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D&D General How many groups of players have you played with, face to face?

Marc_C

Solo Role Playing
Edit: excluding conventions

During Basic and AD&D1e I had one group but it was always fluctuating. Many people wanted to try D&D. I didn't mind since I mostly did dungeon crawls. It stabilized with 1e. We had a permanent group of 4 players.

AD&D2e: I moved to the big city and formed a new group. It lasted a long time but exploded due to a divorce.

3e: Half the 2e group continued playing with new players. Down to 2 players for the last 2 years of the edition.

4e: Tried creating a new group but the fluctuation was intense. Almost one new player every other game. Stopped playing after 2 years until 5e came out.

5e: In 2012 tried creating a group. Same fluctuation problem. Quit in 2014. Restarted 5e in 2017 with a new very stable group. Currently in hiatus because of Covid.

Overall all six groups of players over 40 years. The latter years of 1e, all of 2e and 5e since 2017 have been the better years. Playing d20 Modern with just 2 players was fun.
 
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aco175

Legend
1e and part of 2e we had a group of family and a few neighborhood kids that played with my father as DM. A few kid's groups with rotating DMs where we all cut our teeth with being the DM. Eventually we formed a group of 5-6 people with another DM that lasted until I went into the Army. That group had my father and myself from the original groups.

In the Army I had one group with a few more players coming and going. At this time, my little brother joined the other group and started playing with them. After the Army, I joined back with them and we tended to play Magic for half the time and D&D for the other half depending on who showed up. 3e kept this same group, but Magic faded for most of it and I took over as DM and also a campaign with my brother as DM.

4e/5e became smaller with the group mostly my father, my brother, and myself with most of the others fading away. I most always DM and now my son has joined which is better for a host of reasons. Now, I tend to mostly make modules with the published campaign background and do not make the world so much anymore.
 

Larnievc

Explorer
During Basic and AD&D1e I had one group but it was always fluctuating. Many people wanted to try D&D. I didn't mind since I mostly did dungeon crawls. It stabilized with 1e. We had a permanent group of 4 players.

AD&D2e: I moved to the big city and formed a new group. It lasted a long time but exploded due to a divorce.

3e: Half the 2e group continued playing with new players. Down to 2 players for the last 2 years of the edition.

4e: Tried creating a new group but the fluctuation was intense. Almost one new player every other game. Stopped playing after 2 years until 5e came out.

5e: In 2012 tried creating a group. Same fluctuation problem. Quit in 2014. Restarted 5e in 2017 with a new very stable group. Currently in hiatus because of Covid.

Overall all six groups of players over 40 years. The latter years of 1e, all of 2e and 5e since 2017 have been the better years. Playing d20 Modern with just 2 players was fun.
Over 30 years of playing I’ve DM’d for four stable groups (more than six months or so) and two or three adhoc groups at uni.

The longest is my current group (ex pats from the previously mentioned groups) with over three years continuous play time.
 

el-remmen

Moderator Emeritus
  1. First group I played with was my friend from school, his older brother and their friends. We played a mash-up of BECMI and 1E. This was 1983.
  2. Second group was in middle school, there were rotating players, but these were the first games I ran (also a mash-up of BECMI and 1E). 83-85.
  3. In high school I had two groups, one at school (it was boarding school) and one at home. Both played 1E, but eventually I'd play 2E with the home group too. 85-89
  4. At my first college I ran a short-lived 2E game. 90-91
  5. Dropped out of college moved back to NY and played in a 2E game for a year (also ran a short-lived thing for the same group in the summer). 91-92
  6. Started up a 2E group with members of my band and friends I met at community college a year later. One member of that group would end up in most of my games. 93-95
  7. Transferred back to a 4 year college. Joined a group and started a group (with some intersecting members). Both 2E. 96-99.
  8. In 2000 started my Out of the Frying Campaign that lasted just short of six years. That same basic group would be the basis of my Second Son of Second Son that began in 2007 (which lasted to 2009). We played 3E/3.5E
  9. Around the same time I began playing in another group for a couple of years - again with some members in common.
  10. Left for grad school and returned in 2012 to join another 3.xE game, which ended in 2015/16.
  11. In 2019, I moved to Pittsburgh and a friend there talked me into started a 5E game, which started F2F and ended up virtual
  12. 2020 Pandemic hit and since we all had to play virtual anyway, I started a game with some players from past groups who are now all around the country (including a friend from the 1993 group and another that I started gaming with in '97)
So I guess by the OP's criteria, I was a part of 11 face-to-face groups - though it is difficult to make distinctions since time and people often overlapped. 37 years! Cripes.
 

