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General How Would You Describe Your D&D Group


A couple of threads I was reading recently got me thinking about the folks that I run games for and play in for D&D.

Current group 1 (Tomb of Annihilation - Player)

This is definitely a casual group who is far more interested in the mundane side of RPing than anything else. I feel like somewhat of an outsider as the group would usually prefer to spend two of our game hours each week describing how they set up and break down camp and what they talk about at the fireside. I'm generally painting or putting together models during these moments, so I'm only half paying attention myself and only get involved once camp is broken and we get underway with the lone encounter or two for the day. It really feels like I'm the only character doing a damn bit of good in combat (currently, a Paladin Dragonborn). The Eldritch Knight (Dragonborn) is a fool [in real life] who is more likely to get us killed rushing heedlessly into battle than to help us. The Druid (aka, the wife), who refuses to learn how to use her abilities to instead spam the poison cloud cantrip, the owlman (variant Aarakorka) fighter who is a beast in combat but until recently has been afraid to get into combat (played by my younger austistic son) and the (currently) human Bard who has a strong grasp of the rules and her abilities but feels sidelined because her buffs would be worthless to spend on her comrades bizarre actions (played by my elder son). As you can probably tell, I'm pretty much done with playing in this game and only continue because it's run at my house, and the others don't seem to mind continuing it (though I sense they wish it could be better).

Current group 2 (Saltmarsh - DM)

This group is quite a mix - two players from the Tomb campaign, a mostly casual group of four with one "try hard". One player (not from the other group) is obsessed with "beating" the game and building an indestructible character, while the others strike me as more interested in developing their character and finding out where the story goes. Group consists of a human Artificer (the minmaxxer/gamebeater, though he does enjoy RP when it comes up), a kenku Wizard/Monk (the group's "ooh, what does that do?"), a tiefling Warlock (first time player, wowwed by the plethora of options available to him in an open-ended game) and a Aasimar cleric who spams Sacred Flame and is obsessed with doing things (RP & playwise) the most "right" and boring way (honestly, it's like playing an RPG with C3P0). I actually have a lot of fun with this group because they are Chaos Incorporated and will try new and unusual things that bend my brain as a DM. My wife (the Cleric) trying to reel in this group is hilarious, as long as I can keep her from being a stick-in-the-mud*.

Current group 3 (Theros - Player)

We're just getting started with this group - The person who is the tiefling from group 2 is the DM, the other players are the DM's brother (the minmaxxer from group 2), my eldest son from group 1/2 (playing a Tabaxi Monk), my brother (playing a Minotuar Warlock) and me (a centaur Cleric). My brother hasn't played D&D since the start of 3.0, though he's big into magic. He definately wants to do a lot of RP, but is confused by 5E's mechanics. My eldest son is Chaos Incarnate and wants to do everything including impressing his uncle in the game. The DM's brother is there to kick butt, take names and do a little RPing as the opportunity presents. Me, I'm there to relax, throw a little support and kill some things - and maybe pick up on better ways to do things as a DM from watching a new DM blossom. I try not to rules lawyer or overly minmax, but I am the one in the group with the most DM experience. I try to keep quiet about the rules when I can so the new DM can shine (and this group is about getting away from being a DM), but I will answer questions if they come up - though I always end with "But it's up to the DM how he wants to handle this." (As I've disagreed with 5E's rules in a few occasions).

* I love my wife, but sometimes I think I really shouldn't play D&D with her. Her learning disability can be quite frustrating at times, especially when she just "doesn't get it".

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Current Group 1 (Waterdeep Dragon Heist - DM)

We started gaming together in the late 1990s before getting married, having kids, moving to different states. Fortunately, technology has allowed us to play again regularly (we still did the occasional in-person games and convention visits together over the years). We're there mostly to socialize, keep up with each other, and have the game as a secondary interest. We get together for around 2 hours every Monday evening, and do a little bit of gaming between the conversations. We have one leader player, two facilitators (who go along with the plans), and a mad scientist.

Current Group 2 (OSR Homebrew - GM)

One of my good friends asked me to introduce his coworkers to D&D by DMing a one-shot adventure, and they became so hooked on the game that they wanted regular sessions. We just completed Curse of Strahd over around 7 months of weekly online sessions and getting ready to start a new campaign in a new system this week. They are deeply invested in the game, story, roleplaying, and get very excited about every session. We have an explorer (wants to discover every nook and cranny), two facilitators, and a storyteller.

