Like any good nerd, I take a swan dive into the deep end of the pool when it comes to research. Specifically, I voraciously gobble up (wackawackawackawacka) any and every source of information to feed my geeky fixation on D&D.
Below are the 7 best blogs I’ve found for a Dungeons and Dragons 5e (5th Edition) beginner. If you’re new to D&D but interested in learning more, then give these blogs a read.
7 Great D&D Blogs for a Roleplaying Newbie
7. Nerds on Earth
Of course I’m going to toot our own horn. Nerds on Earth has beginner guides for each D&D 5e class, monster tactic articles, history, encounter ideas, and oodles of lore posts.
Come for the D&D 5e content, stay for the comics book, MCU, board game, and Star Wars content, because nerds can’t live on D&D alone. Or can they?
6. Merric’s Musings
Merric Blackman is an Australian player of roleplaying games and boardgames. He has a tab on his blog specifically for brand new players that give an intro to hit points, help you visualize combat, define AC, and much more. Find it here.
His site also strikes a fun balance between reviewing the latest product and adventures, and his sharing thoughts on an old school adventure that may have been in the archives for 25 years. An old man like me enjoys that section.
But, if you are new to D&D, look no further than Merric’s Articles for New D&D Players.
5. Sly Flourish
Sly Flourish focuses on Dungeon Masters (DMs) but there are also articles aplenty for the person new to D&D. In fact, his site is so comprehensive that he curated a “Start Here” page that lists the most popular and useful articles.
His topics can be as introductory as “Find a D&D Group” all the way to articles that discuss specific D&D adventures in detail. Michael Shea – the writer behind Sly Flourish – is perhaps known best for his book Return of the Lazy Dungeon Master, which we’ve reviewed. It’s loaded with tips, advice, and ideas behind how to run a campaign well. Get Return of the Lazy Dungeon Master.
Alphastream is the blog of Teos Abadia, a long-time D&D player most recently known for his work in co-writing the excellent Acquisitions Incorporated book.
Not only is Teos active on Twitter and a minis nerd, which I appreciate, but he also has a section on his website for settings like Dark Sun. Most relevant to brand new D&D players is his “Resources” page that has tools, techniques, and even free resources.
I should disclose that I’ve had the opportunity to get to know Teos beyond his website. He is kind, positive, generous, and thoughtful.
3. D&D Beyond
Dndbeyond.com is the home of the official digital tools for D&D 5th Edition, including character creation, spell lists, and more. They also have a section for articles that can be found here.
I’ll not lie, the content on D&D Beyond isn’t as thoughtful or creative as what you’ll find with the other blogs and websites on this list. It is largely press releases for D&D or recaps of popular streaming shows.
But that’s not to say there isn’t any helpful content for new players. You’ll have to hunt and peck a bit, but there is certainly good stuff to be found. I listed it because it’s so darned convenient. Come for the digital tools, stay for the tips, as the kids say.
2. The Monsters Know
I only recently discovered The Monsters Know, but I’ve been devouring it ever since.
If you ask me what my characters says, I have no idea. If you ask me what my character does, I’m all over it. That’s to say that I’ve always been a student of tactics, so I wrote a series of monster tactics guides for Nerds on Earth. Then I discovered The Monsters Know and realized that the author–Keith Ammann–had done something similar, only a hundred times more comprehensively than I had done.
If you want to better understand the tactical side of D&D or to better present monster behavior and actions as a DM, then The Monsters Know is
a great the best resource.
1. DM David
DM David has tons of advice for player’s moving from D&D 4e to D&D 5e. In addition, the blog has some other useful and interesting additions such as a maps gallery. Who doesn’t love a cool D&D map?
But the very best thing about DM David is the lore and history articles he writes. He has an absolute knack for research, meaning he can pull facts and stories from a wide variety of sources, then present it with a clear through-line and in a compelling way. That’s the mark of a great writer and why it’s my favorite D&D blog.