Campbell

Legend
So most of the people I play RPGs with do not fit into the strict group paradigm I see most places where there is set group of people that always play together (usually with a set GM). I have one group of friends like that who I play D&D 5e with, but I also have a couple other social circles that know each other pretty well and run either one shots / short runs or ongoing games drawing from a common pool of players many of whom also GM. There's some overlap between those social circles. I would say in the sense of what we are talking about I would say that I'm part of least 5 ongoing groups that meet at least monthly and have played with at least 12 distinct groups this last year although there is substantial overlap between them.
 

6ENow!

The Game Is Over
1. 1981-1984: B/X, BECMI, 1E in elementary school with one group of friends (6 of us to start).
2. 1984-1987: 1E with another group of friends in middle school (another 4 new players, some from prior)
3. 1987-1991: 1E with another group of friends in high school (about 12 different players, about 8 newbies).
4. 1991-1993: 1E/2E with a group while at community college (about 12 different players, maybe 8 newbies).
5: 1993-1995: 1E/2E with a two new group at undergrad college (about 15 new players between both groups).
6: 1995-1996: 1E/2E during some visits home while in grad school (all old players)
7: 1996-2007: 1E/2E with two groups at various times, 3E for maybe 1 year (about 15 new players between both groups).
8: 2018-2021: 5E (a brief into to AD&D as well) with one group (6 new players) and one online group (players from old group/other group).

So, by my count 9 face-to-face groups with over 60 players over nearly 40 years and one current online game.
 
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Oofta

Title? I don't need no stinkin' title.
More than I care to count?

Started with a stable group way back when in high school. Had another in college. Took a hiatus from gaming for a while because of lack of groups and lived in smaller city for a while and back then it wasn't easy to find others without a local game shop to advertise in.

Moved and found a group but then (I think) the DM got bored and started doing more things just to annoy players until we quit. Started public gaming (Living City) and have done so off and on ever since.

Started my own group, joined another but it just wasn't for us (I was married by then). Moved, started a group, moved started another group, moved yet again, started 3 groups which consolidated down to 2 because we had a lot of newbies who were just curious, moved one last time (now) and started a group. Phew.

So just counting home games? About [edit] 12 14, forgot family games[/edit] (do we count 1-2 sessions since I had a couple of those?). Not sure how to count public games because if I include them my answer would be "dozens if not over a hundred", especially since I ran or helped run a couple of game days in a major metro area for a while.

EDIT: It was pretty much all editions, I've always played the current edition.
 
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el-remmen

Moderator Emeritus
So just counting home games? About 12 (do we count 2 sessions?). Not sure how to count public games because if I include them my answer would be "dozens if not over a hundred", especially since I ran or helped run a couple of game days in a major metro area for a while.

Yeah. I did not count groups I ran games for at cons or any other one-off thing.
 


Charlaquin

Goblin Queen
Let’s see... I first played 3.5 in high school one-on-one with my best friend (who I’ll call C). We also played once with one other friend of ours (who I’ll call K) and a couple times with K and two others. I think it’s safe to consider that all the same group, since it was always C DMing and me playing, sometimes with the addition of a few other people.

4e came out in my Senior year of high school. C invited me to play the new edition with a couple of friends she had met at the LGS, with one of them DMing. That campaign went all through that year and the summer before I left for college and is still one of my fondest D&D memories.

Freshman year in college I tried DMing 4e for two friends, which lasted about 3 sessions before ending in a TPK (and I thought I was going easy on them...)

