Rainy day activities / Unique things to do

A beginner’s guide to Vancouver’s D&D scene

Written by Stephanie Michelle Scott

Vancouver’s tabletop game community offers many places to indulge a passion to meet new people, sharpen the mind or indulge in the dramatic world (if you so wish). 

Start in the Land of Dragons

One of the oldest is one you’ll likely recognize as Dungeons and Dragons (D & D).
If you’ve been thinking about trying it, read on!
Next, look to a local game store for community driven events. Better yet,  jump in, and host one yourself. It’s inexpensive to hire an expert to guide you or consult the online of Dungeons and Dragons to learn the basics on your own.

D & D-what?

A Beholder Monster- Photographed at TN Games

Dungeons and Dragons is a type of tabletop game, in the spectrum of a RPG (role playing game).
Players collaboratively participate in creating a rich story with a beginning, a challenge and the chance (but not a guarantee) to overcome the challenge. The tone and setting is described by the DM (Dungeon Master). Each player takes turns progressing the story by playing their choice of fantasy characters. Dices are used to determine success or consequences of a player’s decisions.
Simple right?

“D & D is a grand adventure. The DM is like the engine of a ship; the players take turns steering.”

Big Pear Games

What to bring to a D & D?

  • You’ll need to assemble a group or join one.
  • Assign the DM role to a player that will create the scenes.
  • Players bring their own polyhedral dice kit (which includes dice of different numbers of sides – a D20, D8, D6 D4 D12, two D10). This set usually starts at $8
  • A Pencil and sheet of paper– to record the events that change your character’s abilities.
  • The Dungeons and Dragons Core Rule book or access to the internet to review rules.
  • Create a character to play. This is possibly one of the most satisfying parts. Be bold, be detailed, create a backstory. There are templates, to help you build your first characters.
  • A Miniature to represent you on the board or grid paper the DM will use to sketch out the scene.

Traditionally Dungeons and Dragons is a fantasy theme with creatures like orcs, hobbits, mages and paladins. Variations exist in every theme ranging from futuristic crime-solving to popular movies.
Part of the thrill of role-playing games is that your character can be played in any way your imagination allows.

D & D words/acronyms you might encounter

  • RPG – Role Playing Game 
  • TTRPG – TableTop Role Playing Game in real life
  • DM – Dungeon Master/Game Master – the player that guides the game
  • PC – Player Characters- The avatars you create for yourself
  • NPC – Non Player Characters – the characters the DM controls
  • Roll a 1d20– “Roll one die, the one with 20 sides”
  • Session– Play over one period
  • Campaign– One complete adventure , composed of several sessions 
  • Attributes– These are character abilities in the games, commonly:  Strength – physical power, Constitution -endurance, Dexterity – agility, Intelligence – reasoning, Wisdom – common sense, Charisma – persuasiveness
  • Roll for initiative– Rolling for the order of attack
  • Natural 1– “natural” describes the roll value without adjustments,  1 on a D20, suggests a devastating consequence likely follows
  • Crit or Critical Hit – when a great roll means additional damages to an opponent. 

Finding Fellow D & D Adventurers

Our city has 1000s of local players.
Your first challenge will be to find a game that suits your preference.
Look for a game with a few experienced players.
I say that because, experienced players are not shy to push the story to imaginative and rewarding limits.

Stranger Things characters playing Dungeons and Dragons clip

Local Game Stores rumoured to host D & D

Hourglass games (Port Moody)

Rain City Games (Downtown & New West)

Drexel games (Kitsilano) 

The Connection (Grandview)

Big Pete’s Collectables (North Vancouver)

Local groups in search of players

Local Events

Go get puzzling!
See you in the realms of wizards.

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