There is no denying that Dungeons and Dragons is one of the most fun group games that you can play. The problem is that it can be quite difficult to find a group that you want to play with. In fact, many people wouldn’t know the first place to start.
One of the great things about playing Dungeons and Dragons nowadays is that you probably have more options than ever before to find a group that is right for you. You can search offline or online. You could even play the game with people on the other side of the globe if you really wanted.
On this page, we want to share with you some of the more popular options for finding Dungeons and Dragons groups. Whether you are looking online or offline, these tips will help.
How to Find a D&D Group in Your Area
Let’s start by talking about finding people in your local area. We are assuming that you have already asked your friends and family members. If you haven’t, then start there! It is much more fun to play Dungeons and Dragons with people that you already are quite familiar with.
D&D Adventurer’s League
This is often a person’s first introduction to Dungeons and Dragons.
Many board game stores run a weekly event called D&D Adventurer’s League. If you play Magic the Gathering, then this is pretty much the same concept as Friday Night Magic i.e. one night in the week where people come in and play D&D together.
These games are going to be short sessions. While you will have one character that you can bring from session to session, each Adventurer’s League game session has been designed for just one session for a few hours.
With Adventurer’s League, you will get the opportunity to play with a lot of different people. You will also get to act as a DM, if you want.
We actually recommend that most people get started with Dungeons and Dragons this way. Not only will you probably end up making a ton of friends while you are there, but you will actually get to learn how the game works.
Any local board game store that sells Dungeons and Dragons books and equipment will likely have regular players there. We are sure that if you ask around, you may be able to find a group that can work for you.
If you were heading somewhere for D&D Adventurer’s League, then you may even find a few players that you can play with away from the store. Some of the best game groups that we have ever put together have come from attending events like that.
This one may be a little bit trickier, mostly because many places will not have gaming conventions being held all that frequently. However, if you do have a gaming convention being held in your local area that features Dungeons and Dragons, then make sure that you attend. You never know, you may be able to find a permanent group that you can play with.
There are quite a few places where you can look for local groups to play Dungeons and Dragons with. Some of the best sites are Meetup.com and Craigslist. However, if you are a Reddit user (we will talk more about that in a short while), then you can search for your town or cities subreddit and ask about there. You will probably find a few people to play with, or they may point you in the right direction.
Alternatively, you can have a look on Facebook. You can also find plenty of groups related to Dungeons and Dragons in your local area.
If you are new to Dungeons and Dragons, then we recommend this Dungeons and Dragons Player’s Handbook created by the Wizards RPG Team. It contains rules, character creation and advancement, skills, spells, and so much more. It’s perfect for newcomers and experienced players alike.
How to Find a D&D Group Online
Due to the pandemic, and often the difficulty in finding a D&D group in the local area, a lot of people have opted to search for Dungeons and Dragons groups online. Yep. You can play the game from the comfort of your own home. All you need is a microphone and a webcam.
One of the brilliant things about playing Dungeons and Dragons online is that you now have a wealth of tools that you can use to make your life easier. For example, Wizards of the Coast have released D&D Beyond, which is a complete toolset to help you with the management of your character sheets, rolling dice, etc. There are other options too, but we have found that D&D Beyond is probably the best.
If you want to play the game, then we reckon that using Discord is going to be the best place to play as it includes all the features that you need already. This, rather conveniently, leads us to the first place that you can look.
You can think of Discord as an instant messaging, social media platform sort of thing. It is aimed at the gamer/geek crowd, although it has expanded a little bit since then to try and cover as many groups as possible.
On Discord, you have various chat servers that you can join. Each server is its own individual community, and often it is going to be a tremendous way for you to make a few friends online.
As you can probably guess, there are a few Discord groups that have been put together for people that want to find people to play D&D with online. Now, we can’t give you the links here because Discord invite links expire within a few days of being generated. However, we are sure that if you spend a bit of time hanging around sites like Reddit, you will often find a couple of groups to join.
Remember, since you are online, you will be able to play with people all over the world. However, make sure that you choose a group that suits your time zone and sleeping patterns. You don’t really want to be joining a group that plays when you should be safely tucked up in bed.
Reddit is a tremendous place to find a Dungeons and Dragons group. In fact, it is going to be a tremendous place to find a group for any tabletop roleplaying game.
You will need to head to www.reddit.com/r/lfg and here you will be able to look through the community posts of people that are putting together groups or maybe making one of their own. if you are lucky, you may even end up seeing a few local groups too. However, it does seem to be mostly focused on putting together some epic online groups.
There are dozens and dozens of posts made every single day on this subreddit, so check it out regularly. Of course, since you are going to be on Reddit anyway, you may also want to check out a few of the other subreddits on the site where you can read more about the way that the game plays. The more engaged you get in the community, the more fun that you are going to be having when you play Dungeons and Dragons.
We did briefly touch upon Facebook when we discussed finding a group in your local area. However, you may also have a little bit of success with Facebook when you are looking for online groups too. Now, this is going to be nowhere near as popular as Reddit, but if you look for a few Dungeons and Dragons groups, you may find some people that you can enjoy the game with.
