I am interested in joining the role-playing scene, and have an interest in joining a campaign-particularly a Dungeons and Dragons campaign. But, with little experience, I'm not sure what I should bring to my first session.

What should I be prepared to bring as a new player to my first ever role-playing session? What books should I bring so that I'm not caught in the dark?

The system I'll be playing in is 3.5e, with a group of four other players who have all been on this rodeo before. I haven't created my character yet, but the GM says he'll help me with that. He says it's not required, but that we're allowed to use 'non-core books'.


3 Answers 3


Ideally? You don't need to buy anything at all.

You should ask your GM ahead of time if there's anything they specifically want you to bring, but here is the important thing to remember about the books, or any gaming kit really:

It can and should all be shared by players and GM alike

I can think of very few items in a gaming system that cannot be borrowed from another person or easily produced for free. Dice can be lent (most experienced players will have a collection anyway), books can be borrowed (as a beginner, you may want someone else to help you make your character anyway), and character sheets can be printed off the web or simply fabricated with paper and pencil/pen. The Game Master is usually the one responsible for bringing books to a gaming session, so unless you plan on being the Game Master right away (not recommended—experience playing is the best way to learn good game master practice), you can count on the game master for your gaming tools.

Now don't feel like if you've bought a few 3.5e books already that you need to return those books right away. It's easier to make your own character as you see fit when you've got your own copy of the rules. But, don't feel like you must have any particular book to play a game either—a good Game Master will provide for new players, and good players will help new players along.

  • 5
    \$\begingroup\$ As an addendum, if you already own relevant books, it wouldn't hurt to bring them along. When you need to look something up, it's always nice to have an extra book handy. But again, this is just gravy, and not necessary. \$\endgroup\$
    – Dane
    Commented Apr 22, 2014 at 14:56
  • 7
    \$\begingroup\$ I think "bring" is a less useful scope than "read" - it doesn't matter what you physically have in hand but reading the PHB would make one infinitely less clueless at start. \$\endgroup\$
    – mxyzplk
    Commented Apr 22, 2014 at 15:01

A set of dice, a pen, a pencil, a rubber, a pencil sharpener, and a name for your character. They will help you to create it, but you'll have to give it a name!

  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ +1 but for us Americans, rubber means eraser, not condoms, its not that kinda roleplaying. 2) names are hard to know ahead of time if u don't know ur race (maybe class) \$\endgroup\$
    – Ben-Jamin
    Commented Apr 22, 2014 at 18:47
  • \$\begingroup\$ I wouldn't say knowing your class is necessary, but knowing your race, and _what you want the character to be doing in combat, and what non-combat things your character would be good at. The class and abilities and everything sort of fall out from there, except for feats. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Apr 22, 2014 at 21:13

I wouldn't worry about bringing books.

I would print out one or more character sheets (most games have one available online), have your own dice, a couple of pencils and a sharpener (or mechanical pencils), some paper for notes, and a smile. If you're 100% new the dice are even optional.

Also, inquire of your gamemaster or, if going with a friend, have them give you the lay of the land. Some groups expect everyone to bring a bag of chips, something to drink, or money for pizza.

The key thing to remember is gaming is a social activity. Imagine going to a new poker night or to see a friend who always has people over for football. Approach a gaming session the same way.


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