Sometime after school starts and things get less busy, my friends and I wanted( I wanted to and dragged then down with me) to learn how to play D&D. I don't actually know anyone irl who plays and was wondering if any of you could give me any tips or useful information that I should know before we actually start playing. I will most likely end up being DM, so any tips for that would be helpful. Thanks!
If you're going to be the DM, be prepared to do A LOT of planning out the adventures, events, encounters, etc.
You're definitely going to have to know the rules better than anyone because if you don't players will try to take advantage of that.
Remember, the players are your enemy and you're trying to kill them. Obviously you don't kill them all immediately, you have to build up to it and you have to at least try to give them a chance to win, but don't make it easy.
Dungeon Master's Guide, to clarify.
Are you playing fifth edition? And if so, do you have a copy of the rule books? If not, there's a couple places you can get a free pdf online. You definately want to have a very good understanding of the player's manual and dungeon master's guide.
In my highly limited experience as a DM, I would say the most important things I learned are don't let any one part of the game drag too slow (such as players spending 10 minutes debating each action in combat), and start small. New players especially will be happy with a simple adventure that helps them learn the rules, and if you're a new DM, running something unambitious for a first game will give you room to experiment and find your style
Amusingly, I just came to this site from reading a website on how to DM better. If you want some helpful (and angrily-phrased) advice on DMing, I recommend visiting TheAngryGm. However, be warned: A lot of the stuff on here is pretty detailed, and might not be helpful, especially if this is your first time DMing.
Also, don't stress out about it! Everyone is coming here to have fun, and your players will work with you rather than against you.
Play 5e Adventurer's League at tier 1 (the lowest tier where plenty of noobs come in) so you can get a feel for the combat. The storytelling / flavor-text is mostly on you as a DM, but there's plenty of free PDFs to take inspiration from or adhere to (if your brain is too fried to make up your own adventure).
Campaigns can often get derailed because your players spontaneously make up a side-story or whatever, but it's up to you to either railroad them (force them back into the campaign) or just roll with it and make up new content as you go.
As DM though, you have the ultimate say on what goes and what doesn't. If something seems cool even if it breaks the rules, then rule of cool takes precedence. If something seems stupid (like rolling to Seduce the Dragon) then not even rolling a 20 counts for shit if it doesn't sit right with you.
Sometime in the near future. We would have started a bit earlier but my friend mentioned it to their dad, and he wanted to play too so we have been waiting for him to have the time. I can tell you about the first campaign after we play it if you would like.
Thanks for all the advice, this has been really helpful!