Current Group 3 (PF2 - Age of Ashes AP - GM)

My original "core group" prior to the pandemic has transitioned worse to the online play, but we still get together about monthly. We moved our PF2 experiment campaign to the virtual tabletop and are still having issues with the system in general. We have a leader, strategist, facilitator, casual player (relative of another player), and a power gaming butt-kicker (my wife).


Interesting read.

Group 1: Played together for 15 years in the current incarnation which was distilled and split from a much larger open group that had played for much longer. 3 teachers, an artist and myself. I was the odd one out, an old school friend of the artist who met the rest of the group when I’d travel and visit (from about 150 miles away) occasionally. This turned into a regular monthly F2F group with me traveling down on a Friday night for a weekend of gaming. One of the teachers is also a DM and we alternate DMing now settling into a day with me behind the screen and a day with him giving me a chance to play. He’s DMing Saltmarsh and I’m DMing Odyssey of the Dragonlords. It’s a great group, a mix of roleplay, combat, tactics, strategy etc. no one takes the proverbial too often or tries to screw over other players or the DM. We’ve had some awesome campaigns and I’d consider this the main group.

Group 2: is a spin off from this online with one of the teachers not fancying online gaming... too much prep and not as immersive for him. It’s also fun and works... I’m DMing a 5e Kingmaker modeled on the Owlcat computer game, playing on a Tuesday every 1-2 weeks.

Group 3: A totally different group of 6 of us. New to D&D as of last year. Probably take it less seriously, more hanging out and kinda getting some stuff done. Mostly board gamers and mates. We’re slowly working through Avernus with an online game every 2 weeks. Might try and switch these guys to WFRP for the lulz. They could do with taking some critical hits and I think they’d appreciate the sense of humour.

Group 4: More serious group, running a 5e Conversion of the Runelords APs from Pathfinder all mashed up into one And set in Eberron. It’s amazing how much stuff we can get done in a 3 hour session - I’m recording the conversion and the adventure logs in a different thread. One of my favourite campaigns I’ve ever run 5E - The Runelords Trilogy in 5E Eberron *Spoilers* Discussion, Conversion Notes and Adventure Log
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Hobbit on Quest
The group I play with on Thursday nights is, effectively, two groups. The players change a little bit because one of the regulars only joins on alternate weeks - the other weeks, he runs Shadowrun at a local game store (albeit, online now due to the 'rona). Both groups are currently playing 5e at the moment, but that changes periodically. During the summers, we had been including some of our kids - which means 4 more players 16 and under.

Group A - is the smaller group. We have a (currently) dragon-obsessed DM and 4 regular players (including me), though I believe we will be adding one more soon from outside the group. This DM prefers to run campaigns of his own creation. We take a fairly casual approach to playing with a lot of banter, moderate role playing, not a lot of heavy optimization.

Group B - is huge because the summer game basically morphed into mine. I'm running a 5e conversion of Age of Worms - online - so we're dealing with some growing pains but I do want to keep the kids in the game since they're so separated from their normal peers (again, thanks to 'rona). We've got some good examples of characterization from some of the older players and we're hoping that helps the kids develop their own distinctive RPing styles. So far, we've got a good start and I'm going to try to encourage that. I think we'll end up trying to handle some of the paperwork and other moves away from the online table to maximize our productive online together time. But I do expect combats will not be super fast. I'll probably consolidate some encounters in the adventures as we go along - partly because the group is so big and partly to cut down the number of less meaningful encounters.
Management of the kids will also be interesting as 2 of them have ADHD (including my own). But I find I'm also managing parents because one of them will often tell her daughter what her PC should be doing, so I'm finding myself asking the teen, "Well, that's some advice. What do you want to do?" I'm fine with helping the kids weigh their options since they're still learning the hobby, but ultimately leaving it up to them... even if weird things happen as a result.


The only group right now is a PotA campaign that I DM. It started last summer when my son got out of school for the summer and continued partially in the early school year but became regular with Corona. I think it will finish around Christmas, but the group tends to wander a lot and loops back to the main book. My son is still kind of new to playing and likes a bit of power gaming. We tend to gab some when we first get together and not all ready to play, so I find him playing on his phone some. My father and I have been playing for over 35 years and he is the one that get me into the game. He only plays champion fighters now, but he played a 1/2orc in the last game instead of a human. The last regular member of the group is my little brother whom I have played with for 25 years. He is playing a 1/2orc cleric with a 3pp path dealing with fire. He likes to play a bit different at times but always has a hook to roleplay with.

We never have weird races of classes and hardly have non-core stuff. I would tend to allow most things and I suspect my son would pick something first, but has not so far. Maybe he picks up with the rest of our gronard ideas.


