It's A Pain Finding Games! (But It's Easy To Find Players. No, Not Those Players.)

(Hello, new member here! Nice to meet you!)
I’ve got a problem that I think many people can relate to, and it seems almost paradoxical. Bear with me, I’m gonna cover a lot of ground in one post, so this is gonna ramble a bit…
I love tabletop gaming, but I’ve had very limited experience with any one game. In most cases, this is because established communities for that game tend to already have a standard of play that newbies have a hard time breaking into without a lot of hand holding. Having learned D&D 3.5 years ago, it took me a long time to actually find someone who could DM a game. (Stick a pin in that, we’ll come back to it) Over the years, every time I met a new group of tabletop enthusiasts, they always had a preferred system which was way different from what I’d played with before. Swapping between D&D 3.5 and Pathfinder was a proper head flip, I now regret ever touching 4E, and 5E was the first time I felt like I fully understood the system. Also splash in Shadowrun, Pokemon PTU, and some anime thing that I don’t remember that wasn’t the big anime tabletop system people usually think of. I’ve read several player manuals cover to cover, but every time I got invested in a system or setting, I’d have to start over from scratch every time I met new players. Additionally, I had a very hard time finding GMs for any given game. The conversation usually went like this: “Hi! I’m Shazbot! Do you guys play 5E?” “Oh yeah, we love 5E, but we don’t have a dungeon master. Is that something you could do?” Truth be told, I’m only a passable GM who doesn’t really have the time or energy required to maintain a campaign, but since no one ever wants to run the games, I was a player out of place. Fed up, I decided to take matters into my own hands. I bought a bunch of 5E books and offered to host a game, but as I mentioned before, this was largely unsuccessful, and I had to disband the group.
So now here I am with the biggest case of tabletop RPG blue balls, wishing I could play basically ANY game, but I’m fed up with learning new systems, and I straight up cannot host the game. With hundreds of thousands of tabletop enthusiasts online, you’d think it’d be a simple matter of “Is anyone hosting a 5E game looking for players?” but when I ask that I get responses like “Are you hosting?” Or “We have an opening but we’re testing a homebrew system” or “You should read up on Super Dungeon Crawler 7th edition revised, everyone I know is playing that.”
Now, I actually came to this forum because someone linked me to Ryuutama, and their website linked me here, so once again I’m researching a brand new system I’ve never used before. I know I said “waaah, I don’t want to learn another one!” but I am honestly intrigued by this system, and if I had to learn yet another new system then I don’t mind if it’s this one.
So please, for the love of Odin, is there ANYONE around here recruiting for ANY of the 5 different games I mentioned? (4E Doesn’t count, if you have to ask why then you’ve never played it.)
Edit: I just re-read the rules for this section of the forum, and while it explicitly states that you can’t go here to look for players for your game (I am, in fact, the player looking for the game, not the one with the game looking for players) I realize that outside of the other things I mention in this topic, I’m still in the wrong place, and now I’m wondering where does one go to find GMs recruiting players?

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Yeah, so the forum hosts discussions around games and gaming, but you will see listings for games under the category “Gauntlet Hangouts.” That’s where all games are organized for The Gauntlet. However, all of this actually lives on a calendar/RSVP site: . The way that works, any GM who wants to run a game will post anywhere from two months to two weeks before (so there’s a bit of a lull right now, since we’re about to go into December, and a bigger lull as it’s the end of the year/holiday season). That’s the place to watch (and here, where the games will be announced) to find games to get into. If you want to GM a game, then play a few with the Gauntlet community and then get in touch with @edige23 .

That all being said, you probably won’t see D&D of any edition, Shadowrun, Pokemon, Pathfinder or Ryuutama on the calendar. They’re generally not the Gauntlet’s style, but they’re also not disallowed — if you want to run 5E, no one will stop you and I guarantee people will show up (there are logistics to consider with online play that tend to make crunchier systems much harder to manage).
You will find a lot of Dungeon World, a Powered by the Apocalypse game that is D&D or Pathfinder just not their baked in systems. And I know you generally don’t want to learn a new system, but PbtA is the Gauntlet’s speciality and it’s pretty low stakes to learn. Keep and eye on the calendar and try it out!


