Looking for some friends to play Traveller RPG with? Finding gaming friends isn't as hard as you might think. Here's 10 ways to find gaming friends!
Finding Traveller RPG Gaming Friends
It can sometimes be difficult to find gaming friends to join you for a Traveller game. People get jobs, go off to college, or just move away. Maybe you never met other Traveller players, to begin with. Maybe you just found out about Traveller yourself. How do you find other players?
With the success of sci-fi properties like Guardians of the Galaxy, Star Wars, Star Trek, Firefly, The Expanse, and others, people are looking for more. Now is a good time to capitalize on that popularity.
With interest in science fiction at an all-time high, recruiting players for a sci-fi RPG should be easy, right?
Despite being in constant publication since the late '70s, and being ported to a variety of other gaming systems such as d20, GURPS, and Champions, Traveller doesn't have the name recognition that other RPG games, like D&D, does.
How to Find Gamers to Play With
The best advice I can give is to go where the lovers of science-fiction or gaming hang out and to make friends. Go play games other people are hosting, build a rapport, then ask if you can host the next game.
If your new friends seem even slightly interested, make it as easy as possible by providing pre-rolled characters and running a one-off adventure so everybody can try the system. This works no matter what new system you are proposing, and while I love Traveller, you could use this method to recruit Star Trek players, Star Wars players, pretty much any kind of game player.
Top 10 Tips For Finding Other Traveller Players
There are ways to find other gamers and like-minded enthusiasts, and they don’t necessarily have to live in your town. Thanks to technology like Skype, Google Hangouts, Discord, and virtual tabletop systems like Roll20, you can connect with people from all over the world.
Try these 10 tips for finding other Traveller players (in no particular order):
1 – Steam
Steam is a player-matching and gaming platform where you can purchase games from a vast catalog, connect with your friends, and make new ones. You can join multiplayer games with friends online. Check your Friends List for people who like similar sci-fi themed games like you. If you don’t have any Steam friends, try being more outgoing. If you see a player on a sci-fi game that cooperated with you, or seems to have the same schedule as you (because you always see them online when you play), or seems to be interesting (maybe they are a way better or way worse player than you) reach out to them. Make friends. Once you have established some rapport, invite them to join you via Virtual Tabletop for a Traveller gaming session.
Use Tabletop Simulator and invite your Steam friends to play. You can use the steam voice chat and group chats to talk and the tabletop simulator for moving pieces.
2 – Virtual Tabletop (VTT)
A virtual tabletop (VTT) is a way to share a virtual gaming space with other players. Players log into a central server and can see shared maps and playing pieces. Click on your skill in the character sheet and 3D dice roll on everybody’s table. Hits and damage are automatically calculated.
The invention of VTT has allowed people from all over the world to make gaming friends they never would have met without it.
You can import adventure modules purchased commercially, or develop your own.
One great feature of many VTT systems is a player-matching service.
For example, Roll20’s player matching is located under Games> Join a Game.
You can enter the game you want to play into the search box, along with some other optional settings to help you narrow the type of game you’re looking for. The search engine will find games that match your criteria.
As I write this article, I see one Traveller game listed. If no games are listed, check back later or even better- host a game of your own!
3 – Meetup
Try using Meetup, a site where you can find local people matching your interests. Go to the site and enter “game” into the search box. You can also try to browse by event category and look for “Sci-fi & Games”
You may be surprised to find out there are more local gamers than you realized! In my town, there are a few Magic the Gathering games going on this week in 2 different venues, and a gaming night hosted at a local pub.
If you don’t see any events already listed, try hosting your own Meetup. You could meet in a meeting room at your local library, or even virtually using something like Google Hangouts. Meetup can help you locate other gamers even if you never actually meet up.
4 – Local Gaming Store
Go check out your local gaming store and see if they host a gaming night. If they don’t, volunteer to run one. Most stores are eager to get customers, so make sure you make purchases from your host store. A lot of gaming stores make some money from selling concessions, dice, miniatures, etc. If your players want to buy rulebooks of their own, recommend they order them through the gaming store.
See if the store has a bulletin board you can use to promote your game. Maybe they have a blog or social media presence you can use to promote your game as well.
5 – Local Pub
Call around or visit your local pub. Many pubs host a game night. It’s good for business, as long as people are purchasing drinks and appetizers.
Microbreweries and “artisanal” pubs often have trivia night, ladies night, and so forth; why not suggest a game night if there isn’t already one? You could start with chess or cards and grow the group into full RPG gamers in just a few weeks.
In my town, the Second Street Brewery and the Violet Crown movie theater both host a game night.
6 – Facebook Groups
One way to find other gamers is to join a Facebook Group.
Groups are a way for enthusiasts of a certain topic to connect, share articles, chat, and enjoy that topic together.
All you have to do is use the search feature on Facebook, then filter to Group view. Keep in mind that the search results may include travel sites, so take some time to check before you join.
Here’s a brief list to get you started:
I have had great luck finding and connecting to other sci-fi gaming enthusiasts using Facebook.
7 – Discord
Discord is a great tool for gaming communities. It provides text, image, video and audio communication between gamers in a chat channel.
The servers have chat rooms that are dedicated to different topics.
Discord servers are a great way to meet other gamers with similar interests to yours.
There are some Discord servers that cater to the Traveller RPG gaming community. These servers are a great place to connect with other players, GMs, publishers, and other Traveller RPG resources.
These are my favorite Traveller RPG Discord servers:
8 – Forums
Before Facebook and Discord were invented, people used forums to support their special-interest-group (SIG).
Forums are still in use today, and there are two huge Traveller RPG forums you can use to meet other players and find gaming resources for Traveller.
Hop on these forums and look for posts from people who seem to have the same outlook as you or who seem like they could be interesting friends then reach out to them.
These two are the biggest Traveller RPG forums and are still very active:
9 – Conventions and Events
Another great place to meet new gaming friends is to attend gaming or sci-fi conventions.
Conventions often have break-out groups and classes that focus on certain aspects or themes of gaming.
Among the cosplay costume contests, vendor booths, and exhibits, you will usually find either organized or pick-up RPG games going on.
Get in on a game. Host one if there isn’t one being offered. Put yourself out there. Don’t be shy, you are among other nerds! LOL, you have something in common.
Here are a couple of examples of conventions where you can find gaming support:
TravellerCon- The biggest Traveller-themed convention.
Bubonicon- A yearly science fiction convention.
10 – Reddit
Reddit has a pretty large and active Traveller RPG community.
Reddit is a special type of forum where people’s posts can be up or downvoted by the community. This can lead to trolling but is meant to help the good ideas percolate to the top while burying less popular posts.
That said, Reddit is a good place to find other Traveller players and build your group of gaming friends. It’s also a great place to ask questions and get answers regarding Traveller RPG.
If You Can’t Find Them, Make Them
As both a GM and a player, you should always be on the lookout for people who would be good gamer candidates - I find that it helps if I cultivate sci-fi gaming communities either in person or online. The more players you create, the more word of mouth spreads, and the more Traveller players there will be in the world.
The main takeaways from this article are:
- Go to places where like-minded people congregate.
- Create new players when you can.
- Put yourself out there and be friendly.
Doing this has given me two separate groups of 5 players that meet once a week to play Traveller. One group of 5 is my local group; we meet at my house. The other group is my “remote” group’ we play by Roll20 virtual tabletop with Discord for the voice and secret messages to players.
I hope you can find the gaming friends you are looking for! Hours of happy sci-fi memories with friends are in your future!