D&D General How big is your gaming circle?


Based on some responses I regularly see, I am curious how big other folks gaming circles are. Not just how many other people do you play with regularly, but how tightly knit that circle is.

For example, I have three regular (2 weekly, 1 biweekly) games at the moment. The first group is all local people that I have met through gaming clubs or stores that have become very close friends. My second group is close friends from farther afield (we were playing online before the pandemic because folks live in 5 states). The third (biweekly) group includes old high school friends and newer friends. There is no crossover between those groups, though some know each other and play in other games together. The total number of players among these 3 groups is 16 (myself included).

In addition, I attend at least 2 regional cons every year and get to interact with a large number of fellow gamers, many of whom are part of a pro-GMing collective. Last year was a bust but this year should be back to awesome con gaming. There are at least 2 dozen folks among these people that I consider part of my gaming circle.

Finally, among all those people and other folks who I do not actively game with for various reasons, I have a private facebook group of just under 100 members, all of whom I know personally and have gamed with at least once if not many times. This group allows them to interact with one another and I have seen gaming groups form out of that FB group.

I really love having a large pool of folks to play with, talk about games with and generally interact in the hobby with. For a long time my gaming group was more typically insular and the fact that many folks around here indicate they have one gaming group they have played with for decades and that's it got me to thinking about this. I am really blessed to have so many gamers around.

So, how big is your gaming circle.

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Solitary Role Playing
I have two groups. One of three players. The other with four players. We alternate Friday nights. One player plays in both groups. Six plus me. I have three other players I can call on for one-shots. So, 9 plus me total.


Mod Squad
Staff member
Currently, for tabletop/online, I think it is 21 people spread over 5 games, with some overlap.

I'm not counting conventions, or live-action play, where the circle expands to the hundreds very quiclkly

I have two groups currently that total nine people. There is an additional group that gets the gumption to game together once every few years, and then falls apart in 1-3 months. Including them, that puts the total up to 13.


Moderator Emeritus
I have two groups currently.

Group one (which I lovingly call "the Newbie Group," though they are not all technically "noobs") has four players. Three of those people are also part of board-gaming group that meets every other month or so (and which includes two partners who don't do RPGs but love board/card games). This group is local, though we played remotely for about 14 months.

Group Two: Started as five people (two friends/colleagues from work circles, two old friends I've gamed with from the 90s, and the wife of one of the first two). Three people dropped out in quick succession, but we recently re-acquired a player we lost when he moved to Italy back in 2004 - but now with the relative ease of remote play has jumped in with two feet. In theory, one of the three people who dropped out will be returning down the line (life got in the way). So I'll call that another four people.

I used to have a bigger circle, but changing interests and changing priorities (and other complex interpersonal dynamics) have made that circle shrink in recent years. I am also not as interested in playing with strangers that have not been vetted by other people I trust.

I used to go to GEN CON with some regularity and run/play games, but the last time was 2007 (at least I got to game with Gary Gygax not too long before he passed) so I won't count that. And there is a home con in the Boston area I used to go to every year as well, but after a 12 year gap I went back in 2019. Still, not gonna count that either unless they start up again (last year and this year were both cancelled) and I actually start going regularly.


Magic Wordsmith
I play in three campaigns and run two. Between them all, there's over 20 people. But I'm also part of a Discord community where I run one-shots (though not much lately as my schedule is pretty full) which numbers in the thousands.


Currently I have two groups. Group one consists of my wife, eldest son, a coworker and the coworker’s brother. The second group (I’m a player in this one) is my wife, both my sons, my sister-in-law and a my eldest son’s friend.

I’m in contact with several other groups (often asked for advice or just swapping stories) where I used to be the primary DM - at least six, who have about 6 players apiece. I’ve been requested to DM at least two of them recently (pre-pandemic), did so for a Halloween Ravenloft one-shot in one, and the other for a MTG Ravnica game (in the latter, I know very little about MTG, but the group had a blast overall).


My closest group of friends are non-gamers. I mean, they love cribbage and perhaps some board games, but no on TTRPGs.

My gaming group I've met through a combo of PFS and work. They have slowly become a closer and closer knit group. We tend to do things outside of gaming but its not often like my closest group.


Unserious gamer
About 20 people over 5 groups, with some overlap. About half and half between friends I had before we started playing, and friends I've made by being invited into groups.


Scion of Murgen (He/Him)
I have a few different circles, of generally increasing size and decreasing intimacy.

