Dungeons & Dragons 5th edition hit shelves a little over a year ago and since that time there has been something of a tabletop roleplaying renaissance. The game shed the “tactics” feel of 4th edition and is more akin to a stripped-down 3.5. It’s simple, it’s fun, and most importantly it feels like D&D.
Assembling a group is a worthwhile activity. It’s a social game in an increasingly insular tablet and cell phone world. It’s a healthy way to connect with your friends, although you could also try no deposit slots at houseofbingo.
That said, I have seen many groups crash and burn. I’d like to hand out some pointers to help you prospective DMs assemble a working group that can meet for months and even years to come.
The most important thing to do is to pick your players carefully. The biggest killer of a gaming group is the “problem player”. This is the guy who throws his dice when he rolls bad and pouts when the DM makes a call that he doesn’t like. You can pick him out in real life as the guy who throws his game controller when playing video games, and he probably utters the phrase “It’s not fair” at least once per week. You can still be friends with this guy but trust me, you don’t want to play D&D with him.
You’ll need to make it clear up front with your players that there are no cell phones or laptops allowed. People have to pay attention if they want to play D&D. If you are lax and let this slide, your game will devolve into side conversations and a situation where one player who is really into the game becomes with the less invested members of the group.
Game style is another factor. If you want to run a story-based game where your campaign is like a movie or book, make that clear from the start. Keep your eyes peeled for the dreaded min-maxer – the guy who is out to “break” or “win” the game by exploiting rules in ways they weren’t intended. There are circumstances where the whole group is made up of min-maxers, and if that’s your thing then go for it. But if you have just one or two of them, you’ll need to make a judgment call on if those players will fit in your group.
Always remember the most important rule, which is that real life problems are dealt with outside the context of the game. If someone is being annoying, don’t kill their character. Talk to them right there at the table.
Look through your real life and find people you like. Ask them to try the game out. You’ll be surprised at how many people are secretly curious about how D&D works.