At the beginning of this year I loved to a new city and new nobody. Then Coronavirus hit and everything closed down, so I had few opportunities to meet new people to start or join a game. So, I subscribed to Roll20, purchased the DM Essentials content to get started, and recruited for a VTT Dragon of Icespire Peak campaign.

Group #1 consists of five players and myself (DM). We've played 13 sessions and are nearing campaign conclusion, with optional DLC to expand the game several more sessions. Overall, a great group of players and have really enjoyed gaming and getting to know these "strangers". I would characterize these players as follows:
Player 1 (Human Wizard): Optimizer/Explorer
Player 2 (Gnome Cleric): Instigator/Fighter
Player 3 (Half-Orc Paladin): Fighter/Storyteller
Player 4 (Human Fighter): Actor/Problem Solver
Player 5 (Aasimar Druid): Actor/Storyteller

Group #2 is also a Dragon of Icespire Peak campaign, but this one is six players ages 10-14 (two of which are my kids and one is a nephew). We started with the three family member players, but recruited 3 additional players after a few sessions. This group can be pure chaos, but also (at times) a lot of fun.
Player 1 (Kenku Bard): Fighter/Explorer
Player 2 (Elf Paladin): Actor/Storyteller
Player 3 (Human Fighter): Fighter/Instigator
Player 4 (Human Ranger): Fighter/Optimizer
Player 5 (Half-Elf Fighter): Instigator/Explorer
Player 6 (Tiefling Sorcerer): Optimizer/Fighter


Group #1 (5e)
7-8 people. Started at a game cafe at the beginning of 2017 and is now on Roll20 due to COVID. The lineup has changed considerably since we started; I'm the last of the original players in the group, and most are "3rd generation." Switching from biweekly to weekly improved retention and we've had the same players and DM for two campaigns. Some players were invited to join the game by folks who are no longer in the group, so we're not a cohesive group of friends. Friendly, but not really friends. I'm the "old man" who was playing DnD before most of the others were born. Aside from me and one other player (my friend from another group), it seems everyone else played MtG before getting lured into DnD. Currently we are playing Odyssey of the Dragonlords. We have a gamut of players from relative newbies still learning their character abilities to serious role-players with highly defined PC personalities. Cooperation between players is not always great. There is ongoing frustration between the instigators and the tacticians. We've had issues with players who choose PC personalities that put them at odds with others in the group, to the point where I was ready to drop out, but we talked through it and the current campaign hasn't had those problems. We also had to reign in one player's edgelord tendencies since we were playing in a public place and occasionally been open to new players joining in. My fellow cooperators and I have learned to ask some basic questions at session zero, like "It seems like in this campaign we're going to do X (eg save the children). Is anyone playing a character who would not want to do X (eg enslave the children instead)?" This has avoided situations where half the group wanted to rob or murder our NPC patrons after we finished a mission while the other half was warning NPC's not to hire us because our party couldn't be trusted.

Group #2 (5e)
7 people. I got recruited into this biweekly group by a 1st gen player from Group #1. We used to play at the same game cafe as Group #1 but now play on Roll20. Currently playing Dungeon of the Mad Mage. This is a group of players that were friends before I joined and so it's been pretty stable. In contrast to Group 1, I do consider this group my friends and we talk and get together frequently for things other than this particular DnD campaign. Subsets of this group play other games besides this biweekly game, but I'm maxed out right now. A guy I had previously met at an AL game joined this group when I did, and this year I asked him to fill an open spot in Group #1. I would call this a hard core gaming group. Two members have crowd-funded and published their own RPG books. They do podcasts. They go to cons, do playtests. We meet up to paint minis. Once a year we get together for a long weekend and have our own private con where we all run an RPG for the group. 5e, OSR, PF2, PBtA, or anything we want to try out. We keep up a steady stream of online conversations pretty much every day. This group is closer to my age and most players have been playing since 1e/2e. We are all very familiar with the 5e toolkit of class abilities and feats and multiclassing. Most of us have DM'ed for the group at one point and realize that it's a real PITA to challenge experienced players with optimized PC's who know how to set each other up for success with positioning, CC spells, imposing conditions, etc. They appreciate interesting lair actions that throw them off their game. There is a lot of sympathy for whoever is the current occupant of the DM chair, so there is a strong value for playing by the rules, and players will speak up about rules or creature effects even when they are detrimental to the player.

