It's been a huge pain in the ass for me to even get 3-4 people together on days when no one works, and it's been at least 2 weeks since our last session. Do you guys have similar issues?
Also ITT: I've been playing CoC, should I try D&D? I grabbed a bunch of 5e shit from a thread awhile ago but never read any of it.
With players of working age you will have trouble scheduling regular sessions. About every other months is what my players manage.
In the US you will certainly have an easier time finding players for DnD than for CoC. The question is what kind of players are going to show up. Beer & pretzel games are easier to set up than narrative character stories, people can wind down for a few hours of combat encounters instead of cranial exertion.
I don't have a huge selection of people to play with so it's more or less going to be the same people playing so it's not like they won't come if it's DnD or vise versa. It seems like there's a lot more work that goes into setting up a DnD game though.
Seems like there are a ton more rules and setting up an adventure takes longer. I've only ever played CoC so it's not like I can compare the two.
DnD is cluttery. There's detail rules for every greedy player and they don't follow any inner logic while also being distributed over countless splatbooks. The game is much harder to get into than BRP and chargen can take sessions while only delivering combat stats.
That said, setting up an adventure is much easier because all you have to do is present somewhat balanced combat encounters for which there is a rating to compare. You can just take a map, put loot and monsters in every room, and tell the players the treasure is down there. You don't have to know fuckall about the story, NPCs, or any secrets they might be having. Just keep rolling dice and dishing out drops.
But I'd rather look into mixing it up with games like Dread, Don't Rest Your Head, or Monsters and Other Childish Things. If you want Fantasy look at Runequest, Torchbearer, and Reign. DnD lives off of marketing, not quality.
You get your rolls modified from all kinds of things. There is no clear structure to it. That makes it really hard to balance custom builds and they tend to be mary sues mechanically. There just isn't room for much creativity.
If you want to see it done differently look at ORE where everything mechanically relevant directly goes into the pool as dice. There's no modifiers collected over two sheets of interdependent values applied before and after the roll.
Or BRP where everything is mechanically expressed as skills on a % scale.
There are games that get the gamist mechanics right. Look at Burning Wheel. It works much like DnD. But it doesn't get lost in fanwankery. It has a mechanism for social combat and you can resolve diplomacy or intrigue much like you would combat in D20. There are rule relevant character traits and mindsets. It motivates players to roleplay instead of making them roll initiative as soon as the DM turns the page. It is also a thick book and nothing I would wish on a newb. But it is a good example of DnDish rules done very well.
Being a part of a regular tabletop group takes dedication. There, I said it. The game is damaged if it has to go on without a player, and it's hardly even worth playing if the group is missing sessions regularly. In a group full of working adults, players need to be able (and willing) to schedule around the game, or say no to a friend who wants to hang out that night, or turn down an unexpected movie invite. For a tabletop group to exist in any real way the players are going to need to give a shit about it.
So often I see players who treat tabletop games like "that thing everybody does when they've got nothing better to do." If everyone in the group handles it like this, sure that's fine--but if that's the case you probably don't really have a group anyway. Like just about any other team-based hobby, people should understand that being a part of the group entails a certain amount of social responsibility. This doesn't mean that a player can't ever miss a session, but they should make a good-faith effort to avoid doing so, and should at least feel kind of bad about it when they can't--just like if they skipped a week with their bowling team or something.
So, my advice? I don't know the specifics of your situation OP, but if you're trying to build a stable roleplaying group I think it's just about always best to convert friends you already have, rather than finding people specifically for roleplaying. It's easy to blow off a stranger. It's harder to stand up your buddy when you know he put a lot of work into something. And, as an added bonus, you get a group full of people you already know you're compatible with.
If you can't do that? Hell, just head to your FLGS and run one-shots or something. No strings attached, you pick up whoever's there, get your roleplaying fix, and go home. Nobody's going to miss shit, because there's never a scheduled game to miss. And if you do it regularly, you might just find that you build a group by accident.
Due to people in my group working 2 on, 2 off or 2 on 3 off schedules and how everything falls we generally only game every other Saturday. But the group's also been together for over 16 years and the change in something that happened only in the last 2 years, so we're all still fine with it.