[RPG] How to find other RPG players


I'd really like to learn how to play pen-and-paper RPGs. I know that it takes a few players to actually sit down and play, but I'm not at all sure where to find more gamers.

How do I find existing groups to join?

Best Answer

What the answer comes down to is "exercise your social networks, both online and offline." Be both looking for gamers/groups of gamers you can join and also registering your interest so that groups of gamers interested in a new player can find you.

Decide what you want to play and prepare your pitch

Do you care what game(s) you will play, can you host, can you drive to a game and if so how far, etc? You need to decide on this so you know whether "I found a D&D 4e game that meets in a library in Hoboken 60 minutes away" would be good or not. This helps you refine your pitch when you talk to other gamers from "I wanty the game" to "I'm a [new/experienced] gamer looking for [any RPG, a D&D game, prefer D&D 5e but am open to others, etc.] within [walking distance, a short drive, 120 minutes, remote only, etc.] of [where you are]. Also note what you have to provide - "I can provide a gaming location," "I don't mind GMing," "I am new but enthusiastic and really want to learn from an experienced group..." Note limitations that the group really should be aware of, like "I am allergic to cats" or "I'm a minor" or "No Republicans."

Shop it around online

Definitely use online resources.

  1. Start with the everyday ones! Post your pitch on your Facebook, Twitter, blog, Instagram, or whatnot that you already have. If you don't do those, start. I am not sure why I need to explain this, but "being social"is the first step to "joining society" and plugging into the gaming community is no different. And a lot more people use these common social media outlets than use specialized gamer-listing sites. Add "Looking for a RPG group" to your profile and status messages on your social media; look for other people doing the same.
  2. Use normal looking-for-groups sites, like meetup.com - look for groups around the topic (ideally local). There are also special interest groups within Facebook, Reddit, and whatnot that are for gamers of a specific game and/or area. Join them and see who's looking for players. You can even use classified sites like Craigslist.
  3. Use gaming-specific sites or sites specific to your locale (ideally both). There's "listing" sites like nearbygamers.com and whatnot. I found my current group through the now-defunct austin-gamers mailing list. My company has internal forums and I've seen people posting for gamers there.
  4. Be part of existing online gaming communities - general gaming forums like ENWorld, RPG.net, etc., game specific ones like the WotC forums or Dumpshock - check out our Meta post for a list of many of all the big RPG forums. Plus the big forums often specifically have sections or resources for "Looking For Games" - ENWorld, RPG.net.
  5. Google search. You may find RPG clubs (like I helped start the FORGE in Memphis, a public gaming club. Simply searching for "Memphis roleplaying" gets the FORGE and a bunch of meetups and other likely looking clubs and resources. You may also find older posts or other leads on local gaming folks. I've had people email me "out of the blue" because they saw something I posted on a forum or mailing list years ago about having moved to Austin and being a gamer asking me to hook them into local games I know about.

But don't use them to the exclusion of offline resources!

Get off your chair.

  1. Post a flyer at gaming stores, but also wherever else flyers are posted. Public bulletin boards, ones at work, for sure ones at nearby universities. Coffee shops, wherever local custom dictates - here in Austin every sandwich shop and whatnot has a bulletin board.
  2. If you already know gamers in other groups, or even people that play "related" kinds of games like TCGs, network with them. I formed a gaming group originally in Memphis by telling our Magic: The Gathering play group I would like to run some real roleplaying.
  3. Go to conventions! You may live near other gamers but it's hard to tell; if you go to a regional convention you may meet them (and it's a great place to post to meet gamers).
  4. Some companies run "Organized Play" campaigns - Wizards of the Coast (D&D Adventurers League) and Paizo (Pathfinder Society) do for sure, as do others, where you can find publicly open games.
  5. This shouldn't be last... Make some friends and then see if they would like to game! I taught myself roleplaying from a Star Frontiers boxed set in 1982. It can be convenient to plug into an existing group or know some experienced gamers but it's by no means required. Family members may want to play too.

If All Else Fails, Game Online

There's also a variety of play-by-post (forums, email, etc.) and play-by-chat (including virtual tabletops and Roll20) if you just really can't get people together in person; all of these have LFG sections. For more resources there, Finding online RPG players for a play-by-chat RPG Campaign?, Where can I advertise for players for my play-by-post game?, and the and tags.

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