New at the Table: How to find a D&D game

 Artwork by Fernando Sala.  Buy it on a T-shirt!

Artwork by Fernando Sala. Buy it on a T-shirt!

You’re new around here.

Don’t be intimidated. It’s totally cool. You’re welcome here.

Fantasy RPGs like Dungeons & Dragons and Pathfinder are a whole lot of fun, but between the rules, the dice, the adventures and everything else, we understand it can be a whole lot to process.

That’s why we want to help. Here at Dungeon Crate, we love RPGs, and we really love new players. That’s why we’ve created this series of blogs called “New at the Table,” which is for those who are totally new to the game as well as those who haven’t rolled dice since the AD&D era and are looking to get back into it.

Over the next few months, we’ll be exploring where to find dice and minis, how to create a character you love, deciding what kind of game to play, how to DM your first game and lot smore.

But first: You need to find a game. We can help.

Ask at your friendly local game shops. Game shops aren’t just places where people buy games. It’s also where they play games. Your FLGS almost certainly has a few groups that meet there to play D&D regularly. (It can be easier to meet somewhere than for someone to host.) Tell an employee you’re looking to join a game and that you’re new at this. They should have a good idea of who plays at the shop and who might be looking for a new player.

Join an organized play group. D&D has Adventurer’s League and Pathfinder has Pathfinder Society, and they’re played at game shops. (If you take our advice above, your game shop might recommend this first.) Organized play groups are officially sanctioned by their respective publishers, and they’re geared toward new players and those who are looking for a more casual play experience. You can typically drop in on a game whenever it’s scheduled and find a seat at the table, but check with the organizer first. Either way, it’s a great way to start the hobby.

Check out the LFG Subreddit. LFG stands for “looking for group,” and the Reddit page is dedicated entirely to tabletop gamers looking for like-minded people to play with. Some want to meet in person, and others are happy to play online. Which leads us to…

Find a group on Roll20. Virtual tabletops such as Roll20 and Fantasy Grounds host online sessions of games. Roll20 has a big “Join a Game” right on its front page if you’re looking, and Fantasy Grounds has an LFG section in its forums.

Find a Facebook group. The social network is full of gaming groups, and if you live in a large enough town, you’re likely to find a group of local players you could join. Otherwise, join some of the largest community pages for D&D and Pathfinder and ask around.

Check out other sites meant to connect gamers. Sites such as Gamer Seeking Gamer, Meetup.com, Obsidian Portal and RPGGeek are all great ways to locate other gamers looking for an extra player.

Find a play-by-post page. Whereas sites like Roll20 depict a map and tokens, sites such as Tavern Keeper and RPG Crossing feature play-by-post games where players write their actions into a forum to play the game. Games can then be played at any hour of the day and from all over the world without all the players having to meet in the same place at the same time. It may sound crazy, but play-by-post games can be really fun.

Start your own game. Do you have any other friends that are interested? Maybe you can play the game with them. We highly recommend something like the D&D Starter Set, which includes a rulebook, a fun adventure, pre-generated character sheets and even a set of dice. It’s also designed to ease first-timers into the game, so it’ll be easy to pick up.