log in or register to remove this ad

 

What are your recruiting standards for your F2F games?

How do you pick replacement players for your regular face to face games?

This came up in another thread, and I think it warrants its own thread.

My current game is weekly, and has been together for 18 years. We play at a player's home chosen for its central location (I live out in the country, so even though I am the GM, I cannot host).

I maintain five players; in the rare occasion that I need a replacement, any potential candidate must be endorsed by at least one present or former player, and pass a background check (several of us have careers which would preclude gaming with a felon, for instance, and the host has small children).

In addition, we prefer players who are over thirty, ex-military, and possessing comparable personality traits and views with the group, although the first two are waiver-able. Regular and timely attendance of the game is a must; we average 49-51 sessions a year.

Currently we are not allowed to recruit female players by (several) wifely fiat, and by currently, I mean never.

If the prospect meets those standards, he will be allowed to join on a probationary basis, with permanent inclusion being subject to a group vote.
 

log in or register to remove this ad

MNblockhead

A Title Much Cooler Than Anything on the Old Site
After a nearly 25-year hiatus, and after moving back to near where I grew up, I decided to start playing TTRPGs again with 5e in 2015. I created my own homebrew world and campaign and ran a couple adventures for a couple of old high-school friends that I played with in the 80s. Unfortunately, there were not enough old friends left in the area who were available to join a regular campaign. So I had to go and find players who would be strangers to me. Something I was cautious about because I run the games from my home.

I started by posting a notice to a couple Meetup.com sites for local TTRPG players. I explained my campaign, my strange approach to scheduling, a bit about myself, what I was looking for in players, and some home rules and house rules. From the responses I would e-mail the interested players and we'd discuss the campaign to decide if it was a right fit. I found that the player who were vetting me as much as I was vetting them turned out the be the best fit at the table.

That led to two additional players. Additional or replacement players over the past five years have been recommendations from existing players, but even with these, I would discuss the campaign and their characters by e-mail.

I've yet to have any horror stories with players. Those who left, left primarily because of time conflicts.

An example initial post or e-mail to a potential player would go something like:

I'd start with a call for players and a campaign pitch. E.g.:

It has been four centuries since the Great Wars and the driving out of elves and arcane magic from the known world. From the ashes of numerous kingdoms arose the eight great human and dwarven realms that have joined together in a federation whose members' vast rule covers nearly all corners of the known world. Still, even four hundred years has not been enough time to recover from the devastation of the Great Wars.

Whole cities and even kingdoms have been reclaimed by wilderness and ancient threats barely remembered in myth are rumored to have returned. Moreover, the bonds of brotherhood among the peoples of the federated realms have grown slack and frayed from lack of need—replaced with threads of intrigue. Perhaps the stirring threats from the cold wastelands—orcs from the west, goblinoids from the east—will cause the peoples of the Federation to tighten and once again hold fast to the bonds that saved them from obliteration four hundred years ago.

What role will you play? Where does your destiny lie? Join us in our campaign: The Federation of Eight Realms.

A description of our group's weird scheduling. We are all working professionals and have to be flexible with scheduling.

We meet once per month on a Saturday, from 10am to 6pm. The exact Saturday changes from month-to-month. I know that can make it tough to commit to a campaign, though most of use make all the sessions. Still, I try (though I'm not always successful) to have each session be a complete adventure, so if you must miss a session you can without leaving anyone hanging. Also happy to have "guest stars" if you want to join occasionally, playing an pre-generated character or creating a character just for that session.

For players who joined after a campaign is in full swing, I'd describe the current group of players and I'd give a far more detailed campaign description and the adventure(s) so far, followed by guidelines on character level and start a discussion on what kind of character they want to play based on what I've told them about the campaign. This allows me to work them into to the campaign. If there are any character class or race restrictions I'll specify that. For example, in my first campaign only humans, halfings, gnomes, and dwarves could be played and the only arcane magic users allowed were sorcerer's. After two years of my home brew campaign, I ran Curse of Strahd and allowed any official WotC character option. My current game is the 5e version of the Rappan Athuk, which is more kitchen sink and borderline gonzo.

Next I would describe House Rules, e.g.:

Will use D&D 5th Edition.

Multi-classing under the 5th edition rules is allowed.

Elves, Tieflings, and Dragonborn are not allowed as a player races. Half-elves and half-orcs may be allowed if convincing backstories are created and they are not visually identifiable as being part elven or orcish.

