So, you've learned some of the DnD jargon. Congratulations. Unfortunately for you, being able to understand me when I say, "Oh! I got a critical attack roll with the d20! And now I get to take eight HP against him, without rolling my D8!" does not mean you are a D&Der.*. Sorry.
To really, truly, and completely learn how to play Dungeons and Dragons, you're going to have to have the right equipment. First of all, you're going to need your own set of dice. You can usually find these at gaming stores**, at math stores, at school supply stores, at toy stores, and even online.
Tips for choosing your dice:
1. Make sure you're buying an entire set. An entire set will contain one D20, one D12, one set of percentage dice, one D10, one D8, one D6, and one D4. This is usually good enough, although if you're a 'real' gamer, you'll probably end up with at least one full set, and then another set of just D6s.. Possibly more than one real set. My family has probably about seven sets of dice (although we've lost several dice... haha.)
2. Choose dice that you like. That is to say... You're going to be gaming with these dice, you better make sure they look cool. 'Cool' differs in many peoples minds... For some people, 'cool' is a pre-packaged dice set from the DnD store. For others it's a glow in the dark set of dice. For others it's neon yellow, or marbled blue. It really just depends. But either way... Buy the dice you like. I had a brightish blue set, that looked kind of like stone, for the longest time. I loved those dice. I now have a plain, clearish dark blue. They're still good dice, but I'd actually kind of prefer my older dice.
*You're just a newbie. And you don't stop being a newbie until you've been knocked unconscious at least once, and no longer even blink when you get cursed and you can't see a thing. I'm sorry.
**Dice shops. That's another geeky post coming up... Those places can be creepy.
So you now have your dice. Is that it?
That'd be too easy.
No, now you have to go out and get your own set of some fairly expensive, but wicked cool books! Woot! Let's hear it for that!
So, first of all, there's two things you need to know when buying DnD books.
1. That you're buying the right types of books
2. That you're buying the edition you want to play with.
The reason I say 'the edition you want to play', is because there are currently four editions. The newest is number four, of course, the second newest is 3.5. I've played both (heck, I think I've played version 2 or 3), but I actually prefer the version 4. I don't know why. Because it's shiny. :) I'd recommend getting the newest version, simply because it's easier to find the books, and a group that plays it.
And then there's the types of books. Here is a guide to add to my already long post, about what types of books you're going to want to get, as a new DnDer. (There are often boxed sets, which contain the Player's Handbook, DM's guide, and the MM... That's an easy way to get them. I have one of those, and I love it.)
(Sorry.... no pictures today... Blogger's photo thing is being stupid... >.<)
Player's Handbook. The Player's Handbook is probably the most important book in the entire set. It contains all the rules that you need to know in order to make a character. It has the class and race features, equipment, armor, scores... It has all the rules to play, if you're a player. There are more Player's Handbooks... Such as Player's Handbook 2, Player's Handbook 3, and so on. These have different races and classes, but the essential rules are in the Player's Handbook 1.
The Dungeon Master's Guide. The DM's Guide has different things in it than the Player's Handbook, as you can probably expect. It has more advanced rules for the game, and specific rules that the DM will have to know. It has tips for writing adventures, running campaigns, creating dungeons, and keeping people on task. My description sounds really dull, but the DM's Guide is actually pretty fascinating. As most of the books, there is also a Dungeon Master's Guide 2, which is equally interesting.
The Monster Manual. The MM is pretty much what it sounds like... the guide to monsters. In the MM there's tables and descriptions for monsters, from Aboleths to Lycanthropes to Magma Beasts, to Zombies. In each table it tells you how to create one of the monsters, how they act, what they do... What level they are. The MM is one of the more uneven books, however, and if you're going to be a 'real' DnDer, you're probably going to eventually want to get at least the MM 2.
D&D Player's Strategy Guide. This is one of the least well known books, since I've only seen it in two or three stores, maybe. However, it's also one of the most fun books to read, since it isn't written as a rule book. Instead, the Strategy guide is what it sounds like... a guide for making the coolest, most awesome characters ever. The pictures are mainly cartoons, many of them humorous. I love this book so much. :)
Adventure Books. There are hundreds of these books. They're adventures, premade adventures... In a book. They can be very useful, and entertaining. You can also download adventures, sometimes from free, and there are many websites for making random dungeons and encounters.
Power Books. These usually contain new races/classes, or different types of classes. For example, in the Player's Handbook 1 there is the 'Fighter' class, with two types of fighter: Great Weapon Fighter, and Guardian Fighter. In the Martial Power book, however, along with different build options for Rangers, Rogues, and Warlords, there are also two new types of fighters, the Battlerager Fighter, and the Tempest Fighter. Using the Power Books, you can generally create any sort of character you could ever want.
Those are just a few of the books out there... But they're mostly the ones that we use at my house. :)
And that's the end for today's quite long, slightly rambly, and completely geeky post. Tomorrow, if anyone's reading this, I'll probably have a new one. Like... Character Sheets or something. :P