Online Forums ; Listings
Dungeons and Dragons has been around since the dawn of the world wide web. As a result, there should be no shortage of online forums dedicated to the game that you can browse through. Again, nowhere near as popular as Reddit nowadays. However, we find that stretching your wings as wide as possible means that you are more likely to find a group that is right for you.
We suggest that you also use companies like Roll20. This is actually one of those tools that you can use to play the game. However, Roll20 has a few ways to find groups on there. This includes being able to find a group if you want to be a DM, or if you are brand new to the game. This was one of the ways that we first got started in online sessions.
Not the best option. However, there always seems to be some D&D sessions being run on sites like Twitch. Look for one of the smaller sessions (i.e. not Critical Role), and become active in the chat. Since everybody in that room is likely going to be interested in playing Dungeons and Dragons, we are positive that you shouldn’t have that many issues finding somebody that you are going to be able to play with. As we said, this certainly is not going to be the best option for finding a group, but it is certainly something that could work for you in the right circumstances.
How to Maintain Your DND Group
Just because you have found a D&D Group doesn’t mean that you now have a group for the long term. In fact, most Dungeons and Dragons groups are going to break down rather quickly if you do not actually put effort into keeping them running. Thankfully, here are a few tips that can help you out.
Accept All Groups Won’t Work
This is something that people struggle to wrap their heads around.
Dungeons and Dragons is unlike any other game you have played before. It is a game that involves a lot of discussions and collaborative play. People will need to be on the same level. For example, metagaming can be great in some cases (i.e. where you do your best to get the best stats, outcomes to battles, etc.)
However, for those that really love roleplay, metagaming is awful. In fact, if you are a fan of Dungeons and Dragons, you will likely have watched Critical Role. If you watch some of the earliest sessions, they had an extra guy around the table that loved meta-gaming. Nobody else did. He was eventually removed as it really impacted the group.
Before you even start to play Dungeons and Dragons, have a session 0 where you can discuss what the group wants to get from the game. Make sure that you are familiar with one another and their expectations.
If you find that you or others are not really gelling with the group after a few sessions, then we suggest you break up the group. As sad as it may seem, but Dungeons and Dragons is about having fun and socialization. If you can’t do that, the game doesn’t work.
Schedule Regular Sessions
We have often seen many, many groups fall apart simply because there are not enough sessions scheduled. Try to come up with a time that you can agree to play the game regularly. This could be once a week. It could be once a month. Set up a time and everybody can make sure they are available.
If the timing for the play sessions in somewhat sporadic, then you will find that people start to make other plans and they build the D&D sessions around those plans. This means that you will often end up with people not attending the game sessions. It won’t be long until the group falls apart at that point.
DM Needs to Regularly Ask for Feedback
This is vital.
A Dungeon Master needs to know that the players in the group are actually enjoying the game. Hopefully, they will be able to gauge it from the reaction of players around the table. It should be pretty easy to tell whether somebody is bored, for instance.
Our suggestion is that the DM should regularly be talking to the players after the session. They will then be able to discover what the players liked and what they didn’t like. Using this information, they can plan the next session a little better. For example, if the players didn’t really like a heavy dungeon focus, this can be removed from the game. If they felt the battles were too hard, that can be changed up too.
Play with One DM Only
We have seen a lot of advice on trying to ensure that you have multiple DMs in the game on an almost rotating basis. This means each player gets 2-3 sessions to be DM, and then you move onto the next one.
The thing is that this does not work. It doesn’t work at all. It may seem like you can keep people engrossed in the game if you are regularly switching out DMs, but it actually kills interest. Putting aside the fact that some DMs are going to be better than others, you do have to remember that Dungeons and Dragons campaigns are designed to be long play where you can really get pulled into the world. People quickly lose interest if it feels like they are going to be ditching the world they are playing in within a few hours.
Find one DM that everybody likes and stick with them. There is no reason you can’t run a one-off every so often so that other people get a chance to play as DM, and the DM gets to act as a player. However, the bulk of your sessions should have one DM.
Don’t Always Play by the Rules
Sure, there are rules for Dungeons and Dragons. However, the game actively encourages you to break the rules. They are a framework for the game, not something that you have to live by.
If you are a DM, then don’t always play by the rules. Choose the options that will be the most fun for your players. For example, you may want to change up the way certain monsters work or something.
Games are meant to be fun, and if you stick to the rules a little bit too much, it may end up sucking some of that fun out of the game. As soon as your players feel that they are not having enough fun playing Dungeons and Dragons, they are going to stop turning up to your sessions. This is when your group will end up dying.
Dungeons and Dragons is a fantastic game. However, it is only as good as the group that you get. This means that it can take a while to hunt down a group to play with.
Luckily, there are more ways than ever to track down a D&D group that is going to be right for you. Whether you want to play offline or online, you have a wealth of options available.
Do make sure that you play with a group for several sessions before you commit to them long-term. If you don’t, then you may end up with a group that you don’t really gel all that well with.