Dungeons & Dragons can be ludicrously fun with the right group, but it can be hard to even find people willing to play. Putting together four to six players for a game that could run a couple of hours can be hard when everyone has jobs, relationships, kids, and other responsibilities that can demand a lot of time.
Honestly, it can be hard finding people in the first place. If you’re looking to play a rousing game of D&D or if you’re looking for a group you can consistently meet up with for long-term fun, here are some tips to get you started forming your own fellowship.
10 Friends & Family
Your best bet to finding people to play D&D is to start with friends and family. D&D fans come from all walks of life, you never know if your quirky uncle, new girlfriend, or even your sweet grandmother might be a closet D&D fan.
At the very least they might know someone who can point you in the right direction or have heard of groups being organized. Sure you might get ribbed a little, but it doesn’t hurt to try and setting up a game with friends and family will always be easier than it will be with new people.
Meetup is a fantastic website for finding groups that are already organized, have schedules posted, and are actively looking for new members. This should always be one of your first steps when looking for people to play D&D with.
Often times these groups are run by people with a lot of free time on their hands with a passion for D&D and can be setup in various locations in town or hosted at people’s houses. The best groups are often designed to have multiple campaigns running so there’s always space for newcomers.
If you strike out with Meetup then Facebook is your next go to. Some D&D groups will run Facebook pages and have consistent times and locations they meet up at. You can search these by targeting your specific neighborhood, city, or state worst case scenario.
Unfortunately, if you couldn’t find anything on Meetup then odds are you won’t find anything on Facebook. Not to say you shouldn’t try as there are exceptions, but most of the ones you find will be in larger cities that may require you to travel in order to meet up.
7 Obsidian Portal
This is a great site for finding D&D groups if you live in a larger city. It’s not great for smaller locations, but if you live near an urban area and don’t mind the drive it can be a great way to meet up now and then for games.
The Obsidian Portal also supports online play if you would prefer not to meet up physically. Many fans rave about Obsidian Portal’s online support and this can be a fun way to scratch that itch until you find a group.
Your last major internet resource for finding D&D players is through Reddit. Subreddits like /r/lfg can actually be a good way to find individuals looking to form new groups or add to their ranks.
Postings are infrequent so it’ll take some digging and there’s no guarantee that anyone will be close. Maybe consider posting your interest and the area you’re in to see if it generates a response. At the very least you may find an online only D&D group that can tie you over until you find a local group.
5 Board Game Stores
When you’ve exhausted your online resources your next step is to beat the pavement and find your local board game store. Sometimes they’ll host board game nights and some will be for D&D. At the very least the owners can usually point you in the right direction as they get asked these kind of questions a lot.
Worst, worst case scenario they’ll sometimes have bulletin boards that D&D groups will sometimes use. Generally speaking, this is your last best bet to finding someone interested in your local area.
4 College Clubs
Colleges often have young adults looking to share their interests and engage in passions now that they aren’t under the thumb of their parents. Many students will host crazy all-night parties or even have D&D clubs for players to share their character's backstories and exchange awesome campaigns they created.
These are young adults who often have more flexible schedules than older adults or even teenagers with standard school hours so it can be tricky to find a group that works with your schedule. Also, some groups get really into it and have house rules or require you to dress up or speak in old English, so do your research to make sure you’re comfortable with whoever you join.
3 Libraries & Community Centers
Libraries and other community centers like YMCAs will sometimes host D&D sessions and have groups meeting up now and then. On occasion, you can come across a library that will also have some D&D materials which will be handy if you’re just getting started.
These groups tend to be a lot tamer as they have to follow certain rules to use the space, but it can be a low key way to meet some people and learn the ropes. Very rarely some libraries will let groups use the space after hours so they can be louder and have some privacy when they play.
2 Coffee Shops
The last option you probably have for finding fellow players is at your local coffee shop. You’re looking for a hangout space with lots of young adults and bulletin boards raving about local activities. Every now and then you’ll find out about a local group hosting something on one of these boards or you may get lucky socializing with some people and get pointed in the right direction.
This one’s very hit and miss and you’ll have a hard time finding out about local gamers if the coffee shop you’re in is primarily a hangout for musicians and not gamers. Do a little digging, buy a cup of something nice and be prepared to socialize a bit.
1 Build It And They Will Come
If all of the above hasn’t turned up any results, then odds are your local groups are very tight-knit, family only, or trying to avoid getting spammed by new members. In this case, if you still would prefer to play in person rather than online you’re going to have to roll up your sleeves and build your own group from scratch.
Find a place to host a game whether it’s your own home or somewhere local and put out announcements in all the same places you went looking for fellow players letting people know you’re looking to set something up. A lot of people play D&D and it shouldn’t take long to get something going in even the smallest of communities, but it will take a bit of work.