Tuesday, November 20, 2012

How Did You Find Your Gaming Group?

This question arises from a G+ thread I participated in about the dynamics of certain gaming groups, but the question then became (to me at least) "How do you find a gaming group?"

The way I see it, a successful gaming group has a sort of "social contract". There are similar expectations in game style and system used. More importantly, whether playing via a virtual table top or face to face, the ideal situation should be that this is a group you would want to socialize with outside the limited parameters of gaming.

When I was a teen, finding a group was as simple as getting a handful of like minded friends or classmates together and simply playing. There was already a social connection amongst the players, and the natural teenage weeding out process brought the group down to a manageable core of close friends - friends I am still close to today, even if the gaming has moved to the latest MMO for most.

Finding a group as an adult is much more difficult. G+ certainly made it easier, and Greg's gathering of folks for a D&D Next playtest brought together a group of 8. Which dropped to 7, then 6. Moving to ACKS with me as DM put us at 5, so we added 1 to get to 6. Since then, we've added 2 and lost 1, so we've hit 7 (4 left from the original group). It's almost been organic in nature, and we've been pretty good at inviting those into the group that we felt would mesh pretty well. There isn't a person in the group that I wouldn't enjoy grabbing a beer with and just shooting the shit. I consider myself blessed.

So, how did you find your current gaming group?


  1. Well, first I'm in the Saturday night group you're talking about, so that one's covered.

    My Friday night group was largely formed when I showed up, a drop-in to Wampus Country that usually manages to show up.

    My Wednesday night thing is a little nebulous on regular attendees yet (Wednesday is an ugly night for gaming, but it's the only one I had left right now), and is formed of people interested in my node-based megadungeon. A few visitors have been people I know from other groups (you and James Aulds, from two different groups), a couple are bloggers I've been reading for a while now, and a couple are people known to others in the group and brought in when we were running light. I've got something of an open table running right now and have generally been able to get three or four a night, out of a pool of about eight. So far it's seemed to work passingly well.

  2. Funny story. We had just moved to a Pennsylvania suburb from Colorado, job relocation, and didn't know anyone. I was still flying to Colorado a bit, my wife was invited to a neighbor's house-warming party as a chance to meet-and-greet the folks on the block, and she literally introduced herself as the wife of a huge D&D geek who'd be looking for fellow gamers in the neighborhood.

    Guys that hadn't played since high school or college owned up to being huge fans of D&D... by the time I got back, I had 4 suburban neighbors eager for me to kick-off a campaign. A few weeks later, we started playing... and are still going 5 years later. My poor Colorado group had to break up after 12+ years, though.

    A few other guys have been added over the years through word-of-mouth by the original recruits.

  3. I joined my current group via the blogosphere, by connecting with Tim at Gothridge Manor. He extended an invitation to join him, Rob (Bat in the Attic), and Dwayne (Gamer's Closet). Our Monday night group now includes seven people.

  4. I got started at this by talking with Adam M., with whom I run the Metal Gods of Ur-Hadad campaign for DCC. I'd recently asked someone who was advertising a campaign how I could get involved. He was pretty dismissive. I was disappointed and felt kind of shitty afterward. So, me and Adam got to talking and he told me that he, too, wanted to play in a G+ game (he has a face to face group, too). I said I'd be happy to roll with him, and we got to talking. We built a campaign world together, and have been running the campaign about five weeks now. We have a lot of pretty dedicated players (5 total), and both of us alternate GMing and playing.

    I also take part in Shawn Sanford's Saturday games (AD&D and DCC on alternating weeks). That's a lot of fun.

    My face-to-face group met last Saturday for the first time in like two months. We'd been playing Dark Heresy for three years, with a changing cast of players. We peaked at seven players, but three is more normal. We currently have four, and one of them is my 11 year old daughter (the bloodthirsty one I wrote about in my blog).

    On Wednesday, I'm going to do a G+ Stars Without Number session with James Aulds. I'm looking forward to that, as I've been wanting to play it for a couple of years. Started rolling up a character today, in fact.

    One of these days, Erik, when you finally stop pulling these long shifts, we'd love to have you join us in Ur-Hadad.

    1. Edgar, looking forward to that myself ;)

      17 hours or so on Thanksgiving, then away for 4 days, then 17 hrs again next thursday or friday

      i'm not complaining about the overtime, but screwing with home life and gaming time is getting annoying ;)

  5. My first one was through childhood friendships. I joined my adult gaming group purely by luck and chance! I moved to Cleveland, far away from my old friends, and basically stopped gaming. My neighbor happened to ask me to come with him to a "geek" night he was having with his brother. Basically, my neighbor wanted company, but he didn't say anything specific about what was going on. When we arrived, he was horrified to discover that, not only did I KNOW D&D, but I LOVED it as much as his "geeky" brother's friends. That was nearly four years ago and I've gamed with them once a week every week since then!


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