I’m fortunate to have a steady, long-term tabletop gaming group. The core group of us has been playing together for more than a decade. Even though we’ve been physically apart for years in different cities we have a strong culture of gaming together. Over time though, attendance will ebb and flow. Life can get in the way and we all accept this with the phrase “life is more important than gaming”. When someone has to drop out for a while, it is time to invite someone new into our group.
Finding the right people to add to our group
Not all gamers play the same RPGs, and if they do, they may not play them the same way you do. I’m fortunate enough to play a fair number of pick-up games, so I’m exposed to a range of gamers. When I find someone who I think will be a good fit for our group, I make a mental note of it.
The first thing to do is make sure our group as a whole wants to add a new player. Provided that is true, an invitation goes out, “Would you like to game with us?”.
Agree to the Gaming Charter
Our group has had a gaming charter for nearly a decade now. This charter outlines what players should expect from the GM(s), what the GM(s) expect from the players, what the group expects from everyone, and some guidelines.
This charter is a living document. Changes and suggestions are always welcome from potential gamers.
Once the charter is accepted we get to the audition period.
The audition period is a short time where the new player comes on board and plays a few sessions with us. This gives them the chance to get to know us and our games and we get to know them. There is no formal number of sessions that this period lasts. In fact, usually new players work out and we forget to formally close the audition period. In the rare cases where it doesn’t work out, people usually self-select out of our group.
On paper this looks like a hardcore process, however, in practice it is simple.
By having this process for adding a new person to our group, we are able to better manage people’s expectations and make sure we’re adding people who will make our gaming sessions better!