyable. A balance has to be struck and, for new players who want a bit of challenge, Icewind Dale: Rime of the Frostmaiden can be the perfect entrypoint.
Starting low level and progressing at a slow and steady pace, it serves as an engaging introduction to the game. It comes complete with a memorable setting and a relatively open storyline that naturally condenses into a coherent plot and difficulty that is tense, but not oppressive.
5 Waterdeep: Dragon Heist Is A Low-Level Romp
The majority of pre-written campaigns for Dungeons & Dragons Fifth Edition start at first level – or at least low-level – and typically continue until roughly level 10. There are exceptions, including some campaigns that start at higher levels or go further.
Waterdeep: Dragon Heist is notable for ending at a lower level than many other adventures, only progressing from levels 1 to 5. For unsure new players, it’s shorter than most campaigns while still introducing players to the essential elements of the game. This is complemented by the fact that it has an intriguing storyline that’s sure to engage newbies.
4 Storm King’s Thunder Has A Good Sense Of Scale
One of the earlier adventures released for 5e, Storm King’s Thunder puts the player characters up against an iconic creature of fantasy, the giant. Running from first level to tenth, it starts the players off small with local goblin problems, before ramping up at a sensible pace to the affairs of giants.
The campaign starts off simply, welcoming new players, and then continues to guide them along an increasingly epic adventure. Although Storm King’s Thunder is notorious for the amount of work it places on the DM, run well it could be the perfect introduction for many players.
3 Ghosts Of Saltmarsh Is An Anthology That Works As A Campaign
There have been three campaign books released for 5e that serve as anthologies, containing a number of largely-unrelated adventures ideal for one-shots or for inserting into an ongoing campaign. Of these, one is well-equipped to serve as a campaign in its own right, and ideal for new players.
Ghosts of Saltmarsh contains a wide selection of adventures for a range of levels, but also contains the crucial glue holding the narrative together in the town of Saltmarsh. With the right DM, the book can create a campaign that gives players an unusual amount of freedom while slowly introducing them to core pieces of the game, invariably hooking new players.
2 Strixhaven: Curriculum Of Chaos Starts The Players As Freshmen
A crucial hurdle in interesting new players in the game is getting them to ‘buy in’ to the game. Medieval fantasy can still be a hard sell for many despite the success of shows like Game of Thrones, and The Witcher, with many potential players reluctant to jump into the genre.
The newest campaign released for 5e, Strixhaven: Curriculum of Chaos instead reminds players of college and of stories like Harry Potter, all far easier for a lot of people to grasp. With an emphasis on organic moments and recreating the feeling of university over combat and adventure setpieces, this book is different from many campaigns, but still a good welcome for many newcomers.
1 Dragon Of Icespire Peak Is For Newcomers
Years after Lost Mines of Phandelver and the Starter Set, Wizards of the Coast released the ‘Essentials Kit’ for 5e, complete with its own introductory adventure: Dragon of Icespire Peak. Quickly invoking one half of the name of Dungeons & Dragons, the adventure is clearly designed to hook new players quickly.
With varied and interesting starting quests, introductions to all the game’s major areas, and a climactic fight against an iconic monster, Dragon of Icespire Peak contains all the ingredients for a DM to bring new players into the game and have them fall in love with it.
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