So you’re looking for someone to join your RPG table but not sure where to start or how to
find the right person. Finding the right match of people to roleplay with at your table and
keeping those people invested in your game as well as your table can be a rather tricky
business! After all, we spend hours together and we start to develop friendships around the
table, which in my opinion is important to successful roleplaying sessions. So how do we
find the right fit for our RPG party?
From my experience, there are a couple of things to consider when looking for someone to
join your table. The first point to take into consideration is whether you or someone joining
your table are the right cultural fit. By cultural fit, I mean roleplaying culture. Is this person
someone who always arrives on time? Are they someone who respects other peoples
speaking time? Is it someone who doesn’t want you to touch their dice? Take some time to
answer these questions and then decide whether you think that the roleplaying culture of
this person fits in with what already exists and works at your table. On some occasions
however, the answers to these questions might be somewhat different to what exists
around your table, but, it may just be what your table needs. So take that into consideration
too. Be open minded when having someone join your table.
The second and one of the most important points to take into consideration is how you feel
as a person at your roleplaying table when surrounded by the group. If you are not enjoying
the group that you a part of, if your group does anything to make you feel as if you are
stupid or not a good role-player – then I suggest running for the door and leaving that group
as soon as you can. The roleplaying space that we’re trying to create is not one that is filled
with judgement of others skills or abilities. It’s important that you play with people who
support you and encourage you as a human being and who invest in you as a friend.
Look at the roleplaying culture of the person joining the group as well as how you and
everyone around the table feel and how they are treated by this person at the table. And
this goes both ways – if you as a role-player are joining a new table, make sure that you feel
as if you and this new group of people are a good fit and have a bright future ahead of you.
So you’ve found the right match for your table, all the boxes are ticked and you breathe a
huge sigh of relief. Phew…the hard part is over! Or so you thought.
Now arrives the task of keeping these people invested in our game and at our table for an
extended period of time. Now I have spoken a lot in the past and in my videos about
keeping players invested in your game, and giving them a collective ‘something’ in the
game, something that they can all build into and collectively have as a group and that keeps
them coming back, things like an airship for example. And often times that works well for us
and we get our players invested and everyone is happy.
However, there are times when what should work in theory actually doesn’t work in
practice and it can backfire on us if we are not aware of it. And this is where there is that
beautiful balance of finding the right fit of people for your table and using the right things
for everyone to be invested in the game, come together.
It is so important that we are aware and vigilant of the fact that although the group may
roleplay well together, they are in the end, all individual humans with their own individual
differences and interests. So what may keep one person super invested in the game might
be a snooze fest for the others.
What has become evident to me in this process is the value of taking the time to reflect on
your games, both as a GM and as a player. Looking back on the game and evaluating what
went right, what went wrong and what’s changed for yourself as a player or a GM – on a
personal basis. Reflecting on whether you still derive joy from this game and if you’re not –
if something has changed for you and you’re uncomfortable about it – being able to address
this with the GM and your fellow players. Being able to be open and honest with the people
at your table about where you’re at with regards to where the game is going, and as a
collective trying to solve this and find a way forward, is really where we find the happy
There may of course be times where a player might not be happy with where the game is
going but the rest of the group is loving it, and in those moments, I think it’s important to
then reflect again and decide on whether you as a player are going to stay in the game or
I will always advocate for staying the in the game if you enjoy roleplaying with that
particular group of people, but then, thinking about what you derive your joy from within
the game and adjusting your character to fit in with that. By doing this, you will not only
ensure that the game continues but also be giving yourself the opportunity to have
something in the game that keeps you invested as a player.
As a GM, it’s equally important to be open to the fact that not all of your players are going
to be invested in the same stuff in your game, so you need to treat each player on an
individual basis, trying to cater to the interests of your players in order to keep them all
invested. A somewhat tough ask – I know – but so worth the effort!
It’s all about finding that balance between adjusting your game – whether you’re a GM or a
player – to suit the table, or whether you decide that you’re going to change tables. Finding
the balance between the fact that everyone has different, individual interests and things
that they enjoy and that keep them invested in the game, and you want to work around that
in order to keep the group together as well as keeping the game going with everyone having
a great time. And once you can find that balance and perhaps some compromise, you’ll
never look back again.
So, on a final note – finding the right fit for your table is vitally important to the success of
your game, but also taking the time to reflect – both as a GM and a player – on each game
and where changes might need to be made and compromises need to be reached between
everyone at the table – that is where the true magic lies and that is where you’ll have a
table of not only role-players, but also a table of friends for life.
If this topic is something that speaks to you or pulls on a thread, and if you happen to be
looking for a table to join, or for people to join your table – go and take a look at Tabletop
Wizard. There are hundreds of tables to join – whether you want a roleplaying table, a war
gaming table or a board games table. Or you could just create your own table to get people
to join it. It is an amazing platform to connect with like-minded people from all over the
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