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So you really want to play Dungeons and Dragons, but your friend group hasn’t expressed much interest in the game? Should you abandon your friends and try to find a new group of people who share the same hobby as you? While that’s an option, it’s definitely not the one we’d recommend.
What you should do is find a way to get your friends interested in D&D. It may take a little bit of work, and you might have to manipulate them a little bit to get them to jump in, but if your friends are even remotely into nerdy pastimes, once they try D&D, they’ll wish they’d given it a shot years ago!
1. Supply Them With Food and Drinks
Everyone likes free food and drinks. If you’re the one trying to get the Dungeons and Dragons game up and running, offer to buy pizza and beer (or non-alchoholic beverages) when they come over to play. This way, they won’t think of it as D&D night, but just a time to hang out with their friends while eating some free food. Once they realize they enjoy the game, you won’t have to supply food every time. Remember, you’re just trying to get them in the door!
2. Talk About It…
Whether you choose to keep bringing up D&D to your friends will depend on the types of people they are. Some people need to be worn down a bit in order to give in and try something new. If this is how your friends typically work when it comes to taking on a new hobby, then make sure to bring up cool things about Dungeon and Dragons when it makes sense to do so. Tell them cool stories about times you played or about a cool game you saw on YouTube. Whatever gets their attention.
3. … Or Don’t
If your friends are easily annoyed and the hearing about something all the time makes them less likely to play, then put the idea of D&D out there and then shut up about it. You need to understand your group of friends so you know what will work.
4. Volunteer to Be the Dungeon Master
One of the biggest hurdles when it comes to new D&D groups is deciding who will be the dungeon master (DM). Since you’re the person who’s trying to get D&D started, you should just accept the fact that you need to be the DM. Even if your end goal is to play the game with the group and have someone else handle the storytelling, to start off, you’re probably going to have to suck it up and DM. This removes one hurdle—you’ll know who’s running the game and you can focus on convincing the squad to play.
5. Find Ways to Compare D&D to Things They Like
Don’t talk about Dungeons & Dragons as a pen and paper RPG. Talk about it relative to things you know your friends already like. Do you have a friend who’s a wrestling fan? Talk about how they can create larger-than-life characters who talk their way into and out of situations like a wrestler would. Know someone who loves video games? Compare the deep RPG mechanics of D&D to games like Skyrim or whatever games they enjoy. Because a game of D&D can be so many things, you should be able to find a way to relate it to something they already enjoy.
6. Have Them Watch D&D on YouTube
If you have a friend who has no idea what D&D is actually all about, have them watch games on YouTube to get a feel for what to expect. Here are just a few channels to check out:
7. Create a Mini-Campaign With Premade Characters
If you have them somewhat interested in playing, don’t start off with an epic campaign that will take them multiple sessions to get through. Instead, start with a short campaign and premade characters that will get them comfortable with the game before you dig deep. If they enjoy that, you can go further, but for when you’re still convincing them to try it, telling them that you’ve made a short version of them to try will make it far less intimidating.