Group #3 (OSE)
5 people. Weekly game on Roll20 playing through TSR B/X modules. A few of us in Group #2 from time to time had kicked around the idea of playing a Rules Cyclopedia-based OSR game, but not everyone in that group was into it. During COVID I asked one of them to run it and steered them towards OSE, and we started right around when the recent OSE KS launched. The DM and two players (me and the one who also plays in Group #1), all from Group #2, found two other players to join, including one of my oldest friends who lives in another time zone. We could take on another player in this group but haven't found someone available at the right time with an affinity for old school DnD. We're all familiar with 5e but are learning the OSE rules as we go. A highly lethal game for PC's, with a mortality rate of over 100% so far, but incredibly fun to play. Life is cheap in those old modules, and you have to have a sense of humor (or rage-quit like one of the first players who joined!). Yes, your characters die, but sometimes they land a Light spell and blind a powerful monster for an easy kill. I would call this the most casual game I'm in right now. No backstory, no elaborate plot, just dungeon survival and resource management while we laugh about how excited we were to find more iron spikes, or how freakin' scary an 18hp gelatinous cube can be when there's no bounded accuracy and everyone misses their first 2 attack rolls on one of the easiest monsters to hit.


The Smurfiest Wizard Ever!
Group #1
Nearly two years. Bi-weekly. Long sessions (8-12 hours or longer). Just finished campaign to level 20 and starting a new one this Saturday.

Group #2
About 7 months. Online weekly. Regular 4-6 hour sessions. Playing second campaign, currently level 7. Mostly monks. This is my test group for new concepts.

Scott Christian

Group #1: Half are optimizers and play the same characters each time, no matter the campaign. The other half are a mix of RP'ers and explorers. Averages about six players. A fun group with a great DM that is imaginative. It is very open ended. The only drawback is we have yet to finish a campaign because his creation mode is so hyper, that it wanders to other places before our story is completed. This group is on hold at the moment as some of us have moved, and, you know, life. (av. age: 30)

Group #2: Large. Averages eight players and a DM. All casual and in it for the fun. We are running Tomb, and just having a enjoyable time. (This group was an old group that moved away from each other. But Covid brought us back together online. One of the few good things Covid has done ;) ) (av. age: 35)

Group #3: Large. Eight players and a DM. The DM is solid and does his own world designs. A bit more railroady than Group #1, but he follows a few mantras that make it really enjoyable: we level each session, we finish the story lines, and then start a new campaign. Fun campaigns and pretty casual players (except for two that optimize everything). I moved so this group is no longer. But I am happy that I got to play with them for three years and three campaigns. (av. age: 38-40)
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Rotten DM
Homebrew Friday. Murderhobos over our heads and DM is having learning problems of making us take notes.
Saturday Adventure League wanting to get as close to homebrew. Two shut ins are happy just to be out the house. Two I want to be evil but not lose my pc.
Tuesday, New people learning AL and D&D which meets biweekly.


Unfortunately inactive right now.

We had been playing on a VTT, but when everyone is a adult with children, it's hard to meet. We've been talking about instead of doing a campaign style game, running one (or two) shots. It would give more people a chance to DM and let us explore lots of systems.

Group 1. Relatively young gamers. Former students of mine and friends. Average age about 37, with the baby being 32 years old (6' 6", 300 pound baby... ;) ). Low level because of recent TPK and covid... Dragon Heist about to get in the last phase. Will switch to DotMM relatively soon.
6 players strong.

2nd group
Old timers. 49 years old on average. They've been playing together for 33+ years (three have been with me for 37 years...). Currently level 17 and doing The Deep. A homebrew dungeon crawl.

3rd group, Friday night magic. Frequency once a month. Always doing one shot, one session adventures written for the occasion. It is a mix a many players. It is mainly a platform to highlight rules and how to adjudicating them. Often nice debates at the end. Less of a role play and more of simulations but some adventures are specifically aimed at no fights. Resorting to skill and skill challenges to role play their way out of bad situations.

I have an odd 7 person group who play into two games on alternating weeks. I DM a Saltmarsh game while the other DM is running Avernus. We also have 3 other DMs in the group, which allows the regular DMs to take sabbaticals between campaigns, as well as run one-shots when the regular DMs can't. Our group is generally a mature group who while not powergamers in the traditional sense, we know the rules well enough to make solid characters. There's one player who always seeks an advantage, but otherwise we're consistent in reminding the DM of obvious mistakes even if they hurt us. A lot of us build detailed characters to try and interact with the setting and campaign (one player likes to integrate her characters with another PC). Interestingly we tend to attach ourselves to NPCs, caring for them as if they were part of the group.

Flexor the Mighty!

18/100 Strength!
A bunch of besotted lushes around a table with a very gamest approach to classic hack and slash D&D. Not totally casual but nobody but one or two players is messing with D&D stuff when we aren't at the table. All of us have known each other for 20+ years and half have gamed together on and off since the early-mid 80's.