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The Heart of the Matter: TTRPG Week 3

Join us on Fridays at 8:00pm on Facebook to discuss TRPGs

Now to the main event, finding a group. This can seem like a difficult and daunting task but, thanks to the internet, is easier than ever to accomplish. Gamers have taken to social media like fish to water and no matter the locale, it is possible to find a game.

Now while sites like Facebook and Meetup do have active communities of gamers, a number of dedicated sites exist that handle the needs of the community somewhat better. In general, I would first look to the website of a games publisher, as they will almost always have forums and it will be easier to find groups related to a specific game. Oddly enough, Dungeons and Dragons does not have a forum, they have locators for Adventures leagues, but for non-league games dndbeyond is your best bet. In addition to having active communities, both Roll20 and Fantasy Grounds have programs to set up and play games. Moving on from the more official and officially associated sources - and there are many – here are two of the more well-known and useful sites. The first is RPG.net, an older but active community, dedicated to all things TRPG. In addition to a forum dedicated to finding groups, they have articles and reviews of many different games. Lastly is Warhorn, a newer site designed specifically to help players find games or coordinate existing games.

When the quarantine ends, I would suggest finding a local game store. If they have enough space, they will likely host D&D Adventure League and/or Paizo's Pathfinder/Starfinder Society in addition to games held by local groups. If they don't, most stores have a bulletin board where people will post notices for games. And on the subject of bulletin boards - check at anyplace that has one, such as the local library, you just might get lucky and find a group.

So, now that we've established where to find a group, now let’s narrow down which group is right for you. After putting out a few feelers, you've likely spotted a few games that, from their descriptions, sound like something you might enjoy. You'll want to get in touch with the Game Master, as they are the one doing the hosting and running. I would recommend a voice and video chat if it is feasible, as it tends to put both parties at ease. The anonymity of the internet is good for many things, but not necessarily for making a good first impression. After the pleasantries are out of the way, you'll want to start by asking questions which will allow the GM to elaborate on the game to see if it fits your style of play. Maybe you'll want to know if they will be using a grid and token for encounters, or perhaps “Theater of the Mind” where everything takes place in the player's imagination. Will they be using an established setting or something they created? Will your character's background come into play or should you focus on class and abilities? What player options will and will not be allowed in the game? In the end, you want to know what to expect from the game, and you'll want the GM to know what you want out of the game. Likewise, you should understand the same from the GM. Communication between the players and GM is the key to a successful group.

- by Jason, Twin Rivers Branch

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