I love TTRPGs, but they’re kind of hard to break into, especially if you don’t already have a group of friends interested in learning how to play. Luckily I was lucky enough to have a group that was ready to learn, but I also took a few players and groups off the interwebs using some nice tools, and you can too. Do not worry; I will go through everything. As someone who struggles with anxiety and depression—a combo that isn’t ideal for a journalist or a game master juggling seven different players in a six-hour Dungeons & Dragons game—it can be hard to open yourself up to an entire game. new group of people let alone find them.
In this week’s column of tabletop tips from an anxious GM (all of which can be found on our Do not disturb tips hub), I will provide five tools or resources that you can use to find a group to play with. This was inspired by a recent message I received from someone asking to join my own group – I was incredibly flattered, but unfortunately I’m full of players. So this is for that person, and others like them who want to find a group.
This isn’t as simple as sending random people or offering your Discord username when it suits you – it sure can, but that’s not always the case. Some places even require you to submit applications (yes, I’m serious). Let me explain.
There are five tools you can use. D&D further. To find groups or players in D&D Beyond, go to Forums > Looking for players and groups. roll20. You want to jump Join a game after creating an account, then refine your searches to find what you’re looking for. Tabletop Wizard. You can go through the list of available gamesand all you have to do is click on “request to join”. Start playing. Pay some money for a professional game in the Search games list. Meet. look at the Dungeons & Dragons topic (opens in new tab) or even the Subject: Role play and board games on the table (opens in new tab) to search local events or groups.
Finding a Do Not Disturb Group and Other TTRPGs – An In-Depth Look
D&D further. This is mainly exclusive to those looking for a D&D 5e group, but D&D Beyond is one of my favorite sites to find players and groups. I made an entire D&D group for my wife and I at D&D Beyond to let her try it out, and now she has four new best friends.
To find groups or players in D&D Beyond, go to Forums > Looking for players and groups. You can either create your own thread and write something about yourself and what you’re looking for, or you can check out the latest posts and comment on the posts you’re interested in. find a game, but it may take a while to find the right game for you. On these forums, they usually prioritize stating preferences such as game play, group preference, experience, time zone, availability, preferred role, and game style.
roll20. I’m not a big fan of Roll20, or it’s looking for group mentions, but I’ll talk about it because it’s popular. You’re not promoting yourself or necessarily looking for a group, but rather you’re looking for a game. Unlike D&D Beyond, Roll20 covers a wide variety of TTRPGs, including Call of Cthulhu, Vampire: The Masquerade, and Mutant: Year Zero.
You want to jump Join a game after creating an account, then refine your searches to find what you’re looking for. Usually you have to post a new thread in the game you are interested in, or you have to reply to an existing thread. There are usually tons of opinions and comments, but don’t let that discourage you! You’ll have to “apply” to one of these games using the creator’s format – make sure to include your contact information (something that isn’t too private).
Tabletop Wizard. This is a nice new tool specially designed for finding groups unlike the previous tools. You can create an account, set your location, time zone, language, experience, preferences and more. Then you look through the list of available gamesand all you have to do is click on “request to join”.
There aren’t too many available games that I’ve found, but once you’ve asked to join, in some cases you can pick your favorite role and then pitch yourself. It’s a bit like writing a cover letter for a job. Yes, it’s work, but so is socializing, and that’s how you get started, so don’t get discouraged and give it a try!
Start playing. This is less for those looking for a group and more for those looking for a TTRPG run by a professional. The main difference between StartPlaying and the other sites is that it is not free. Games start at $5 and can go all the way up to $50. This is a great opportunity for those who are new to a particular TTRPG and need a guide, or even those looking for more serious play.
You don’t have to pay money to find a good group of TTRPGers, but if you go this route you will browse the Search games list and request to join by entering your credit card information. You won’t be charged until the session actually starts, but you’re essentially paying for a seat to play at one of these tables.
Meet. This is a tool to find all kinds of events, not just TTRPG related, but if you’re interested in joining a personal session, it could work for you. You’ll have to put in some work by creating an account and finding a local group that participates in the specific game you’re interested in.
This also allows you to always create your own event, which would be a great way to build a personal group. look at the Dungeons & Dragons topic (opens in new tab) or even the Subject: Role play and board games on the table (opens in new tab) to search events or groups. If you live in a more populated area, this is much easier to use. But if you can’t find any local groups, I highly recommend creating your own.
I hope this helps new players and GMs who are just jumping into TTRPGs. If you liked this column and want to see it continue, feel free to send me your own questions about mechanical, narrative, or social issues in the gaming space on the table. You can email me at email@example.com or find me on Twitter.