Back in the day, buying physical items to play TTRPGs was a necessity. Someone needed the equipment, and if they were generous they could share, but someone in the group needed stuff. Nowadays we are much more fortunate. Thanks to the great mythical beast that is the Internet, it is entirely possible to play DnD without anything physical. BUT. That's no fun. Our whole business is based off of people wanting DnD accessories like dice and dice trays, because the simple fact is physical equipment is dope. But that doesn't mean you must go out and buy every dnd dice set and miniature on the market. If you're playing in person, having stuff is great, but here are the things that you should look into first.
Surprised the dice shop didn't immediately recommend buying dice? Us too. But when it comes to gameplay having a battlemap helps immensely. It makes combat easier, it makes it easier to focus on what's happening, and it is usable in any adventure or ruleset. You can use nearly anything as a miniature, but it is much more difficult and wasteful to fashion maps from paper or try to draw decent hexes on a blank whiteboard. We've advocated for their use before, and when it comes to physical stuff, a battlemap should be top of the list.
WOOHOO! I know a great website to buy these bad boys. In reality, everything from here on out on this list is unnecessary, but among these unnecessary items dice are foremost. It is super fun to roll a set of dice on a table, hear those sweet clicks and clacks. Rolling dnd dice in front of a whole party and seeing their reaction is priceless. Additionally, there are so many different styles of RPG dice, from metal dice to sharp edged dice to figures encased in plastic. Since oftentimes higher-level spells require many dice, having multiple dice sets is never a bad idea. AlsousecodeCART10atcheckoutfortenpercentoffyourorder.
Incredible for flavour, miniatures are a great way to present visually what players are looking at. They're great for showing scale and letting players know what to picture in their minds eye. Pretty much every creature has a mini designed for them, as well as a huge variety of options to represent PCs. Minis are perfect to pare with a battlemap, but even just having something to represent NPCs and monsters without a map can be fun and engaging.
Dice Trays and Towers
Rolling dice is fun, and once you have a great set of DnD dice it's nice to contain them on the table instead of chasing them around everywhere. There are some amazing creators that specialize in creating trays and towers that make a table look amazing. Towers can be used to spice up the landscape in-game as well as rolling dice through, and trays can take on personality and often come with space to store dice and minis. They are fun, they're gorgeous, and they make everything feel more weighty and important.
DnD accessories are not a necessity but they add colour and they're incredibly fun. We fully endorse the purchase of accessories (especially dice), but never forget the important parts of the game happen between the players and their GM. Accessories do a wonderful job of fleshing out the game, but don't sacrifice the beauty of imagination for that is what makes TTRPGs an irreplaceable experience.