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Silva Stormrage
2019-07-21, 04:25 PM
Hey so question to all of you to see if you guys have had similar situations occur. In our current group the main core of the group are friends from college but over time people have invited their friends and so on. We currently have a group of 8 people and frankly it's getting to be an issue because we can't effectively run a game with 7 players. Especially since it's online and over discord so our ability to communicate is more muddled than if it was in person.

We are currently discussing if we should try to split into two groups that swap players between each other depending on who wants to play what game but that has issues regarding scheduling and emotions (What if everyone wants to play for DM 1 instead of DM 2 and DM 2 has to deal with moderately interested players).

We don't want to just vote kick people either to get the game size down to a more reasonable level.

Have any of you guys had issues with groups slowly growing until they are too unwieldy? If so what was your solutions?

MrSandman
2019-07-21, 04:48 PM
I once was in a group that had to split into two due to the amount of players. It worked pretty well. As long as people are reasonably reasonable about it, it shouldn't be too much of a problem.

Pelle
2019-07-21, 05:07 PM
Schedule sessions so that everybody wont make it to every session. And then format the game so that only attending players have their characters present.

GreatWyrmGold
2019-07-21, 05:50 PM
I once was in a group that had to split into two due to the amount of players. It worked pretty well. As long as people are reasonably reasonable about it, it shouldn't be too much of a problem.
Same. (Aside from the fact that the player count shrank to barely enough for one table once summer vacation came along, mere months after the split.)

Tawmis
2019-07-21, 08:00 PM
You could split the party - and Co-DM the session (and split the party) or just do TWO DM sessions and do the following (whether you CO-DM or split it into two game sessions)...

Where Party A (with 4 or 3 people) is going after the relic to defeat the bad guy.
Party B (the remainder) is tracking the bad guy, so that they don't lose sight of him.

Obviously just very general idea. But you get the idea.

Both parties would be in the same world, with a similar goal in mind.

Quertus
2019-07-21, 08:28 PM
Well, in person, I prefer groups with double-digit players, so I can't say I've had that experience.

That said, I agree that "split the group" is probably the optimal solution for this strange "too big" concept of which you speak.

SirBellias
2019-07-21, 08:40 PM
Splitting the group into 2 with different objectives may be a good idea. It's not like people won't hang out outside of the games, and you'll have more to talk about when you do meet up!

One time we had a very overpowered group that had 6 players in it with 2 different alignments, so I presented the party with a war with 2 different nearly unkillable sides, and they sorted themselves appropriately. We then started doing a mission by mission thing where they acted as the advance units for each side, and they were going to take turns going on the offensive and trying to achieve different goals to weaken the enemy's army/plot armor... They players were all in on it, and it was great until they realized the evil team was excessively more powerful than the good team from the get go. But anyways, if you have a fairly balanced group, find a way to pit them against each other!

It didn't really solve the problem of having too many people trying to play at once, but it lets them play off each other and gives you more room to breathe.

As your online, separate sessions for the 2 groups is probably a much better option though.

Great Dragon
2019-07-22, 12:01 AM
I'm kinda dealing with this with my Sat afternoon Physical games.

Started out with 3-4 Players, but apparently Word has gotten out that I'm an Ok DM, and now if everyone shows up (very rare due to scheduling) I think there might be 15 total?

We can fit up to 10 in the FLGS, but 15 would be very hard to achieve. And splitting the Group won't work, since most of them are not available any other day that I'm running...

The good news is, all the ones that actually stayed (several have shown up, made a PC, and never returned) are all very friendly, so hopefully there won't be any real problems. I'll most likely be advertising (on Meetup, and in person) my Wed afternoon games to any that can fit that in their schedules, just in case.

Algeh
2019-07-22, 12:39 AM
I've seen groups solve this by taking the opportunity to run a bunch of shorter games in niche-interest systems as a way of splitting into smaller groups. Maybe there are 5 people who want to play Paranoia on Tuesdays, a somewhat-overlapping group of 4 playing Feng Shui on Thursdays, and a third sub-group of 5 that wants to play a D&D retro clone on Saturdays. No one probably has time for all 3, some do 2, and some do one. The "gaming group" kind of transitions from being the group that you play with to the pool you recruit from. I've seen this happen pretty organically as a campaign wraps up and various people pitch what to do next, but it might work intentionally too.

Kardwill
2019-07-22, 01:49 AM
We are currently discussing if we should try to split into two groups that swap players between each other depending on who wants to play what game but that has issues regarding scheduling and emotions (What if everyone wants to play for DM 1 instead of DM 2 and DM 2 has to deal with moderately interested players).


