Holy fireballs, Nooblets! The world has become a very scary place in just a few short weeks. We, just like the brave characters in our campaigns, have been called forth to save the world. Maybe not with swords, spells and other weaponry, but by staying locked in our homes to protect ourselves and those around us.

Iron man sitting on a couch

I know it doesn’t feel like we’re doing much at all by just sitting on our couches staving off boredom, but every second we spend at home, we are potentially saving hundreds of lives. Boredom is our enemy though, and social distancing can be a D&D player’s worst nightmare. Since we all have some time on our hands and we’ve binge-watched all there is to binge-watch, why not get stuck into your character creation? I’ll tell you a little bit about some helpful tools you’ll need…

Why, though?

I know what you’re thinking – “We can’t actively play right now, because were saving the world from our living rooms, so whats the point of starting now?” Don’t be such a “Negative Nancy”! If you think about it, all those excuses not to start playing D&D that we discussed in a previous article don’t seem so relevant anymore, do they? If you’re thinking that there really isn’t a point in starting now because social distancing will probably still be a thing for quite a while, you couldn’t be more wrong.

gamer with headphones eating pizza in front of computer screen
Who says you can’t connect with your friends during a lock-down?

I highly recommend checking out this article by our brilliant resident-DM about playing D&D remotely. We’ve had a few sessions in the current campaign we’re playing and its been a lot of fun! Of course there are some different dynamics and tools to get used to, but if you’ve done some online gaming with your friends with the use of Discord or similar programs, it should be a breeze. It’s different, but that doesn’t have to be a bad thing. This not only gives you the opportunity to safely hang with the gang, but also presents the perfect opportunity for your more introverted pals, or those who live far away, to join in the fun from a more comfortable environment. Technology is the most helpful tool you have at your disposal and it’s simple enough to get the hang of.

Party going on side-quest for loot vs the literal end of the world

The basics…

Chances are that you have a good idea of the character you’d like to play. If not, check out some of my previous articles where I try to simplify the process for you. Once your character is good to go, you’ll need a few things to get you going. The most important of these will be your character sheet and your dice. You don’t really need much else to actively play. Here’s how to get your hands on these need-to-haves…

Character sheets

Fancy character sheet

Character sheets are available online to download and print. Please make sure from your DM which character sheet you’ll need as there are may different ones available. If printing out a paper version of your character sheet isn’t possible at the moment or if you’d prefer to remain paperless, you have the option of downloading an online version you can add all your details to or even find a mobile app that can assist you in setting up a character sheet. I know the character sheet can seem a little daunting if you’ve never filled one out before, but your DM will assist you in rolling your stats and explaining what goes where. I will also be breaking down the character sheet in a future article to help our first-timers understand it better. Watch this space…


Goblin holding a d20 dice

It’s very exciting getting your hands on a set of gorgeous “clacky math rocks”. Maybe it’s time for a new set or perhaps you haven’t invested in your first yet, take a look at some of the truly awesome ones online. If you haven’t taken the plunge into your soon-to-be dice addiction yet, that’s OK. There are many online dice rollers available and, if you’re going to play your campaign remotely, chances are that whatever program your DM decides on using, will probably have have a built-in dice rolling mechanic. If you prefer to use your own, check out this great article on dice rollers to help you find one you like.

Useful nice-to-haves…

There are loads of websites and apps out there dedicated to everything from rules to spells and even stat trackers. We’ve compiled a list, on our Player’s tools page, to make it very easy to find just the tool you need to make your game play easier and more fun.

Come to my shed out back I can show you my tools maybe even my special tool hmm
Our tools are safe, I swear!

If you’re just starting out, it’s best to stick with the basics and play around with the other stuff as you go along and gain a better understanding of what you’ll need. to start out with, I do recommend having a tool handy that can assist you with looking up certain rules, I find this Quickref quite useful.

Its always worth having better knowledge and understanding. For someone who hasn’t played 5e before or would like to know more about the basics of D&D I highly recommend checking out the following:

Helpful videos:

handbooker helper

Handbooker Helper is a webseries of short informative videos brought to you by the gang at Critical Role. They’re fun, funny and really break down the rules and “how to’s” of D&D into something a lot simpler.


D&D Beyond dndbeyond.com

D&D Beyond is a website with a wealth of information and handy tools that work amazingly well with everything from info to character creation and stat tracking. They even have a very useful app, available on Android and iOS, that makes everything easier. Unfortunately you only have access to the information contained in the manuals you need to download from them, which you need to buy. but if you were planning on investing in the manuals anyway, it’s worth looking into.

Wiki sites:


Wikidot has been very helpful for me for quick look-ups on practically anything. I suggest having this site bookmarked somewhere for times when things get fuzzy or you’re wondering how exactly a certain feat or ability works.

Now that we all have a little bit of extra time on our hands, I urge all you adventurers to take some time and see what else is out there that might be a cool tool to use in your campaigns. If you have any suggestions please let us know about it we’d love to hear your recommendations or just tell us about the ways you like to simplify your game-play. We’re always excited to learn more!

Remember to keep safe and care for one another! Enjoy exploring from afar, Friends.

Lize Eloff

The resident goth-geek with a gaming problem. Loves D&D so much, she decided to marry a DM. Avid reader, writer and lover of words.


Lets Discuss?