Getting into Gauntlet Hangout Games

Since @Toby asked about this, I’ll start a thread and hopefully crowd source some additional ideas. The question is how to get into Gauntlet Hangouts sessions. Lots of this advice applies if you a Patreon member or not.
1, Sign up for the waitlist. The majority of our games draw from wait lists as folks schedules changes. Every month I have players join from there, sometimes several persons deep.
2. Talk about games you’re interested in. If there are games you want to play or particular times you’re looking for, mention those on the forums or the Slack. That helps GMs know that there’s a demand. Sometimes GMs will respond to a specific request, set up a game, and hold a seat for you if you haven’t had great luck.
3. Keep an eye out for games aimed at new players. Some GMs will hold the first several days of their games for new members or players who they haven’t run for yet. They’ll announce that in the listing.
4. Be flexible and willing to try games you might not otherwise.


Most GMs post games 4-8 weeks ahead and they fill quickly. E.g. I posted my Oct games in August and my Nov games several weeks ago and they are all full.
So … you will need to be patient watching for when Nov/Dec games start going up in numbers.
I joined just after the last GauntletCon and only got into my first full series in January, I think.
Between Nov & Jan last year While I got into odd sessions, usually through the waitlist.
So … (As Lowell says) Waitlist and Waitlist some more. I was also promiscuous in my choices grabbing anything that came up last Autum/Winter just to get a feel for the community.
As an example of the power and opportunity of waitlisting . . all but one of the players in my Achtung!Cthulhu Dark’ session on Sunday got in from the waitlist because the original players (who booked their slots in early August) had stuff crop up over the intervening 7 weeks. One even got in from ‘Need Players’ on the Slack - it was his first Gauntlet session.
If you do waitlist and an RSVP opportunity comes up in the meantime you can always cancel the waitlist.
Waitlist, Persevere … and make sure the Hangouts and Need Players channels send you alerts.
I look forward to playing with you soon.


There isn’t really more to add, but I think repetition is important, because I feel like people don’t believe it. Get on waitlists. Especially short ones. You will get into games, and often series. I play in at least one series a month, and it is almost always from the waitlists. I don’t save the dates for games I am waitlisted in, and if I make plans for those times then I drop. But waitlists really do get you into games.

Another thing is not to get hung up on playing in full series. Be willing to play in a single game. Open table is real, and it is great. Take advantage.

Finally, be willing to try new things. There are games that are not full right now. Try them out, even if you have never heard of them.


On top of all the waitlisting advice above (which is definitely true in my experience), I would emphasize not being wary of not playing in a campaign’s entire run. I’ve had great play experience dropping into runs in the middle!


If you’re a Patreon member, get the Slack app on your phone and enable Push Notifications for the hangouts channel. And get in there the second you see the notifications.

Given many of the more popular games seem to fill up in under five minutes, I suspect a lot of people have done this and if you’re just relying on checking the website sometimes you’re going to have a much harder time. You can still get in on games that fill up more slowly or via the waitlist, but I started playing in waaaaaay more games once I started trying to sign up for them within a few seconds of them being posted.


I’ll echo a lot of the advice already here, but emphasize that folks should stay open minded and try new games or games they might not initially be interested in. Half of what you’re getting in The Gauntlet is an AMAZING play culture, which folks like @RichRogers @Donogh @edige23 myself and many others have spent YEARS developing. You’re probably going to have a good time, no matter the game.


Re - Sign up for the waitlist. The majority of our games draw from wait lists as folks schedules changes.

i’ve been with the Gauntlet since Sept 2017, but due to being in another timezone/reality and work life stuffing up scheduled games, i’ve played a total of 30 sessions, 18 of which I ran. I know I am not the only one who suffers from short term schedule changes killing gaming.

while there is a Need Players channel on Slack, it would be helpful to have a section here too.

I feel like the open table thing is a double edged sword, many of the games here are story focused, but this is hard to tie in characters motivations/efforts-linked to shared goals/achievements when player turn over is so rapid and frequent. As yet I don’t have an answer for this, but tis vexing.


Since it was my query that started this off, I want to say thank you for so many helpful responses!

In my particular case, I have trouble with joining lots of waitlists and just seeing which ones turn out well, for the reason I mentioned before. My real life scheduling doesn’t allow me to keep lots of open slots in my calendar weeks or months in advance, in the hope that one or two might pay off. If I know I’ll be able to play, I will definitely make space of course, but I think the waitlist strategy only works for people with relatively flexible schedules, and sadly that’s not me. I realise this is my issue, not the Gauntlet’s!

I am very open to playing new games — my only criterion is the time zone.

It may just be that my expectations are too high, and I will only be able to play games on occasions when things work out. That’s ok and I can adapt to those expectations! But I did just want to ask for advice first.


Here to endorse all of the advice so far and to forcefully advocate for paying very close attention (Slack Push notifications on) for the NEED_PLAYERS channel! If you can be open to serendipity and willing to step up on short notice, it’s the quiet way to stumble upon amazing games, including something that was offered before you even joined.

Seriously, need_players. Some of my most unexpected delights on The Gauntlet have come from just taking the plunge when I saw something starting in 20 minutes that had a last-minute drop…


This also sounds like good advice and reinforces my impression that the system is good for players with flexible schedules! Sadly I can’t remember the last time when I had 3 hours free at 20 minutes’ notice…

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Well, yeah, the opportunities do tend to be directly proportional to your availability. I’m not sure there’s any way around that, alas. Keeping an eye out at times I’m more flexible has worked for me.

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Actually it seems more like the opportunities are proportional to your flexibility at short notice. I have good availability, but usually need to have things scheduled in at least a few days in advance. I think the system, good as it is, doesn’t work well for that particular life setup, while the existence of advertised games months in advance lulled me into thinking that it might work!

If it’s just a mismatch between hope and reality than there’s not much anyone can do about that :slight_smile:


Sorry @BlakeRyan I missed this as I think our posts overlapped. It sounds like we are in the same boat, and I’m glad I’m not the only one who struggles with “just join waitlists and be open to serendipity”. I’ll be patient.

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I think it’s important to note that the vast majority of what we run is advance-scheduled games. Things will settle out at the 2-3 months in mark, because that’s when you’ll catch up to when people are adding games. It takes a little while for your schedule to synch up with games being offered several months out. Like, December games will start going up October 1. For someone who joins mid-October, the first clean-slate-equal-footing month they’ll be on board for is January, starting in November. If you stick with it and don’t get frustrated in the first few weeks, it gets much, much better.


The need players channel in slack has also been used for games a few days or weeks out, especially playtests. I’ve gotten into some great games that way, as well as one campaign.


The play culture is indeed amazing. We can’t neglect to give @Kate_Bullock her share of credit for that. Her help setting up the Code of Conduct and bearing a lot of the emotional burden work, tirelessly explaining to many (including me) why things are hurtful, how to be more supportive of marginalized people, and how to be more inclusive and respectful in general really set the Gauntlet up for even greater success.

To the topic at hand: the easiest way to get into a game, aside from the waitlist, is to run one.

Also, GMs for the Gauntlet can reserve one spot for whomever they want. That can be for a friend, a new member, or someone from a marginalized group. If you are a GM, I’d recommend using this to help people get into games that have been struggling to get in.


I just wanted to update on my personal situation, that thanks to the very helpful offers of several GMs (some coming out of this discussion), I’m now looking forward to my first few games as a player, and optimistic that this will put me on the path to being able to host games in the future too. I’m very impressed indeed by the helpfulness and openness of the community here. Thanks everyone!