How do you find players?

Edgewise

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At this point in my life, there are only a handful of role-players that I know in my personal life. And as adults, many of whom have children, it can be hard to sync up with those few. Right now, I am down to a single group of players that runs one-offs online, and we haven't met for about a month due to scheduling conflicts.

In terms of community resources, I'm only aware of one FLGS that has a significant stock of RPGs, and to be quite honest, I don't really like the place. It's grungy and filled with a lot of people in their 20's playing MtG, Yu-gi-oh, 5e and Pathfinder. A lot of the unwashed and unsocialized characters who have given RPGs a bad name over time. I don't want to sound snarky, but as a 40-sometime who dresses and grooms himself normally, I feel like I'm the weirdo when I set foot in that place. I get a lot of strange looks and I just don't feel comfortable there.

I've heard other people express similar issues when it comes to getting a group together. So I'm wondering how people have gotten around this, and specifically, what I can do to get one or two more gaming groups together. In-person is nice, but I have no issue with online play. For folks in my predicament, it would be really useful to hear from those who have found ways to build player groups.
 

Dumarest

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Meetup.com, bulletin boards at game stores, word of mouth. I hear there's some kind of player finder web site but haven't ever tried it.
 

Edgewise

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Meetup.com
So that's worked well for you? I've seen a few events on Meetup although they look a little further than I'd like (about 45 minutes away). Maybe I need to look harder.
 

Bunch

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Back in the D20 days I knew a guy who walked around with a Malhavoc coffee cup. When someone recognized it he sized the person up and either responded with "A guy in marketing gave it to me" or "Yeah I play. You?"
 

K_Peterson

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As a caveat, I've only done in-person gaming, and only assembled gaming groups for that purpose.

The best results I've had has been advertising on (focused) Rpg forums. My entire Call of Cthulhu gaming group is composed of people that originally contacted me over at the Yog-Sothoth.com forums. They didn't all join the group at the same time; usually it's started with a couple players with more joining (and others departing) later. I have an old friend, that I gamed with for years, that I originally met in the early days of Rpg.net.

The (mainly) GURPS group I game with, I"d contacted one guy 15 years ago, through Citizens of the Imperium forums. I met his friends years later, and have gamed regularly with them since 2010.

Assembling a gaming group, for me, has always focused around a specific Rpg. I've sought out players based on a campaign that I'm running for that Rpg. I'm not sure if that's the secret to success, but it has pulled people out of the woodwork to participate.
 

Bunch

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I gamed with coworkers in the d20 era. Worked well for me.
 

Dumarest

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So that's worked well for you? I've seen a few events on Meetup although they look a little further than I'd like (about 45 minutes away). Maybe I need to look harder.
Could be heavy military presence in San Diego = lots of gamers of varying types. Many of the guys I've played with have been Navy, Marines, Coast Guard types. Also heavy tech/biotech presence here = lots of gamers of varying types. I've played with a lot of engineers and computer programmer guys and gals. Meetup.com got me back into playing almost weekly circa 2013.
 

Picaroon Jack

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I'm at a small university so faculty/staff (librarians have consistently been excellent gamers) and students make for steady recruitment. I'm the faculty advisor to the Gaming Club, and coupled with the rise of the popularity of RPGs, it has been easy street finding quality players the last few years.
 

ffilz

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In the past I have used notices at stores, met folks at gaming clubs, and used local mailing lists (those seem dead these days). Oh, and I did find players for Burning Wheel via the Burning Wheel forums.

These days, I have little interest in trying face to face play (it's too much for me to try and get out of the house and I'm not hosting anymore). So I'm limited to play by post and Roll20.

For play by post, I advertise on the host forum, and maybe sometimes on another forum or Google+. For real time play, I use Roll20 and have advertised on forums, Google+, and within Roll20 itself (which is where I've gotten most of my players). Google+ is dead of course...

Frank
 

Edgewise

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As a caveat, I've only done in-person gaming, and only assembled gaming groups for that purpose.

The best results I've had has been advertising on (focused) Rpg forums.
I'm surprised you were able to find local players on forums. Are you in a big city? I imagine that would help. I'm relatively close to NYC but not close enough that anyone would gladly drive between the city and my house once a week (average travel time is 1.5 hours).
I've sought out players based on a campaign that I'm running for that Rpg.
That sounds pretty important.
 

Edgewise

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I gamed with coworkers in the d20 era. Worked well for me.
I have a couple players that are current or former co-workers, although sometimes I like to keep those two lives separate. For instance, I used to game with another co-worker until I found out that he was a terribly annoying player. That was very awkward - now I just don't tell him about stuff, but it's basically just an unspoken thing.
 
