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


I still play with some of the same friends from 1981. But I spent six years in the military, all of that overseas where turnover happened a lot. So I’ve played with a lot of people for several sessions each at least.

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41st lv DM
Hmm, been doing this awhile, lets see;

Group 1:
Christmas 1980 - about '82. BX days. It's myself, my brother, our cousin, and we added a friend around Easter of '81.

Group 2:
'82-'85. BX+ AD&D1e, other games. Lose cousin & friend, add two other friends & one's little brother.

Group 3:
'85-'89. High School. BX+, lots of 1e, some other stuff & BattleTech. Lose brother & one friend. Add two other friends. + a fair # of others coming/going.
This group would continue, mostly in the summers, '89-'94/95.

Group 4:
'86-'89. High School. Playing alot of non-D&D stuff with a nearly completely 2nd group.

Group 5:
'90 - '95/96. College years. All kinds of gaming with a very large extended group. Games had significant overlap so I don't think it's really possible to count this as anything but 1 giant group. We just played different things on different days with varying mixes of us....

Group 6:
'96-'2k. MTG & miniature wargaming group(s). Lasted until that particular shop closed (owner simply retired & moved someplace warm :))

Group 7:
2k -'06. New shop, actually closer than the previous one to me. A LOT of miniature gaming. Board games.
Almost no RPGs.

Group 8:
2k-something - 2012. GenCon. I played in a game that continued year to year & had a consistent core of returning players. I guess that's a group....

Group 9:
2006 - 2008. A friend from group 4/5 has returned & is looking to set up a D&D game. 3.5 at the time.
Myself, him, his brother, and two of their friends.
It's his fault that I was drawn back to RPGs from the war torn 28mm tabletops of 40k etc. :)

Group 10:
2007- 2010. A couple of friends from group #5/college days opens a shop in the area.
A LOT of gaming - RPGs, Minis, board games, MTG.... Also a fair mix of people from group 5+ as well as new people.
Shop closes in 2010 & is a good example of why you often hear advice not to go into business with friends.

Group 11:
2010-2016/2017. Miniature games, alot of HeroClix. Eventually fizzled out/splintered as it got to a point where there were three distinctly different & incompatible playstyles. And then most simply burned out on the Clix due to never ending errata.

Group 12:
2008-Oct. 2020. RPGs, mostly D&D/PF. Was a sub-group of #10. Myself, two people I'd known for years, 2 others. Playing at the shop was simply convenient. When the shop closed we took turns hosting. Some others come/go. #s drift up/down, but there's always a stable core of 3 of us.
The pandemic + politics of 2020 finally ended this group.
One guy simply burned out of all gaming (we pretty much all do that at some point) and quit (for now), meanwhile the friend on the political Left & the friend ever further on the political Right decided they just couldn't play together any more, leaving me, the moderate, in the middle with no Sunday game.
Eventually Mr. Left & I will play something together again once the pandemic eases. Mr. Right..... ?

Group 13:
2010-2016. Mostly AD&D1e. All good things come to an end though, including this campaign/group. :(

Group 14:
2010 - present. Miniature wargames & board gaming with various sub-groups at the current shop (there's always a current shop in my area. one opens right as another is closing). Some age old familiar faces/friends, always some new....

Group 15:
2015? 2016? The year 5e came out. Played in a group running HotDQ/RoT.

Group 16:
2016 - present. Various permutations of the current 5e game. Player mix shifts campaign to campaign, but there's consistent people. Some old friends, some new.

Group 17:
2017?18? - early 2020. Took over running the Fri. night game at the shop when the DM changed jobs.
2020 & now a permanent change in shop hours has ended that.

Group 18:
2019 - present. Mini wargaming with a virtually new circle at the areas newest shop.
Shop had just barely launched mid-'19. 8 months later & 2020 tries its best to derail them....

Group 19:
There's a small group of us who've known each other for ages & ages who get together for dinner and Axis/Allies every month - 6 weeks, schedules etc permitting. We've been doing this for years.
2020 has increased our playing thanks to work-from-home/lay offs/no vacations, kids school events, et/other games being put on hold.
So now it's like every 3 weeks & we vary it with other board games. And occasionally other family members join us.

I predict there'll be a Group #20.
Most likely my left leaning friend & I will put something together post pandemic.
Or I might get into a 5e game as a player at the areas newest shop when that becomes feasible again.
Maybe those two things will be combined....

Don't care to go through each group as it would get tedious and make me feel really, really old, but maybe a dozen groups (ignoring public games), albeit with one "constant" group since about 1990-1991 (which the membership of has changed slightly but not much).


Never really had a stable group for BECMI or 1E in the 80s; it was mostly my brother and I futzing around with the game and playing occasional rough attempts with neighbor kids or a few older friends of the family.