My regular Wednesday night 5E group is all friends and/or partners who live nearby, and whom I've known for around four years. All but one of them was a player in my own Wednesday night 5E game which went on hiatus last Summer, and the current game is Frostmaiden, the first campaign being run by one of my own players. Great to see him spreading his wings. 6 of us total in that group.

During the pandemic I've also been running a quasi-open table dungeoncrawling 5TD / B/X game. After a while it largely settled into two small groups of three players, though there's been a bit of turnover. All but one of those players are also local friends, one of them my brother. Another is a good friend of twenty years. The one exception was a guy I met online last year through an old school D&D group Finder, whose 1974 OD&D game I played in for a while, before inviting him to play in mine. All told about 8 players in that, 3 of us overlapping with the Wednesday night crew.

I'm also in a biweekly OD&D game run by a guy I met through the same online connection. I joined his group after the DM for the other OD&D game had to stop running. The players in this group (another open table, with about 10-12 players in total, of whom 6-8 of us tend to show for any given session) are distributed all over the country, and I've never met any of them IRL. This group has no overlap with the others except for me. Call that circle about 12 people.

I'm also on a Discord server for old school pick up games, but a couple of the DMs there established regular ongoing open table weekly sessions, and that then mutated into a multi-DM West Marches game, with 4-6 DMs running sessions, a couple of whom do have a regular weekly slot. In the Sunday evening session where I usually play, there's usually 6-8 players (often on the higher end of that) because the DM is good and it's been the longest running stable time slot on the server. But that rotates a bit. Just in the Sunday sessions there are at least twice that many players who play occasionally, but it's a mix of folks on any given session. Again this circle has no overlap with my other games except for myself. The new DM from my 5E group tried a couple of sessions but is focused entirely on his own campaign now. All told, I've played with 4 or 5 different DMs on that server, I think? And probably 30+ individual players in the last six or seven months. Not all of whom I regularly chat or play with, though. Call the circle of folks I've played and/or chatted with on an ongoing basis about two dozen.

I also have some old friends I used to play 2E, 3E, 4E and a little 5E with whom I haven't been playing with recently. A handful of them I was playing with in an in-person game which had just a few sessions before the pandemic started, but the DM didn't want to transition to online play. Most of those folks I am still friends with, and in intermittent contact with through Facebook or otherwise, but haven't hung out with lately. Some of them really close friends. If I count up those folks? Probably another 15 above and beyond the folks I'm currently playing with.

I have a number of friends I've played Magic: the Gathering with. A number of them are in the group immediately above; my 90s and 2000s RPG buddies mostly also played Magic. But after largely dropping out in 1997 and not buying new cards for a long time, in 2013 I started playing Draft and Sealed a lot, attending local store tournaments, occasional state championships or regional Grand Prix. There's a bunch of folks at three different local game stores and in a local cube drafting group who I'm still friends with, although I haven't been really playing competitive Magic or buying cards for two or three years as I've focused more on D&D. Non-overlapping people in this circle? Three or four dozen, I suppose? Call it at least 30 who I occasionally chat with on FB and/or whom I'd easily be able to hang out and talk strategy with if and when I go to a local draft or tournament again.

I also have some friends I used to regularly play Warhammer and 40k with. For about 10 years or so I played a LOT of those games. Building and painting a half dozen armies, traveling regularly around New England for one-day tournaments in NH, MA, CT, RI, and ME. And sometimes attending weekend long Grand Tournaments or similar events in Boston, Chicago, Baltimore, New York, Philadelphia, and a few other places. One time the Throne of Skulls event Games Workshop threw in Las Vegas (2011). I made a ton of friends doing that, though it's been, goodness, four or five years anyway since I was playing that game regularly. One of my local buddies (the twenty year friend above) and I still get together sometimes to play a casual game of 40k or another miniatures wargame like Song of Ice and Fire. Most of these folks I don't see anymore; a fraction of them I see on Facebook. Actually, after I stopped playing Warhammer competitively I tried out Kings of War and started to make friends with a bunch of other folks in a couple of clubs for that here in New England. I'm not close to any of those guys, but once they start running tournaments again I'll probably dust off the miniatures to play the occasional game with them. Counting all the miniatures gaming buddies who don't overlap with the above? Maybe another 50 or so. Again, just counting folks I'd expect to easily have a friendly convo with, or whose brain I could pick about a paint scheme or an army list build. Not folks I've met and played a game with, but who we wouldn't necessarily remember each other's names.

