This is for 5e, I need an explanation of progression, skills, and stats, and how they all work. This might be a heavy question, so if there's a simple book that explains this stuff, I'd like to know what it is. It probably does exist, and I'm irresponsible for not locating it, but I guess that's my question. If there's a book/website/etc. that teaches me how to play the game in terms of character progression, skills, stats, magic, weapons, items, all of that. I'm extremely new to D&D and I'd love to learn the game to play with my friends.


3 Answers 3


The Player's Handbook is the book that has all of the core rules and player character options. However, there are other options if you're overwhelmed or have limited cash.

Free Resources

  • Basic Rules is an official supplement that has the basic rules and content of the game. These are a sample of the rules you can find in the Player's Handbook

  • 5th Edition SRD is an unofficial wiki that has many of the content and rules found in the Player's Handbook.

Non-Free Resources

  • Starter Set is a product specifically designed to introduce new players to the game and tabletop roleplaying games in general.

  • Player's Handbook is the official rulebook for the game and has all of the core content of the game.

  • Dungeon Master's Guide is the official rulebook for running a campaign and teaches you how to be the Dungeon Master (the player responsible for creating adventures).

  • \$\begingroup\$ I'm going to say -1 because I think the PHB is a bad thing to lead with. No edition's PHB has ever (in my opinion) been a good way to learn the game from scratch. The starter set, for example, would be a much better way to learn the basics of the game. \$\endgroup\$
    – nitsua60
    Commented Oct 19, 2017 at 1:14
  • \$\begingroup\$ The phb is poetry effective at teaching the basics. \$\endgroup\$
    – Pliny
    Commented Oct 19, 2017 at 12:33
  • \$\begingroup\$ @nitsua60 The 5th Edition PHB does a good job holding your hand without withholding any of the rules or content. 5th Edition was designed specifically with new players in mind. When my friends and I first tried to learn D&D, we got frustrated with 4th Edition's red box because it didn't actually have the rulebook for us to learn. My friend bought it because when he asked what to buy, everyone said "buy the red box." He felt like he wasted his money because he bought the product that didn't have the full experience. Sometimes, even gateway products can be a barrier. \$\endgroup\$
    – Cyrad
    Commented Oct 19, 2017 at 13:50

To learn the basics, a great place to start is the D&D Starter Set. It not only covers the basic rules, but has pre-generated characters and an adventure that will bring them from level 1 to level 5.


If you don't want to spend the $20, you could also go with the D&D Basic Rules which are free to download:


Once you've gotten comfortable with these, then you could make the investment to get the Player's Handbook.


The teaching guide you are looking for is called the Player's Handbook. That is the core rulebook for 5e (and indeed most tabletop games have a comparable core rulebook) and it will explain all that you need to know to begin playing the game.


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