Ok, here's what's going on: since we have so many new players I elected to play it safe and go with the campaign that comes with the official Starter Set. It's relatively short but still has a lot of meat, so if we can get everybody through it alive and still enjoying the game we'll take those characters and put them into a longer, more difficult campaign. We will be using the 5th Edition of the Dungeons & Dragons rules for this campaign. I know most of you have your own copies of the Player's Handbook, but for those who don't, I have a .pdf. Normally I'd upload it to my Google Drive and link it in the forums, but Wizards of the Coast tends to get into a snit about that kind of thing. So, since the one person who doesn't currently have the rules lives in my house, I'll just supply a copy via flash drive. Once the craziness of the holidays settles down we'll have a meeting and hammer out details relating to meetings times and places for sessions. One last nuts and bolts thing to discuss: dice. You can use an app if you like, but part of the fun of a table top RPG is rolling dice. The basic dice you'll need are a d20, d12, d10, d8, d6, and d4. Fortunately, hobby shops and places like Barnes & Noble, where I work, carry sets that have one of each of these dice. They can also be ordered through various online sources, but either way, they're pretty inexpensive and it really gives you a sense of ownership in the game when you have your own set.
Alright, now that that's out of the way, let me give you a brief overview of the campaign. The story surrounds an ancient dwarven mine (hence the title) said to house untold wealth, but that's only where we'll end up. There will be a journey to get there, and therein lies the heart of table top roleplaying games. This journey will begin with our heroes (that's you) making your way to a town called Phandalin. Why are you going there? That, and all the details, are up to you. Character creation is, arguably, the best part of RPGs, and the ground rules (as well as a number of guidelines) will be in your PHB, but…don't take those as gospel. I encourage you to go outside the box and really explore the Forgotten Realms setting for ideas as well as incorporating your own inventions. Just make sure you run custom ideas by me first. However, if it seems like its too much, then I have some story hooks and some pre-made character sheets that can be used.
I know this time of the year will be busy for all of us, but I'd like you guys to spend some time working on your characters. The PHB, as I said, will list races, classes, basic rules and a host of other useful stuff, so familiarize yourself with it as well. Try and read up on the Forgotten Realms setting, as well. It's packed with lore and other things that will help in character creation and in understanding the game. Click this link here for a good primer. I'm sure there will be plenty of questions, and that's fine. You can either direct them to me in person, or use the forums here as I've set up a thread in our campaign forums for that express purpose.