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View Full Version : Cursed with the blessing of over-abundance HELP



Centor
2007-10-03, 10:53 AM
I'm not sure if there is already a forum for this question but I need some help from the more experienced out there. Iím the DM for my gaming group and we started out with 3 players and myself, we picked up another two players and one left. The problem is now weíve had a request for a new player to join us (might want to bring his GF), and one of the players wants to bring his girlfriend to teach her to play AND one of my best friends wants to try playing (I donít think heíll stick around). Iím going to have a total of seven or possible eight players at our next session this Friday. HELP!!!!
Iíve only been DMing for a little while and Iím not sure exactly how to handle this many PCs. Iím running the Expedition to Castle Ravenloft campaign and the original party just cleared the zombie village and is looking for the legendary items (Mostly exploring). The four of them have already been pretty handy at killing everything I throw at them (I didnít even get to use half the tricks the ďCaller in the DarknessĒ could do :smallyuk:). Since Iíll be introducing 3-4 new PCs I was thinking of having them meet in the inn or on the road as though they were a different adventuring group and maybe making the first session very RP heavy to get them use to their characters. Maybe play on a turf war type of feel until they decide to play nice together or maybe just make them rivals. Since Iím inexperienced at running more complex scenarios Iím not sure exactly how to do that but it sounds good. Any ideas on mechanics to make it a challenge (just multiply the enemies?) and RP suggestions on what to do with this many players would be much appreciated. I hope I donít seem ungrateful either because Iím very excited about so many people being interested and wanting to join us but wow this going to be interesting. Iím going to need a bigger table! LOL! Thank you for any help and suggestions, before I go crazy! :smallbiggrin:

Person_Man
2007-10-03, 11:23 AM
As a DM, 8 players is a bit too much for me. I personally prefer 3-5, and if it gets up to six and someone else wants to join, I just start a second group and DM the same campaign twice a week. Trust me, it takes a lot less time thing trying to DM one group of 7+ people.

Remind the players that they should be learning the rules well enough so that they can DM when this campaign is over, so that DMing doesn't become a second job for you.

If you need to scale up combat, I find that its better to give class levels and/or templates to existing monsters, rather then adding more monsters. Although it takes more prep time to do this, it makes combat flow better. If you add monsters, then each additional monster gets an action every round, and that's more time during combat that one of your 8 players is just sitting there doing nothing. If you make 1 monster more powerful, combat will still last longer and be more challenging, but most of the time is spent on your players' actions.

Centor
2007-10-03, 11:35 AM
Thanks for the sugggestion, I think i'll do that, is there a easy way to add that on (template) or is it just like a normal character leveling? Also i'm assuming that will effect the CR, by how much?
The issue is that Friday is the only time I have to play. Life is just to busy. I'm hoping (unfortunatly) that I lose two of the players, my freind that I was talking about probably wont give it more than one session. The girlfreinds may or may not stay, Mine has been playing all along and doing great so who knows. So this might just be an issue for the one session. Again thanks, any other advice for a new DM would also be helpful. Thanks!

Quietus
2007-10-03, 12:11 PM
Thanks for the sugggestion, I think i'll do that, is there a easy way to add that on (template) or is it just like a normal character leveling? Also i'm assuming that will effect the CR, by how much?
The issue is that Friday is the only time I have to play. Life is just to busy. I'm hoping (unfortunatly) that I lose two of the players, my freind that I was talking about probably wont give it more than one session. The girlfreinds may or may not stay, Mine has been playing all along and doing great so who knows. So this might just be an issue for the one session. Again thanks, any other advice for a new DM would also be helpful. Thanks!


If you're effectively doubling the number of PC's, then you'll want to give the monsters about double to three times as many hit points, depending. You may also want to give them more damage, or more attacks - I find when increasing monster difficulty, maximizing hit points helps, then throw a few extra hit dice on. If it's a melee monster, this can raise its attack bonus to dangerous levels, so keep an eye on that - If, say, you bump up a giant by 4-5 HD, it's just gained a pile of BAB. If the monster has Power Attack (Or you can just give it PA), that solves the problem : Just drop that extra attack bonus into PA always. This puts a little more heat on the players, and keeps the healers busy, so they aren't constantly wailing on your monster, and the extra hit points will hardly be noticed because there's so much more damage being thrown at a time.

Dullyanna
2007-10-03, 12:15 PM
I'd say that's just too many people, especially considering some of them are new to the game. If you go ahead with this, I'd recommend focusing a lot more on roleplaying than fighting. Then again, maybe the stunted pace of combat will chase some of 'em away:smallwink: .

Centor
2007-10-03, 01:36 PM
Yeah, I'm hoping that a few will drop off and not come regularly. It should just be this one session of play and then it'll go down to 5 or 6 players which is much more manageable. I think your right about the HP and damage. I'll probably do that and then make a couple character classed enemies to mix in with the others. Hopefully I can drag this session out to mostly role-play anyway, so maybe I'm worried about nothing. Thanks a bunch!

kemmotar
2007-10-03, 02:45 PM
The first thing you should do is explain to them that all of them talking together is an offense punishable by a globe of destruction or a heightened living disintigrate spell:smalltongue:

If they start getting careless thinking that there's seven of them so they gonna beat the monster easily tell them the contact poison on the door feels sticky to the touch...roll fort please...Make sure the poison is a potent one(dont bother with rules, just improvise it when you need it)...Use traps to scale the CR of encounters, make it more difficult for them to fight. Instead of 10 monsters just use a really tough one in a tight corridor and turn the fact that there's so many of them to their disadvantage. Casters wont be able to use many spells, clerics will have trouble healing, ranged attacks will be made difficult...

Collapsing ceilings are the DM's best friend...just go for evilness in your game until they become more careful and quiet...add feral, multiheaded or lernean templates to easily scale CR(from savage species, it includes how much each template increases CR so its should be easier for you to get appropriate CR for your game)

Dr. Weasel
2007-10-03, 04:39 PM
What kemmotar said

I strongly disagree with this (with the exception of the first sentence).

It sounds like you're going to be dealing with quite a few newbies. You want the game to be fun and dying from grabbing a poison doorhandle or having a cave collapse on you is not fun. It's crap. If this happened to me in my first gaming session, I would never play again.

That aside, be sure you have a way to keep the noise level in control and to keep everyone's attention on you when it needs to be. Try spreading your more experienced players (I realize it's relative) around the table/room/gaming area. Be sure books are evenly distributed and try to minimize background noise.

Every time I've played with more than six people, communication has become an issue. Be aware of what you're doing when you increase challenge ratings, especially when you're dealing with spellcasting power.

Just be ready for everyone to want to shout out a story or quotation or whatever it is your buddies say at the same time as you want to DM. This is the main problem with dealing with large groups, especially when the group is heavily comprised of new players.