View Full Version : Player Help Just got into my first pickup game

2015-05-27, 09:39 AM
So, I posted a flyer at pretty much all of my FLGS a few months ago and finally got a response. Looks like me and my wife are going to get to play together and through the shop the DM was able to find several more players and we're going to be getting together at the shop this weekend. The DM originally wanted to play at his house, but I suggested having the first session at the shop just to feel things out.

Since this is my first game where I don't know any of the players or the DM, I was wanting to make sure of the etiquette. I know this gaming shop is an all ages shop, so things like swearing are looked down on, but I wanted to be sure of all social rules we should follow. Me and the DM have been e-mailing back and forth so we've been getting to know each other a little bit that way.

Since the gaming shop is our host place, is it courtesy to buy something as we'll be using their space? Things like that I would need an answer to.

Getting really excited for a session zero while we plan on all this.

2015-05-27, 10:08 AM
Main rule is don't be an *******, and you are golden.

Any game shop worth their salt will at least have drinks for sale, so you can at least spend a couple of bucks on soda or bottled water or something. Most also sell dice(in sets and just loose dice) and those are fairly cheap if you wanna spend a bit more coin. You don't have to buy a dozen books or other things unless you really want to.

2015-05-27, 11:10 AM
I would look at this as a scouting mission rather than the final objective. Find the people you really get along with amongst the assemblage that shows up. Contact them separately after the event to set something else up.

My personal experience with posting/answering flyers at game shops has been a mixed bag. People responding to ads for "mature and responsible gamers" apparently have wildly different interpretations of what those words mean.

Just like dating sites, there might be a reason why some of these people are still "single".

2015-05-30, 07:16 PM
As someone who primarily games at a FLGS on a weekly basis:

1- You're going to be around other people, not just your small group. Act like you would if you and your group were eating at a Mickey D's. Don't talk too loud, dress cleanly, make sure you've bathed, etc... Normal "human going out to socialize in a public area" stuff. The context will be elves and dwarves instead of cheeseburgers and watered down pop. Don't be a jerk.

2- speaking of pop: if the table is free to use (I've head some stores rent out playspace if it's going to be used for an extended amount of time, rather then a free-for-all cardflipping or deckbuilding by random shoppers) buy some pop or chips at least. Most gaming stores have munchies and drinks on hand. Ours normally has your "brown sugar water" type of pepsi/coke/dr.pepper depending on the whims of chaos, root beer for someone who wants a different kind of brown drink, orange or mountain dew for the citrus lovers and usually some water bottles and/or fruit juice cans. Plus small bags of chips every flavour of the rainbow Skittles left out.

They also sell gaming accessories like dice, minis, dicebags, etc... if you want to spend more.

3- It might take a few sessions to get a feel for the group. I recently had a bad experience with a pickup group after one guy seemed to single me out to make my experience horrible. I left that group about 5 sessions in when it became clear he was a jerk and it wasn't just "his character". Now, that's not to discourage you from trying. When I moved into town 10 years ago i tried a few pick up groups and they either died off or the GM got bored. Then I met my regular Wednesday one, we clicked and have been playing weekly/bi-weekly together for about 7-8 years now. Every friend was a stranger at some point, so don't be scared of meeting new folks. If one group doesn't pan out, keep in touch with people you did like gaming with... they might introduce you to a new group or can help you fill up seats in a game you've joined that's missing a few guys.

4-Be positive. You're going to be meeting new people, so at least go in there expecting a somewhat positive gaming experience... Go there expecting to have a good time. Someone who shows up with a negative/bad attitude is likely to make the session drag on and generally bring people down, lowering the chances of the DM continuing with this group or even just you.

2015-05-30, 08:59 PM
I have no actual experience with pickup groups, the closest being a group scouted at my university (essentially the same thing, except it was formed more by word of mouth than notices), and all I can say is that you should basically treat it the same as other first meetings. The key things to remember is that if it's a commercial venue to buy something, even if it's just a drink, and to be respectful if not polite, and keep an open mind about stuff.

Remember that this group likely won't 'gel' as quickly as one where most of the group are friends, although this isn't absolute, and that people might have differing tastes. Otherwise, just remember not to be too friendly while being friendly enough, and all the usual social stuff.

Honest Tiefling
2015-05-31, 03:33 AM
My FLGS never really made this clear, but most people assumed that if you were going to use the tables, you buy something. Then again, the store had a selection of some Asian snacks which can be hard to acquire anyway. Some stores have a baragin bin of minis and the like, and I'd snatch those up if you are low on cash and want to support the place.

I would also like to say to keep releases and events in mind. My FLGS also does Magic Cards, so you probably want to know ahead of time if there are any tournaments or the like.

Also, bring hand sanitizer. I have no idea who keeps doing it, but for some reason people keep messing with the bathrooms at my FLGS. Don't be this guy. I really wished I knew who the **** keeps doing that.

2015-06-01, 07:16 AM
Thanks for the advice. I ended up picking up a 5th ed players manual and the DM picked up probably a good $70 in used magic cards, so I'd say we're good. The other players weren't able to make it, but it turned out to be a good chance to meet the DM and decide on a system. We were deciding between 3.5 and 5th edition, and decided to go with 5th.