After decades of hearing about the king of fantasy and adventure board games, Dungeons & Dragons (D&D), maybe something sparked you to finally give it a try.
Perhaps you’re new in town and used to play it with close friends but aren’t sure how to find fellow adventurers from scratch.
How can I find a D&D group? The best way to find a D&D group is to contact your local game store. Most do actually host weekly D&D events, and all you have to do is show up ready to play.
How exactly should you go about that, and what if the game store isn’t really your ideal choice? Keep reading for some additional tried-and-true methods of finding other Dungeons and Dragons players.
Check Local Game Stores First
Besides being a great resource for information on D&D and the community at large, the official company website, dnd.wizards.com, has a handy Store & Event Locator tool to help you find ongoing D&D Adventure Leagues and game stores that host them.
Here’s a quick guide:
- Locate the Store Locator tool in the upper right corner of the page.
- There are various D&D event options to choose from, but for now, select D&D Events, and then pick a distance you’re willing to travel.
- The site will show you a list of store locations near you with the address and the date of their next event.
- Clicking on each result will give you a more detailed address with a Google Maps location and contact information.
What Is a D&D Adventure League?
If you’re new to D&D and don’t know someone already in a group, this is the premier way to get involved and kick your enthusiasm into overdrive.
Typically of the structure of game store D&D events, an Adventure League takes place on an ongoing basis. Wizards of the Coast, the producer of Dungeons and Dragons, publishes modules in a season structure (“season” as in the Fortnite sense).
Although the game as a whole is in its fifth edition as of 2014, seasons come out routinely and are released to game stores first.
So, not only does joining a D&D Adventure League get you involved in a group, it’ll also get you immersed in the community fast and keep you up to date on all of the latest exciting editions to the game.
Store Locators Aren’t Always Perfect
Whenever you search for a game store that hosts D&D, keep in mind that Wizards of the Coast, as a company, doesn’t own these game stores; these types of shops are usually run independently.
So, take the website’s store locator (just like most company-based, online store locators) with a grain of salt. It’s a good place to start, but it’s not going to be 100% accurate.
There is an excellent possibility that some game stores that host D&D haven’t made it to the website yet. On the other hand, some of the ones listed may no longer exist or possibly have the wrong date.
Do yourself a favor before you set out for an Adventure League and give it a quick Google Maps search or at least a phone call.
You might find one closer to your house or a store location that looks more fun in which to do some additional shopping.
Reddit Subreddit Group
You might be thinking, “Whoa, take it down a notch. I just want to play some casual D&D with a small group of people, not join some super involved Adventure League.”
Don’t worry. There are plenty of other ways to find a group in which to play. Reddit, for instance, is always great for finding communities of like-minded people.
R/LFG (Looking for Group) is a large community of gamers, 96,000 members strong, designed specifically for people just like you trying to organize both physical, tabletop game meetups and online video game sessions.
Although there is a broad range of interests on this sub, if you post “wanting to find a group,” you’re bound to find someone within that massive member pool nearby, especially considering the huge familiarity and appeal of D&D.
R/DungeonsAndDragons is the subreddit for the D&D community at large. Although not specifically geared toward finding groups, it will give you the best chance at doing so if r/LFG returns zero or irrelevant results.
Subreddits on Your Hometown
There are subreddits for people based in just about any town, from New York City to Omaha. It’s a pretty common occurrence on Reddit for users to head over to their local subreddit and leave a post to look for nearby D&D groups.
Apps Like GameFor
GameFor is an app and website that essentially does the work for you. Once you input the community in which you wish to play, they’ll help you find upcoming tabletop game locations in your area.
Importantly, you’ll be able to sort through exactly what you’re in the mood for, specifically including:
- Local gaming events.
- Looking for players.
- Store finder (independently found by them, not Wizards itself).
If you’re looking to play some D&D in your own way, GameFor can help you get to the right place.
Similarly, there are multiple Facebook groups for Dungeons and Dragons players specifically. The two broad, current groups you can use to find like-minded players would be:
In an effort to be more like GameFor and similar sites, Facebook has also made Game Pages which are a little different from regular Facebook Groups to enable people to form their own Game Group to communicate and arrange meet-ups.
Here’s the one for Dungeons & Dragons.
However, there are plenty of regular Facebook Groups for local D&D communities, like NYC Dungeons And Dragons Players and Omaha Nebraska D&D, for instance.
There are conventions for everything nowadays, and tabletop games are no exception. They’re great places to meet fellow members of the gaming community in a casual, open setting in the real world without needing to dig around online.
When my cousin, an avid tabletop gamer, moved across the county to my state, he was anxious to find a group with shared interests. A couple of conventions later, he now has a solid group of friends who he regularly invites over and visits for games.
You can meet other D&D players at game conventions who are looking for a group just like you are. Finding a group for D&D, the most famous tabletop, fantasy game of all time, at a convention should be really easy for you.
If that doesn’t narrow it down enough, Wizards of the Coast actually attends a few of these conventions every year. Check out this page on the official D&D website for a current list.
Organize One Yourself
If you’re new in town and have plenty of experience playing Dungeons and Dragons but don’t want to play with groups of strangers, you could always just organize your own group among your new friends who might not know the game.
Just keep in mind that because you’re leading the event, you’ll probably end up being the Dungeon Master.
If that pressure doesn’t bother you, here are a few things to keep in mind before your friends come over for that first session:
- Make the campaign fun. This should always be a top priority.
- Think of ways to keep it interesting after it’s been going on for a long time.
- Keep it fresh and original.
- Make sure you have an end goal in mind.