For me the answer is either a gaming store or a convention, and I prefer a gaming store. I have several reasons that I prefer public gaming. One, I like big groups, eight is my favorite table size, system allowing. I find it is usually easier to pull this off at a con or a store, for reasons of space and having enough people. Second, I believe that the best way to get people into the hobby is for them to see people playing a game. Gaming stores are the perfect place for this. There are a surprising number of people in a gaming store that have never played a RPG, or have not played one in years. These are people who are generally geek inclined since they are in the game store, and a table with six to eight people sitting around it having fun draw attention. RPGs are actually somewhat less intimidating than many of the other things going on in the store, there aren't $800 of minis on the table, or a whole bunch of cards, just some guys with dice. One of the reasons I love running C&C in stores is that someone can sit down cold and learn to play it. Third, I like the atmosphere, there are other people playing games, and stopping to see what we are doing. I think it helps maintain the interest of the people already at my table. I strongly believe that there are few things more important to this hobby than game store owners who understand the value of people playing in their store.
2 days ago