Why should we hire you?

So I’m wondering: am I too harsh when it comes to looking for players or a group? I’m not one of those lucky few who have a group of friends who they have known for years, and who gets to game with them. I don’t have a steady group of co-workers who share the same interests; the people I work with roll their eyes when I talk about gaming.

I’m like many people out there, people who have to go outside their circle of friends to get in some gaming. Because my best option for getting into a group is usually to play with strangers, I tend to put them through an “interview” process. I test the waters. I start with simple communication, sending email, asking questions. I tend to rate the responses on how quickly they returned my inquiry, how much information they offer up, and their general tone. It’s all arbitrary, I know, but it works for me. Then I meet with them, and spend some time talking about the game. And much like interviews I have conducted in my professional life, there are flags I am looking for during this meeting. This is true for both new players to my group, and for new DMs whose group I am looking to join.

I’m looking for excitement about the game; I want to hear that you want to be doing what you are doing. If you are a DM, I want to know you are excited about the story you are telling and excited about the group of people I might get to play with. Enthusiasm rates much higher than technical proficiency for me. It could be your very first time playing or as a DM but if you are excited about it, I will be too. I’m also looking for you to be excited about my joining you. People want to be where they are wanted, and if a possible DM makes it clear that I am wanted, I will want to be wanted. Not to be contradictory, but I am also very leery of the “any port in the storm” desperation of a DM who can’t fill a spot or keep players. It might be an over generalization but groups who get desperate to fill holes either don’t have a story worth playing or have cohesion issues which often leaves them with gaps in the group.

I ask pointed questions when I meet a DM because I am probing for information which will either get me excited about their game or turn me off to it. I’m hoping to get the same feel from the DM about me. I want to know that they care about their group enough to be concerned that a player might not fit. When a DM invites me to play a few trial sessions to decide if I get to play with them, I get a bit excited.  It’s a clear sign that the group has long term plans to stay together and they don’t want disruption spawning from players not in line with their goals and vision.

When I DM I know new players in my group might not be looking for all of these things. They might not ask any of the question I do, or look for any of the same signs. So I always offer to let people sit in for a game or two before the decision is made to invite them to continue to play with us. Often the players figure out that my group isn’t for them and they decline further invitation; often I don’t invite them back. Those who fit stay and have a great time. But I always make sure that new players know from day one that there is a trial period, in hopes to soften the blow if this just don’t work out.

All in all, it boils down to the fact that I have a limited amount of free time. I want to get the most enjoyment out of my available time, and I don’t want to have to struggle to do so. I think being preemptive and using some of the skills I picked up from my professional life really helps me enjoy the game.

It’s not the Bachelor or anything like that; no roses are given out, and no one gets voted off the island. Though thinking about it, it might make a good reality t.v. show. How about The Perfect DM? Or Dream DM? It’s a working title. I could get all the top DM bloggers and have them run through different challenges like: terrain building, encounter preparation, impromptu gaming, 150 word story creation, and on and on. It could all be judged by pros from the industry, and a few celebrity judges– I’m thinking Will Wheaton and Felicia Day. Hmmmm, I might be on to something!

Do I go over board? Am I the only one who checks references and does a criminal background check before I play with others? What do you do? Let me know what you think.


Part idiot. Part old man. All geek. Thadeous can't think of anything interesting about him self right now. Know this though if he could it would be creative and funny as well as thought provoking.


About Thadeousc

Thadeous can't think of anything interesting about him self right now. Know this though if he could it would be creative and funny as well as thought provoking.

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