Shelter in Place D&D

Due to the COVID-19 crisis there has been a lockdown and social distancing making it difficult to play D&D. However there are tons of resources and ways to play D&D from the privacy of your own home using technology and following Social Distancing guidelines. This article cover ways to do this with some stipulations. This article assumes you are following all of your local government guidelines and WHO and CDC recommendations, we are not suggesting you go out and hold an in person D&D gathering, this is just a list of ways to play D&D while Sheltering in Place and obeying all regulations to help contain COVID19. You should not be meeting others for D&D in person! These are suggestions to use technology to avoid activities that could put you at risk.

If you understand the above and agree to Socially Distance appropriately following your government rules. Please proceed.

If you are new to D&D completely please see this article.

Playing Online

There is a wealth of resources on how to play D&D online.

To get started see these articles:

The above gives tips on how to set up your home to play D&D online with a computer. All of the methods are proven and people have been gaming this way for years(including myself). Beyond the articles here my suggestion, take it slow I would test out your setups and whatever tools you choose with a session 0 where your party meets online and discusses the characters they are playing, the world they are playing in, goals of their character and the party. This should help you figure out your AV setup as well as what might work for your party in terms of tools. Using virtual tabletop tools like roll20, Fantasy grounds and Astral Tabletop are amazing but they all have learning curves and cost time and depending on how you use it money. Most of them have low cost or free pricing but the more you want to use the tools(advanced features, ready made modules) the more you generally have to pay. For a limited time all of the above online tools are offering discounts or even free content and features so please check it out but this will probably end once the COVID-19 lockdown is done. Please think  and discuss carefully about how you and your players want to play. D&D can work well simply by being able to hear and see your players via discord or Skype. Use your imagination and narrate what your players see without models or figures or if you want setup a webcam and move everything for your players. There is a lot of ways to do it but the most important part is discussing with your players and deciding what is the best way to play. I would start with simple at first use thee storyteller method and have your players use their imagination so you can concentrate on running the game. Its more important that you run a fun and engaging campaign than having shiny new online toys to play with. Tabletop simulators are useful you need to spend a lot of time getting familiar with those tools so you should only use them if they won’t detract from your game.

Now that you’ve chose a method and a setup the following might be helpful for you during this time period. Now its time to get content and other materials to help you run and tell an engaging stories.

One on one D&D

If you only have two people who are residents of the same household then here is an article on tips to play D&D one on one. Please remember to follow all appropriate social distancing measures.

Local Game Stores

During the COVID19 outbreak almost all game store events are closed. However many of them are doing phone orders, local delivery, online orders, twitch streams and creative ways to help you get your games going. Please contact your local game stores in Honolulu here to see what they are doing and how they can help you game responsibly.

Official D&D sites

Now is a great time period to shop for new stories and content for your games because there is a ton of free content being released.

Wizards of the Coast, the maker of D&D is releasing material for free during the Corona Virus Pandemic. Go ahead and take a look. It is full of free adventures, coloring books and supplements. It also has products that make running campaigns easier.

DNDBeyond which is a supplemental site for D&D has also released tutorials and resources for free for new players. It also features one of the better free character generators although you have to pay for some features.

dmsguild has a lot of adventures and tools you can download for free, donation or for a price and feature print on demand books as well that can be shipped to your door.