The Mechanics Of The Game

Of course the day I commission an artist to draw Autumn I end up ruining her hair in the session that day.

Look, she was being hunted and thought if she cut her hair short and stain it with soot it would help her escape. However, she ends up cutting her hair diagonally so it comes down to her neck on the left and almost reaches her back at the right. Maybe there is some magic hairdresser that can fix it? I hope so. In fairness, it kinda worked but I am still a bit salty about it.

Rant over, sorry about that, let’s begin.

This is the second part of Dungeons: Does and Don’ts. In the first entry, I gave general advice for new players of Dungeons and Dragons. This time around I want to give some insight to newcomers and advice about the technical side of the game.

Acadieum Commissions - DND OC
Autumn by Acadieum

This was what I struggled with the most when I started and even now months later I still get puzzled from time to time. Please keep in mind that I am by no means an expert and this is just personal advice.

If you know someone who has been playing longer than me and they claim I got something wrong, chances are they are right. I’m doing my best here!

One critical piece of advice I can give you right off the bat that will sound like common sense but still, write down all of your spells and skills.

I don’t just mean the names and the basics on your character sheet, but jot down in a notebook all the elements of the spells and skills then keep it beside you as you play.

This will save you so much time instead of flicking through your handbook. For example, what dice do you roll for it? What is the AOE? How long does the effect last? You get the idea. The more familiar you get with the mechanics of the spells, the more creative you can get with them.

In my last session, Autumn used mage hand to try and pull people out of a burning building. She also has a bag of tricks which can summon eight different creatures to fight for her. The creature is described as is everything by a roll of the dice so my DM gave me a sheet listing what roll summons what creature.

My dear Autumn is an Arcane Trickster which means she can do some magic such as mage hand but mostly relies on stealth, shadows and surprise attacks to get the job done. However, it took me a while to really get used to that as typically when it comes to combat in any game I’m often a DPS kind of gal.

Moodboard I made for Autumn

Then when she did get magic back at level three (currently she is level seven) I relied on that too much. Learn from my mistakes folks and be careful when picking your class. Whatever you pick does define how you fight and to an extent how you interact with the world overall.

Be aware of your stats as they dictate what you can or can’t do. Well, that’s not exactly true, you can try to do pretty much anything as the outcome comes down to the luck of the dice but your stats impact the result.

Example, Autumn has +9 to all stealth checks but nothing to add to her strength rolls. Meaning it’s far more likely I can lockpick a door open rather than kick it in. For casting classes be sure to track spell slots and be careful. You don’t want to use your most powerful spell to one hit kill a minion only to be out of spell slots when you face the boss.

In order to keep the game flowing, try to plan out exactly what you want to do before it’s your turn. Of course, feel free to ask questions and listen to what your party is doing. Trust your instincts and don’t sit there overthinking it. Half of the fun happens when things go wrong anyway.

I hope you found these tips helpful, now go out there and find your own adventure!


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