n our Gamer Resolutions article, I mentioned that one of the more frequent resolutions among gamers this year is just to play more. For some, accomplishing that task requires finding a group of hardy adventurers willing to explore a new world and test their mettle against a dragon (or five).
I know of a few people who have formed a long-term D&D group from people they've met during a D&D Encounters season or other in-store play experience at their friendly local game store (FLGS). Encounters, Game Day, and the like provide an easy way for groups to get together and try out a game or several without committing to a long-term campaign arc.
Wizards of the Coast hosts a handy event and store finder. Just find a store running the program that interests you. You might want to contact the store first to see if there are any registration requirements. Due to demand, some locations require participants to sign up for games before arriving. In addition to serving as a play location, many stores also offer bulletin boards where people can post notices.
Player Seeking Player
A number of sites offer ways for players and DMs to find each other. Pen & Paper Games and ENWorld both have a registry that people can use to search for players. Obsidian Portal allows groups to announce that they are looking for players, with an added bonus that their game locations are displayed on a map with a link to the campaign's wiki.
Conventions, especially local ones, can be a great way to connect and network with fellow gamers and maybe find a new ongoing game. In fact, the invitation to one of the campaigns I'm in now came from running a game for the group at PAX East (Speaking of which, I'll be at PAX East 2012. If you go, feel free to say hi.). Warhorn.net has a list of upcoming cons on their website. Often geek conventions that aren't gaming focused will still have a game room or section.
LFR & Local RPG groups
In the Gamer Resolutions article, I mentioned Meetup.com's D&D category, but there are lots of other groups as well. One obvious source would be to search for your local Living Forgotten Realms group. If you have a local gaming store, they're likely to know about them. Many colleges and universities have gaming clubs and larger population centers might have their own as well. Finally, always check out your local library or community center to see if someone has organized a group there—or if they're willing to help you organize one.
Many of these tips are US-centric and I'm sure there are other ways that I didn't get a chance to cover. If you have any tips for finding a game, please add them in the comments below.
Since DDXP, more information and polls about "D&D Next" have come out as well as community reactions.
Legends & Lore:
The Weem produced an excellent photomosaic portrait of Gary Gygax using D&D book covers.
- Maps and more maps! In a recent Dungeon Master Experience post, Chris Perkins revealed his tricks for making hand-drawn maps that look and function well in game. Other people have been talking about maps as well. Scott Taylor of the Black Gate website took a stroll down memory lane and defends the art of the dungeon map. Paratime Design also has a collection of black & white dungeon maps available under a creative commons license.
- Continuing from the last column's theme, RPG Athenaeum has a tutorial on creating forests.
- DMs and players get inspirations from lots of sources, including video games. In his RPG Musings post, Make Like a Gaming Pirate, Aaron discusses taking ideas from Legend of Zelda. On Cradle of Rabies, we get tips on how to use our video game collections to randomly generate game ideas.
- In Dremelza's Front Room, Jeff Rients gives a list of material spell components available from a local witch, complete with prices and availability. He follows that post up with an article weighing the pros and cons of the 1e AD&D material components system—great information for DMs and players to know.
- Continuing with the analysis of older editions, The Mule Abides analyzed how likely a character could be of a particular class under the "roll 3d6 straight down" system, in particular how it interacted with class qualifications.
- In Gamer Resolutions, we explored introducing new players to the game. On the Evil Machinations blog, Jade posted two articles on the subject Passing it On: Introducing New Players to RPGs and Then There was One: Introducing a New Player to an Established Group. Dungeon's Master also has an article on Running a Game with New Players.
- In Episodic Adventures: A New Take on RPG Adventure Design, Nevermet Press explores a different way to organize adventures. Instead of picturing them as a movie, what if we made them more episodic, like a television show?
- Looking for an interesting adventure twist? Wired.com details the exploits of UX (Urban eXperiment). In 2006, they secretly restored a 19th-century clock, and D20 Source has some ideas on how to use the info in a game.