Philly halfling clerics represent! April 10, 2010 9:27 PM   Subscribe

D&D (or related RPG) mefites in Philadelphia area?

So, a few recent threads in AskMe have really stirred up my desire to play once again in a good pen and paper RPG.

I played a ton of D&D as a teenager and then, as an adult, played in (and DMed) several GURPS campaigns with friends in Toronto.

My wife and I moved to Philadelphia two years ago. We've made a bunch of friends, but none of quite that flavour of geekiness. We took part for a short period of time in a board game group we found via craigslist and there were people in that group who had an RPG group. But, at the risk of sounding elitist, the people involved were just too socially maladapted for us.

I know that people who have their shit together (at the risk of being absurd, "cool people") also play RPGs, but I just don't know where to find them. So here I am, hoping that there are some fun Philadelphia mefites also looking to get their geek on.

I've still got all my old GURPS books and I could happily host and even run a campaign. Alternately, my wife and I would be excited about joining someone else's ongoing group.

caveat: we have a one month old daughter, so we need a group that can accommodate the occasional absences and crying and breastfeeding that comes with that.
posted by 256 to MetaFilter Gatherings at 9:27 PM (12 comments total)

All I know is that if you try to play Lord of the Rings Risk with youarenothere, desuetude, orme and... (who else was there? scalefree?), orme will just get drunk, and desuetude will get huffy and bored and then youarenothere and I and whoever else was left will eventually give up long before the ring gets to Mordor.

And if the ring doesn't get to Mordor... I think we all know what happens then...

Um, in closing, I just want to say that I'm sorry I'm no longer local and can't cast magic missiles at your babby.
posted by greekphilosophy at 10:04 PM on April 10, 2010

I would recommend your FLGS (Friendly Local Gaming Store).
Comic and game stores are a great place to meet people and sometimes have games in the back rooms and such. You can get together and play in a few pickup games at the store and recruit people to play with you.
Alternately, I'm sure there are several conventions this summer in Philly that you could attend to meet and recruit people.

The emphasis I would make is that these are new friends you are meeting rather than just people you game with. A good gaming group needs to be made up of folks who like each other or things can get ugly.
posted by Megafly at 12:00 AM on April 11, 2010

Yeah, the difficulty of putting together a good droup is that people have heavier priorities with age (like your little one) and getting five or six people together for six hours of dungeon crawling once a week is a pretty big commitment. That said, it is possible, and very rewarding when it works out well!

When I was a wee lad, my dad would visit the house of Pete and Donna W. every week and play D&D around a giant table in an attic room for six or eight hours. There were about ten players, as I recall it, _massive_ wet-erase mats covering the table, overloaded bookshelves, and seemingly endless rows of those tray-shelves you keep nuts and bolts in, except each drawer was filled with meticulously hand-painted and organized miniatures. Oh, and dice. So many dice. Enough to build towers reaching to the ceiling, so long as no one bumped the table. Meanwhile, the kids (about six or eight of them) would play around down stairs and watch movies with the spouses who weren't as into the nerd fest in the attic. Somewhere around the age of eight or nine, I think, I started hanging out in the attic, watching the action and gradually learning the basics of this massive adult game of make believe, powered mainly by dice and potato chips.

I live in a kind of big community (30 people in my cooperative, and 30 more a few blocks down the way), and our group has about ten people who enjoy table top RPG's and about three times that many who enjoy what we can term 'gateway drugs' like Settlers of Catan or Isaac Asimov. I think it's a particular combination of enjoyment of gateway drugs that make people willing to embark into the depths of tabletop rpg geekdom.

As such, like any good pusher, you might be able to recruit people you already know through a gradually escalating sequence of gatherings. You can start by organizing a weekly games & movies night, and figure out who like to try more complicated games, who likes to put stories on top of their games of Catan, and who secretly thinks that Conan the Barbarian is one of the best films ever put to celluloid. This is actually how the core of my current group got started; we got together once a week to watch a film considered freakish by someone in the group, and then Gary Gygax died and it came out that we had all played D&D at one time or another, so we got together the Gary Gygax Memorial Game, run by myself with three players. It never really stopped, and now we're on our third or fourth campaign and have about ten players who switch out DM'ing duties from time to time. Importantly, after the initial games, we kept playing other games with other community members, and eventually some of them wanted in on the D&D game, too, never having played before.

Ok, good luck!

(And in case some scoff at our use of D&D as a primary medium, it's the game people know the rules for at this point, and picking up a new system is a pretty big investment. In any case, it's the storytelling, not the mechanics, that really matters...
I ran a game of New Mage for about five months at one point, which actually pulled in some new never-played-an-RPG players who wouldn't be caught dead playing D&D, and I'm planning to run 'Beyond the Mountains of Madness' in a few months.)
posted by kaibutsu at 5:21 AM on April 11, 2010 [3 favorites]

I'm in Philadelphia and quite a D&D fan. I have no books on me, but I'm always willing to roll up a new character. I'm also willing to try out other systems if you're fine with there being a semi-newbie who might have to ask a few rules questions the first time.
posted by Rory Marinich at 6:56 AM on April 11, 2010

I'm out in North/Central New Jersey, which probably puts me a bit far for you (I'm primarily a HERO player - never got into D&D). Sadly, there aren't a lot of gaming stores left in business to use for a contacts.

Gaming conventions can be good for networking. Come November, you could try PhilCon and see what interesting folks you can meet there (it's general SF, but there are gamers there). Also in Pennsylvania, and sooner, is MEPACon, May 21-23, in Clarks Summit (that's near Scranton). The next area con I'll be at is DexCon in July, but Morristown NJ is probably a bit far for you.
posted by Karmakaze at 8:02 AM on April 11, 2010

Check your MeMail?
posted by Tomorrowful at 8:18 AM on April 11, 2010

Rory Marinich: Check your mefimail
posted by 256 at 1:37 PM on April 11, 2010

One: as always, greekphilosophy speaks the truth.

Two: I am a complete newb to RPG gaming, but have always wanted to learn. Count me in if you think the group has patience for whatever the D&D equivalent of a padawan is.
posted by youarenothere at 1:48 PM on April 11, 2010 [1 favorite]

iamnothere: you also should check your mefimail.
posted by 256 at 6:16 PM on April 11, 2010

I reject the description of my withering sarcasm as "huffy." Also, I miss greekphilosophy very much.
posted by desuetude at 7:08 PM on April 11, 2010

My roommate and I moved to Philly a few months ago and we are both pretty big gamers. I've played in a handful of DnD (3rd ed, I think) as well as WoTC Star Wars campaigns. He's played in every RPG system ever invented. We're also into board games of all types.

I'm not sure how much time we'll have as he's starting paramedic school and has a job and I still need to find a job but we'd both very much like to connect with Philly gamers.
posted by Diskeater at 9:14 PM on April 11, 2010

I won't say that I've never done D&D. But never seriously. I'd love to try sometime. Mark me down as interested.
posted by Deathalicious at 6:35 PM on April 12, 2010

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