How to find a RPG / D&D group near you
Looking for online RPG groups for beginners?
Or perhaps you are a veteran player in need of another in-person campaign?
Finding a tabletop RPG group near you can be a challenge, but fear not this little ditty should help you find the right RPG group for you.
Time and location are the two biggest problems for RPG players looking for a RPG group.
How to Find a RPG Group Offline
There’s no experience quite like playing RPG in the physical presence of your fellow players. Most beginner and experienced RPG players alike prefer to play offline RPG. It is not as easy to find a group, but it is 100% possible.
The Starter’s Set
The official D&D Starter Set might be the best way to play D&D for the first time. It includes a set of dice, premade characters, a basic rulebook, and a game that takes players from Level 1 to Level 5.
Other RPGs have similar starting rule sets that are great for diving into a RPG.
If you have (or can find) a group of friends who would also like to form a beginner RPG group, this is the perfect way to start. It might not feel like the set finds you a group. But if you tell your friends that you have an easy way to start playing Dungeons and Dragons or another system, you will be surprised how many people are interested in joining.
Local Game Stores or Cafés (also known as LFGS)
A local game store or board game café might be the best place to find an offline RPG group. These locations often offer regularly scheduled RPG nights and are often beginner friendly. They have staff who are well-equipped to teach new players, and they often loan or sell the materials you’ll need to play.
Conventions are a great way to find a RPG group either as a new player or a long-time fan of the game. While conventions do require a certain amount of time and money, they also offer an organized way to play the game a lot in a short amount of time. Plus, the people you meet at conventions can lead to new groups that play together online or offline in the future.
Local Listing Boards
Colleges, libraries, and coffee shops are all excellent places to find local listing boards. On these boards, you can find advertising local RPG groups, or you can place your own listing. Similarly, these locations might run their own games through a RPG club or a similar organization.
How to Find Online RPG Groups
Finding a RPG group online may lead you to online or offline gameplay. While offline gameplay allows you the ease and immediacy of interacting with other players, online RPG groups can offer flexibility and the ability to meet new players.
Social listing sites such as Facebook, twitter and instagram are a great place to find RPG groups online or offline. First, you can search “RPG” plus your location to find a group on any social listing or group site. If that does not lead you to the desired result, try a broader search. For example, search for a Facebook group about RPG in general and chat with the people in that group.
Many Tabletop RPG clubs have websites so new players can find them.
The most popular search terms are "Tabletop RPG near me", "Roleplaying Game Club near me" and " Roleplaying Game Groups near me " but also consider using terms which include "in (your town name)" for a more local search result.
Roll20.net acts as an online platform to play D&D and other roleplaying games. The site has a comprehensive search function for players looking for games. When looking for a game, simply click, “Join a Game,” type in your search parameters, and browse the options.
If you’re looking for the most recent version of Dungeons & Dragons, be sure to add, “D&D 5e” to the “Playing Any of These Games” section.
For online RPG groups for beginners, check the “Welcomes New Players” box.
To find a game that meets at a certain time or day, select the “Advanced Search Options” and select the time and day you are looking for.
The app Discord caters to gamers specifically. It serves as a way to chat during games, either through text or with audio.
To find online RPG groups through Discord, you must first create an account and be invited to a channel posting new games.
While it may seem like an extra step to find a group, most online RPG groups for beginners and advanced players use Discord for communication purposes. If you plan to play online, it’s worth forming an account.
Tabletop Wizard's Tabletop Finder
Register with Tabletop Wizard's Tabletop Finder. This is a worldwide personals ad space dedicated to the needs of Roleplayers, Boardgamers and Wargames looking for a game either face to face or online. It's got a growing community with just under 40,000 members.
Has a thriving roleplaying community and many subreddits dedicated to specific systems or genres of tabletop RPGs.
Some examples to start you off:
r/rpg (1.3M members) - a sub for Tabletop RPGs of all flavours
r/DnD (2.3M members) - a dedicated sub for fans of Dungeons and Dragons
r/lfg (155K players) - a sub for those people looking for a group. Post a message and see who replies.
Maintaining Your RPG Group
As a player, there are several things you can do to ensure that gameplay continues consistently and in an enjoyable manner.
Be clear about what you hope to get out of a game and how you intend to play. There’s no right or wrong answer here. Communicating your desires and plans will ensure that you have found the right group to play with.
For example, combat-heavy and RPG-focused games are both valid ways to play RPG. If one person wants to fight and the others want to roleplay, though, the first player might want to find a different group. Also, make sure you share your schedule with the other players to find the best day and time for all of you to play.
Roleplaying is a social contract between people and you might not fit in with the first group you approach. Many things can influence a game; GM play style, age and experience.
The best way to test these details out is through a one-shot game. The GM can choose to run a “trial” game for the group to make sure everyone’s play style, characters, and scheduling make a good fit.
Don't get disheartened if you don't gel with the first group you try. New groups tend to be a bit reserved with new players and likewise people new to a group. Everyone is on their on their best behaviour until they work out exactly who you are.
Just be you engage with everyone. This gives the group the best opportunity to get to know you and work out if you are going to be a good fit for their group.
Consistency is key both in how you play and showing up to play. Nothing derails a campaign more than players flaking out. Everyone has scheduling conflicts, of course. But if you do, refer to Communicate. Tell your GM and the other players as soon as you know there will be a scheduling conflict. Then, they can make alternate plans.
Offer to Help
A lot tends to fall to the Games Master as the game runner. Not everything has to fall to the Games Master, though. For example, offer to help in terms of food, a location to play, or acquiring needed materials such as dice or pencils.
As you search for the right RPG group for you, there’s a couple of terms you might encounter. Understanding these terms can help you choose which group is right for you. Reference the glossary below to better understand these terms.
In essence, the Adventure’s League refers to (for lack of a better word) “official” RPG games. It uses the fifth edition rules for Dungeons & Dragons (also known as 5e). Stories in the Adventure League take place in the Forgotten Realms, a fictional land within the RPG universe.
A campaign entails a multi-session game. If you find a RPG group that’s interested in playing a campaign, you will be expected to play with the same character for several weeks, several months, or even several years on a regular basis.
This is a great choice if you’re looking for consistent gameplay. If you cannot commit to a regular game, however, you may want to find a one-shot.
Homebrew content is gaming content made specifically by a Games Master (GM) or a player. Unlike Adventure League content, this content is not officially sanctioned by Dungeons & Dragons or other Systems. Instead, it comes directly out of the imagination of a GM or player within a particular group.
This abbreviation for “Looking for Group” is a way to find others in search of online RPG groups. Normally, those who share this abbreviation online will share other details about what they are looking for in a group. This might include where they hope to play and how long they want to play for.
Not to be confused with, “Looking for Group,” LFGS stands for, “Local Friendly Game Shop.” This abbreviation refers to local game stores in general. It also points out that most local game stores and their patrons are quite friendly.
Unlike campaigns, a one-shot is a single session game. If you want to just dip your toes into the waters of RPG or you can’t commit to a campaign because of your schedule, you can simply play one game of RPG and move on.
“Play by Post,” or PBP references games that you can play by text through a platform like Discord or a forum like RPGGeek.com. PBP games allow flexibility but require daily check-ins or the game will slow down.
Hobbits Hole Roleplaying Club
We are on a recruitment drive at the moment and we meet every Wednesday in Bromley, South East London and on Friday nights online.
We try to host 3 games in hall each week and to ensure lots of variety and prevent Games Master burnout we have several GMs who rotate in and out of playing or GMing.
We have 4 rotations a year, lasting approximately 12 weeks per rotation, to ensure it is easier to get into a game.