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View Full Version : Etiquette Question: How to find players for a home game



PhoenixPhyre
2016-09-17, 12:15 PM
So I've decided that the local gaming establishments won't work for me. One only plays pathfinder (and on a night I can't play), another is populated by late-night types who are into explicit descriptions of sex and murder (not my style), and the third has long-standing house rules that I can't get past.

I have experience as a DM for 4th and 5th edition D&D (my preferred games) and have been considering trying to start a home game. One big problem--I have no idea how to effectively advertise for one. Hence my post here.

A few questions (any other ideas/feedback would also be welcome):

What means have you found effective (or ineffective) for finding people for an in-person home game?
What information would you want to have in a meetup.com post (for example)? I assume the system and a basic tone, but not sure how much more.
Are there things that would turn you off to a proposed house game with (initially) strangers?

Koo Rehtorb
2016-09-17, 12:31 PM
Turning friends into roleplayers is a lot easier and more fun than turning roleplayers into friends. At least in my experience.

hymer
2016-09-17, 12:34 PM
What means have you found effective (or ineffective) for finding people for an in-person home game?

I had a friend on Facebook speak up in some RPG groups on there.


What information would you want to have in a meetup.com post (for example)? I assume the system and a basic tone, but not sure how much more.

I gave my friend an intro (http://nanmehtar.wikispaces.com/Intro+and+Statement), and some general stuff about the intended campaign (5e, sandbox) and he put in a few lines about me, the DM, and the other players (age, experience, some RP preferences). Those who seemed interested then got the link to the campaign page (http://nanmehtar.wikispaces.com/).


Are there things that would turn you off to a proposed house game with (initially) strangers?

Well, you ought to be straight about it, especially if you think it might turn some people away. But perhaps that's what you meant.

We recruited about a dozen players, though of course some were no-shows and some showed but decided it wasn't for them. There were still plenty to get us going, and we're now six sessions in.
Best of luck to you!


Turning friends into roleplayers is a lot easier and more fun than turning roleplayers into friends. At least in my experience.

I tend to agree, although there are times when you need to find new friends. And getting some 'new blood' can be really refreshing.

Jay R
2016-09-17, 06:22 PM
Turning friends into roleplayers is a lot easier and more fun than turning roleplayers into friends. At least in my experience.

Absolutely. I'd much rather teach D&D to the friends I already enjoy having in my home than bring D&D-playing strangers into my home to see if they are compatible.

DodgerH2O
2016-09-17, 08:18 PM
Turning friends into roleplayers is a lot easier and more fun than turning roleplayers into friends. At least in my experience.

Throwing my support behind this. Even friends-of-friends are often up for it and the established link allows you to get a sense for the person before they show at the table.

Thrudd
2016-09-18, 05:02 PM
Some time ago (13, 14 years?), I was in a new city and didn't know anyone yet. I posted an advertisement on an online gaming board stating my desire to run various RPGs, got some responses, and met some good friends because of it. I have met many good friends over the years because of gaming, at stores and at university gaming clubs. Online meetups are just another way. Inviting new people into your home could cause hesitation, especially if you have a family. I was a young, single guy at the time, with very little in the way of material possessions for people to steal, so I had no fears (not that being robbed would have even occurred to me, in thus context).

Of the people who responded to the ad before I took it down, three of four people became friends and only one that showed up didn't really fit in and didn't return (nothing dramatic, though). I added a new coworker and her spouse to the game later on, and a friend of one of the online meetup people joined in, and we had a great group.

RazorChain
2016-09-18, 05:49 PM
Friends and co-workers are a good start for recruitment but not everbody has interest in RPG's


I moved to a different country but I often visit my home country because of business and pleasure. I usually hook up with my old group there as they are close friends.

But I finally recruited a new group where I live and I used facebook. Often there are facebook groups dedicated to RPG's where players are looking for groups and at least you know they are interested in playing. Also it is easier to get rid of bad apples if they aren't close friends or family.

Contrast
2016-09-18, 05:53 PM
Earlier this year I was part of a group which resulted from a post online asking if anyone in the local area fancied playing some 5E. All worked out great so far.

The person hosting did suggest we all meet up in a pub to have a session 0/chat about what we wanted to play and do first before we had a session at their house (I assume to double check we were all relatively normal/socially compatable) so maybe if you're hosting for people you haven't met before that might be something you may want to consider.

Edit - it also sounds like you've explored your other local options, if you know any of the people in those other games it might be worth asking if they or anyone else they know may be interested in an alternative time/venue/ruleset. Or even if your friends don't want to play ask if they want to ask their friends. I first started playing RPGs because I was invited by a friend who I didn't know played RPGs to play with a friend of his who I didn't know.

Mark Hall
2016-09-19, 11:12 AM
We've also done a Meetup at a local store with the specific intention of winnowing out who we want to play with. It's not a perfect method (we wound up inviting one guy and his wife, only to disinvite them because he was REALLY creepy), but made some friends that way.

It's also not a bad idea to poll your friends, as others have said. I know some friends who always wanted to play, but never got a chance when they were younger. (http://rpg-crank.livejournal.com/22173.html)

JeenLeen
2016-09-19, 12:34 PM
The person hosting did suggest we all meet up in a pub to have a session 0/chat about what we wanted to play and do first before we had a session at their house (I assume to double check we were all relatively normal/socially compatable) so maybe if you're hosting for people you haven't met before that might be something you may want to consider.

I definitely agree with at least the first meeting being in an impartial place. That keeps people from being nervous you might be dangerous, and protects you if they are dangerous (or just creepy and don't want them joining.) If allowed, maybe you could get a table with these new folk at one of the local gaming places; at least, if the explicit tables aren't talking so loud it makes anyone uncomfortable, that seems viable.

If folk have the time, I can see a pre-game meet-up where you discuss expectations, likes, dislikes, play style, etc. It's probably hard to balance adequately discussing such and not coming off as overbearing/such that would scare off new players. Basically, I could expectations about PvP (cool or not), play style (murderhobo to mostly RP with little combat), optimization habits and whether they matter or not, houserules, etc. One of my worst (although in itself rather mild) bad gaming experiences was because of mis-aligned expectations, and thus perceptions, between me and a DM.

lytokk
2016-09-19, 12:58 PM
My wife and I tried once just putting up flyers at our local gaming stores. Eventually we got a bite and did a session 0 at the game shop just to try and get a feel for the people. Unfortunately we only played one game as the DM had to start doing something, and the whole thing just fell apart.

As a DM, its never really that hard to find a group of players wanting to play. Its harder as a player to find a DM willing to run a game. So just post some flyers, assuming your local gaming shops are alright with it, and I do recommend, like many on the thread, to do a session 0 at some location other than your house.