Mar 28, 2023 — Dungeons & Dragons

Creating Successful New Player Pathing for Dungeons & Dragons

Strategizing your merchandising and brushing up on the basics of D&D can help you guide new players to the products that are best for them.

Mar 28, 2023 — Dungeons & Dragons

Creating Successful New Player Pathing for Dungeons & Dragons

Strategizing your merchandising and brushing up on the basics of D&D can help you guide new players to the products that are best for them.

Dungeons & Dragons has a robust and passionate fanbase—and the awareness for the game is only growing. Regardless of whether a new player has heard of it through an actual play series, their favorite TV show, or caught the news of what's releasing from D&D Direct, you may have customers who come to your store in search of an outlet for their growing excitement for the franchise.

As these customers find their way to you, take the opportunity and give them a memorable experience that both guides them to purchase D&D products and inspires repeat in-store play habits.

Create Powerful D&D Merchandising

Successful merchandising often sparks a conversation, and you can encourage incoming customers to think about D&D right away by creating a merchandise display that showcases your products, whether you use the books or pair them with amazing complementary products like Campaign Case: Terrain and Campaign Case: Creatures.

Alternatively, you can face some of the adventure books forward on the shelf, accompanied by "Staff Picks" shelf talkers from your staff. These can be as simple as folded slips of paper tucked under the book, with highlights written by staff members that further showcase how selected books make perfect additions for your customers' collection.

You should design your D&D display in the way that works best for your store's layout; there are several ways to achieve an eye-catching look that ignites conversation. You may consider designing an endcap that shows off each book's gorgeous cover, embellishing the display with key play accessories such as dice, bags, or campaign notebooks.

Curate New Player Paths

When merchandising for new players, you might consider creating a "new to D&D" display that merchandises all the starter essentials: the D&D Starter Set: Dragons of Stormwreck Isle, the Essentials Kit, and each of the core rulebooks. These displays are less overwhelming for new customers unsure of what to pick as their first purchase while also being a solid foundation for the new player path.

The D&D Starter Set and the Essentials Kit both contain everything new players need to play, making them excellent starting points for an adventure. The Starter Set is designed for first-time players, whereas the Essentials Kit introduces slightly higher levels of gameplay.

As players engage with D&D, chat with them and find out what they enjoyed most out of the adventure. This will help you guide them further along their player path: did they enjoy being a DM, and want to play more bite-sized adventures? You may point them toward anthology collections like Keys from the Golden Vault or Journeys Through the Radiant Citadel.

Players who are interested in learning how to be a Dungeon Master can pick up the Dungeon Master's Guide, Monster Manual, and other related books to help build their skills. Further along the player path, you can recommend full-length campaign books such as The Wild Beyond the Witchlight and Waterdeep: Dragon Heist. Both are excellent books for new and experienced players and Dungeon Masters, as they contain new species or Feats for players to explore, and deep campaigns for Dungeon Masters to dive into.

Run a Learn-to-Play D&D Event

From April 7 – 9, we're promoting another series of D&D Learn-to-Play events. If you participated in the past, you may still have your D&D Starter Set: Dragons of Stormwreck Isle demo materials ready to go—and if not, you can download the Learn-to-Play kit materials from our marketing materials page. Sit down with curious customers and give them a taste of what Dungeons & Dragons is all about!

In case you need a refresher, Maria Bartholdi shares three keys to knocking your D&D demo out of the park. Having a fun first encounter with friends can shape a customer's view of the roleplaying game, so remember to always put fun first during your demonstration and explain relevant rules as they arise.

If you've never delved into a dungeon before, we have robust resources on the D&D site to show you the ropes. You may additionally use the D&D Starter Set: Dragons of Stormwreck Isle with your staff to get even more well-acquainted before you teach others.

After your demo is over, your players may be itching for more—get to know what they liked best about the demo and point them to relevant products.

Kick Off an Adventurers League

Having an in-store Adventurers League—or any form of regularly occurring D&D events—is an awesome way to build up your D&D-playing community at your store. Scheduling can be one of the biggest hurdles for a beginning D&D group, and if your store has the time and the space, all it could take is your advertisement landing in front of the right eyes to get players coming to your store.

If you have a Dungeon Master on staff, or hire one on a regular basis, you can provide players seeking a DM with a reliable way to engage with D&D on a regular basis, whether that's every other week or once a month.

Getting players into your store more regularly opens up further sales opportunities for you—and as you get to know what adventures each group has fun with, you can recommend upcoming releases or other adventure books to keep the party going.

From merchandising to regularly scheduled events, you're fully equipped to support new players on their journey to becoming lifelong Dungeons & Dragons fans. Head to Wizards EventLink to schedule D&D events for your store right away!

Related Articles

We use necessary cookies to allow our site to function correctly and collect anonymous session data. Necessary cookies can be opted out through your browser settings. We also use optional cookies to personalize content and ads, provide social media features and analyze web traffic. By clicking “OK, I agree,” you consent to optional cookies. (Learn more about cookies)