1. Early 90s, the first ongoing group I played with for an extended period (maybe around a year, before we moved?) was Raven McCracken's Synnibarr table in Seattle at his apartment, when my brother and I were teenagers.

2. '93 to around '98 or so. Once we moved to NH and went to college we made some friends with whom we played AD&D 2E, Vampire, and occasionally other games like GURPS. That group had shifting membership but was pretty stable from around late '93 toward the release of 3rd ed. The group still played (again with a few membership shifts) but I dropped out for a bit, focusing more on LARP, dating, and then wargaming. We had one main DM, an incredibly prolific and creative writer who experimented widely with settings and rules, and we eventually went almost entirely with custom character classes.

3. 2002, 2003-ish? I ran a 3E group for a few months with some other friends. It wasn't very long-term, but it was a solid friend circle I hung out with for years, with only a couple of people overlapping with the 2E group. Major influences on this game included The Deed of Paksennarion and Lloyd Alexander's Prydain books.

4. Around 2002 several of my older wargaming buddies started up a 3E group, and that group was pretty stable for at least 8 or 9 years. I recruited one of the players from the 2E group. We transitioned from 3E to 3.5, then to 4E. Played through several campaigns from low level to teens or epic levels. The game I ran toward the end of this was influenced by some early OSR materials; rules-wise it was straight 4E, but I incorporated a lot of dungeons and sandboxy play.

5. 2006-ish off any on until maybe 2018? A new group formed from some of the same players as the 90s group and some new folks; we played 3.5 and then 4th ed when it was new, and for several years. That group played through several campaigns; our first 4E one had the concept of literally gaining a level every adventure, so we played from 1st to 30th in less than a year. The only campaign in which I've played a Thief the entire time, and in which I wielded the Sword of Kas in the Hand of Vecna to kill Vecna at the end! We also played one fairly long 5E game.

6. Around 2017-ish. An old friend who had been part of the 90s group for a year or two and was one of my LARPing buddies started a new 4E group with some other old friends and LARP friends. I probably only played in this one for a year or less.

7. Late 2018-current. I started a 5E group with another circle of friends, with no overlap from any of my older players. Taking lots of inspiration from OSR blogs, adventures and materials. My first campaign is now on hiatus but I've run another short side game, and now one of the players has just taken up the mantle of first-time DM and we've had our first session in his Rime of the Frostmaiden game.

8. Late 2018-2019. My brother started another 4E group, with a couple of brand new players, and two of us from group 5. This one went on hiatus when a player dropped out and we were looking for another.

9. In late March 2020 I started a quasi-open table 5 Torches Deep game; the way it wound up working out is that I have two small, largely stable groups playing in the same shared world/local area, occasionally interacting or competing in a shared dungeon. This is still going.

10-14. Four different online OSR games over Discord or Zoom with complete strangers I met on the internet in 2020. :D Two of them 1974 OD&D, one of those with some Greyhawk inclusions and both with some house rules, and two B/X / OSE games. There's a little overlap in players between them, but not a lot. All of them are open table, but there are some consistent core players who are almost always there in each. The DM of the first 1974 game was also playing in my 5TD for a while.

In compiling this I'm disregarding my LARP and wargaming years, convention games, one shots, and attempts at a campaign or brief visits to other people's games where I only played one or two sessions and didn't attend more for one reason or another.
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40 years six groups and a bunch of one shots.

1) Grade school to young professionals irregularly but frequently: B/X Basic, 1e, 2e, 3e, 3.5, Pathfinder Beta, Pathfinder 1e, GURPS, WFRP 1e, Star frontiers, Shadowrun 1e, Shadowrun 2e, Battletech, Mechwarrior, Succession Wars, Palladium FRPG, Rifts, Heroes Unlimited, TMNT, Ninjas & Superspies, Vampire the Masquerade 1e, VtM 2e, VtM revised, Mage the Ascension 1e. That's what I remember off the top of my head, there might have been others.

2) College four years, weekly game: 1e

3) College one year, weekly game: 2e

4) Mid professional weekly game: Pathfinder 1e, I quit the group fairly quickly after the DM mock threatened a player with a knife.

5) Mid professional for 10 years, weekly game: 4e, 5e, Pathfinder 1e, Mutants & Masterminds 3e, Vampire the Masquerade 20, BESM 3e, d20 Modern, Homebrew d20 system, Shadowrun 4e, Munchkin,

6) Mid professional off and on gatherings for gaming weekends: 4e

A number of one shots in Junior High (1e), High School (1e), College (GURPS, 1e), and later with my son (Homebrew, 3.5, 4e), with my son and his friends (Homebrew, 5e), with my son and his cousins (4e and 5e).