As it's been said earlier, that seems to be a natural evolution for many large groups. And that can be a cool thing : Maybe one of you has been itching to GM a particular game but it only interested a few players / was always prioritized down after another game? Maybe some wanted to play on tuesday, but organizing a smaller sidegame would have felt as a "betrayal" of the original group? Maybe one of them wanted to make a break, but didn't want to abandon the group altogether? Maybe they wanted to try shorter games, different genres, different mecanics? Maybe one of them wanted to get a friend in the game, but it's already "complete"? Maybe they wanted to try GMing but were intimidated by the large player count? That could be a perfect opportunity to expand your GMs and games pools, and get more flexibility in your schedule.

Of course, some games and some GMs will be more popular than others, and that can lead to some competition and to some bruised feelings. It will happen. But as long as you mix things up often enough (short campaigns, or one-shots to break up your longer campaigns and avoid the "2 permanent separate tables" syndrome, or different schedules so that a few players can be at 2 games at once?), you should be okay.

And the alternative is playing with a group over your confort zone, and probably losing players anyway. In my experience, a fluid gaming group is a growing group, since it allows players to get more easily in or out off the games when it's convenient for them. :smallsmile:

Kardwill
2019-07-22, 01:59 AM
Well, in person, I prefer groups with double-digit players, so I can't say I've had that experience.

Most GMs I know are more confortable with a 4-5 players range, but I guess it depends heavily of the GM, and of the type of game. I can enjoy a 6-8 players group in problem-solving games like dungeoneering, but I can't GM for more than 3-4 players at once when I do character-centered, sandbox and improv-heavy stuff like my current Dresden campaign. I have to say a double-digit player group is pretty impressive. :smallsmile: (I think I played only once in such a group, and the GM struggled to keep everyone engaged)

I guess it will depend on what media you're on, too. Most of my experience come from live tabletop games (I've been a GM for a few dozen years but I only GM'd once online, and played in one short aborted campaign), so roll20/discord games may have a different confort zone that I'm not aware of.

NRSASD
2019-07-22, 08:46 AM
Yeah, I vote for splitting into smaller subgroups. The table I routinely DM for has 8 players, and I've run anywhere from 2-14 player games online.

Koo Rehtorb
2019-07-22, 09:14 AM
Gladiatorial games.

Jay R
2019-07-22, 11:35 AM
As long as people are reasonably reasonable about it, it shouldn't be too much of a problem.

This is true about almost any problem at a D&D table. [Or anywhere else.]

Unfortunately, on the practical level, we usually have to solve problems based on the notion that humans react emotionally much of the time.

After running a game for a year with 12 players, most of whom showed up every time, I realized that I couldn't have open games.

These days, I generally choose the people I want to come over for a game, just like I do with a dinner or Super Bowl party.

SirGraystone
2019-07-22, 12:00 PM
Each time a character dies, removes the player from the game.

GreatWyrmGold
2019-07-22, 12:50 PM
I'm kinda dealing with this with my Sat afternoon Physical games.

Started out with 3-4 Players, but apparently Word has gotten out that I'm an Ok DM, and now if everyone shows up (very rare due to scheduling) I think there might be 15 total?

We can fit up to 10 in the FLGS, but 15 would be very hard to achieve. And splitting the Group won't work, since most of them are not available any other day that I'm running...

The good news is, all the ones that actually stayed (several have shown up, made a PC, and never returned) are all very friendly, so hopefully there won't be any real problems. I'll most likely be advertising (on Meetup, and in person) my Wed afternoon games to any that can fit that in their schedules, just in case.
If you're regularly getting 8-10 players, you could try splitting into two simultaneous tables. (That's what my game shop group did when they had a big influx of new players.) They would be on the smaller side, and some players would probably need to have characters for both tables depending on how many players showed up for each, but it can work out. (Until you stop having a dozen players every week.)



Each time a character dies, removes the player from the game.
Terrible idea. It encourages ridiculously cautious behavior and risks hurt feelings. (And no, "The dice made me kick you out" won't help matters.) Also, you're struggling along under the weight of a huge group until someone kicks the bucket.
If you need to kick out players, don't leave it up to chance. Even putting it up to a Survivor-style vote is better than waiting to see who kicks the bucket.



Gladiatorial games.
...You mean in-character, right?

Quertus
2019-07-22, 01:37 PM
Started out with 3-4 Players, but apparently Word has gotten out that I'm an Ok DM, and now if everyone shows up (very rare due to scheduling) I think there might be 15 total?

15 players? Now that's my kind of game! Now I want to join…


Each time a character dies, removes the player from the game.

That's what the "best" group in the area did. They had a waiting list, and, when your character died, you could sign back up.

Great Dragon
2019-07-22, 02:11 PM
15 players? Now that's my kind of game!

Fortunately, that has not happened yet, and 10 at once is the most so far. Fills the Table.
The next couple of weeks will be missing some regulars. One Duo as normal, next week. (Alternating)
But the regular trio will be missing on Aug 3rd.

If anyone is ever near the Portland, OR area - come on in.
Email (dragonf093@gmail.com) for FLGS address (best day's afternoon) and any queries.