Table-Top Roleplaying 101

I recently had my first RPG Game Night at my library. There were 13 attendees. We played Pathfinder. Step 1: Get everyone to shut up and stop tackling each other! Step 2: Make characters. Step 3: Hope you have another hour to start a battle or some roleplaying. Success!!

Okay, so here’s what you need to do if you want to start some tabletop RPing at your library. By that I mean, roleplaying. And by that I mean, if you’re teens have been asking you to teach them how to play D&D, or Dungeons and Dragons, this is what you should do!

1. Contact your local gaming store. It could be a comic book shop, an anime store, a combo video games/trading card games place. Find it, find several, and email/call/stop by to talk to someone about Dungeons and Dragons and Pathfinder.

2. What is Dungeons and Dragons (D&D) and what is Pathfinder? They are tabletop role-playing games. Get a more detailed answer from the creators here! Pathfinder is similar to D&D, but the game mechanics and rules are slightly different, and it allows for other world settings.

3. What should I play? Welp, ask your teens. Some of them may have heard good or bad things about Pathfinder or D&D, they may have preferences. Figure out what your teens want.

4. We’ve decided to play D&D! What should I do now?! Get supplies, do research! This is where your local game store employees come in: they’ll have the supplies you need, they have the knowledge you want. Consult them and they will guide you! Here is a starter list of what you’ll need:

+Dungeons & Dragons 4.0 Starter Kit:

-D&D 4.0 Dungeon Master’s Guide (that comes with a gridded battle mat)
-D&D 4.0 Player’s Handbook (At least 2 copies)
-D&D 4.0 Monster Manual {Find all three of those books here. But first, check your library’s collection. You may have them already, or maybe version 3.5 or 3.0, and those will work just fine.}dice
-Several sets of dice many–sided dice. (see photo ——->)
Character sheets (enough for each player, and then a few extra for mistakes)
-Mechanical pencils (LOTS of them)
-Tokens used to represent players on a battle mat (we used My Little Pony figures once. You can also use dice, purchase miniatures or cardboard tokens, or print out images from the internet and laminate them to make your own tokens!)
-A calculator or three
-Snacks. This is required. Fighting dire wolves and monstrous spiders and half-orc barbarians is hard work!

At your first D&D program: Don’t expect any actual roleplaying to happen. You have to explain to the teens how to play, and then make characters. This is a complicated and time consuming process. If you wish to do this I suggest you intimately study your DMG and PHB (Dungeon Master’s Guide and Player’s Handbook). You can bypass this difficulty by using premade characters, such as these here and here!

At your second D&D program: You will want to run an adventure. You can again choose the difficult and time consuming path and write one on your own. Again, consult the DMG and PHB in depth. You may also use premade adventure modules, such as there here and here.

Expect problems, expect delays, expect confusion, expect unexpected difficulties, but most of all expect an amazing and magical time. Your teens will love becoming fantastical characters with incredible abilities like sneak attach, fireball, and shooting a dire rat through the eye from 80 ft away. Trust me. This is all worth it. Here are some more resources available to you:


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