Most of college I was too busy LARPing Vampire: the Requiem to do much D&D. But Junior year there was a huge snow storm that shut everything down for two weeks. I lived on campus, and the housing there had its own generator, so my place was one of the few with power, so a group of about 4 other people sheltered there with me and my room mate during the storm and the 6 of us played D&D every single day those two weeks. Another one of my fondest D&D memories.

Senior year, the 5e playtest came out, and I ran it for another group, which included my roommate who I had played with during the snowpocalypse but was otherwise different people.

The last semester of that year I did an internship program working with a couple of theater companies back home, and during that time I ran the 5e playtest for C, K, and our other two friends from high school again. So, that probably counts as the same group. Then when 5e came out, we transitioned to that, losing one player and gaining another. And when Curse of Strahd came out I ran that for the same group, again minus one player and plus anothe

At one point I tried to run a 4e game for C, my partner, and two other friends of ours, and another time I tried to run a 4e game for my partner and two other other friends of theirs. Neither lasted more than one session.

For about 6 months or so I played in an online group of folks from my partner’s sibling’s Discord (I say “their discord” but they don’t run it. Just have a lot of friends on it who play D&D together.) I played in two different campaigns with those folks, but there was enough player crossover between them that I think it’s reasonable to count it as the same group.

My current (but on hold) group consists of my partner, their sibling, C, and my parents.

My partner and I had also until recently been playing in a game run by K with another couple, one of whom was the new player in my Curse of Strahd campaign. But that game is in limbo right now due to a combination of the pandemic and the other couple being in the process of separating. My partner, K, and I still want to play together, and one of the others might end up sticking with us, but definitely not both, and we might try to add another player or two whenever that happens.

I’m probably forgetting something, but that seems fairly comprehensive.
 

Not counting tournaments, OP, and one-shots: I'd say about 9. Many of them are morphs from previous groups, but the dynamics changed enough to consider them new groups. The first two were AD&D friends from high school. The third was 2E and 3E in college (I continued to play with the group after graduating for a while). I had 4 different groups that played 3E, mostly because of the length of the edition and the fluctuation of the groups (the largest group broke into two group due to personality problems). In 4E I had only 1 group, which fell apart due to a dislike of 4E, but the group tried 2E and 5E for a while before disbanding. My current group is from the DnDNext playtest, has continued during all of 5E, and I think is the best group I've had due to the maturity of the people (the fact we have 4 DMs out of 7 people also gives us a nice variety of games).
 

David Howery

Adventurer
biggest group I ever had was the last one, me (DM) and 7 players. That was about as many as I could handle. Considering the tiny MT town I was living in at the time and the rather small group of RPG players in it, that was probably a majority of the D&D population there....
 

6ENow!

The Game Is Over
biggest group I ever had was the last one, me (DM) and 7 players. That was about as many as I could handle. Considering the tiny MT town I was living in at the time and the rather small group of RPG players in it, that was probably a majority of the D&D population there....
Glad you could form a group in such a small community!

FWIW, my largest group was something like 15-16 towards the end of high school. It was our normal crew (usually 10-12 if most people showed) plus some extras (old friends) who joined in for the summer. Looking back, I'm surprised we got as much done as we did, but tracking everything was crazy especially since this was in 1990 and computers we not quite as useful then.
 


billd91

Hobbit on Quest
It's at least 15 groups (arguably more) in 40 years of gaming. Many of them have had significant overlap but are still fundamentally new groups with new dynamics.
 

Stormonu

Legend
Not including Con games:

Holmes/BX: 3 groups
1E: 2 groups
2E: 2 groups
3E: 4 groups
4E: 2 groups
5E: 4 groups

So, 14 groups altogether that I can recall. I’d say somewhere around 40 people overall (some of who were in multiple groups). Biggest group had 10 regular players, in 3E. Smallest group was in Holmes - 2 players + DM for 2 years.
 

Lanefan

Victoria Rules
Ignoring con games and one-offs:

One.

