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    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    Private-Prinny's Avatar

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    Default How to manage a large group?

    I'm going to be DMing a campaign, but the showing is a bit high. I'm looking at a minimum 6, and possibly up to 10, but I don't want to have to turn anyone away. Any ideas on how to keep such a large group focused on one thing?

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    Ettin in the Playground
     
    Godskook's Avatar

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    Default Re: How to manage a large group?

    Use a co-DM and missions that require splitting up frequently. 10 People seems daunting but 9 players who roleplay together while fighting in groups of 4 or 5. Your work as DM will be reduced since the co-DM will help carry the load.
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    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    Private-Prinny's Avatar

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    Default Re: How to manage a large group?

    Quote Originally Posted by Godskook View Post
    Use a co-DM and missions that require splitting up frequently. 10 People seems daunting but 9 players who roleplay together while fighting in groups of 4 or 5. Your work as DM will be reduced since the co-DM will help carry the load.
    I was actually considering something like this, but I thought I was just looking for an excuse to be lazy.

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    Ettin in the Playground
     
    Amphetryon's Avatar

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    Default Re: How to manage a large group?

    I'm DMing a large group myself - as many as 14 have shown up. Groups this big are unlikely to be as roleplay focused as a smaller group, though, conversely, you may have success using 'you say it your character does it' for maintaining order.

    After 1st level, you'll likely end up throwing masses of low-CR mobs at them, as a single BBEG dies quickly and easily to the action economy. Unless you're in a heavily optimized, high lethality group, spread the love from those mobs around, rather than using them like PCs and ganging up on just a couple PCs.

    You'll probably want to drop a wand of CLW and/or Lesser Restoration in order to deal with the large number of nicks and dings combats like this will put on all the characters.
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    Firbolg in the Playground
     
    Knaight's Avatar

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    Default Re: How to manage a large group?

    GM two separate games, each for a group of five or so.
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    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    Kaun's Avatar

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    Default Re: How to manage a large group?

    What edition/Game?
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    Ettin in the Playground
     
    Kobold

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    Default Re: How to manage a large group?

    IMO combat is the biggest problem. More turns means more delay between turns. Players are more likely to get distracted. The more distracted they are the longer combat takes.

    Use a timer for combat. 45 seconds seems like a reasonable amount of time for players to declare their actions. They should gather dice ahead of time.

    When calling initiative, call the player whose turn is now as well as the player who is on deck. Most players in a big group won't pay attention to the whole combat. Doing this gives them a round to reread the map and decide what to do. It means you'll call their name and have an action ready.

    Finally, appoint a rules lawyer. If players have simple questions (ie, not judgment calls, but stuff like whether or not their spell has a save and they can't find it because it's not in a book they own) the rules lawyer gets to answer them. Keeping simple rules questions away from the GM will speed up things tremendously.
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    Ettin in the Playground
     
    Savannah's Avatar

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    Default Re: How to manage a large group?

    In any group larger than 6, I always simplify combat rounds. Generally, I have everyone roll initiative, then have the PCs go in groups of 2-3, with the monsters wherever their initiative falls.

    I've also had a DM who gave the players one initiative roll and the monsters another. Whoever won went first, as a group.

    His way is faster, but mine is less chaotic.

    I was also in a large group where initiative was run normally. It was horrible; a round could take over 45 minutes, and everyone who wasn't acting was incredibly bored. (This did contribute to the round length; no one was paying attention because they were so bored, so they had to be reminded of what was going on when their turn came up.)

    As for keeping everyone focused, I'd suggest sitting everyone down at the first session and explaining your expectations and table rules. If everyone knows that they need to pay attention and keep things moving, that should help a lot.

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    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    Private-Prinny's Avatar

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    Default Re: How to manage a large group?

    OK, I think I'm going to explain everything up front, appoint a co-DM, and, since I'll have a co-DM, I will be able to be my own rules-lawyer.

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