Girls can roll dice too!
June 22, 2006 6:09 PM   Subscribe

How do I find a roleplaying group in my area (general question, not a particular locale) for a beginner to D & D?

Having just started D & D, I'm looking to find a beginner-friendly group in my local area. Here's the deal - I know people that play around here, but they all seem kind of weirded out about my being a chick and wanting to play, and assume there's something mentally wrong with me. For that reason, I'd like to go outside my circle of friends and find a group that will help me expand my knowledge of the game while not patronising me for having breasts. (The reaction I got when I asked my friends who play was, "Hahahaha. Girls can't play D & D.") Are there any sites than can help me find a group of preferrably experienced players in my area who would welcome and be willing to go slowly with a newcomer?
I tried the local game shop (Dragons and Heroes) but got much the same reaction as I did from my friends.

Also, any tips for a newcomer to the game? (I'm playing has a half-elf druid, for the record.)
posted by Glitter Ninja to Society & Culture (16 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Stop by your local comic book store. They often have bulletin boards advertising local gaming groups.
posted by ikkyu2 at 6:26 PM on June 22, 2006

Wow, I'm really sorry you're getting that reaction. I'm a gamer chick myself, so I sympathize with your plight. Though if my friends had said that I couldn't game because I was female, they'd have found a polearm up their backsides... My advice would be to try another game shop, if there are any more in your town; failing that, you could try the forum and see if anyone's looking for more players. This latter is how I found my current group, and I couldn't be more pleased (though I'm pretty sure I got exceptionally lucky when I found the group).

I think you must have had a run of bad luck with finding a group to game with -- most of the gamers I know would be happy to have someone new to the hobby in their group, and would be very willing to help them learn the game. Hang in there, you'll find someone!

As for advice on playing: just have fun, and don't sweat that you don't know the rules inside and out. (I've been playing for more than half my life, and I still don't have them committed to memory.) Make up a character that you enjoy playing, and you'll be fine. Best of luck finding a group!
posted by Janta at 6:29 PM on June 22, 2006

Seems to me the proper answer to "Girls can't play D&D" is "Well, I do. Are you going to let me play or not?" In other words, just shrug off the initial surface weirdness. Once you show them you really like playing the game, they'll probably accept you just fine. Unless they're jerks, I guess.

ikkyu2 is right about local comic book stores and bulletin boards; around here, at least one branch of the local public library also organizes and hosts role-playing games most weekends. Those two are probably your best bet.
posted by mediareport at 6:38 PM on June 22, 2006

Try your zip code at
posted by Dean King at 6:57 PM on June 22, 2006

The benefit of this changes based on where you live, but going to sci-fi/anime/gaming cons or ren faires puts you in an excellent position to meet people that play.

Of course you need to live close enough to a con that people from your town go there. Even if they don't though there are people at these cons/faires that seem to know everyone and can point you in the right direction.

You also need to catch a con at the right time. If you're unlucky there may not be another one near your area until next year.

Good luck!
posted by Hypharse at 7:00 PM on June 22, 2006

You'll probably find either "ew. girls don't play D&D" or "huh-huh. you're a girl". I would far prefer the first kind because you can at least prove them wrong. The second crowd...well, in my experience they just try to accidentally walk in on you in the bathroom. It's not because nerds are bad people (ok. the second kind can be) but the only girls who have ever expressed an interest in their hobby were probably making fun of them or the girlfriend of one of the other gamers. Either way, they weren't discussing it because they were interested so they are known to get a bet defensive. Remember that nerds by nature are anti social and don't hold that hold that against them.

As everyone said, hang out in game stores. You could probably even watch a game or two to get the flow of things understood.
posted by nadawi at 7:12 PM on June 22, 2006

Does your area have any local blogs? It may seem unrelated, but I've found that local blogs tend to attract mature, laid-back geeks who might be the kind of gamers you're looking for.

As for proving the naysayers wrong, I'd probably rather not play at all than spend hours finding out if I can to prove that I'm their equal.
posted by transona5 at 7:31 PM on June 22, 2006

I'm a girl gamer too, and I found my group entirely online, by posting on various online forums relating to both my urban area and to the particular game I was trying to play (Vampire, at the time). The D&D forums might be a good place to start. Craigslist in your area could work too. Or leave a note up on the bulletin board at your local gaming store, though I don't suggest you use your primary email address as you may get a) deluged or b) some very strange people contacting you. Privacy is good.
posted by bibliomancer at 7:55 PM on June 22, 2006

You might also want to check out enworld and its gamers seeking gamers forum. The people there seem to be fairly mature as these things go and unlikely to wig out too much about you being female.
posted by inkyz at 7:58 PM on June 22, 2006

While their site seems to be down at the moment findplay is a nice resource for finding a roleplaying game of any type.

I found my current gaming group online after I'd moved to NYC and knew no one. I got to know the potential gamers I was going to game with at a local coffee shop before I showed up at their door with a D20 in hand. There are some weird people out there. That said, I was able to put an amazing group togeather.
posted by Maastrictian at 7:59 PM on June 22, 2006

I second checking with comic book store (or maybe hobby shop where they sell the mini figures for games). I'm not into that stuff myself, but my kids go to them once in a while and at several of the stores around here, we see people actually playing role playing games (often in full regalia) and board games. It's it's in their best interest to do so, as it stirs up demand for the stuff they sell.
posted by Doohickie at 9:00 PM on June 22, 2006

Find a game or city.
posted by bleary at 5:31 AM on June 23, 2006

And, for the love of God, never go to a game accompanied by any male, or you will forever be "the girlfriend". Doesn't matter if you've been playing longer than him, doesn't matter if you introduced him tabletop gaming, doesn't matter if he's, you know, not your boyfriend. It's just a fact. So don't do it. Drive yourself. Meet the people there. Do not even carpool.
posted by dagnyscott at 6:46 AM on June 23, 2006

I haven't been able to find a game in the NYC area:( Registered with the meetup group. Anyone got an open seat? Not at Neutral Ground?
Not sure if I agree with dagnyscott, but it can't hurt to assert independence early. A girl who plays D&D is every nerd's fantasy, and sometimes when presented with the object of a fantasy, it is hard not to behave like a drooling idiot. Please do not take advantage of the drooling idiots. We do have feelings. Sort of.
posted by bastionofsanity at 8:55 AM on June 23, 2006

There are definitely some very weird people out there. I was in your situation and used the Wizards board to try and find a group. Two different groups popped up. One was basically composed of the most stereotypical anti-social geeks who were basically only looking for a girl who wanted to play an elf magic user, as in they had already MADE the character for me. And for the hour that I sat in on were basically like "OMG girl... must be cool...". Did not go back. The other group seemed like cool guys, until I realized that they had basically decided I was new blood into their little clique and would be paired off with one of the guys when the time came. Sadly, I decided that real life D&D was not for me.
So, basically, use internet common sense when meeting these people, because sadly the weirdos seem to outnumber the cool people.
posted by blueskiesinside at 1:22 PM on June 23, 2006

I learned to play D&D while at a womens college, and was shocked to find out men played.

These days, I find cool people to play with by talking with other library computer people. Most of us seem to play, and even if they are male, library computer staff generally realize women have brains and other things that start with 'b' besides 'boobs' (like boots. Big boots. Big boots that belong on boys' bums...).
posted by QIbHom at 2:44 PM on June 24, 2006

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