I also have some friends I used to LARP with in the 90s. Most of those folks I fell out of touch with, because it's literally been twenty years since I played those games, but some of my 90s/2000s RPG friends still LARP, so a number of the folks I only knew through LARP have remained friends of friends. A dozen or so are FB friends. Back in the day this would probably have been a couple of hundred more in my circle, but I'd call it a few dozen, tops, who are still in my circle/I'm in theirs. Let's say another 30, not counting folks already counted above.

Convention RPG gaming? I used to attend 1-3 of these a year. There are definitely some familiar faces and folks who we know each other's names and have good memories of prior games, but not a ton. I'd really only count a dozen or so of those folks as in my circle.

Edit: Almost forgot board gaming. There was a local board game meetup group and there's a boardgame cafe in town I know some other folks from. I didn't do a lot of that, though. Maybe 5-10 of those folks I'd still call friends and we occasionally see each other at one event or another and catch up.

So, all told and not counting internet forums... say, around 200? About half of them being notably closer and/or of longer-association than the other half.
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It's about 10 people. I'm currently DM for three groups. One group is old friends with a lot of gaming experience. One group is new friends with no gaming experience. And the third group is a bit of mix and match between the two.


Currently, I regularly game with 13 different players across 4 games (there are some overlapping players).
One group I have known for around 20-25 years (since high school/college). Another group I've been gaming with for about 2-3 years and only know them through the hobby. Another group consists of my wife and her brother (so we're fairly close knit). Another group consists of some folks I've met on these boards and a couple others who have joined up.


Aspiring Lurker (He/Him)
I'm running two 5E campaigns, with a total of eight other people. I'm part of a group that gets together most Sundays that has four or five more (depending on whom you count). And I'm playing in a thing online which adds another one. So, my circle is thirteen or fourteen.

Aside from posting here, locally, I have one group among one circle. The current group is 6 people including myself. Every once in awhile a straggler might show up for a game here and there. All the people are close friends that I've known for a long time and are the same people I hang out with outside of gaming. The current incarnation has been together about 3 years, but generally speaking I've been gaming with the same people more or less for about 25 years now. People join and people drop out over time but generally the pool of people is the same. When someone drops out its usually because they just quit gaming altogether for one reason or another, or they tried it and decided it just wasn't their thing. I'm not on social media or watch any live streams. There's 2 local game stores in my immediate area but I very rarely if ever go to them based solely that I just don't have a need to, but I suppose if my gaming group happened to breakup I might go to one or both to try and find a new group.

The two times I went outside of my immediate circle of friends to game it was with mixed results. I gamed at a local store for about 5 years in the early 2000s and then ran a group off meetup at my house around 2010 that lasted a little over a year. In both those cases there was usually a revolving door with a few core people that were regulars. As I said above Im not opposed to gaming outside of my immediate circle but its not ideal and I'd rather not if I can avoid it.


For the last couple years it has been myself as the DM and my brother and father as players. My teenage son joined last year full time since we play after Boy Scout meetings. We used to have a few more that came and went over the years, but mostly people move away. I would like to get another player or two at some point, or join another group as a player but that most likely will not happen. We play at the local Convention, but only vaguely remember people from the year before.


Our gaming circle has six members: myself, my grown son, my teenaged nephew, a co-worker, his wife, and their son. We play in two concurrent 3.5 campaigns, one of which I DM and one of which my son DMs. At the end of my son's campaign (we're about halfway through it, with probably a year or so to go), he'll take a break from the DM's chair and we'll give my coworker a shot at it for the first time since the AD&D 1E days. (He's eager to get back up on that horse.)



Relaxed Intensity
I am a player in four ongoing games (Infinity [Weekly], Vampire - The Masquerade [Biweekly], Masks [Weekly], D&D 5e [Biweekly]). I also am running two playtest games of Apocalypse Keys (one with strangers online [Biweekly] and another for friends [Biweekly]). Infinity, Vampire, and one of the Apocalypse Keys games I run have significant crossover (core group of ~7). The D&D group is a separate home game (~ 7 players including the DM although we do not get everyone every session). The Masks game is with a local gaming club (5 players including the GM). There are 3 players in my second Apocalypse Keys game.

So I actively play with like ~20 other people on a biweekly basis. My potential pool is much larger though.


I like seeing that more people are playing with their wife and daughters. My wife thinks the whole game is silly and would never play. She still brings up the time I wasted 90 minutes of her life with Monty Python.

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