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Subject: How to Start a Gaming Group rss

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David McMullen
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I apologize in advance for my own lack of insight on this thread. 'nuf said

What are the five most essential things to start a solid gaming group? What things do you find most enjoyable about your gaming group? Are there physical things like a certain location or particular games that your gaming group cannot live without?

I would appreciate any insight in a top 5 list (no particular order). If I get enough good answers I'd like to make a GeekList.

Also, here is a picture for reference.

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Gary Selkirk
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PowerOfPinesol5 wrote:
I apologize in advance for my own lack of insight on this thread. 'nuf said

What are the five most essential things to start a solid gaming group? What things do you find most enjoyable about your gaming group? Are there physical things like a certain location or particular games that your gaming group cannot live without?

I would appreciate any insight in a top 5 list (no particular order). If I get enough good answers I'd like to make a GeekList.

Also, here is a picture for reference.



We started a 'gaming group', probably, 20 years ago. At first we said all comers welcome. Initially about 1/2 dozen gamers showed up. They had their preference of games they liked. We went round robin, meaning the 3 of us interacted with all players. As time went on, we congregated once a week, more gamers came to the 'club'. At most, we might have had 15 gamers of all ages come. It seemed to boil down to some people playing wargames, others playing whatever they were interested in. Soon, there wasn't much interaction among the entire group. The club faded.

1) You should state that all gamers are welcome in all games.
2) All gamers meet for fun
3) Bring along a friend or anybody interested in gaming
4) Don't set a time frame, but certainly state when the club is open and consistently
5) Do not set any special rules - bring your pop and chips and mingle
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mention what's happening with the following:

1- food arrangements
E.g. You need to buy from the establishment, pitch in money for pizza, potluck, bring your own, whatever

1a- policy on alcohol


2- what games are and won't be played
E.g. no multi-session RPG campaigns, or games that go on forever (aka 6+ hours)
Brief description of the types games that get played and their playtimes. If people split up to play games, or one large jamboree


3- type of people allowed
--Seasoned gamers only. Or the only people who are really barred are those who don't follow a code of conduct (including common sense things like not being rude, physical, abusive, but also people who walk out on too many games)
--Policy on children
--have photos of women in your group later on (to show that it's not just some "boys only club")


4- how often you meet up/how to find out more info
--e.g. Meetup.com, Facebook, or website that'll post irregular schedules or changes
--parking situation (in areas with tight parking), or Metro routes in places where people don't have cars
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Chris Graves
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PowerOfPinesol5 wrote:
What are the five most essential things to start a solid gaming group?


So, are you referring to a public gaming group, like Meet Up for example, or a private(ish) group of folks you invite to your home? I would have different answers for both situations.
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David McMullen
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voodoochyl wrote:
PowerOfPinesol5 wrote:
What are the five most essential things to start a solid gaming group?



So, are you referring to a public gaming group, like Meet Up for example, or a private(ish) group of folks you invite to your home? I would have different answers for both situations.


Whichever I suppose
 
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Walt
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In memorium. Bob Hoover died 25 Oct 2016 at 94. In WWII he was shot down in a Spitfire and stole an FW-190 to escape. He spent decades at air shows flying Ole Yeller, shown
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1) Don't re-invent the wheel. If a gaming group already exists, join it. Don't split the available gamers so no group has enough.

2) Find a good venue. Tables, chairs, no interruptions.

3) Keep it inexpensive, free if at all possible. Gamers come from all income levels. A starving student can't buy games, but he can play them just as well as anyone else. Don't empire-build or get into, "Wouldn't it be cool if [long list of expensive stuff]?"--that's what cons are for.

4) Welcome newbies. Have some gateway games to ease them in. If they want to go straight to the heavy games, that's fine, but don't you overwhelm them.

5) Make the group easy to find. Meetup.com is a good choice.
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Dan
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Get a consistent venue
Get a consistent time
Be there every time, on time (or get a backup person who everyone knows in case you are away one week)

Advertise, advertise, advertise
(meetup.com, your local paper, facebook groups, etc.)

Set some basic rules for your group before problems arise:
1. Venue specific rules (e.g. library: nothing too loud, church: nothing too "evil")
2. Food & Drink Rules
3. Alcohol and Smoking Rules
4. Who the group is for (any age restrictions?)
5. Cost to attend (if any)
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djn1981 wrote:
Get a consistent venue


I've been to one where they rotate venues. This is to attract a wider audience, but also since competition to book library space (free or at a cost) can be fierce, so they're not always available on a periodic basis.
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Carl Nyberg
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I found a gaming group from people at church.
 
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Chengkai Yang
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I've joined one wherever I've moved. Meetup is great. The other is of course craigs list or posting at your FLGS, or even meeting at your FLGS. I also dabble on the D&D side of things and purloin people from other hobbies like anime or video gaming. Also as a student once more, it's opened my social circles once more. Really depends on if your looking to form a 20+ person thing or a 4-6 man weekly small grp.
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Dan
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bill437 wrote:
I found a gaming group from people at church.


I started a board game group at church, but most people who come to the group are not associated to the church at all. We do once a month, as that is all the time I can commit to currently.

We have a facebook group, and I occasionally organise a "bonus games night" at my house a few times a year. I also encourage the other members to feel free to organise other game nights, too through the facebook group. The nice thing about the facebook group is it is a closed group, and mostly the only people who are members of the group have actually attended the main game night before, so they are not complete strangers.
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Thumis Dalidalisa
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A few thoughts:

1) If you host the group in your house, you should think about whether you really want an "everyone is welcome" policy. I used to game in a public venue. One of the participants later murdered three people. I am glad he never came to my house. Less extreme issues might involve hygiene, age, maturity, and manners.

2) A venue other than your home has the advantage that when you personally can't make it, someone else can run the group and keep it on a regular schedule.

3) Churches have a lot of free, empty space with tables and chairs. My church would not want us to play anything with a supernatural theme(e.g. Arkham Horror or even Small World), however. Senior citizen centers and community centers can work, though in my area you have to pay to use the rooms.

4) Strongly second those who recommended trying to attract new gamers and women to the group. Game groups I have visited in Europe, Asia, and Australia were all more gender balanced than most groups in the United States. So, it's possible!

5) Don't be too hyper about, well, anything. Relax if someone is having a coke near your game. Be flexible about what to play.

6) The only rule I try to enforce is "no politics." That can get nasty quickly and it seems so unnecessary. There's a group in my area that I don't attend mainly because the organizer cannot resist sharing his political opinions.

7) Accept that it's hard to get a group going and keep it going.
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Carlos R
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Kolumel wrote:

One of the participants later murdered three people.

I will need a list of games played the night before. It's a matter of personal safety.
 
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