Thanks for the heads up! I was starting to get worried, it seemed like every forum section was saying “no game announcements” and I was like “wait, how do these people find games then?”
And yeah, holidays are here so most people are busy. I’ll keep dropping lines anyway so that people know I’m available once New Years is behind us, and maybe somebody will have something going in January.
I’m a little disappointed that I’m definitely gonna have to learn a new system if I want to run with this crowd, but honestly the more of these things I learn the less I’ll have this problem.
Edit: Oh wow, this thing (Dungeon World) is really bare bones. In fact, I feel like I’ve seen this before…

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It’s worth mentioning that a majority of the games being run here are so much lighter in terms of rules depth that there is often no real need to “learn” them before playing; most of these games can be and often are played by people who have never played them before.

Unlike most iterations of D&D, they are simple and quick and don’t demand rules mastery from the players.

With my group, we literally play a different game and system every time we play, for instance, and none of us have much time to learn new rule sets. This is because there are so many great games that really don’t demand the kind of study and prep that something like modern D&D demands.

I’d encourage you to jump in and try to play some unfamiliar games! You’ll be plenty welcome even if you’re entirely unfamiliar with the game, and it might help you get over this pressure you’re putting on yourself to have studied and learned the rules before playing.

I haven’t run any games at the Gauntlet yet, but I almost always run games for people who don’t know the rules, and I never see that as a problem or drawback. It’s really fun to learn and explore a ruleset together! Many modern non-D&D games are designed with that in mind.


Welcome @Shazbot - I hope you enjoy the community.


I GM 5E in real life, I have to confess to little interest in playing online :slight_smile: And IRL I’d jump at the chance to be a player in my groups…but I’d rather be playing other systems really. I’ve been spoiled.

One thing is that the Gauntlet tends to run between 1 and 4 sessions, which in terms of the the average 5E game it would run 1 to 4 combats :smiley: And with ‘open table’, which is great, I think you’d be looking more at one-shots in any of the systems you mention.

I think the Gauntlet is ****ing amazing for getting to try all these new jams and they are often systems that are great for character and narrative and picking up & playing with little prep or rules mastery.


No Gauntlet game requires players to learn a new system … which tend to be ‘light’ on the Gauntlet, anyway. Some game announcements are explicit when they say ‘system taught’, but most of us take that for granted. Advice above re: the hangouts channel here is what you should follow. Skimming that channel will give you a flavour of the key BDS if games you’ll find here. Hop to bump into you in a game.


Oh, I should add that, in addition to the myriad PbtA games, there are a lot of Old School Renaissance/Revival (OSR) games on the calendar! If you’re unfamiliar, these are closer to something like D&D1e and the more classical systems (in fact, I believe they sprang from the 1e system and other games like that entering public domain?). So, if you’re looking for something very familiar to D&D, definitely look out for those. Often GMs will run old(er), published modules with them — like classic D&D adventures and dungeon crawls (my knowledge of “old school” TTRPGs is limited, so forgive me for any misses I make here).

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This is true. My impression is that most OSR-folks tend to use D&D rules based on rulesets earlier than 1st Edition, but there are a few who use “AD&D”, as well.

These games generally fit very safely into the “you don’t need to know the rules to play” category (and even if you did read the rules, it wouldn’t do you much good, since most such games are heavily altered in play).

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I would estimate that 90% of my many years of gaming has been as DM for the very reasons you mention.

It helped me to realize the DM is a member of the group and as much a player as the rest. Players run a character but, for the DM, the entire adventure is the DM’s character.

Granted, some gaming systems support that concept better than others. Dungeon World (a new discovery for me) is one of those systems. After many years of D&D, I have finally found a system that agrees with my perspective on DMing.

The gaming community is ever in need of those who are willing to lead games. If you find a game that you love playing, consider that running it for others will likely strengthen the population and increase the chances of finding someone willing to run a game for you.


Welcome Shazbot!
Have you ever tried PbP gaming? The pace of it isn’t for everyone, but there’s some fun ones out there. Either way good luck!

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