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Edgewise

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For real time play, I use Roll20 and have advertised on forums, Google+, and within Roll20 itself (which is where I've gotten most of my players).
I've heard of people running pickup games through Roll20 - I haven't had the guts to try it out as GM, so maybe I should first try as a player.
 

K_Peterson

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I'm surprised you were able to find local players on forums. Are you in a big city? I imagine that would help. I'm relatively close to NYC but not close enough that anyone would gladly drive between the city and my house once a week (average travel time is 1.5 hours).

That sounds pretty important.
Yeah, Seattle. There's a lot of gamers around - traditional and storygamers - and I'd probably have more gaming connections if I were involved in local Meetup or Facebook groups.
 

clash bowley

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I breed them.

That and those I breed recruit people they like. I don't bother trying to recruit people much, though I DID recruit one player for my Tuesday night on-line game right here! My players are good recruiters, though! I have one weekly game and 4 more every 2 weeks, which is running three games a week.
 

Nobby-W

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So that's worked well for you? I've seen a few events on Meetup although they look a little further than I'd like (about 45 minutes away). Maybe I need to look harder.
Meetup has worked a couple of times with me, although the first time took a long time to come to fruition. The second one was a local meetup group set up by someone else (the DM of the current D&D campaign I'm playing in). That went quite quickly.

I think making meetup groups local to your area (and explicitly named as such) seems to work best. However, you will almost certainly have a lot easier time finding folks who want to play D&D than other games. You might have to try playing D&D and recruiting D&D players to get the right people, and then try to bend them onto other systems.
 

Edgewise

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You might have to try playing D&D and recruiting D&D players to get the right people, and then try to bend them onto other systems.
I think this is very true. My chances of finding a group advertised for B/X OSR are probably pretty slim. But getting a bunch of 5e players to try B/X should be doable.

I've had this idea gestating in my mind of trying to start some gaming groups at the local library. I'm a little tentative about it, though, because I would hate for it to flop and I'm not sure how to actually raise awareness. Meetup might be a good avenue for that. Maybe some advertisements at the local university could help, but they probably like to stay on campus.
 

Rob Necronomicon

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I live in a very rural location these days so trying to get face-to-face rpgers is impossible.

I found some good guys online though... Mainly through Facebook groups. So there's always that option... And loads of players are into the OSR. So, I doubt you'd have any trouble finding players.
 

Justin Alexander

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1. Talk openly about my hobby.

2. When people show interest, invite them to my current open table.

3. Encourage current players to invite along other friends and gamers they think would be interested in my open table.

I currently maintain a private Facebook group strictly for scheduling open table and one-shot RPG sessions. Current membership is 61, of which I'd say probably 12-15 are fairly regular currently. (This is a downturn; marriage and careers and kids have slowed down participation from a lot of people. But a lot more of them stay engaged than if the only way to play was a 30+ session campaign.)

I also currently run three dedicated campaigns (having wrapped up two others in the past 6 months). The pool of open table players gives me the recruiting pool to do that.

I also host a semi-regular game night (board games, card games, etc.), having the benefit of a house that can accommodate 3-4 games being played simultaneously. This also serves as a networking opportunity, with friends-of-friends becoming friends. Some of whom are also roleplayers (or become interested in my large shelves of RPG books) and are invited into the RPG network.
 

TristramEvans

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In answer to the question...I'm just friends with the type of people that like this stuff. Sure I've indoctrinated my fair share, but that's people who are already on that wavelength. I just seek out the Troys & Abeds of the places I live. We hang out, we get along, I invite them to game. But most of the time, they already are, or were at one point, gamers. At best I just introduce them to different style of gaming than they might be used to.
 

Voros

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My sister-in-law expressed interest in playing D&D as she loved D'rizzt (don't judge :clown:) so my most recent group was composed of family and friends.

I think I'd avoid playing with co-workers. There is a local meet-up group connected to the local community centre I'm thinking of checking out but they look to be a lot younger than me although still adults, not sure if that will be an issue.
 

AsenRG

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I breed them.

