One of the most popular questions I get is “How do I start to play D&D?” In the Before Times I would invite people to join in my World of the Everflow campaign with fully half of the more than a dozen participants in that game being new to Dungeons & Dragons. Now, with the explosion of digital and remote play I tend to guide people towards the Adventurer’s League. The robust program from Wizards of the Coast just had a major shift.
News and other programming is hosted on the Wizards website. The Yawning Portal helps guide people to events, particularly the monthly virtual play sessions, but also online conventions with AL participation.
The next virtual play weekend registration starts March 2 for play between March 12 and March 14. You can even get a preview of Candlekeep Mysteries during that weekend. The book comes out on March 16. There are dozens of possible games to get involved in — stuff for first time players and things for masters of the game, both.
Not only are all of the updates for D&D AL now on the Wizards website there are also changes as to how AL is played. In most games you will no longer be limited to the Player’s Handbook + 1 book rule. Now, almost any character you can build will be legal. Check out their blog post to see the specific limitations (mostly centered around flying as ThinkDM points out).
As someone who builds most of their characters via DnDBeyond the looser rules help. There was not a simple toggle to limit to the PHB+1 rule on/off, so to make an AL character I had to think through which book a spell, background, feat, race, subclass all showed up in. The digital era makes the +1 rule a touch obsolete. A character built on Beyond or any VTT will have all of its abilities publicly facing the DM.
If you haven’t played, and you don’t want to join a game another thing to do is start by observing a stream. D&D’s official Twitch channel hosts shows to watch and their YouTube channel includes quick how-to-play videos.
You can also sign up to observe my 1st level adventure DDD: 253 Invasion of the Trees as part of YachtCon: Back to School.