Updated: Jul 19
Finding a group to play tabletop RPG games has always been a challenge and I've ended up creating more than one club to satisfy my passion.
I know others out there find it very difficult to find clubs or groups to play their favourite roleplaying games like Dungeons & Dragons near where they live too.
Are you looking for a group of friends like this?
Local Tabletop RPG Groups Need Committed Members Like You
My club is on a recruitment drive at the moment and we are looking forward to resuming our normal Friday night sessions in our community hall in Chislehurst, South East London.
We try to host 3 games each week and to ensure lots of variety and prevent Dungeon Master (Games Master) burnout we like to rotate the DMs and GMs in and out of running and playing about 3 times a year.
Our typical game rotation is about 17 weeks long so we are actively looking for members who are going to turn up every week and take an active role in an entire campaign session. We do string sessions back to back and I for one have run at least one campaign which ran for 60+ consecutive sessions.
That's a heck of a committment from GMs and so we try to recruit members from towns within easy reach of our venue such as Bexley, Bromley, Eltham, Lewisham, Orpington and Sidcup. This makes travel to club easy on public transport especially when our games finish at 11pm and it's a cold dark wet October night. This is the UK after all.
How Do I Find a Roleplay Club Near Me?
Obviously our club is just not going to be a viable option if you are living in North London, but the internet has a bunch of resources to help you find the right club for you.
Google - I know it sounds obvious but many Tabletop RPG clubs have websites which they use as their primary advertising mechanism when they are looking for players. The most popular search terms are "Tabletop RPG near me", "DnD near me" and "Dungeons and Dragons near me" but also consider using terms which include "in (your town name)" for a more local search result. Avoid the term "Roleplay" as this tends to throw up adult orientated or early years educational resources.
Meetup - Is a useful games meetup listing service which many clubs (my own included) pay to use. However, remember that RPGs are typically are a long term time commitment so if you are looking for more casual drop-in play or if your other real-life commitments such as work or home take precedent then consider looking for the boardgame or online game groups.
Your Friendly Local Game Store (FLGS) - Will usually have a clubs register or a notice board where people can advertise their clubs or groups. Talk to the staff as well as they may know of some themselves. Check their website too as they may offer free advertising for clubs. My FLGS is Orcs Nest in Central London and my club is on its listings page.
Register with Tabletop Wizard's Tabletop Finder - This is a relatively new worldwide personals ad space dedicated to the needs of Roleplayers, Boardgamers and Wargames looking for a game either face to face or online. It's got a growing community with just under 40,000 members.
Reddit - The homepage of the internet has a thriving roleplaying community and many subreddits dedicated to specific systems or genres of tabletop RPGs. Three places I would look are:
r/rpg (1.3M members) - a sub for Tabletop RPGs of all flavours
r/DnD (2.3M members) - a dedicated sub for fans of Dungeons and Dragons
r/lfg (155K players) - a sub for those people looking for a group. Post a message and see who replies.
Other Websites - There are lots but here's just two which
Facebook Groups - Your local town will probably have at least one community group or you might find a listing in one of the many game specific groups. Many clubs or groups even have their own facebook pages like ours Dragons Keep
BGG / RPG Geek - The biggest game database in the world have numerous forums and the users are very friendly and always ready to help you to find your own group. Some have set up Guilds or advertise for players in the game specific forums. Ask a question and someone will answer.
Be Patient, but Be You
Roleplaying is a social contract between people and you might not fit in with the first group you appraoach. Many things can influence a game; GM play style, age, experience and exposure to pop-culture tropes.
Don't get disheartened if you don't gel with the first group you try. In my experience new groups tend to be a bit reserved with new players and likewise people new to a group. Everyone is on their on their best behaviour until they work out exactly who you are.
My advice is to be you and engage with everyone. This gives the group the best opportunity to get to know you and work out if you are going to be a good fit for their group.