BECMI/1e - One group, the first people I ever started playing with. It was a few friends and my brother, who has been in most of my gaming groups throughout my life, because I'm kinda stuck with him :)

2e - Three groups. We grew apart from some of the people in that original group, and essentially formed a new one that began with a short-lived D&D Club in school. Later in high school there was a second group (social groups were in flux back then) that ended when my brother and I moved away. We didn't put in the effort to start a new gaming group and got busy with our band for a while. Later in college I formed a new group, the first one that didn't involve my brother.

3e - One group, and a small one at that. We played some 3e, but it didn't quite connect with us and eventually just stopped playing again.

4e - One group. An out-of-town friend ran a one-off with a bunch of us while he was visiting and I ended up inheriting the group. There were a lot of players dropping in and out in the beginning as people were more excited about the idea of playing D&D again than actually committing to playing.

5e - Three groups. After 4e I ran a 1e game with that same group, then switched to 5e when it came out. Those people still had trouble finding time to game, and eventually I just said the heck with it, shut that group down, and started a new one. With people that will actually show up to game. That group has been going strong ever since. I play with some of those original folks now and then (but only as a player, I'm not about to put myself through that hassle again), but they still have trouble maintaining commitment and those games have all collapsed. I also run an open table at a local gaming cafe (or did - now it's an online game).

So my grand total is nine.


Solo Role Playing
I play with some of those original folks now and then (but only as a player, I'm not about to put myself through that hassle again), but they still have trouble maintaining commitment and those games have all collapsed.
Maybe they should play Four Against Darkness, Mage Knight or Gloomheavean instead?

Thomas Shey

It kind of depends on how you count things like game clubs, or the rather large extended play group I was involved with in my late 20's and early 30's; the latter was a group of loosely connected players and GMs that consisted of probably, oh, 20-25 people who played in various games the group did at the time (we also gamed two days a week at the time). Was that one "group"?

They probably should, or instead of trying to run a campaign, just go for one-shots. Heck, that group couldn't even get through the Sunless Citadel, which is a short adventure! They're all good friends, but I'm much happier DMing for my current groups.

Maybe they should play Four Against Darkness, Mage Knight or Gloomheavean instead?


I was a player in three different groups while in junior high. (1E)
DMed two groups while in high school. (1E)
Dmed three different groups while in the Army (2E)
After the Army, thru 3E and 4E, I didn't play, but bought and read the new editions.
Started back with 5E, have DMed 3 different groups, and am currently a player in another group.
So 12 total.


I started playing in 1989 with 2E, and have played in 7 groups playing 2E, 3.0, 3.5, d20 Modern, PF1, and 5E.

The latest group I'm still playing with, and I joined through a Gamers Seeking Gamers post on this very site. This is the first group I've ever played in where I didn't have any personal connection to any of the other players prior to joining. When I joined them, they were playing PF1. When 5E came out, they wanted to test it, but I didn't really care for the comparatively light rules, and sat out. When they said they were going forward with 5E, I jumped back in, since good groups are hard to find and I'd rather play a sytem I don't like as much than roll the dice trying to find a good group playing what I want. When I had to move out of western NY to NC, I continued to play, with them meeting in person and me joining through Skype. Now with the pandemic raging, we are all playing remotely via Roll20.


Two groups, decades ago. One in highschool around the turn of the century, and one several years later in college. Neither group worked out well. The highschool group collapsed due to lack of perparation, and in the college group session zero lasted several sessions and by the time we had finally made our characters my class schedule changed and I couldn't meet with the group anymore.


I tried to answer but I couldn’t. Too much player crossover between campaigns so I’m not sure if they are the same group with a player or two added and a couple dropped out or if it’s a new group?

Edit: 40 years playing - maybe 25 players who I played with for at least 5 years each


I'm a long-time member of a gaming club where we switch games four times a year, so countless combinations of players over the past few decades.

Quite a few groups for home games - at least 8-10 over the same period - but drawn largely from the members of the same club.


the magical equivalent to the number zero
Six groups since 2008 or 2009 (not quite sure when I started), not counting one-shots of various kinds.

1. (approx. 2008-2012) Playing 2nd edition, later a few sessions of 3.5. Met my now-wife there, and she's in all my (recurring) groups. Fizzled out eventually.

2. (approx. 2011-2016) A new group with my now-wife ,playing 3.5. Fell apart due to irregular attendence of the main host player.

3 and 4. (2012) Two short-lived groups playing 3.5 and World of Darkness, respectively. Both fell apart due to loss of interest and mutual annoyances.

5. (2016-2020) Relatively consistent group, playing 5e. Fell apart due to suddenly them not wanting to play with my wife anymore (yes there is resentment here).

6. (2020-current) Only just started this group, with me as DM running Out of the Abyss adjusted to 3.5. Currently on hiatus due to Covid.

If you only count my long time gaming friends. Lets say four.
If you count the people I introduced into gaming... Dozens yes, with an "s".
And you did not removed tournaments... so that means a lot. More than I can remember.