That and those I breed recruit people they like. I don't bother trying to recruit people much, though I DID recruit one player for my Tuesday night on-line game right here! My players are good recruiters, though! I have one weekly game and 4 more every 2 weeks, which is running three games a week.
:grin:
I could say I'm doing the same:smile:.
But until First Daughter starts playing more often and recruits her friends, that would be untrue - I've only got one player this way. In fact, maybe she won't start to play more often, and I'd have to wait until First and Second Son grow up enough to play, too...:wink:

And now I'm picturing a mad scientist who is artificially inseminating healthy functional adult people with 80's-style "NERD GENES!!!"
What do you mean, "artificially"? You meant to say "artfully", right:tongue:?

Bend? No, you break their puny wills and reshape their tastes to reflect your own! :devil:
Yes.
Or, in other words: I'm running this game with that system. You're welcome to join, or sit it out.
Which arguable amounts to the same in practice...:devil:

1. Talk openly about my hobby.

2. When people show interest, invite them to my current open table.

3. Encourage current players to invite along other friends and gamers they think would be interested in my open table.
Also, this.

I currently maintain a private Facebook group strictly for scheduling open table and one-shot RPG sessions. Current membership is 61, of which I'd say probably 12-15 are fairly regular currently. (This is a downturn; marriage and careers and kids have slowed down participation from a lot of people. But a lot more of them stay engaged than if the only way to play was a 30+ session campaign.)
And I might have to try this, too. Who knew, Facebook might be good for something:evil:!

My sister-in-law expressed interest in playing D&D as she loved D'rizzt (don't judge :clown:) so my most recent group was composed of family and friends.

I think I'd avoid playing with co-workers. There is a local meet-up group connected to the local community centre I'm thinking of checking out but they look to be a lot younger than me although still adults, not sure if that will be an issue.
Never had luck playing with co-workers, either. No idea why, but so it goes.
Now, people that share some other hobby of mines have proven much more likely to give RPGs a try, as soon as they learn the abbreviation doesn't include any rockets:grin:!
 
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Voros

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Never had luck playing with co-workers, either. No idea why, but so it goes.
Now, people that share some other hobby of mines have proven much more likely to give RPGs a try, as soon as they learn the abbreviation doesn't include any rockets:grin:!
With co-workers, we already spend a lot of time together, including after work drinks, so I don’t see that as enough of a mental break. We’d probably end up talking shop.
 

AsenRG

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With co-workers, we already spend a lot of time together, including after work drinks, so I don’t see that as enough of a mental break. We’d probably end up talking shop.
We tend to skip the after-work drinks, so it's not that:smile:.
 

Tommy Brownell

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With co-workers, we already spend a lot of time together, including after work drinks, so I don’t see that as enough of a mental break. We’d probably end up talking shop.
Me and my co-workers - including my boss - tend to forget to talk shop, so if shop talk accidentally broke out, it would probably be good for us.
 

Rich Harkrader

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Look for a meetup in your area.

Check Reddit:
https://www.reddit.com/r/lfg/ - for every game, but a LOT of D&D 5E, online and offline
https://www.reddit.com/r/lfgmisc/ - explicitly for not D&D 5E

For me personally, I live near Richmond, VA, aka RVA, so we have:
https://www.reddit.com/r/RVADandD/
https://www.reddit.com/r/RVAGameNight/

You can also try the subreddit for your city or area. Might be a bit harder. Also try subreddits for particular games.
https://www.reddit.com/r/osr/comments/a0w8gb
Try Discord:
https://www.reddit.com/r/lfg/comments/blc11b - also check for the older versions of this post, or just search /r/lfg for Discord
https://discord.gg/wCADmxD - Tenkar's Tavern, big OSR related discord, has a LFG channel.
https://discord.gg/ZCGeWyE - Fantasy Grounds Discord. That's for online groups using Fantasy Grounds.
https://discordapp.com/invite/z8d6NG7 - The OSR Discord, run by Chris McDowall of Into the Odd fame.
https://discord.gg/uucdJtd - D&D Next Discord
Just do a search on one of the D&D subreddits. There are several quite big ones. If you're looking for other games, there's an excellent chance they have a Discord. I'm on Discords for Savage Worlds, Symbaroum, Gallant Knight Games, Swordfish Island, mini painting. Just search for what you're interested in.

There's also https://www.fantasygrounds.com/forums/forumdisplay.php?40-LFG-Looking-for-Group which is the LFG forum on the official FG forums.
If you're interested in Roll20, they have https://app.roll20.net/lfg/search/ and https://app.roll20.net/forum/category/22 Amusingly enough, when I found a group on Roll20, it was through /r/lfg. Both of those search/posting options should work great as well.

As mentioned there are some really big Facebook RPG and D&D LFG groups. There's also one on MeWe.

Good luck!
 