One great big sprawling continuously-morphing crew of people, a few of whom have been around since day one while many others have come and gone over the years, of which sometimes-overlapping subsets play(ed) in different games at different times with different DMs and sometimes using different systems.

At a rough guess I'd say this crew has consisted of about 70-80 people in total, of whom I've DMed and-or played with maybe 60.
 


Ath-kethin

Elder Thing
How long does a group have to be playing together to be considers "stable?" In high school (25-ish years ago) I was playing in as many as six campaigns at once, running two or three of them, and the membership in each fluctuated a bit but had a core of three or four people who were in each game (as players or DMs) plus variations of a person or two who were only in one campaign each.

That setup lasted almost three years, then three of us continued playing together for a few years afterward, again with occasional variance here and there.

I showed up every weekend for the Pathfinder Society game at my FLGS for about a year; the GMS were the same but the player base varies a but from week to week. Same with the D&D Adventurer's League a year or so later.

I've been running a game for my now-7yo for about a year and a half, and playing in one run by said 7yo for about a year, as well. On occasion our neighbor and/or the neighbor's kid joins us too.
 

Wow so far reading this thread! And wow thinking about it:

1. D&D Basic (red box). Junior high, friends/neighbors. Barely counted as a "group." Mostly people who'd never played before in a small town where, at the time, D&D was taboo. If you're too young or new to the game to know what I mean, here's a start.

2. AD&D, high school. Basketball team + "outsider" crowd. Small town, had to wait for the gym after school. My house for an hour courtesy of a friend with great charisma. 10 people around a dinky card table. Must've been a good bonding influence. We won district the next year.

3. AD&D, high school. The crowd thins. 10 people is too many, and the group whittled down to a select 4 players. My most nostalgic times, likely in part because we had no real responsibilities and I came up with some crazy stuff. This group stuck together through freshman year of college until we all started to head separate directions.

4. AD&D, college years. Small group of regional friends (university was close to home) plus the occasional college buddy interested in trying the game. Largest quantity of overnight marathon games (8+ hours). Plus, the occasional "wander the dorms" to find a random game days.

5. AD&D, post-grad years. Moved to a new town, found new gamers through a "players looking for DM" signup the local game store had. Met some of my lifelong friends this way, who were older and settled in the area. While the marathon games were at an end, game took on a new dimension.

6. D&D 3.5/Pathfinder, 1st job years. Moved to a new job, didn't play for over a year. Moved to another job, about 1 hour away from the #5 crowd, the post-grad crew. Got married. Decided it was worth the 1 hour commute each way to keep the game going. Wife took a job in our college town. Time to relocate?

7. D&D 3.5/Pathfinder, real life. Wife and I relocated to our college town because it was (is) a cool place and because I took a new job. Win-win. Reunited with the post-grad crowd. Lost a pair to real-life changes. Added and subtracted several over the years, meeting some friends I still keep in touch with today. Table grew to 6-7 players. Players were split over editions. Some liked the numbers-crunching, video game aspect of 3.5/Pathfinder, and other half wanted a return to the simpler AD&D days. I went with them.

8. D&D 5E, real life. Switched editions when it came out. Stuck with my old school gamers. Kept in touch with the other group because despite feelings about editions, we were friends.

9. D&D 5E, 2019. Got a new job I couldn't refuse out-of-state. Meant leaving lifelong friends that I'd been gaming with for 20, 10, 8, and 5 years respectively. One of the best, and most difficult days, finding out. Thought about all these wonderful ways I could go out with a "bang," but instead settled for playing another "routine" session run by a player between my campaigns. It was great. It was goodbye, but we didn't make it feel that way.

10. D&D 5E, 2019. Tested the waters with some 1-shot games after a few months, pre-Covid. Found a group of gamers that immediately clicked. They've been great. Covid changed our lives, but we still game, albeit after about a 6 month hiatus. To each their own, in these times, but we have put in protocols so we can play in person, unique to our crew, at my house 1x a week. Everyone masks up, sanitizes, and is work-from-home employed, with limited interaction with crowds. Big trust system here.
 

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