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- The lead samurai in Samurai 7 was hired to get a group of samurai together to defend villagers who hired him. He even specifies "seven" samurai as the number needed, but settles for three in the interest of time constraints. he lets two that have been with them from the beginning call themselves "samurai" as time goes on, and they meet another two on the way to the village.
- Luffy from One Piece wants to become a pirate, so he travels the world to assemble a crew.
- Captain Metropolis from Watchmen kept trying to form a league of superheroes, but never ended up getting anywhere. The more positive-thinking costumed heroes who would likely have joined were inevitably turned off by the Darker and Edgier heroes being obnoxious pricks about the whole enterprise. This didn't stop them working loosely together to cover areas during the police strike however.
- In Stephen King's The Dark Tower series Roland spends an entire book doing this, via magical doors into our modern time. It's called The Drawing of the Three.
- In the second novel of The Executioner, Mack Bolan forms a 'Death Squad' of Vietnam veterans to help him in his war against the Mafia, but most of them get killed by the end of the book, after which he decides I Work Alone. The two survivors, 'Gadgets' Schwartz and 'The Politician' Blancanales, do help him out from time to time, and later when Bolan joins the government-run Heroes "R" Us unit Stony Man they form the basis of Able Team. He also recruits Phoenix Force, a Five-Man Band of the world's best anti-terrorist operatives.
- Karol from Tales of Vesperia (he keeps joining a bunch of guilds, hoping to fit in)
- Celes pretty much starts off like this in Final Fantasy VI in the second half of the game, though most groupmembers are already known.
- Commander Shepard during Mass Effect 2, where s/he spends the majority of the game recruiting and earning the loyalty of various mercs, criminals and similar outcasts in order to form a Badass Crew.
- The Light Warriors of 8-Bit Theater certainly fall into the more cynical side of this trope. They even had an early arc about deciding which of the applicants would be allowed to take the job.
- Keychain of Creation opens up with Misho and Marena trying to get other heroes to join them on their quest.
- Looking for Group, while not a strong example, definitely deserves mention for title-appropriateness. Cale would be that hero.
- RPG World has this as the early joke, as Hero was looking for new party members for...no apparent reason, it seems.