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D&D and rural living: as good together as Eladrin & Kobolds

Exaggeration17AExaggeration17A Registered User
edited December 2008 in Critical Failures
I love D&D. However, I've gone about six months without being able to actually play despite my best efforts to the contrary for one simple reason: I live in Northern New England.

At the beginning of this year I lived in Portland, the biggest city in Maine-- which isn't saying a lot-- and I wasn't able to find a single group in my area. I eventually found a store 20 minutes outside of the Greater Portland area which worked out okay for a while (other than having to drive so much at the peak of the price of gas)... until I was enlisted to do backup DM duty.

This lasted until the end of summer, and as our current players were going back to college, it looked as though I could go back to being a PC... but instead, I got a job Burlington, the biggest city in Vermont-- which is saying even less-- and had to move away just as this opportunity had arisen. The punchline to this series of events is that while I did find a D&D group up here, it conflicts with my work schedule. So, if I want to be part of a campaign, I have to be the DM again.

Now, running a game is certainly rewarding in its own right, but when you're forced into that role because you don't live in an area with any established network of players, it gets aggravating after a while. Especially after you've already posted on a local meetup group, some Yahoo! groups and WotC's official "find players in your area" forum. And especially when Mike & Jerry are bragging about rolling dice with Wil Wheaton.

This is something my wife and I enjoy doing together, and we only have one working computer right now, so chat-based sessions are out. With that in mind, here's the big question for you experienced gamers: is there any way of finding other D&D players out there that I've missed? Or is the frozen Northeast just as desolate as I think it is?

"Every dark cloud has a silver lining, but lightning kills hundreds of people each year who try to find it."
- despair.com
Exaggeration17A on

Posts

  • HorseshoeHorseshoe Registered User regular
    edited December 2008
    I live in Northern California, just south of the Oregon border. I live on a farm. It also can be bleak and desolate.

    Give it time, and you'll find people. There's more D&D players out there than you might think. In fact, today four of my friends are coming over to play at my house for a little holiday get-together type thing.

    But yeah, you're unlikely to find other players over the internet. More likely you will run across people who used to play 2nd or 3rd edition and would get a kick out of playing again. I mean, I may end up playing in a Star Wars RPG game with one of my teachers from high school. That's pretty hilarious.

    Horseshoe on
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  • delrolanddelroland Registered User regular
    edited December 2008
    Horseshoe wrote: »
    But yeah, you're unlikely to find other players over the internet.

    That's not entirely true; the trick to finding online players is finding where they really post. Just throwing posts on the WotC forums and Yahoo! and whatnot is going to net you jack squat, but sometimes gamers use a particular resource to find each other in specific areas. In the SF Bay Area, for instance, it's not too hard to find a game on craigslist or bayrps.

    delroland on
    EVE: Online - the most fun you will ever have not playing a game.
    "Go up, thou bald head." -2 Kings 2:23
  • HorseshoeHorseshoe Registered User regular
    edited December 2008
    Well, I'm speaking from my own experience in a rural area. We may have different ideas about what the word "rural" means.

    Horseshoe on
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  • Exaggeration17AExaggeration17A Registered User
    edited December 2008
    delroland wrote: »
    ...the trick to finding online players is finding where they really post. Just throwing posts on the WotC forums and Yahoo! and whatnot is going to net you jack squat, but sometimes gamers use a particular resource to find each other in specific areas. In the SF Bay Area, for instance, it's not too hard to find a game on craigslist or bayrps.

    The problem when you move to a new area is, you don't know the best way of interfacing with local gamers and you have NO resources that can help you find out. This is true everywhere, of course, but it generally gets progressively harder the more isolated you are. States like ME/NH/VT only have about a million people in them, which is about 85% less than the population of the SF Bay area. A city is big enough to support its own community of gamers, but areas like mine are barely able to do the same despite their size. So, even when you do find a forum for gamers specific to your rural state, there's no guarantee that there will be a group anywhere near you.

    Case in point: I did actually find a thread on WotC's official forum where someone was looking for players for a game in Vermont. Of course, it's 90 minutes away from me, so it might as well be in Canada.

    Exaggeration17A on
    "Every dark cloud has a silver lining, but lightning kills hundreds of people each year who try to find it."
    - despair.com
  • HorseshoeHorseshoe Registered User regular
    edited December 2008
    yeah, i feel you, man.

    the county I live in in northern california is larger than the state of connecticut.

    total population: about 45,000.

    Horseshoe on
    dmsigsmallek3.jpg
  • Hahnsoo1Hahnsoo1 Make Ready. We Hunt.Registered User regular
    edited December 2008
    Try the online gaming thing. Many online gaming setups now involve Ventrilo (or other VoIP programs, instead of text chatting with a keyboard) and a whiteboard program (we use MapTools at rptools.net for our games). You only need one microphone for the two of you, and dicerolls can be a simple button press on the whiteboard program.

    My online gaming group has been going strong for several years. We've used a variety of different tools and microphone setups, including 1 mic for 3 people on one end of the "table" (right now, everyone is using personal headsets). We've bounced between Shadowrun (3rd and 4th edition), Castle Falkenstein (I had to write some custom card-drawing macros for that), and currently Earthdawn Classic, and all of them have worked well (and in some cases, better than meeting in person). Yes, you do miss out on the socialization and the snacks, but it's better than no gaming at all.

    Hahnsoo1 on
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    PSN: Hahnsoo | MHGU: Hahnsoo, Switch FC: SW-0085-2679-5212
  • PandaPanda Registered User
    edited December 2008
    Thanks for the suggestions Hahnsoo1, I've been trying to put together a group online with some friends for some time now. We started playing 2nd edition D&D, and are now bouncing back and forth between 2nd and 3.5, depending on who we can get together (different people for different campaigns so we can always play even if not everyone's available). Looking at the RPtools.net stuff has really renewed my interest in figuring out how to get it to work!

    I've only been tabletop gaming for a few years now, and I agree to what was said earlier. You'd be very surprised how common Tabletop gamers really are. While many of them may not openly flaunt it (mostly to assume public persecution by the uneducated masses), many people either play, played, or are interested in playing tabletop RPG's of some sort. Personally, I've gotten several of my friends into D&D.

    Panda on
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