Wizard, Sorcerer, and Warlock are not allowed classes at first level.

Non-magic variants of Rangers and Bards are used (using rule variants published in an Unearthed Arcana article for Rangers and home brewed Bard class).

You can role once for ability scores. If you don't like your role, you can use the "Customizing Ability Scores" variant (PH 13) where you have points to "buy" certain ability scores.

Players will bring snacks and drinks to share with the group.

Characters level up every session.

Finally, I would note any technology used or required. Originally, there were no requirements. But eventually I required that players created characters in DnD Beyond and add them to my campaign in DnD Beyond. It is free to the players, so no objections. Currently, we have to play remotely, so everyone has to use Foundry as our VTT, but again, there is no cost to the players and they don't have to download, install, or configure anything.
 

Lanefan

Victoria Rules
My standards are fairly simple:

I have to know you beforehand. Failing that, someone in the existing group (or proto-group if we're just starting new) has to know you beforehand.

You have to not be an idiot, be capable of basic arithmetic and reading comprehension, and be able to carry on a coherent conversation. You also need to be emotionally stable enough to a) not take in-character arguments personally and b) not throw tantrums when bad things or bad luck happen to your character, because they will - and probably soon. :)

You have to be willing to commit long-term. If you're planning on moving out of town in three months you're welcome to join but you'll always be seen as a temp.

You need to take the game seriously enough to show up on time for the weekly sessions, but not so seriously that you can't laugh at it or at what happens in it, or at yourself.

And a good sense of humour is a major asset.
 

My standards are fairly simple:

I have to know you beforehand. Failing that, someone in the existing group (or proto-group if we're just starting new) has to know you beforehand.

You have to not be an idiot, be capable of basic arithmetic and reading comprehension, and be able to carry on a coherent conversation. You also need to be emotionally stable enough to a) not take in-character arguments personally and b) not throw tantrums when bad things or bad luck happen to your character, because they will - and probably soon. :)

You have to be willing to commit long-term. If you're planning on moving out of town in three months you're welcome to join but you'll always be seen as a temp.

You need to take the game seriously enough to show up on time for the weekly sessions, but not so seriously that you can't laugh at it or at what happens in it, or at yourself.

And a good sense of humour is a major asset.
Yep exactly. The only thing I can add is that we tend to have a few drinks when we play and we're not too religious, so as long as that doesn't bother you then they are welcome to join. But as I DM they have to be willing to play at my house and have their own transportation. If they turn out not to suit the group, don't respect other peoples time and cancel rather often I just tell them they aren't invited back next game.

In the past I've tried game stores, social media, meetups, etc and it never worked for long. Either personalities clashed or there was just too much turnover for a consistent game. Not worth the effort.
 

ccs

40th lv DM
At the shop, when running a game there was a thing? We'd accept almost anyone as long as 1) there was room at the table (I'm generally good with up to 6 players), 2) no one in the current group had an objection, 3) you had to be 16+ (shop rule).

For our "home" games? You have to be invited by someone in the group, no one has any objections to you, AND the host has final veto power.
 

S'mon

Legend
Before Covid, I ran a D&D Meetup at my local pub, and anyone could turn up and play. The risk of the occasional not-so-great player was far outweighed by the joy of meeting cool new people and bringing them into the game.

I remember back in the 3e era there seemed to be quite a lot of obnoxious players around, but in the 5e era everyone seems pretty chill, and I've not really had any problems with public recruitment.
 

S'mon

Legend
For the Covid era, I run games on Roll20. I've done some open recruitment; if a player doesn't work out it doesn't have much negative impact in an online game, especially as I use text chat only. I also recruit from my existing player base.

I don't really have 'recruiting standards' as such, but these days I won't run a game at my home for strangers (anyway my government made home gaming illegal again recently - they also made it illegal to meet friends at the pub, so no IRL games) :(

>Currently we are not allowed to recruit female players by (several) wifely fiat, and by currently, I mean never.<<

Never had this, and I'm single now anyway. I've not had a player try to seduce me since 2004. :\ :D
 

Never had this, and I'm single now anyway. I've not had a player try to seduce me since 2004. :\ :D
We are all highly attractive males with excellent career prospects. It's not a problem ordinary gamers encounter. ;)

I don't know just how serious the prohibitions actually are. Honestly, the situation has never arisen. But I included it in the name of completeness.
 

