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Getting my Roleplaying meetup group going...

edited September 2012 in Role Playing Games
So I joined a meetup group a few months ago that was about building a community of RPG fans around the various cities of Yorkshire (but starting initially in Leeds where I live).

After organising the first meetup I was given full co-leader status because it went really well. Which is great as I was thinking about setting such a group up myself but this way I don't need to play with my own money.

Since that first meetup in mid-july I have organised a game every week. Games that I like to run, indie games, Luke Crane stuff, Jared Sorensen stuff, Vincent Baker stuff (I really picked up a lot of cool influences on my NYC trips for the last couple of years). But except for one week since, nobody has shown up for any of them.

One guy wants to run D&D and he had a bit of interest but he keeps choosing to postpone it for individuals who can't agree on a time slot. I attended his character creation session and my confidence in it is not high. It lacked enthusiasm and a compelling situation.

Over the last two months I've met loads of people that are into gaming and yet I can't seem to bring them to each other. I just get nods and agreement when I explain my ideology (that we all benefit if we all know each other), followed by a total lack of action later.

I don't know whether I should persevere and eventually the games I'm suggesting will be recognised or whether I should change strategy. I've never been good at persevering... That a known weakness of mine. I feel frustrated like I have a keg of gunpowder here but I just can't get the matches to light.

I attend another group over in York pretty regularly and it's really good so I'm not starved for gaming. I want more than just a group though, I want to build a community.
Post edited by Totally Guy on


  • This is a difficult problem, and I've only got partial suggestions.
    1. Get at least one other GM before you burn out.
    2. Weekly games are a lot of work for you, and decent incentive for anyone else to skip since they can just go to the next week's game. Try monthly. You can use the time between games to attempt to round up players.
    3. Try to recruit players and GMs at local cons. The communities I'm used to are centered around conventions.
    4. For the indie game meetup in Boston, we had a pitch as follows: "You know that RPG you bought, read, put on your shelf, and never convinced your group to try? Run it for us!" This usually came down to me and another host running a game of our choice, but sometimes one of the players who came to our game would volunteer to run something the next month. It's a soft sell, and, after playing with us once, potential GMs would know that we're not hypercritical jerks.
  • edited September 2012
    Sounds like good advice.

    I'll make sure the next one is booked for at least 3 weeks into the future. I mainly wanted to offer frequent content to counter that "Lets do a thing, place TBA, time TBA, I'll fit your schedule" attitude that the other organiser has.

    I'm running a game at a con not more than 30 miles from my locality in October. I might use the group logo that my partner in this venture comissioned to try to gather interest. Unfortunately this is pretty much to only local con and it happens annually. I can't even invite any of the people I've met in the last few months as it sold out back in May. The south of the country has all the conventions and we brits hate to travel, blah blah but that's another story, one with with government, attitudes and real big picture stuff.

    I started a thread on the group pretty much asking word for word "You know that RPG you bought..." I hope that gets some response. I don't think any of the other members are particularly well read (with one exception who has shelves and shelves of the stuff). But if I don't ask...
    Post edited by Totally Guy on
  • Honestly, I disagree with the "Weekly gaming being a disincentive" thing. I ran a weekly table for a game store, and always had pretty much everyone there. You have to strike a balance: too often and you risk burning people out, too spaced out and you risk people forgetting. I feel like once a week or once every other week is a good sweet spot, unless the people you're gaming with are known to be reliable and plan well.
  • There is an RPG group based in Leeds? details please. Things always get in the way of groups at some point, my group for various reasons hasn't been able to play for a long time, we are starting back up on Monday. In the mean time we have played a ton of board games.
    Ok that doesn't help you one bit, sorry.
  • edited September 2012
    I think that I should offer the weekly gaming following a successful event with enthusiastic players.

    I could say something like:
    "If this game is enjoyable and works well I would be open to extending it to campaign style play on a weekly/biweekly basis."

    Then I'd offer a different one of my favourite games for the next month if that one doesn't happen.

    That way I get the benefits of scarcity and the reward of my preferred frequency once I've filtered out the reliable players.

    Onewild: If you are local maybe we go for a drink one night and we can discuss what we are into.
    Post edited by Totally Guy on
  • My advice would be to avoid forcing things to happen. Don't attempt to finagle people into things. Communicate what you want, and how you want to get it, if you don't have the numbers or interest to back it up, then you'll always have to deal with that. If that's the case, get some feedback on what people want and try to get a concrete idea of what could potentially work for the people you have. Play the game or games that are right for the group. Experiment with things. Recognize failures and problems, and attempt to address them. Keep lines of communication open. Etc.
  • I think I've been doing pretty well with being direct up until recently.

    I downplayed my disappointment with the preliminary D&D character creation session and decided to go along with it out of consideration of my sunk cost.

    I decided to post my concerns on this forum as it is sufficiently distant from posting elsewhere where I'm traceable by folks I've met. As the driving personality of the group I don't want to undermine my efforts by saying something that'll lower their confidence in me.

    To be honest my efforts have impressed me and I think has done me some good. But my tendency to abandon projects is starting to nag at me.
  • You could always check out the local Uni and see if they have a society that you could join. I know quite a few players and Swansea are either ex-students or locals that are looking for a gaming group. It also has the advantage of getting rooms out of it.
  • edited September 2012
    You could always check out the local Uni and see if they have a society that you could join. I know quite a few players and Swansea are either ex-students or locals that are looking for a gaming group. It also has the advantage of getting rooms out of it.
    Leeds Uni does have a pretty decent Roleplaying games Soc, at least when I was there. Also, you should contact Omnutia, He lives in leeds, he's pretty fuckin' awesome, and he's a good roleplayer.

    Post edited by Churba on

  • Onewild: If you are local maybe we go for a drink one night and we can discuss what we are into.
    Well I live in Leeds if that is what you mean by local and I'm always up for a drink, drop me a pm and we'll sort something out.
  • I've pretty much reached the point of writing off the whole idea now. I'm flirting into the void.
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