Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Tabletop Tuesday! Finding a Tabletop RPG Group

This Tabletop Tuesday topic is about how I found my Dungeons & Dragons group.

I had been wanting to play D&D for a few years, but was anxious and unsure about finding a group to play with - until I learned that my favorite local comic book store hosted tabletop RPG (role-playing game) events, specifically D&D Adventurers League and Pathfinder Society.

I was already comfortable at that comic store - the staff members are always nice and respectful, and the other customers are either friendly or at the very least mind their own business. But I was still nervous, being a D&D n00b. It turns out I had nothing to worry about!

The D&D Adventurers League (D&D Encounters meets weekly, D&D Expeditions meets as often as needed) are pre-made adventures released by Wizards of the Coast and available for download. They are often played at comic and hobby stores. The stories are released over a season, making it easy for groups to meet every week, every few weeks, or as schedules permit, and tie in to a larger story or conflict. The current season of D&D Adventurers League is called Elemental Evil and will run from April until August.

When we learned about the D&D Adventurers League events at my local comic store, the group was at the end of a season. This meant that characters had already leveled to a point where we wouldn't be able to catch up, but we were told about a new season starting in April and they took my contact information. A few weeks later we were invited to a Dungeon Master workshop, hosted by our current DM, and we attended so we could introduce ourselves. I'm so glad we did, because that was when we were invited to play with our current group!

Since the beginning of April we have met up three separate times to play D&D! The other players and our DM have been so nice and helpful, answering my questions, suggesting actions to roll or topics to reference in the Player's Manual. I am hoping that when the season ends, or as we get to know each other better, that we are invited to join a group and play some original adventures.

Where to find an RPG group
I found my group at my local comic store. Because of gaming events like D&D Adventurers League and Pathfinder Society, comic and hobby stores can be great resources for finding an RPG group. But comic/hobby stores are not the only place to find other tabletop RPG players! Libraries, bookstores, rec centers, and universities are also locations where you might find a tabletop group.

And there are online resources for finding tabletop RPG games.  Dungeons & Dragons has its own event locator. Other websites that list gaming events by locale include Meetup, NearbyGamers, and Pen & Paper Games. I've even seen Craigslist ads looking for other players - but, as with any time you are arranging to meet people you met online, exercise caution and stay safe! Meet in a public place, bring a friend, whatever you need to do to make yourself comfortable and safe.

Or... if you're already familiar with a tabletop RPG game (or want to learn about one!) and are having trouble finding a group to play with, you could always take on the role of GM and recruit your friends to play. At the GM workshop I attended, several people said they were usually the GM because they had trouble finding a group to play with and would just take it upon themselves to organize their games. A few even got their start with tabletop RPGs by GMing for their friends!

Tabletop RPGs sound fun, but I'm not sure I want to play D&D...
I specifically mention D&D and Pathfinder in this post because I play D&D, and Pathfinder is also hosted at my local comic shop. But there are many, many more tabletop RPG games besides these. I've seen resources for a Game of Throne RPG and different editions of Star Wars RPGs for sale in my local comic store. Cthulu, vampires, Sailor Moon - all of these topics have tabletop RPGs. Some are more combat based. Others emphasize acting and character development, incorporating props or verging on LARP (live-action role playing). Some take place in fantasy worlds, while others are so rooted in reality that characters can have mortgages. Demos at conventions and comic stores are a great way to learn about new games and find other interested players!

So that's how I found my tabletop RPG group!
Thanks for reading - if you have any questions or requests, please leave a comment!


  1. Very helpful! I still need to search.. I'm just so anti social, haha ;P I wish the library I work at would host something like this.

    1. I completely understand how hard it is to get going with something like this, the first time we went to the comic shop to play I started feeling anxious and wanted to bail.

      Maybe you could help organize something for the library!