TheSword

Legend
Supporter
674F675F-CF46-410F-A367-E1B0DFA3071B.jpeg


I had a powerful recollection of the excellent Friday Night Dinner English sitcom and the interrogations about females... Any Females Adam?

Referral from a trusted player you know is priceless, there really is no substitute for it. It doesn’t always work and sometimes a friend at work can behave very differently at the gaming table but it helps.

A background check just tells you someone hasn’t been caught, not that they’re safe. Though I guess if it’s crucial to you it’s worth demanding access to a persons personal information rather than just asking if they are a felon. There are three teachers in my group and I was certainly never asked for one, but each to their own.
 

payn

Explorer
Everyone is temporary until they prove they can be a good fit. I usually go by checking my available pool of players, then expanding to recommendations from other players. About 12 years ago I didnt have a pool, so I spent some time in organized play and on meetup.com until I did.

Personality is big. If we ditched the TTRPG would we still enjoy each others company?
Playstyle is a must. Not everyone has my tastes and playstyle, and that is ok, just not at my table.
Punctuality is expected. It's ok to miss sessions because you have life reasons. Its not ok to miss a session because you found something else to do. Sometimes things come out of nowhere, but often its known well in advance that a player cant make it. Communicating ahead of time is expected, when able.
 

MGibster

Legend
How do you pick replacement players for your regular face to face games?
A currently player will say they know someone who might be interested, we have them ask, and if the answer is yes they show up and we start playing.


My current game is weekly, and has been together for 18 years. We play at a player's home chosen for its central location (I live out in the country, so even though I am the GM, I cannot host).

I've been with my current group for about six years now. We've got a solid core of 5 players with one person rotating out on occasion.

I maintain five players; in the rare occasion that I need a replacement, any potential candidate must be endorsed by at least one present or former player, and pass a background check (several of us have careers which would preclude gaming with a felon, for instance, and the host has small children).

I don't even know how you'd ask someone for the personal identification information necessary to conduct a thorough background screen. Okay, I get it, you just ask. But I'm very reluctant to provide anyone with my PII. Do you get them to sign an authorization form?


In addition, we prefer players who are over thirty, ex-military, and possessing comparable personality traits and views with the group, although the first two are waiver-able. Regular and timely attendance of the game is a must; we average 49-51 sessions a year.
I prefer gaming with people in their 30s or older but the folks at my table all have wildly different political beliefs. I do expect all players to attend games regularly and on time.


Currently we are not allowed to recruit female players by (several) wifely fiat, and by currently, I mean never.

Oh, wow. Admittedly all the women in my group are married to other members of the group. But my wife has never voiced concerns to me that there might be wimmen in any of my gaming groups.
 

I don't even know how you'd ask someone for the personal identification information necessary to conduct a thorough background screen. Okay, I get it, you just ask. But I'm very reluctant to provide anyone with my PII. Do you get them to sign an authorization form?

I don't ask for their ID information, nor do I need a form. All I need is their name. Commercial data bases have as good or better data than governmental services, and a lot of the useful governmental data (sex offender, for one) is public.
 

MGibster

Legend
I don't ask for their ID information, nor do I need a form. All I need is their name. Commercial data bases have as good or better data than governmental services, and a lot of the useful governmental data (sex offender, for one) is public.

I use a commercial application to run background screens on people for employment purposes. The company we use won't run a background check unless the candidate signs a document giving his or her blessing.
 

Ulfgeir

Adventurer
I think* the standards in my group are:
  • Knowing someone already in the group (most likely the person whose apartment we play at). We have been playing since 2004 or so. Some players have longer histories.
  • Not be a complete asshole. Yes we have some friction sometimes.
  • Have similar intrerests, so that it is someone one can hang out with even when not gaming.

    *It was a number of years ago since the last player entered, and I have no idea how he came into the group (there has been a few that left earlier). At the moment we are 8 players including the GM, so it is a bit too large as is..
 

Flexor the Mighty!

18/100 Strength!
For me they pretty much have to be a friend or someone I would spend time with outside of gaming. Not really interested in spending a several hours a week with randoms I wouldn't otherwise hang out with. And people I otherwise don't associate with aren't usually going to be invited to my house.
 


Umbran

Mod Squad
Staff member
But my wife has never voiced concerns to me that there might be wimmen in any of my gaming groups.

Yeah. I know there are folks who cannot manage to keep their heads screwed on straight around women, but they fail at the "don't be a jerk" level.
 
Last edited:




Advertisement2

Advertisement4

Top