Monday, February 20, 2012

Dungeons and Motherfuckin' Dragons: Finding a Game Group

Oh hey! You’re back! After reading my first post, maybe you’ve decided that it’s time to give Dungeons and Dragons a shot because either you really want to stop showing up bruised and hung over to work every Monday or your parole officer suggested you find a hobby that keeps you close to home. Whatever the reason, that’s the first step! The second step is answering this awesome question:

Where the fuck do I find people who want to pretend to be gnomes and bards and shit?

 It’s actually surprisingly easy to find people who want to play an RPG but you have to be willing to admit to someone else on the planet that you’re ready to take the next step into the Dork Forest.

This is absolutely what I imagined my nights would be like when  I was in college. 

Step One: Ask your friends. They supposedly share interests with you or something.

I just blew your mind. You were probably just like, “WHOA HOMIE. WHOA. Say that again?! I barely even agreed to do this because it’s basically a one way ticket to spending my life alone and now you’re telling me to ask my friends if,  instead of going out drinking, they’d rather come over to my grandmother’s basement, drink copious amounts of Mountain Dew and pretend to be fantasy characters?”

Yo, dawg. Haven’t you ever heard of a thing called Facebook?! Look, I know it’s easy to assume that the only correct way to use Facebook is as a stalking tool and well. . .you’re still right. Did you know that you can leverage Facebook stalking to actually accomplish something? Yeah, I know it’s weird to think that Facebook has a practical application past looking at every single picture of your boyfriend with their exes and then analyzing their body language obsessively to determine if he still wants any of them (I’ve never done that, because that would be ridiculous. . .right?) but I promise, it IS possible.

This in no way resembles my Friday nights. Ok? 
When I type “dungeons and dragons” into the Facebook search bar and I see that I have 7 friends that like that interest, I know I have 7 people that will probably let me play with them if I bribe* them. (*My bribe may or may not involve an in-game roleplay encounter in which I agree that they can have relations with my sexy cat queen, Cleocatra.)
I’ve got a lot of dorky friends, though. Maybe you’re cooler than I am, and your friends do things like attend “networking events” and have a closet filled with “gala attire”. If so, I think you’re going to have to move to Step 2. 

Step Two: Find a public gaming event and, as a special bonus, you'll probably add at least 50 friends/followers to all your social media sites.

I'll pretend to be a feminist for a moment
 and pretend that women can be bullies too? 
Gaming stores aren’t super common, but you’re going to want to check out any store that sells specialty games, comic books, or specializes in trading cards. It’s likely that at least one person in one of those places will know where you can find a public gaming group or you’ll find out that they host a public event themselves. The plus side is that by going in to one of these places, you’ve officially entered a realm inhabited almost exclusively by nerds and they definitely won’t make fun of you for asking.  (Are you feeling a twinge of guilt, Orc Barbarian?) In fact, you’ll find that if you roll in there with a semi-social attitude (or breasts) and an interest in learning the game (or big breasts) you’ll have people practically begging to show you the ropes!

If you live in Maryland, you might be lucky enough to have a dedicated store like Games and Stuff  which has weekly open roleplaying events as well as a community board for finding game group partners. If you aren’t so lucky, then you’re probably going to have to rely on Step 3.

Step Three: Try not to get raped while looking for gaming partners.

Craigslist, man! There are some pretty spectacular specimens of scumminess floating around the internet and craigslist seems to be a magical beacon that attracts them all together. What I’m saying here is that you should really make sure that if you want to play Dungeons and Dragons instead of participate in a BDSM kink event, you should probably specify that when you reply to the advertisement. To the untrained eye, a lonely nerd looking for a gaming group can actually sound a lot like a sex proposition. Here's a local ad as an example:

Subject: RPG Game
Trying to get a group of people together for RPG RAUNCHY SEX CLUB FOR GRANDMOTHERS on a regular basis. Looking for Pasadena or surrounding area. I haven't played for years, but looking to start again I just got out of a long term (50 year) relationship and I want to experiment sexually. Can play in active group or start new. Can DM play the part of a saggy, blue-haired dominatrix but need to refresh on the new rules it’s been a long time since Prohibition and I’m really not sure how much alcohol you’ll need to imbibe before you look at my breasts and can pretend they’re cow udders as you act out some unspeakable fantasy. Looking for once a week or every other because that is when I see my Grandchildren. various times available (shift worker stripper). 

No age requirements, but please be mature enough not to mention this to your family because what we are going to do to each other probably isn’t legal. I can host at my house or we can find a location sleazy motel. Let me know if interested.

I guess what I’m trying to tell you is that meeting in a coffee shop is a great idea unless you want to show up and get saddled (literally) with a 78 year old woman who likes to ride around gullible young men or women inside of her one-bedroom apartment that she shares with 23 cats, all of which are named Mittens. (Some are also named Miz Mittenz and Lady Matilda Mittensworth.)
You have no idea what I'm capable of. 

If you emerge from these trials victorious and mostly unscathed, you’re in luck. The next time I write, we might even discuss beginning a campaign and rolling a character. I guess you’ll have to check it out!