My answer would have been different if I had to write this a few years ago.
Dungeons and Dragons, and in extension the whole tabletop RPG hobby, has been gaining a lot of popularity the last couple of years. A lot of people have shown interest in trying the game and many of them ended up liking it.
The rise of live streamed games has played a big role to that. Also the media have been portraying D&D as something fun and fulfilling, meaning the stigma from a couple of decades ago is mostly gone.
Moreover, it has become much easier to play online than the previous years, with sites dedicated to just that.
And I can see this influx of people interested in gaming where I live as well. There are times when the number of people visiting the LGS to play D&D is as high as the ones coming to play Magic: The Gathering (and every once in a while it can even be higher).
For me, all this is evidence that there’s no need to take extra action in order to make more people want to play. However, what we can do is make them want to stay.
We know our hobby’s community is awesome but we must also show that to the new people joining. Be kind to them and make them feel welcome.
You should be patient with new players. You were a new player once and you know it wasn’t easy at first. During a session at the LGS, someone who was watching the game approached me and started asking how the game works. I answered them to the best of my ability. Yes, my attention was not fully focused on the game for five minutes but nothing bad came from that. On the contrary, that person was convinced to come to the next session and play, instead of just watch.
So in conclusion, at this point in time, the focus shouldn’t be on how to draw more people into the hobby but to make sure the already increased amount of people wanting to try the game feel welcome to do so.
And that’s my answer to today’s question. I know I twisted it a bit but sometimes GMs go off rails too. What do you think, though? What more can we do to draw more people into the hobby? But also, what can we do to make them feel welcome?
Tomorrow’s question is “How has a game surprised you?”. The answer may surprise you(Sorry I couldn’t control myself).
So until then, have fun!