DnD 5e - How to Play 1 - What is DnD 5e?
DnD 5e is a magical fantasy roleplaying game. DnD 5e originally evolved from Dungeons and Dragons, and there is a lot of overlap. DnD 5e is a game of "swashbuckling fantasy", which means that there is a lot of high action fighting and adventure.
DnD 5e is d20-based, which means that success and failure are determined by rolling a d20+modifiers against a target number (or "DC" in the case of DnD 5e).
Whenever you need to round in DnD 5e, always round down unless the rules specifically say otherwise.
Characters in DnD 5e
Characters in DnD 5e are defined by their level, race, and class. You might describe your character as a "Level 5 Elf Wizard". While this doesn't tell you all of the great details of your character, it helps to explain to everyone else roughly what your character is and how it works.
More information on characters, including how to make one, will be covered later in this guide.
Combat in DnD 5e
Combat in DnD 5e is turn-based, so each character takes one turn to act in each round. More information on Combat will be covered in later sections of this guide.
Getting Started With DnD 5e
5th Edition is the current edition. The starter set includes several pre-made characters, an adventure, a small collection of monsters, and rules for playing through several levels with the premade characters.
In addition, WotC publishes "Basic" DnD rules, which are free on their website. They include a small set of iconic races, classes, and backgrounds, and the full rules for character creation and playing the game. The Basic rules are enough to get into the game, and reading them is a good starting point if you plan to try 5th edition. If you don't have a lot of cash, the basic rules offer enough options to keep you busy for a long time without costing anything.