Bunch

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Look for a meetup in your area.

Check Reddit:
https://www.reddit.com/r/lfg/ - for every game, but a LOT of D&D 5E, online and offline
https://www.reddit.com/r/lfgmisc/ - explicitly for not D&D 5E

For me personally, I live near Richmond, VA, aka RVA, so we have:
https://www.reddit.com/r/RVADandD/
https://www.reddit.com/r/RVAGameNight/

You can also try the subreddit for your city or area. Might be a bit harder. Also try subreddits for particular games.
https://www.reddit.com/r/osr/comments/a0w8gb
Try Discord:
https://www.reddit.com/r/lfg/comments/blc11b - also check for the older versions of this post, or just search /r/lfg for Discord
https://discord.gg/wCADmxD - Tenkar's Tavern, big OSR related discord, has a LFG channel.
https://discord.gg/ZCGeWyE - Fantasy Grounds Discord. That's for online groups using Fantasy Grounds.
https://discordapp.com/invite/z8d6NG7 - The OSR Discord, run by Chris McDowall of Into the Odd fame.
https://discord.gg/uucdJtd - D&D Next Discord
Just do a search on one of the D&D subreddits. There are several quite big ones. If you're looking for other games, there's an excellent chance they have a Discord. I'm on Discords for Savage Worlds, Symbaroum, Gallant Knight Games, Swordfish Island, mini painting. Just search for what you're interested in.

There's also https://www.fantasygrounds.com/forums/forumdisplay.php?40-LFG-Looking-for-Group which is the LFG forum on the official FG forums.
If you're interested in Roll20, they have https://app.roll20.net/lfg/search/ and https://app.roll20.net/forum/category/22 Amusingly enough, when I found a group on Roll20, it was through /r/lfg. Both of those search/posting options should work great as well.

As mentioned there are some really big Facebook RPG and D&D LFG groups. There's also one on MeWe.

Good luck!
Man if there was a way to sticky a post in a thread yours would be a great one to do that to.
 

Apparition

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I breed them.

That and those I breed recruit people they like. I don't bother trying to recruit people much, though I DID recruit one player for my Tuesday night on-line game right here! My players are good recruiters, though! I have one weekly game and 4 more every 2 weeks, which is running three games a week.
It's a shame that the player you recruited from here is terrible though. :tongue:
 

AsenRG

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Pretty sure that not legal.
Not like in the picture you posted. But there are legal, consensual ways to breed them, too:grin:!



Also, is it just me who has the urge to answer "generally I find them quite nice people, and I boot the rest from the group" every time you see the thread title:devil:?
 

Gorilla Feet

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How do I find players? Same as you, first I place a "help wanted ad" online, then I get ready with the chloroform... Seriously though, I don't really go looking for players anymore. If I am not hanging out with you without rolling odd dice, I am not hanging out with you to roll odd dice. So I just get the gang together as often as adulting allows and we take it from there.
 

Simlasa

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The past 3 face-to-face groups I've found here have been through Pen & Paper Games. It's been a while though and I'm not sure how active the site is nowadays. Our GM started a general Las Vegas RPG group on Facebook and I see folks posting LFG/LFM fairly often.
 

Malrex

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About 20 years ago, I got lucky. I had just moved and hadn't played for about 6 years. I went to a gaming store to mess around one day...checked the bulletin board and decided to give a dude a call. He seemed normal so I decided to show up at their next play session at his house. I'm a big dude so wasn't too worried.....BUT, I did put on my hiking boots instead of sandals in case I needed to run...haha. We have had a few guys come in and out, but have had a group of at least 5 regulars.
I did poke around google with RPG and around my town and apparently there is a RPG hobby group that can help people find players, but was mainly 5e (I did see one 2e group though). But was kind of cool to see.
I've never tried online before...but that might be my next step if I ever move.
 

Ronnie Sanford

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About 20 years ago, I got lucky. I had just moved and hadn't played for about 6 years. I went to a gaming store to mess around one day...checked the bulletin board and decided to give a dude a call. He seemed normal so I decided to show up at their next play session at his house. I'm a big dude so wasn't too worried.....BUT, I did put on my hiking boots instead of sandals in case I needed to run...haha. We have had a few guys come in and out, but have had a group of at least 5 regulars.
I did poke around google with RPG and around my town and apparently there is a RPG hobby group that can help people find players, but was mainly 5e (I did see one 2e group though). But was kind of cool to see.
I've never tried online before...but that might be my next step if I ever move.
I used meet
 
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