One of the things I love about this hobby is that you can participate in it without spending any money whatsoever. Of course, you could spend all your money on the hobby but here I will show you how to play Dungeons & Dragons 5th Edition for free, forever.
Recent events have led to the DnD 5e ruleset being published under a Creative Commons license. This means that the basic rules for the 5th Edition are available for free in a few different places. DnDBeyond has a page where you can view the basic rules without making a purchase at all. They also have a page where you can download a pdf of the rules known as the System Reference Document version 5.1. If you are just looking into playing or running the game that is pretty much all you need to get started. If you are interested in creating your own content like backgrounds, adventures, or monsters then you should also be aware of the licenses and attributions mentioned in the SRD. Essentially, as long as you correctly attribute Wizards of the Coast in your work you are able to use their content in good faith. If you are interested in more information follow the dnd wizards link below.
Free Character Sheets
In addition to the rules, Wizards of the Coast also provides a free form-fillable pdf character sheet for free. If you are using the basic rules dndbeyond.com will also generate a pdf of your character sheet that you can download and even print if you want to. I highly recommend using the Reroll app. It has the SRD available for you to use and you can edit and add abilities and information easily on the app as well the web version. There is also a 2d pixel-style character maker so you can customize your avatar. There are a bunch of options for race, clothing, weapons, items, and backgrounds for most people included in the free version. You only have to pay if you want more options for your character’s avatar otherwise it is completely free! I have also linked to other blog posts that have a variety of free and low-cost character sheet options.
Free Dice Rollers
I know everyone loves the clickety-clack of the dice rolling around and I do too. I went from one set of dice to 20 sets in less than a year so I understand. However, we’re talking about playing games without spending any money. If you do a Google search for dice roller it will pull up their Roll Dice tool. On your phone, I would recommend the Mighty Dice app as it is made pretty well and feels like you are rolling dice instead of a random number generator.
Now that you have the rules, your characters, and the dice all figured out it’s time to get started on an adventure. The original adventure in the starter set for 5th Edition is available for free on Dndbeyond, Lost Mine of Phandelver. M.T. black has a great article of 20 free adventures that are highly rated on the Dungeon Masters Guild. Other great resources for free adventures include Adventure Awaits Studios and the donjon random adventure generator.
Free rule set? Check. Free character sheets? Check. Free dice roller? Check! If you have any free resources that you think should be added to the list please let me know!
For more free resources check out my blog post “Essential Resources You Need To Know About.”
Good luck on your next session, I believe in you! See you in the future.