D&D 101: Finding a Group

The hardest part of Dungeons & Dragons isn't necessarily learning the rules or building a character, but rather finding a group to play with. Welcome to D&D 101, a new column that answers reader questions about Dungeons & Dragons (and other tabletop games.) We'll cover everything from game management skills, character builds, and creating memorable campaigns to some of the trickier "social" aspects of the game. If you have a question that you'd like to see answered in a future column, leave us a comment or find me on Twitter at @CHofferCbus and ask me on there!

Today's topic comes from ComicBook.com's own gaming editor Rollin Bishop, who wanted to know the best ways of finding a new D&D group. This is a question I get asked a lot, especially by people who are new to D&D. After all, Dungeons & Dragons isn't a video game that you can play through by yourself. It's as much a social experience as it is a game and requires at least two people to play, or more if you really want that classic D&D experience.

Often, the biggest key to finding a Dungeons & Dragons group is knowing where to look. Many people think that finding a D&D group is difficult, but don't realize that there are tons of people out there who want to play D&D as much as they do. Sometimes, it's a matter of just asking friends and family if they're interested, but others might have to face one of the hardest obstacles to face as an adult - trying to make new friends.

As a 32 year old, I fully empathize with those who feel anxiety over interacting with strangers, especially when looking for people to share a hobby with. There are days where I don't want to talk to my co-workers and family, much less reach out to strangers about sitting down for two or more hours to roll some dice together. Gone are the days of high school social clubs and college dorms, where making new friends was as easy as breathing. However, we adults have a resource that we lacked as high schoolers - the Internet.

That's right, the World Wide Web is one of the easiest places to find a D&D group. After all, unlike many other tabletop games, you don't need any physical materials to play D&D - just your imagination and maybe a pencil and some paper to take notes. People play D&D over the Internet all the time, and more groups are forming daily. There are tons of communities like Reddit's /r/lfg filled with people actively looking to play D&D and other tabletop games with people online. Plus, playing D&D online only requires a microphone, and a video/audio chat system like Skype to play. You might also want to search Facebook for local D&D groups, or post on one of the massive D&D groups to see if anyone is looking for an extra player.

If you're looking for a "real life" group to game with, try heading down to your local board game store. Many local board game stores have run weekly nights using D&D Adventurers League rules. Adventurers League is the official Organized Play campaign for D&D and allows players to quickly create a character and then jump into a game immediately. While there are some rules specific to Adventurers League that aren't typically enforced at home D&D tables, most Adventurers League games are open to the public and allow for anyone to simply come in and play D&D.

For those who don't have a local board game store nearby, another alternative is to check local libraries or community centers to see if there's a local "club" for D&D. If your library doesn't have a D&D Club, it might be worthwhile to enquire into starting one, since there are probably other people like you who are also looking for a group. You might also inquire at places like comic stores and other hobby shops for potential leads.

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If you've exhausted all of the above options, you may need to bite the bullet and organize a D&D group yourself. D&D is enjoying unheard of levels of popularity right now and the game doesn't have the stigma that it did in years past. If you have a co-worker who loves Game of Thrones, they might be interested in giving D&D a shot. Or, maybe you have a cousin that loved World of Warcraft back in college - they'd probably be into D&D too. If you know someone who enjoy Lord of the Rings, or Outlander, or loves playing board games, they could potentially be converted into D&D players. Sometimes all it takes is getting a group to sit down together - once they get into D&D, they'll likely want to keep playing forever.

Let us know how you found your D&D group in the comment section, and be sure to ask me your D&D questions at @CHofferCbus!