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What's your optimal PC group size?
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Dredwulf60
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 29, 2016 10:26 pm    Post subject: What's your optimal PC group size? Reply with quote

For me it depends on the feel of the campaign.

I find a pair of players allows for some storytelling that isn't as suitable for a group.

I have found that ideally a group of 4 walks the line between fun factor and group complexity.

Pros and cons of large and small groups?

Anyone prefer single PC games?
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garhkal
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 29, 2016 11:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

4-6 with 5 being a sweet spot for me. 3 or less and the loss of ONE can seriously put a hurting on them.. 7 or more and you can have issues with some being too much out of the limelight (or even just gaining some attention) as others monopolize time, or things take too long to get back to them.
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Whill
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 30, 2016 1:38 am    Post subject: 5 Reply with quote

I've ran a couple entire campaigns with only 1 or 2 regular players (sequels to group campaigns with more advanced PCs). I've also ran a 12-13 player adventure.

3-5 players is my preferred range, with 5 players being ideal, then 4, then 3, then 2, then 1 player. 5 PCs can adequately cover the basic PC group skill set and are not too many characters that everyone can still have something to do operating a light freighter. With a 5-player group, game night can often still be salvaged with a modified or alternate adventure when 1 or maybe even 2 players have to cancel. More than 5 players tends to become unwieldy, but I'm ok with a campaign having 5 regulars and a couple additional occasional players.
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MrNexx
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 30, 2016 11:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

3-5 is ideal; 6 is doable if the group is good, and I've had up to 8.
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garhkal
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 30, 2016 3:03 pm    Post subject: Re: 5 Reply with quote

Whill wrote:
I've ran a couple entire campaigns with only 1 or 2 regular players (sequels to group campaigns with more advanced PCs). I've also ran a 12-13 player adventure.

3-5 players is my preferred range, with 5 players being ideal, then 4, then 3, then 2, then 1 player. 5 PCs can adequately cover the basic PC group skill set and are not too many characters that everyone can still have something to do operating a light freighter. With a 5-player group, game night can often still be salvaged with a modified or alternate adventure when 1 or maybe even 2 players have to cancel. More than 5 players tends to become unwieldy, but I'm ok with a campaign having 5 regulars and a couple additional occasional players.


I have found over the years, that when you have 3 or less players consistently ONE missing the game can spell the other 2 not playing, unless the dm does some serious shifts of baddies and other challenges to allow the 2 remaining pcs to cope...
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atgxtg
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 31, 2016 6:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I find 3-4 to be about the ideal for most games.

Fewer players can work just fine, if the players are the type to roleplay a lot, and the GM prepares things for handling a smaller group. It's kinda like working without a safety net, though. If something goes wrong the players chances of covering for it tends to diminish with the size of the group, since each PC factors in for a larger percentage of the group's skills and combat abilities.

Larger groups can be a bit more rugged, but can limit the amount of roleplaying an interaction the players get. Also, large groups can loose focus and are more likely to miss things and/or have something go wrong. Partly because more people are rolling, and partly because there is a bit of "weakest link in the chain" thing going on. Players also tend to get more cocky and arrogant when they have a big group to back them up. But if the players are good and the type to stay motivated, a large group can be devastating. It's like they start multi-tasking and can overload a GM.
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shootingwomprats
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 31, 2016 9:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I find 4-6 with the sweet spot being 5. I can typically run with three even if the rest do not show.
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Raven Redstar
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 31, 2016 10:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I prefer single PC games.

I generally like 1-3 players, 3 max. But, my favorite games have almost always been 1 on 1.
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Cap'nCodskale
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 04, 2016 6:53 pm    Post subject: Playing the numbers Reply with quote

I'm not sure what my sweet spot may be. Three players is my average, though, and works well. Current group is seven players, with as few as two and as many as five showing for a single session. I will be very surprised if ever all seven players show for a single session.
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Dredwulf60
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 06, 2016 6:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

BONUS FOLLOW-UP QUESTION:

How do you guys handle the situation when players can't make a session?


In my group we typically arrange it so that the characters just kind of lurk in the background, taking just enough action to keep the group together and keep the character alive.

When it's unavoidable that they need to take action, each player typically has appointed one other player they trust to 'control' their character.

In any case, anything that happens to that character is binding. So despite the best efforts, it's possible for characters to lose credits, get injured or even killed when the player is not present.
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Whill
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 06, 2016 7:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

If the player can't make the start of a new adventure, then I try to write the PC out of the story adventure, and if possible leave it open for the PC to join up with the group during the next session. If in the middle of an adventure, myself or another player (preferably another player) will take the PC over, but if possible we will still try to write the PC out of the story (like the droid calls them from the ship stating someone is trying to break in, or the PC has to split off for a side mission related to the current one). "Offscreen" events away from the PC group can be hand-waived. While the PC of the missing player is still with the group, negative changes to the PC are binding, but I try to minimize that from happening as much as possible.
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atgxtg
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 06, 2016 7:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

For me it depends on group size, game being played, and what the effect of the player not being there will have. Results have ranged from:

1) Just assume the character got sidetracked; played adventure without him.

2) Player have someone else run character that night. Usually in terms of GM controlling the character and other player rolls dice for him.

3) Postponed game session.

4) have missing PC show up and die heroically rescuing the other characters (was an unusual/extreme situation).
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garhkal
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 07, 2016 12:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dredwulf60 wrote:
BONUS FOLLOW-UP QUESTION:

How do you guys handle the situation when players can't make a session?



We have had 2 threads in the past in the gamemaster section that touched on that..

http://www.rancorpit.com/forums/viewtopic.php?t=1344

This one dealt more with what do you do if they have to GO, and the situation is such you can't just write them out (ie in the middle of a battle, etc)

http://www.rancorpit.com/forums/viewtopic.php?t=3435

This one is more if the player is leaving the group (say temporarily) but is going to be returning...

One of the bigger qs i have seen some other players raise with that sort of situation, is IF they are being ran by another person/The dm, do they still earn Full CP?
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Whill
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 07, 2016 9:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for posting those other threads here.

garhkal wrote:
One of the bigger qs i have seen some other players raise with that sort of situation, is IF they are being ran by another person/The dm, do they still earn Full CP?

I tend to have the PC still earn CPs while still with the group and being controlled by another player or myself, but not when "offscreen".
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garhkal
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 07, 2016 2:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Glad to help Whill..
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